How Do You Buy the Best Massage Chair for Your Needs?

Making any big purchase can be a bit stressful, and when you’re buying a massage chair that has more features than your phone and can cost three times as much, you want to be sure you’re making the right choice.

That’s why we’re here.

There are multiple brands and styles of massage chairs and each feature is designed to address a specific concern. So, how do you decide which chair offers the ones you need and what’s the difference between the plethora of styles and designs available?

First, you start with understanding the basics. Here, we’ll walk you through what to look for when you’re purchasing a massage chair and address each of the key facets to this item that can sway your decision including price, programs, user concerns, health inquires, top brands, and employee favorites. When buying a massage chair, this guide has your back.

We'll cover:

Let's dive in.

What Constitutes a Massage Chair?

Massage chairs have been around far longer than you might think. Massage therapy has been a practice for thousands of years. We’ve even seen it in places like Ancient Greece and Egypt. Since then, massage has been used to address pain, injuries, reduce stress, treat mild anxiety, increase relaxation, lower blood pressure, and much more.

From Acupressure and reflexology to shiatsu and deep tissue, massage has as many styles and techniques as there are wonderful features in our massage chairs. Appearing around the 1950s in there most recognizable form, massage chairs have grown from a simple wheel and crank mechanism to advanced technology which utilizes electronically controlled rollers that can adjust your size and shape.

The modern massage chair is an impressive amalgamation of innovations and new design features that all contribute to the goal of helping you relax and enjoy a soothing massage whenever the mood strikes you.

Now, let’s delve in a bit deeper and examine the new features you’ll find in most modern massage chairs.

Common Massage Chair Features

2d 3d 4d rollers quad rollers

2D, 3D, & 4D Massage Rollers

Massage chair manufacturers are always looking to improve the depth and accuracy of the rollers for a deeper, more precise massage experience. With that in mind, you’ll see that there are chairs that offer three dimension options- 2D, 3D, and 4D. Each of these roller mechanisms is designed to penetrate at different levels.

2D Massage Rollers

A casual user or someone who isn’t looking for an exceptionally deep massage would most likely enjoy a massage chair with a 2D system. The 2D massage system is the traditional design that’s been around the longest. It works your surface muscles and back without getting deep to the muscles underneath. These rollers are the least intense.

3D Massage Rollers

A 3D massage system takes all that one step further and is found in the majority of massage chairs being released today. This works deep into the muscles of your shoulders and back, penetrating into the muscles and thus becoming more intense.

These rollers can protrude further out from the track in an effort to massage places that are typically neglected by the average massage chair, including the upper neck and shoulder area.

4D Massage Rollers

For the greatest level of penetration and precise massage attention, 4D rollers provide users with a deep tissue massage. These 4D rollers can turn and hit different angles that the 3D rollers can’t. The intensity of the massage is relatively consistent between these two options.

When you’re thinking about these options, remember that many massage chairs can be adjusted using a remote to control the intensity of the massage, allowing you to choose how far out you want the roller heads to protrude. However, this feature won’t be able to make a 2D massage more intense than its capabilities, and the 3D and 4D massage will remain strong.

For a more in-depth look, check out this article.

Massage Tracks

s track massage chair

There are two massage track types- S-Track and L-Track. Plus, some newer massage chairs are starting to combine both of these tracks to create an even more full-body massage experience.

S-Track

The original track design is the S-Track. The S-Track follows the curvature of the spine and focuses on various areas of your back. The L-Track uses that same track design in combination with a longer track length to take your massage one step further.

L-Track

l track massage chair

While some S-Track designed chairs do reach further up your neck, what sets the L-Track apart is its ability to reach your glutes and hamstrings. The L-Track, named for the shape it makes inside the chair, reaches from your neck area down to your lower back and then under your glutes and thighs.

This feature can be great for someone who wants attention paid to their lower back and legs and is willing to pay a bit more for that features as the S-Track model chairs are typically less expensive than the majority of the L-Track chairs.

For more information visit the All About Tracks article.

Zero Gravity Recline

Almost all of the massage chairs on the market offer a recline feature. However, not all of them can recline into a zero gravity position. This position, introduced by NASA, is achieved when your legs are raised to a level above your heart. The purpose of this position is to alleviate some of the stress on your joints that gravity applies and rests your body weight on the back of the chair, deepening the massage.

A more relaxing, deeper, full-body massage is achieved through this optimal position. There are several massage chairs that recline into this position automatically when you choose a specific program.

Some chairs also have one-touch zero gravity features as well as two stages of zero gravity. There are even a few chairs that offer inversion therapy which raises your legs even higher for improved circulation that can be great for people with lower extremity swelling.

Why is a Zero Gravity Massage Chair Better Than a Traditional Chair?

zero gravity massage chair

As you can now likely guess, the zero gravity feature is one that makes a massage chair well worth the increased price tag. These chairs are able to recline you into a position that is not only great for a deeper massage, but the position can also help your spine and joints to decompress, alleviating some back pain and joint stiffness. The zero gravity position is also believed to be the position that puts the least amount of pressure on your lower back.

All of our massage chair brands offer at least one model that features the zero gravity position. Some of the best are the Osaki OS-4000T and Maxim, the Titan PRO Jupiter XL, the Luraco i7 PLUS and Legend PLUS, and the Dreamwave M.8 Series.

To check out all the chairs with zero gravity, click here. Take a deeper look at Zero Gravity.

Foot & Calf Massage

foot roller massage chair

Foot and calf massage has become a favorite of many users and is now quite often found in the medium to large massage chair. If you’re on your feet all day or work in a demanding job, a foot massage can make your evening that much better. Check out the massage chairs available here that offer a foot reflexology feature.

There are several chairs that offer advanced reflexology massage for the feet and several more that also offer an airbag calf massage. This treatment can work away aches and increase circulation to the lower extremities.

Many of the foot and calf massagers can also be adjusted for intensity and some offer an automatic leg rest adjustment feature. This way you can be sure that the massage placement and strength is exactly what you want it to be.

Aching feet are no way to end your night. Step into your chair and let it works its wonderful magic.

For more information on this feature, click here.

Heat

heat therapy massage chair

Heat and massage offer similar benefits, and when combined these two therapies can build off each other to provide an even better experience. They both work to improve blood flow and massage can help rid the body of built-up toxins. Together, the improved circulation works to release the toxins even better.

Additionally, massage and heat both work to improve muscle flexibility that can help reduce pain and limited mobility. Arthritis, deep tissue injuries, inflammation, and muscle stiffness can all be aided by a heated massage.

There are several massage chairs offered by our top name brands that provide heat therapy. The standard for massage chairs is lumbar heat, where the heating elements are situated in the lower back.

There are also a few massage chairs that have full-body heating elements and even heat blankets like in the Johnson Wellness J6800. Its blanket can lay behind you or be pulled forward to lay over your shoulders and chest.

Feeling toasty warm while the rollers work out your knots is a truly wonderful sensation. Learn more about the benefits of heat here.

Airbag Massage

An airbag compression massage often works the user’s extremities using a system built into the chair. This type of compression massage can help alleviate stiffness and increase blood circulation. The compression massage can also stimulate the lymphatic system to remove toxins from the body much like a traditional massage can.

You can typically adjust the intensity level of the air compression massage and can sometimes target them like the back rollers by using the manual controls. You can also find massage chairs that use the airbags to hold you in place for a stretch program or offer a hip squeeze.

This gentle squeezing technique is great for addressing larger areas like your entire arm or leg. It can also be adjusted to produce a firmer massage technique.

How Does Air Massage Differ From Other Massage Techniques?

airbag massage chair

Airbags provide a compression massage, as opposed to the kneading, rolling, or tapping motions of the rollers. While airbags can simulate these techniques by quickly inflating and deflating, rollers typically perform those actions.

When performing the massage, the airbags inflate around the targeted area, like your arm or hand, and compress it by squeezing down and then releasing. The intensity varies depending on how much the airbag is inflated.

Several of our chairs provide this feature, and it’s a great accompaniment to a massage chair’s roller capabilities. Check some out here.

Learn more about Airbag Compression Massage.

Body Scan Technology

body scanning massage chair

Body Scan Technology provides users with the most accurate, precise massage that’s personalized for your specific body size and shape. Body scans work by utilizing sensors and state of the art technology to register the size, shape, and curves of each user. This allows the chair to customize the massage to your needs and ensures the rollers are hitting all the correct points.

You can still adjust intensity and placement if you want to make any changes as well.

Body scan is a standard feature in most massage chairs released today. You’d be hard pressed to find a chair that doesn’t provide this feature.

To learn more about Body Scanning, click here.

Space Saving

space saving massage chair

Space saving technology is designed to shrink the amount of space you need to fully recline the massage chair. There are several models available that can recline fully in just a few inches. This can be perfect for when you have a smaller room and means you don’t have to stick your chair five feet from the wall.

Some massage chairs only require a few inches to recline while some will still need around a foot, so it will be important to look for chairs with the space-saving feature if your space is limited.

For more information about Space Saving, check out this article in the Learning Center.

Bluetooth & App Functionality

bluetooth massage chairs

As we move into the era of smart devices, many manufacturers are starting to make their chairs with Bluetooth and app functionality to improve user enjoyment. There are several massage chairs that offer built-in speakers and syncing technology that allows you to listen to your favorite music, audiobook, or podcast right from your chair.

With your phone or smart device paired to the chair, you can also enjoy a Sync Massage. This technique is typically found in chairs with Bluetooth technology, and it allows you to enjoy some relaxing tunes while you receive a massage that’s matched to the music’s beat.

In addition to this smart device-centric development is the addition of an app. The majority of modern massage chairs offer an Android or iPhone app that acts as another remote, often with more customization options and programs. You can simply download the apps to your phone, pair with your new chair, and you’re ready to go.

Learn more about Bluetooth Functionality and music.

Adjustable Intensity

adjustable intensity massage chairs

People like different massages and what’s more, people like different massages on different days. That’s why most chairs on the market today provide adjustable intensity, speed, position, and length of your massage. The goal is to provide as much customization as possible to keep each user happy with their experience.

Massage intensities also vary from chair to chair. There are the Osaki models that provide medium-strong to intense massages and the more compact chairs, such as the Synca CirC, that provide a more gentle massage experience.

Furthermore, intensity levels can change from brand to brand. The Osaki intense might be different than the Human Touch intense, and so on. When you can adjust the intensity you ensure that the massage you receive will be exactly what you want.

We’re also more than happy to answer any questions you might have about massage intensity and the brands since there are several out there.

Choosing the Right Chair for You

choosing the right massage chair

When you’re picking out your massage chair, you’ll need to consider all the above features and what purpose you want your chair to serve as well as a few more things to ensure you’re happy with your massage chair purchase.
 
What features from the above list are the most important to you? Make a list that you can keep handy when you’re comparing chairs. Also, what areas of your body need the most attention, and what types of massage do you enjoy? There are several techniques and programs available that can help with a variety of concerns. We’ll cover them below.

Massage Programs & Programmable Massage Chairs

Swedish Massage

massage techniques swedish massage

Swedish massage is one of the best-known types of massage. It’s great for those who don’t frequently get a massage and have a medium tolerance for pain. It’s all about longer massage strokes that warm the muscle to release tension and break up knots.
 
It also has several other health benefits, such as improved circulation, pain relief, and improved joint comfort. This is the easy-going massage you can enjoy at bedtime.
 
This type of massage is typically used in most massage chairs and is commonly used as the Sleep or Relax function. For example, the Luraco i7 PLUS uses it in the Night Massage Mode program that’s designed to enhance sleep.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a more intensive version of a Swedish massage. It targets deeper muscles and connective tissue and is especially effective at treating areas chronically tense or contracted muscles in areas like the neck, lower back, and shoulders.
 
While it does promote relaxation it’s not uncommon for these massages to be intense. The massage strokes work out knots deeper within the muscle tissue that are harder to access. It also focuses on chronic pain or muscle tension to provide improved relaxation once the massage is complete. It can be a lot to handle and is best for those with higher pain tolerance.
 
This intense type of massage is best replicated by 3 and 4D massage rollers. Some of the chairs that offer that are the Dreamwave models, the Luraco i7 PLUS and Legend PLUS, the Synca Kangra 4D, several of the new Osaki chairs, and the Human Touch Novo XT2.

Reflexology

reflexology massage massage techniques

Many massage chairs employ reflexology in the footrest which adds to your overall massage experience. Reflexology is a great way to improve relaxation and relieve tension in your feet, improving overall well-being. Who doesn’t love a good foot rub?
 
To go a bit more in-depth, reflexology is a massage style solely performed on the feet that is based on the idea that pressure delivered to specific areas of the foot can promote well-being in correlating areas of the body by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are our natural stress and pain relievers.
 
How good do your feet feel after a nice massage at the end of a long day? This feature can be waiting for you at the touch of a button.
 
When you’re looking for this feature, look for the chairs that have a footrest section. Our best sellers, like the Osaki OS-PRO Maxim, Dreamwave M.8 LE, Titan PRO Jupiter XL, and the Infinity Riage X3 all offer this feature. You can find the full list of chairs here.

Junetsu Massage

The Junetsu massage technique is a Panasonic massage chair exclusive and is a highlight of their Real Pro Ultra series. Junetsu is the Japanese word for “ultra-fine kneading” and consists of one-second circular, thumb-like motions and is used by professional massage therapists all over the world.

Junetsu quickly loosens up tight muscles, and the circular motion reverberates down through connecting muscles to invigorate you down to your bones.

Junetsu is the perfect massage style for the person who prefers kneading but wants a more localized massage. The quick motions help relieve stress fast and revitalize your muscles, so you’re prepared for the rest of your day.

The Real Pro Ultra chair has been discontinued, but it is likely that their newer chairs will also incorporate this technique.

Shiatsu Massage

shiatsu massage massage techniques

Shiatsu massage is sometimes described as the equivalent of acupressure. Shiatsu translates to “finger pressure” and employs stretching, pressure, and rotating to provide a whole body restoration effect which can reduce stress, muscle pain, and tight muscles.
 
The philosophy behind shiatsu is quite old and based on the idea that your life energy or ki (chi or qi) flows through the body through different energy channels. When you feel pain in a certain area, that energy channel is blocked. Shiatsu massage works to relieve those blocks and provide a relaxing, refreshing massage.
 
There are several of our massage chairs that provide Shiatsu, and a special model is the Dreamwave M8 series. The designers worked with a Shiatsu Master to develop the techniques used by the chair.

Tapping Massage

The Tapping technique is a great way to remove stiffness, promote circulation, and break up scar tissue. Sometimes referred to as Percussion massage, Tapping is a series of rapid strokes that stimulate muscles and connective tissue. It definitely earns the percussion moniker and can feel like you’re being drummed on.
 
Nearly every massage chair produced offers this technique and you’ll find it in all of our top sellers, which you can check out in the Best Chairs for 2018 article.

Kneading Massage

kneading massage massage techniques

Kneading massage is a great way to relieve tension and soreness by lifting and stretching muscles, and it promotes improved blood and lymph circulation. Kneading also helps bring vital nutrients to the spinal area and eliminate toxins from the muscle and nerve tissue.

Your massage chair can utilize kneading on your back in small circular motions on both sides of your spine to achieve these results, and this technique is present in nearly every massage chair.
 
Kneading is also the basis for the “Grasping” massage style that some Panasonic Massage Chairs have available, which combines kneading and 3D Massage roller technology to provide a massage that gets those hard-to-reach areas of the neck, upper shoulder, and certain muscles along the spine.
 
Again Kneading is a technique found in nearly every massage chair since its motions are easily replicated by the rollers. Several of today’s massage chairs also provide a combination Kneading and Tapping technique that you can choose in the manual mode options.

Vibration Massage

Vibration Massage is an old and effective method for removing soreness and improving circulation. Many massage chairs have vibration plates, typically in the seat, that deliver a vibration massage with adjustable intensity.
 
Most massage chairs that say they can sync your massage with your mp3 player do so through the vibration massage.
 
This can be a tricky feature to find, however, it is becoming more popular in the seat area of some massage chairs. One of our chairs that offer this feature is the Osaki OS-PRO Dreamer where it is part of the sync and hip massage programs.

Rolling Massage

rolling massage massage techniques

This style focuses on the muscles right next to the spine by applying constant pressure with the rollers, gliding up and down your back. This warms and loosens these typically very tight muscles and does wonders to prepare your back for a full massage.
 
It’s typically used to get you ready for the rest of the massage program if you put your chair on auto. Nearly all the massage chairs offer this as one of the manual modes. One such example is the Osaki OS-PRO Cyber.

Stretch Massage

Stretching is a great way to relieve knots in muscles as well as loosen muscles up to prepare for the rest of your day. Most massage chairs utilize their built-in airbag system to strategically hold you in place so that you can achieve a deep stretch.
 
This massage style can help relax your body and prepare you for a deeper massage or loosen up stiff muscles so that you feel better when you’re hard at work.
 
It’s even been known to crack your back!
 
Some of our top selling chairs with a stretch program include the Inada Sogno, the Osaki OS-4000T, the OS-PRO Maxim, the Dreamwave chairs, and the Infinity IT-8500.
 
If you’re really excited about this feature, and it really can be great, we have included whether or not a massage chair offers it in the technical specifications of each chair.

Compression/Squeeze Massage

compression massage massage techniques

A Compression or Squeeze massage is a great way to alleviate tension in your hips and thighs. Typically, the massage chair will inflate airbags within the hip area to squeeze different sections and relieve stress and joint pain. The squeeze massage can also be used in conjunction with the back rollers to make sure you get the most out of your massage.
 
This is also the massage you’ll get from the armrest and calf ottoman.
 
This is going to be the basis for the airbag massage that chairs offer. If you see airbags offered in the chair this is the type of massage you can count on receiving. You can see all the chairs with airbag massage here.

Affordability

When you’re buying anything, especially a high-ticket item like a massage chair, price is a big part of the picture. We get that, and we want you to know the real value of purchasing a massage chair versus getting a regular massage. Check out the facts below.

Massage Therapists vs. Massage Chair

On average, a massage costs about $1 per minute for an entry-level massage. Start looking at upscale spa locations, and the price goes up fast. There may be ways to get the price slightly cheaper through coupons and advertisements, but once you’re a committed customer, those sales tend to disappear.
 
You also need to consider that the first 5 to 10 minutes of your massage you’re just starting to relax, not fully embracing the massage until around 15 minutes. So, your hour massage has just turned into 45 minutes of relaxation. Plus, massage therapy is said to be best when you’re going several times a month.
 
This can create an expensive, highly time-consuming process. The complete opposite of relaxing.
 
Now, let's look at a massage chair. The price of a massage chair can vary quite broadly depending on what you want, but you can get a high-quality chair for about $4,000.
 
Let’s say you were going for a 90-minute massage every week for a year. You’d end up spending over $4600, and that’s on the $1 per minute estimation.
 
Instead, you could spend 15 minutes a day, every single day, in your massage chair. If you had an option to go to a spa for 15 minutes a day, even at $1 per minute, it would still be $105 a week and over $5400 for a year.
 
You can get an incredible massage chair for that money. A chair conveniently housed right in your home, so there’s no need to drive to your massage. You’d be getting your money's worth in just one year, and massage chairs last a long longer than that.

Accessibility

accessibility massage chair buying guide

With price covered it’s time to look at accessibility. Let’s travel back to the spa. You’ve found a popular place with great therapists. Everything starts off well with the first few appointments, but you have to reschedule one and can’t get the time slot you need.
 
Then, you find out they’re closed on Sundays or closed before you get off work. Now, it’s turning into a chore to even get an appointment. Finally, one day you wake up with a stiff neck and wonder if you can get in for a quick 20 to 30-minute session.
 
Unfortunately, this popular massage place doesn’t have anything available, but they can see you next Tuesday. This problem instantly disappears when you have a massage chair in your home. You can jump in quick for a 5-minute session before work or you can stay for a full 30 each day after work.
 
Finish a long day with a relaxing massage right in your living room. When you purchase a massage chair, you’ll have access to it whenever the urge strikes. The best part is you don’t have to try and fit it in with anyone else’s schedules.

Financing

synchrony financing massage chair buying guide

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re in the market to purchase a massage chair versus spending cash monthly on a massage appointment is the fact that with us you can finance your chair purchase.
 
We have three options available for those looking to finance their massage chair purchase- Synchrony, Snap, and PayPal Finance. These different financing options have different terms and lengths available at different rates, so there is plenty for you to choose from when you need assistance purchasing your chair.
 
You can choose from 0% financing options for 24, 36, or 48 from Synchrony, No Interest, No Payments from PayPal, and No Credit Needed financing from Snap.
 
We are more than happy to match any price you find across the web or in stores as well. We want to make sure that the price will fit your budget.
 
Give us a call, and we can work out the best deal for you. You can also find more about the options available here.

Health Benefits

health benefits massage chair buying guide

A massage goes beyond just a relaxing experience. There are multiple health benefits to receiving a massage regularly. And while many people assume it’s best for sports or fitness injuries, there is so much more to it than that.
 
Massage therapy can assist with anxiety, headaches, and stress-related pain. It’s been effective for more significant health issues too. In fact, studies have shown that massage can regulate blood pressure and speed up recovery after an injury. You won’t just get a relaxing experience, you’ll improve your quality of life.

Back Pain

back pain massage chair buying guide

Since massage is non-invasive and considered a very low risk for most people, it can be a great relief for back pain. In addition to physical benefits, certain types of massage have also been shown to assist psychologically through relaxation and the increased production of the body’s feel-good chemicals, endorphins.

This can be helpful for people with both one-time back problems caused by injuries and ongoing back pain. Learn more.

Chromotherapy

chromotherapy massage chair buying guide

Chromotherapy is also known as color therapy and is an alternative medicine method used to induce relaxation. In massage chairs, the color blue or a warm yellow like a candle’s glow is often the color used in the LED chromotherapy lights on the side of the chair. This feature is being added to newer models more and more.

What does it do?

Chromotherapy lights emit a soft hue into the room where your massage chair is set up in. When you turn your lights off, this hue creates a new relaxing ambiance that helps release your stress and produce those relaxing hormones. This addition is just one more way massage chairs are creating a holistic home massage experience.

It can be very relaxing to have the glowing color shine in a dim room while the chair tends to all your aches and pains.

Inversion Therapy

 inversion therapy massage chair buying guideQuite a few massage chairs offer the zero-gravity feature, and it has become quite popular. A new feature that’s being added to this already wonderful option is the inversion feature. While it may sound the same it’s actually quite different.

Inversion actually reclines the chair back to below horizontal so that the body itself is somewhat inverted, just like the name implies.

Invert means “to turn upside down,” and an inversion machine is designed to turn the user so that their head is down and their feet are up. This can help the spine to stretch or decompress with the intention that it will alleviate some back pain.

Many chiropractors and physical therapists use inversion to assist their clients, and many of those clients have spoken favorably about the practice.

Now, massage chairs are starting to incorporate this feature into their design to help their users experience an even greater level of spinal decompression.

When you sit in the chair, you’ll feel yourself recline back, like in zero gravity, and then continue to decline further until you’re past the 180-degree mark. You may feel as though you are going to slide off the chair back, but the airbags holding you in place will ensure you don’t.

These massage chairs with inversion can act as an inversion machine to some degree and provide a measure of relief with the accompanying spinal decompression.

It can also be a great feature for those with leg swelling, like those with diabetes.

Music Therapy

music therapy massage chair buying guide

There are many benefits to incorporating music during your massage. Several studies show that listening to soothing nature sounds and relaxing music increases your serotonin levels. Science Daily did a controlled study showing a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression after two weeks of music therapy.

You may be wondering how that pertains to massage chairs? It’s easily assumed that a massage will relax your body, but with the incorporation of music, you can now relax mentally as well.

Chairs equipped with a music system that plays throughout your massage are becoming increasingly popular. You can plug in your device or take advantage of the Bluetooth that some chairs offer and enjoy the benefits of music therapy during your massage.

There are several wonderful chairs that offer this feature, and you can find them right here.

What if I’m Pregnant?

what if i'm pregnant massage chair buying guide

If you’re using a massage chair or considering purchasing one, but you’re concerned about using it while you’re pregnant there’s good news. A massage chair can be great when you’re pregnant, and so long as you take the same precautions using it as you would when you’re looking to get a massage from a therapist, you should be just fine.

The main concern when receiving a massage when you’re pregnant is that the motions or stimulation of some pressure points can cause issues with the pregnancy or cause premature labor. This is why it’s suggested to wait until you’re about six months along before you get a massage, and possibly to avoid the ankle area as well because this is where some of those pressure points are located.

Some pregnant people may also wonder about using the vibration function in a chair, but this is no more jarring that going for a brisk walk or a light jog. As with the vibrations, no scientific evidence demonstrates that prenatal use of a massage chair can cause a miscarriage.

When speaking about any heating elements present in a massage chair these are unlikely to be harmful as they direct the heat to your back or possibly calves and feet. This is unlikely to raise your overall body temperature the way a hot tub or sauna would as is the concern for pregnant people.

As you can see using a massage chair when you’re pregnant isn’t likely to cause any issues, though if you’re concerned you can always wait till the pregnancy is fully established.

Benefits of Massage Chairs During Pregnancy

Back Pain Relief

One of the most common problems reported during pregnancy is back pain. A quality chair, with or without the heat function, can assist to alleviate some of this discomfort. Most pregnant people experience this in the lower back, and many find the rollers in the chair provide relief when they use the adjustability to position them correctly.

Mood Enhancement

The aches, pains, and overall feeling of discomfort associated with late-term pregnancy can put anyone in a bad mood. A few minutes in a massage chair can alleviate not only some of these aches and pains but can also improve your mood.

No Lotions

Pregnant people often develop a hyper-sensitive sense of smell, and unlike creams, oils, or lotions uses at a spa, using a chair doesn’t require any type of ointment. This can be favorable when you’re pregnant because certain smells may affect your stomach in a bad way. As someone who got nauseated from mouthwash, this is very appealing.

Strengthens Your Immune System

Some studies have shown that getting a massage can strengthen your immune system. Massage therapy stimulates your white blood cells and helps produce more lymphocytes, which assist to defend the body from viruses.

Massage chairs are a great way for pregnant people who love massages to get all the benefits of a therapeutic massage in the comfort of their own homes.

Anytime the aches, pains, or other symptoms associated with pregnancy become too much to bear, a few minutes relaxing in the comfort of your own home can make a world of difference. Learn more here.

What if I Have an Injury?

massage and injury massage chair buying guide

Many people use massage as a treatment when caring for a soft tissue injury. While skeletal injuries do actually benefit from massage, proper precaution and protocol must be applied if you are to improve the injury.

For any type of injury, it’s recommended you wait at least 48, sometimes up to 72, hours before engaging in any type of massage. Especially for acute injuries, such as a strain or sprain, adhere to the R.I.C.E. program of rest, ice, compression, and elevation first.

If swelling and pain persist after two full days, hold off on massage and go speak to a medical professional if you haven’t already.

If you have a skeletal injury, consult a masseuse or physical therapist about personal, indirect massage to encourage blood flow and further reduce swelling. Since these types of injuries differ significantly between instances and people, it’s recommended that you avoid using a massage chair on these areas and instead consult a professional to address your specific requirements.

For soft tissue injuries, once you have the approval of a professional to get a massage, just be sure to listen to your body and ease yourself into a routine that works for you. Many massage chairs feature air compression which uses targeted air cells to squeeze and release. This is often ideal since they don’t apply pinpoint pressure.

Once you’ve gotten used to this program, you can upgrade to the Swedish massage and test out how that feels. This can also encourage improved circulation so that your body can heal from your injury.

If you feel any pain when using a massage chair on or around your injured area, discontinue use and either try another massage method that avoids your injury or take a break entirely.

With all of these tips in mind, there are still certain types of injuries where you need to avoid massage completely. These include:

If you have any of these, you will need to consult with your physician to confirm whether any type of massage is suitable.

Massage Chair Brands

Now that you understand the basics of massage chairs, their features, and what they can do for you, let’s take a look at the brands we carry.

Osaki

osaki massage chairs buying guide

Osaki massage chairs offer a stylish, customized massage therapy experience right in the privacy and comfort of your own home. You have the ability to personalize your massage experience to ensure that it meets all your needs.

Osaki has a history of incorporating high-end features into sleek, affordable massage chairs. With a wide variety of chairs to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect solution to your aches, pains, and relaxation needs. Included in the purchase of any Osaki massage chair is Osaki's 3-year "Rock Solid" Limited Warranty.

Titan

titan massage chairs buying guide

Titan massage chairs feature a new style of massage focused on relaxation using spinal decompression. The majority of these massage recliners for back pain feature Titan's innovative L-track massage system which provides better support in the neck and back, especially in the lumbar area.

This allows the spine to more easily decompress for enhanced relaxation and allowing users to receive the maximum benefit from the massage.

While Titan massage chairs are made by the same people that brought you Osaki massage chairs, these massage recliners offer slightly different features and new technologies that you won't find in Osaki chairs.

One of these features is the max weight. Most massage chairs have a max user weight limit of about 285 lbs, however, Titan massage chairs are built to withstand a little more.

If you are looking for massage recliners for back pain that can support a 300 lbs person we recommend taking a look at the Titan TP-Pro Alpine massage chair. This is the only chair that we carry that can reliably handle users over 300 lbs.

Titan offers an industry standard 3-year limited warranty for all of their massage chairs, with options for an extended warranty.

Apex

apex massage chairs buying guide

From the same people that engineered Osaki and Titan chairs comes this new line-up of Apex massage chairs. These high tech massage chairs sport a range of features that are unique and innovative, that simply isn’t available on many other massage chairs, such as heating blankets and shoulder blade massage technology.

Our Apex high tech massage chairs are brand new and quickly becoming some of our best sellers.

Like most massage chairs we carry, Apex massage chairs include a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty that protects your purchase for 3 years after the date of delivery.

Infinity

infinity massage chairs buying guide

Infinity massage chairs made their mark by developing a line of chairs which focus on the benefits of inversion therapy. If you're searching for zero gravity massage chairs with inversion and heat therapy capabilities, you're sure to find what you’re looking for in the Infinity collection.

Most of the Infinity massage chairs are designed to help you save money while still providing you with a quality massage chair. Check one of the top sellers from the collection, the Infinity Escape, which improves upon traditional foot and back massage techniques.

Additionally, Infinity includes a 3-year limited manufacturer's warranty that covers different parts of your chair for the length of the warranty. During the first year, parts and labor are covered with in-home service at no cost to you. The last two years covers solely parts.

Human Touch

human touch massage chairs buying guide

For over 35 years Human Touch has been created truly incredible massage chairs. The objective of the development of their powerful, compact massage chairs is to achieve the ultimate massage benefits which employ similar techniques to what you would receive from a professional masseuse.

The massage chairs from Human Touch showcase a dedication to wellness solutions by focusing on innovative technology which enhances daily life and relaxation. Experience a rejuvenating massage in your own home by taking home a Human Touch massage chair!

Luraco

luraco massage chairs buying guide

Luraco massage chairs are the only massage chairs we carry that are designed, researched, and built in the United States. Luraco massage chairs bring together the latest technology in home massage with innovative healthcare and entertainment capabilities to craft massage chairs that remain a cut above the rest each year.

As the only medical massage chairs we carry, they can support users up to 6'7" who weigh up to 300 pounds. The Luraco iRobotic I7 PLUS offers an optional heart rate and blood pressure monitor where you can track vitals to improve its overall health benefits.

Luraco massage chairs are also the only massage chairs that have UL, FDA, and CE listing and designations, making them perfect for a commercial setting. They even come with their own commercial warranty.

Panasonic

panasonic massage chairs buying guide

Panasonic has been a leader in developing the latest innovations in massage replicating technology for the last 35 years. As the only collection of massage chairs endorsed by the ACA, you know there will be an excellent massage provided to you when you sit down in any of their affordable massage chairs.

Panasonic massage chairs have a large price range to allow anyone on any budget to be able to experience the luxury of a massage chair in the privacy of their own home.

Panasonic includes a 3-year limited manufacturer's warranty with the purchase of any of their affordable massage chairs. This warranty covers parts and labor for the first year, and parts and framework for the remaining two years of the warranty.

Right now, the Panasonic EP-MA73 comes with a FREE 5-year extended warranty upgrade that covers parts and labor with in-home service. This is a $239 value that we are giving you with your purchase of the EP-MA73. Take a look at the massage chair listing for more information.

Quickly compare the different Panasonic massage chairs with a simple comparison chart. This makes it much easier to see which chair has the features you are looking for without having to go through each product listing.

Kahuna

kahuna massage chairs buying guide

Kahuna massage chairs offer a unique set of high end features all bundled into a one-piece design. These high-end massage chairs do not require any set-up! Just take your Kahuna chairs out of the box, place them in the room of your choice and plug them in for instant relaxation.

Kahuna is unique among massage chair manufacturer's when it comes to their warranty. Kahuna offers a limited 10 year warranty where the first year parts and labor are covered at no additional cost to you, the next 3 years cover any parts necessary to repair your Kahuna chair, and the remainder of the warranty covers the framework only.

That's 10 years your high-end massage chair purchase is protected!

Inada

inada massage chairs buying guide

When making a life-enhancing investment in a modern massage chair, Inada massage chairs are the first you should check out. Inada has been creating world-class therapeutic massage chairs since 1962.

That year Nichimu Inada created the first automatic shiatsu massage chair. Modern massage chairs are a cultural health product in Japan and Inada takes great pride in their craftsmanship. Much of their technological development is done in their main headquarters in Osaka. The main factory for these modern massage chairs is located in Nawa, a traditional small town in the Tottori prefecture of Japan.

Inada is the only company that has earned the title "The World's Best Massage Chair®." Unequaled in therapeutic benefits and stress reduction, Inada massage chairs represent the perfect fusion of ancient shiatsu healing techniques and modern technology.

Inada massage chairs come in a variety of neutral colors that will allow them to blend seamlessly into your home and lifestyle. Many of the important features you will find available on every chair in the entire collection.

Whether you are buying the lowest priced chair or the highest, you are going to ensure that your relaxation will be achieved with your purchase.

Inada’s mission is to continuously be the leaders in the industry and contribute to society through “health”. With a perspective as of being a specialized manufacturer, they will continue to create products with a true value.

Buying a modern massage chair is going to be a decision that you will wish you made many years ago.

uKnead

uknead massage chairs buying guide

With over 30 years of experience uKnead has become a leading massage chair authority. The ever-evolving engineering design of uKnead massage chairs is focused on the evolution of massage chair robotics. Every uKnead massage chair is fine-tuned to cater specifically to modern consumers.

With a deep value on the importance of customer service, uKnead strives to provide transparency, efficiency and quality product education even after the sale is complete. Continuously improving design allows them to maximize practicality. uKnead is determined to make full body Shiatsu massage chairs a household staple.

Unboxing Made Easy by uKnead

Buying a massage chair is a big decision. Figuring out how to get it into position is an even bigger one. Considering that the majority of the chairs on the market are hovering around the 200 lbs. mark, and many older homes have doors smaller than 33 inches, installation could be a concern.

Some of these stresses can be alleviated by measuring your doors before you purchase a massage chair. Or trying to find out how many pieces the chair comes in.

Some are addressed by uKnead in the simplest way possible. Once you have decided on your massage chair and it is delivered to your home the process will remain just as easy.

The top of the carton is removed while the bottom part can be pulled away from the chair. A pillowed backrest cushion and seat cushion are then put into place. Once you have confirmed that there is enough space around the chair for movement and possibly placed an area rug underneath to protect the floor, you are ready to go. Plug your brand new chair in and prepare to feel relaxation and comfort that you have never felt before.

The purpose of a massage chair is to take the stress of life away, even just for a brief amount of time. Unpacking a brand new purchase is not going to take away stress, but most likely it will enhance it. This is another example of how uKnead is keeping the consumer in mind and trying to give you the best experience possible.

Dreamwave

dreamwave massage chairs buying guide

The Dreamwave massage chair line is always improving and is growing from the Dreamwave Classic. Innovations are being made across the brands, and we're sure to see so much from them in the future.

Dreamwave is all about comfort and luxury for everyone, making experiencing ultimate relaxation a possibility for every type of person.

The Dreamwave massage chair has received multiple awards. In 2009, it was awarded the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation Honors and was a 2009 American Society of Furniture Designers Pinnacle Award finalist.

Johnson Wellness

johnson massage chairs buying guide

Johnson Fitness & Wellness have been in the fitness industry for a very long time. While watching athletes using their equipment, they realized that the work doesn’t stop after the routine does. Johnson Wellness wanted to create an innovative massage chair that not only benefits athletes, but anyone who would need a massage.

Massage is beneficial for reducing back pain, encouraging muscle growth and recovery, and even boosting immunity. Johnson Wellness massage chairs focus on all of these aspects and many more.

You’ll find that a Johnson massage chair is loaded with features such as zero gravity, Bluetooth, and 4D massage technology. The list of features goes on and on for the ultimate relaxation experience.

While developing their innovative massage chairs, they wanted to focus on the outside as well as the mechanics. Johnson Wellness chairs feature sleek lines and highly durable materials that create a massage chair that’ll last for years. Refined engineering and design create a piece that’s not so modern it seems out of place and not so traditional it feels stuck in the past.

It’s a piece of tasteful, polished furniture you’ll be excited to show off.

Inner Balance Wellness

inner balance wellness massage chairs buying guide

When you’re looking for an advanced massage chair with enhanced features for robotic massage, gravity positions, and several heating options, look no further than Inner Balance Wellness.

The Inner Balance Wellness Jin chair is a fantastic option that can accommodate taller individuals, provides massaging rollers, and comes with nine pre-programmed massage settings.

Features

With shoulder airbags, a shoulder-head adjustment system, and shiatsu calf massage, the Inner Balance chairs are perfect for anyone who wants special attention paid to the calf muscles with adjustable programming that can be personalized to your unique body shape.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Inner Balance provides a 1-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor for the first year. The first year also includes in-home service with a qualified technician. For years two and three, the manufacturer covers parts. You can also look into purchasing an Extended Warranty from us.

Synca

synca massage chairs buying guide

When you’re looking for an in-home setup that massages your whole body, look no further than the Synca Massage Chairs. With tapping and kneading functions, as well as several customizable options, these chairs can help you to relax and loosen up the muscle that’s causing so many of your aches and pains.

No one should suffer backaches and foot pain when there’s something you can do for yourself that will earn its cost each and every day. Come home to your own massage chair and you could be sleeping easier, waking more rested, and be ready to face whatever the day holds.

Features

Designed to be ergonomically correct, Synca massage chairs use detection technology to perform a complete body scan that allows them to map your curves and create a personalized massage each time.

The unique massage techniques allow these chairs to help you to feel secure while you receive just the right amount of pressure on your neck down to the muscles near the base of your spine.

In addition, many of the chairs feature heat that delivers radiating warmth to your lumbar spine and back. Many of us are on our feet all day long or sit in uncomfortable office chairs, this feature soothes an aching back and helps release tension built up over the course of our workday.

The Synca line of products can also feature alternating hip movements which provide the pressure you want on each hip to help align you.

Also, if you’re concerned about the amount of available space you have in your home, these compact models can be a perfect fit.

Positive Posture

positive posture massage chairs buying guide

Positive Posture believes furnishings should be more than just stylish. When carefully created at the meeting point of form and function, chairs and furniture can have a deep impact on a person’s health and wellness.

Created in the “Happiest City in America”

From their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, this company is driven to develop inspired ideas that “elevate your space and enhance the way you work, relax and sleep every day.”

Top Minds in Ergonomic Design

Positive Posture works with award-winning ergonomists, designers, and wellness experts from across the globe to craft top-notch, refined furnishings that combine comfort science and rejuvenation in the best ways possible.

Luxury. Therapy.

Every recliner, chair, and sleep system made by this company is the product of years of research, testing, and refinement. They use the finest materials made with high standards which are created to provide a lifetime of style and incredible comfort.

Editor’s Choice

When You Want Intense

intense massage chair buying guide

When you’re looking at massage chairs that offer an intense, deep tissue-style massage, we have so much to offer. You’ll be safe with choosing any chair that provides 3D or 4D technology, and some of our best sellers are the Osaki OS-4000T and Maxim, the Luraco i7 PLUS and Legend PLUS, and the Titan PRO Jupiter XL.

The Osakis are incredible massage chairs and offer the deep impact you want with a host of other incredible features. Both are comparable, but the Maxim features a combination S/L-Track, Space Saving Technology, and Bluetooth.

The Luraco i7 PLUS and Legend PLUS are also fantastic options that Luraco itself is known for their incredible L-Track massage chairs. These chairs are also very similar but the Legend PLUS features 3D L-Track technology with Bluetooth and noise reduction. It’s also best for taller users. The i7 PLUS suits medium to shorter individuals and also has Bluetooth and 3D massage but focuses on adjustable intensity in several areas that the Legend doesn’t.

The PRO Jupiter XL provides 3D & L-Track Massage, Foot Rollers, is designed for people up to 6'6", offers Space Saving Technology, and includes 2-Stage Zero Gravity.

When You Want Gentle

Human Touch

gentle massage chair buying guide

Not everyone is looking for an intense, 4D massage. Some of us, especially smaller individuals, are looking for a massage chair that provides a gentle, relaxing massage that’s more soothing than deep tissue. For this, there are several chairs that do the trick.

When you truly want the most gentle massage you can get, the Human Touch line of massage chairs are a great option. The Volito and Gravis models offer gentle massage and zero gravity seating. They each have a gentle airbag or roller massage in the back portion of the chair, and some offer jade stone heat. The Gravis is rated as Gentle by Human Touch.

These chairs are an editor favorite and provide a gentle massage concentrated on the back. The Volito also has a calf massage feature with adjustable intensity which can also be used on the feet if you simply change positions. The Volito is rated as Intense by Human Touch but users familiar with massage chairs will likely find it much more gentle than a traditional chair.

The ZeroG 5.0 massage chair from Human Touch is another great option. It is a bit more intense and carries the massage down through the seat and also has a foot and calf massage feature. You can also flip the ottoman around and stow away the foot massager. This chair is ranked by Human Touch as Moderate Intensity.

Compact & Adjustable

When you’re looking for a compact chair that offers a gentle to moderate massage there are also several models available, including the Kahuna HANI, the Synca CirC, the Positive Posture Sol, and the uKnead Bella.

These smaller chairs are perfect when you’re looking for an effective massage that doesn’t reach into the 3D and 4D territory. Plus, they’re incredibly stylish. In fact, let’s take a closer look at these models.

When You Want Style

gravis recliner massage chair buying guide

Starting with the Kahuna HANI is very similar. Available in a red/black combo and a brown/black combo, this chair is compact and provides a very customizable massage that you can tone way down or make more intense. The ergonomic design is very modern, and the chair provides a special pelvic correction massage that helps improve pelvic alignment.

Another stylish, compact model is the Synca CirC. Its sweeping design and small stature hide a hardworking mechanism that provides an L-Track massage with heat therapy and chromotherapy. Its track can reach all the way down to your glutes but doesn’t put so much pressure on your spine that it becomes uncomfortable.

The Positive Posture Sol is another great option that also includes a calf massage feature. This compact chair offers close to the floor seating, an L-Track massage, zero gravity, and several massage options for a personalized experience. It’s a great chair when you’re looking for special attention in your hips, glutes, low back, and shoulders.

Additionally, the zero gravity recliners from Human Touch, like the Gravis, are very stylish and comfortable. While they don't offer all the same features as a traditional massage chair they provide zero gravity and some provide heat therapy and air massage.

Lastly, the uKnead Bella is a bit larger of a chair without getting too bulky. Lovingly called a massage lounger, the Bella was designed for those who enjoy the relaxation a massage chair can provide but have difficulty incorporating a traditional chair into their homes, whether that be because of style or size. This chair offers several recline positions, including one perfect for napping, and features a hideaway foot massager.

The Right Fit

The first thing you'll likely look at when you’re purchasing a massage chair is the price. However, you should really check out how the chair will fit your body shape first.
 
If a chair’s max height limit is 6’ and you’re 6’4”, that won’t work for you. If you have a rather small build, and the chair is designed for a larger person, that also won’t fit your needs.
 
Each chair has a different height and weight target, and you’ll need to ensure whatever massage chair you decide to purchase will suit your shape and size to ensure you get the most out of it. If you’re still concerned about fitting properly in a chair, we are more than happy to talk with you directly, so don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also check out the Big & Tall article that talks about this in depth.

Saving Space

space saving massage chairs osaki admiral

If you’ve decided on a chair and you’re ready to get it home, you’ve probably thought of the perfect place to put it. Your space may be smaller or you might simply want to put the chair as close to the wall as possible, but what if that means you can’t fully recline the chair? That’s not what you want.

The amount of space a chair needs behind it to recline varies greatly, and some chairs will need a significant gap between it and a wall. This issue is being addressed more and more in recent massage chair developments, and some manufacturers have worked hard to create a space saving design that only requires a few inches. In our filtering options, you can look at chairs that specifically offer this space saving feature, and you can read more about this feature here.

Cleaning & Caring for Your Massage Chair

In general, products with leather or fabric upholstery will need to be cleaned and maintained. You’ll need to treat the leather and/or use gentle cleaners to remove dirt or stains. Depending on the fabric your chair is made from you’ll need to use different products to help keep it in top condition.

When cleaning, pay the majority of your attention to the places that come in contact with your body the most. These typically include areas like the arms, neck, and head. You may also want to deep clean the seat every now and then since sweat and the like can make it onto the chair through your clothing.

Products made from natural materials like leather may also need regular oiling to keep them soft and supple in order to prevent cracking. There are special leather oils available that you can use, and there are even some that contain pleasant perfumes if you want to up the relaxation you’ll get from your chair.

When your chair is made from natural fabrics like leather be sure to clean off the surface first, otherwise when you oil it, you’ll actually be causing the dirt and hair to stick to the surface. You can find more tips and tricks in our Massage Chair Maintenance Guide.

Massage Chair Warranties

The warranty of a massage chair usually covers parts and labor, but the length of a warranty tends to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Many warranties can be extended up to five years, however, they may incur an additional cost while sometimes it can be included for free.

Make sure to call and inquire about an Extended Warranty option if you’re looking to protect your chair. We offer this and financing so that you can get your own piece of luxury without breaking the bank.

Welcome to Relaxation!

relaxation massage chair buying guide

We hope that you’re now completely comfortable with your decision to purchase a new massage chair. If there is anything you’re still concerned about, please give us a call.

We would love to help you learn which massage chair is right for you and make your purchase as simple and stress-free as possible.

Before you go to find your chair…