I put Medical Breakthrough(MB) to the test. They’re supposed to be the best medical-grade chairs on the market. I was severely underwhelmed.
They all have a very good body scan function. But that’s about the only outstanding feature I can remember. They have a nice deep tissue massage and L-track. Big shoulder rollers are a bonus too. But I’m definitely not blown away
That’s why I’ve added these great alternatives to consider if you are looking for the best massage chair (full guide here).
Key Takeaway: For the price there are much better chairs than the mediocre chairs.
- 1. Medical Breakthrough 6 v4
- 2. Medical Breakthrough 5 Vending
- 3. Medical Breakthrough 4 v2 Massage Chair
- 4. MB 8
- 5. MB 7
- 6. MB 9
By now, you know I’m not the biggest fan of this brand. It’s not that they are bad chairs. They just don’t have that wow factor. There are better chairs available for the same price.
About the Company
A group of chiropractors spent years seeing patients. Lots of patients. They decided that since there were so many people suffering from back pain and ailments, they would design a range of massage chairs to help the masses.
And so, with 36 years of chiropractic experience, they not designed the MB massage chairs but many other consumer luxury goods (mostly sourced from China).
These chairs are known to be full of preset programs from Swedish Massages to Full Body Reflexology. The doctors and engineers behind the designs are set to deliver quality, medical-grade products.
These chairs are all FDA-approved and manufactured in world-class facilities. They really spare n expense to bring you the best.
Key Takeaway: MB uses some of the top medical practices to design chairs that target common physical health issues.
Best Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair Models & Alternatives
We tested the chairs and compared them to other similar chairs on the market.
Overall we found MB chairs to be comfortable, but also very expensive and quite unreliable.
So let’s take a look at each model in a bit more detail:
1. 6 v4 Recliner 3D Massage Chair
Medical Breakthrough 6 is a comfortable chair that hits all the right spots. Unlike other chairs that skip out on certain areas, this one really digs deep all over my back. Another bonus is that it’s packed with different massage techniques, from ancient Egyptian massage to a relaxing Hawaiian massage. I hardly got time to try them all.
The massages range from intense to relaxing. This is fantastic if you suffer from back pain. Because some days you want a relaxing massage, and on others, you need a good deep tissue massage to get at those stubborn spots.
The 6 also does complete head-to-toe massages, with a surprisingly nice arm massage. But let’s take a look at the best and worst features individually:
True Deep Tissue – The L-track on some chairs is very superficial. So, while it tracks all the way to your glutes, it doesn’t really get in there. That’s not a problem with the MB 6. This one gives you a deep massage throughout. Wonderful relief for lower back pain.
Variety of Massage Techniques – Without going into too much detail on each, MB really went all-out with this chair’s massaging techniques. There are literally techniques from all over the world, from Rome to Japan to Hawaii. And they each have their own beautiful benefits. So whether you want a deep and stretching Thai massage or a relaxing reflexology treatment, this chair literally has it all.
High Quality – The leather of this chair is thick, and after inspecting every inch of the chair, I couldn’t find a single stitch out of line. Exactly as you’d expect at a price. This model also comes with comfort pads. The three thicknesses give you varied relief in those sore spots. I put the 1” one behind my mid-back, which is quite sensitive, and it made even the deep massage bearable. This is great because I like a hard massage on my shoulders and lower back, but I always had to compromise for my sensitive mid-back.
Zero Gravity – This is the one thing that’s not so great about this chair. It only has one default zero gravity setting. As a person who likes the freedom of choice, this is a bit of a dealbreaker for me on this otherwise very decent chair.
True Body Scan – Yes, most chairs offer body scan technology. But this model’s body scan is quite unbelievable. It knows. It knows where the sore spots are. I’m not sure how the science works, but it works very well.
- High Quality
- Various Massage Techniques
- True Deep Tissue L-Track
- Real Targeted Body Scan
- One Zero Gravity
- No Memory Function.
Key Takeaway: This model is a very high-quality chair with some astounding features. But the single zero-gravity chair option and NO memory is a dealbreaker for me.
Best Alternative: Infinity IT 8500×3
The Infinity may only have the standard massage techniques and an S-track, BUT it has some other surprising features that make it a very viable alternative to the 6 v4:
App Control – You can use an app to control the chair instead of the standard remote. I was a bit dubious about trying this out at first, but the app is a lot easier and more intuitive than a standard massage chair remote.
Zone Massage – This is one of my personal favorites on any chair. This function allows you to concentrate a massage on a specific tight spot. You know that knot that needs some extra attention. Well, this function will work that tough one right out.
Zero Gravity – The Infinity offers 2 zero-gravity settings. While this isn’t the most, it’s better than the single one offered by the MB 6 v4.
Inversion Therapy – The inversion therapy setting improves circulation and relaxation by tilting you more upside down. This feature is good if you suffer from circulation problems and swollen extremities
- Inversion Therapy
- 2 Zero Gravity Positions
- Zone Massage
- App Control
- S-track Only
- More Vigorous Stretching
- Fever Preset Massage Choices
Key Takeaway: The Infinity is a better option if you like a more vigorous stretch. Or if you don’t particularly need an L-track chair. If you suffer from lower back pain, it is a better option for you.
2. Medical Breakthrough 5 Vending – for Businesses
Medical Breakthrough 5 is a heavy-duty machine that’s great for businesses. It withstands vigorous use and is specially designed for vendors. It may offer less massaging options than the 6 v4, but compared to other vending machines it’s one of the better options.
The Vending has all the massage techniques, other chairs in this category have, but with the added benefit of a very relaxing foot massage. Some other chairs give quite a hard foot massage. But the Vending’s is quite relaxing and really massages the whole foot, from heel to toe.
Here are some other key features that make the MB 5 Vending good as a business massage chair:
Specific Business Design – It’s hard-wearing. Which is what you want if people are going to be using it day in and day out. It doesn’t have too many features, so you’re not going to have people sitting in the chair for hours trying to decide which massage option they should choose. And it accepts cash or credit cards, which broadens your client base right there.
Medical Design – This is the only vending massage chair that’s been designed by medical professionals. This is a great selling point for potential customers.
Basic but Advanced Massage Options – I know how that sounds. But, while the massage techniques are basic ones, like flapping, kneading, and tapping, they’re also state of the art. The machine is designed by chiropractors. There are certain things they know how to do that average massage chair designers don’t. It really shows in the quality of the massage techniques.
- Made for business use
- Medical grade massages
- Takes credit cards and cash
- Limited massage options and comfort features
Key Takeaway: This model is specifically designed for business use. So it’s hard-wearing and functional in that regard. But it’s not as advanced as the MB 6 v4 for example. It has less options and features. So, while it’s a good vending option, it’s not really the very best option in terms of “oh so comfortable I could melt” type of features.
Best Alternative: Kahuna LM6800
The Kahuna LM6800 may not be a “vending” machine, but it’s a reliable and much more therapeutic massage chair.
The Kahuna has heath therapy and 3 zero-gravity settings. Compared to the MB 5 Vending, the only feature it doesn’t have is the money slot. Here is some notable feature the Kahuna does have:
Heat Therapy – The ultimate comfort feature. This model has heat therapy in the lower back and calf areas. It just melts away stress and tension and improves circulation for deeper relaxation.
3 Zero Gravity Settings – With the two additional zero-gravity options on this model, you can pick the one you prefer. The higher your feet are, the more relaxed you’ll be, and the deeper your massage is.
S/L-Track – This combination track targets your entire spine and your glutes. For such an affordable chair, this is quite a remarkable feature. Another great thing is that it has targeted zone massages. At a push of a button, the rollers concentrate on your sore spots.
Air Cells Massage – The MB 5 Vending does not have 36 airbags placed strategically for a quality full-body massage. The Kahuna LM6800 does.
- Air Massage
- 3 Zero Gravity Settings
- Heat Therapy
- Harder foot massage
- No vending port
Key Takeaway: The Kahuna LM6800 is a great alternative to the MB 5 vending, especially if you value comfort. They’re quite similar in terms of basic features. But the Kahuna offers more zero gravity and has heat therapy. If you or your customers like foot massages though, the Vending is a better option. It has a more advanced foot massage, even if it’s lacking heat therapy.
3. Medical Breakthrough 4 v2 Massage Chair
The Medical Breakthrough 4 v2 has a few nice features. But before we get to those, I want to say a couple of words about the infrared heating pads. They’re nice. They heat you from the inside. All is good and well. But they’re a lot like microwaves. They emit Electromagnetic Frequencies. Personally, I’m not very comfortable with this. I prefer my more traditional heating systems like air or ceramic plates.
That being said, here’s the good stuff about the MB 4 v2:
Chiropractic Stretch – This model has the best backstretch. It clasps your hips and leans your back to really relieve the pressure on your spine. I must admit it’s much nicer having your hips clasped than your ankles as most massage chairs do.
Similar Features to the 6 v4 – Like the MB 6 v4, this model has advanced medical body scans. It works perfectly to pinpoint your unique dimensions and needs. It also has that amazing L-track that uses true deep-tissue massage throughout the track. It’s also of similar quality and also has extra padded cushions.
Toe Massage – This model has a flappy thing that goes over your toes and massages them. It’s unbelievably relaxing. This is one of the few chairs to offer this feature and makes me wonder why more chairs don’t have it. It’s nice. Manufacturers should take note.
But it’s missing:
Multiple Massage Functions – It has the basic techniques, but in reality, it’s quite a pricey chair for the minimal preset programs you get. It does make up for this slightly with the fact that it has 2 memory slots for personalized massages. But it doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by the 6 v4.
- High Quality
- Toe Massage
- Chiropractic Stretch
- More Affordable
- Memory Function
- Minimal Preset Programs
- Still quite pricey considering what you get
Key Takeaway: I’m not saying this is a bad chair. But for the price, I’d go for the Infinity IT-8500 X3 instead The Infinity offers a lot more features for a bit more money. Which, in my opinion is worth it. Sorry, the toe massage, memory function, and chiro-stretch were good. But not good enough to make up for the fact that there are minimal preset programs. For the price there needs to be more to sell me on this chair.
4. Medical Breakthrough 8 – User-Friendly Massage Chair
Medical Breakthrough 8 has a unique chiropractic body twist. This, and the fact that it has a USB/MP3 port with built-in headphones, are the only two basic features that make it better than the MB series 6 v4.
It shares all the good features of the 6 v4 including:
- Heat Therapy
- Arm Massage
- Medical Body Scan
- Zero Gravity
It also has nice big shoulder rollers for a comfortable and strong neck and shoulder massage. I really enjoyed this part of the massage.
But it doesn’t have:
- The best feature of the MB 6 – is the multiple preset massages. It has the basic massage functions, but that thing that sold me on the 6, yeah, this chair doesn’t have that.
Another lacking feature, like with the other models from MB is multiple zero gravity settings. I’d really like them to take this into consideration because that’s the one big reason I haven’t bought one for myself.
- Similar to the MB 6 v4
- Added Chiro Twist and Sound System
- Good shoulder and neck massage
- Limited Massage Functions
- One Zero Gravity Setting
- Not Available on Amazon
Key Takeaway: This model isn’t my favorite. I’m not saying it’s a bad chair. It’s pretty easy to use and offers a great back twist. But really, I’d invest in the Luraco i7 PLUS instead. It has more features that I like and it doesn’t feel like the doctors are cheating me out of my money like they are with this chair. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good chair. It will last long and gives a decent massage throughout. But it still doesn’t feel quite worth it.
Best Alternative: Luraco i7 Plus
The Luraco i7 PLUS is possibly easier to use than the Medical Breakthrough 8. It is for me at least. It’s much more user-friendly, with a pause/resume function. And the touch screen responds super fast.
Two things aren’t as good as the MB 8, though. The Luraco only has S-track, so my bum did miss out on a good massage. Luraco’s body scan is also much less effective than any of its chairs.
That being said, here are the features I like about the Luraco:
Health Monitoring – The body scan may not be as good as the MB chairs. But the Luraco does have heart rate and blood pressure monitoring. A good feature to have if you struggle with either of these. I enjoy looking at the pre and post-massage numbers. It shows me how much I really relaxed.
Memory – This is a very nice feature to have. The Luraco has five memory slots. That means you can basically make 5 preset programs for yourself. You don’t get better ease of use than that!
Made in the USA – Okay, so this isn’t exactly a feature, but it sure helps to have all the parts right here in the USA if you need them.
FULL BODY HEAT – This makes up for the shorter track. Once that heat starts melting away the tension, you forget about all your worries, and you can just sit back and relax.
- VERY user-friendly:
- Pause/resume button
- Responsive and touch screen remote
- Health Monitoring
- Made in the USA
- Full Body Heat
- Average Body Scan
5. Medical Breakthrough 7
Medical Breakthrough 7 is a bit of a dud chair. It’s a pretty basic chair as far as features go. It has all the basic features their chairs are known for. Like:
- Big shoulder rollers
- One zero gravity setting
- Head massage
- A good body scan – which is probably the best feature
- “Human Hands” massage system – which is pretty good; it does feel similar to human hands.
- Full body stretch
- Deep tissue massage, especially on the lower back
Those are all pretty good features. But the problem is, for the price, I’m expecting extraordinary. I’m expecting to be wowed. I’m expecting to never want to get up again…
But I keep waiting for that feeling. There’s nothing about this chair that makes me stop thinking about the Luraco i7 PLUS or, for that matter, the Human Touch Novo Xt2. Because of this price, I expect award-winning excellence. Not a mediocre chair with a good body scan and big shoulder rollers. Sure those feel good. The chair does feel good. But it doesn’t feel like $10,000 good.
Key Takeaway: I cannot, in good conscience, recommend spending all that money on such a “mediocre-at-best” chair.
Best Alternatives: Luraco i7PLUS or Human Touch Novo Xt2
The Human Touch Novo Xt2 gives you more for less. It has more awards, more reliable reviews, more features, more preset programs… Really, I don’t understand why you’d spend $1000 more on an MB 7 when the Human Touch is right there with this:
S/L-Track – It targets the entire spine. With massage rollers that follow the curve of your spine and track all the way down to the bottom of your glutes. This is a step up from the Luraco and matches the massage quality of the MB series.
A Good Sound System – Now, when I do listen to music during a massage, I need good speakers and a music system. I don’t do fuzzy crackling that has a crummy base and screechy high notes. I like crystal clear. And the built-in Soothing Sounds on this model offer just that.
38 Programs – Compared to MB 7, the 38 preset programs are a clear winner. Unfortunately, it doesn’t’ offer the memory the Luraco does. But I’ve found programs on this chair to relax me, stretch me, deep massage me. It’s going to take a long time to work through all of them, so even setting the memory isn’t necessary. I downloaded the app on my phone, and being able to set the intensity (you can choose between 5 levels) is enough for me to personalize my massage.
- Holds up to 6’9”. It’s built to accommodate TALL people
- Extended (5-year) warranty available at a small (less than $400) price.
- S-L Track design
- 38 Preset Programs – you WILL find something you love.
- Award-Winning Chair – because for the price you want excellent
- Quality Sound System with relaxing nature tracks
- Only the back has heating
- There’s only one zero gravity position
Key Takeaway: If you need L-track design for your glutes this is a better option than the Luraco. If you like full body heat and more than a single zero gravity setting, go for the Luraco. If you’re tall, the Human Touch is better. And under no circumstances do I suggest that you settle for the MB 7. It’s boring compared to these two chairs.
6. Medical Breakthrough 9
Dubbed “the best medical chair ever” by Medical Breakthrough themselves this chair is an amalgamation of the “best” features of some of the other models. But this is where I give my two cents.
The site also labels its review page as “uncensored.” You only do that if you’ve been accused of censoring. Or, if you do, in fact, only choose the best reviews. You cannot find a bad review for these chairs anywhere.
I’ll get into this later. But for now, suffice it to say, I do NOT think this is the best chair ever. Not even close. Medical or not.
Here are some of the key features of MB 9:
- The Basics: include (limited) heat therapy; that unique body scan; arm massage; good foot massage; good shoulder massage.
- Human Hands: The massage rollers do feel similar to human hands. They give a good massage.
- Body Twist and Head Massage: These are two of the selling points of this chair. And while these features are nice, they still aren’t spectacular.
- Good Body Scan
- All the generic MB features
- Not “the best chair.”
- One zero gravity setting
- A very mediocre chair for the price – again.
- No actual awards, only self-proclaimed greatness
Key Takeaway: Again, I can’t recommend this chair. MB chairs are consistently mediocre. They have an advanced body scan. But compared to other chairs in this price range they don’t really compete. They have no awards. They have no special features. They’re average chairs at a huge mark-up. I recommend the Luraco i7PLUS or Human Touch Novo Xt2 instead.
Medical Breakthrough vs Kahuna Chairs
I like the Kahuna. As a company, they really listen to the needs of their customers. For example, they fixed basically all the customer complaints from the LM6800 on the upgrade (the LM6800s).
For the price, Kahuna is your best bet in terms of durability, customer service, and features. They skimp a bit on the thickness of the upholstery, and their foot massage is a bit rough for this exact reason. But I have not come across a company that listens to its customers more sincerely than Kahuna.
Medical Breakthrough is the exact opposite. They use extremely high-quality upholstery and parts. I mean, there’s a noticeable difference. But they also charge a huge amount for this supposed “quality.”
Also, go have a look at the reviews. They’re all great for any MB chair. I’m not saying these chairs aren’t good. But they certainly have some pitfalls. And yet, there are no reviews to show the problems with this chair.
In all honesty, I don’t trust MB as much as I trust Kahuna. Kahuna’s value-for-money chairs blow me away. Medical Breakthroughs “some of the most expensive chairs in the world” strike me as average.
Key Takeaway: I’d opt for Kahuna over MB any day because I admire their business ethics and initiative. MB may have “better quality” chairs. But they lack in authenticity. In the end, you’re the one who pays the price. Literally.
Does Massage Chair Really Work?
Have you ever been massaged and wondered if the experience really worked? And more specifically, is it worth spending the money on a massage chair in a hotel room? Sun-News examined dozens of reviews on TripAdvisor and the various claims these tourists made in their reviews. The technology may be new, but so are the massage chairs. While not yet available in Australian shopping centers, the chairs are widely used in international hotels and resorts to give guests an advantage in the battle as often as possible with hotel room cleaners. To test its accuracy, Sun News did a blind test. Half a dozen trained medical professionals were given the same product to massage. The results may surprise you. Back pain. Stomachache. Restlessness. Aching muscles. Coughing and sneezing. All of these are symptoms experienced by guests of MCR. And we paid them for the privilege of trying it. Welcome to the world of massaging. Who would have thought you could pick a rotary chair with a handle and call yourself a certified massage therapist?
It all started six years ago when Massagee Chair Rentals started taking orders for their massage chairs, marketed as a service for hotel guests. “It’s fantastic. It’s a great way to make more money,” the owner and operator, John Marsden, told The Sun News. “These are people who just want a massage. “It’s a bit of a misconception. They’re not here for a full hour.” He is an unapologetic advocate for his brand. He’s been in the chair for the better part of seven hours every night, enjoying the benefits of thousands of customers across the globe. Mr. Marsden told The Sun News his chair works best when you are lying down, so that’s why he thinks most people use them. He says people need to relax and not fidget while in the chair, or their clients may get bored and anxious and leave.
Are Massage Chairs Worth Buying?
Dr. Pimple Popper recently posted her review of the Massage At Home! Massager in an episode of her TLC show Dr. Pimple Popper, and her recommendation for the massage chair and the reason behind it may surprise you. Dr. Pimple Popper shared that she enjoys massaging her feet and legs and actually purchased this product to help relieve some of the pains that come with that.
To test it out, she performed her signature Pimple Popping and tried out a few different techniques of different people in the TLC studio. Dr. Pimple Popper stated that she didn’t like the machine because the suction was too powerful, and she said that her skin “didn’t love it” either. Dr. Pimple Popper said that she will only use it on someone else’s back or head, not her own skin.
Is Sitting in a Massage Chair Good for You?
Tension headaches may be caused by more than just your body is tense, and a massage chair might help with your tension headaches. Sitting in a massage chair, with pressure applied to the neck, can help reduce your tension headaches and overall stress. For some people, a massage can help relieve muscle tension, and help you get more rest. This can also help you deal with your tension headache.
Sitting in a massage chair can help release tension, and help your body relax. Because of this, many people find that this type of therapy is better for headaches than standing. When you’re in a massage chair, your muscles are released from tension and allow you to rest and relax. This can help your headache lessen and lessen your overall stress.
Do Doctors Recommend Massage Chairs?
Unfortunately, massage chairs have been on the market for quite a while now and many people have experienced their benefits of them. Most people think they are pretty great, but many doctors do not recommend using massage chairs for massage. Some people are often afraid that using a massage chair can impair their recovery. While there are people who disagree with these recommendations. No, doctors do not recommend massage chairs. When it comes to recommending massages and positioning, this should never be done by your doctor. It should always be done by a medical professional. Doctors are not trained to do massages and oftentimes will want to stay out of the massage chair business.
Customer Reports / Where to Buy/ Warranty
Don’t trust the customer reports you to read online. They’re all stellar. And there are very few of them. This probably means that MB filter the reviews somehow and only makes those with four or more stars public. I’d give them a 3.5 at best.
You can buy most of their chairs from Amazon or off their official website (very confusing and biased).
Their warranty is mediocre. And they do charge extra for shipping to some locations.
Key Takeaway: If you really really think you want a MB, go to a physical store and compare it to some other models in the same price range before deciding. After that the choice is yours.
What is the Difference Between a 4D and 3D Massage Chair?
At HOYA, we understand the significance of the human body and its need for proper physical exercise and training to achieve optimal health. By carefully studying the body’s natural flexibility and movement patterns, we make sure that the body is fully supported while moving. The result? A therapy session that optimizes the flexibility, mobility, and cardiovascular system of the body. 4D Massage chairs use a very unique and ergonomic core design to allow the user to physically adjust their body position during the treatment to a specific degree at any given time.
Our 5-axis system and 6-axis rotation adjustments allow you to achieve the ultimate flexibility, allowing you to lie comfortably on your back while still maintaining the correct posture throughout. This is not the first technology in the massage chair industry to achieve this level of flexibility and we are confident that we are making it better than anything out there. What should I look for when choosing a massage chair? The traditional massage chair uses an electric motor and battery system. But what if you need more precise control?
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Massage Chairs Covered by Insurance?
In general, massage chairs are not covered by insurance as they are considered a luxury item rather than a medical necessity. However, there may be exceptions in certain cases, such as if a doctor prescribes the use of a massage chair as part of a treatment plan for a specific medical condition. In such cases, insurance may cover the cost of the chair or a portion of it. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine whether massage chairs are covered under your plan and what criteria must be met to qualify for coverage.
Is Real Relax Massage Chair FSA Eligible?
Whether a Real Relax massage chair is FSA (Flexible Spending Account) eligible depends on several factors, including the specific model and the terms of your FSA plan. Generally speaking, FSA funds can be used to cover the cost of medical equipment and supplies that are prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition.
If a doctor prescribes a Real Relax massage chair as part of a treatment plan for a medical condition, then it may be eligible for FSA reimbursement. However, if the massage chair is being used for general relaxation or wellness purposes, it may not be FSA-eligible. It is important to check with your FSA provider and consult with a doctor to determine whether a Real Relax massage chair is eligible for reimbursement under your plan.
Final Words. Which one to Choose?
Don’t choose MB.
If you’re thinking about getting the 6v4 or the 4 v2, get the Infinity instead.
If you want a hard-wearing chair, get the Kahuna LM 6800 instead of the 5 Vending.
If you are looking for a top-of-the-range chair, don’t settle for the MB 7, 8, or 9. Get either the Luraco or the Human Touch instead.