Massage Chair Buyer's Guide.
The Big "Top 10 Reasons"
Many of our customers find buying a massage chair a very confusing process, so we would like to help.
This guide will discuss the different features that affect the quality of your massage experience in hopes of helping you decide which chair is right for you. Whether you choose a competitor’s brand, or decide to purchase a massage chair directly through us or through an authorized retailer, we have no doubt that this guide will help you find the chair that will exceed your expectations.
Massage Chair Appearances
Each manufacturer has a different idea of how a massage chair should look. It is up to the consumer to decide which design they find most attractive, and how important this is to the purchase decision. Ultimately, What's on the inside of the chair is what counts when it comes to massage quality, but you can not ignore the fact that your massage chair will also become a very visible part of your décor.
For this reason we have designed our chairs to have a traditional but still modern design. This means that our chairs are designed to look natural, and very similar to traditional recliners, without sacrificing massage quality. Our philosophy is that a massage chair should look and feel like a fine piece of furniture…not an appliance.
Upon initial consideration, massage chairs can seem quite expensive. The fact is, massage chairs really are quite affordable when you consider the amount of enjoyment and therapy that they provide, compared to the amount of time you should reasonably expect to keep your chair. Considering the current list price for an Elite Optima, if you use your chair just twice a day (or once a day for 2 people), you will have paid less than $1 per day for the term of 5 years (the length of our warranty). Each massage costs just over a buck! Plus, each additional massage beyond the warranty period is FREE! Consider 2 massages a day / 5 years / 365 days in a year = $1.09 per massage, now that’s affordable! When you take into account the typical cost of an hour long massage with a typical massage therapist will run you between $60 - $100 or more, there's no comparison.
Many of our customers find themselves overwhelmed with information when shopping for a massage chair and soon lose site of the goal…finding the chair that delivers the most enjoyable massage possible.
To help clear the information clutter, we have compiled a list of the ten most important features to consider.
The Top Ten Features That Will Dramatically Affect Your Massage Experience.
Fluid Motions - Regardless of how many features a given chair has, you will not enjoy the massage unless the chair has fluid, human like movements. Both the Elite Optima and Elite Integra have some of the most human like, smooth and quiet massage motors and programming on the market today, because, as you may have guessed....we designed them that way.
Stroke Length - An adequate stroke length is critical to your massage experience. Stroke length measures the amount of travel that a chairs massage rollers can move up and down your back. Most mid-priced chairs offer no more than 20 inch stroke lengths, which will not reach your lower back or up to your neck and head. The best chairs will have stroke lengths between 27-30 inches. Both the Elite Optima and Elite Integra have stroke lengths of 30"
Body Scanning - This feature measures the exact curves and contours of your back, allowing the chair to focus on your individual pressure points. Body Scanning is one of the most recent and dramatic improvements in the massage chair industry, and is a feature that has allowed robotic massage chairs to closely mimic the movements of human hands. The best chairs can determine where your back ends and your shoulders start, and adjust the massage accordingly, whereas lesser models may end up massaging the empty space above your shoulder line. Not only do we incorporate advanced scanning technology, we allow for users of all heights to also have a base and scalp massage, a feature most massage chairs neglect.
Combination Kneading, Tapping and Rolling - Because of restricted motion and limited computer intelligence, as well as a limited quantity of the actual massage motors, lower range models can only perform one massage technique at a time. We recommended that you choose a model that can perform all functions simultaneously. Our chairs have between 8-12 motors performing each function separately. This will also contribute to the life expectancy of your chair and / or the individual motors, as independent motors will perform less work than one motor trying to perform all of the massage techniques
Massage Strength - It is important to choose a massage chair that is capable of delivering a strong massage. A strong massage chair can always be softened by reducing the intensity, as well as by adding extra pads into the back rest. As your back becomes conditioned to regular massage, you will want a firmer massage. You can always make a strong chair softer, buy you can’t make a soft chair stronger. Our massage chairs have been rated as the strongest in the industry.
Mechanical Massage - Most massage chairs use one of two different types of massage mechanisms, mechanical or air compression. Although both of these types of massages have value, mechanical massage is the preferred choice to provide you with true therapeutic massage therapy. Rather than simply squeezing as an air massage would perform, mechanical rollers manipulate your muscles for a more effective therapeutic massage. For the best massage results it is preferable for a massage chair to perform integrated air and mechanical massage. The Elite Optima has the first of its kind 4D air and mechanical reflexology massage to incorporate full body human eastern massage technology.
Massage Chair Material - Massage chairs are typically covered in synthetic leather or real leather, so which is better, and why? They both look and feel the same, so ultimately the smart choice is the one that will last longer. Most chairs that claim to be made of real leather are actually covered in only 30% real leather - only the part your body sits on. The rest of the chair is covered in color matched synthetic leather, similar to how your leather car seats would be upholstered. Unfortunately, in this scenario, the different materials will fade and wear unevenly. Real leather also has the tendency to dry and crack if not properly maintained with frequent leather conditioning. The heat elements contained in some massage chairs will accelerate this drying / cracking process as well. Elite Chairs utilize a synthetic leather material, which has been tested to hold up over time to the rigors of a massage chair, while maintaining the appearance of traditional leather.
The Remote Control - Remote controls vary in appearance, visibility and function. Some use a thin remote control design that easily slides into a pocket on the side of the chair for a more discrete appearance, and others are quite large and take 2 hands to manipulate. It is important to feel comfortable with the remote and not overwhelmed. The ideal remote control, will be one that you should eventually be able to use with your eyes closed. Both the Elite Optima and Elite Integra have an intuitive remote control that is as easy to use as your TV remote, and can be operated with one hand only.
Adjustments -When evaluating a massage chair, it is important to consider your height and body type as well as anyone else who may use the chair. The most important feature to take into account in this regard, is whether the leg unit will extend to fit your body size, as well as have numerous intensity setting for the massage features. Another newer feature that some high end chairs now have is the ability to program your own customized massage that the chair can store in its memory to be preformed later. This allows you to create a massage program catered to your preferences, while another user may do the same.The Elite Optima is fully programmable and can accommodate users up to 6' 4" and under 5' 3" with its industry best 9" extendable footrest.
Heat - Although it is considered an extra feature, heat still remains one of the best ways to loosen your back muscles during a massage making the overall experience more effective. Heat also helps to dilate arteries, thus increasing blood circulation which provides a number of health benefits. Oddly enough, there are very few chairs on the market that contain a heating element. The Elite Optima incorporates heat.
You may have noticed
That there are other features that did not make it on to our list of the Top Ten Features that will Dramatically Effect Your Massage Experience. We have highlighted the most important factors that REALLY make a difference. Some retailers fit their chairs with “gimmicks” that sound great but in reality don’t offer much massage benefit and cost you a lot more money. If you browse the internet you will find several of these gimmicks such as "voice activation systems", "galvanic stiffness sensors" or "infra-red detection". All of these features sound great, but none of them actually work as nice as they sound. Remember, you are buying a massage chair for one reason, for the massage. We have designed our massage chairs to give the best therapy massage of any massage chair available....period.
And finally don't take our word for it, do your research. We want you to get the best massage chair for your needs. It may not be ours. If you still have questions about any massage chair, we are here to help. Just give us a call. -800-592-0548-