Massage Chair Buyer’s Guide
Why Buy a Massage Chair?
If you’ve looked at massage chair prices, you know they can put quite a dent in your pocketbook. So why make the investment?
First is the benefit of savings. A trip to the masseuse can cost anywhere from $50 to $300 per hour. For the price of ten to fifty massages, your massage chair will pay for itself after a year. Anything after that is free!
Second is the benefit of convenience. Your aches and pains don’t schedule themselves around someone else’s day. When you have a massage chair, you can lie back and relax any time, day or night. Plus, you can receive multiple massages in a week, speeding relief to your sore, tired muscles.Owning a massage chair means you can have the convenience of your own masseuse in your own home.
Third is the benefit of health. Massage has proven health benefits for many conditions, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, muscle and joint stiffness, high blood pressure, sports injuries, lowered immunity, cancer, headache, and general stress relief. Massage chairs not only make you feel better, they can also save you money on health bills, plus, think of the time and energy you will gain from your investment.
How Much Do They Cost?
Massage chairs cost $500 to $7,000. Like anything else, you will pay more for more features.
Stripped-down models are more affordable, but don’t offer all the bells and whistles the more advanced models have. Price may be an important consideration, but if your massage chair isn’t perfect for you, you won’t be satisfied with it, no matter how cheaply you purchased it. So be sure your chair has all the features you really need.
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Features to Look For
Lower end chairs may only offer vibration or rolling massage. Higher end chairs have a whole menu of style options, including rolling, kneading, tapping, and vibration, as well as combinations of these. Rolling feels great on your back and improves circulation, while kneading really works the soreness and knots out of muscles. Tapping and vibration can help to ease the tension out of the body. These features are achieved through a combination of rollers and massage heads.
In addition to different styles of massage, different chairs have options for massaging more than just your back. Many chairs offer leg and foot massage, and some even have arm massage.Leg and foot massage can be delivered either byrollers, massage heads, or inflatable air bags. Air bags tend to give a fuller massage, but rollers can provide a stronger massage and do not have the noise of air bag compressors. Some chairs feature thumb-like massage heads in their leg areas. Many massage chairs that offer foot and leg massage have adjustable footrests as well.
When shopping for a massage chair, look for the number of rollers, whether they are mobile, and whether they can be adjusted for width. Chairs typically offer two or four rollers. Some chairs offer more, but these are typically stationary. Make sure your chair has enough rollers in the right positions to deliver the massage you desire. The number and position of the rollers will also determine the length of massage stroke. The massage stroke is the distance on your back that the chair will massage. The longer the stroke, the more of your back will be massaged. Some chairs have massage strokes of 29 inches or more, while others have strokes as short as 20 inches.
Air bag massage functions by delivering air to small bags in the back, sides, or legs of the chair. The inflated airbags compress the muscles much like a Swedish massage. You will be especially happy if your chair can deliver the air bag massage at the same time as the mechanical rolling. The best and most technologically-advanced chairs are increasingly adding this function, but it adds significant expense.
Many massage chairs come with options to warm up the massage. Delivering heat to your back during a massage can help relax your muscles fully.
Higher-end massage chairs have various reclining options, including “zero gravity,” which places your body in a gravity-neutral position, ensuring your optimum relaxation and massage effectiveness. Reclining options include single-touch features where the chair tilts back and forward with the touch of a button, or incremental controls. Different chairs offer different degrees of recline, with 175—nearly flat—being the greatest amount. Recline helps the massage chair achieve a deeper massage, and means you can further customize your massage experience. Some chairs recline the back and footrest together, other do so separately.
The strength of a massage is dependent on the number and power of the motors, sousually it is better to have more motors. Generally, the stronger massage your chair has, the better, as long as you are able to add padding to soften the contact. Once your body adjusts to a stronger massage, you will enjoy being able to take off the pads and allow the massage to really work deeply. Remember, you can always soften the intensity, but you won’t be able to make it stronger.Most higher end chairs have removable pads and adjustable intensity.
Many chairs offer pre-programmed routines for massage. These chairs can also be programmed to save your favorite massages for future use. Most chairs also have timers and allow massages in various time increments. More expensive chairs feature body mapping technology that tests the various areas of your body and responds with a customized massage, varying the intensity, frequency, and duration.
Although genuine leather is recommended for your home furnishing needs, experts tend to adviseagainst it for massage chairs. Because of the exceptional amount of heat and movement generated by a massage chair, specially engineered synthetic fabrics hold up better than natural ones. Some chairs feature memory foam padding and custom headrests.
Massage chairs are designed to fit most people most of the time. If you are shorter or taller, thinner or wider than the average person, you will need to shop for a chair that can fit your frame. Make sure the chair is stable and can support you without worry.
Check that your chair has a durable enough motor to withstand heavy use. Some chairs have only one motor to control all functions, while others have multiple smaller motors. Chairs with multiple motors tend to last longer, since one motor isn’t carrying all the burden. However, if one of your smaller motors goes out, you’ve got a chair with only partial function.
Massage Chair Warranties
Massage chairs get a lot of use, and don’t last as long as you might expect. It is important to look into the warranty offered by your manufacturer. Only makers of chairs with excellent warranties should be trusted with such an important purchase.
Be sure the dimensions of the massage chair can fit into your doorway and your room. If it is difficult to get to or use, you won’t be enjoying your chair. Some chairs have removable arms for ease of installation and moving.
Although there are very few risks associated with massage, if you have special medical concerns, please check with your doctor before purchasing or using a massage chair.
Finally, if you want to test drive your massage chair at a showroom before you buy, by all means do so. Then make your purchase with us. Another great way to put your mind at ease regarding your potential purchase is to look at other customer reviews regarding the chair you are interested in you can read all of our reviews here. MassageChairs.com has the most knowledgeable people in the business, plus prices that can’t be beat. And with MassageChairs.com, the price you see is the price you’ll pay, we don’t charge sales tax, and standard shipping is free.