We understand that buying a massage chair can be a big decision and sometimes a scary thing to do. So, in order to make sure that your purchase is worthwhile, we have written this comprehensive massage chair buyers guide for you.
Before you buy a massage chair, it's important to consider the amount of time and gas money you would save by having a massage chair in your home versus driving back and forth and paying a masseuse. The savings can be quite substantial and we go through several points in this massage chair buying guide.
It's important to note that if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that you should get approval from your doctor before using a massage chair.
Buying a massage chair would be a one-time purchase enabling you to have a massage as often as you like. As a result of this, you should be able to get the return on your investment within a year of purchasing a good quality massage chair.
Moreover, it's also important to consider your overall well-being before buying a massage chair. For instance, if you suffer from lower back pain you may want to consider a massage chair with massage roller intensity adjustments and lower lumbar heat. This would allow you to make the massage lighter or stronger and the heat tends to relax and loosen sore muscles.
Massage Chair Buyers Guide Table of Contents
- What is a Massage Chair?
- Is a Massage Chair a Good Investment?
- What to look for in a Massage Chair
- Massage Chair Rollers
- Massage Chair Roller Tracks
- Massage Chair Airbags
- Heated Massage Chairs
- Space Saving Massage Chairs
- Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
- Massage Chair Strength
- Massage Chair Programs
- Massage Chair Upholstery
- Massage Chair Warranty
- Massage Chair Brands
- Commercial Massage Chairs
- Country of Manufacture
- Final things to Consider
What is a Massage Chair and Why should you Buy one?
The concept behind the massage chair is not a difficult one. Essentially, the electric massage chair has devices that are installed on the inside in order to simulate the sensations of a massage. High-quality massage chairs in the market can simulate the sensations of human touch for a more life-like massage.
While some massage chairs simply have vibration devices installed as a result of which they just vibrate in fixed locations, others have complex machinery such as rollers installed in them. Massage chairs with rollers tend to mimic the human touch quite well.
Some of the higher end massage chair models have the option to change the massage techniques along with a wider number of functionalities for adjusting your massage experience.
Whether a massage chair turns out to be worth it or not, depends on how you wish to use it. In case you use it for a regular massage in the evening, it could be one of the best investments that you had ever made.
This is because a top of the line massage chair can cost several thousand dollars, which is less than what you would pay a massage therapist for a daily massage for a year.
Do note the fact that the price of a massage chair makes a big difference in the overall experience, and performance of the chair itself. Most of the massage chairs with the best features are designed with the body’s comfort in view. As a result of this, you can certainly expect a highly sophisticated experience.
On the other hand, a cheaper massage chair may lack the level of comfort that a higher-end model has. The more expensive massage chairs will have more options. Depending on your specific needs will depend on what massage chair that is right for you.
Once you have some chairs in mind you'll want to do a massage chair comparison to see what each chair has to offer you.
The point of this massage chair buying guide is to get you thinking objectively and to help you make a good decision.
There are several things that you should look into before buying a massage chair. Below are some of the most important aspects of a massage chair:
Some lower-end massage chairs typically offer a rolling massage along with sensations of simple vibrations. At the same time, the higher-end massage chairs contain a wide number of features and functionalities that can help you in relaxing your body to a great level.
These additional features can include tapping, reflexology, vibration, shiatsu, kneading, heat, zero gravity, and several other functionalities.
Positions for massage
Apart from a range of different styles, massage chairs also happen to have the capability of massaging different areas of the body other than the back. For instance, a higher-end massage chair may include the feature of massaging the legs, feet, wrists, and arms, along with the back, neck, buttocks, and hamstrings.
The massage is usually delivered via airbags, rollers, or massage heads that are installed within the chair. At the same time, some more expensive models may even include a thumb massage head in order to mimic the touch of a trained therapist.
When considering a massage chair, look at all the massage positions and types of massage heads that are included.
Zero Gravity massage chairs are popular these days and the zero gravity position is considered to be the most comfortable position to enjoy a massage.
The type of massage rollers is another important factor to be considered before getting a massage chair, as discussed in our article about 2D, 3D, & 4D Massage Chair Differences. There is a range of different types of rollers that are available in the market. Some advanced massage chairs also allow the variation of height and width of the rollers.
In some massage chairs, we can find rollers that move both in the vertical and lateral direction. Such chairs also include the functionality of kneading and tapping. On top of that, some massage chairs also allow backward and forward movement of the rollers.
Let's take a look at the 2 most popular type of massage chair rollers:
- 3D Massage Rollers
3D Massage Chairs have rollers that move up, down, left and right, but they also go in and out. Ultimately this makes for a much more consistent massage that previous 2D models didn't offer.
- 4D Massage Rollers
4D Massage Chairs also have rollers that move up, down, left, right, in and out, but also allow the user to adjust the speed of when the rollers go in and out. The 4D massage rollers are the newest technology on the market.
Most massage chairs that include rollers begin their massage at the neck. With an S-Track massage chair, the rollers typically start from the neck. Some of the L-Track massage chairs feature rollers that extend all the way down to the lower back to the buttock and hamstrings. This movement of a roller is what primarily generates a relaxing feeling in the body.
Now let's take a closer look at the 2 most popular roller tracks:
These rollers happen to have a sinusoidal shape and extend all the way up from the neck till the lower back. These rollers move up and down in an oscillatory motion following the curvature of the spine.
The earliest versions of the massage chair used to have straight-line rollers. These, however, turned out to be extremely ineffective as the curvature of the spine is like that of a sine wave.
As far as the L-track massage chairs are concerned, they are quite new to the market. As a result of this, not many people know about them.
L-track massage chairs contain rollers that offer extended capabilities going down to the buttocks, and in some models travel all the way down to the hamstrings.
Essentially, both the S-track and the L-track are the same with the difference that L-track rollers are simply an extension of the S-track. In the older models, you may only find airbags for the buttocks and hamstrings along with an S-track roller for the neck and back massage. For a more in depth explanation, check out our article on S-Track vs. L-Track Massage Chairs.
Some models of massage chairs contain airbags that are a wonderful way of removing tension and stiffness in the neck and the back. Essentially, massage airbags are small pouches that are included in the back section along with the hamstrings, legs, and buttocks section of the massage chair.
Upon inflation, the massage airbags compress the muscles that are pushing against them. As a result of this, blood flow gets stimulated in these regions resulting in the removal of both muscle stiffness and general tension.
In case you are having trouble deciding which functionalities are the right for you, you may go for a model that includes both rolling massage and airbag functionalities which offer the most advanced massage experience.
Heated Massage is a fantastic way to enjoy a massage. Some heated massage chairs offer the option of infrared heat that heats the back and/or seat of the chair allowing for optimum muscle relaxation. Some massage chairs even offer heated foot massage.
Not all massage chairs come with heat so you'll want to be sure and check before you purchase.
If you're looking at purchasing a massage chair but are worried about the space it will use, we have several space saving massage chairs you should look at before making a decision.
Some of these massage chairs need less than a few inches from the wall to be able to fully recline, which is great when you need to maximize your living space.
The recline functionality is another important feature to consider. There are a number of recline options that higher-end massage chairs have, especially the zero gravity recline feature which is highly popular for inducing a relaxing state.
The zero gravity position is a rather new concept which mimics weightlessness resulting in a lesser amount of stress and tension. This is simply known to boost the effectiveness of a regular massage.
Adding zero gravity reclining to your massage can improve the overall benefits of your massage and we recommend if your budget allows that you go with a zero gravity massage chair.
The strength of a massage is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to a fruitful massage session. Perhaps, this is one of the most important factors to look for in a massage chair. The strength of massage primarily depends on the strength of the motor that the massage chair has installed in it.
Most of the massage chairs will offer a varying level of strength that you can control via remote control or buttons on the side. Some of these also offer removable padding, which allows further customization.
Almost all massage chairs come with pre-programmed massage options for you to choose from. Pre-programmed massages are timed massages tailored to specific parts of the body. Some have body-mapping technology, that will customize a massage after testing the reactions of various areas of your body.
Some massage chairs come with a Computer Body Scan feature that will actually map out your body for a much more custom massage tailored for each user.
While leather is the prime material for the chair, you may see that plenty of middle and higher end massage chairs are made with synthetic materials. This is because most of the deluxe massage chairs include a lot of movement and heat.
As a result of this, the synthetic material can withstand the heat and wear and tear better than leather. You’ll want to consider this factor and check the material of the massage chair before buying one.
A massage chair can be expected to undergo a lot of movement and often at times, rigorous use. On rare occasions, however, your massage chair may require maintenance or repair. So before buying a massage chair, make sure to look at the warranty that is being offered along with it.
This is where our massage chair buyers guide comes in handy, as we believe the more things you take into consideration the better off you'll be.
Thinking of buying a massage chair for commercial use? If so you should realize that the warranties are not valid for commercial use with most manufacturers of massage chairs.
This is because the massage chairs can be used much more frequently at a place of business than in someone's home. Also, the users at a business location are less likely to care if the massage chair lasts or not and probably will not take good care of the chair.
The massage chair brands that we carry have been vetted, as we do not just work with any manufacturer. We only carry top quality massage chairs with good warranties that are built to last.
These are the massage chair brands that we work with and can recommend to you:
- Human Touch
- Inner Balance
- Synca Wellness
There are other brands of massage chairs out there, we just cannot recommend them, as we do not have a working relationship with them and cannot vouch for their quality or integrity.
If you're a business owner and are looking to increase your customer base and revenue, a massage chair for business use may be worth considering.
Maybe you just want a massage chair so your employees can take advantage of the benefits and relax, de-stress, and get more done.
While most of the chairs we carry were built for residential use, we carry several massage chairs with optional commercial warranties that you can take advantage of.
Another thing to take into consideration is, where was the massage chair manufactured? Some people prefer Japanese massage chairs, others prefer Made in the USA, while others don't seem to care where the chairs were made as long as they are quality built and have a good warranty.
Before buying a massage chair, make sure you've done your homework. Does it have all of the functions you need? Is the warranty good? Will the maximum user weight be an issue? Will you fit in the chair comfortably? Do you understand what all the different terms mean, or do you need to read our Massage Chair Glossary? The majority of this information can be found on our product pages, typically in the description area. If you can't find the answers to these questions feel free to contact us.
If you have any underlying medical issues, please consult your doctor prior to purchasing/using a massage chair to prevent any possible chance of injury or harm.
Moreover, also consider checking reviews and testimonials from previous clients regarding the massage chair model that you are planning to buy.
We hope you've enjoyed our massage chair buyers guide and hope you feel more educated on the subject of buying a massage chair. It's important to us that you know exactly what you're buying.
If you're ready to make a purchase please consider shopping with us. Free Shipping, No Tax in most states and our industry-leading 6 Month Low Price Guarantee are just a few good reasons to shop with us.
If you'd like to talk with us regarding a massage chair feel free to call us at 800-566-2798. Thank you for taking the time to read our guide and we hope to speak with you soon!