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A massage chair is an innovative chair designed to deliver full-body massage with robotics programmed to mimic the hands of a masseuse. A massage chair uses advanced technology to deliver full-body massage with robotics programmed to mimic the hands of a masseuse.


A massage chair is an innovative chair designed to deliver full-body massage using robotics that have been programmed to mimic the hands of a masseuse. To sum it up in a nutshell, massage chairs consist of 3 basic components: Rollers, Air Bags, and a Roller Track. When you're wondering “what is a massage chair,” this is a great place to begin your research.  

With countless price points and numerous brands to choose from, it can feel like being lost in a whirlwind of confusion. Here at The Modern Back, our goal is to simplify your shopping experience, so you can start relaxing sooner rather than later! In this article, we’ll break it down, so you have a clear understanding of what is a massage chair and know exactly what kind of massage chair is right for you. 


One of the key components that massage chairs use is a system of rollers that deliver expert massage by simulating the movements of human hands. These rollers are typically in sets of 2, 4, 6, or 8. The more rollers, the more coverage. The level of depth and intensity will depend upon which type of roller system the chair has.

2D ROLLERS: Soft Therapeutic Massage Therapy.  

  • Great for poor circulation.  
  • Gentle enough for anyone.  
  • A relaxing, soothing massage.  

3D ROLLERS: Deep Tissue Massage Therapy. 

  • Great for tight knots/tension. 
  • A strong deep tissue massage. 
  • Invigorating, restorative massage.  

4D ROLLERS: Human-Like Massage Therapy. 

  • Great for relieving full-body tension and pain. 
  • A smooth deep tissue massage treatment.  
  • It’s a rejuvenating, healing massage experience. 


With massage chair technology constantly improving, just when you think you’ve seen it all, another advancement hits the market. The most recent type of roller track that’s being used in almost all the newer chairs is called Dual Track. To keep it simple, there are 3 main types of roller tracks:

S-TRACK: A track in the shape of an "S" that follows the curvature of the spine from the neck to the lower back.  

L-TRACK: A track in the shape of an "L" that runs from the neck to glutes and wraps under to the hamstrings in an L shape. Often referred to as an S/L Track.

DUAL TRACK: Two separate tracks that operate simultaneously on the back, neck, glutes, and hamstrings. Also referred to as a "split track."


Massage chairs can vary in price and longevity depending on brand, quality, and features. Massage chairs that come with more advancements and features are typically at a higher price point, so take note of some of the unique features that really stand out. Massage chairs can be broken down into three categories when it comes to price: 

1. Budget-Friendly: Massage Chairs with basic features. 

Price- Under $3000

Lifespan- 1-5 years

2. Midrange: Massage Chairs with some advancements. 

Price- Under $5000

Lifespan- 5-10 years

3. Premium: The most advanced Massage Chairs. 

Price- Over $5000

Lifespan- 10-20 years


There are quite a few massage chair brands to choose from and each one has their own unique style and benefits to offer. Read our Massage Chair Brand Buyers Guides to learn more about the most popular brands and the top products we recommend from each brand: 

Frequently Asked Questions About Massage Chairs:

What are the newest massage chairs on the market? 

How do chairs massage work? 

How long do massage chairs last? 

How much do massage chairs cost?

How often do massage chairs break? 

What chairs offer full back massage? 

What do massage chairs do? 

What massage chair is comparable to high end chairs?

Who buys massage chairs?

Which massage chairs will Medicare cover?

Which massage chairs are approved by the chiropractor?

Where to put massage chairs in home? 

Where are massage chairs made?

Why are massage chairs so expensive? 

Why does the butt vibrate in massage chairs?

Why does the seat vibrate in massage chairs?

Why are massage chairs cheaper on Amazon?

What is massage chair reflexology? 

What is kneading in massage chairs? 

Who should use massage chairs?

Can a massage chair be put on a yacht? 

Who has the cheapest massage chairs online?

How can I clean a massage chair?