Problems with Massage Chair: Here’s what you can do?

While massage chairs are prized for their positive effects, they are not immune to issues that can arise over time.

Like any mechanical device, massage chairs can experience problems that might hinder their performance and overall functionality.

These issues can range from minor glitches to more significant malfunctions, impacting the massage experience and the chair’s durability. The purpose of this article is to identify and address the common problems with massage chairs.

Common Mechanical Problems with Massage Chairs

1. Noisy Motors or Mechanisms:

One of the most common mechanical issues with massage chairs is the development of noisy motors or mechanisms.

When you notice unusual sounds during a massage session, such as grinding, squeaking, or rattling, it can significantly diminish the overall relaxation experience.

These noises may occur due to wear and tear, loose parts, or friction between components.


To address noisy motors or mechanisms, start by checking for any loose screws or bolts on the chair.

Tighten them appropriately to ensure a secure fit.

If the noise persists, consider applying lubricant to moving parts, such as rollers and tracks, to reduce friction and eliminate the noise.

Regular maintenance and lubrication can keep the massage chair running smoothly and quietly.

2. Malfunctioning Remote Control or Control Panel:

The remote control or control panel is the interface that allows users to customize their massage experience.

he remote control or control panel is the interface that allows users to customize their massage experience.

If the remote control stops responding or the control panel buttons become unresponsive, it can be frustrating and limit your ability to adjust the settings according to your preferences.


If the remote control is not working, try replacing the batteries.

If the issue persists, check for any visible damage or debris around the control panel or the remote’s infrared sensor.

Cleaning the control panel with a soft cloth and ensuring a clear line of sight between the remote and the sensor can often resolve the problem.

If the control panel itself is faulty, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for further assistance.

3. Inconsistent or Unresponsive Massage Techniques:

Inconsistent or unresponsive massage techniques can be caused by various factors, such as software glitches, sensor issues, or misalignment of massage components.

When the massage chair fails to deliver the expected massage movements or intensity, it may lead to dissatisfaction with the massage experience.


First, check the massage chair’s user manual for guidance on recalibrating or resetting the massage programs.

Often, a simple reset can resolve software-related issues.

If the problem persists, ensure that the chair’s sensors are not obstructed by any objects or clothing.

Additionally, try adjusting the intensity and speed settings to see if that improves the responsiveness of the massage techniques.

4. Issues with Heating or Cooling Features:

Some massage chairs offer heating or cooling features to enhance the therapeutic benefits.

If the heating element fails to produce sufficient warmth or the cooling feature is not effectively cooling, it can impact the overall relaxation and comfort during the massage.


Check the temperature settings and adjust them accordingly.

If the heating or cooling element remains ineffective, verify that the chair is adequately plugged into a power source and that the feature is activated.

If the issue persists, it could be a more significant electrical problem, requiring professional attention.

5. Vibrations or Uncomfortable Movements:

Unintended vibrations or uncomfortable movements during a massage session can be disconcerting and may arise from mechanical misalignments, loose connections, or faulty motors.


Start by ensuring that all components of the massage chair are securely attached.

If there are any loose parts, tighten them appropriately.

If the issue persists, it may be beneficial to contact the manufacturer’s customer support for a thorough inspection and potential repair.

Avoid using the chair until the issue is resolved to prevent any further damage or discomfort.

Upholstery and Material Issues

1. Fading or Discoloration of Upholstery:

Over time, exposure to sunlight and regular use can cause the upholstery of the massage chair to fade or change color.

Fading upholstery can diminish the chair’s aesthetic appeal and make it appear worn out.


To prevent fading, place the massage chair away from direct sunlight or use curtains or blinds to filter the sunlight.

Additionally, consider using protective covers when the chair is not in use. If the upholstery has already faded, you may opt for reupholstering the chair or using upholstery dye to restore the original color.

2. Wear and Tear on Cushions and Padding:

With frequent use, the cushions and padding of the massage chair may show signs of wear and tear.

This can lead to flattened cushions, loss of support, and reduced comfort during massage sessions.


Regularly fluff and rotate the cushions to distribute the wear evenly.

Using cushion covers or protective pads can also help prolong the life of the cushions and padding.

If the wear is significant, consider replacing the affected cushions or using additional padding for extra support.

3. Peeling or Cracking of Synthetic Leather:

Many massage chairs feature synthetic leather upholstery, which can be prone to peeling or cracking over time, especially in areas subject to repeated friction or contact.


To prevent peeling and cracking, avoid using harsh cleaning agents that may damage the synthetic leather.

Instead, clean the upholstery with a soft, damp cloth and mild soap.

Applying a leather conditioner can help keep the material supple and prevent drying.

If the peeling or cracking is extensive, consider contacting the manufacturer for repair options or using chair covers to protect the affected areas.

4. Unpleasant Odors:

Unpleasant odors can develop in a massage chair over time, caused by various factors such as sweat, spills, and trapped moisture.

Unplesent odour is one of the problem of massage chairs

These odors can affect the overall comfort and relaxation experience.


Regularly clean and disinfect the massage chair to eliminate any lingering odors. Wipe down the upholstery and components with a mixture of water and mild soap.

Ensure that the chair is completely dry before using it again to prevent the accumulation of moisture, which can lead to mold or mildew growth. You may also use air fresheners or odor-absorbing products to keep the chair smelling fresh.

Electrical and Power Problems

1. Power Cord Malfunctions:

Power cord malfunctions can range from fraying or damage to the cord, to loose connections, or faulty plugs.

If the power cord is not functioning correctly, the massage chair may not receive the necessary power supply to operate efficiently.


Inspect the power cord for any visible signs of damage or fraying.

If you notice any issues, discontinue using the chair immediately and replace the power cord with a compatible one from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer.

Avoid using extension cords with the massage chair, as they can pose safety hazards.

2. Electrical Short Circuiting:

Electrical short-circuiting can occur due to a malfunction within the electrical components of the massage chair.

This problem may result in sudden power interruptions or the chair not turning on at all.


If you suspect an electrical short circuit, unplug the massage chair from the power source immediately.

Contact the manufacturer’s customer support or a qualified technician to inspect and repair the electrical components.

Avoid attempting to fix electrical issues yourself, as it can be hazardous.

3. Power Outages or Interruptions:

Power outages or interruptions can affect the massage chair’s performance and interrupt ongoing massage sessions.

power outrage

This issue may arise due to fluctuations in the power supply or a temporary power outage.


If the massage chair stops functioning during a power outage, it will resume operation once the power is restored.

However, sudden power interruptions may cause the chair to stop mid-massage. In such cases, wait for the power to return and restart the massage session as desired.

4. Inconsistent Heat or Massage Intensity:

Inconsistent heat or massage intensity may occur if the chair’s heating element or massage mechanisms are not functioning correctly.

The chair may not provide the desired level of warmth or massage intensity, impacting the overall effectiveness of the massage experience.


Check the temperature settings for the heating feature and adjust them as needed. If the heat remains inconsistent, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning heating element.

Similarly, if the massage intensity is not as expected, try adjusting the settings and verifying that the chair’s massage mechanisms are functioning properly.

If the issue persists, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for assistance.

Maintenance and Cleaning Challenges

1. Accumulation of Dust and Debris:

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the surface and crevices of the massage chair.

This buildup not only affects the chair’s appearance but can also impact its performance and hygiene.


Regularly dust the massage chair with a soft cloth or use a handheld vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove loose dust and debris.

Wipe down the chair with a slightly damp cloth to capture any remaining particles.

To prevent excessive dust accumulation, cover the massage chair when not in use.

2. Difficulties in Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Areas:

Massage chairs often have intricate designs and hard-to-reach areas that can be challenging to clean effectively.

Dust and dirt may accumulate in crevices, corners, and between moving parts.


Use a soft brush or a toothbrush to reach into tight spots and crevices. Microfiber cloths or cotton swabs can also be helpful for detailed cleaning.

Take your time and be thorough in removing dirt from all areas of the massage chair.

3. Cleaning Solutions Damaging the Upholstery:

Some cleaning solutions and chemicals may be too harsh for the massage chair’s upholstery, leading to discoloration or damage to the material.


Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for cleaning products that are safe for the massage chair’s upholstery.

Use mild soap and water or specific upholstery cleaners designed for the material.

Test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the chair before applying it to the entire surface.

4. Ensuring Proper Sanitization:

Maintaining proper hygiene and sanitization is crucial, especially when the massage chair is used by multiple people or in shared spaces.

Sweat, body oils, and skin particles can accumulate on the chair’s surface over time.


Regularly sanitize the massage chair with an appropriate disinfectant to eliminate bacteria and germs.

Ensure that the disinfectant is compatible with the upholstery material to avoid damage. For added protection, consider using washable chair covers that can be easily removed and cleaned after each use.

Structural and Frame Issues

1. Loose or Wobbly Parts:

Over time, frequent use and movement can lead to certain parts of the massage chair becoming loose or wobbly.

Loose screws, bolts, or hinges can affect the stability and overall performance of the chair.


Regularly inspect the massage chair for any signs of loose or wobbly parts.

Tighten screws and bolts as needed to ensure a secure fit.

If the issue persists, contact the manufacturer’s customer support or a qualified technician to assess and fix the problem.

2. Broken or Bent Frame:

The massage chair’s frame is the core support structure that holds all the components together.

Accidents or excessive weight on the chair can lead to a broken or bent frame, compromising the chair’s integrity.


If you notice any damage to the frame, discontinue using the chair immediately to prevent further harm or accidents.

Contact the manufacturer’s customer support or a professional repair service to assess the extent of the damage and determine if the frame can be repaired or if a replacement is necessary.

3. Uneven or Unstable Base:

An uneven or unstable base can result from the chair being placed on an uneven surface or due to damage to the chair’s base components.

An unstable base can make the chair feel shaky and unsafe during use.


Ensure that the massage chair is placed on a level surface to prevent instability.

If the base remains uneven despite being on a level surface, inspect the chair’s base components for any signs of damage or wear.

If needed, contact the manufacturer for assistance in resolving the issue.

4. Difficulty in Folding or Unfolding Models:

Some massage chairs are designed to be foldable for convenient storage and transport.

However, over time, the folding and unfolding mechanisms may become stiff or challenging to operate.


Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the folding and unfolding mechanisms to ease their movement.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for lubrication. Regularly use the folding feature to keep the mechanisms functioning smoothly.

Software and Technology Glitches

1. Errors in Pre-set Massage Programs:

Pre-set massage programs are designed to provide specific massage techniques and sequences.

However, software glitches can lead to errors in these programs, causing the massage chair to perform incorrectly or inconsistently.


If you encounter errors in pre-set massage programs, try resetting the massage chair to its default settings.

Refer to the user manual for instructions on how to perform a reset. If the issue persists, it may be due to a software bug.

Check for any available software updates from the manufacturer’s website or contact their customer support for assistance.

2. Software Updates and Compatibility Problems:

Periodic software updates may be released by the manufacturer to improve the massage chair’s performance and add new features.

However, compatibility issues with certain devices or software versions can arise during the update process.


Before initiating a software update, ensure that your device and massage chair are compatible with the update.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for updating the software, and back up any critical data if required.

If you encounter compatibility problems during the update, seek assistance from the manufacturer’s customer support for guidance.

3. Connectivity and Bluetooth Issues:

Some massage chairs come with Bluetooth connectivity to allow users to control the chair through a smartphone or other devices.

Connectivity issues, such as difficulty pairing or disconnection problems, can affect the seamless operation of the massage chair.


Check the user manual for instructions on how to pair your device with the massage chair correctly.

Ensure that both the massage chair and your device have Bluetooth enabled and are within the appropriate range.

If the connection issues persist, try turning off and on the Bluetooth on both devices.

If the problem continues, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for further troubleshooting.

4. Slow or Unresponsive User Interfaces:

The user interface of a massage chair may consist of a control panel or a remote control.

Slow response times or unresponsiveness can hinder the user’s ability to adjust settings and customize the massage experience.


Check the batteries in the remote control and replace them if necessary.

For control panels, ensure that they are clean and free from dust or debris that might impede functionality.

If the user interface remains slow or unresponsive, consider resetting the massage chair or contacting the manufacturer for assistance.

Addressing and Preventing Problems with Massage Chair

The problems with the massage chair can be avoided using precautionary measures. As the saying goes – Precaution is better than cure.

Here are the prevention tips :

Problem Addressing and Preventing
Regular Maintenance and Inspections Create a maintenance schedule and adhere to it diligently. – Conduct routine inspections for loose parts, frayed wires, and signs of wear. – Tighten loose screws or bolts and lubricate moving parts regularly.
Proper Cleaning and Care Techniques Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and care. – Use mild soap and water or recommended upholstery cleaners. – Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. – Regularly clean to prevent dust and dirt buildup.
Contacting Customer Support Reach out to the manufacturer’s customer support for guidance and assistance. – Familiarize yourself with warranty terms and coverage. – Seek help for persistent or complex issues.
Ensuring Safe Usage and Placement Place the massage chair on a level and stable surface. – Avoid overloading the chair or using it beyond its weight capacity. – Follow user manual guidelines for proper usage.
Tips for Prolonging the Lifespan Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. – Use cushion covers or chair covers for protection. – Limit usage to prevent excessive wear. – Store the chair in a clean and dry environment.


In conclusion, owning a massage chair can be a wonderful investment in your well-being, providing numerous relaxation and therapeutic benefits in the comfort of your own home.

However, like any piece of furniture or electronic device, massage chairs are not immune to problems that may arise over time.

Understanding and addressing these issues promptly and effectively can help ensure a consistent and enjoyable massage chair experience.


1. How often should I perform maintenance on my massage chair?

It is recommended to perform regular maintenance on your massage chair at least once every few months.

However, if you use the chair frequently or notice any issues, more frequent inspections may be necessary.

2. Can I use any cleaning products to clean my massage chair’s upholstery?

No, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and care.

Always use mild soap and water or recommended upholstery cleaners to avoid damaging the upholstery or electrical components. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.

3. My massage chair’s remote control is not working; what should I do?

First, check the batteries in the remote control and replace them if needed.

If the remote control is still not working, try cleaning the control panel’s infrared sensor and ensure a clear line of sight between the remote and the sensor.

If the issue persists, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for further troubleshooting.

Problem with massage chair can be overcome with troubleshooting message.

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About the author

I am Dr. Arjun Patel. Sharing my 20+ years of experience in Massage & Physical Therapy. I am an active member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). To learn more about me and our team, visit the about us page. Click here to contact me for questions, concerns, and consultation






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