Two of the most common questions we get are this: Why are massage chairs so expensive? as well as "Why do massage chairs vary so much in price?"
For someone who hasn't sat in many massage chairs, it's hard to know an actual massage experience difference vs. sales jargon.
In this article we'll break down what features make massage chairs so expensive as well as some other factors most people don't think of.
Advanced technology have made premium massage chairs available to the masses
Costs have not risen with inflation compared to other goods and huge range of options
Most modern massage chairs are manufactured overseas which ads logistics costs
First let's go over the components of a massage chair you'll have in your own home.
Component Costs In A Quality Massage Chair
This isn't like your grandma's massage chair.
New cars are considered smart phones on wheels. New massage chairs are an advanced computer in a recliner. Many advanced chairs use Artificial intelligence technology and machine learning to provide a spa like precision massage that rivals a great massage therapist.
To provide this level of massage, there are numerous computer chips and components that go into these chairs.
Dual Track Rollers
Newer models of massage chairs have Dual track technology, which means multiple sets of rollers on the back and glutes at the same time. So you can get double the stress relief benefits.
Advanced Heating Elements
The Advanced models of Japanese massage chairs brought innovative heat therapy options such as heating shawls to heated rollers. This newer technology makes the massage rollers feel like warm hands and improve blood flow.
Artificial intelligence has made it to luxury massage chairs. AI is used to enhance massage techniques (some chairs can massage over 16,800 different body types) and maximize the health benefits. The new pain detection sensors utilize this technology as well. All of these features help enhance your overall well being.
Pain Detection Health Sensors
Newer massage chairs have pain sensors which will pinpoint aches in your body and use a target massage therapy style to that area. How this works is your finger is put in a pulse sensor while the chair scans your body for tight muscles.
When you find a tight muscle, your pulse will increase due to the repair response of the body. The massage chair will then target that area with the best massage technique to relieve pain and stress.
Hidden Cost Drivers: What Factors Contribute to Massage Chair Price?
Few people know all of the components that go into delivering a quality massage chair to your home for 5+ years.
The good news is due to innovation, most massage chair raw costs have went down without sacrificing quality. So customers are getting more features for less than they did even 5 years ago.
The bad news is logistics and post purchase support costs have more than doubled in the past 5 years so the cost of ownership for massage chairs is not getting cheaper.
The average shipping costs on a massage chair ranges from $500 to $1,200 for some white glove deliveries. These are direct expenses that have to be added into the price of the chair.
Storage costs have ballooned as well. A single massage chair sitting in a warehouse costs approximately $100 per year.
Also after market support on massage chairs if there is an issue ranges from $250-$500 per service call depending on the area.
Alright now we've went over some of the core costs let's detail prices ranges:
Massage Chair Price Ranges: Planning Your Massage Chair Budget
When buying a massage chair, know there are a bunch of massage chair companies out there. We only work with brands that have 3+ years experience in the market, have a great satisfaction rating, and good after market service.
This chairs will cost more than some of the cheap knockoff companies out there. We also find the chair quality isn't there. Some chairs are marketed as 4D, but in reality they don't even function as a 3D massage chair. Another with these cheaper massage chairs is the after market service is non existent and they use cheaper parts.
So if something happens with the massage chair, there is no way to get the chair fixed.
How Much Should I Pay For A High Quality Massage Chair?
When budgeting for a massage chair, we like to say there are 3 distinct price points.
Under $3,000 or the Economy Massage Chairs
Under $6,000 or Midrange chairs
Luxury Massage chairs (over $6,000)
All 3 price ranges provide a quality massage. As the cost of the chair increases, you will see advanced features added. What sets luxury massage chairs apart is top of the line unique features.
We'll break down what to expect at each level so you can get a great massage after a stressful day.
Economy Massage Chairs (Under $3,000)
Economy massage chairs offer great value on the market. You can expect to see a high quality 3D air compression massage. (Pro tip: 4D chairs under $3,000 usually have flaws). This allows you to get the health benefits of the massage and great relaxation. It's about 10 steps up from the the vending machine massage chairs out there.
Typically the trade off in this price range is you don't get the massage pressure customization levels you do on higher end models or all the premium features.
If you want the additional features and massage styles, move up to the midrange massage chair levels.
Midrange Massage Chairs (Under $6,000)
If you sit on a ton of chairs, you can tell when you get your moneys worth from a massage chair. If you budget range is $4,000-$6,000, you will notice a huge step up from economy models.
At this price point, you're going to get a great 4D full body massage chair with things like space saving design and quality body scanning technology. You will also see most chairs in this range will have the ability to adjust intensity and premium heat. Other key features the massage chairs will have is zero gravity position and rollers for the legs and calfs.
This is the price range we see spa like features and a focus on relaxation and stress reduction. Expect programable massages, high quality components, and bluetooth speakers to help you relax.
These chairs are typically better than a massage therapist. All these factors make these chairs worth it.
Luxury Massage Chairs
Once you get into the most advanced models of massage chairs you will see premium features and the ultimate relaxation. Luxury massage chairs are a long term investment into your health.
A luxury massage chair will sooth tight muscles and be your personal health assistant. These chairs are quite advanced - like the 190 degree yoga stretching Osaki Solis.
Features that were premium on midrange chairs will come standard on luxury massage chairs. You can expect things like zero gravity massage, 6+ full body auto programs, and health scanning.
You're also going to see AI technology in most luxury massage chairs on the market today.
If you experience one or two massage chairs that are high quality, you start to understand why a massage chair costs so much. But when you compare the high cost to the benefits, you realize it is a great long term investment in your personal well being.
With the high stress of life in America, don't you think you deserve to relax for 20 minutes a day?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Massage Chair Replace my Massage Therapist?
A massage chair can definitely replace your therapist. If you get 2 massages a month, most chairs will pay for themselves within 2 years.
With massage chairs you also have the additional convenience of getting a massage on demand in the comfort of your own home. Unlike a masseuse, your massage chair won't need a tip:).
And with space saving features, your massage chair won't take up the whole room.