Choosing a zero gravity massage chair - Complete Guide
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So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and invest in a zero gravity massage chair. Congratulations, your body and aching muscles will thank you later!
Before you can sink in to your new chair and enjoy that relaxing full body massage at home that you’ve always craved, there’s the small matter of picking a model that actually works for you. This may be a bit daunting, especially since most of us aren’t massage chair experts.
Massage chairs also tend to require a significant financial investment on your part, so unless you can afford to throw away your hard earned money, it’s best to try and get it right the first time.
Thankfully, we did the research and came up with the key things you’ll need to consider when choosing your new zero gravity massage chair. Let’s not waste any more time and get to choosing so you can start snoozing!
1. What's the chair for?
To give you a massage, obviously. While this question may sound silly, it’s actually quite helpful, especially when you start narrowing down different models based on their features.
If you experience pain on a certain part of your body (such as the lower back), you’ll best be served by a chair that can target that specific area of your body. If you just need a chair for general relaxation and comfort, then you can save money by cutting down on unnecessary features.
If the chair will be used by different members of your household, then it’s best to invest in a model with more features and customization options that can cater to different individual tastes.
You may want to use the massage chair as a normal chair to sit in when not in massage mode; some chairs will be too uncomfortable to sit in while turned off due to the massage roller system used.
2. Know your lingo
Just like with any other product that has a specs list, you’re going to come across new terms when shopping for your new massage chair. Let’s go over some of them below.
Massage Rollers: These are the mechanical ‘hands’ inside a massage chair that are responsible for giving you the massage when your seated. The massage roller system used in the chair will determine the type and intensity of massage the chair is able to carry out.
Older models of massage chairs had rollers that could only move up, down and sideways. This technology was referred to as the 2D roller system.
Newer models come with 3D rollers that added a forward and backward motion to the rollers for a more human-like experience.
The latest massage roller technology is a 4D roller system which offers even more options for the massage type, strength and speed.
Massage Track: The massage rollers we discussed above are attached to a track for support. The type of track used will determine how far the massage rollers are able to move.
Massage chairs with fixed tracks are the simplest and offer the least amount of massage options. This makes them ideal for anyone on a budget or if you just need a massage chair for general relaxation.
Massage chairs with S tracks are designed to follow the shape of the spine. They allow the rollers to move up and down from the neck to the lower back. These models are great for those who suffer from neck and back problems.
Massage chairs with L tracks allow the rollers to go further down past the lower back to the glutes. Depending on how long the track is, some models can reach your hamstrings as well.
Massage chairs with SL tracks give you the option of targeting both your spine and glutes with the massage rollers. These models offer plenty of massage options and are definitely worth considering especially if the massage chair will be used by different people.
Airbag massage: Massage chairs with this feature come with airbags all over the chair that squeeze, roll and knead the body. Some manufacturers include a heating function to further enhance the massage experience.
Most massage chair models listed as offering full body massages use a combination of rollers in the backrest and footrest plus the airbags for a full body massage.
3. Where will you install the massage chair?
It’s no secret zero gravity massage chairs are huge and require more space than your typical furniture set. Since these chairs are designed to recline, you can’t position them up against a wall.
It’s essential to leave enough space between the chair and the wall as well as any other furniture or fixtures. Also, when you first get the massage chair delivered to your house, you might need an extra pair of hands to move the chair, especially if there are any stairs involved.
The installation location can also help you choose the best color for your new chair especially if you’re into matching/contrasting your furniture colors and designs.
4. What's your budget?
Narrowing down how much you can afford to spend saves you a ton of time and stress. You’ll be in a better position to focus on picking the features and specs you need the most.
Generally speaking though, zero gravity chairs aren’t cheap. The budget models tend to go for under 700 US Dollars, whereas the premium models can set you back a few grand. The sweet spot is finding a price that works for you and gives you access to all the features you need plus some extras.
Given the substantial financial investment on your side, it’s worth saving a bit to get a few extra features since you won’t be changing the chair for at least a few years after you buy it.
5. Which extra features are included?
While you’re likely to find nearly identical features in zero gravity massage chairs with similar prices, be on the lookout for extra features that can further enhance your relaxation. This is important especially if you’re on a budget as some manufacturers may try to keep their product costs down by omitting some features.
Many models nowadays come with Bluetooth speakers, built-in heating and scrolling wheels for easy movement as standard extra features. Double check the specs list of any zero gravity massage chair your considering to ensure these features are included.
Other not-so-common features to be on the lookout for are voice control functionality, changing LED lights for added relaxation, multiple massage techniques such as kneading and finger pressing, an SL track which allows the rollers to move from your neck to your legs and body scan technology which enables the chair to choose a suitable massage setting based on your body size and shape.
The more the features the higher the price is going to be so try and remain realistic with your expectations.
6. Check the reviews
The last but certainly not the least important point to consider before picking a zero gravity massage chair is to read the customer reviews.
This will give you an idea of what to expect from any chair you’re considering as well as help you avoid problematic models. You can also use reviews to narrow down the most popular and trusted models to save time when shopping.
One very popular zero gravity massage chair is the blue and khaki Real Relax Massage Chair. It has over 4,000 buyer reviews which really helps new buyers to make a decision. Checkout the reviews here.
The tips above will help you choose the best zero gravity massage chair for you. It starts with identifying any specific features you’ll need then picking a suitable and reliable model that you can afford. Now that you have the knowledge, all that’s left now is to actually do the shopping. We have a whole article on the best zero gravity massage chairs here. Enjoy!