Massage Chair vs Massage Recliner – Which one is Better?

Are you struggling to decide between a massage chair and a massage recliner?

Relax, we’ve got you covered! When it comes to finding the perfect relaxation companion, it’s important to understand the differences between these two options.

In this article, we’ll differentiate and explore the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

Massage Chair vs Massage Recliner – Which One is Better?

Here’s a detailed table comparing massage chairs and massage recliners:

Feature Massage Chair Massage Recliner
Massage Techniques Offers a wide range of techniques (e.g., shiatsu, Swedish, deep tissue) Usually provides basic massage techniques, with fewer customization options
Customization Options Highly customizable with adjustable intensity, speed, and targeted massage zones Adjustable settings but may have limited range and precision
Zero Gravity Reclining Many models offer zero-gravity reclining Not all models include zero gravity feature
Heat Therapy Includes heat therapy for soothing muscles May or may not have heat therapy functionality
Space Requirements Larger and bulkier, requires dedicated space More compact and suitable for smaller areas
Budget Higher upfront cost Generally more affordable
Versatility Primarily designed for massages Can be used as a regular reclining chair without the massage feature
Targeted Therapy Ideal for those who require targeted therapy Limited in providing specifically targeted relief

Understanding Massage Chairs

Massage chairs are designed to mimic the experience of a professional massage therapist. They typically feature built-in mechanisms and motors that target different areas of your body, such as the back, neck, shoulders, and legs.

These chairs offer various massage techniques, intensity levels, and customizable settings to cater to individual preferences.

They provide convenience and versatility, allowing you to enjoy a relaxing massage in the comfort of your home.

Top 4 Benefits of Massage Chairs

Let’s explore the four key benefits of using a massage chair.

1. Comprehensive Massage Techniques

Massage chairs offer various massage techniques, such as shiatsu, Swedish, and deep tissue massages. Each technique targets specific areas of your body.

shiatsu massage technique

They relieve tension, improve blood circulation, and promote muscle relaxation.

2. Customizable Settings

With adjustable intensity levels, speed settings, and targeted massage zones, massage chairs allow you to tailor the experience to your preferences.

Whether you need a gentle, soothing massage or a more intense session, the massage chair can adapt to your desired comfort level.

3. Zero Gravity Reclining

Many massage chairs come equipped with a zero-gravity feature, which distributes your body weight evenly, providing a weightless sensation and reducing stress on your joints.

This position enhances the effectiveness of the massage and promotes deeper relaxation.

4. Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is a common feature in massage chairs that helps soothe sore muscles and joints. By applying gentle heat to specific areas, it improves blood circulation and aids in pain relief.

2 Drawbacks of Massage Chairs

Now, let’s explore the disadvantages of a massage chair.

1. Higher Initial Investment

Massage chairs tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to massage recliners.

However, considering the long-term benefits and the convenience of having a massage chair at your disposal, it can be seen as a worthwhile investment.

2. Space Requirements

Massage chairs tend to be larger and bulkier compared to massage recliners.

They require a dedicated space in your home, which can be a challenge if you have limited living space.

Understanding Massage Recliners

Massage recliners, on the other hand, are reclining chairs with built-in massage features.

These chairs are versatile furniture pieces that offer a comfortable reclining position while providing soothing massages.

man relaxing in massage recliner

Massage recliners offer a great combination of relaxation and functionality, serving as a comfortable seating option. They help you relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation.

 Top 3 Benefits of Massage Recliners

Let’s explore the three key benefits of using a massage recliner.

1. Space and Design

Massage recliners are often more compact and visually appealing compared to massage chairs.

They seamlessly blend into your existing home decor and occupy less space, making them a practical choice for smaller living areas.

2. Versatility

Unlike massage chairs, massage recliners can be used as regular reclining chairs when the massage feature is turned off. This versatility allows you to enjoy the comfort of a traditional recliner while still having access to occasional massages.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

Massage recliners generally have a lower upfront cost compared to massage chairs.

This makes them a more budget-friendly option for those looking to experience the benefits of massage without a substantial investment.

2 Drawbacks of Massage Recliners

Now, let’s discuss the disadvantages of a massage recliner.

1. Limited Massage Techniques

Massage recliners typically offer fewer massage techniques compared to massage chairs.

While they still provide relaxation and basic muscle relief, the range and customization options may be more limited.

2. Less Customization

Although massage recliners come with adjustable settings, they may not provide the same level of customization and precision as massage chairs.

If you have specific massage preferences or require targeted therapy, a massage chair might be a better fit.


Both massage chairs and massage recliners offer remarkable benefits for relaxation, stress relief, and overall well-being.

By understanding the differences and considering your personal preferences, you can make a decision. Remember to evaluate the available features, your budget, and the space you have.

Whether you choose a massage chair or a massage recliner, investing in your health and well-being is a decision you won’t regret.


What is the Difference Between a Recliner and a Massage Chair?

The difference between a recliner and a massage chair is that a recliner is primarily designed for comfort and relaxation, allowing you to recline and rest.

On the other hand, a massage chair provides built-in massage features, offering various techniques and customizable settings for therapeutic benefits.

Can I Use a Massage Chair as a Recliner?

Yes, you can use a massage chair as a recliner. Most massage chairs come with a reclining function.

They allow you to adjust the chair to a comfortable position for relaxation even when the massage feature is turned off.

Are Massage Chairs Really Effective?

Yes, massage chairs can be effective in providing relaxation, relieving muscle tension, improving blood circulation, and reducing stress.

However, the effectiveness may vary depending on the specific model and individual preferences. It’s important to choose a high-quality massage chair and use it consistently for optimal results.

What are the Disadvantages of a Massage Chair?

The disadvantages of a massage chair include the higher upfront cost compared to a massage recliner, the space requirements due to their larger size, and the potential limitation in customization options depending on the model.

massage chair vs massage recliner

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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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