Do you have back pain and want to have a massage chair to relieve the pain? Are you tired of the inconvenience of going to a massage therapist every week or month, and now you are looking for a massage chair to buy?
Buying a massage chair should be simple, but it often turns out to be a daunting task. There are so many brands and models and many price ranges as well. It’s nearly impossible to know where to start and what to look for. Even if you’ve conducted some research, you’ll probably still feel lost!
Worry no more! This guide will tell you everything you need to know about buying a massage chair so you can be confident about buying the perfect chair to suit your requirements. Let’s dive in and take a look.
1.Know Your Budget: Massage Chairs Can Vary a Lot in Price.
With so many brands from premium to value brands to choose from, the price of massage chairs varies significantly. It’s possible to find massage chairs under $500 and over $10,000, so you need to have clear expectations when it comes to what type of chair you can afford.
2. What Features Are You Looking For?
2D, 3D, or 4D? S or L track? Heat or no heat?
In the not-so-distant past, a massage chair was a simple reclining chair with a vibrating motor under the cushions that could relieve your joints and pains while you watched TV. However, as technology has advanced in recent years, massage chairs have evolved to include a whole host of features. Before selecting a chair, think about the following features:
2D, 3D, or 4D?
Until recently, all massage chairs were 2D, and many still are. This refers to the range of motion of the rollers, and a 2D chair’s rollers will travel up/down and left/right.
As well as the motion of 2D chairs, 3D options also go in/out, which gives you greater control over the depth of your massage and is designed to feel more like a human touch.
4D refers to chairs that offer you the option of adjusting the speed of the massage and tend to be the most expensive on the market.
S or L track?
When it comes to the chair’s rollers, you will have to decide between ‘S or L track.’ S stands for ‘sinusoidal,’ which means wave. These tracks follow the curve of your spine.
L tracks extend further down the body, even as far as your glutes or hamstrings. As such, an L track is essentially just an extension of an S track roller.
Heat or No Heat?
Lots of advanced massage chairs offer the option of a heated massage. Heat ensures your massage is more effective and is a premium feature.
Some of the premium chairs on the market come with a whole host of additional features, including inbuilt Bluetooth speakers, reflexology, vibration, inversion therapy, and so on. The more you research, the more you will discover that massage chairs come in so many shapes and sizes, so you should think about what you would like yours to include.
3. Do You Have a Brand in Mind?
With so many brands for you to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to look for the best value. Luraco is known for its industry-leading standards, and its chairs are popular with therapeutic users.
Inada is another premium brand known as the makers of the Dreamwave, which is consistently referred to as the best massage chair in the world. At the other end of the spectrum, manufacturers like Osaki provide chairs of lower quality but at a more affordable price.
Whichever brand you opt for, you should thoroughly research the key features of the chairs within their range to find something suitable for your requirements.
4. Does it Matter Where the Chair is Made?
One of the most important considerations regarding the massage chair that you purchase is where it was manufactured. You should consider where it was designed, where the component parts were produced, and where the chair itself was assembled.
Chairs with lower price points tend to be designed, engineered, and built exclusively in China, which enables them to enter the lower end of the market. That being said, the quality of the component parts is usually lower than those made elsewhere. Osaki has most of the chairs made in China but with a full three-year warranty, they are confident in their chair quality.
Other companies utilize a hybrid approach and design and source their core materials from advanced countries like the US and Japan, and then complete the chair’s assembly in China. Luraco is the only manufacturer that truly makes their chairs in the U.S with some components brought from Taiwan. Inada and JPMedics have their chairs assembled in Japan. Human Touch designs its chairs in the U.S. and assembles them in China.
Ultimately, it’s up to you which manufacturer you go for; just be aware that Chinese brands tend to be cheaper and are not as well built as American and Japanese brands. Essentially, you get what you pay for.
5. What Size of Chair Are You Looking for?
When you’ve found what you consider to be the perfect chair for your requirements, it’s vitally important you consider its measurements before you order it. Massage chairs are designed in a way to ensure specific parts of the body are treated, which naturally is affected by a person’s individual features. When thinking about your chair’s size, you should consider the following:
Every massage chair will have a recommended height limit. If you’re too tall, the rollers will not work the necessary parts of your body, and the chair won’t have the desired impact.
You will find that most massage chairs have a weight limit of between 265 and 285 lbs. Put simply, if you’re too heavy, the hardware of the chair may break, or the motors may not work properly. If you’re a bigger person, you can research chairs with additional weight capacities that have been specifically designed.
6. What Warranty Are You Looking For?
When it comes to buying a massage chair, you need to research what type of warranty the manufacturer offers. Because there are so many component parts to each chair, even the smallest of faults can cause the chair to malfunction.
As such, you need to make sure you’re covered if something is faulty or breaks to save you from having to pay expensive repair bills and buy new parts.
While each company has its own warranty policy, most offer a three-year full-service guarantee as standard. However, it’s worth checking, as some chairs only come with one-year in-home service and two years parts.
Before you complete your purchase, make sure you ask about the warranty and read the small print to ensure you have a good level of coverage.
7. How do You Plan to Pay?
As we’ve already seen, massage chairs are expensive, and not everyone has a few thousand dollars in the bank ready to pay for a chair upfront. Most chairs come with financing options so you can pay over a specific period of time, which is helpful for buyers who don’t have the cash upfront.
However, if you do have the money, you can often negotiate a decent discount if you pay for the chair outright. It’s worth doing some research and contacting various sellers to learn about their payment terms, as you could end up saving yourself some money if you’re flexible.
8. How Soon Do You Want the Chair?
When it comes to ordering your massage chair, you should recognize that the process isn’t instant, as most sellers don’t keep the chairs in stock. As such, they are sometimes made to order and are shipped from different parts of the world.
Most massage chairs have a 10-12-week turnaround time once they’ve been ordered. As such, you should plan ahead if you hope to have the chair by a specific time of the year.
You should expect orders around Thanksgiving and Christmas time to take even longer than normal, as delivery times during the holiday season are always longer than normal.
9. Understand the Shipping and Returns Policy.
You will find that shipping is normally free when you buy a massage chair. Or, more correctly, it is already factored into the price of the chair.
Although most companies pride themselves on offering free shipping, they normally charge an installation fee of anywhere between $200-$250. Within the industry, this fee is known as the ‘white-glove fee,’ and you should factor it into your budget before placing an order.
As for returns, you need to understand the terms and conditions outlined by the seller. Some value brands don’t offer you the chance to return your chair at all, whereas others charge return delivery fees, as well as restocking fees and other charges.
If you are permitted to return the chair, bear in mind that you will almost always be responsible for paying the return shipping fees.
As you can see, there is so much to consider when it comes to buying the perfect massage chair for your needs. With so many brands, so many chairs with different features, and a variety of styles and designs, you really need to do some research before deciding on which chair to order.
Before completing your purchase, you need to be aware of the payment plans, delivery options, and returns policy, and warranty, so your purchase is protected if anything is faulty.
Whichever chair you decide to add to your home, we hope this guide has been helpful and has introduced you to many of the important aspects to consider when buying a massage chair.