2D vs 3D vs 4D massage chairs [5 Differences + Detailed Explanation]

Have you been hunting for massage chairs? After much contemplation, you decide on a massage chair you like that is perfect for you. But now, you are going round and round in circles choosing between 2D, 3D, or 4D massage chairs. 

Well, lucky for you, I have got you covered in this domain.

According to the Street Wall Journal, manufacturers of ultramodern massage chairs are in a race to attract, unknot, and de-stress their customers in new and sometimes esoteric ways.

Consequently, manufacturers are creating massage chairs that provide kneading, tapping, shiatsu, and acupressure techniques, beyond just relaxing a user. The result of such advanced modern chairs was tremendous development and evolution. 

In terms of evolution, before 2015, there were only 2D, meaning two-dimensional massage chairs. And now, the advancement drastically escalated with the 3D and 4D massage chairs that feature unique massage rollers techniques. 

So, in this article, I discuss what 2D, 3D, and 4D massage chairs mean and how different they are from each other. I examine them based on their features, intensity, utility, and cost of the chairs.

To begin, let’s look at the basics of these chairs. 

JUMP TO: About 2D Massage Chair | About 3D Massage Chair | About 4D Massage Chair | 2D vs 3D vs 4D Massage Chair | Takeaway |


Features 2D Massage Chair3D Massage Chair4D Massage Chair
Deep Tissue Massages
Massage Roller MechanismUp/Down + SidewaysUp/Down + Sideways + In/OutUp/Down + Sideways + In/Out + Speed
Intensity adjustment 
S-Track and L-track movements
Cost Affordable Slightly expensiveMost expensive
Overall Massage ExperienceA mild-to-moderate relaxation massage.Massage with targeted relief for deep tissueA deep tissue massage incorporating deep target roller work

About 2D Massage Chairs:

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A 2D massage chair is a chair having a 2D roller mechanism. It is all about the massage rollers. The rollers in a 2D roller mechanism will move upward and downward, following your spine curve (s-curve), while the roller arms move sideways simultaneously. 

The advantage of having a 2D chair is that its rollers can move in several ways that mimic traditional massage techniques, such as rolling, tapping, and kneading. With a 2D roller massage chair, you get a speed variable that allows you to alter the intensity of your massage. 

Long story short, a 2D massage chair has rollers that move up, down, and sideways. The 2D massage chairs are suitable for mild-moderate relaxation massages. 

Apart from mild relaxation massages, the chair manufacturer was trying to design features that offer health benefits like deep tissue massage. For this reason, they have taken things a step further and created 3D massage chairs that differ slightly from 2D ones.

Also Read: How to Reset a Massage Chair? [4 Easy Ways Explained]

About 3D Massage Chairs:

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Unlike 2D, 3D chairs have an added dimension, allowing the extension. Moreover, in the 3D massage chairs roller mechanism, the rollers can freely move in a vertical direction and extend up to four inches (only in some models). 

So, how does the extended third dimension help us? It can now offer a deep tissue massage.

Deep tissue massage is preferred and the favorite of the masses since it stands with the name and provides stress-relieving massages. In addition, these premium massage chairs also have features wherein you can adjust the intensity and how deep you want the rollers to go during a massage session. 

For example, you can decide whether you want an aggressive deep tissue massage -from the neck to the shoulders to the hamstrings. You can go for any track type -S-track or L-track, meaning short track and long track, respectively.

The tracks in a 3D massage chair help offer a range of massage intensities, including deep tissue, sport, and reflexology massages. Now, the chair manufacturers did not stop here; hence, we have a more advanced version of the massage chair -a 4D massage chair, slightly different from 3D ones. 

Caution- The use of a massage chair should not exceed 30 minutes, and you should not massage a particular part for more than five minutes.

About 4D Massage Chairs: 

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The latest chair technology, the 4D massage chairs, does everything. I mean everything. You will have every feature and massage type from 3D and 2D massage chairs. Furthermore, you get a fourth dimension, which allows the rollers to accelerate and decelerate while the massage stroke occurs

Are you confused? Well, let me explain. 

When you massage your back with this roller mechanism, you can increase the speed of the rollers at the top of the massage stroke and then reduce it at the end. 

So, how does the added dimension help us? It offers a deep tissue massage along with motion augmentation. 

With a 4D chair, you have complete control of the intensity and the depth of the massage for having a professional massage therapist kind of experience. This intuitive stroke control allows for relaxation, deep tissue, sports massage, and deep tissue massage for athletes.

Reviewers agree that the 4D chair massage experience is the closest a person can get to the human touch. In short, for deep tissue, sport, and reflexology massage experience, the 4D body massage chair offer a range of massage intensities, from mild to firm. In addition, they offer intuitive speed controls for managing stroke intensity.

Note- This is your chair if you want to work out knots in your neck, shoulders, and back and break up adhesions.  

2D-3D-4D Massage Chairs – 5 Differences 

After reading this far, you at least know the essential functions that 2D, 3D, and 4D massage chairs perform. So, it is time to compare and contrast all three chairs based on the following factors. 

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Deep Tissue Massage

During a deep tissue massage, this perfect massage chair applies slow and firm pressure to the inner layers of your muscles. Removing the knots and scar tissue that may otherwise result in discomfort and inflammation, the deep tissue massage helps to reduce muscular tension.

For muscle tension reduction, your massage chair should have specific massage rollers which reach and target the deep tissues. Unfortunately, 2D massage chair rollers have movement restrictions. Hence, they are unable to penetrate and relax your deep tissues. On the other hand, 3D and 4D massage chairs especially offer deep tissue massages. 

Verdict- 2D chairs differ from 3D and 4D chairs in offering deep tissue massages. The difference lies in the roller mechanism. You can go for 3D and 4D advanced massage chairs rather than 2D, which only provide enjoyable massages.

Massage Rollers Movement

So, at this point, you are clear that the massage roller is the point where all the differences and similarities lie. Therefore, let us talk about the roller mechanism and how it functions. Firstly, when it comes to 2D massage chairs, we know that in 2D, the movement of the massage rollers is restricted to up, down, and side to side. 

On the contrary, with 3D massage rollers, they can freely move from left to right, meaning sideways, up & down, and additionally in & out, similar to human hands. A 4D massage chair roller mechanism functions similarly to a 3D roller, except for offering a speed control option. The rollers can move up and down, sideways, in and out, and their speed is adjustable.

2D vs 3D vs 4D

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Verdict- Unlike 2D, 3D & 4D massage roller movements are diverse, which helps them go deeper into your body and offer different types of massages. Despite the difference in the roller movement, all three rollers have one thing in common: they have an addition to the previous roller technology. 


These days, advanced chairs come with speed control options so you can alter the speed and intensity of your massage to suit your preferences. One feature common to all three massage chairs (2D, 3D, and 4D) is adjusting the amount of intensity of the massage. 

Why is this important? When you receive a professional massage, the masseuse hits knots in your body, not just keeps moving at the same speed. Mimicking human hands and depending on the chair, you can adjust the intensity of the massage to make it as intense or gentle as you like.

Tip -An additional feature of a 4D chair is that it can control the roller speed around a specifically targeted knot.

Verdict- Intensity, which means the speed of your massage and massage rollers, is a similar feature offered by all three -2D,3D, and 4D massage chairs. The only difference between them is that in 3D and 4D chairs, you can target a specific part and adjust the intensity, whereas, in 2D, you can only control the speed. 

S-track and L-track massage chairs

The roller tracks, S-track and L-track, provide the path that massage chair rollers follow along your body. The massage chair roller tracks generally start from the neck and gradually work through the body.

In S-Track, S refers to “sinusoidal” (which means “wave”). Massage rollers following S-tracks move up and down the spine, tracking the spine curve.

A massage chair with an L-Track can travel further down the body than a massage chair with an S-Track. In contrast to an S Track massage chair, an L Track can reach all the way down to your glutes and hamstrings.

Strack and Lrack roller

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Unfortunately, the linear roller track of 2D massage chairs causes some rollers to disengage from the back occasionally. Today, modern massage chairs’ 3D and 4D rollers run along S-track and L-track frames to ensure that they remain entirely in contact with your body.

Verdict- If you want to massage and relax your spine and maintain its natural posture, you should choose 3D or 4D massage chairs depending upon your budget. 

Related Read: How To Get Insurance To Pay For A Massage Chair?


Last but not least point of difference is the cost of these dimensional chairs. Until now, you know that a 4D massage chair is a better and more advanced version of a 3D and 3d of a 2D massage chair. Now, the price of the chair depends upon several factors like what massage types they can offer, model type, and advanced features they have.  

Although, the average massage chair price starts around  $1000-$2500 and goes up to $10000 for some higher-end models.

Concerning the cost, 2D massage chairs are the most affordable available in the market. Unlike 2D, 3D massage chairs are slightly higher in price because of all the advanced features they offer. Furthermore, 4D massage chairs are even more expensive than 3D, considering the built-in latest and advanced features.

Verdict- 2D massage chairs are more affordable than any other chairs. 3D and 4D chairs are slightly high in cost. However, the best option here seems to be 3D massage chairs as they are not as expensive as 4D and not as basic as 2D massage chairs.


In conclusion, we can say that there exists a difference between 2D and 3D/4D massage chairs. However, there is not a noticeable difference between 3D and 4D massage chairs. As mentioned, all the differences lie in the massage roller mechanism.  

I have thoroughly discussed the differences and similarities between the three massage chair types. Now, in the end, it depends on you and your needs. If you want a chair just to come home and relax for some time, go for the affordable choice -2D massage chairs. 

Although, if you want a deep tissue massage with speed control and are willing to sideline the budget, 3D and 4D are the right massage chair for you.

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