Benefits of having a top-quality massage chair
Buying a quality massage chair that meets all your personal needs will reap the following benefits with each use:
- Since the chair will be situated in your personal space, you’ll have access to it at any time. No need to schedule sessions or travel in order to receive a massage.
- Consistent stress relief that can be scheduled daily, weekly or even monthly depending on your personal massage needs. You can use it after a long day at work or after prolonged periods of sitting, such as after sewing (check out our guide to the best chairs for sewing rooms) or even gaming (we’ve also reviewed comfy console gaming chairs to prevent back pain ever becoming an issue).
- Fun for the whole family. The massage chair can be safely used by anyone at any time. They’re a great choice for those suffering from any kinds of bodily aches and pains, and are a great addition or alternative to a lift chair, even if you’re after a lift chair for elderly people.
- Scheduling in-person massages can rack up a hefty bill. By purchasing a massage chair, you avoid any additional cost for the experience; It’s essentially a once off fee.
- Regular stimulation of your muscles in a nonstrenuous form of exercise.
- Impress your house guests by offering them a session whenever they visit.
- If your chair happens to be portable, enjoy the benefit of taking it on vacation or to any remote destination necessary.
- Massage chairs have been known to promote better sleep patterns when used regularly in the evenings. This is a sure benefit for anyone suffering from sleep problems.
- Modern massage chairs are stylishly designed and will fit in seamlessly with the rest of your furniture.
Features to consider while choosing your massage chair
At this point, the only thing left to do is identify your favorite pick from our list of top 13. The following criteria and breakdowns will help you do just that. Carefully consider each point and whether or not it’s of value to your purchase of the best massage chair for your home or office. Each model is vastly impressive in its own way — it’s essentially the feature specifications that will enable you to identify the most relevant one.
The massage functions and abilities of each massage chair varies from brand to brand. In the same breath, cost of unit plays a big role in determining which and how many functions are built into a single unit.
Some massage chairs might isolate a single, key massage function and revolve solely around this way of massaging. Others might incorporate the range of functions available on the market and allow the user to alternate between them using a built-in keypad or touch screen. It’s not uncommon for massage chair functions to range between 3 to 10 levels of intensity.
Some chairs will also center themselves around a specific style of massage. Shiatsu and Kahuna are the most common functions incorporated into massage chairs. The intensity of each of these will also be controllable as you can pick from different levels.
You’ll also need to consider what kind of massage you desire out of your chair. There are functions that will provide either full body, neck and shoulders, lower back or leg only massages. The chairs operate these functions through a series of the following:
- Kneading: A motion designed to tenderize the muscles through repetitive movement. Kneading typically starts off gently and works its way into a more pressure-filled sensation. Intensity can usually be controlled via they chair’s keypad.
- Rolling: A number of high-performing rollers are built into each and every massage chair. They’re responsible for the majority of the work that goes on during massage. Rollers are designed to mimic the motion of human hands. They make their way across the body in a variety of shapes and directions.
- Tapping: The sensation of tapping during massage provides invigorating awareness to otherwise lame parts of the body. The sensation is designed to “wake up” areas of the body that may have become overly relaxed during the session. Tapping is a great way to prepare the body to get back to its natural state in order to continue with everyday life.
- Squeezing: Massage chairs have the unique ability to squeeze certain limbs during the massage session. Many of these functions can be closely equated to the art of yoga. By squeezing the body, it’s actually stretching it. The chair will usually perform this kind of movement after rolling massage as it promotes circulation and gets blood flowing again.
These sensations work together to deliver an experience as close to human massage techniques as possible. There is a multitude of combinations that can be put together to deliver a different massage experience each time. Some are done automatically by the chair and others can be set up manually by you the user. Only you know exactly what function is required for your satisfaction. Make a point of identifying which ones are most important to you and ensure that the unit you select provides all of them. Some of the more advanced chairs will have auto functions and massage timers. These functions can be activated by you.
Dimensions & Extendable Leg Rest
Massage chairs are notorious for their bulky natures. Whether you intend to add them to your home or office space it’s imperative you have a good understanding of just how big the device can be. Measure the space in which the chair needs to fit, and the chair itself. This is a sure way to guarantee that you won’t be caught off guard when the chair arrives.
While most massage chairs are oversized devices, there is a range of more compact massage chairs for smaller spaces. These chairs might offer fewer functions than the full-size options but deliver satisfying massage experiences nevertheless.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to massage chairs is that most of them are extendable. The massage chairs that contain built-in leg rests often have the ability to recline and jut outward. These massage chairs will require additional space in which to extend fully. They generally can’t be placed up against a wall and require a perimeter around them so that the leg rests can properly unfold.
When it comes to the human body, heat promotes blood circulation. A massage chair with heating ability can provide a range of healing benefits, particularly to the back, neck and shoulder areas. There is a number of massage chairs available that have the ability to heat the lower back as well. It’s also usually recommended to warm the muscles before receiving massage in colder climates. This reduces the risk of strain or injury.
Higher-end massage chairs will have heating therapy built into the chair backs. Heating pads will power up upon request and warm the body while the massage takes place. This therapy is particularly useful to athletes whose muscles tend to take a lot of impact in the day to day. Individuals who suffer from chronic back pain have also reported that heating therapy in their massage chairs has been of great benefit. Lower pack heating pads are most ideal for this kind of relief. The Osaki OS-4000T features these in conjunction with a vibrating seat, proving fast and effective pain relief.
Consider if this is a feature that would be of value to your massage experience. Since it isn’t a standard feature in all massage chairs, you’ll need to find a chair that holds this ability specifically. If you want a chair for pain relief, this will be a good investment.
Zero Gravity Mode & Maximum Reclining Angle
It’s believed that there is a specific angle from which maximum enjoyment of a massage can be obtained. By spreading an individual’s body out flat or almost flat, all stress is removed from the body, and a deeper, more intense massage can be experienced. Zero gravity basically involves the massage chair sliding forward until the person is virtually lying flat. It then goes further to where the person’s feet are higher than his or her heart level. This is zero gravity. It is said to be incredibly therapeutic and that the effects of massage from this position can be felt immediately. The idea is that all pressure is lifted from the heart area. The body is left in its most vulnerable yet stress-free state.
Some massage chairs don’t offer zero gravity but rather just a maximum reclining angle for enjoyment. One’s feet will not go higher than your heart, but the chair will recline significantly backward so that a more relaxed position is taken. Some massage chairs have options for a variety of different angles which would provide different types of experiences.
If it’s of interest to you to attain the most optimum massage available, then a zero gravity massage chair is what you need to look for.
Keep in mind these chairs require extra space in order to properly recline, so they’re not suitable for smaller homes.
Space Saving Technology
Space saving technology was designed so that massage chairs could still recline even when there isn’t enough space behind the chair to do so. Instead of simply reclining backward, the chair instead will slide forward while reclining simultaneously. This makes use of the frontal space as opposed to the back. This technology is a great way of ensuring that the chair is able to align with other furniture in the house instead of needing to be further forward to recline. With most present-day massage chairs it’s a standard three inches required behind the chair in order for reclining to take place. Space saving technology also sometimes enables a massage chair to include a rocking experience. Some massage chairs can rock back and forth during massage for an added spatial sensation. The motion of rocking has been used for centuries to promote sleep and relaxation. It’s a welcome addition to anyone looking to get the most out of their massage session and possibly develop better sleeping patterns as a result.
If you’re limited when it comes to space, then space saving technology will become your best friend. It allows for you to enjoy the full reclining experience without impacting the valuable floor space of your home. The Kahuna massage chair has this technology built in as a standard.
A massage chair relies on the interconnected working of airbags and rollers in order to deliver sensations. Airbags are small pockets implanted around the chair that inflate and deflate as needed in order to stimulate a specific body part.
Purchasing a massage chair fitted with airbags is a great way to ensure a well-rounded massage experience. Chairs that rely solely on rollers can become monotonous as the same sensation is being applied each time.
Air massage is much more gentle than a regular rolling massage. It eases into the muscles gradually instead of applying full force over them first thing. It’s a good way to warm up the body and prepare it for a more intense massage later on. Massage chairs usually include between 20 and 40 airbags in one unit. Hip-oriented airbags like in the Giantex Leisure are great for spinal alignment. Airbags are also a better form of massage to use on injured areas of the body. They are soothing as opposed to invasive.
To get the most out of your massage chair, it’s important that you meet the weight requirements laid out by the brand. Different massage chairs will have different weight capabilities. Overloading a massage chair can cause the inner workings to bend or shift. The rollers that work their way up and down the chair will be unable to move. It’s bad for the chair as it can break, and it’s bad for you as you won’t be able to enjoy a successful massage session. Be sure to ask yourself:
- Does my weight fit the capacities specified by the manufacturer?
- If other people will be using the chair, do their weights qualify as well?
- Is there leeway for weight gain or am I riding on the brink of maximum capacity already?
- Is there a minimum weight requirement for the massage chair in order for a session to be fulfilling?
- If the chair is intended for commercial use, is the weight capacity broad enough for different sized individuals?
The Kahuna Superior massage chair was built significantly wider than standard chairs in order to accommodate larger, heavier individuals. If you’re looking to purchase a chair that will be used in a commercial space where a variety of individuals can make use of it, we recommend going with the chair with the highest weight ability available. This ensures there won’t be anyone bending or breaking the moving mechanisms in the chair due to their weight not being suitable for the unit.
Body Scan Technology
The appeal of a quality massage chair is its ability to provide a personalized massage experience, relevant to the needs of the user in question. Some chairs do this via a very advanced form of body scanning technology. This involves a series of high tech sensors built into the chair that consequently scan each body using the device. The sensors are able to communicate to the chair’s computer a range of information from body weight to muscle mass. With this information, the chair’s computer can calculate and customize the most appropriate massage function for the individual in question. It might choose to spend more time on neck and shoulders & less on lower back.
Body scanning technology is great for anyone who might enjoy a different massage experience each time. Massage chairs without this feature will offer standardized massage sessions without much variation. Body scanning technology means that it’s unlikely for two massages to ever be the same. Individuals who suffer from back or limb problems of any kind would be best advised to invest in a massage chair that is equipped with body scan technology. The Relaxonchair massager incorporates an advanced form of this technology making it a good investment if you’re shopping in this niche for medical reasons.
Massage Chair Rollers
Quite literally the backbone of any massage chair, the rollers can play a huge part in the enjoyment of your device. The rollers are built into the chair on a complex grid that allows them to move and rotate down your vertebrae. Quality rollers will make for a quality massage—It’s that simple.
It’s also important to consider the number of rollers present in the chair in question. However, quantity doesn’t always mean a better experience. Too many rollers in a chair that will be used by a more petite individual can be overwhelming and ultimately painful. The pressure of so many rollers digging into this type of body is hard to enjoy. In the same breath, too few rollers in a chair that will be used by a larger individual could result in an underwhelming and boring experience. It’s all relative to the users in question. Generally, you’ll be able to find a well balanced chair with an industry median in terms of roller quantity.
Some chairs have the added extra: Foot rollers. Most massage chairs neglect to involve the feet, so this is a welcome addition if foot massage is something you enjoy. Check with the manufacturer as to whether your chair has this ability or if it’s something you might consider adding on if possible. For individuals who need relaxation after spending workdays on their feet, this is a wise choice.
Materials & Construction
Generally, massage chairs are made to last. They’re usually made of a combination of woods and leathers. It’s not uncommon for some panels within a massage chair to be of metal too. Due to the active nature of these chairs, the materials need to be durable to avoid the effects of wear and tear for as long as possible. Since these chairs typically don’t run cheap, be sure to consider the materials and construction of the chair you’re looking to buy. It’s sometimes worth spending a few extra dollars on a chair that will guarantee a longer life span as opposed to one that might only last a few months.
We don’t recommend investing in a massage chair that is covered with fabric or suede. These can become particularly unhygienic over long periods of use and are naturally harder to clean. They are also more prone to damage as the fabric will weaken after repeated use. It’s important that the seams of your massage chair are sealed tight and, at the very least, double stitched.
In terms of construction, you’ll need to consider whether you enjoy the chair upright, or if you’d like it to have the ability to recline. Reclining chairs are constructed a bit differently to standard ones. They involve levers and sliders in order to achieve the desired angle. While reclining during massage is no doubt enjoyable, it’s not absolutely necessary. An upright massage chair has equal ability to deliver a satisfying experience. The massage chair by Titan Pro is a good example of a chair that can do both.
Weight & Delivery Options
Let’s be clear: massage chairs aren’t lightweight devices. They’re also not the kind of thing you pop out to the shops for, load into your car and bring home.
Due to the overwhelming size and weight of these gentle giants, it’s likely that a delivery option with your purchase will be absolutely necessary.
With a massage chair of any price point, delivery should already be included in the purchase. Be sure to discuss your options with the retailer beforehand. Ensure to clarify the following:
- Will the delivery people assist with getting the chair from truck to house?
- Will the delivery team assist with unpacking the massage chair once inside?
- Does the chair arrive ready to use or is there a set up required? If so, will the delivery people assist with this?
- Is there a specific width of door frame required for the chair to enter a space?
- If the chair will be used on the second story of a house, can the floor handle the weight of the unit?
If you do happen to have the means of delivering the chair into your home yourself, consider the carried weight between vehicle and home. You’ll likely need to recruit one or two individuals to help get the chair into place.
Based on our research, it appears most massage chair retailers offer curbside delivery upon making a purchase. This means that the chair and/or its parts will be delivered to the curb of your home and office only. The delivery service will not go as far as to move the chair into its final position inside the premises. Usually, the delivery teams don’t want to take responsibility as it can get ripped or it could fall while you navigate through a building. Therefore, this will be left to you to handle.
There are, however, some retailers who appear to offer help in getting the chair to its chosen spot in the house – but generally, this is only so long as it is located on the bottom floor. They may not handle any instances where the chair needs to be taken upstairs. Make sure you have help on hand so installing it is effortless on the day.
Your massage chair might come with a variety of additional features depending on the manufacturer and price tag. Some brands offer their products in standard versions and upgraded versions. Upgraded versions would be the units that contain the extra features at additional cost.
Some massage chairs feature the ability to perform a shoulder and hip squeeze as an extra sensation prior to or after the massage. This is a good stretching mechanism to reactivate the muscles.
Massage chairs that have the ability to connect to remote controls are handy and practical. You’ll be able to navigate the massage experience of the person in the chair from a distance away or do it while you’re on the chair simply by moving your fingers. If you’re managing it for someone else, it can add some excitement as he or she won’t know what is coming next.
Seat vibration is a wonderful extra to look out for when deciding on too. It’s enjoyable both during massage and on its own as a method of relaxation while watching television or lazing about.
A calf and foot massager is sometimes preferable for some individuals. It doesn’t always come standard in massage chairs and may need to be added as an extra feature.
Audio capability is an interesting additional feature present in some of the newer massage chairs on the market. It’s thought that combining massage with music creates a sensory experience that puts the body much deeper into relaxation than before. The massage chairs equipped with this ability usually have speakers built into the sides, or armrests. They will link to your music playing device by means of Bluetooth or USB.
More uncommon is the inclusion of LED lighting. When enjoying massage in the dark, the LED lights will emit a gentle blue hue that has a calming effect in that space. This is how visual stimulation adds to an experience. It makes the sensation of pitch dark massage less intense, and the mood becomes more controlled.
We touched on this next point briefly earlier in this buyer’s guide. The inclusion of a rocking mechanism in a massage chair is a wonderful extra feature for anyone looking to take their sessions to the next level. Rocking back and forth during a massage reduces the effect of gravity on the body. Individuals who have enjoyed this motion in conjunction with their massage report that zoning out becomes easier and they’re less aware of their physical situation. If you’re battling with pain, this will be a welcome respite. Also, as a result, they enjoyed relaxation of both the body and mind simultaneously. With a rocking motion, one tends to forget that you’re seated in a couch-like unit. Your concept of space is altered as you’re not sitting still at any point during the session. Massage chairs equipped with this ability are fast becoming the sought after units for users worldwide. The BestMassage Full Body Massage Chair comes standard with rocking ability, which is why it’s such a crowd favorite.
A last worthwhile feature:
Because the art of massage has been proactive for centuries all around the world, it’s hard to isolate the best one to fit into a chair. Some chairs will go the extra mile and have a multitude of global massage styles built into one. You’ll be able to flip through each style and try them all out in order to identify your favorite. The Medical Breakthrough massage chair gives you many options to consider, featuring an impressive array of nine massage styles from around the world.
Warranties are essential when it comes to quality massage chairs. Any reputable retailer should provide a comprehensive coverage plan in the event of product malfunction. With so many mechanics and moving parts, it’s important that you’re covered in the event of malfunction.
We would suggest not settling for anything less than a two-year warranty per massage chair. This is most reasonable and an industry standard. It’s not uncommon, however, for massage chairs to feature warranty coverage for up to 10 years. The massage chair by Forever Rest comes with an impressive five-year warranty which proves its quality.
A warranty will not cover you for any damage caused due to negligence of the user. This is why picking the right weight capacity is so important.
It will, however, ensure you’re covered in the event of:
- Electrical shorts
- Non-working features
- Roller breakage
- Construction issues
- General malfunction
Different brands offer different types of warranty coverage. Some only cover parts, while others will cover both parts and mechanics. Damage to the body of the chair is considered negligence on behalf of the user and will not fall under either of these brackets.
When purchasing your massage chair be sure to follow the requirements laid out by the warranty agreement. Some may require you to keep your original purchase receipt or packaging slip. Others might require you to register your purchase on the manufacturer’s website in order for your warranty to become valid.
As with any investment, price has a big part to play. The price of your massage chair will no doubt determine just how sophisticated the unit can be. The more you pay for, the more you get. That being said there’s still a broad enough market for individuals shopping in all price ranges to be satisfied with their purchases. Whether you only have a few hundred dollars scraped together, or thousands to blow, you have options. Just note that shopping on a budget will require a few compromises. If you’re looking for budget-friendly massage chairs, check out our top picks of the best massage chairs under $500.
Higher end massage chairs come with a price tag to match. They feature many or all of the available functions in the massage chair industry. The experience will be unmatched, and the quality of the chair will also be notably more impressive. Cheaper chairs, on the other hand, will likely feature the standard massage functions with little added extras.
It goes without saying that you should carefully budget before spending money on any of these devices. Also, make comparisons: even if you maybe don’t intend to use the massage chair so frequently, it may be worth investing the extra cost for some of the added benefits that come with it. That along with the quality that tends to come with a higher-cost unit will provide an enjoyable experience all round and saving money in the long run since you won’t have to replace it soon.
Knowledge of the features mentioned above is necessary because price can also be deceptive. There are perfectly good, quality massage chairs on the market that cost next to nothing. And then there are very average massage chairs, with less than impressive functionality with high price tags. The best method is to explore the features of each of the chairs before making yourself aware of the costs. Identifying features that are important to you helps you notice appropriate chairs. It could be the cheaper of the lot that you may not have given a second glance after seeing the price-tag. So shop features first.
This is perhaps the least important point when buying a massage chair, but for some people, design makes a big difference. Since these devices are likely being used within homes or office spaces, they will probably be in the line of sight for you and your visitors. It’s therefore worthwhile for them to be at least somewhat aesthetically pleasing.
In today’s market massage chairs come in an array of different designs to suit a multitude of interior design themes. Gone are the days of the standard black leather chair. Some manufacturers are bang on trend with tan and white leathers. Others feature carefully lined trimmings and multicolored padding. The great thing about this is that a massage chair can now become part of the furniture without standing out too much. It will appear to look like just another comfortable armchair, with its massage abilities buried deep inside. The BestMassage chair is an excellent example of style meeting functionality.
There are massage chairs that look like timeless, classic pieces and then there are massage chairs that appear to be futuristic-like pods in which a user must climb. Consider what you’d like out of the design of your massage chair and seek out one that fits these criteria.
Whenever you’re investing in something new (and as expensive as this niche), it’s always worthwhile to take brand reputation into consideration. Once you’ve narrowed down your search for the best massage chair take time to investigate the manufacturers behind each one. By looking at their history of product reviews and satisfied customers you can ensure you invest in the right place.
There are many websites that expose the true nature of brands and their products. Make a quick search on some of these and review the feedback from dozens before you. This way, you can have peace of mind that you’re putting your money into a product from a worthwhile corporation and not one focused on making a quick buck.
Apart from product quality, weed out the poorer quality brands by looking at the kind of customer service they offer and the warranties attached to your purchase.
This is an important factor that sometimes goes unconsidered during the buying process. Since massage chairs usually encompass the entire body, it’s only natural that they will require cleaning from time to time. Buildup of sweat, hair, and bodily odors can find their way into the seat after repetitive use. Some individuals enjoy using oils on their skin while a massage is taking place—this too will stick to the surface.
Ensure that the material of the chair in question is suitable to clean easily. Most will simply require a wipe, as the leather is waterproof. There may be occasions where areas of discoloration will need to be polished. Suede or fabric covered chairs will be much harder to clean, especially since water can’t be used near the electronics or rollers. Suede cleaner can be purchased at most upholstery stores and used on massage chairs safely.
Cleaning is an important factor to take into consideration if you plan on maximizing the life span of your device. Also be sure to give your massage chair a deep clean whenever it’s used by strangers or visitors. Skin cells and residue tend to loosen during massage & may find their way into the chair’s surface. Both you and your guests deserve a hygienic experience.
All things considered, the most notable tips for selecting the best massage chair would be the following:
- Don’t rush your purchase; Do some investigating and finalize your criteria.
- Go and test out the chair in person if you’re able to.
- Make sure there are no pre-existing back or neck injuries that could become inflamed by use of a massage chair.
- Clean your massage chair regularly.
- Be vigilant with the chair around children; Mechanics and technology could pose risks in certain instances.
- Be realistic about space. Massage chairs are naturally bulky units, and space should be carefully considered when looking to purchase.
Last thought: Share! Invite others to enjoy the experience of the chair with you as often as possible, making the investment as worthwhile as possible.