Motors in a Massage Chair

Busted! Massage Chair Myth: The More Motors in a Massage Chair the Better Leave a comment

Every industry has its myth about products, technology or features. The massage chair industry is no different and many myths have been put forward. One paticularly persistent one is about the number of motors. This myth claims that the more motors the better. There were claims of shiatsu massage chairs having 6, 10 or even 18 motors. Of course, having more motors can be advantegeous, but also has tradeoffs. Are these claims sustainable in reality. This myth is put to the test.
This myth buster will challenge the more motors the better the chair. There are inherent advantages to having more motors, such as more massage movements. As with anything, there are tradeoffs, such as quantity versus quality. Can a massage chair with 18 motors have the same quality motors in a chair with only 3 motors? Keep in mind that motors are one of the most expensive items in a massage chair. Since, motors are not cheap, as the number of motors increases, the cost of the chair increases holding the quality level equal. Obviously, there is a great chance as motors are added; the quality level of the motors will drop.
Space is another constraint like in any product. Motors used in shiatsu massage chairs are not small motors and must be allocated space. As the number of motors increases, then more mechanisms must be installed around each motor taking up more space. Motors weigh from 2 lbs to 5 lbs each. A massage chair having 3 motors would have 6 lbs in motor weight, whereas, as a massage chair having 18 motors would have 36 lbs each or if 5 lbs each 90 lbs, just in motors. More motors equal more weight.
How is the quality of massage with more or less motors? High end luxury massage chairs generally have 3 high quality motors to power the back massage rollers. There are individual motors to run the kneading massage and to run the tapping massage. The third motor drives the roller unit up and down the chair back. The tapping and kneading motors can be run simultaneously for the shiatsu massage.
There is a 5 motor design where the kneading and tapping use two motors each. This is done by having a motor on both the left and right side rollers for both the kneading and tapping. Having 2 motors for kneading splits the duty and should lead to longer motor life. Did it make any difference in the massage capabilities? There was no noticeable difference. Is more better?
There are still massage chair companies that claim to have very high numbers of motors. Certainly, they are not motors performing massage functions. These massage motors are expensive, heavy, take up space and are integral to a long, trouble-free life. Many massage chair companies jumped on this fad and perpertuated the myth. If adding motors does not add massage functions, then what is its value? In this case more is not better. More motors creates more potential problems, complicates the design and servicing. More motors also means the quality level is being sacrificed versus models with less motors. This myth is built on hype. Simple is beautiful!

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