Massage chairs can be a huge investment, in order to find out which one suits your needs best it is advisable to go out and do some market research. We tried three brands recently and the one that impressed us the most during our "test drive" was the OGAWA Master Drive, the new flagship massage chair from OGAWA.
1. The design / appearance
One of the most important criteria for us when choosing a massage chair other than the features is its appearance. Our home interior is pretty minimalist, so the chosen one needs to look sleek, modern and blend in with the rest of our interior.
All 3 brands that we tried looked modern with a futuristic, edgy feel to them. Out of the 3, only OGAWA comes in four different colours while the competitor brands only come with one colour option.
2. Functionality / Best Massage Experience
We both enjoy the experience of going to a spa and having a 1-2 hour full body massage with soothing music and pleasant personal service, however the convenience of having a mechanical masseuse ever present at home capable of performing warming, deep tissue, pressure point focused, stretching and numerous massage types is also very appealing.
The OGAWA Master Drive is brought to life by cutting edge Japanese technology, and is an extremely accurate massage chair that precisely targets your acupuncture points - from head-to-toe, including your knees - for optimal energy restoration through human-like full-body massages. As soon as you turn on the machine, it will do a full body scan using its precision sensors to analyse different body shapes and sizes and adjust the intensity level of the massage accordingly.
To control the massage chair, OGAWA's controller is the most modern - a 7-inch touch-screen tablet which is simple to navigate. OGAWA comes with 22 massage programs, and each program comes with a short description to tell the user what the massage entails. We found the descriptions useful (we didn't have to keep referring back to the sales person to ask what each program is supposed to do). Some of the programs available on OGAWA Master Drive are: Master's Choice, Sensei, Deep tissue massage, Circulation, Shape n Tone, Balinese, Chinese, Thai, Shiatsu, Swedish, Kneading, Tapping and more.
You can also customise your massage area, as well as adjust the strength to your preference
OGAWA also comes with a M Drive Navigator, a feature exclusive only to Master Drive. A master control that allows you to conveniently control the intensity and massage programs without disrupting your massage experience.
Massage chair technology has advanced somewhat in recent years, the enhanced 135 cm L-shaped track within the OGAWA Master Drive gives wider coverage and reaches more points, for a more pleasurable experience. Invigorating neck, shoulder, back and lower back massage, with heat, is available via the L-Track coverage. Lower leg and feet massage are facilitated within the "footrest' portion of the chair, which comes with sole massage rollers as well as airbags. OGAWA is also the 1st in Malaysia with knee coverage, an area which is often neglected. Treat your knees to much needed care with strategically-fitted thermal airbags. Another attractive use for the OGAWA Master Drive is simply to give your body a rest from the rigours of daily life by "resting" in a zero-gravity position to redistribute your weight across the body, reduce pressure on your spine and relieve muscle tension.
OGAWA Master Drive is equipped with the high-performance A.R.M. microprocessor, which can respond quickly and accurately adjust massages to your commands.
OGAWA Master Drive is also the first of its kind to provide deep tissue, spine-focused, human-like massages. It has 4D M Spa rollers which have the ability to protrude 120mm deep and converge 40mm apart to accurately massage the spine and specific acupunctural points.
I personally enjoy medium-pressure when I go to the spa, and after testing all three brands, I find OGAWA's pressure suits me best (observation based on first program selected by the salesperson at each brand's outlet).
All 3 brands of massage chair that we tried come with heat function. However, OGAWA seems to give out the most comfortable level of heat as the heat comes directly from the massage rollers, so it will follow wherever the massage goes, hence it feels like you are getting a warm hand massage. The heat will stimulate blood flow in your body and helps your body relax even more.
All three brands come with music therapy, for extra relaxation. One of the competitor brand also comes with a negative ioniser while OGAWA comes with light therapy. User can choose from 7 modes which can help uplift moods, increase metabolism and promote detoxification.
Major benefits we agreed upon when comparing the OGAWA Master Drive to competitor offerings were that the OGAWA Master Drive offered the most human-like experience, offered the best sound and lighting effects to aid relaxation and overall massage enjoyment, offered the most user-friendly control panel, and was the most aesthetically pleasing massage chair currently on the market.
Price is usually one of the deciding factors when purchasing a massage chair. All 3 brands cost upward of RM20K, with OGAWA being the most reasonably priced; with their Parents’ Day promotion you can now own it at RM18,699. OGAWA and another brand offer two years warranty, while another competitor offers only one.
In conclusion, our brief forage into the world of massage chairs resulted in us agreeing that the OGAWA Master Drive would be our massage chair of choice. With Mother's Day coming soon, maybe, just maybe we can justify the expenditure and invest in our bodies well-being, ironing out all our aches and pains in the comfort of our home.