A massaging chair is a great addition to any home, although its high price makes it a very serious investment. This means it is crucial to know how to choose the right massage chair for your needs, or else your pocket book will seriously complain! An intelligent, informed decision is necessary not only for you to enjoy the physical aspects of your massaging chair, but also for you not to wind up lamenting opportunity loss from having spent your money on something that ultimately does not satisfy.
When you buy a massaging chair, you need to consider the following factors:
- Comfort – Since a massage chair is intended to be a source of relaxation for you, it is important to make sure you are comfortable when sitting in the massage chair you choose even over long periods of time. Typically, a massage chair can double as a lounge chair, so you will need to make sure the comfort level satisfies you. If you are buying your chair online, you may not be able to test it for comfort, but you can consider the other factors and likely come to a well-informed decision.
- Upholstery – Massage chairs primarily come in vinyl, synthetic leather, or leather, although leather is normally installed as a special order, with an added cost of about $200 to $300. While leather may seem like your best choice when looking for a high-end massage chair, it is also the most difficult to maintain, wearing out very easily especially with more aggressive deep massage/shiatsu type of massage chairs. Synthetic leather is found to hold up much better against wear and tear, not threatened by the movement of the massage components. Meanwhile, vinyl holds up the best and is also the easiest to maintain; however, it looks and feels cheaper, too, understandably based on the cheaper price of the material.
- Manual or power – Are you looking for a fully-automated set of controls? Typically, components that are power-assisted are deemed a luxury, coming with only the top-of-the-line chairs. Most chairs come with separate controls for operating the foot rest and the back, and still another set of controls for the massage functions. The back and foot rest are typically adjusted manually with a hand lever on lower-priced massage chairs, but come with power adjustment on higher-priced ones. For example, the Inada Massage Chairs Sogno Dreamweave Massage Chair was commended for giving a great massage, but some customers described the controls to be rather backward.
- Type of massage– Typically, a massaging chair offers two general types of massage: one is a shiatsu deep tissue massage, while another is a vibration type of massage, called air massages. The difference between the two is that a shiatsu chair is more aggressive and is usually not fitting for everyone. For example, some massage chairs will lift the user up to 6 inches out of the chair, which becomes too painful for someone whose muscles are too tight or if there is an underlying condition that results in the person being sensitive to this kind of massage. A shiatsu chair will usually come with a pad to soften the massage a bit. The HT Massage Chair is a good example of a powerful massage chair with a removable softening pad.
If it turns out that a massaging chair is a bit too expensive for your budget, do not despair, as you actually still have another option: you can get a massage cushion that you simply add on to any existing lazy chair. For example, the Comfort Products Ten Motor Massage Cushion with Heat is found to be effective at relaxing its users, and you can actually use it both at home and even in the car. The 10 motor-mechanism is effective at massaging everything from your neck down to your thighs, and the lumbar area even gets a bit of heat.
Essentially, if a massage is what you are looking for, a massaging chair will be a great investment that will surely serve you well for many years to come. Just make sure you pick the kind that fits your particular personality and preferences so that you will be happy to use it years down the road.