Zero gravity massage recliners are incredibly comfortable, come with several health benefits, and can instantly take you from 'what a stressful day at work' to 'OMG, what was I even worrying about?'. No wonder they're so popular!
And it looks like you're ready to grab one for yourself. Exciting (and relaxing) times ahead for you!
However, because these chairs can offer relief for different types of problems or areas depending on what model you go for, you definitely want to invest in the right one for you.
Forget about never-ending, meaningless lists of features: let's help you figure out what you actually need.
1. Think of what you'll mainly be using it for
Now, this might sound obvious, but trust us: you'll thank us later! Understanding your priorities before you start browsing can prevent you from wasting money on features that you don't actually need and stop you from overlooking the one that would actually make a difference.
So, start by defining why exactly you're planning on buying a zero-gravity massage recliner:
If it's just for an overall sense of relaxation, then you don't need more expensive features that target specific body parts or specialize in a type of massage;
If, on the contrary, you're after one to help relieve pain and stress, make sure you identify which body part (or parts) it involves. This will ensure that you find a chair that guarantees deep massages in that area;
Is it just for you or will someone else share it? If it's the second option, you might want to look for chairs with higher customizability, as the type of massage that you enjoy could be too strong for your partner or vice versa.
2. Look for the right type of massage rollers
Let's start with the most exciting feature of zero gravity massage recliners: the massage part, obviously! When it comes to massage rollers, you have three options:
2D massage rollers are the most traditional type. Usually more affordable, they're a logical choice if you're only buying a zero-gravity massage recliner to relax, but haven't got any specific health problems or sore areas. This is because they don't provide the deepest massages, but that certainly doesn't mean that you'll have to compromise on relaxation!
The majority of recently produced zero gravity recliners come with 3D massage rollers, which can now be considered an industry standard. They penetrate into the muscles in a deeper, more intense way, and they're particularly helpful if you have sore muscles on your shoulders and back;
4D massage rollers reach the same level of intensity as their 3D counterpart, but they're even more precise because they can turn in ways that the others cannot. That's why we mainly recommend them if you're looking for a deep tissue massage in very specific sore areas.
3. Invest in the right type of massage track
The type of track on which the rollers are mounted will determine what areas they can reach:
The most budget-friendly option is a fixed track, but you'll only find it in older or lower end models, since it doesn't offer the flexibility of the other types. Again, this should only be considered if budget is your main concern and you're not after targeted results but rather an overall sense of relaxation;
An S-track is the current industry standard. Because it follows the curvature of your spine, it can focus on different areas of your back, but it's especially effective for those with neck problems;
- The third type is called L-track but, in reality, it usually combines the S-track and an extended lower part. This allows it to reach your glutes and hamstrings, which is why we mainly recommend them if you have lower back pain or are after a model that can guarantee the best results from the top of your neck to your thighs.
4. Check if it includes your favorite massage styles
Zero gravity massage recliners come with a few different massage programs. The number can range from a couple of options to dozens of different massage techniques, so it all depends on what you're after.
Some of the most popular are:
Swedish massage, best to relax, enhance sleep, and help against general soreness;
Deep tissue massage, which is more intense and therefore helps treat chronically tense areas or offer relief to active people who train often;
Tapping technique, to promote circulation;
Kneading, a very relaxing technique to relieve soreness and tension by stretching the muscles, helping eliminate toxins;
Airbag massages, to alleviate stiffness, increase blood flow and, again, remove toxins.
Some chairs have even more options, like Shiatsu, reflexology, Hawaiian and body stretch.
Be realistic with your budget: can you afford to spend more money for those extra features (and are you actually going to use them)? If you're not sure, it's probably best to focus on those that include fewer but more targeted massage types.
5. Consider additional massage and pain relief features
If you spend a lot of time on your feet or suffer from circulation problems in your legs, you might want to look for a zero gravity recliner that includes a foot massage option. This usually consists of an airbag calf massage and advanced reflexology massages for your feet;
Combining massage and heat can improve blood circulation even further and purify your body from build-ups of toxins. That's why heat therapy is such a sought-after feature in zero gravity recliners!
**Body scan technology **might sound like sci-fi but it's actually a more and more common feature in modern zero gravity recliners. Perfect to personalize your massage experience even further by basing it on your body shape and size;
While adjustable intensity is a common feature, it can come in many levels. We recommend opting for higher customizability if you're sharing this chair with other family members.
6. Consider other features that could enhance your experience
As well as massage features, there are other ways in which your zero gravity recliner can take your relaxation to the next level:
Bluetooth and app connectivity allows you to sync your chair to your favorite playlist, podcast or audiobook. In some cases, you could even get a sync massage that follows the music's beat!
Chromotherapy consists in colored LED lights that are proven to enhance and favor relaxation.
7. Find a zero gravity recliner in a style that works in your room
When choosing a zero gravity massage recliner, you obviously have fewer design options than with traditional chairs. After all, their focus is on functionality!
Still, forgetting about this part might result in an unpleasant mismatch between the chair and the rest of the furniture, so… better safe than sorry, right?
Try and consider your new chair in relation to the rest of the room: does it match the colors of its palette or would the versatile black be a better option?
Are you going for a traditional décor or a more contemporary approach? While modern zero gravity recliners wouldn't really work with decorative styles like shabby chic or French country, you can still choose between more traditional-looking models and the most cutting-edge, space-like chairs!