If you’re ready to find out all there is to know about the Inada Dreamwave vs Infinity Imperial, including all of their shared and unique features, plus a brief overview of each company, you’re in the right place.
There’s a lot to cover so let’s get started!
3D Massage Technology
Arm Air Massage
Body Scan Technology
Calf and Foot Air Massage
✗ (Foot Nodes)
Hip Air Massage
LCD Pedestal Remote
✓ (49 inches)
Manual Massage Controls
Neck Air Massage
Seat Air Massage
Seat Swivel Technology
✓ (28.4 inches)
About the Companies: Inada vs. Infinity
Inada is perhaps the most well-known massage chair company in the world. It’s also one of the oldest.
Founded in Japan in 1962 by Nichimu Inada, who remains the company’s president today, Inada has a long history of innovation in the massage chair industry. In fact, the modern massage chairs you see today (you know the ones that are futuristic-looking, fully-encompassing chairs) are all thanks to Inada and specifically the DreamWave, which revolutionized chair design when it hit the market in 2008. 10 years later, the DreamWave massage chair is still considered one of the best in the world.
Today, Inada massage chairs are still engineered, designed, and manufactured in Japan — the most competitive massage chair market in the world, according to Inada.
Each of their massage chairs come with a three-year parts and labor warranty and an optional five-year extended warranty. Best of all: they offer in-home replacements and repairs and travel to you anywhere you live.
According to Inada, the life expectancy of the Japanese-made DreamWave massage chair is about 25 years.
Infinity Therapeutics is a division of a larger privately-held company called Infinite Creative Enterprises. They’re based in New Hampshire in the U.S., however, their massage chairs are manufactured in China or Taiwan depending on the model.
Infinity Therapeutics launched their Infinity massage chair product line in 2009 and have grown in popularity ever since. Although a relatively young company, especially compared to the industry’s oldest like Inada, Infinity has gained a loyal following thanks to their affordable, yet feature-rich massage chairs.
In general, Infinity Therapeutics is considered a reputable brand that incorporates high-quality aesthetics and advanced technology into their chairs, often combining features you wish you could find altogether but rarely do (3D rollers, foot rollers, and Zero Gravity, etc.).They also have a US-based customer service team, which is a plus for many users.
In general, the life expectancy of Chinese-made massage chairs is about 10 to 15 years, though we don’t have specific statistics on Infinity brand chairs. However, their massage chairs come with a three-year limited warranty that includes one year parts and labor and two years parts, with the option to purchase extended parts coverage.
Now that we’re covered the companies, it’s time to get into the features...
Infinity Imperial vs Inada DreamWave Massage Chairs
- 1 About the Companies: Inada vs. Infinity
- 2 The Features: Infinity Imperial vs Inada DreamWave Massage Chairs
- 3 Massage Techniques and Auto Programs
- 4 Memory Settings
- 5 Unique Features of the Infinity Imperial Massage Chair
- 6 Unique Features of the Inada Dreamwave Massage Chair
- 7 Specifications & Dimensions
- 8 Inada DreamWave vs Infinity Imperial Massage Chair Review Final Thoughts
Massage Tracks: S-Track vs. L-Track
Perhaps the most defining difference between the Inada DreamWave and the Infinity Imperial is the massage track type. The Inada DreamWave has a 28-inch S-Track and the Infinity Imperial has a 49-inch L-Track.
You might be thinking… 49 inches compared to 28 inches? Clearly, the Imperial is the winner.
Not exactly. Before we can call a winner, we first have to understand the differences between the tracks.
Massage tracks are the mechanism the rollers move along. Think of a massage track like a train track except rather than a train moving along it, roller heads move along it as they massage.
S-Tracks are “S” shaped and designed to replicate the natural curvature of your spine. These tracks are the standard on any mid- to high-end massage chair because they’re able to keep consistent pressure and contact across the full back — including in curved areas like the neck and lower back. Typically, S-Tracks reach from the neck to the tailbone.
L-Tracks pick up where S-Tracks end and extend into the seat of the chair under the buttocks and thighs, adding an additional 15 inches or more to the massage range.
Here’s where many people get confused…
There’s no such thing as an L-Track-only massage chair. Since L-Tracks are simply extended tracks, if a massage chair has an L-Track in the seat it also has an S-Track in the backrest.
So, the Infinity Imperial is technically an S-Track and an L-Track massage chair.
On the Inada DreamWave massage chair, the 28-inch S-Track extends from the top of the neck to the top of the glutes on most users. On the Infinity Imperial, the 49-inch L-Track extends from the top of the neck to the top of the hamstrings on most users.
Both chairs provide good coverage, so the winner is the one that treats your specific needs. Perhaps you suffer from sciatic nerve pain and need therapy on your glutes? If so, the Infinity Imperial is the better choice. If, however, you don’t want or need the additional track coverage and simply want a high-quality back massage, the Inada DreamWave is an excellent option.
3D Roller Technology
A common misconception is that an S-Track means that the massage rollers are, by default, 3D. However, this is not accurate. Track type doesn’t determine roller type. So you can have an S-Track massage chair with 2D rollers or you can have an S-Track massage chair with 3D rollers.
That said, both the Infinity Imperial and Inada DreamWave feature 3D rollers. They are considered 3D because the rollers move in three ways: up and down, side to side, and outward. The last movement, outward, determines the depth of the rollers and therefore the intensity of your massage.
The main benefit of 3D rollers is that you get to control the intensity of your massage, which is good news for mild and deep-tissue massage lovers alike. Plus, it’s a great feature if you plan on having multiple users — each with their own intensity preferences — using the chair.
Both chairs feature quad rollers — two sets of two — that mimic the feeling of two thumbs and two hands massaging.
Body Scan Technology
Before a roller massage begins on the Infinity Imperial and Inada DreamWave, the chairs run a body scan. The scan detects your height (shoulder position), the shape of your spine and, on the DreamWave, your shiatsu points. Once the scan is finished, the rollers automatically adjust their range to fit your unique body.
Another unique aspect of the body scan technology on the Inada DreamWave is that it actually creates a profile of your back which it then compares to 106 other preprogrammed profiles on the chair. The closest matching profile is selected and the rollers adjust to fit it.
If the scans don’t find your correct shoulder position the first time, you can manually adjust the rollers using the remote. And on the Inada DreamWave, you can bypass the body scan altogether by operating the chair in manual mode.
Both the Infinity Imperial and Inada DreamWave feature air massage that performs a combination of compression and advanced techniques. But when it comes to air massage coverage and technology, the Inada DreamWave is second to none.
With 100 airbags, the Inada DreamWave wraps your body in massage. In fact, the Inada DreamWave provides over 1200 square inches of massage coverage — more than any other chair in the world.
Let's take a closer look at the air massage on each chair...
DreamWave technology is a proprietary technology only found on Inada massage chairs (although other companies have tried to replicate it). Here's how it works:
Airbags in the seat inflate to push the body upward. Then, the seat moves from side to side 1.6 inches. The gentle swinging movement rotates and mobilizes the lower back. While other massage chairs feature a form of seat swivel, it’s typically not as refined as the DreamWave technology.
Foot Roller Massage: Mechanical vs. Static
Another feature where the Inada DreamWave and Infinity Imperial differ is foot massage. While both massage chairs offer a version of it, the Infinity Imperial is the only one with true foot rollers. Here’s what we mean...
Under each foot on the Infinity Imperial are mechanical rollers that knead and spin. On the Inada DreamWave, however, the foot massagers are rubber acupressure nodes. They don’t move, they simply press up into the bottoms of your feet.
Heat Therapy: One vs. Two Areas
Heat has a long history of therapeutic uses. Under heat, blood vessels dilate, increasing circulation and the repairing of damaged tissues. Heat also sends signals to the brain that actually decrease the perception of pain. Finally, heat produces a distinctly massage-enhancing benefit: it relaxes muscles. As the muscles relax, the rollers penetrate deeper into the tissues for a more effective massage.
Both the Inada DreamWave and the Infinity Imperial offer heat therapy, but the DreamWave has heating pads in two areas: the lower back and seat. On the Infinity Imperial, however, there’s one heating area: the lower back.
Handheld Remote: LCD Display Screen vs. Strip Screen
While both the Infinity Imperial and the Inada DreamWave have handheld remotes, they’re quite different.
The Infinity Imperial has a sleek, slim LCD remote. A bright screen displays all of the active massage functions and time remaining so you always know what’s running. The remote has few buttons and most of the functions are selected through the on-screen menu.
On the other hand, the remote on the Inada DreamWave has a square-shaped top and a slim handle. At the top is a ticker screen that displays commands like “Loading Shiatsu Points.” But there’s no real display screen. All of the chair’s functions are accessed with buttons on the remote and the manual mode options are located under the flip-down cover on the handle.
Both remotes are very easy to use. However, the Inada DreamWave remote feels a little outdated, especially compared to the design of the rest of the chair. Then again, some users will appreciate the simplicity of its design.
Massage Techniques and Auto Programs
We’ve covered the components these two chairs have in common, now let’s look at how they each use them in their automatic programs and massage techniques...
The Infinity Imperial performs six techniques: kneading, shiatsu, knocking, tapping, music sync, and rhythm. Music sync synchronizes the tempo of your massage to the tempo of your music — more on the music system later. These techniques cover the basic movements of shiatsu-style massage therapy, with shiatsu being the most powerful technique.
Auto Massage Programs
Using a combination of air massage and roller massage, the Infinity Imperial performs six automatic massage programs. These are the pre-programmed massages that require little effort on your part. Simply select the program you want to enjoy and the Imperial takes care of the rest. The programs have three time settings: 10, 20, or 30 minutes. And each program has its own therapeutic benefit or focus, for example, “Sports Refresh.”
The automatic programs are Sports Refresh, Extension, Rest & Sleep, Working Relief, Neck & Shoulder, and Spine & Waist. The first four are all full-body massage programs that focus on restoring and revitalizing the entire body, while the last two are area-specific massages.
Extension is perhaps the most popular program. It’s a Thai-style stretch program that uses a combination of air massage, roller massage, and automatic chair reclining to stretch the entire body.
3D Automatic Programs
Additionally, the Infinity Imperial features three 3D-specific automatic programs… which actually brings the total number of auto programs up to nine. The programs are Deep Shiatsu, Healthy Breath, and Massage Extend. You can adjust the force of each 3D massage up to six levels as well as select the area you want the massage — whole back, partial back, or point.
MANUAL MODE FUNCTIONS
When you want to skip the automatic programs and dial-in your own massage, that’s when you turn your attention to the manual mode options. These options let you adjust settings like massage technique, massage area, roller width, and roller speed among others. Here’s what’s available on the Infinity Imperial…
The Inada DreamWave features seven massage techniques, including human hands, kneading, double kneading, kneading tapping, tapping combination, rolling, and shiatsu. There are two different Tapping versions: Tapping 1 and Tapping 2. And two different Shiatsu versions: Shiatsu 1 and Shiatsu 2.
The most advanced techniques are Double Kneading and Human Hands. Double Kneading performs circular movements that grasp at alternating speeds and in alternating directions to replicate the dynamic movements of a real massage therapist. Human Hands also performs a complex set of movements designed to replicate the feeling of human hands.
Automatic Massage Programs
Using a combination of the air massage and roller massage, the Inada DreamWave performs 16 automatic programs. But at first glance, it appears there are only eight. What gives? Technically, the Inada DreamWave only has eight programs, but each program has a second version called “Deep Relaxation.” So eight programs times two versions equals 16 programs total.
The programs are divided into two categories: Healthcare and Wellbeing. The Healthcare programs are Full Body Air, Full Body, Quick and Youth, which is designed for users 14 years and up.
The Wellbeing auto programs are Stretch, Night, Morning, and DreamWave. Stretch is a popular full-body stretch program that, like the Infinity Imperial, uses a combination of air massage, roller massage, and automatic chair reclining to stretch the body.
Manual Mode Functions
When you want to build your own customized massage, open the flip-down cover on the remote to access the manual mode functions.
On the Infinity Imperial, when you’re finished building your custom massage program, you can save it to the chair’s memory. There are two memory options, which means you can save two massages — it’s like adding two more automatic programs to the chair! So when you get back in the chair, you won’t have to reselect your settings all over again.
Now that we’ve covered the features these chairs share as well as their automatic and manual massage options, it’s time to get into our final sections… the unique features! First up, the Infinity Imperial.
Unique Features of the Infinity Imperial Massage Chair
According to WebMD, “Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge.”
Ever wondered why you feel so good at the beach? Negative ions may be the answer. Negative ions have an additional negative charge and are most prevalent in nature, particularly around water like the at the beach or after thunderstorms. Negative ions are also believed to be natural air purifiers that remove pollutants, dust, mold and other allergens from the air.
On the Infinity Imperial you get to experience all of these benefits thanks to its built-in negative ion generator. The generator blows freshly ionized air toward you as you enjoy your massage, helping you to relax as well as purifying the air around you.
Another popular but rare feature is calf rollers. The Infinity Imperial has those too. The calf rollers move along the sides of the legs and work with the foot rollers to perform one of the most comprehensive lower body massages available.
The Infinity Imperial also features Zero Gravity recline. In Zero Gravity, the body’s weight is shifted so that it’s held by the backrest and the legs are elevated above the heart. Vertical pressure is removed from the spine and lower body, allowing your back muscles to completely relax. At the same time, your body’s weight holds you on top of the rollers for a deeper massage.
On the sides of the Infinity Imperial are LED Chromotherapy lights. These lights cast soft hues onto the walls surrounding the chair. While the lights don’t affect the actual quality of your massage, they can enhance the experience.
SPACE SAVING TECHNOLOGY
Another popular feature you’ll find on the Infinity Imperial massage chair is space saving technology. Here’s how it works...
Rather than reclining straight back like most massage chairs, the Infinity Imperial slides forward as it reclines back. This technology reduces the amount of space needed behind the Imperial to fully recline down to about an inch. On the other hand, the Inada DreamWave needs about a foot or more to fully recline.
Bluetooth Connectivity with Intersound Technology
Remember the music sync auto program we mentioned earlier? It’s the Imperial’s music system that makes it possible.
Built-in speakers (Intersound Technology) with Bluetooth allow you to easily connect your compatible device with the chair’s speakers. The speakers are located above the shoulders on both sides of the chair to create a surround sound music experience. But if you’d rather listen to your music without the noise, you can plug in your headphones through a jack.
Unique Features of the Inada Dreamwave Massage Chair
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the unique features on the Inada DreamWave...
Cervical Traction Device
This patented neck and shoulder massager is located at the top of the backrest. It’s shaped like a horseshoe and wraps around your head. Inside the device are airbags that inflate to push down on your shoulders. As your shoulders are pushed away from your head a gentle traction of the neck occurs, which helps to create space between your vertebrae, and release pinched nerves and constrictions. At the same time, rubber nodes on the tips of the airbags push into the shoulders to perform a trigger point massage.
Another unique feature to the Inada DreamWave is vibration massage. During vibration massage, high-frequency plates vibrate to promote the movement of stagnant fluids from the muscles as well as increase the microcirculation. The vibration plates are located in the seat and in the lower back. They can be added to any massage program or turned off altogether.
Specifications & Dimensions
Chair Dimensions (upright)
45"H X 33"W X 60"L
55"L X 37"W X 48"H
Chair Dimensions (reclined)
34"H X 33"W X 72"L
83"L X 38"W X 30"H
Recommended Maximum User Weight
Recommended User Height
5'1" to 6'3"
5'0" to 6'5"
Inada DreamWave vs Infinity Imperial Massage Chair Review Final Thoughts
The major differences between the Inada DreamWave vs Infinity Imperial are that the Infinity Imperial has an L-Track, plus a whole bunch of other additional features — negative ion generator, chromotherapy lights, memory settings among others.
In terms of features, there’s really nothing the Infinity Imperial is missing. And while some might say those additional features don’t actually contribute to the quality of your massage, they do contribute to the experience. So if you want a spa experience in your own home, the Infinity Imperial is an excellent choice.
However, if you simply want one of the highest quality neck, shoulder, and back massages available without all the extras, the Inada DreamWave will surely deliver.
Sources and Official Brand Websites
- Inada Massage Chair, Official Brand Website.
- Infinity Massage Chair, Official Brand Website.
- The Benefits of Massage in Muscle Recovery, Five Alarm CrossFit.
- A Thai Massage Will Move You, Literally, Pop Sugar.
- 7 Benefits of Using A Neck and Shoulder Massager, Fitness World.
- Improve Your Microcirculation & Improve Your Health!, Smart Publications.