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Are Massage Chairs Worth The Price?

Lotus Massage Chairs – Wed, Dec 22, 21

Modern massage chairs have come a long way since their origin back in the 1950s. How do you decide if it’s worth it to invest in a massage chair instead...

Lotus Massage Chairs

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Are Massage Chairs Worth The Price?

Modern massage chairs have come a long way since their origin back in the 1950s. How do you decide if it’s worth it to invest in a massage chair instead of a massage therapist, or maybe both? There are a few key points like, the price, time and availability, customization and technology, and consistency. So let's take a good look at how these points add to up to clearly answer the question - are massage chairs worth the money?


Massage chairs have evolved into true medical devices that can scan your body before you ever begin a massage. Body scan is a technology that uses optical and pressure sensors to create a map of your back. Some chairs even go as far as designing a massage for you by diagnosing your body’s tension and then programming a custom-tailored massage treatment.

Chairs with a basic scanning ability adjust the rollers to the correct height for your shoulders. More advanced levels adjust the rollers automatically, for a custom-fit massage by detecting your shape, height, and shiatsu points. As the chair price goes up, the body scan technology is much more detailed. Body scan technology is recommended so that you don’t have to adjust the rollers by hand each time you want to use the chair.

Rollers and Tracks

Even though a modern advance massage chair can read your body by scanning, some folks miss the feel of a massage therapist. Although massage chairs are mechanical by nature, rollers have come a long way today, including 2D, 3D, and most recently 4D rollers.

2D rollers work the body by moving side-to-side and up-and-down. To that, 3D rollers add depth of movement, letting you choose how strong of a massage you would like to have. In addition to all the previous, the latest 4D rollers  keep changing the speed of the movements like you would experience with a human masseuse.

S-Track massage chairs work the length of the back and include the neck. The latest chairs follow an L-Track pattern with rollers travelling down through the seat of the chair to massage the buttocks and thighs.

The Rest of the Body

Many of today's massage chairs use airbag technologies from head to toe. The airbags work on the outer areas that can’t be reached by the rollers. Shoulders, sides of the thighs, hands, arms and feet are squeezed and released, stimulating muscles and increasing circulation. Airbags work together with rollers on the hips, calves, and feet.

Some chairs use the airbags as part of a programmed full body massage, and also stretch the body in various ways. Holding the upper body and lower extremities, the chairs can tilt and recline, and move side-to-side to gently stretch and pull your muscles.

Extra Features that Enhance the Massage

Many chairs have additional features that are entertaining as well as therapeutic. People really enjoy the addition of zero gravity, heat therapy, lights for chromotherapy, bluetooth music systems, and negative ion generators for the air around them 

Now that you have a pretty good idea of what a massage chair can do for you, how much does it cost?

The Costs of Massage

Having your very own massage chair or going to a massage therapist are both going to cost you, but that amount can vary by quite a bit.

Although massage chairs range in price from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000, expect to pay $2000 to start getting into the higher-quality chairs. Let’s compare that to average prices that a masseuse charges for a 60-minute massage, of $60 to $125. That price can vary depending on where you are located and what type of massage you are getting. 

Considering Those Costs Over Time…

If you purchased a higher-end massage chair in the $7-8,000 range, and used it everyday for three years you would spend about $7 a day. If your spouse used it as well, it would drop the daily usage amount to $3.50 a day. If you also added the five year extended warranty to your purchase, your daily costs would be $4, or only $2 if your spouse were also a daily user.

Those costs are only for 3-5 years. After that, you own it. Most massage chairs have a fairly long life expectancy of 10 to 20 years, although some will last longer than that. But we are looking at fixed costs with not much additional expense during the warranty period.

If your budget is only for a $2000 massage chair, do the numbers still make sense? Rest assured that you could get a high-quality massage chair for that price. Newer massage chairs are frequently being brought to market, often including many of the same features of the higher-end models. A $2000 chair used during its three year warranty period would cost you about $2 a day … and that’s just for only one person, only once a day.

So how do the costs of high-end massage chairs compare to going to a masseuse? The last time I went to a masseuse it was $125 with the tip included for a 60-minute massage. To be fair let’s say the average massage is 60 minutes and it costs $100. A $7,500 high-end massage chair would cost the same as 75 massages. Over five years that’s 1.25 massages a month, or 1 a month and every four months you get 2.

But after five years you have broke even – you own the chair and you can continue to still use it daily. If you don’t need or care for a massage as often, you may be better off paying a masseuse as you go. On the other hand if you like to get a massage frequently, you can save money over time by paying upfront and buying a massage chair.

So how many massages work best for you? If you’re looking for occasional stress relief or have a pain only once in a while, you might be happy enough with two or three massages per year. But if you have a somewhat chronic pain and/or a very stressful job/life situation you might not get by with even three or four massages a month.

Time And Scheduling

When figuring out if a massage chair is worth it you need to add in how long it takes to get to the masseuse, book an appointment, then get cleaned up, and what about gas and tolls. With a massage chair you don’t have to go anywhere, squeeze an appointment in, or even change your clothes. When you own a massage chair it's always available right where you are 24/7.

Having said that, some people like to “get out”, disconnect from their world, and go to the spa. Massage chair makers get that and have tried to bring some “effects” to the chairs, such as music systems, light therapy, etc. Although there’s nothing quite like going to a spa, there are a lot of things you can do to create a space in your home or office where you have the right environment for your massage chair.

Consistency You Can Count On

Being a mechanical device, a massage chair is programmed to be consistent, whereas a masseuse may not be. This is especially true if you haven’t found the right one yet and keep trying a different one every time you go. You can count on the fact that your massage chair will consistently give you the same massage, according to the program you choose, everyday.


For some people lying on a table with a towel barely covering them just doesn’t feel relaxing. This may not matter to some, but others may not feel comfortable getting massaged by another person. Having a massage in you own massage chair is very private and cleanliness is something you have complete control over 

Final Thoughts On Whether A Massage Chair Is Worth It

Although a massage chair can never replace the human touch of a masseuse, if you choose to overlook that one aspect and measure the costs – we think a massage chair is a good investment for anyone who needs or desires a massage on a regular basis.