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Panasonic's new massaging Sofa chair targets women


Weary show-goers who waited in line to try Panasonic's new massaging sofa chair at Dwell on Design last weekend were not disappointed. Though not everyone loved it as much as I did -- too intense and confining for some -- one thing was certain: Once seated, few wanted to get out of the pulsating thing.

Panasonic's new chair is like a Barcalounger for women. It's more contemporary and less masculine than the company's traditional leather massage chairs. The low-slung seat has a sleek modern look and is upholstered in two rather unpredictable -- dare I say feminine? -- color schemes, one avocado green and one latte. 

A curved massage track hugs your body and follows its contours, while a fold-out footrest simultaneously kneads your feet and calves. Four pre-set programs are available: full massage, mini massage, relaxation mode and variety. Manual programs target the neck, shoulders or lower back and pinpoint massage for hip.

It should be noted that the chair -- made in Japan and released there first, where buyers have been primarily female -- is designed for heights of 5-foot-1 to 6-foot-1. If you are taller or shorter, you may not be able to enjoy the chair's upper body and foot massage simultaneously, and that would be a shame. It's priced at just under $2,500; shipping is $225.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credit: Panasonic


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