Although massage chairs are more and more frequently found in people’s private homes, few people know where they are manufactured and what this means. Back in the day, the place of production usually determined what kind of product you ultimately received. And so – Japanese products were marked by perfect workmanship, Chinese products by the worst quality, while Polish ones seemed to be the safest choice. Maybe it’s for this reason that one of the questions we are repeatedly asked is about the country of origin of the chair. In this week’s episode, Paweł explains the issues around the manufacturing location and tells us where the biggest factories in the world are found. He also reveals whether massage chairs are manufactured in Poland.
Countries where massage chairs are being manufactured
In fact, the majority of the world’s supply of massage chairs is concentrated in a handful of countries around the world. The largest production facilities are located in China, Taiwan and Korea. A few factories also operate in Japan. Such a concentration of manufacturers in this particular continent is hardly surprising, especially if we bear in mind that Asia is the birthplace of massage, and massage chairs are a common household appliance there. In addition to Asian countries, massage chairs are also manufactured in the United States (although production is increasingly shifting to China) and in one European country. Unfortunately, this country is not Poland.
Japanese massage chairs
The Japanese are renowned for their accuracy, reliability and precision when it comes to many of the goods they produce. It’s where the most famous massage chair brand – Fujiiryoki – has its headquarters. They were the first in the world to produce the massage chair and put it into mass production. Japanese models are characterised by the most advanced technology, using a wealth of knowledge and years of experience. These are products of extraordinary effectiveness, offering a downright medical massage, all topped off with perfect, sturdy construction. In summary: perfection in every detail, but at a cost.
Fujiiryoki JP20009270 €
Massage chairs made in China
China is still the country where the vast majority of massage chairs are being manufactured. Indeed, it’s there that the largest factories are located, where the world’s best-known brands outsource the manufacture of their products. And this is where new massage chair models are developed and innovative functionalities are implemented.
Until a dozen or so years ago, Chinese products weren’t associated with the best quality, but nowadays a lot has changed in this respect. China used to have the advantage of cheap workforce and therefore the lowest prices. Nowadays, it’s one of the largest economies in the world. China offers high-quality production – for the right money… With a huge and modern industrial infrastructure, and with proper control of the production process, Chinese factories can offer a product of the highest quality, and still at an attractive price. Since Apple or Mercedes can extract the highest quality from Chinese manufacturing, this can also be true for massage chairs. However, we must admit that there are still manufacturers in this market who disregard quality and sell “disposable” massage chairs. Here, therefore, we need to proceed with caution. On the other hand, there is still the question of where you outsource production and for how much.
It’s safe to say of chairs professionally manufactured in China that they frequently surpass their counterparts in other countries in terms of innovation and functionality. It was there that the most innovative features available on the market, such as Zero Gravity or L-shape, were used for the first time. The same goes for heating and foot massage rollers. Thanks to so much work towards innovations in China and the eventual application of these in successive chair models, we can enjoy a much more precise and, above all, more enjoyable and relaxing massage.
At this point it’s worth noting that our Massaggio brand has been relying on a Chinese factory since 2009 and we can’t imagine outsourcing production elsewhere. We take pride in our massage quality, workmanship and negligible malfunction rate.
Massaggio Stravagante 24970 €
Massaggio Esclusivo 23570 €
Massaggio Bello 21570 €
Massaggio Eccellente 2 PRO2970 €
Massage chairs made in the United States
Outside Asia, massage chairs are or have been manufactured in the United States. This is because American brands are increasingly outsourcing production to Asia. In turn, their chairs are characterised by being larger in size, more bulky and so more suited to the customer there.
Massage chairs made in Europe
In Europe, massage chairs are being manufactured in just one location, the town of Alicante in Spain. Keyton brand designs are a combination of the highest quality natural leather and walnut or oak wood. They are the only models available on the market that are completely customisable, allowing a choice of materials and colours. The massage in the Keyton brand chairs is completely different, entirely original, European and therefore the most focused on relaxation and pleasure.
Keyton H104290 € – 4490 €
A great deal is also said about the production of massage chairs in Germany or Poland, but we’ve never come across any documentation to confirm this. Meanwhile, it’s becoming increasingly common to hear that a massage chair has been manufactured in Poland or that it comes from a “Polish manufacturer”. All these psychological endeavours are designed to divert attention from the actual country of origin. Why? It’s hard to say… Perhaps the sellers are afraid of this information, are unsure of their product or are hoping for a quick sale?
Check where the massage chair was manufactured
In the whole discussion about the production of massage chairs, the most important thing is for the customer to be aware of where the chair they are interested in was actually produced.
Therefore, if in doubt, it’s worth asking the retailer about CE certificates when buying a massage chair. These are documents issued for each massage chair. They are proof that the equipment is safe, complies with European standards and, on top of that, they specify the country of origin.
Ultimately, the massage remains the most important aspect anyway. In most cases, it doesn’t matter whether the chair is made in China or Spain, it’s how you feel in it, how you find the massage and the overall design and, of course, the quality of the workmanship. You can read about the actual place of manufacture of our massage chairs in the specifications of each product. And if you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.
– Paweł, where do the massage chairs come from?
– The story began well over half a century ago in Japan. There, in Osaka, a man named Nobuo Fujimoto constructed the first massage chair for mass production. That’s where it all started. This model looked horrible; if I were to judge it today, I’d say it’s a torture chair, made of wood and so uninviting, but if some people want it so much, they can suggest it to their mothers-in-law :) And all this was developed there, in Osaka; these models started to be more and more sophisticated, new technologies were added, right there in Japan, in Fujiiryoki.
– Is it still happening mainly in Japan?
– Maybe not in Japan, but in Asia. Why? There is huge demand for it, the massage culture in Asian countries, in massage chairs or manually or with other devices, is extensive. There, the demand for massage itself is huge and the biggest production of chairs happens there. China is of course the biggest market, then Taiwan, Korea. And there, despite everything, if you order the production correctly, if you pay adequately and keep an eye on it, you can get really neat, innovative equipment. Japan is extremely advanced technologically because of its experience, and because of its approach, it is a benchmark of the highest quality on the market. However, a lot of good chairs come from China, Taiwan and Korea.
– And what about other countries?
– As far as I know, there was production in the United States. I don’t know if it’s still being maintained, but the massage chairs there were more bulgy in shape, with sizes tailored to the Americans. Joey from “Friends” had that kind of chair. The second type of American chairs is more of an office kind, conference chair with a massage function. Is it still continued – it is hard to say, because most of the production is commissioned in Asia since it is more profitable.
– And Europe?
– Here we can boast the only European product that we have the pleasure to sell. These are Keyton chairs. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Keyton’s founder was at the Las Vegas fair, he noticed these massage chairs, whether American or Chinese, of Japanese, and they were all black and looked bad. So he set up a company in Spain, a manufacturing plant, and the first Keyton chairs were made right there. They are characterized by a gorgeous design, I’m sitting on such an chair as we speak. What’s more, we can completely personalize them here, there is a choice of colour, upholstery and wood and the quality of this leather, whether it is to be more noble or just plain fabric upholstery. Here we have a wide range of customisation features and a great quality, designer product, with a great massage functions, with sophisticated technology, perhaps a bit more relaxing, a little fewer functions, because this design would limit us a little bit here, but still really cool.