Massage Chair Buyer's Guide

Shopping for a massage chair you may have not sat in, let alone thoroughly tested, can be difficult. There are dozens of brands to choose from, exotic features you may have never heard of, and a wide variation of prices. We at MassageChairDeals.com aim to make it easier to shop online by breaking down the things you should be on the look out for as you begin the massage chair shopping process.

Why a Massage Chair?

A massage chair can often pay for itself in under a year when compared to getting a regular massage at a spa or at a chiropractor’s office. Depending on the health and factoring in any chronic pain an individual has, a person would need anywhere from 2-8 massages to maximize the effects of a massage. When you consider that the national average for a massage is approximately $60, you can quickly note how quickly massage therapy can add up over the span of a year for just one person.

With a massage chair, you have the benefit of having an in-home masseuse from the comfort of your home — any time of the day. No more appointments, no more driving to your masseuse, no blackout dates and times. While a massage chair may seem expensive at first, in the long-run it is a great investment not only for your wallet but your health, too.

What Massage Chair is Right for My Body Frame?

Most of our massage chairs have extendable footrests that accommodate users of most heights. However, some chairs are narrower than others that restrict broader shouldered and petite individuals. We encourage you to look at the specifications of the chair in our “Specs” tab on all of our product pages to get a better idea of what height and weight limits are suggested. We also recommend giving us a call at 844-862-4391 or via live chat and one of our specialists will offer you their expert opinion as to whether that chair is best for you, and if not, what other similar models to consider instead.

S-Track or L-Track?

S-track simply means that the rollers work the back in the natural S-shaped curvature of the back. Most massage chairs are designed with S-track technology, meaning that the rollers on the backrest of the chair massage from the neck down the back and cut off at the tailbone area. Depending on the massage chair model, air compression technology massages the remainder of the body (including inside the seat, the waist, shoulders, arms, calves, and feet). S-track chairs have a massage track of 27-33 inches.

L-track, also known as an extended roller track, is newer technology and more and more manufacturers are introducing L-track chairs every year. With an L-track chair, it incorporates S-track technology but the rollers extend into the seat of the chair and reach the gluteal muscles and up to the bottoms of the hamstrings. While S-track chairs massage the glutes and upper thighs with air compression technology, L-track chairs use physical mechanical rollers inside the seat. Rollers are far more effective than airbags so if you’re interested in a deeper massage inside the seat of the massage chair or suffer from gluteal pain, an L-track can be incredibly beneficial. L-track chairs have a massage track of 40-53 inches.

While an L-track is a spectacular new feature, keep in mind that it focuses less on the back since it extends into the seat, whereas an S-track chair focuses exclusively on the back.

2D or 3D?

The vast majority of massage chairs have 2D massage rollers. With a 2D chair, you cannot adjust the intensity of the rollers. You can adjust the airbag strength throughout the rest of the chair, but not the rollers themselves. Some chairs have additional padding on the backrest that you can remove to make the intensity of the rollers stronger, but the roller strength cannot be customized. With that in mind, some chairs come with a stronger roller massage than others by default. For example, the popular Infinity IT-8500 has a 2D roller system but the rollers provide a deep tissue massage. However, the Osaki OS-4000T also has a 2D roller system but the chair provides more of a mid-strength massage by comparison.

In contrast, with 3D and 4D chairs, you can protrude the rollers further into the back up to several inches for a deep tissue massage. 3D chairs permit you to adjust both the roller and airbag strength.

Nonetheless, 2D chairs are still by far the most popular of the two types of chairs. They will exert enough pressure that it will leave most consumers satisfied.

Foot Rollers

Foot rollers target the acupoints of the feet and knead the foot soles. Additionally, most chairs with foot rollers have airbags that compress and decompress along the sides of the feet and function to push the feet deeper into the rollers. Most massage chairs offer foot rollers now, but there are still some chairs available that only rely on airbags to massage the feet.

Heat Therapy

Like foot rollers, heat therapy comes designed with the majority of massage chairs now. Most chairs have dual heating pads in the lower back area that warm up the lower back and serve as a way to melt away muscle pain and allow the rollers to work the back more effectively. Some chairs, such as the popular Titan 3D Pro Executive have heating in both the lumbar region and also knee region.

There are still some chairs, however, that do not have heat therapy — but most over the $2500 price range do offer it.

Zero Gravity/Traditional Recline

Similar to the above two points, Zero Gravity is now a given in massage chairs these days. Zero Gravity is a NASA inspired recline position that positions the feet 30 degrees above the heart to give you a “weightless” feel. It is one of the most popular features our customers look for.

Airbags

As described briefly above, airbags are pockets that inflate and deflate with air. They squeeze, compress, knead and swing the body from side to side. They loosen muscle tension, and as in the case of foot rollers, push the muscles deeper into the rollers for a stronger massage.

Massage chairs can come with anywhere from a dozen to 100 airbags. Airbags can be placed inside the seat, on the sides of the chair, in the foot ottoman, the backrest, and even in the head/neck area. A trap that some new massage chair buyers fall in is thinking that more airbags is better. That is not always the case. Some of the newer massage chairs we carry have fewer airbags than older models but compensate for this because newer technology allows the airbags to cover more surface area, thus reducing strain on a massage chair.

Space Required

When fully reclined, most massage chairs will require up to 80 inches of floor space. Take a look at the specifications of each massage chair when fully reclined and measure the space where you plan to place the chair prior to purchasing to ensure you have sufficient clearance available. Additionally, please ask us about the measurement of the box(es) the chairs come in to make sure they will fit in your door frame. Most of our chairs are designed to fit within the confines of a standard door frame, but this is something to keep in mind if you’re considering placing your chair in a room with a tight door frame.

Warranty

Almost all of our massage chairs come with a standard three year manufacturer warranty that covers one year of in-home labor and 2 or 3 years of parts. We do have extended warranty options available that can cover you up to five years for additional peace of mind as well.

Delivery/Assembly

All of our massage chairs come with free threshold delivery. A freight company will use liftgate to bring the chair down to the front of your home or business but in most cases they’re not allowed to bring it in for you. Massage chairs are not light and can weigh anywhere from 200-400 pounds. Most come in 1-3 boxes, with the main body of the chair in one box and the side panels, foot ottoman and accessories in the other box(es).

Speaking of assembly, some chairs are pre-assembled, some have one or two parts that need assembly, and others require a more thorough set-up. Our chairs are not difficult to assemble if you’re a hands-on person. The manuals with our chairs walk you through the process and we often have step-by-step assembly videos available, too. However, if carrying it in and assembly sounds burdensome or stressful, we recommend choosing our White Glove Delivery option. With White Glove service, a two-person third party team will carry the chair in for you and assemble it.

Where MassageChairDeals.com Comes In

Our representatives know the ins and outs of all the massage chairs we carry. If you ever have any inquiries, please feel free to give us a call at 844-862-4391 or via live chat and we’d be thrilled to assist with whatever question you may have. We understand that purchasing a massage chair is a big investment and we’re dedicated to making your shopping experience as painless as possible.

As a reminder, all of our chairs purchased at MassageChairDeals.com are shipped for free and tax-free (exc. IL).

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