A good massage chair that’s not going t let you down right from the start costs about $2,500. That being said, the more you pay, the more you get, in most cases. Massage chairs can cost up to or even more than $10,000, with the cheapest models going for less than $1,000.
But why is there such a big price difference? It not only comes down to features, which are the most obvious reason, but the quality of these features and the durability/reliability of the chair in general also plays a big role.
Key Takeaway: The rice of a massage chair depends on numerous factors including the number of features and quality of design.
Features that May Affect the Costs of a Massage Chair
There are two categories to consider here, the features the chair can perform, and the actual features of the chair itself:
You can easily spot advanced features of any good chair that make it more desirable than a cheaper model, like more preset programs, or heating pads for the calves and feet. While these obviously better features are attractive, they aren’t the only reason the chair is more expensive.
For example, cheaper chairs tend to have stationary (2D) rollers that rotate but do not run up and down the length of a muscle.
Similarly, they have fewer airbags, which provide a more general pressure compared to models with more airbags, which give a more localized or specific pressure massage.
But besides these more obscure features, the quality of each feature tends to be more enhanced in more expensive chairs. In essence, a cheap chair may have the exact same number of features as an expensive chair, but they leave you bruised and battered, while a more expensive chair leaves you feeling relaxed and revitalized. Click here for review of best massage chairs in the world right now
In this respect, quality is as important as quantity.
The parts, labor, and engineering can have a huge impact on the price of a chair, not to mention the warranty and returns policy.
In general, more expensive chairs tend to last longer, with better customer support and warranty coverage than cheaper chairs.
Key Takeaway: The features the chair can perform, the quality of these features and the quality of the manufacturing process all influence the price of the chair.
Is Massage Chair Smart Investment?
Besides the fact that it’s there when you need it, no appointment or travel required, a massage chair pays for itself within a few months.
On average, a massage costs $75 per hour. If you use your massage chair for 1-2 hours a week, a mid-range chair for $2500 will pay for itself in just over 4-8 months. And that’s assuming you’re the only one using it…
Key Takeaway: Within a year you will be saving time and money by investing in a massage chair.
Difference Between An Expensive Massage Chair And Cheaper Chairs
Here there are some key factors to consider when it comes to the differences between expensive and cheap chairs:
First and foremost, the quality of the massage you’re getting from a more expensive chair is going to be better than a cheaper chair. Rollers are smoother, airbags are pressure tested, and preset programs are better designed in more expensive chairs.
Cheaper chairs are less reliable. Whether their electronics fail or their parts break or the actual chair starts falling apart… You’re better off spending a bit more on a reliable chair than “saving a buck or two” and investing in a chair that just doesn’t stand the test of time.
Chairs that are manufactured in some Asian countries are just not built to the same standard as some others.
Generally, Japanese chairs aren’t bad. Parts sourced from Taiwan are okay… But assembly in China is best avoided.
Different countries have different standards. If you’re looking for a chair that’s going to meet our standards, look for a chair that’s made close to you. More expensive chairs are usually manufactured to a higher standard.
This goes hand in hand with manufacturing. The cheaper the chair, the worse the warranty (and customer service).
You may be paying less for the chair, but the price of the chair is a good indicator f aftermarket services.
For example, a $1000 chair, with all the features of a $3000 chair, looks great, right? But the cheaper chair comes, and the airbag pressure is just way too much, the control is complicated, and of the 3 preset programs, you like one. But it’s okay… It is cheaper, so you accept your fate.
A week later, the roller breaks, you call the customer care, they don’t answer. Five tries later, you decide to send an email. They respond, saying that they are happy to fix the chair, you just have to send it halfway across the globe for $200 each way.
They don’t do in-home repairs. They don’t do replacements. And it’s all on your dime.
That’s the difference between expensive and cheap chairs.
Key Takeaway: Cheaper chairs are not worth the complications that accompany them.
Good Chairs Under $500
Don’t waste your money on chairs under $500. They will cause more damage than good. Not only is the quality of the massage provided by such a cheap chair way below par, which can actually cause bruising and muscle damage, but they also won’t last very long and when they brake (which they will) they turn into a giant, good for nothing, paperweight.
Massage Chairs Between $1,000 – $1,2500
For this price, you want to go for a low-range, starter model from a reputable company.
Human Touch Wholebody is a good option to consider, but the Kahuna 6800 offers more features, with minimal complaints.
It has all the functionality of a high-end chair, albeit not to the same degree of expertise, including body scan, zero gravity, and even arm massage. The feet and calf rollers can be a bit too intense for some people, but that’s the price you pay for opting for a cheaper chair, and it can be remedied by adding a protective layer of thick fabric.
The LM 6800 is one of the cheapest, most reliable chairs on the market and includes L-track, with five different body massage techniques, six auto programs, and three-speed and intensity settings over various individual areas of the body.
Key Takeaway: Unlike other chairs in this price range the Kahuna is going to give you a variety of functions and it won’t let you down. It may not be the best chair n the market, but it’s the best in this price range.
Massage Chairs Between $2500 – $5000
The Titan Pro Jupiter XL takes the prize in this category. It has is the best set of features, including 3D L-Track, head massage, and heating fr the calves as well as the seat and lower back… But as I said before, while these are good selling points, they don’t close the deal.
What closes the deal n the Titan is the warranty. It includes a 1-year parts and labor in-home warranty.
That means, if the chair breaks within the first year, someone comes to fix it for you, no extra expenses.
If you aren’t sold yet, this is a mid-range model, with high-end features.
It has quality massages in most respects (the neck and shoulder massage isn’t the best, but the head massage sure is!).
While there isn’t much in the line of personalized settings, it does provide a gentle twist action which helps to loosen the hips and lower back.
Coupled with the L-Track that’s designed for taller people (up to 6’6”), this chair is by far the best option in this price range.
Key Takeaway: The Titan will not outperform more expensive chairs, but you will not find a chair in this price range that beats the quality of features or the warranty on the Titan.
Massage Chairs Between $5000 – $10000
This is where things get tricky. While most of the “dangers” of cheaper chairs fall away in this price range, there are still some things to take into consideration.
Here you’re looking for award-winning chairs. You’re not looking for an average chair with a big mark-up because of some fancy gimmick that serves no real purpose. Look out for marketing strategies like “4D Rollers”, they’re the same as 3D Rollers with intensity control.
Also, pay close attention to customer feedback. As I said, if you’re paying this much for a chair, you want a chair that’s amazing – in every aspect. So make sure people don’t just like the chair, they LOVE it…
That being said, massage chairs aren’t perfect, so while good customer service, warranties, and quality features should be a priority, the nitty-gritty details like “it’s too bulky” or “I wish it had this feature on top of the 20 other features I really like” shouldn’t always be dealbreaker.
Sure, you may want a chair that has EVERYTHING and more, but realistically speaking, this is just not going to happen. So pick the features that are important to you and then look for a chair that has those features.
Key Takeaway: While massage chairs are hardly ever perfect in all respects, make sure to choose one that ticks all your boxes, especially since you’re spending so much on a chair – make sure it is a worthy investment.
Our Picks in this Category
Depending on what you want, we recommend investing in either the Luraco I7 Plus or the Human Touch Super Novo.
The i7 has won numerous awards and is used by the army – which is already a good reason to buy it. On top of that, it’s made in the USA and uses, literally, the best engineering and modern technology. It is the quietest chair and can save up to 5 personalized massage programs.
On the other hand, the Super Novo has a better space-saving design and comes with a virtual therapist who can anticipate your preferences. It may not have won as many awards, but it is up there with the i7.
If you like hip airbags, go for the i7, if you like a gentler stretch, go for the Super Novo. It’s difficult to say which chair is inherently better; it depends on personal preference. Both offer a good set of features and a good warranty.
Key Takeaway: To choose which of these are better you need to take a look at your own list of key features you want in a chair and see which matches it the best.
When choosing how much to spend on a massage chair, the general rule of thumb is that more expensive chairs are better. But, this doesn’t mean that just because a chair is cheap, it isn’t good, or just because it’s expensive, it must be amazing.
While massage chairs can be good investments, you do need to make sure that the model you’re buying, and the company you’re buying from, match your standards and expectations.
Our Summary on Cheap->Expensive Chairs:
- Chairs under $500 aren’t worth their price.
- If you’re looking for a chair between $1000-$2500, less is usually more (in terms of features), and look out for warranty limitations. More features usually mean less reliability.
- In the $2500-$5000 categories, go for a starter model from a reputable company with a decent amount of features. There are a lot of cheaply made chairs and marketing gimmicks in this category.
- If you’re spending $5000-$10000 – go for gold. Don’t settle for second best; make sure you’re getting exactly what you want (or as close to it as you can) and that the warranty covers at least 1-year in-home labor and parts.
Do make sure you’re aware of what you’re buying. Don’t fall into a marketing trap and buy something that seems to be amazing, but really isn’t and then breaks after a few days.
Make sure you’re happy with the functions and the warranty – this will save you a more than just money because massage chairs are supposed to be stress-relievers, but they can induce a whole lot of stress if you aren’t careful.