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Massage Chair Buying Guide

Massage Chair Buying Guide

At we understand the difficulties of buying a high priced item online. Questions about the quality, what type of return will I get on my investment, and why should I buy online instead of the store, are all questions encountered during the buying process. So we decided to brainstorm on what we’ve experienced with our shoppers and offer a massage chair buying guide explaining these thoughts. Why buy a massage chair? What to look for? What type of security you receive from the Manufacturer’s Warranty? We take a close look at everything.


If you go to a massage therapist regularly, or have just had a massage a few times, you know that the cost to have a massage isn’t cheap. Usually you'll spend somewhere around $50-120 for an hour massage, and massage therapy is most beneficial when done multiple times per week.

Let's just say that you have one massage a week every week and the cost is $75 per session. At the end of the year, you will have spent $3600. That is $3600 dollars that you don't get back. Now, if you invest that into your massage chair, your investment will have paid off in one year and you can enjoy unlimited massages per year for multiple people and never pay a massage therapist again. Purchasing a massage chair if more affordable and will give relaxing massage for years to come.


If you are in need a massage, what are the odds that your massage therapist is available right when you need them before you head to work? Or say you just came home from a long day of chasing the kids and chauffeuring to and fro, and you need some relaxation time when they’re in bed. Do you think you’ll find a spa open at 9 pm?

Now, imagine waking up with your neck feeling a mess and rolling out of bed and into your massage chair. Imagine the tension and pain going away and getting you ready for your day all before you have even changed out of your pajamas. Or think about coming home from your day and falling into your massage chair to soothe your sore feet without having to schedule an appointment, find a sitter for the kids, or run to your appointment to be there before closing time. With a massage chair in your home, you can enjoy a massage when you need it most and it is hard to put a price on that type of accessibility.


Massage therapy goes far beyond the pleasure and relaxation one feels during and after the massage. You may also be wondering if there are any actual and proven health benefits of massage. Studies have found that massage relieves stress, helps you manage depression and anxiety, relieves pain and stiffness, helps to regulate blood pressure, speeds recovery from injury, boosts your immunity, detoxifies your body, and also increases circulation. Massage therapy is even used in cancer treatment to stimulate the lymphatic system, eliminate toxins, and to help with nausea and fatigue. You’ll be improving the quality of your life and saving money on health related expenses while you relax and enjoy your massage.

What Features To Look For?

Massage chairs are pretty complex in their features and it can become confusing deciphering the massage chair “lingo”. We’ll break down the most important things to look for so you can find your perfect massage chair with ease. If you want to know more about each features, make sure to check out the Massage Chair Glossary. Remember that these are the features that we consider to make the largest difference in your massage. There are many other features, but not all deliver substantial benefits.

Massage Techniques

There are numerous massage techniques used to achieve relaxation, pain relief, and detoxification. From Deep Tissue to Shiatsu, make sure you know the type of massage that you like and that the chair you purchase offers that option. Learn more about the different massage techniques and their benefits.

Massage Intensity

The intensity of the massage will vary from brand to brand and most massage chairs have various settings so that you can customize the pressure and intensity of the massage. When looking at massage chairs, the strength or intensity of the massage is generally correlated to the number of motors the chair has. This means that the more motors there are, the more power and the more intense the massage will be. More power is usually better, as you can always soften the intensity of the massage with padding, but adding power to the chair is impossible.

Does the Massage Chair Fit Me?

Most massage chairs are made to fit all body types and sizes. However, if you are taller, shorter, wider or thinner than average, you will want to take this into consideration before purchasing your chair. If a massage chair has a height or weight limitations, we will note it in the massage chairs specifications. Massage chairs will also vary by with width to fit various body types as well. If you are larger or smaller than average, make sure to check out our Massage Chair Reviews as we go more in depth.

Massage Chair Material

Most massage chairs are covered in leather or synthetic leather. Though real leather seems like the best choice and is recommended for other home furnishings, synthetic leather is made to handle the substantial amount of heat created from all of the massage chairs moving parts and from the heating pads (if the chair has heat). Real leather also requires more maintenance as it is prone to cracking or fading if it is not properly cared for.


Many massage chairs include heat to the massage to help loosen the back muscles increasing the benefits of the massage. Heat also eases aches and pains and increases circulation on contact.

Massage Roller Stroke

The length of the massage stroke is very important to the feeling and effectiveness of your massage. The longer the massage stroke, the more area of your back can be massaged, and the closer your massage feels to your massage therapist. Many Mid to Low end massage chairs typically have a shorter massage stroke which generally does not reach your neck. Higher end massage chairs have a massage stroke closer to 30 inches and even more which is capable of massaging your neck, lower back, and everything in between.

Massage Programs

Many massage chairs come with pre-programmed cycles combining various massage types making it quick and easy to start your massage session. Most chairs have a timer so that you’re able to press a button for a certain time increment and relax not worrying about the time. Higher end chairs will allow you to save programs to your favorites and some will even save customized massage programs for you. Some of the more expensive chairs also have mapping technology, which determines your stiff, tense areas, and customizes the program to give longer duration and more frequent massage or more pressure right where you need it.

Air Compression Massage

Air bags are pockets that fill with air to add pressure to certain areas of the body, squeezing and releasing to increase circulation and again add a more humanistic feeling to your massage. The air bags are usually located in the chair seat, the ottoman, the chair backrest, and in some cases, the headrest and armrests. Some of the more technologically advanced chairs are capable of mechanical massage and air pressure massage simultaneously, improving your massage experience but also adding to the price of the chair.

Massage Rollers

It is important to look at how many massage rollers a massage chair has as this will make a huge difference in how the massage feels. Most massage chairs have 2 to 4 massage rollers, some have more but these are often stationary rollers. Four rollers will give a very lifelike massage and generally offers a more varied massage with the ability to combine rolling, kneading, and tapping massage techniques. Another great roller feature is the “grasp and knead” which acts like the human thumb and fingers massaging the neck and shoulders relieving tension from the most commonly tight and inflamed area of the body.


We have found that the recline or degree that the massage chair tilts back is a major factor when choosing a massage chair. The recline of the massage varies and some massage chairs offer a Zero Gravity option where the chair places the body in a position of complete weightlessness, taking all pressure off of the spine, increasing relaxation and massage effectiveness. Some chairs recline to 175 degrees, lying the body almost flat, thus being the largest degree of recline. Some massage chairs have 2 or more recline settings allowing you to choose your degree of recline and some have options to move the ottoman independently as well. We recommend looking for chairs that are able to recline to 170 degrees for maximum relaxation and optimum massage experience.

Body Scan Technology

People are built differently and body scan technology detects your position of your body in the massage chair. The shape of your spine as well as the areas of tension are detected and the massage chair positions its rollers accordingly to customize the massage based on this feedback.

Manufacturer Warranty

The Warranty that is offered by a manufacturer is a good indicator of the quality of the massage chair. All massage chairs will require maintenance at some point and most manufacturers know that this will most likely not occur within the first year. Some of the best massage chairs have coverage for up to 3 years. We also provide Extended Warranties to add protection to your investment.

A Few Things To Remember

  • Buying from is always more affordable than buying in store. We are a factory direct distributor and do not have the expense of a brick and mortar location, allowing us to pass on the savings to you.
  • Please double check the dimensions of your massage chair. Make sure that it will fit through your door and comfortably within the room.
  • Do try out the massage chairs in the stores. Why not test the massage chair before you purchase and get the savings by ordering from us.
  • All of our prices include free standard shipping, delivery, and sales tax*.

Not sure about something, please feel free to call us anytime. Our Massage Chair Experts are waiting to assist you. 888.360.9996