Advantages And Disadvantages of Massage Chair Explained

Are you coming home from a long, hectic, stressful day, and the one thing you and your body asks for is a relaxing massage? But stepping out to get a massage seems like a lot of work, right?

Thanks to technology, you can now enjoy a massage at home -with the help of a massage chair.

An American research report states that more than 40 million people have arthritis in the US. Massage treatments can help reduce the pain caused by arthritis; hence, the increase in the use of massage chairs since then.

Moreover, not only arthritis but massage chairs help reduce minor pains and aches. Massage chairs help relax your stressed muscles and improve body posture and blood circulation at your convenience. 

Now, you are probably considering getting a massage chair for your home. Even so, just like any other electronic device, massage chairs have merits and demerits. 

So, before getting your hands on a high-quality massage chair, know the pros and cons it has to offer. In this article, I discuss the merits and demerits of massage chairs for you to make a well-informed decision.  

Did you know? : Nobuo Fujimoto was the person to introduce the first electric massage chair design to the world in 1954. There were several prototypes of the massage chair until he found the perfect one. 

Key Takeaway

  1. Massage chairs are one of the best alternatives for professional massages, although they cannot exactly replace the professional. 
  2. The benefits of massage chairs include instant relaxation of your sore muscles and improvement in your blood circulation. Most importantly, they promote correct posture. 
  3. The chair mechanism allows it to target specific body parts and use rollers to massage that area. 
  4. However, there is a downside to massage chairs. It is expensive, has user height & weight restrictions, and needs cleaning and maintenance.

About Massage Chairs:

Before getting down to business, let us quickly understand the basics of a massage chair. As the name implies, a massage chair is a chair designed to give massage therapy. There exist two versions of massage chairs -traditional and robotic. 

In traditional massage chairs, a masseuse can access and massage the user’s head, neck, shoulders, and back of the body. On the other hand, in robotic chairs, electronic vibrators and rollers massage the body. 

Speaking of robotic or electronic, the best and highest-quality massage chairs are recliners that imitate a massage therapist. They massage targeted body parts with the amalgamation of massage rollers and airbags. Besides this, how exactly does a massage chair work? 

Massage Chair Mechanism 

massage chair mechanism


The mechanism of massage chairs is such that they can give different types of massage based on the set program. The most basic massage chairs use vibration motors, which are weighted wheels or gears that rotate and generate a vibration, which helps to massage your muscles.

Furthermore, some high-quality massage chairs have rollers that move in multiple directions or circles, generally on your back. As the rollers have predefined paths, they run along only on your back. 

The other technique involves storing airbags in the arms of the chair and tapping or pressing specific body parts with motors. Once you start your session, the airbags inflate and deflate to gently squeeze the arms and legs while motors tap like a karate chop massage. 

Now, you have your own masseuse by combining these technologies and controlling them with remote control.

Caution: Even though using a massage chair during pregnancy is not entirely dangerous, always use it on low settings, says Healthline. 

Quick Overview

List of Advantages and Disadvantages of Massage Chairs

Once we understand the massage chair basics, the only thing left before getting a chair is the merits and demerits it has to offer.

Let us dive into it one by one, starting with the merits. 

5 Merits Of A Massage Chair

Instant Muscle relaxation

The best advantage of using a massage chair is instant relaxation, muscular or mental. A full body massage session of 15-20 minutes helps you release all the tension from your muscles using vibration motors and massage rollers. 

The best part of relaxing in a massage chair is: you can target an area of the body parts, like the lower back, shoulders, or neck, for massage treatment. Besides, a massage chair can even support your spine and align it. For instance, the chair design backs up your entire back and spine, loosening the tightened and stiff muscles.

After this, you feel fresh since the chair design strategically uses massage rollers that reach the targeted body parts, easing the pain and muscular discomfort. 

Tip: Now, massage chairs can help you instantly relax after a heavy workout. 

massage chair


Promotes right posture

As I said earlier, these chairs support your spine and allow proper alignment. The chairs can massage you in different positions while helping you in keeping your spine straight and relaxed. 

It becomes important because if we continue sitting for many hours, we tend to bend forward. Continuous spine bending can lead to back pain, slumped shoulders, and spine curvature disorders. In order to avoid this, massage chairs promote the correct and natural posture by using the nodes and rollers. 

In addition, the chairs will lengthen your spine. The spine lengthening relieves the pressure on your nerves, enabling each vertebra to return to its original alignment.

Relaxing on massage chair


Improves blood circulation 

After relaxing your body and promoting the correct spine posture, massage chairs go ahead and improve blood circulation in your body.-another huge advantage. 

Often, the pain and stiffness you experience in your body can be because of poor blood circulation, meaning the blood is not reaching the cells. In this case, the vibrations and massage rollers free up your tensed nerves, resulting in improved blood circulation. 

Once the blood reaches the cells, your body starts to feel fresh and unwind. Hence, massage chairs are proven beneficial for improving and promoting better blood circulation.

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

Offers different types of massages

Since we have understood the merits massage chairs offer to our body, let us talk about some external benefits it has to offer. The first is -different types of massages. Massage chairs cannot replace professional massage therapists but are very similar. 

The high the quality of your chair, the more the features, meaning a better and more relaxing massage. Many, almost all chairs, have customizable programs and features. So, you can set the program as per your preferences and get the most out of it. 

Furthermore, some chairs have the ability to give different types of massages. You can check the following list and see whether your massage chair can offer at least one of these massages. 

  • Swedish
  • Deep Tissue
  • Junetsu
  • Shiatsu 
  • Tapping 
  • Kneading 
  • Vibration 
  • Air compression
  • Stretch 

Easy to use

You might wonder, with all these features using massage chairs will be difficult. Well, it is the opposite. They are certainly easy to use. 

Almost all chairs have a remote control device, making them easy to use. You can set your chair to programs based on your choice on the remote, and you are good to go. 

However, if you are confused about how to use the massage chair, you can read the user manual and follow the instructions given in the manual. 

Caution: If you are new to massage chairs, try not to go overboard. Start slow and increase gradually according to your body’s needs. 

These were some of the many merits that massage chairs have to offer. Just as any device, massage chairs also have demerits of their own. Before buying one, it is better to know both sides. 

5 Demerits Of A Massage Chair

massage chair



The first one has to be the cost of massage chairs. Since it offers many features, it is expensive. Also, it is considered to be a hefty investment. The average price of a massage chair ranges between $1000-$2500. The higher-end models can even go up to $10000. 

So, yes, it is a substantial investment. If budget is an issue, you can always purchase cheap massage chairs model with fewer customizable features. Now, if you wish to buy a high-quality massage chair, there exists an option of getting your insurance company to pay for your chair. Although, it is a complicated and tedious process. 

User height and weight limitation

Besides price, the massage chair has height and weight limitations. It is because the massage chair design comes with a maximum user weight limit.

On average, massage chairs are made to fit people with heights of 5′ to 7′ and weights of 250 to 280 lbs. Therefore, unfortunately, if your size and weight do not conform to the given range, you cannot use the massage chair. 

Sadly, the height and weight limitations do not allow many people to enjoy this experience and get the most out of the chair. 

Available in standard sizes and colors

Other disadvantages of massage chairs are their availability in only a few colors and sizes. It may be because they primarily focus on function than appearance. 

Though the standard colors suit the contemporary, modern house arrangement, they do not go well with traditional, vintage houses. 

Demand regular cleaning and maintenance 

Keeping all of the demerits aside, this particular one is quite a deal breaker. Why? It is because massage chairs cannot just keep lying in the house. It demands frequent cleaning and maintenance, which is not always possible.

If not maintained, several issues arise, making it challenging to handle. Plus, replacing the chairs is usually not possible. As it is a heavy investment, you should take care of it. Whereas if properly maintained, that massage chair can live a long life and help you relax and relieve your stress and pain for a long time. 

therapeutic massages


Lastly, it cannot replace professional massage.

When you buy a massage chair, remember that it will not replace a professional massage therapist. The invention of massage chairs helps us get a massage and relax at our convenience and in the comfort of our homes. 

The massage rollers, air compressors, and nodes cannot replace the hands of a professional massage therapist in any way. If massage is a part of your medical treatment, you should consider going to a professional to avoid further complications. 


Now you know the entire picture, you can make a well-informed decision. If you want a relaxing massage and your budget is not an issue, go for a massage chair. It won’t disappoint you. 

Everything is in front of you -the merits and demerits of a massage chair. Ultimately, it is up to you if you want to buy a chair or not.


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