The right massage chair for you comes down to your budget, how much real estate you have in your home or office to sacrifice for it, and what you’re hoping to achieve with it. No matter whether you’re looking for a portable, wallet-friendly option or a $10,000 flagship model with all the bells and whistles, here are the most important things to consider:
Massage chairs come in a wide range of types. A few of the most common are 3D or 4D roller chairs, full-featured, multi-function chairs, and zero-gravity massage chairs that relieve pressure on your back by reclining partially or almost flat
Which massage technology you choose—air massage or knobs/rollers—is a matter of personal preference. One isn’t necessarily better than the other; rather it’s whichever you prefer. Air massage chairs deliver a “compressive massage,” which feels different than the strong pressure-point-targeting massage of roller chairs. The best massage chairs allow you to highly customize your treatment by varying the depth, width, speed, height, and intensity. Heated chairs can also add another dimension to your massage chair experience.
Most other features are “nice-to-have’s,” though not essential. These include things like built-in speakers, touchscreen LCD remote controls, integrated charging ports for your phone or tablet, and pre-packaged modes so you can basically set the chair on “auto-pilot.”
There’s no getting around the fact that freestanding massage chairs are big. The best models with the most features usually take up a lot of floor space. Some chairs expand to accommodate larger or taller users, and zero-gravity chairs that fully recline will also need more horizontal floor space. Whichever model you choose, it’s best to measure your room before beginning your search, as this can often be the deciding factor.
Style and Aesthetics
Massage chairs—even the best and most expensive massage chairs—aren’t known for their high design. Some models look like traditional recliners, and some feature leather (genuine or faux) or premium upholstered fabric. If aesthetics are important to your buying decision, shop around to find a model that jives with your décor.
Most midrange and premium massage chairs are complex machines. That’s why buying a model with a solid warranty is key. Look for chairs with at least a three-year warranty, and it may be worth it for your peace of mind to upgrade to a five-year warranty (if offered by your chair’s manufacturer).