6 Important Things To Consider Before Buying A Massage Chair!
Guest post from our friends at Massagers-And-More!
Are you interested in buying a massage chair, but confused silly with all the different options out there? Not to worry, I was in your shoes about a year ago. With not enough resources and information, I’d find myself tirelessly scavenging the net comparing one chair to another. Safe to say that all paid off!
Since then my fascination for massage chairs has grown tremendously. I’ve written detailed reviews on 30 odd chairs, and continue to do so as new chairs get released.
The below 6 considerations are what I personally used/followed when I purchased my massage chair. Whenever friends or family ask me “what to look for when buying a massage chair,” these are the points I recommend.
Even though some items on this list may seem subjective, it’s worth paying attention to. Without further ado!
What To Look for When Buying a Massage Chair
#1 Price $$$$$!
Massage chairs aren’t exactly cheap, and even the cheapest of chairs will run you a solid $400-500 easy. The higher end chairs can go up to the $10K mark!
With these kinds of prices, you definitely need to know how to buy a massage chair.
And if you haven’t purchased a chair before or even know what features to look for, you can spend a lot of money on a chair that you don’t really need.
Which is why it’s so important to get a handle on budget!
You must ask yourself the following questions specifically:
- How much am I willing to spend in total? Total means everything i.e., shipping, install fees, taxes etc.
- How do I wish to pay? Typically, you can either finance the chair (most places offer 0% interest) over a period of several months, or you can pay the entire amount in one shot.
It’s important that you have a clear understanding of this before even looking at anything else. If you’re having difficulty coming up with a budget, just remember there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s about what you’re most comfortable spending.
If you’re okay spending $3K, fine. If you’re okay spending $6K, awesome. If you’re okay spending $500, swell!
If you have your budget nailed down, that’s it. Many people tend to budge from their set budget. Don’t be one of those people! Set yourself a budget!
But also, be realistic with what your budget will get you.
A $500 chair is going to have the most basic features. You’ll definitely still have a chair that gives you a nice massage, but don’t expect the same features in a $500 chair you’d find in a $3,000 chair. It's just not going to happen.
Set yourself a budget and tame those expectations if your budget is low.
What Do You Get When You Pay for a High-end Massage Chair?
High-end chairs fall within the $2,500 - $4,000 range, and when you sit in one of the more expensive chairs, you really notice the difference of:
- Smoother massage
- Additional massage functions
- Advanced roller systems
You really need to know what to look for in a massage chair when focusing on the high-end market because they have a ton of additional features, such as lumbar heating, massage programs, leg and foot massage and so much more.
And you’ll find a lot of different roller systems, too.
#2 Roller System: 2D, 3D, or 4D?
Once you’ve determined your budget, next step is to decide on a roller system. As of 2022, there are 3 types of roller technologies to choose from:
2D rollers are the oldest technology you can find on a massage chair. They move in 2 dimensions i.e., up and down along the length of the back, and side to side across the width of the back.
Basically, a step up from 2D rollers. In addition to the horizontal and vertical movements, 3D rollers can also protrude in/out. This additional dimension makes 3D rollers capable of performing deep tissue massage.
The most technologically advanced roller system you can find on a massage chair. 4D rollers are the exact same as 3D, but with one major difference: roller speed control is automatic in a 4D system. In a 3D system, roller speed is something you must manually adjust.
So, does that mean you should only buy a chair with 4D rollers?
Absolutely not! 4D is the best money can buy, no question, but 3D and 2D chairs are not far behind. What’s more is the incredible industry experience around 2D rollers. Because 2D technology has been around for decades, massage chair manufacturers truly understand how to get the most out of this technology.
What’s the catch?
It’s simple. It all boils down to intensity. If you’re specifically looking for a chair capable of massaging at high intensities, consider a 3D or 4D chair. If intensity isn’t a concern for you, pick a 2D chair!
Human Touch Super Novo: Our first 4D chair. The Super Novo offers 3D and 4D massage, fingertip controls, virtual therapist, S- and L-track massage and much more!
Want to learn more about rollers and what you can expect from them? Be sure to read through our in-depth guide on 2D vs 3D vs 4D rollers.
#3 Roller Track
In point #2 we discussed the different roller technologies, that’s only one half of the equation. The other half has to do with roller track. What is roller track anyways?
Roller track talks about the distance a set of rollers will follow.
For example, there are some massage chairs with rollers that can only travel from neck to tailbone (30-32’’), and then there are other chairs whose rollers can travel all the way to the hamstrings (47-52’’).
The longer the track, the better the massage!
If you’re able to afford it, I recommend you always go for a chair with an extended roller track. The extra roller coverage makes a world of difference when it comes to massaging the glutes and hamstrings.
Human Touch iJoy Total Massage: A perfect option for anyone in the under $1,000 massage chair range!
#4 User Flexibility
This is something that often gets overlooked. If people paid more attention to this one thing, they’d end up saving so much time and money!
User flexibility is about how well a massage chair can accommodate users with varying heights and weights.
If you’re buying online, this becomes especially important to consider. If you’re buying offline, it’s still important, but not as much because you would have sat and tried the chair out.
No 2 chairs are the same!
And as such user flexibility can tend to vary from one chair to another. For example, chair X may be designed to fit in small, tight spaces, so as a result, it can only accommodate a height range of 5’0-6’0 ft. Chair Y on the other hand is designed to fit taller folks and has a height range of 5’2-6’4 ft. The same thing applies for weight.
Remember to check the height and weight limits before you buy!
The Novo XT2 is an example of a massage chair that has incredible user flexibility!
#5 Number Of Auto Modes!
Auto modes are preset or preprogrammed massage routines. They’re incredibly important for a few reasons:
- Auto modes take away the guesswork from the user. In other words, the user doesn’t have to mess around with manual settings trying to figure out the optimum parameters for massage.
- They keep things fresh. This is especially true for chairs that have 10+ auto modes! Because you have so many choices, massage is never repetitive and boring.
Most massage chairs generally tend to have on average 5 auto modes. Some of the better ones have 7-10, and some of the high-end ones have 30+!
#6 Massage Technology Other Than Rollers
The main roller system is arguably the most critical component to a massage chair, but it doesn't end there. There are several other components that also play a role in determining how good/bad a chair is. These are the airbags, calf rollers, and foot rollers.
Why are each of these components important?
Airbags and calf/foot rollers are important for 2 reasons:
- They provide a massage technique different from the main roller system. For example, airbags inflate with air to provide a compression style massage.
- They provide a massage to areas of the body where the main roller system can't reach. For example, the feet is one area where the main back rollers cannot reach.
That being said, one should always consider:
- The number of airbags in a chair before buying. Look for a good spread across the chair!
- The presence of calf and foot rollers. Foot rollers are a must have as far as I'm concerned. Calf rollers on the other hand is a feature you won't find in most massage chairs. After a long day, foot massages are pure bliss.
You'll also want to consider the reputation of the seller. Are they a good company that backs their product with a warranty? Is it easy to get a hold of customer support if you need help with anything?
You may never need to use your warranty or reach out to support. However, if you do have an issue with your product, you’ll be happy you researched the company to see how responsive and helpful they are.
Now that you know how to choose a massage chair, the next part is narrowing down the options in your budget range. Human Touch offers a wide range of options that will fit into every realistic price range.
We hope you enjoyed this guest post from our friends at Massagers-And-More!