The original massage chair did not have any airbags, and we did not see any airbags for a long time. Instead, brands focused their attention on rollers and using them to deliver strong massages. Over time, consumer demand created the avenue for massage chair airbags to come to fruition. People wanted something that wouldn’t dig into their backs but still provided relief. Enter airbags. Today, we see airbags in almost every massage chair. They have become a staple of what people expect to get with a multi-functioning chair. Airbags also cover large areas and make massage chairs increasingly usable for different groups of people (elderly, disabled, injured, etc.).
Where are Airbags Located?
In the beginning, airbags were mainly located around the legs. They served users by offering a lower body massage that didn’t involve heavy rollers. More often than not, massage chairs did not have a real solution for the lack of lower body massage. We believe that is a significant reason as to why brands are placing so many airbags in their chairs. If you are looking to buy a massage chair you can expect airbags in any of the areas listed below.
1) What do airbags do?
Answer: Airbags were created to compress different body parts. They inflate and deflate to apply pressure and help relax the portion surrounded by the airbag.
2) Are airbags worth it?
Answer: Airbags are definitely worth it, but they should not be chosen over rollers. Rollers are a critical part of having a strong massage that leaves your muscles fully relaxed. Everyone has different needs, so the most important part is figuring out what you are looking for in a massage chair. Overall, airbags provide a lot of value because they bring an entirely different aspect to the massage experience.
3) How do I know how many airbags are in a massage chair?
Answer: You can find out how many airbags a massage chair has by looking at the chairs descriptions, features or details page. Typically, the manufacturer will list how many airbags are in the chair, if not, you can search the internet to find out. If you can find an online version of the instructions manual, it will also list the number of airbags. However, sometimes you just can’t find the number of airbags in a chair at which point you should contact the manufacturer.
Top Massage Chairs with Airbags
1. Osaki OS-4000
Total # of Airbags: 38
The OS-4000 is easily one of the best at utilizing its airbags. Osaki improved and re-engineered the airbag structure in the OS-4000. It now uses fewer valves and airbags but has increased the amount of surface it covers. Furthermore, it uses less power to run and is extremely quiet when working. By decreasing the valves and air pumps, users are provided a more peaceful massage experience. Lastly, Osaki upgraded the materials they used for their airbags. They now use industrial grade material that is soft, durable, and flexible enough to provide consistent and comforting compressions.
2. Kahuna LM 6800
Total # of Airbags: 36
Kahuna’s LM-6800 is another great option. It combines first generation airbags with a complete body air massage. The main reason that Kahuna used first generation airbags was to give consumers an affordable alternative option. Some brands will add-on an unnecessary amount of airbags, raise the price, and then justify it by pointing to the increased airbag count.
Our favorite part was the 3 adjustable intensity levels for the air massage; this lets you control how much impact you want the airbags to have during your massage. Finally, Kahuna double layered their shoulder airbags and combined their rollers and airbags to create a wide-ranging lower body massage. For more information, read our full review of the Kahuna LM-6800
Wrapping it up – Are more airbags better?
Before we end off, we just wanted to touch on one important point. And that is the number of airbags a massage chair has. Typically, most people believe that more airbags equal better massage programs and a better massage chair. However, that is not true at all. It is not the number of airbags that matters, but how they are placed and perform. The best way to figure this out is by reading as many guides and reviews as you can to see what real consumers and experts are saying about the airbag quality, durability, and performance.