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How to Choose the Best Massage Chair

How to Choose the Best Massage Chair

One thing many people have recently learned about is the importance of self-care. Getting a massage is one of the quickest ways to mentally and physically reset. Massage works out the kinks and knots in your body and mind, allowing you to get back into the swing of your life.

Time and circumstances may prevent you from getting an in-person massage from a professional massage therapist, so getting yourself a massage in the comfort of your own home can help you get the relief you need whenever you need it.

Most people are aware that massage chairs are an excellent way to relax their muscles, but they may not be aware of the vast array of features that are available in these chairs.

There are so many different massage chairs out there, and there are many reasons for people to buy them. When putting together your massage chair checklist, determine your budget and what your needs will be from the massage chair.

Figure out what you expect it to do for you, and also consider what you're hoping for it to help with. Once you do that, you'll have a better idea of what to look for in a massage chair.

How to Choose the Right Massage Chair for You

Decide on a Budget

Massage chairs range in price from the extremely affordable to the extraordinarily pricey. It doesn't make sense for you to go through the process of hunting down and choosing a massage chair only to find out that you can’t afford it. Once you determine how much you have to spend, you'll be able to work within that budget to choose the chair that's right for you.

Some people may think that getting a massage chair is simply a cost they can’t endorse at all. They may think that it simply makes more sense for them to spend a couple of hundred dollars here and there visiting a massage therapist. 

In reality, this strategy is only practical if getting a massage is something that you’re doing only occasionally. If you're someone who needs regular, consistent massage therapy, having a massage chair at home that you can use whenever you need it may make more sense for your wallet. Your pain doesn't stick to a schedule, so having a massage chair ready to go whenever you need it is priceless.

If you're a person who uses the massage chair a lot, it can pay for itself in no time. You should definitely speak with your doctor about your specific needs regarding massage therapy, but if price is the only obstacle, buying a massage chair that you can keep in your home and use at any time might be the more sensible decision.

Massage chairs can range in price from a couple thousand dollars to more than $10,000. Keep in mind that before you dismiss a massage chair you really love as too expensive, financing options are often available. These options could make chairs that seem too expensive suddenly within reach.

Will the Chair Fit You?

Massage chairs aren't one size fits all, most chairs are good for people from 5'0" to about 6'2" in height. Some chairs cater to a much broader user height range so it's important to get that figured out from the get go. Generally all of our chairs list the user height range and maximum weight capacity in the specifications table.

Another thing to consider is maximum weight capacity. Most massage chairs have a max weight capacity in the 250 pound range, although this will vary by model. If you're too heavy for a chair and use it often, it can be harder on the motors and cause premature failure, so this is something to watch out for.

Some chairs have enclosed foot massagers which means if your feet are too long then they won't fit properly and your feet won't get the love they deserve from the massage chair. We have some chairs like this, but if your feet are US men's size 13 or less you'll be fine.

Determine Which Type of Chair User You Are

There are many different types of massage chairs out there, so you’ll need to figure out what features you’re looking for when choosing one and our buyers guide can help you with this. Do this by asking yourself what you expect it to do for you. Are you looking for a simple chair that can help you relax after a long day? Or do you need help with pain relief?

Massage Chair in Beige Color with Woman Standing

You'll need to discover what type of massage chair user you are as well. Some massage chairs are for hobbyists. Hobbyists look for chairs that have therapeutic features, but they’re primarily on the hunt for chairs that will help them relax while enjoying other cool features like LED lights and MP3 support.

Some people are looking for massage chairs specifically to treat a certain condition that they may be suffering from. These massage chairs are referred to as “therapeutic” massage chairs. There are therapeutic massage chairs that are built specifically for people who have severe back pain or injuries, while others have features that focus on people suffering from neck pain, anxiety and stress, shoulder pain, or a host of other physical and neurological conditions.

Choose Your Massage Roller Type

One important factor is which type of massage rollers you want or need? You can currently choose from 2D, 3D, or 4D massage rollers.

2D Rollers

The 2D rollers are perfect for people who are more casual massage chair users and who aren't necessarily looking for the deepest massage. The 2D design has been around the longest, and it primarily focuses on your surface muscles. This type of massage is not super intense.

3D Rollers

A 3D roller is the most common type of roller found in massage chairs today. These chairs offer rollers that work their way deeply into the muscles in your back and shoulders by not only moving up, down, left, and right but also in and out. This helps relieve tension and tight muscles with relaxing but firm pressure.

3D Rollers

4D Rollers

The 4D rollers are the latest type of massage chair rollers and are found in top-rated massage chairs. Massage chairs with these rollers are the gold standard when it comes to features like the level of roller pressure and precision.

4D Rollers

These chairs are for people who are looking for maximum roller strength adjustability.

Choose Your Track

Next, it's time to think about which type of massage tracks you’re going to choose. Massage chairs come with either S-tracks or L-tracks.

S-tracks are the old-school track design. They follow the curvature of the spine and are primarily used by people who need the focus of the massage to be on their backs. Most S-tracks allow the massage rollers to start at the neck and go down to the lower back. If you're looking for a chair with a good stretch it's an S-track that usually does it best.

L-track massage chairs seem to be the most popular these days and they allow the massage rollers to start from around your neck area and work their way down to your lower back before ending up at your glutes and thighs (depending on the model).

Pick Your Recline Style

You also need to figure out which type of recline feature you're looking for. Most massage chairs are able to recline, but many people are interested in massage chairs that have “zero gravity” recline.

Massage Chair in Zero Gravity Recline Position

This NASA-inspired recline style positions you so that your legs are above your heart when you lean back. It helps get rid of the pressure on your joints from gravity while at the same time positioning your body weight to rest on the back of the chair, allowing for a much deeper massage. Naturally, these zero gravity reclining chairs can be more expensive.

Figure Out Which Type of Massage You’re Looking For

In addition to many different types of massage chair features, there are also chairs that utilize different types of massages.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is the most common type of massage style, and it's ideal for people who enjoy the quick muscle release and loosening of knots that Swedish massage is known for. These chairs are suitable for people who have a low to medium level of pain tolerance.

Deep Tissue Massage

People who are dealing with chronic pain in areas like the neck, lower back, or shoulders usually focus on massage chairs that provide deep tissue massage. This type of massage helps people relax while getting the kinks out in a very forceful way. Deep tissue massage chairs are ideal for people who have a higher pain tolerance.

Tapping/Percussion Massage

Tapping or percussion massage features rapid strokes hitting the areas of the body that need treatment. People describe the feeling as similar to being drummed on. This type of massage is great for people who are looking for a way to get rid of stiffness while increasing blood flow to the affected area.

Kneading Massage

If you're a person who prefers kneading massage, you'll find that most massage chairs have this feature. Kneading is an excellent way to literally knead the muscles like bread dough in order to get rid of knots and muscle pain while improving lymph and blood circulation.

Although most chairs have the kneading technique, some enhance it with additional features that add a tapping feature. If kneading is extremely important to you, you’ll want to look for a chair that has these types of features.

Compression Massage

A lot of people are into compression massage. Also referred to as squeeze massage, this type of massage is perfect for people who are having issues with their thighs and hips. Massage chairs that offer compression massage come with airbags that inflate and deflate in rhythm, compressing and squeezing the different sections of your body.

Air Compression Massage

This helps relieve joint pain while providing a relaxing, stress-relieving effect. These chairs will also most likely use back rollers that roll and smooth out the knots in your back while giving the compression massage. This can deliver a well-rounded, deeply relaxing massage.


These are just a few massage chair tips you should think of when making your choice. There are so many options to consider, so feel free to reach out to the team at Prime Massage Chairs if you need more help. We can assist you in finding exactly what you're looking for.

Take all the time you need to consider the many features, pros, and cons of your chair before making your decision. A nice massage chair can provide you with physical and mental therapeutic benefits for years to come.

If you'd like to talk to us about a massage chair feel free to give us a call at 800-566-2798. Thank you for reading!

Previous article What to Wear to a Massage for Ultimate Relaxation


We do not provide medical advice. The content of this article, including text, graphics, and other material, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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