Massage Chair Buying Guide
The Ultimate Massage Chair Buying Guide
Everything you need to know before investing in a new massage chair.
Table of Contents
- Is buying a massage chair online safe?
- Online Reviews
- What are some red flags to look out for?
- Are there scam websites?
- Top Massage Chair Lists
- What features should I look for in a massage chair?
- What is a massage roller?
- What is a massage track?
- Body Scan Technology
- Massage Techniques
- Zero Gravity Recline
- Reflexology Foot Massage
- Compression Massage
- Automatic Programs
- More Features
- Massage Chair Glossary
- What are the health benefits of massage therapy?
- What do I need to consider before choosing a massage chair?
- What are good massage chair manufacturers?
- Paying for a massage chair
- Is a massage chair financially worth it?
- Standard payment methods
- Massage Chair Financing
- Will insurance pay for my massage chair?
- Shipping Information
- How do I maintain my massage chair?
- Why should I buy from Emassagechair?
Is buying a massage chair online safe?
If you plan on purchasing a massage chair online, there are many things to be aware of. Once you have found an online company to purchase from, do your due diligence and research the company. A massage chair is a considerable investment, and you should know who you are buying from.
First, check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see their rating. Ratings are like in school, with an A+ being the best score and an F for failing. If they have a poor rating, their customer service and/or products have had many complaints without any resolutions, which means you should avoid them at all costs.
You can look at websites such as trustpilot.com or scamadvisor.com to see how customers have rated the online company. You can even go to google.com and search their company like "Emassagechair.com reviews."
What are some red flags on an online website to look out for?
When I find a website I want to purchase from, I always see if they have a phone number, address, email, and contact form available on the website. If any of these are missing, what else are they hiding? If you cannot contact them easily if you have a problem, you are not getting the service you need. Likewise, if they do not have a toll-free number (800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844), that is also a red flag.
Are there scam websites?
"But, I have found the same massage chair elsewhere for thousands of dollars less!" If you see an online massage chair store selling the same massage chairs you find elsewhere for UNBELIEVABLE prices, you should not believe it, and it is probably a scam website. They usually start popping up around October and disappear after Christmas. They even run ads on Facebook! If you look at the comments on the Facebook Ad, you will often find people saying they purchased from them and received the chair. They are fake comments and don't fall for them.
When we see scams on Facebook Ads, we report them. Amazingly enough, Facebook does not take them down as they have not violated any community standards. We get calls every year from people who get scammed, which is a huge problem in many industries during the holidays.
Top Massage Chair Lists
We often see two things with top 5, or 7, or 10 massage chairs lists.
First, check what massage chairs are on that list. If every chair links to the product on Amazon, it is an Amazon affiliate link, and that is how that website makes money. Lists with affiliate links are not a reliable source as they write the lists to make money, not to help educate the reader. They have not even tried the massage chairs listed and the information is from the product descriptions they found on Amazon. They rate them as they see fit to make the most money.
We also see a few “manufacturers” use a separate blog to make a Top Massage Chair list to show their massage chairs in a favorable light. One of our favorites is a list you often see in ads while researching on Google that even shows discontinued massage chairs with outdated features to make their massage chairs look better. If you come across a Top Massage Chair list on a legitimate e-commerce website, these lists are usually reliable and will link to chairs that have been tested. If you found a blog list that points you to other websites that are not Amazon, these are usually reliable sources.
What features should I look for in a massage chair?
Massage chairs have evolved so much in the past years that there are so many features that it can be confusing. What is important to your massage and what’s fluff? We want our customers to be educated as they research, a massage chair is an investment in your health. We want to make sure that your massage chair best meets your needs.
What is a massage roller?
The massage roller is the mechanism that massages your back (and glutes in some chairs). These rollers are the primary source of your massage, traveling up and down your back on both sides of the spine simultaneously. These rollers are available in a quad or dual style roller. The quad style roller mimics the human thumb and forefingers, if you can imagine the fingers on top and thumb on the bottom. A dual style roller emulates the thumbs or fingertips being used for precision. The dual rollers usually can travel in all directions instead of just up and down. Dual rollers are often used in Japanese massage chairs.
The massage roller can also have 2D, 3D, or 4D movements. The 2D is the standard, and the massage roller goes up and down the roller track. You cannot adjust the depth of the massage, but in most chairs, you can add or remove the included padding. Many 2D chairs will give you an incredible massage, and we recommend many depending on your needs.
A 3D roller has the same movement, but these chairs have a 3D motor built into the roller and can also move in and out. This allows the roller to adjust the depth, giving a more dynamic feeling to your massage. In many chairs, you can adjust the depth in real time if you want a deeper or a lighter massage.
4D rollers are like the 2D and 3D have plus speed adjustment built into the massage programming with extra pressure sensors. Imagine going in to have a massage with a massage therapist. You choose the massage style, and the therapist will adjust their motions to accommodate the style you requested. With a 4D massage chair, the rollers will do the same. They will slow down to apply long smooth strokes for Swedish massage, they may even stop to apply pressure for Chinese or Shiatsu massage. The programming is more advanced, as is the sensor technology allowing the chair to precisely place the rollers and automatically adjust the pressure as needed. 4D is the most humanistic robotic massage that you can get.
What is a massage track?
The massage track is how the roller moves as it travels down your back. There are 2 main types of roller track. The S-Track and the L-Track. The S-Track starts at the neck and continues down to the tailbone. The S-Track was created to follow the S-shaped curvature of your spine. The massage roller (with a good body scan) will ensure that the massage mechanism follows the curve of your spine. S-Track massage chairs tend to provide great stretch programs and are good for those that enjoy lying in a flat or bed position.
The L-Track is a newer style where the roller starts at your neck and goes past the lower spine to wrap underneath your glutes. The benefit is an incredible glute massage that you would not get with an S-Track, but the track is fixed in an L shape, which affects the stretch program as it cannot lay flat. New L-Track chairs have adapted to pull the shoulders back and down for an excellent stretch.
There are a few hybrid tracks available. These are flexible in that the bottom and top tracks combine in a reclined, more laid down position. Essentially, you have the glute massage from the L-Track style chairs, but also the lying flat position and great stretching from an S-Track chair. Hybrid track chairs tend to be a bit more expensive as they are the most recent technology.
Have a question about the best massage track for you? Please reach a Massage Chair Expert so that we can assist you in choosing the best chair for you! Just call us at 888.360.9996 or chat with us online.
Body Scan Technology
Massage chairs use Body Scan technology to locate your position in the chair. Some massage chairs have very basic scans where it will just locate the shoulder position. Others use more advanced scans to locate your shoulder position, the width of your neck, as well as the curvature of your spine. As you can imagine, the more advanced the Body Scan, the more precise the rollers are placed and the more humanlike the massage feels. When you power up a massage chair and choose a program, the chair will perform a scan. You will feel the roller going up and down, and on more advanced chairs, in and out. This quick scan helps to tailor the massage to your body.
A massage chair can perform numerous massage techniques. These techniques are Swedish, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Tapping, Kneading, Rolling, Vibration, Compression, Chinese, Thai, and more. Each technique has its own benefits. You can learn more about the Massage Techniques
Zero Gravity Recline
Many massage chairs use Zero Gravity to create a weightless massage experience. The Zero Graving used in massage chairs is derived from NASA’s findings. As astronauts launch into space, large forces compress the spine and body. Through research, they found that this position would reduce the tension and compression along the spine and body. It seems natural that Zero Gravity recline would be an excellent addition to incorporate into massage chairs.
The zero gravity recline brings your knees to about heart level. The forces of gravity are distributed to more surface area of your body, reducing spinal compression. As you can imagine, Zero Gravity is a fantastic position for a massage. For a more in-depth explanation, please visit our What is Zero Gravity Recline blog post.
Reflexology Foot Massage
Most massage chairs include reflexology foot massage located at the bottom of the footrest. Reflexology applies pressure to specific regions of the foot to help release stress and tension in various areas of the body. This can be applied with acupressure nodes or rollers to knead and apply acupressure. The rollers have between 1 and 3 roller tracks that massage the soles of your feet. The rollers are stationary and depending on the chair, can work on the arches, heels, and foot pads of your feet.
Airbags are located around the massage chair for a full-body massage and to increase circulation. The airbags compress and deflate for a compression massage, and are generally located at the shoulders, arms, calves, and feet. Higher-end massage chairs also include airbags in the waist, seat, and lumbar.
All massage chairs include some preset massage programs. Most chairs will include about 5 programs and some have up to 30+. You’ll want to make sure that the chair you are looking at has a style of massage that you need/enjoy in the preset or automatic programs. For example, if you know that you love stretch massage, be sure to choose a chair that has a preset Stretching program.
Massage chair not only have their massage functions, but often have other bells and whistles. Other features can include Bluetooth speakers, heat therapy, calf rollers, calf kneading airbags, space saving technology, advanced body scanning functions, extendable ottomans, touchscreen tablets, and more.
Massage Chair Glossary
If you need to know more about the different definitions of the various features, please visit our Massage Chair Glossary.
What are the Health Benefits of Massage Therapy?
There has been extensive research on the benefits of massage therapy. These studies have shown that massage helps promote flexibility, reduce tension, increase blood flow and improve lymphatic flow, and raise the levels of endorphins in the body. Webster State University did a small study of 521 students and found that stress levels and blood pressure decreased after using a massage chair.
Massage Therapy has been known to provide stress relief, helps to manage anxiety and depression, aids in pain relief, helps to relieve stiffness, promotes the release of endorphins, reduces blood pressure, speeds recovery from injury, boosts immunity, improves circulation, promotes joint flexibility, and more.
You can read more about the Benefits of Massage Therapy blog post.
Things to consider before choosing a massage chair
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a massage chair.
Will a massage chair fit through the doorway?
Massage chairs are usually shipped in multiple boxes and are designed to fit through a standard 30” doorway. However, many older homes can have smaller width doorways that the boxes will not fit through. Once you know where you plan on putting your new massage chair, check under the specifications tab on the chair to make sure the boxes will fit.
If space is tight, sometimes you can remove the door from the door frame to get a little room. If you have a sliding glass door in the back of your home, that could be a good option too.
Will my body fit in the massage chair?
We all come in different shapes and sizes and so do massage chairs! It is true that most massage chairs cater to those 5’2”-6’2” and up to about 250 lbs. We have tested all of our massage chairs with taller and shorter models and if you have any question about if a chair will fit you, feel free to reach us: 888.360.9996. We also have our Petite or Taller users categories to help you search in the right place!
What are good massage chair manufacturers?
It can be hard to differentiate the good manufacturers from the bad. Unfortunately, many massage chairs are being manufactured by companies with poor quality control and using cheaper parts. They often do not live up to their promises and are prone to failure. In many of these companies, getting parts or even repairing your chair is often difficult if something goes wrong. There are a few ways to see if the chair you are interested in purchasing is from a good manufacturer.
The first and easiest way to determine a good brand would be to shop on Emassagechair.com. At Emassagechair.com, we only carry massage chairs that we are confident in selling to our customers, friends, and family. When we decide to carry massage chairs from a manufacturer, we do our research on the brand. Do they provide good support if there are issues? Are their products any good? What is their return rate? What do our Massage Chair Experts think after using them? If the company ever drops below our standards, we remove their products from our website. We do our due diligence, so you don’t have to.
Another way to check is to look at the warranty. If the manufacturer claims their warranty is more than five years (there are some exceptions), they probably won’t be around in a few years to support your chair. Take a close look at the warranty. How many years are the labor and parts? If there is only a 90-day or 6-month warranty, stay away. More durable chairs usually have a longer warranty, such as 2-5 years.
Most manufacturers offer extended warranties, which we do recommend purchasing. Your massage chair is an investment, so you’re protecting your investment.
Paying for a massage chair
We offer many different ways to pay for a massage chair. We offer various financing options, as well as accept all 4 of the major Credit Card brands, as well as PayPal. We can accept split payment (multiple payment types for one transaction) upon request with a representative. Please call us to process a Split Payment, 888.360.9996.
Is a massage chair financially worth it?
Before we get into payments, is it financially worth it to purchase a massage chair? If you get a massage on a regular basis, this short answer is yes. Let’s say you pay $50 an hour with a massage therapist that you see weekly, that cost can be up towards $2600 a year! That is why we always call a massage chair purchase an investment and it can pay itself off over time. The best thing about a massage chair, is the convenience. It is recommended to have a massage several times a week for the best benefits. You never know when you’ll wake up with discomfort or have an extra stressful day. You can get a massage…anytime…any day…No appointment required.
Standard payment methods
There are standard ways to pay for a massage chair, such as using a credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. We also offer the trusted PayPal option. With Emassagechair, we also take money orders that are mailed to us. Once deposited into our bank and clears, we will ship your new chair immediately.
Massage Chair Financing
We offer a few financing options to help you out. We offer both Affirm and PayPal Credit, which can also change anytime. With Affirm, we have as low as 0% financing options for up to 36 months. PayPal Credit offers terms at low as 0%, but up to 12 months. If you have questions about our financing, check out our massage chair financing page or call one of our Massage Chair Experts.
Will insurance pay for my massage chair?
We get this question asked a lot. In some cases, your insurance provider will cover a percentage of your massage chair purchase. Contact your insurance company to find out the terms. In most cases they will ask you to pay for your massage chair and then provide them with the receipt so that they can reimburse you. You will most likely need a doctor's prescription for your insurance to cover your chair. If you have a Health Saving Account, most HSA plans will allow for a purchase of a massage chair. Make sure to contact your HSA account administrator to see if they will pay for it and the protocol for getting reimbursed.
Now that you are ready to purchase a massage chair, how will they ship it? Massage chairs are not light, and some can weigh up to 400lbs. Massage chairs do not come with your standard UPS or FedEx shipments but by freight (truck). Your massage chair is picked up at the warehouse and goes to a local freight terminal. From there, it is put on a truck headed to the same area as other items.
Once it gets to your area, it will be dropped off at a local freight terminal. At this point, they will contact you to schedule a delivery date and time. On the day of the delivery, an LTL (Less than truckload) truck will pick it up and take it to your home.
Curbside is usually the standard free delivery method. The LTL truck with the movers will drop off the massage chair in boxes at your front door or garage. Make sure you have a place available where they can drop it off and extra help to bring the boxes indoors. You will also be responsible for assembling the massage chair, which can take 30-60 minutes. Your massage chair will come with paper installation instructions and many manufacturers have step-by-step videos you can follow.
In-home delivery is also known as threshold delivery. Threshold is similar to Curbside Delivery, but they will bring it into your home just inside the doorway. Make sure you have some extra help to move the boxes to the room where the massage chair will be. You will also be responsible for assembling the massage chair, which can take 30-60 minutes. Your massage chair will come with paper installation instructions and many manufacturers have step-by-step videos you can follow.
In-Home Delivery and Assembly
In-Home Delivery and Assembly is also known as White Glove Delivery. In Home Delivery and Assembly or White Glove is similar to Curbside, but instead of the freight truck delivering to a local freight terminal, it will go to a White Glove terminal. Once the massage chair arrives to the White Glove terminal, they will contact you to schedule a day and time for delivery.
Once the movers arrive at your home, they will move the massage chair to your “room-of-choice" or where you plan to use your new massage chair. They will then assemble the chair and make sure everything is functioning correctly. Remember that they are not technical experts on massage chairs but furniture movers/installers. If you have any questions or issues, you can reach us for assistance. An Emassagechair.com Expert can guide you on how to use your new chair.
How to do I maintain my massage chair?
Massage chairs were made to function without any need for regular maintenance. You should keep it clean to protect the exterior, so the material does not erode over time. There is not a need to purchase a special cleaning agent for the chairs as it is recommended to use a damp cloth to wipe the chair clean.
How to clean your synthetic leather massage chair
For synthetic leather massage chairs, you must wipe them down every now and then. From regular use, your massage chair will accumulate dirt, body oils, hair product, and dust over time. It is also best to put your massage chair in a place where it does not get regular direct sunlight.
Our Massage Chair Experts recommend mild soap (Dawn dish soap) and water and wipe down all exposed areas. Make sure to wipe down all areas where your body comes into contact with the chair. It is best to use a vacuum where dirt and dust will accumulate, especially on the sides of the seat and footwells.
How to clean your leather massage chair
There are not a lot of real leather massage chairs out there as synthetic has been found to be more durable and less likely to crack than real leather. If you do purchase a real leather chair, the leather needs to be maintained to keep that new leather look. Depending on how often you use your new massage chair, it is best to vacuum and wipe down the chair every two to four weeks.
First, vacuum your massage chair to get loose dirt from the armrest, the seat, and the footwells. Second, use a little water with a very light amount of mild soap with a microfiber towel, and wipe down the entire chair. Do not soak the leather.
When the chair is clean, use a leather cleaning kit. These are available online or even at a local furniture store. Follow the instructions and wipe down any leather upholstery using a microfiber cloth, and you are finished.
Once a year, you should condition the leather with a leather protector to help prevent any damage. This also can be found online or at your local furniture store. Follow the instruction and apply the leather protector with a microfiber cloth. Use a dry cloth to remove any extra leather protector. Conditioning the leather will help protect it from absorbing hair products, body oils, and dirt. Keep the chair out of direct sunlight as it can damage the leather over time.
Why should I buy from Emassagechair.com?
Emassagechair.com is a family-owned and operated business. We have been in business for over 15 years. We focus on massage chairs alone to provide the health benefits of massage to as many people as we can! We spend a lot of time testing as many chairs as we can so that we can better help you to find the best massage chair for you. We also educate ourselves on many of the health issues that our customers come across so that we can better recommend the most effective chair for that need. We learn all about each chair and which customer it would fit the needs of best. We had so many customers call us Massage Chair Experts that we kept it as part of our name. Emassagechair.com, the Massage Chair Experts.
Our verified account with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has an A+ rating, and we work hard to be sure that every complaint is resolved promptly to our customers satisfaction. We also collect reviews from our customers, and you can read their testimonials.
If you google reviews about Emassagechair, you will find that we have an excellent rating with all of the review websites. Keep in mind that during the beginning of the pandemic, there were many shipping issues outside our control. We worked hard to resolve them, but it was brutal on everyone in almost every industry. With Trustpilot.com, we have a 4.7 rating, and with Scam Advisor, we have 100 out of 100. Make sure to look at those before purchasing online, and you will see our competitors do not hit the mark.
Our online ratings are excellent due to our customer service. We are not here to pressure you to purchase a massage chair. Instead, our job as Massage Chair Experts is to listen to you and then, based on our experience, help you find the perfect chair for your needs. It’s our Mission, to help as many people live a better life through the benefits of massage. We hope you’ll let us help you!