CUBE Massage Chair Featured in New York Times

February 28, 2010

By Joyce Wadler
February 24, 2010

Massage chairs, with their bulk and hulk, tend to be the elephants in the room — if you can imagine a selfless elephant that didn’t need to be fed, enjoyed living in a one-bedroom apartment and kept animal rights activists off your back while massaging it. The Inada Cube ($800), which is made by the Family Inada massage chair company of Japan and was presented at the recent Las Vegas Market furniture show, is a different beast entirely: a massaging chair that, when not in use, folds into an 18-by-19-by-21-inch cube. Cliff Levin, the 44-year-old president of Inada USA, spoke to us from his home in Boulder, Colo., about the Cube.

We hear you’re going to be on the spring cover of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. Does that mean you have the weirdest product out there?
I think the reason a catalog puts anything on their cover is that they think it will stop people in their tracks. When this shows up in the mail, people are going to look.

What makes the Cube so special?
It’s a massage chair with pretty good coverage of the body: feet, calves, seat and low back. But then there is this magical element, which is, the thing folds up and becomes totally unobtrusive and tucks away as a cube which you can sit on or use as an ottoman or you can put your martini on.

Are martinis good for the back?
Martinis are good for the soul. All the massage is air-actuated. As a company, we are big believers in air. If you ever had a serious injury of a wrist or an ankle, in any modern medical environment, step one is application of uniform pressure around the injured area that cycles on and off, squeezes and releases. All that medicine will go to reduce swelling and encourage healing.

What does it weigh?
Forty-eight pounds.

Isn’t that going to ruin your back when you pick it up?
It has a handle and wheels, so you can roll it like a dolly. The only reason you’d pick it up is to carry it up and down stairs, or if you had really thick carpeting.

Information: (888) 769-0555 or

A version of this article appeared in print on February 25, 2010, on page D3 of the New York Times.

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