Buying A Massage Chair: Tips to Help You Decide
The popularity of massage chairs in the USA has increased dramatically since the end of the country’s Great Recession in 2009. This is not only due to the rapidly growing economy since ’09, but also because the awareness of the health benefits of massage therapy has increased exponentially. Import records suggest that the rate of growth of the massage chair market continues to increase, and there are no signs at all that this momentum will abate any time soon. This has not gone unnoticed among massage chair industry manufacturers; there is a myriad of new companies entering the U.S. market – some that are quality manufacturers – but many that are not.
The explosion of discounted, poorly built massage chair brands has made navigating the U.S. market very difficult and extremely confusing.
By comparison to other sizable massage chair markets, all of which are in Asia, the USA still has a long way to go before we reach the kind of penetration rates seen in Japan, Taiwan, and other relatively prosperous Asian countries. Nowhere in the world is acceptance of massage chairs greater than it is in Japan, where industry trackers report that nearly 20 percent of all homes have a massage chair. This is even more incredible when you consider that the average family home in Japan is 1,310 square feet. (By comparison, the average size of a home in the United States is 2,700 square feet). Not only is Japan the epicenter of massage chair consumers, but in many ways, it is also the mecca of massage chair design.
This is why massage chairs with a genuine Japanese pedigree are so highly coveted by savvy consumers seeking the world’s best massage chairs.
With that background massage chair historical information in mind, here are a few of the things you should consider as you explore and research buying a massage chair:
- You absolutely get what you pay for. Remember that your massage chair is a long-term investment to better your life.
- Massage chairs “are an experience”. They cannot be fully appreciated just by looking at spec sheets and comparison charts.
- The massage chair you choose should enhance your quality of life. It is not just an entertainment toy.
What makes a massage chair great in our eyes? It is these three simple attributes:
- Massage quality
- This is the foremost reason you are making the choice of buying a massage chair in the first place. Massage quality is much more than a comparison chart. On the surface, all massage chairs may seem equal, but the massage choreography and feel can vary greatly from model to model and brand to brand – much like how all vehicles get you from Point A to Point B, but we definitively know all vehicles are not equal. Buy the chair that gives you the best massage quality and that best addresses your needs, not necessarily the chair that has the most features.
- Manufacturer reputation
- We have reason to believe that the product is of exceptionally high quality when compared to other brands in the market based on the longstanding reputation of the manufacturer. You can typically learn a lot about a brand from the reviews of their products and services. You can also get an idea of the quality of the brand by who sells it. For instance, you can’t buy best-in-class products just anywhere. They are typically only sold by trusted retail partners with the highest integrity.
- Chair reliability
- Warranty coverage can tell you a lot about presumed chair reliability and what kind of customer service you can expect with each manufacturer. Beware of “lifetime” or “10-year” warranty coverage that really only covers a single part that should never fail such as the chair frame. Also, be sure to determine how long the warranty covers only parts versus parts AND labor, as well as if the labor is “in-home” or if the chair must be sent to a service facility (usually at your cost). If a company can only provide one year of labor coverage and/or does not have technicians to send to your home, that should be a red flag.
If you’re interested in finding the best massage chair for your home, look through our catalog today. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at any time!