5 Best Panasonic Massage Chairs: Reviews & Comparison

panasonic massage chairs our top 5 picks

The Panasonic brand has become a worldwide presence for over 100 years, producing too many consumer and industrial innovations to list here. Our focus is on the division that produces Panasonic massage chairs, and you could be surprised to learn that there’s a philosophy behind this business model.

Panasonic says their massage chairs are “Zengineered,” not engineered. More than just home furnishings capable of morphing frazzled users from up-tight to Zen-like, the company says its massage chairs take users to blissful states based on a mix of ancient, Zen-like ideas, meditation, intuition and state-of-the-art technology.

While other companies promise to massage, knead and pound users into a tranquil state, Panasonic wants you to know that you’ll be caressed, given deep therapy and lulled into a soothing state that’s unparalleled. Sound good?

A Brand With A Stand

zero gravity massage chair in comfortable reclined position biege colour

If you’d like to impress your friends, ask them to guess the year Panasonic opened for business and be prepared for “Seriously?” when you tell them the year was 1918. That’s the year World War I ended, 29-year-old actor Charlie Chaplin scandalized Hollywood by marrying a 16-year-old and a flu pandemic swept across Europe.

The name Panasonic slowly became synonymous with technological breakthroughs that impacted industries ranging from consumer electronics to building, industrial and housing niches. When did engineers first introduce a massage product? In 1935.

The company’s premier electromagnetic household massager may look odd, but the careful evolution of massage chair development by the brand has produced some of the most highly-rated products on the market.

Best Panasonic Massage Chairs 2018

If you’re not impressed by the Panasonic chronology, perhaps the engineering behind these chairs will do it for you. Behind every Panasonic massage chair stands a proprietary network of mechanisms dubbed Real Pro Ultra, an internal system driven by what Panasonic calls “a lifelike massage.”

Engineered to emulate the luxurious, therapeutic techniques used by highly-trained masseuses, Real Pro Ultra mimics the warmth, movement and soothing touch of human hands.

If you’ve always wanted to join the rich and famous by having a masseuse on speed dial, Panasonic wants you to know that your one-time purchase of any of the 5 chairs profiled in this review won’t disappoint.

Every therapeuticPanasonic massage chair experience begins with an intuitive body profile scan that looks for places that need attention. Acupressure points are applied in slow, customized strokes that target those areas. From your aching neck to lower back (where tension collects), you’ll find a combination of features that addresses every issue.

By the way, warranties on these chairs are equitable, ranging from 1 to 5 years on select chairs for parts and labor and/or 1,000 hours of service. In sum, you can relax literally and figuratively, regardless of which chair you decide to bring home.

Top 5 Panasonic Massage Chairs Comparison Chart

Here’s the list of our Top 5 Panasonic Massage Chairs to Buy in 2018.

Massage Chair NameProduct DimensionsShipping WeightPrice
Panasonic EP-MA73KU
(Editor’s Choice)
48 x 32.7 x 45.3 inches220 pounds Check Price
Panasonic EP-MA7032.7 x 48 x 45.3 inches220 pounds Check Price
Panasonic EP-MA10KU40 x 32.3 x 47.2 inches172 pounds Check Price
Panasonic EP-MA73T48 x 32.7 x 45.3 inches220 pounds Check Price
Panasonic Swede-atsu52 x 32.7 x 30.7 inches261 pounds Check Price

1. Panasonic EP-MA73KU Real Pro Ultra Prestige 3D Luxury Heated Massage Chair

Call-out: The Star of the Panasonic Massage Chair Family

There’s a reason Panasonic called it their “Prestige Luxury” model: this chair the epitome of style and Panasonic Massage Chair EP-MA73KU Real Pro Ultra Prestige 3D Luxury Heated function. Available in black or brown high-quality synthetic leather, this textile is sure to please environmentalists.

Receive a full-body renewal treatment that not only treats your back like royalty, but your hands, calves and feet are addressed, too.

Massage rollers “operate interactively” and in multiple directions, soothing and stretching muscles until they’re relaxed. As a result, a user receives immediate therapeutic relief that includes increased blood flow, improved range of motion and the psychological benefits of clear thinking.

Because the Pro Ultra delivers a 3D massage, areas of the body that might be ignored by other massage chairs get extra attention. Once the Panasonic massage chair’s heating mechanism is activated, owners of this luxe chair compare the experience to being given hot-stone therapy.

Skeptical about whether this chair surpasses most massage chairs when it comes to a diversity of massage styles? Don’t be. You have your choice of 10 kneading programs, each of which emulates Junetsu massage techniques that mimic thumb-like circular kneading motions delivered to areas that most need attention.

Choose from 3D Neck, Neck, Side, Shoulder, Upper Back (vertical), High speed Upper Back, Middle Back, Lower Back (vertical), Full Back and Waist. Every focused application of circular strokes identifies and targets accupoints known for promoting energy by professionals specializing in Eastern massage therapy.

PROS
  • Built-in thermal massage rollers address sore, tense muscles from neck to toes.
  • The new Shiatsu Heated Foot Massage feature alleviates stiffness.
  • Individual air cells encourage improved flexibility and circulatory health.
  • Body scan technology personalizes every massage as sensors map the back for targeted therapy.
  • Select your favorite: “ultra-knead,” Swedish, Shiatsu or rolling. There are 110 body area combinations available!
  • Go the autopilot route by prioritizing six automatic programs aimed at your most pressing needs.
  • The nerve center–a tethered remote control–gives you one-button access to features.
CONS
  • The $8000 price tag may be too steep to handle.
  • If you expect real leather from a chair at this price point, you’ll be disappointed.
  • Finding replacement parts after the warranty ends could be problematic.
  • You’ll need lots of space to accommodate this large, bulky chair.
  • The timer shuts off at 15-minutes, so must keep re-setting it for longer sessions.
  • Brown or black may not coordinate with your unique interior.
  • Synthetic leather can be hot in the summer, leaving you to sweat your way to relaxation.

 

2. Panasonic EP-MA70 Real Pro Ultra Massage Chair

Call-out: Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association

New to the Panasonic massage chair library–and only available in black–the Real Pro Ultra’s saving grace is Panasonic EP-MA70 Real Pro Ultra Massage Chairthat it costs about $1,000 less than the aforementioned Prestige, but since they’re both produced by the same family, you get all of the perks at substantive savings.

Chief among this chair’s features and benefits are its inner-workings; the Panasonic Real Pro Ultra 3D massage system includes automatic body scanning technology that isolates areas of the body most in need of therapeutic attention.

The rollers not only deliver multi-directional attention to aching muscles and tissue, but they’re heated, so users get a full complement of Japanese Junetsu strokes, the closest mechanical approximation to human hands. Called UltraKnead technology, this massage system was pioneered by Panasonic.

For families who have run into massage chairs that can only be customized for one user, this Real Pro Ultra is a refreshing alternative: You can customize programs for up to 3 people and those programs remain within the system’s memory for as long as the Panasonic massage chair hangs around.

PROS
  • This chair is often recommended by doctors after physical therapy treatments run out.
  • Select from these 6 pre-programmed options: Refresh, Deep, Swedish, Shiatsu, Hip/Lower Back, Neck/Shoulder.
  • The intuitive LCD remote offers you one-touch buttons that control the action.
  • There are 108 custom massage combinations available to anyone interested in variety!
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty.
CONS
  • If you don’t buy products from China, take this chair off your shopping list.
  • Only comes in black, which may not suit your decorating scheme.
  • There is no stretch program nor does this chair deliver zero gravity chair benefits.
  • The airbags can’t be adjusted for a customized fit.
  • Designed for people who weigh up to 265 pounds and are no taller than 6-feet; 1-inch.
  • You could find that the heating element isn’t as hot as you might like.
  • This is a very firm massage; you may have to pad the chair until you develop a tolerance.

 

3. Panasonic EP-MA10KU Luxury Full Body Massage Chair

Call-out: Luxury Massages That Won’t bankrupt You

If you worry that all Panasonic massage chairs come with hefty price tags, the EP-MA10KU could have you Panasonic EP-MA10KU Luxury Full Body Massage Chairdoing a happy dance. This chair has the most affordable price tag of the bunch. But that doesn’t mean you get short shrift in the features and benefits department–after all, this is a Panasonic and you’ll find it’s loaded with innovations.

If you’re very short or tall, this chair offers personalized, automatic height adjustments, a feature pricier Panasonic chairs don’t always offer. The EP-MA10KU specializes in time-honored Chinese massage techniques in addition to other styles delivering head-to-toe coverage that hits the spots users complain about most often.

There are 4 pre-set automated programs that range from gentle deep tissue manipulation to traditional Swedish techniques that work out the toughest trouble areas. Yet if you fit into the “I want to control my massage” category, select from 5 manual massage programs.

Panasonic hasn’t forgotten folks who stand on their feet all day. This luxury Panasonic massage chair deploys 14 airbags in the lower body area that covers feet, calves and legs. You’ll restore your circulation while improving blood flow, and once you’re done, if you need to relocate it, move your chair out of the way via the built-in, rear wheels.

PROS
  • No need to empty your piggy bank to own this Panasonic massage chair.
  • You can adjust the chair to fit users whose bodies represent most weights and heights.
  • Choose from multiple massage styles to find exactly the relief you seek.
  • Suffer from spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia or vertebrae injuries? This chair can address those health issues.
  • Solid internal construction and quality mechanisms offer years of consistent therapeutic service.
  • This Panasonic massage chair is lighter than most massage chairs; it’s easier to move even without those wheels.
  • An ideal choice for folks on a limited budget who seek basic massages and simplicity of use.
CONS
  • You’ll spend extra money on delivery and set-up if you can’t handle them on your own.
  • The leg massage feature may be overpowering–even the lowest setting–due to forceful air bag compression.
  • There’s no memory feature; you re-set height/width parameters with each use.
  • Not every shopper finds this chair attractive.
  • If you’re finicky about shoulder and neck massages, you could be disappointed.
  • Given the price, the faux leather textile used to upholster this chair could disappoint.
  • While Panasonic is a Japanese brand name, this chair is fabricated in China.

 

4. Panasonic EP Real Pro Luxury Ultra Prestige Heated Massage Chair MA73T

Call-out: Best Voice-command Control Feature

No, you’re not seeing double. The Panasonic EP Real Pro Ultra Prestige MA73T is a close relative of the Panasonic EP Real Pro Luxury Ultra Prestige Heated Massage Chair MA73TMA73KU, sitting in first position at the head of this list of Panasonic massage chair reviews. Even the price is identical, and while the devil is usually in the details, you’ll have to look hard to find differences.

This 218-pound chair is upholstered in faux leather. Panasonic product developers purposely chose it because it’s easier to clean and maintain than the real thing and adapts to constant motion and heat.

Enjoy a premium massage that’s as close as it gets to human touch, yet internal mechanisms produce state-of-the-art multi-directional technology. This chair features both vertical and horizontal rollers that enhance the experience, no matter which type of massage you prefer.

The 7-color, LED-trimmed remote control is a breeze to use, especially if you select from the 6 pre-set massage programs. If you prefer a customized massage, use targeted manual options to attack the aches, pains and stress you’re experiencing in the moment.

This Panasonic chair offers a realistic, multi-directional 3D workout courtesy of an internal sensor capable of identifying problematic areas as well as you can. Once identified, massage rollers and heat begin to restore circulation, oxygenate blood, relieve tension and lull your sensibilities into a state of euphoria.

Of course, if you’ve selected one of the more assertive massage strokes–like Shiatsu deep-tissue kneading, for example–it could take a little longer for you to reach that state. But, it’s worth the wait.

PROS
  • This Panasonic massage chair uses inflated air bags and mechanical rolling to work out stress.
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty on parts and labor.
  • Offers 5 diverse massage sessions that range from gentle Swedish to pounding Shiatsu.
  • If a massage setting is too extreme, you can dial it back via the remote control.
  • If you like voice command options, you’ll be delighted to own this chair.
  • Use the Panasonic Tecnic headphones that accompany the chair to listen to your playlist.
  • Highly recommended for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
CONS
  • This chair could clash with your decorating style-especially if you are a minimalist.
  • Only comes in brown “vegan” leather, either of which could be a turn off.
  • If you need set-up or repair services, they can be expensive.
  • There’s no denying that the price of this chair is impressive.
  • These chairs sell out fast; you may not be able to find one when you’re ready to order.
  • You may have to remove the back padding if you crave a powerful massage.
  • Not every user found the control panel to be easy to use or program.

 

5. Panasonic Swede-atsu Companion Massage Lounger

Call-out: The Ideal Choice For Swedish massage Fans

You can stop entering lotteries, going to Vegas or waiting for the inheritance that will underwrite the Panasonic Swede-atsu Companion Massage Loungerpurchase of the Panasonic massage chair of your dreams because the Swede-atsu costs half as much as the Real Pro and nearly 2/3rds less than the two priciest models in this review.

As part of the Panasonic massage chair library, this model has been approved by the American Chiropractic Association. Deep tissue relief is at the heart of this chair as two or four (your choice) rubber massage heads, embedded in the Panasonic Swede-Atsu Wave system, go to work.

Despite affordability, you won’t feel deprived. This chair offers aching bodies a selection of options that include advanced massage modes. Four of them are preset and 8 are manual so you’ve plenty of choices to get the customized treatment you desire: full-body; upper body only; lower body only.

Pick the Swede-atsu over other chairs in the Panasonic collection and you’ll discover a nice variety of options at a price that won’t add to the stress you’re trying to relieve. Users can try out the 80 massage combinations engineers have come up with, but for many, the float mechanism alone can seal the deal.

If you’re into numbers, you’ll want to know that the massage area covered by this chair’s rolling mechanism stretches 135 square inches. Whether your goal is relieving neck pain or your legs are always aching, there’s a setting ready to do each job. And since this chair weighs only 155 pounds, moving it may not be a problem!

PROS
  • Dual-use Ottoman system supplies the stretching mechanism needed for a full massage experience.
  • Pre-programs include Shiatsu, Swedish, Stretch and Quick (when you need help but don’t have time!).
  • Enjoy features like Compression, Hawaiian, and a deep Percussion setting that hypes accupoint stimulation.
  • Leg and foot massages are driven by an air system as the ottoman rises and lowers in 20-degree increments.
  • Can be operated just 16-inches from a wall because this chair’s footprint is modest.
  • Comfortably accommodates users weighing up to 264 pounds.
CONS
  • This chair has been a Panasonic staple since 2010, so it’s missing advances found in newer models.
  • If you elect to assemble it yourself, you’d better know your way around an instruction manual.
  • The adjustable rollers aren’t truly adjustable; you can only alter their height.
  • Rollers can’t move around; you might have to re-position your body to hit a problem area.
  • Despite being one of the smaller massage chairs in the Panasonic family, it will still hog floor space.
  • Does not offer user benefits of zero gravity reclining.
  • Only available in black.

 

Panasonic Massage Chair Buyer’s Guide

foot massage in the massage chair

Since you already know which brand is most likely to make you happy, we offer guidelines so you can separate the wheat from the chaff. The following 10 tips can even help you avoid buyer’s remorse.

Tip #1: Think of this Panasonic massage chair as an investment. Multiply the cost of a single visit to a masseuse by the number of times you book a treatment. The Panasonic model you buy could pay for itself sooner that you imagine.

Tip #2: Compare online with retail store pricing, factoring in delivery and assembly costs to get a true sales price.

Tip #3: Walk off the area in your home that’s designated for the massage chair so you have access to wall outlets and don’t block traffic.

Tip #4: Buy a chair based on your needs. If you suffer lower back issues, find a model that prioritizes this area.

Tip #5: Ask whether chair rollers can be adjusted or you may not get the relief you seek. You want the longest stroke you can afford (aim for 29-inches) for full coverage.

Tip #6: If you can’t do without heat, don’t bother looking at Panasonic massage chairs that don’t come with this important feature.

Tip #7: The furniture industry recognizes degrees of incline that bottom out at 175, which means “nearly flat.” Use this scale when you determine whether a chair gives you the incline you seek.

Tip #8: Motor power counts. The stronger the massage, the more powerful the motor, so if your first experience in a Panasonic massage chair isn’t intense, it may not be your best choice.

Tip #9: Get the longest, most comprehensive warranty you can. These chairs tend to become family favorites. The warranty you get could be a life-saver if something goes wrong down the road.

Tip #10: Yes, there are bargains to be had–especially on Panasonic models that have been around for years. Buy a new version of an older design, and if you can also get free delivery and set-up, what more could you want?

 

Other Massage Chairs reviewed by us:

References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16398603
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4556221/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8884390
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20799900
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21688984
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279473/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071543/
  8. https://panasonicmassage.com/our-story/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3814103/
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massage_chair
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