What can be more relaxing and soothing after a hard and stressful day at work then a calming massage. However, the amount of relief the massage chair can give also depends on its quality. Also, it’s a quite high priced item. So of course, you should carefully make the buying decision. Considering the many features massage chairs have, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve encountered a lot of questions during your buying process. So we’ve created this massage chair buying guide to help you understand what to look for so you could buy the best model for your needs.
Massage Chair Features to Look For
- Massage Techniques – Massage chairs come equipped with numerous massage techniques that are designed to provide you with relaxation and pain relief. The most common techniques that you will find are Deep Tissue and Shiatsu. However, there’re many more options available and each one of them has its benefits. So learn about the different techniques and choose the ones that you like.
- Massage Intensity – Different massage chair models will offer various levels of intensity. On more advanced chairs you can customise the pressure applied and choose the intensity of the massage. Usually, the intensity of the massage depends on the amount of motors the chair has. More motors means more power, and that means better intensity.
- Does It Fit Your Body Type? – Most of modern massage chairs are designed to fit all body types and sizes. However, it’s still recommended to check the chair’s height and weight limitations, especially if you’re very tall, short, wide or thin. It’s also an important factor to take into consideration when purchasing your new chair. These limitations you can usually find in the specifications. A lot of massage chairs, however, can do a body scan, then before starting the massage they adjust to your body.
- Chair Material – Most of the manufacturers cover their chairs in leather or synthetic leather. The better choice is of course leather. It’s the recommended choice for other home’s furnishings as well. However, real leather requires special care. Otherwise, it might start cracking and fading.
- Heat Feature – On many chairs you can also find a heat feature. The benefit of this feature is that it helps to relax and loosen up the muscles, thus easing aches and pains, and further increasing the benefits of the massage.
- The Length of the Massage Stroke – The length of the stroke also effects the feeling and effectiveness of the massage. A longer stroke allows a bigger area of the back to be massaged, allowing a more realistic feel as if done by your massage therapist. Good massage chairs have a stroke of 30 and over inches which allows to massage your neck, lower back and everything in between.
- Preset Massage Programs – Pre-programmed massage cycles allow quick and easy start of a massage session. On most massage chairs you will also find a timer. So you can just press a button and relax. Some of the higher end chairs even allow you to customise massage programs and save the ones you liked to favorites, while even more advanced models also have a mapping feature using which you can pick the more tense and stiff areas of your body, so the chair would concentrate on those areas.
- Air Bags – A massage chair can be equipped with air bags that apply pressure to certain parts of your body. This squeezing and releasing process helps to improve circulation and also adds to the more realistic feel of the massage. They’re usually located in the chair’s seat, backrest, headrest and armrests.
- Amount of Massage Rollers – Most massage chairs are equipped with 2 to 4 rollers. 4 rollers are of course better, since they will give a more lifelike massage experience by combining different techniques such as rolling, kneading, and tapping.
- Recline Feature – Massage chairs offer a various degree of the recline. Some models also offer the zero gravity recline which is considered the best position for your body during the massage. This position gives complete weightlessness, releasing all the pressure off the spine. The largest degree of recline that you can get is 175 degrees.
- Manufacturer and Warranty – Look for well known manufacturers, as this guarantees the quality of the product. They are also usually able to provide better customer support service. Another good indicator of the quality of the massage chair is the length of the warranty that the manufacturer offers.
If you’re still stuck with the decision which massage chair to buy, we recommend checking out Massage Chair Land site for massage chair reviews and comparisons of the best products on the market. They offer a very helpful guide that might help you with your purchasing decision.