Don’t Get Stuck With a Chair That’s Doomed To Break Down
We’d love to say that it doesn’t happen often, but we hear from customers all the time saying they bought a no-name massage chair for hundreds or even thousands less, and now they’re paying for it. We’re here to help you understand the dangers of buying a no-name, unrecognized massage chair and what it can cost you in the long run.
When you buy a massage chair, it is similar to any large purchase that you’re choosing to invest in, such as a car, spa, medical device, etc. This investment matters to you, it can heavily affect your budget, and it needs to last you. You need to be sure, as you do with any purchase, that the company you’re buying from has a good reputation, provides customer service, and backs up the products they sell.
The same goes for your massage chair purchase.
Massage chair manufacturers and sellers can make a big difference in your purchase satisfaction. A reputable company serves its customers before, during, and after the sale. Companies that are just in it to make a buck won’t provide that level of service. When you type in massage chairs to your browser, the top results, the companies who look like they’ve spent a good amount on their advertising and websites, are likely to be reputable brands.
Plus, if you can find the brand represented over and over on several websites, you’re going in the right direction. If you can only see the brand on one site with little to no information about it as a company, that’s not a good sign.
Massage chairs are complex devices and ensuring that you purchase one from a company that takes time to run them through quality control is crucial. Rollers, airbags, and circuit boards can fail. Companies that stand behind their products provide you with a good warranty. However, you need to do a bit of research to make sure the warranty is as good as it sounds.
One of the best ways to check on a warranty is to look at customer reviews. Reputable companies and brands provide reviews and testimonials about their products and about their customer service.
There are cheap knock-offs of name brand chairs sold for a huge discount versus their original counterparts. Customers are frequently burned because they rush into a purchase without researching the brand or who’s selling it.
We understand that it can be hard to pass up a deal when your finances are already tight, but there are options that you can take without buying from disreputable sources. Financing is a much better choice than buying a chair that is almost guaranteed to break down a short time after you get it home.
Let’s cover just how each piece of your massage chair can be affected by poor-quality companies that don’t take the time to craft a long-lasting product.
Massage Chair Motor Lifespan
All commercial massage chairs motors have something called an MTF, or a Mean Time Failure Rate. The MTF of a massage chair differs significantly from brand to brand. Motors in inexpensive chairs might have an MTF of roughly 200-300 hours, while premium chairs use commercial-grade motors that can have an MTF as high as 10,000 hours.
One particular motor prone to failure, even within the MTF rating, is the footrest motor. This is the motor that moves the footrest up and down. These motors are usually strong enough for normal, however, cases of burnt-out motors increase on the footrest when you put too much weight on them, like having a child sit on the extended footrest. Fortunately, these motors are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. This is less likely to be an issue when the motor used is high-quality, and that only comes with the purchase of a high-quality chair.
The motor strength in any particular chair can usually be indicated by the weight limit for the chair- typically from 240 to 300 lbs- as well as warranty restrictions. The more pressure or stress you put on a motor, the shorter the life span. When you pay under $3,000 for a chair, normal use can still only last you about 2-3 years before the motor gives out. Higher-end chairs offer motors that should last you at least 5-10 years or more.
Confirm the warranty of the chair you’re looking at and make sure that it at least provides you with one year of parts and labor with extended parts coverage to follow.
Massage Chair Air Compressors
Massage chair air compressors are also crucial mechanisms to the chair’s performance. They supply the forced air to fill air cells in the arms, back, legs, and feet that offer a compression massage, which helps improve circulation. Typically, air compressors are very durable, especially when there are multiple in a single chair. In some cases, however, the compressor will start to make noise. That’s a sign that it could be failing.
As you’ll likely expect now, the quality of your air compressor is linked to the quality of the manufacturer, which is linked to how much you paid for it. In lower-end chairs, the air compressor may start to lose power in roughly three years, making it much louder than it should be. In more expensive chairs the air compressor, six or seven years in the air compressor might become louder or it may never happen at all.
We also want to mention that massage chair air compressors are usually not very quiet machines in the first place. The devices that turn the airflow on and off, as well as the actual inflation and deflation, make noise, but this is normal and many chairs have been upgraded to make this process quieter. If you want a quieter session for any reason, you can turn off the airbag massage, however, the compression offered is quite nice. The good news is that between the better construction of high-quality chairs and the ability to listen to music through speakers in quite a few new models, you won’t really hear the air compressor running.
This is another benefit to making sure you purchase from a brand you can trust because they’re likely to take every care to make the massage experience provided as relaxing as possible.
Massage Chair Fabric
Many high-end massage chairs use synthetic or genuine leather as their majority fabric. These fabrics are designed to stand up to the normal wear and tear of a frequently used item. But, as you now know, the quality of a fabric can vary greatly. No-name chairs are going to cut corners everywhere they can and that includes the quality of the fabric used. This means that the fabric could start to break down and look rough quicker.
This is an important thing to cover because typically manufacturers don’t include fabric in the massage chair warranty, and since this is the case, how long is the fabric supposed to last? With “normal” use the material should last about five to 10 years on high-end chairs. There are many varied grades of leather and each manufacturer has their own thoughts on which to use.
We always suggest you place your massage chair in an area that avoids direct sunlight, as this will extend both the lifespan and appearance of whatever fabric is used, and this can help regardless of the type used on the chair. The cheaper the material the more susceptible it will be to external damage, and most high-end chairs will use the most durable fabrics to ensure long-standing comfort.
Massage chairs have several internal working parts and hardworking fabrics that cover the outside. These pieces and parts are all vulnerable to wear and tear. A good massage chair will possess more reliable design features, and you should look for those chairs to get the longest enjoyment out of your important investment.
A high-grade massage chair won’t need any maintenance aside from normal fabric cleaning through the time period that you own and use it. Small noises and groans are normal and may increase a bit as time goes on, but if you bought a reliable massage chair these can be simple to fix or treat.
How Durable Is Your Chair?
Regrettably, there are several “knock-off” or no-name massage chairs being sold online. These chairs are made in underwhelming factories with no regard for long-term performance. These off-brand chairs don’t live up to their promises of relief or dependability and are prone to breaking at any time.
When people are first looking for massage chairs, they soon discover that there are two significant factors that they need to consider to ensure that they purchase a high-quality chair that will last them for years to come. They are:
How long is your chair’s warranty? When a massage chair manufacturer provides a longer, or at least comparable, warranty time to the other brands on the market, you can typically trust it to have strong confidence in their product.
However, don't be deceived by fly-by-night online companies who provide unbelievable 10-year warranties on a $2,000 massage chair. Often, these too-good-to-be-true promises are just that. False claims that you’ll be left with when you try to track down the manufacturer when you have problems with your chair down the line.
Look for reviews of the chair’s customer service and warranty teams on top of just the chair’s performance. If you can find several people saying that a technician came out and helped them repair their chair, that’s a good sign.
After all, a warranty is only as good as the company backing it.
Most of the reputable massage chair manufacturers, including the ones we sell, provide a three to a five-year limited warranty. For example, Inada offers a three-year comprehensive, on-site warranty for all their chairs, and Panasonic offers a three-year parts and labor, in-home warranty on their top tier chair.
Ohco, one of our leading brands, offers a three-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor for the full three years where a qualified technician comes out to your home to make any necessary repairs. Additionally, we enjoyed a walkthrough of their headquarters in Boulder and got to hear how they respond to customer call-ins when there are issues. Their service is top-notch.
What’s the reputation of the brand? Does that brand sound weird? Have you ever heard it mentioned before? If not, it’s likely not a high-quality company. Yes, it’s possible that a little-known brand could come onto the market and start producing quality products, but with an investment like a massage chair you want to be sure that you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Human Touch, Ohco and the other Furniture for Life brands, Infinity, Luraco, Osaki, Cozzia. These are well-known, dependable brands in the massage chair world.
Massage Chairs & Repair
Even the best massage chair could have an issue crop up. Things happen after all. When you’re looking at massage chairs, leaning toward those with a modular design can be very beneficial down the line. A modular design simply means that the chair was built with smaller, independent parts in the machinery, which can make repairing it much easier because it can simply be taken out and replaced with a new piece. This means you won’t have to send the whole chair back to the manufacturer. Most chairs sold on MassageChairPlanet.Com are made with this type of design for this very reason.
An easy place to see that a chair won’t stand the test of time for you is to look at how the warranty goes about handling repairs. Be careful of warranties that expect you to ship the entire chair back to the company if a repair is required. In-home warranty service for the first year of your warranty will serve you much better.
Additionally, you need to be able to reach their customer service if something goes wrong. If you call the customer service line for an issue with your chair’s performance, there should be someone there to answer you. This should be the case for both the seller and the manufacturer of your new massage chair.
Regrettably, there are several disreputable companies on the internet selling massage chairs that they don’t know much about or how they’re made. The majority of the sites you see out there professing these extremely low prices aren’t truly companies at all. They’re marketing middlemen in it to sell as many chairs as fast as possible. They won’t provide you with the assistance and customer care you deserve when you’re investing in such an impactful item like a massage chair.
For such an expensive item, the reseller you choose to shop from should have several testimonials and reviews for you to peruse. Maintaining a good reputation for customer service and showing time and again that the company puts the customer first will be essential traits that you want in your reseller. And best yet, if they also have a brick-and-mortar showroom where you can try out some chairs, you are likely going to be in very good hands.
At MassageChairPlanet.Com we’ve compiled a long list of testimonials and pride ourselves on offering top-notch customer service to everyone who visits our site or walks through our doors. We only carry brands that we believe in, and if you have any issues with your chair, we’ll be there to help you get to the manufacturer’s own helpline to make sure that your issues are resolved quickly.
What Guarantees Does the Retailer Provide?
Purchasing a big item like a massage chair online can carry some risk as many large purchases, especially those online, do. What if the chair is much larger than you anticipated? What if the feel of the massage isn’t what you thought it would be? We try to be as thorough as possible with our descriptions, but things do change once a chair is in your home.
Our 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
We take pride in our products and our customer service. For that reason, your satisfaction is our highest priority. At checkout please double check your order to be sure that you have selected the correct product, or call and speak to one of our customer service team members if you are unsure.
If you would like to return your product you have 30 days to do so. We want you to be happy with the purchase and when there are issues we’ll work with you to make sure things end in a place that you’re happy with.
As you can see, there are many risks to buying from no-name brands and unverified websites. Here are the pros and cons of buying a name brand vs. a no-name massage chair:
The No-Name Risk Breakdown
No-Name Brand Massage Chairs
- The chair looks good.
- Costs much less
- Likely to fail
- No warranty support
- Difficulty finding parts
- Customer service is non-existent
- Reseller is only around for a few months
- Cannot trust them to back up their claims
Brand Name Massage Chairs
- Parts are readily available.
- Several easy-to-find customer reviews.
- Live, active customer support.
- New, heavily researched chairs are coming out regularly
- Following a warranty, the manufacturer can guide you to a technician nearby.
- You will likely pay more for higher-quality chairs.
Buying the Best
We hope this article helps to convince you to steer clear of no-name massage chairs that are doomed to let you down. There is no doubt about it. If you want quality, you need to purchase from an established, trusted brand in the massage chair world, brands like Panasonic, Ohco, Osaki, Daiwa, and Human Touch. Use the internet to your advantage and research the brands you’re interested in. Plus, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions. We’re here to help, we won’t sell you a chair that we don’t personally believe in.
It’s good to investigate customer support, even with brand name chairs and call them before you buy to see how you are treated. Visit our local showroom so that you can sit in the chairs and see how they feel. Then, we can order the chair for you in whatever color you choose and even arrange for White Glove Delivery.
With this information about no-names and brand names, you can now choose wisely and determine which massage chair is right for your home or office.
To shop the best in brand-name massage chairs at affordable prices, check out our full line of offerings here.