We get several inquiries about the differences between the Japanese-made Inada Sogno Dreamwave Plus massage chair and the Chinese-made Osim uAstro. The uAstro is Brookstone’s offering in the growing Sogno look-alike market. You see, the Inada Sogno has become such a popular chair that other companies are coming out with look-alikes to try to steal away some of the market share. Well, the looks may be similar but the function is way off! Here is my comparison of these two chairs.
One of our customers said it best when he came into our showroom and tried the Inada Sogno and then went over to Brookstone to compare the experience to the uAstro. He called the next day, ordered the Inada Sogno, and said that sitting in the Inada Sogno and then the uAstro was like driving a Mercedes Benz and then getting into a Chevy. I decided I needed to try them both out for myself.
One thing I noticed right away was the difference in the rollers that worked my back. They felt almost clumsy and a little uncomfortable in the uAstro. You can really tell the difference when comparing them to the 3-D rollers that are offered on the Sogno. The rollers also didn’t go as far down into the buttocks as the Sogno rollers do. They went down to the sacral area but not into the mid buttocks area like the Inada Sogno.
The seat itself was quite a bit smaller on the uAstro, so if you have wider hips or are just a larger statured individual I could see it being a challenge to fit comfortably, which translates into a less comfortable massage experience.
Also, the arms are designed differently. Instead of the air cells squeezing around the inside and outside of my upper arms, as with the Inada Sogno, the uAstro has air cells that actually just squeeze into your outer arm. It was akin to getting a bear hug around the top part of your body. I didn’t necessarily care for it.
Are the Inada Sogno and uAstro Chairs Really Zero-Gravity?
Also, they market the uAstro as a zero gravity chair but not once did I feel like I was in a zero gravity position, which technically is a 30 degree tilt of the seat. It is commonly known that “true” zero gravity constitutes positioning of your body so that your legs were raised to shunt blood more to the heart and your body is placed in a state where you feel like you’re floating; essentially taking all gravitational pressure off your back. In the uAstro I did not feel this; my legs were always considerably lower than the rest of my body even when the leg ottoman was raised. The Sogno is not sold as a “zero gravity chair” but I felt like I was in that position more when fully reclined than I did in the Brookstone chair.
One of the features I love about the Sogno is how the air cells alternate on the lower leg and foot to create an amazing massaging and kneading feeling on that area instead of just straight air cell compression which is what the uAstro does.
Also, the technology of the up-and-down and side-to-side seat movement, that is incorporated in the Dreamwave program and throughout some of the other Auto Programs in the Sogno, is completely absent in the uAstro. This seat movement in the Inada Sogno also contributes to the amazing Stretch program that incorporates flexion, extension, and rotation. It is also very therapeutic for the lower back and hips which seem to be pain focal points for many for our clients.
A Couple of Things We Liked In The uAstro Over the Inada Sogno
One of the things I did like about the uAstro was the convenient remote control display that showed you what modalities it was going into as it did them. The Sogno’s remote has an LED screen that also shows you what it’s doing via symbols, but you have to learn the symbols in order to know what is being done to your body.
Both chairs have a heater in the chair but I did notice that the heater in the uAstro was a bit stronger. My lower back was getting quite toasty by the end of my 15 minute program whereas in the Sogno it is a very sublte warmth that radiates from the sacral area throughout the seat cushion.
The bottom line for me is that I felt the difference in the price is truly noted in the sophistication of the mechanics of the chair. Yes, they look similar and, to the novice consumer who is stepping up from a Homedics pad that they’ve been using in their chairs at home, the Osim uAstro could very well suffice. For the discriminating consumer who has decided to make this investment for their health and truly wants the most technologically advanced and sophisticated product for their money I would say, hands down, that the Inada Sogno Dreamwave Plus is the chair for them. I would rather pay the extra money knowing that I am getting the best massage chair on the market than spending $3,500 and feeling like there is something lacking.
Delivery and warranty are two other points to look at. When you order the Inada Sogno through Massage Chair Relief it comes with free delivery and white glove service to any locale in the USA. Delivery for the uAstro from Brookstone costs an additional $400.
The factory warranty on the Inada Sogno is the best in the market, which is a 3 year comprehensive warranty, head to toe, including in-home service. The uAstro only has one year, which is typical of most other massage chair companies. Their 3 year extended warranty costs an additional $429. Comparing apples to apples, the cost of the uAstro with the white glove delivery and 3 year warranty, which come standard with an Inada Sogno from Massage-Chair-Relief.com, your final price with Brookstone would be $4124.00, not including sales tax. The question for the consumer is whether the difference in quality and sophistication justifies the price difference.