Buying a massage chair can be one of the most effective things you do for your overall well-being. It’s true that the best massage chairs deliver very enjoyable experiences. However, the benefits of using a massage chair go beyond simple relaxation and comfort. Consistent use can actually support better health in various ways.
For example, studies indicate that regular massage sessions can reduce stress levels and blood pressure. Optimizing your blood flow can improve muscle and joint health, and reducing stress can help improve your focus and boost your creativity. So, the investment you make in an advanced massage chair from one of the world’s best manufacturers has far-reaching effects.
But not every massage chair is the same. Massage chair features vary, and some chairs offer settings better suited for meeting specific needs than others. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the different types of massage chairs and know how to choose a massage chair you will be happy with for many years to come.
Read on for helpful insights on what to look for in a massage chair.
Critical Considerations When Buying a Massage Chair
It is important to be methodical as you shop for a massage chair. You do not want to be swayed by a particularly compelling feature or function and end up with a chair that doesn’t fully meet your needs. You should have a checklist—written down or in your mind—that you go through with every model you consider. And, at a minimum, that list should include the attributes below.
When buying a massage chair, it is critical to have a budget and stick to it. As with any significant purchase, you should consider the price of different types of massage chairs and specific models before you buy one. The best massage chairs can range in price from $2,000 to over $15,000. Models with higher price tags tend to offer more robust features and functionality. But some more affordable massage chair models can still provide excellent massage experiences.
At the high end of the functionality spectrum, a chair like the OHCO M.8LE can do it all. If that is beyond your budget, a model like the Positive Posture Brio+ offers tremendous comfort at an affordable price.
The Sōl from Positive Posture is the massage chair market’s most affordable high-end massage chair. Although this model boasts fewer features than other chairs, its massage settings and engineering are among the best.
2. Massage chair type
There are many types of massage chairs on the market. For instance, shiatsu massage chairs offer an authentic massage experience that mimics the finger pressure and hand movements of a shiatsu master.
On the other hand, a zero gravity massage chair reclines to put your body in a weightless position to aid relaxation and recovery. Another great choice is a heated massage chair, which applies soothing heat therapy during your massage session. Finally, a full-body massage chair addresses tightness and soreness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, back, glutes, thighs, calves, and feet.
Some massage chairs offer all of these settings, while others specialize in one or two. As you shop for the best massage chair for your needs, you should consider how each type of massage chair can benefit you. In doing so, you should ask yourself, “What settings are essential, and which are not crucial but would be wonderful to have?” How you answer that question will go a long way toward helping you come up with a short list of chairs you want to try.
3. Features for posture and chronic pain
Poor posture and chronic joint or muscle pain are two conditions that lead some to consider buying a massage chair initially. Most of the best massage chairs can help alleviate back and joint pain. Models like the Panasonic MAK1 can even help stretch muscles, which can be an excellent way to improve posture.
You also should ensure your massage chair provides relief where you need it. For instance, if you deal with frequent shoulder tightness, you shouldn’t consider a massage chair that doesn’t have good (or any) shoulder massage features.Note: In addition to a massage chair, you might consider a kneeling chair to help with posture and chronic pain. Many people use kneeling chairs as office chairs, since they naturally align your spine into a more comfortable posture. Over time, this helps reduce pain and gradually improves bad posture.
4. Ability to relieve other ailments
The best massage chairs can help with more than just tight muscles. Thanks to their wide variety of settings, massage chairs can provide relief for many other ailments.
For example, massage therapy promotes relaxation and tranquility. This mood optimization can significantly lower your stress, which means reduced blood pressure. This improvement is particularly true of zero gravity recliner massage chairs, which offer the most relaxing massage experience on the market.
Other massage settings also help to improve blood flow and circulation, which can benefit those with conditions like varicose veins. If you have any therapeutic needs for a massage chair, consider how different models can help. While even the best massage chair should not be seen as a medical cure-all, using one regularly can help alleviate many disease symptoms.
Of course, before using a massage chair to address the symptoms of any condition, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor.
5. Recovery support
Some people want massage chair features that aid with muscle recovery. This request is common from athletes or anyone who maintains a physically demanding lifestyle. While many massage chairs can provide muscle relief, some models are specifically designed for recovery.
The Positive Posture Brio Sport is an excellent choice if your top priority in buying a massage chair is recovery and rejuvenation. It was designed explicitly for sports recovery therapy. The Brio Sport is a model that offers unique pre- and post-workout settings that help your muscles warm up and cool down.
6. Setting and style
As with any furniture, you should consider how your massage chair will fit into its setting. Where will you put your massage chair? How will you use it? Does it need to match the surrounding decor? These are all questions to keep in mind. The best massage chair will meet both your physical needs and aesthetic preferences.
Remember that you will need access to an electrical outlet for your massage chair. Once that requirement is met, you can put your massage chair anywhere there is space for it. A model like the OHCO R.6 offers a more simplistic design suitable for an office setting. But if style and design are not an issue, you can focus on simply selecting the best model for your needs.
Choose the Best Massage Chair for You
Buying a massage chair is a significant investment in your health and happiness. Consequently, you should consider the purchase carefully. That includes trying every model that has the potential to meet your needs.
Reading about massage chairs, getting recommendations from friends, checking product reviews, etc., are great ways to get valuable insights. But you really need to experience several massage chairs to understand what you like about them. Because, at the end of the day, that is what matters most—how you feel during and after a massage.
The considerations above are important for narrowing your list of candidates. But once you have done that, you must listen to your body. People often use the term “best massage chair” (in fact, we’ve used it in this article), but you must be sure to tack “for you” on the end of that descriptor. The best massage chair is the one that delivers the results you want.
The Comfort Consultants at our showrooms around the U.S. are experts in helping people make that determination. Rather than extolling the virtues of various features, they talk with you about your wants and needs and let those factors guide the process. Yes, you must consider functionality and price in your research, but only as they relate to chairs that can meet your needs. We encourage you to visit a Furniture For Life location near you to experience our curated collection of The World’s Best Massage Chairs®.