Comprehensive Guide to the Best Massage Chair 2024

A comprehensive guide of massage chairs from popular brands in Singapore. We study the different functions
and features that buyers should consider before purchase.

Comprehensive Guide to the Best Massage Chair 2024

Massage chairs are lifestyle goods with high price tags. Careful studies of the different models offered by various brands in the market will go a long way to ensure you get your money’s worth. If you are looking to own a massage chair for the first time, take note that each massage chair has its own unique mix of functions and features, which can be tricky to compare if you haven’t owned one before. Miuvo focuses on great functionality as well as practicality, and they are priced lower than our competitors. We have put together this comprehensive guide for the popular massage chair models available in the market in 2024. Here are some trends and highlights.

1) Massage Rollers

Massage chair employ a variety of massage rollers. You may be dazzled by terms such as ‘V-grip massage technology’, ‘3D or 4D rollers’, etc. Most massage chairs in the market employ silicone rollers for their massage movements, despite the fancy terms used by various brands. Rollers that feel hard typically are plastic rollers. These can feel tacky and uncomfortable and are also less durable as the plastic tends to degrade faster over time. Ask the salesperson for such details. Certain brands may not reveal such information at the first instance as they invariably use the harder plastic rollers.

2) Massage Track

Another important detail is the type of track the massage chair comes with. There are 2 major types of massage tracks used in most massage chairs sold in the market currently.

The 2 types are Fixed track and the SL Track

Fixed track:

This is the most basic track used by low end massage chairs. This type of track has been phased out for decades by major massage chair brands in Singapore, however, it has made a resurgence in the last couple of years due to cheap imports from suppliers here and in China. On the fixed track, hard plastic rollers are used. There are usually 4 to 5 pairs of such rollers placed at various points of the massage track that do nothing but rotate in a fixed plane. While this significantly reduces the cost of owning a massage chair, user experience can be drastically reduced due to limited functionality. The massage sensation that it provides gets boring after a while.

SL-track:

A hybrid roller track that is widely adopted, the S/L-track combines the range of the L-track with the space saving capabilities of the S-track. Featuring track lengths ranging from 120cm – 135cm, the silicone rollers are able to target the neck all the way down to the thigh area. This track is used on the MiuDeluxe Elite and MiuDelight V2 massage chairs.

Other types of tracks may be infrequently used by some massage chair brands such as the ones below:

I-track:

The roller track extends from the neck to the lower back region. This massage track is used mainly on cheaper, low-end models and massage sofas to achieve a smaller footprint. I-tracks are typically 55cm-70cm long. The rollers may feel hard or jarring to the user as such a track do not conform to the spine’s natural curvature.

L-track:

The massage roller track extends from the neck region to the upper thighs and conforms to the spine’s natural “S” shape. Typically found in higher spec massage chair models, L-tracks are usually 119cm – 135cm long. Rollers target the gluteus region well and allows for zero gravity reclining. 

S-track:

The roller track extends from the neck region through the lower lumbar region and conforms to the spine’s natural “S” shape. Typically found in massage chair models with compact footprints, S-tracks (typically range from 70-82cm) are slightly shorter than L-tracks. This allows for targeting of the gluteus region but cannot reach the upper thighs like the L-track. Massage chair models employing the S-track typically do not feature the zero gravity recline function.

For more information on the differences of the tracks, click here to read our SL track massage chair vs S track massage chair blog

3) Massage Airbags

Massage chairs employ a range of strategically located airbags to provide compression massage to various parts of the body. Enveloping the body in a cocoon of air, airbag compression massage can provide quick, powerful relief from tension and stiffness. By inflating the airbags located on the shoulders, arms, waist and legs, a good compressive massage helps stimulate blood flow and provides relief from soreness.

Choose a massage chair that can deliver airbag massages to your typical pain points. Combined with massage via the rollers, the two can create the most comprehensive full body massage available in a chair.

Miuvo massage chairs all feature comprehensive airbag massage to suit your requirements. Our MiuDeluxe Elite and MiuJoy 2 Massage Chairs have strategically located airbags to target the shoulders, arms, calves and legs, with the added benefit of the MiuDelight V2 being the few in the market that feature the hip airbag massage.

4) Heating Function

Most, if not all massage chairs in the market come with heating function. Heating is typically applied on the back area or seat. Applying infrared heat elevates the massage experience by easing tense muscles, improving circulation and promoting toxin release so that the rollers can work their way through the tension. Users with arthritis, inflammation, joint or muscle stiffness may find heat therapy useful in easing pain and discomfort.

Heating is often concentrated near the seat or lower back where typical users experience the most pain due to bad posture or prolonged sitting in the office. Some massage chairs may also concentrate heat at the rollers like the MiuDelight V2 to deliver targeted relief at massage spots. Other more expensive models come with full body heat, starting at the soles of the feet and reaching all the way to the headrest.

5) Massage Programs

Most massage chairs in the market have a minimum of 2 preset massage programs. Some of the higher end models may even feature downloadable massage programs via apps, potentially giving the user an unlimited array of massage experiences. Ultimately, a typical user only toggles between 2-5 unique auto programs. Timer adjustable, such auto programs specifically targets the desired parts of the body to deliver a unique massage sensation selected by the user. Choose a massage chair that can quickly target specific areas of the body with 1 press of a button. Because the last thing you want to do at end of a long day is mess around with buttons and settings.

6) Body Scanning Function

The more advanced massage chairs typically have body scanning technology. This function gauges your height and body size by testing the reactions of various areas of your body to deliver a customised massage. This is especially useful if the massage chair is being shared among family members as the massage can be varied to accommodate a range of user heights. Some may even feature adjustable roller widths.

Miuvo massage chair such as the MiuDeluxe Elite and MiuJoy 2 have a range of professionally designed massage programs to suit all users.

7) Zero Gravity Recline Function

Most, if not all massage chairs in the market feature a variety of reclining options. Having some degrees of recline delivers a deeper massage via the rollers to improve tension release from the muscles. Cheaper models may use a mechanical reclining mechanism while mid-range models will typically have electronically controlled reclining function. Most high-end massage chairs feature an increasingly popular zero gravity reclining option. Zero gravity recline places your body in a gravity-neutral position, easing pressure off your spine. This position mimics the weightlessness of space and has been known to improve circulation, lower the heart rate, reduce tension and promote restfulness. Some massage chairs like the MiuDeluxe Elite and MiuDelight V2 include a single-touch zero gravity feature, giving you ultimate relaxation with the press of a button.

8) Rocking Function

Massage chairs with this function employ an electronically controlled mechanism to create a rocking sensation. Cradling the user within the confines of the chair, this motion may be used to promote sleep. The chair toggles between incline and reclining to zero gravity position in a repetitive motion via the actuator. Cheaper, lower end models uses mechanical means to achieve the rocking motion simply by mounting the massage chair on a rocking mechanism.

9) Stretch Function

The stretch function is usually found in higher end massage chair models. Also called ‘Thai’ massage, the massage chair stretches the joints typically at the knees and thighs to improve flexibility and promote circulation. The stretching motion also eases tension in the muscles and can provide pain relief at the joints. The MiuDivine 2 and MiuDeluxe models both feature this stretch functionality and have garnered good user reviews.

10) Leg Extension

Extendable footrest: Explore models with extendable leg massage so that your feet will not be left hanging. Most compact massage chairs do not have such features, choosing to only have the calf massage attachment. This saves space at the expense of 1 less functionality which is to massage the feet. Some models in the market feature ottomans. More expensive models may have electronically adjustable footrest that adjust to your body height. Most models however, use a simple yet easy to use mechanical extension. Simply push down your feet to extend the footrest.

Foot rollers/Reflexology: If you’re going to be on the lookout for a model with extendable leg massage, you might want it to come with massage benefits. Keep a lookout for massage chairs that have foot or calf rollers, or ones that include a targeted reflexology program such as our MiuDeluxe Elite model.

11) Ambient Lighting

Ambient light is also called ‘mood lighting’. Chairs that feature this project lights to blanket the space around the chair with colour hues to put the user in a relaxed mood. This feature is not commonly found with most brands only featuring 1 model with ambient lighting. Models such as the MiuDeluxe have only 1 colour hue in blue to create a dreamscape, while other brands may have multiple colour hues.

12) Massage Methods

Modern massage rollers are designed to perform a range of massage motions to simulate the hands of a professional masseuse. As detailed above, low-end massage chairs using plastic rollers usually offer little more than simple 2 dimensional kneading, rolling and vibration massage. Look for credible brands that retail only massage chairs with silicone rollers. All Miuvo massage chairs use silicone rollers to offer a wide variety of massage techniques to help put you at ease. These features often include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • 2D (rigid), 3D (adjustable) & 4D (variable strength) roller intensities
  • Kneading
  • Rolling
  • Shiatsu
  • Swinging
  • Tapping
  • Vibration
  • Combination kneading, tapping, knocking therapies
  • Zero gravity / Inversion therapy

The number and quality of these functions will certainly affect the cost of the massage chair. A massage chair is not an emotional purchase, rather a purchase to benefit your long term health. Be sure to fine tune your decision making to choose the features you will likely use instead of paying more for functionalities that are rarely used.

For more information on the different massage methods, click here to read our Types of massage techniques in your massage chair blog

13) Size of Massage Chair

Most massage chairs are designed to accommodate user heights between 150cm – 190cm and weights up to 120kgs. However, if you are smaller sized or on the heftier side, it pays to target your search accordingly. Certain brands manufacture chairs that can comfortably sit larger frames, while others brands have compact chairs that fit shorter heights better. A ‘compact’ or ‘zero-wall’ feature massage chairs may not fit larger sized individuals comfortably. Chairs that feature a convertible ottoman cum leg massager may also not be suited for taller individuals above the height of 170cm.

On the same note, be sure you have the physical space to comfortably fit a massage chair. Size specifications listed by most massage chair retailers might not be indicative of space usage while reclined or when in use, so come prepared with your own space measurements when shopping for a massage chair.

14) Price

Faced with multiple brands in the market, competitive pricing has brought down the cost of owning a massage chair significantly. It is common to find a good quality massage chair retailing for less than $2000 offering good functionality and value to consumers.

Miuvo started to revolutionise the massage chair market since 2011 by providing good quality massage chairs at affordable prices. We do so by saving on expensive retail store rentals, celebrity endorsements and fancy marketing campaigns. We use standardised pricing so price differentials across retail channels are kept to a minimum. As a massage chair distributor, significant cost savings are passed to our customers without the need for middlemen.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid massage chairs that are priced too low or too excessively. An SL track massage chair with standard functions typically cost between $1,499 to $1,999. More premium offerings with fancier functions such as electronically adjustable footrests, special mood lighting and app controls can cost upwards of $3000. Massage chairs costing below $999 are usually fixed point massage chairs from less reputable manufacturers.

Many factors can influence the price, including the manufacturer, quality of upholstery, functionality, massage roller technology, customisability and after sales service. A wise shopper will take heed to clarify such details with the saleperson when choosing a massage chair.

Conclusion

Taking time to survey the available choices in the market is worthwhile as massage preferences are highly subjective. Do not purchase a massage chair purely because of price and slick marketing gimmicks. Put yourself in good stead by trying out various models before committing to a purchase. Salespersons usually employ a variety of techniques to coerce a customer to commit to a purchase right away. These sales gimmicks typically take the form limited time offers or putting out attractively priced models in a bid to up-sell their more expensive offerings. Doing your due diligence will save you money and a lot of grief especially when you discover your massage chair giving you more pain then relaxation. Come down for a no-obligations demo! Find out more here.

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