You come home day after day tired and tense. Doesn't a massage sound nice? Sure it does until you consider that massage sessions can cost $60 an hour or more. Do the math and see what that adds up to in a year if you planned on getting a weekly massage. Rather than spend an arm and a leg on private massages, consider a massage chair. These wonders are innovations that can make coming home a pleasure and for what you get, these are a reasonably priced investment for anyone who wants to relieve tension, stress and sore muscles.
Choosing a Massage Chair
Looking for the perfect massage chair? Use these simple guidelines to ensure that you find the best massage chair for you.
* '''Comfort is key'''.
** Something that will double as a recliner in your living room has to meet higher comfort standards than a chair that you will only use for an hour long massage session.
** Make sure that the fabric feels good on the skin, that the chair is wide and deep enough to support the back and allow you to relax completely.
** A reclining feature can make a huge difference in the comfort of a chair, whether it reclines partially or fully into a horizontal position. Note whether the chair you are considering reclines automatically or manually too since automatic recline will cost significantly more.
* '''The importance of space and placement'''.
** Massage chairs take up a significant amount of space so make sure you have room for it wherever you want to place it.
** Consider whether this will become a permanent fixture in your living room (which will usually then be used for more than just massage) or if you have another space in which to keep it. This will determine the style and quality of chair you need.
** How much noise does it make? Will it be a distraction if placed in a living room?
* '''Upholstery choice is not just aesthetic'''.
** Leather is a feature available on most massage chairs, but it's not always the best option. Leather is soft and attractive, but on the downside it is harder to maintain and it tends to wear out quicker than fabric.
** Leather-like vinyl, on the other hand, has a similar look as leather and is durable, less expensive and still decent feeling.
** Fabric is about as durable as leather and may be more comfortable than vinyl. It is usually inexpensive but it may be hard to clean.
* '''Color and style counts. '''
** Make sure you choose a neutral color or one that matches the other colors in your home. There is nothing worse than having to stash your favorite chair because it looks like an eyesore. Likewise, choose a model that is styled similarly to the rest of the furniture in your home.
Choosing a Massage Chair Type
* '''Stroke Length'''
** Stroke length defines the amount of vertical massage coverage a massage chair can deliver.
** As a general rule, the longer the stroke length the better, although beware of false advertising. More than 27 inches is a good stroke length. Top chairs offer as much as 30 inches.
** A minimum expectation for a good warranty is 3 years parts and 1 year labor on electrical AND structural elements.
** Beware of manufacturers who offer 1 year warranties but only cover the electrical for 90 days.
* '''Combo Kneading, Tapping and Rolling'''
** Most massage chars can knead, tap and roll but few can perform all three functions simultaneously. Be sure that the chair that you choose can perform all three functions at the same time for maximum performance.
** Shiatsu massage is a popular programming option you'll find on many massage chairs which is basically another term for a kneading massage.
* '''Mechanical Leg and Foot Massage'''
** Most chairs offer air bag driven foot massages that feel like getting your blood pressure taken. Top massage chairs have actual kneading and rolling in the foot and legs that feel like the real thumbs of massage therapists.
** Does it include an ottoman or foot rest to match the chair? This can play a part in the overall comfort of the chair.
* '''Body Scanning'''
** No two people are alike so why buy a massage chair that gives the same massage to everyone? Top massage chairs actually measure your back to tailor the massage to you!