If you are looking for a massage chair, you will likely be interested to find massage chair reviews written by complete strangers. After all, you reason, unknown reviewers are likely to be objective and therefore give you the best possible comments on a massage chair you are considering, right? Well, the answer is yes and no: yes, third-party reviewers will be objective especially when compared with pushy salesmen who are only after a commission when they sell you a massage chair that you probably will never use; and no, third-party reviewers may try to be objective, but the truth is, a massage is always a subjective experience so comments from third-party reviewers need to be taken with a grain of salt.
So does that mean you should just go ahead and buy a massage chair without consulting other people’s opinions? Definitely not! Instead, there are ways to look at other people’s reviews and translate them into the information you need to know before you make your purchase:
- Too strong, too soft – When reviewers comment about a particular massage chair being too strong or too soft, you will need to look at other qualifiers: for example, is the chair a shiatsu massage chair or an air massager? Understand that a shiatsu chair tends to be more aggressive and is generally not recommended for everyone, while an air massager typically just sends off vibrations and does not really affect circulation. When a particular chair is described as, for example, too strong, and it turns out that the reviewer prefers an air massage over a deep tissue shiatsu massage, it signals a personal preference that is not in any way indicative of the quality of the given chair. On the other hand, if the chair is described as “too soft” when, for example, compared with an earlier model or a similar type of massager, you can have some idea of the relative power of the unit.
- Designed for smaller frames – Some massage chairs may receive comments of being more fitting for those with smaller statures. For example, the HT Massage Chair was commended for giving a very relaxing massage but that it seemed to be effective for women or smaller men. These kinds of comments you need to pay attention to, because they are indicative of something inherent to a massage chair: when the chair is commended for a particular body type or size, it is indicative of the depth and width of the chair seat, which is not something you can change.
- Durability – Some massage chair reviews may include confirmation of durability, not just of the functional features of the chair but also the outer covering. If a chair receives complaints about having the outer fabric worn off after a short period of time, try to see if you can find what sort of material is on the chair: if it is a high-end massage chair made of leather, it is quite understandable that the material would wear off. If the material is not stated anywhere, comments like this should also give you a tip-off of what material it is likely made of, as vinyl stands up very well to wear and tear and is also the easiest material to maintain, with synthetic leather being a middle ground between vinyl and real leather.
- Ease of controls – Ease of controls is another relatively subjective feature, but you can still check customer comments on user-friendliness and the accessibility of the controls, as these are relatively fixed parameters. For example, a chair that comes with a manual lever for the foot rest and back may receive comments about whether the lever is easy to maneuver, or a wireless controller may be described as easy to misplace. This should give you a better idea of what to expect with a given massage chair. For example, the Aosom Office/Recliner Massage Chair with Ottoman can be controlled with a remote control that can be kept in a side pocket, making it easy to find whenever you feel like getting a relaxing massage!
These tips should give you an idea of how to read massage chair reviews in a way that will benefit your potential buying experience. Remember, the choice is ultimately yours, so just take the reviews as