The SM-9000 might just be the most expensive chair we’ve ever reviewed. That’s said without a trace of hyperbole or over excitement. This thing is seriously expensive, costing more than four or five times as much as some competing massage chairs.
If you’re an average user who just wants a chair that you can use occasionally at home, maybe to deal with average aches and pains or to help you relax on occasion, then the Kahun SM-9000 is total overkill. There’s no way you need to pay this much for a chair.
Premium-seekers, on the other hand, should rejoice. This chair would fit right in at a mansion in LA or a highbrow hair salon in Manhattan. It both looks, and feels, like the best massage chair that money can buy that will truly enhance your massage chair experience. That sentiment extends to its feature set and massage techniques as well.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t first mention this chair’s aesthetic quality. Clad in solid black or brown synthetic leather, with chrome accents on the sides and a soft blue light that glows when the chair is in use, it’s a beauty.
But what’s inside is the chair is perhaps even more striking. Kahuna’s proprietary Air Float 3D+ system has six rollers on an “SL” shaped track. It’s meant to cover the entirety of a user’s back, all the way down to the bottom of the seat. In addition, this system has slightly smoother transitions than the average massage chair; there are less instances where you find a roller jutting out in a mildly uncomfortable place. Discomfort and loud noises are equally minimized.
Moreover, the rollers are infrared, meaning they don’t just give you a physical massage. They also act as heating elements at the exact same time. While you feel the physically relaxing sensation of a massage, you’ll also get heat therapy to relax your muscles and improve your blood flow simultaneously. While they’re not quite as hot as a typical heating pad, the innovative approach gives you a wider spread than you’d get with a typical pad setup.
Finally, it almost seems mundane in comparison, but the chair is indeed zero-gravity capable. The technology is also designed to save space. The chair only requires three inches behind it to extend fully, meaning you can put it almost right up against a wall. It can accommodate bodies up to 6 feet 5 inches, and weights up to 320 pounds. You can read more about the best Zero-Gravity Massage Chairs here.
While the Kahuna SM-9000 doesn’t focus on a specific type of massage, such as Shiatsu, it offers a number of signature programs designed to take its place and provide maximum pain/stress relief. The included signature programs are Renew, Relief, Recovery, Yoga, Music Sync, Stretching and Calming. Each has a slightly different focus; some focus more on stretching or on a light, comfortable massage while others are designed to work out the kinks.
In addition, the chair utilizes Kneading, Tapping, Knocking, Kneading and Tapping, and Finger Kneading motions to simulate every necessary style of massage.
This is one of the highest quality chairs we’ve ever reviewed, if not the highest. While you’re paying an undeniably high price for it, in this case you get what you pay for.
Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question. Like all the other chairs out there, it has the same kinds of materials and the same basic functions. What this chair offers is simply the experience of using the most high-end chair imaginable.
The covering for this chair is synthetic leather, like essentially every other chair we’ve reviewed. However, it’s important to remember that not all synthetic leathers are created equal. The Kahuna SM-9000’s covering feels great; it doesn’t stick to your skin and it stretches well with the movement of the airbags and rollers, without looking too worn or displaced. Like the rest of the chair, the materials are well-designed and high end. You shouldn’t have to worry about durability or aesthetics, either; the synthetic leather covering will look great even after repeated use.
Pros and Cons
- Beautiful design
- Innovative infrared roller technology is second to none
- Smoother transitions than competing massage chairs
- Covering looks and feels very, very nice
- Quite expensive, even in comparison to other premium massage chairs
- Uses a proprietary massage system rather than something more familiar, like Shiatsu
Is the Kahuna SM-9000 expensive? Undoubtedly. But when you look at what you get for that price, it starts to make sense, in a way: an innovative and one of a kind infrared roller system; Kahuna’s Air Float 3D roller track for smooth transitions and total body coverage; a range of customized massage settings as well as manual controls; and simply great aesthetic style. While it may be out of the range of many buyers, we’d recommend this Kahuna to pretty much anybody who can afford it. Simply put, it’s a gem.