Choosing the Right Massage Chair: Buying Guide
Finding the right massage chair can feel like an overwhelming task. There are so many chairs and features to consider. Where do you even begin? In this massage chair buying guide, we’ll walk you through the most important features to look for and the types of massage chairs to find the right one for you.
Massage Chair Features to Look For
Choosing the right massage chair doesn’t have to be complicated. A great place to start is with the chair’s features. When comparing your options, here are some essential elements to consider.
Massage chairs are an investment, and the return on that investment often outweighs the cost. Still, it’s important to go into this process with an appropriate budget. A quality massage chair will cost $1,200+. The price tag will depend on the features, materials and technology.
If you want to purchase a chair that will give you many years of use and provide the experience you want, you may want to steer clear of chairs that are $1,000 or less (unless they’re on sale, of course).
Price is an important consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Quality and experience are just as important, if not more important, than the chair’s price tag.
Today’s massage chairs are more advanced than ever. From built-in speakers to automatic massage programs and zero gravity, massage chairs can have a laundry list of features.
Determine which features are most important to you and will have the most significant impact on your health and well-being.
Our Super Novo chair, for example, offers S- and L-track massage as well as a foot, calf and knee massage. In addition, 3D and 4D massage programs make it easy to get the experience you want, and the built-in Altec Lansing sound system allows you to listen to calming music or audiobooks during your sessions.
Take the time to consider the features commonly offered by massage chairs and decide which ones are must-haves, nice-to-haves, and not necessary. Knowing which features you really want can help narrow down your choices and make it easier to find the chair you really want.
Although you can find compact options, massage chairs are still bigger than your average chair. It’s important to consider how much space you have and where you’ll place your chair.
Measure your space and look for chairs that will accommodate your needs.
While massage chairs are on the bigger side, you can still find options for smaller spaces. For example, our Certus chair has a space-saving design that allows it to be placed directly against a wall. No clearance is required to recline or sit upright, which makes it a great fit for homes with limited space.
Our Certus chair still has all of the great features you expect from a Human Touch massage chair – auto wellness programs, S- and L-track massage, zero gravity position, calf massage, etc. – but it comes in a compact package that saves on space.
Many people overlook the importance of massage intensity when choosing a chair. In some cases, you can adjust the intensity of the massage, but even then, you may find that the range is either too gentle or too intense.
Take a close look at the product description or reach out to customer support to find out about the massage intensity level.
A gentle or relaxing massage level may be more appropriate for older adults. On the other hand, someone who engages in intense exercise or spends most of the day on their feet may prefer a chair with a more intense massage level to work out the kinks and tension.
Although it serves a special purpose, a massage chair is still a piece of furniture. When it’s not in use, you want it to blend in with the décor in your home. You also want the chair to be comfortable to sit in.
To ensure that you’re getting a chair you love aesthetically and comfort-wise, consider the upholstery options. Consider more than just the color and look at your options for materials and comfort.
Any massage chair worth buying will be backed by a warranty. When considering any massage chair, check to make sure that it includes a warranty. Warranties protect against defects in workmanship and materials, covering the cost of repair or replacement.
We offer 3- and 5-year warranty options on our chairs to give you peace of mind that your purchase is protected.
Different Types of Massage Chairs
Now that you know which features to look for, let’s explore the different types of massage chairs available. There’s a wide range of massage technologies available, as well as massage techniques and additional features that you may want.
Rollers & Tracks
The rollers and tracks are what deliver the massage. The rollers move along the track to massage strategic parts of the body, alleviating tension and stress along the way. Again, you have many options here.
Massage chairs with 2D rollers offer a gentler, more relaxing massage. They work the surface of the muscle and don’t really get too deep.
2D rollers move up and down, and left and right.
A massage chair with 3D rollers offers everything 2D rollers offer, but they also have the ability to protrude outward for a deeper massage.
Because they can protrude further, 3D rollers can reach areas that are often neglected by 2D rollers, like the shoulders and upper neck.
3D rollers can move up and down, left and right, and in and out.
4D rollers offer the most intense and realistic massage experience. They offer all of the same movements that you get with a 3D roller (up and down, left and right, and in and out), but you can also adjust the speed during each stroke.
The additional speed adjustment helps mimic the movement of a massage therapist’s hands.
A massage chair with an S-track will follow the curve of your spine, from your neck down to your lower back. The S-track is the most basic of options for massage chairs.
The L-track works similarly to the S-track, but it extends further down the body. L-track massage chairs massage your upper neck all the way down to your hamstrings.
Many advanced massage chairs have both S- and L-track massage to give you a near full-body massage experience.
Along with rollers and tracks, massage chairs can also offer different massage techniques.
A Swedish massage uses longer strokes to warm muscles, relax tension and help break up knots in the muscles.
A deep tissue massage is more intense than a Swedish massage. Just as the name suggests, this is a deep massage that can bring some relief to areas that are constantly tense and contracted, like the neck, shoulders and upper back.
A Shiatsu massage uses a combination of pressure, stretching and rotation to ease tension, pain and stress. It’s similar to acupressure in many ways, and can help ensure that qi (your life energy) moves freely through the body.
Foot and Calf Massages
Many massage chairs also have built-in foot and calf massagers. These use a combination of reflexology, underfoot rollers and acupressure to help relax the muscles in your calves and feet.
If you’re on your feet all day or often experience swelling in your feet and ankles, consider a massage chair with this feature.
Some massage chairs have heated functions that further help alleviate tension and stress. Many of our chairs have heated lumbar systems and heated foot massage options.
Stretching massages are great for alleviating tough knots. Massage chairs achieve this type of massage using airbag systems that help pull muscles to eliminate tension.
Chairs that have foot massagers typically use reflexology to help relax the feet and melt away tension. Reflexology applies pressure to specific areas of the foot that help release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
Other Massage Therapy Features
Massage chairs may also offer other features that you should consider when comparing your options. These include:
Zero Gravity Seating
Many massage chairs can move into the zero gravity position, which helps decompress the spine and alleviate pain. In this position, your legs are elevated above your heart to help improve circulation and provide a wealth of other benefits.
Bluetooth & Built-in Speakers
Massage chairs with Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers create an immersive, relaxing experience. Listen to the sounds of nature, calming music or even your favorite audio book as you enjoy your massage.
While this isn’t a necessary feature, it’s a nice one to have if you want to ease stress and anxiety.
How Much is a Massage Chair?
Massage chairs come in a wide range of prices. A quality chair can range anywhere from $1,100-$10,000 or more.
The cost of a massage chair will depend on several factors, including:
- The number of features
- The technologies used
- The materials and upholstery
Chairs that have the most advanced technology, extra features and use high-quality materials will come with a higher price tag.
So, which massage chair should I buy? Consider all of the factors above to find a massage chair that will meet your needs and budget. Choose a chair that has all of the right features to address your concerns (pain, stress, tension, etc.) while meeting all of your expectations for quality and comfort.