massage chair

9 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Massage Chair

Are you in doubt about what kind of massage chair to purchase? The following pages outline and discuss nine things you should consider before deciding on a particular chair. It has everything you need to know, including the best reseller you can procure it from.

You will get to know the vital information from this guide that will make your decision to purchase this massage equipment simple. Furthermore, you will eventually be able to make a wise investment worth the value of your money. You will say goodbye to back pains and discomfort for many years.

Things You Should Know Before You Even Consider Buying a Massage Chair

1. What Features Should You Consider?

Traditional physical therapy has changed over the years. The introduction of the massage recliner chair quickly became a great replacement. Most folks consider it a source of relief from many types of pain, including neck, back, leg, and shoulder pain. These chairs are also great at relieving stress and headaches.

These therapeutic chairs have been proven to work magic on the conditions mentioned. The whole point of buying a massage chair is that it stimulates the same effects a massage therapist uses to make your body alive and healthy. It incorporates some techniques to relieve you of the pain. However, most people buying robotic therapeutic chairs aren’t necessarily experiencing some pain; others purchase them only for relaxation as they listen to music or read. That’s great too!

Whether you’re buying a therapeutic chair to relax or deal with chronic pains such as back pains or sciatica, you should at least consider the following settings:

  • Kneading
  • Percussion/Tapping
  • Rolling
  • Zero Gravity Capacity
  • Stretch Programs
  • Airbag System
  • L-Track and S-Track Roller Systems
  • Foot Rollers
  • Body Scan
  • Heated Pads
  • Full Body Massage
  • Method of Recline
  • Motor and Vibration

Let’s dig in…


Some know kneading as “Shiatsu.”  Kneading therapy is an effective and efficient stress relief apart from giving your tired muscles a relaxed feeling. Kneading works the same way hands function by rubbing your back. The technique promotes deeper lymph and blood circulation and brings vital nutrients to the spinal area.

As a result, toxins are eliminated from the muscles and the nerve tissue. Therapeutic chairs utilize kneading on your back in small circular movements on both sides of your spine.


If you’ve perhaps seen on TV or in movies a licensed massage therapist doing “karate chops” tapping on someone’s back, then you know what percussion is. It involves a series of rapid taps that stimulate the connective tissue and the muscles.

These taps are a great way to counter stiffness, break up scar tissues and improve blood circulation, leaving your body feeling incredibly alive. If you regularly do intense workouts, a tapping massage will work wonders.


If you visit some therapy clinics, you will find that they have a $2,800 table called a roller table. It isn’t a table but rollers or wheels that move up and down the sides of your spine. Its therapeutic effect gently moves your spine while at the same time stretching it and the surrounding muscles. The majority of the robotic chairs are equipped with standard rolling actions.

After sitting on one of the chairs and feeling it adjust your spine back into position, you will understand why many people prefer them.

Zero Gravity Capacity

If you want to achieve or have your body fully relaxed, it is necessary to assume the “Neutral Body Posture.” This body posture involves a reclined position that elevates the feet above the heart. The position allows the body to experience less pressure on the spine because force is distributed evenly across the body.

It reduces muscle tension and increases blood circulation and blood oxygen levels, and with the increased lung capacity, less stress is exerted on the heart.

Not all chairs have zero gravity capacity. If taking compression pressure off your spine is what you seek as part of your relaxation and stress relief, you should keep this in mind before purchasing a particular chair.

Stretch Programs

Nowadays, most chairs come with many automatic features. One of them is the stretch program. In a stretch program, the chair reclines to about 170 degrees, almost horizontal, allowing the ottoman to come up to a horizontal position. The airbags then inflate around the calves, holding them tightly.

The ottoman then goes down, leading to a traction effect on your whole body as the rollers roll up and down your body. This is a feature loved by many. It is worth considering.

Airbag System

The airbag system is an optional feature for some people. However, this attached ottoman feature is ideal for administering foot, arm, and calf massage. If part of your day involves lots of walking, this is an addition you should consider. Some chair models also have airbags ideal for massaging the shoulders.

The seat moves in a side-to-side motion, working on your slumping posture and rubbing your head.

L-Track and S-Track Roller Systems

The L-track massage system refers to an innovation in robotic massage rollers that provide the longest reach in a therapeutic chair. They are also referred to as extended roller tracks. L-track extends the reach of the massage rollers from one’s neck to the buttocks.

This option is ideal for those looking to benefit from gluten and hamstrings massage, especially people suffering from lower back pains, sacroiliac pain, and so on.

However, don’t be fooled. Some chairs advertised as having L-track systems only guarantee massage strokes that extend to the upper glutes. Consider asking about the L-track roller reach from inches from the seller.

The S-track system, on the other hand, has rollers that move up and down, following the curvature of the spine from the cervical to the lumbar region.

Foot Rollers

Foot rollers are similar to the L-track and S-track rollers, only that the focus is on the feet. Based on the ancient healing practice of foot massage, foot rollers work on the reflex points on the feet, which are believed to correspond to some organs and glands of the body. Therapeutic chairs with foot rollers apply pressure to the foot area, leaving the user more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Unlike airbags, foot rollers efficiently stimulate the tsubo points in the feet. They push into the feet and spin back and forth during a massage.

Body Scan

Some advanced therapeutic chairs offer body scanning. These chairs can customize their massage programs to specific body shapes. For example, after scanning, they adjust the massage rollers and airbags to fit the shape of your spine and other body parts. This ensures optimal results regardless of your size and stature.

While body scanning technology can benefit anyone, the feature is particularly crucial for people whose body types are below or above average. If you are tall or short, a chair with the scanning feature will benefit you.

Heated Pads

People with sensitive lower back pains should purchase a therapeutic chair that offers gentle background warmth. These chairs come with pads that gently heat and ease tension and pain. Others focus on the neck and the shoulder region.

If you are motivated to own a therapeutic chair that relaxes the muscles and relieves body discomfort, choosing one with inbuilt heat pads can be a good thing to consider.

Full Body Massage

Back massage can be achieved even by the most basic chairs; however, for a full-on massage experience, you should opt for a chair that can perform a full-body massage. These chairs target all the muscle groups all over the body, not just the back. Typically, some quality chairs include a leg rest that relaxes and removes discomfort from the legs. Others have armrests for forelimb massage.

Method of Recline

Some sellers offer chairs in two reclining modes, mechanical and manual. Power recliners are adjusted or controlled using buttons. They are easy to use and require no exertion of physical strength to operate. Unlike the conventional types, they are ideal for the elderly and incorporate more settings and positions. Automatic chairs also experience less wear and tear, giving them a long life.

Manual recliners are a better choice if you are low on budget and want to buy a piece with a, few expensive components. These therapeutic chairs are light and are operated using a lever pulled by hand. They require less effort during repair and can be shifted with ease, unlike the bulky automatic chairs.

Motor and Vibration

Chairs with increased massage features have elevated stress placed on their motors. You should consider the quality of the chair’s motor as it can significantly affect its performance and durability. Some chairs only have one motor, which performs all functions, while others come with several motors tailored to perform specific functions.

Vibration is another feature to consider in a therapeutic chair, especially for gluten and hamstring massage. The simplest chairs have small weighted wheels or gears to vibrate the seat or other surfaces for efficient therapy. A simple vibrating chair is a good choice if low on cash.

Other chairs incorporate additional characteristics such as head massages, music systems, USB ports and a myriad of other features. How important they depend entirely on you. You should keep in mind that these additional features often come at a price if your pocket allows it, well and good.

2. How Does it Fit Your Body?

What you see isn’t what you get so that it would seem, while shopping for some chairs for massage purposes. Sometimes in the pictorial or flyer, the specifications, the features, and even the model looks impeccable. It is everything you need. The price even fits right within your budget.

However, when you place the order for the perfect product you saw and it is shipped to you, you assemble everything in place and sit on it only to realize it isn’t the right size for your body. This is very common, especially with products ordered online.

To be on the safe side, here are some things to consider for the perfect size of a chair.

a) Body Shape

The shape of your body is also known as girth. Different people have varied body sizes and shapes. Considering how contoured your body is, only a particular type of chair will give you the desired results. It might be easy to fit within the height or weight restrictions, but regarding the girth of your body, what you thought was a perfect match turns out to be the wrong size.

Considering the girth, pay attention to shoulder and hip airbags. For instance, if you have broad shoulders, a chair with shoulder airbags may not be a perfect choice. The airbags are equipped with a hard plastic that doesn’t easily allow you to fit in the chair. As a result, if your body doesn’t fit in them, that is, if your upper torso doesn’t fit between the shoulder airbag, purchasing the chair won’t help you much.

Similarly, if your hip area is considerably large, women particularly, the shape will not fit well in chairs equipped with hip airbags. Much of the width of the chair is occupied by the feature. Consider these two things in your search for the best chair that fits you well.

b) Weight

Similar to height, some chair only functions as long as the optimum body weight is maintained. You will hardly find a chair with a minimum recommended weight, only a maximum. The weight limit for the majority of chairs on the market is somewhere between 265 and 285 pounds. Few chairs support up to 350lbs. Do not buy a chair before checking the weight limit; there is always a reason.

Exceeding the weight limit of a robotic chair may break its hardware. Too much weight exerted on the chair put lots of strain on the components, leading to a malfunction. Did you know that if the workload is too much, the motor may eventually break? Similarly, the frame structure of the chair may be altered. Too much weight on a chair means a shorter lifespan.

Find a chair that fits exactly how heavy you are if you want long life and better performance.

c) Height

Every chair sold comes with a specific height and scale limit. Ensure that you are familiar with the two parameters. Some chairs do not accommodate people over 6 feet in height. Others also come with specifications not ideal for shorter frames. Compare the various model sizes to get a better fit.

Confirm the height recommendations before buying the product. Sometimes, however, some people, even with the wrong dimensions of the chair, find ways to get it working. Some of the problems most encounters include the head being too high up for the neck to be massaged or that the legs are perhaps too long for them to get a comfortable sitting position during a massage.

d) Torso and the Legs

Like the first three considerations, another factor of great importance is the length of your legs and the torso. Why are the two worth considering? Because the chair’s structure often comes with ottomans that do not stretch too far. Short people are lucky. They fit perfectly in chairs that accompany a restricted extension. If your overall body height fits within all the parameters of the chair but your legs are longer, you will get a funny feeling that your legs are cramped.

Perfect weight and height aren’t sufficient if your proportions are different. This doesn’t seem like much of consideration, but time and again, it is a factor that needs to be addressed for a more optimal user experience.

Before buying the chair, it will do you good to sit on it and determine if the specifications are up to par with your body. The restrictions on some of the parameters influence the choice of a chair you are looking for. Insist on trying it out in the manufacturer’s showroom to get a feeling of what your experience will be like.

3. How Much Does it Cost?

Sometimes the ideal chair you seek for all your massage needs is expensive. Even the cheapest chair, one you thought was a low-end product on the market, costs hundreds of dollars. A good chair is an investment. You will need to save up some extra cash if you’re looking into buying a therapeutic chair that you can count on. Depending on the specific features you want, the price range is between $1,000 and $6,000. Typically, you can get a chair with everything you need for anything between $2,000 and $3,000.

Usually, more features mean extra cash. Bear this in mind if you want a real or a handcrafted leather chair with a music system, headphones, or electronic ports such as a USB port.

4. Does the Product Have a Money Back Guarantee?

When buying an expensive product online, be aware of the risks and always look for a money-back guarantee. You should be sceptical of sellers who do not offer this deal. They should at least offer a 30-day money-back guarantee unconditionally. What if the chair you bought isn’t what you thought it was? What if it messes up your decor? What if you decide you don’t want it after a few uses?

This again comes back to the customer service. You will feel good if the manufacturer of the chair you bought stands by you and the product itself. Some companies even issue a 60 – 90 day money-back guarantee!

Essentially, the standard policy for almost all sellers, retailers or distributors is that you are responsible for all the shipping and freight costs if you order and then, later on, decide you don’t want the therapeutic chair. If you thought shipping the chair was cheap, think again. It costs anywhere from $150 to $400 or possibly more!

Don’t rush! Before ordering, ensure that the seller has a comprehensive and strong money-back guarantee. Read the return policy thoroughly and make sure there are no hidden costs!

Some sellers offer free return shipping. It sounds sweet, but you may still have to pay for something like the original shipping cost or a restocking fee. Contact the company if the return policy isn’t crystal clear for you. Understand everything before spending your hard-earned money!

5. How Reputable is the Seller?

Not all online companies out there selling therapeutic chairs are genuine. Most of them aim not to satisfy your needs but to make quick cash. Frankly, most of them aren’t companies but a bunch of intermediaries selling products that mimic the real models. They guarantee no actual value and do not operate their websites genuinely, for that matter.

Robotic therapeutic chairs are expensive equipment, so you should make sure that the manufacturer you choose to source it from has testimonials and reviews aplenty. The customer service and support should have an exceptional reputation. Pick a company that has all your interests as a priority. It is highly recommended that you insist on trying out the product in a showroom or so before buying it. This gesture shows how committed they are to satisfying your needs and establishing credibility.

Don’t read reviews from only one site; search the manufacturer’s product on multiple websites and read all the testimonials. Sourcing what people say from only one place is risky as they could be biased. You might miss vital information that fully defines the product’s reputation or the manufacturer themselves.

6. Should You Shop for Chinese, Japanese, or American Chairs?

Many people consider American-made therapeutic chairs to be of the best quality. Japanese chairs give American therapeutic chairs a run for their money! It is a common fact that Japan makes the best quality robotic chairs. After all, it is home to the first-ever produced chairs for a massage where they were invented and have been in production for over five decades. The production of the chairs began in China not so long ago as a result of lower costs of production.

Over the years, nothing has come close to beating the Japanese and American therapeutic chairs. They top the quality list and are second to none. Luraco, the American brand, and Inada and Panasonic, the Japanese brands, have a negligible failure rate of 1 per cent or less on their chairs and will guarantee you a life of fifteen years or more. Chinese chairs, on the other hand, have the highest failure rate, which stands at 2 to 5 per cent and a durability of up to ten years.

The quality of Chinese therapeutic chairs has substantially improved over the years, and since most manufacturing is done in China, their skills in design, engineering, and innovation continue to improve.

Those on a tight budget and who want an effective massage robotic chair should consider buying Chinese. These chairs deliver practical results at a reasonable price. One great thing about these Chinese chairs is that they include features like zero gravity, music systems, mechanical rollers, and L-tracks.

Whichever the case, you should know your shopper to determine or establish an equilibrium between quality, cost and value.

7. How Big is the Chair?

Therapeutic chairs, with the many additional features engineered into them, are consistently growing larger. Large body frames, airbags, which are housed in armrests, massive backs, and large and powerful motors with other electronic components all contribute to lots of space consumption. Factor this in before ordering your therapeutic chair.

Moreover, even with the right side of the chair, you will be disadvantaged if you don’t have enough space from the wall for installation. Remember, the chair needs to be reclined to the full extension position. Ensure that the reclining capacity and the space in the installation room perfectly match.

The good thing about some chairs nowadays is that they come with a space-saving feature that allows installation of two to four feet away from your wall. Others have even better smart features, such as a sliding base. When it isn’t in use, the chair stays right up against the wall, but when it is turned on, it glides forward on its base before it opens to recline fully. After the massage session, the chair slides back into its original resting position.

If this type of chair doesn’t fit your budget, or if you couldn’t find one with this space-saving feature, it is highly recommended that you set the chair 14″ to 16″  away from the wall. Assemble the chair, fully recline it and push it up against the wall. You will then determine how much space the chair requires from the wall. That way, you don’t damage your walls or your new massage chair.

Keep in mind, that your therapeutic chair will not be shipped fully assembled. Moving the chair, once you assemble it, can lead to big issues. Choose your location wisely.

Lastly, if your floor is hardwood, consider purchasing a rug to put the chair on. When your therapeutic chair is operating, it makes small movements that are hardly noticeable. Eventually, you will notice the damage to your flooring. Better to be safe than sorry.

3. The Chair’s Durability

When choosing your perfect chair, durability is a huge factor. However, when looking online, it can be hard to discern which chairs are of the best quality, and many sellers are offering cheaply made products to make a quick buck.

How do you know that the therapeutic chair you’re considering is durable enough? There are two important factors to consider:

  • Warranty
  • Reputation
  • Mode of operation

Let’s break it down…


As they say, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”. Think twice if a seller or manufacturer offers an outrageous 10-year warranty on a $1,500 chair. It may look great at first, but you’ll be kicking yourself when it breaks in 6 months, and the seller is nowhere to be found.

Looking for a reasonable and comprehensive warranty with a reputable brand should be your #1 priority.


Before buying any product online, read reviews and authority sites to check the reputation of brands and sellers.

Generally, other people’s reviews will at least indicate the quality of the product, the customer service, and the warranty/guarantee.

Mode of Operation

How a therapeutic chair is operated determines its durability. Manually powered chairs are susceptible to wear and tear due to handling the lever now and then. On the contrary, automatic or powered chairs are free from such handling as electric buttons do the work. They are, therefore, more durable than their counterparts. Perhaps the only setback is how complicated it can get to repair a damaged one.

9. How Easily Can the Chair Be Repaired?

If your therapeutic chair has a problem, you don’t want to have to ship the entire thing back to the manufacturer. Look for a chair that is easy to maintain and service. Therapeutic chairs have modular designs that are particularly cheap and easy to repair because if something breaks, you only have to ship the broken piece back to the manufacturer to repair.

It is also important to consider a manufacturer that guarantees the best quality and durability apart from offering in-house coverage for labor and parts, especially during the first year. Also, ensure that the manufacturer has easy-to-reach customer support. The ease of the scope of the client service means that you will get interaction with a technician who will help you troubleshoot the problem. Find a manufacturer that expressly expedites a response to your concerns.

There you have it!

Hopefully, this article provides you with the information you need to go forward and buy a therapeutic chair that effectively relieves your pain, helps you relax, and stands up to the test of time.

Relieving chronic pain and encouraging relaxation is so necessary for our complicated, fast-paced society and a therapeutic chair is a low-cost investment in the future of your health.

Be sure to subscribe to SuperSavers for more valuable information, and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any more questions! We would love to help you select your perfect therapeutic chair and to be a part of the healing and relaxation process in your life.

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