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The Guide to Massage Chair Rollers (2D – 3D – 4D)

Massage chairs are a complex mechanism. They offer so much to the user. They come with endless specs and options. And this makes buying one hard. Because you have to study their designs before buying. However, we’ll make this process easier for you. Today, we’ll discuss an element of massage chairs, this being the rollers. And we won’t just discuss basics. Instead, we’ll go deeper, looking at their dimensions, and how they differ!

Dimensions? You Mean Sizes?


In the massage chair world, rollers are given 1 of 3 classifications. Those are 2D, 3D, and 4D. (more details hereThey describe the motion of the rollers themselves.

It describes their direction, and how that affects your experience.

 2D, 3D and 4D roller in massage chair


Is That Important?

Of course it is! After all, you’re not buying the chair for a mere vibration. You want a good massage out of it. So you need models that offer something close to a human massage. And that’s what roller dimensions are all about. They tell you how good a chair is at mimicking a masseuse!But let’s get to the specifics. Below, we’ll describe what each dimension represents, and who it suits!

2D Rollers.

At a basic level, massage rollers move up/down and sideways. All models do that, regardless of brand, price, or other special gimmicks. For a good idea, imagine an XY axis. And imagine a roller moving across those dimensions. This basic motion is what’s called 2D. And it’s what to expect, if a brochure doesn’t describe a chair’s rollers well.

Wait - Can 2D Rollers Move Diagonally?

Most of them don’t. In general, you shouldn’t care about diagonal movement. Instead, what you want is an intense rub on your back muscles. That’s what massages are all about anyway. They focus on stretching tightened muscles and knots.

Should I Buy One?

To be fair, it depends on your budget. It’s the bare minimum of massage technology. So expect those chairs to be very cheap. They’re more affordable for average consumers. So consider them as enjoyable furniture for middle class homes! However, we do not recommend those chairs for businesses. They offer less of an experience than you’d expect. And they lack some important components that only 3D and 4D models have 

But – It Doesn’t Mean They’re Horrible.

You see, dimensionality is a matter of experience. But it doesn’t define the chair’s material quality. You can find some excellent long-lasting 2D chairs. And considering the price tag, they make excellent bargains too!

Product Example – Osaki OS-1000 Deluxe Massage Chair.

By market standards, this chair is quite cheap. It only costs $1300. It’s an example of a basic massage chair. It has enough options for a relaxing experience. It comes with remote controls, an adjustable headrest, and a multitude of massage programs. The chair is also lightweight. It weighs just under 200 lbs., making it quite small by market standards (where some chairs can be double that weight)! So this chair works best for private recreational rooms. And it works well for private offices! And being a simple 2D, it lets you multi-task too. You can use the chair while you work, read, or using your smartphone!

3D Rollers.

This is a step higher than 2D. With a 3D roller, the rollers push in and out. So they can push into your back a bit. And this is a vital component in therapeutic massages!

Why This Matters.

The most comfortable massage motions include pushing. It’s how tight muscles in your back are straightened out. It’s how they regain their flexibility … And combined with basic up-down motions, the pushing occurs everywhere. You see, the pushing motions aren’t just restricted to your mid back or certain sides. You can change the roller direction, and have them apply everywhere! And in some models, you can lock the roller positions, and get a pushing massage in a singular spot!

The Chair You Need.

So earlier, we mentioned that 2D chairs are OK. However, you miss out on a lot without 3D. Because it’s at the core of relaxing your muscles. So if you’re considering a serious massage chair (for back health), look at 3D technology. 

Also – Needed by Businesses.

We mentioned that 2D chairs aren’t best for businesses. Your spa/salon/recreational room can do with 3D. After all, note that most inexperienced users think of massaging as pushing motions. And 3D does that best. They ensure no client disappointment. And they ensure that they come back for more! 

Product Example – Kahuna Rhythmic Exclusive Chair.

The chair speaks for itself. It’s rated at 86%, with 10 reviews on Amazon. And that’s a lot in the massage chair market. You see, Kahuna is a well-known brand. And it offers some of the best massage chair specifications. Just note that the product is priced at $5000. So it’s over x3 as expensive as the 2D model we mentioned. However, it does come with additional functionalities. And they make it worth the price. For example, there’s seat heating. There’s also the ability to use ZERO gravity mode for an effective massage. Then there’s the track type of the chair, which is SL. This means it massages both your back, and your upper legs too! And add to that the insane amount of controls you get. You can control inflation of air bags, speeds for foot and head massage, and up to 5 back massage levels!

Seems too Pricey for My Budget.

No worries. We have a pleasant surprise for you… You can try the Fully Assembled Shiatsu Massage ChairIt’s only $400. And it’s a 3D chair. That’s 90% lower than the Kahuna chair. And it’s the best massage chair you can ever buy for the money! You’ll get the full benefits of a push 3D massage. And you’ll get it in a lightweight cheap chair too!

Are 3D Models That Good?

Yes they are. And that’s why they’re multiple times more expensive than a 2D chair. They offer a more holistic and therapeutic massage experience. However, the experience doesn’t stop there. You can expand to the 4th dimension. And there’s where it all gets interesting…

4D Rollers.

At 2D, rollers move up and down. At 3D, rollers push in and out. But at 4D, you can control each individual roller’s motion. You can make it so that some rollers turn angles. And this lets you massage sideways, with different pressures per roll. You can have 1 roller move strongly. And you can destabilize it in a second. This feature customizes your massage chair to the maximum. You can make the chair work specifically for your back. It’s almost human. However, that level of control comes with even higher costs. So to give you an idea…

Product Example – OSAKI JP Premium Chair.

A new chair costs about $7000. That’s $2000 more than the 3D chair. And as we already mentioned, the Kahuna chair is a “top of the line” model. But it’s worth the price. What’s great about this chair is that it also works your neck and shoulders. It does stretches, simple tapping, and loop kneads. So you get a variety of motions per roller! And each roller can be adjusted with up to 12 intensitiesTo give you some perspective, many massage chairs stop at 5-6. So you get different grades of intensities per roller. And you can slowly adjust through trial and error, for a setting that suits you best. 

But That’s too Expensive.

True, but you get way more options. However, if you want something cheaper, try the OSAKI OS-4D Pro. It’s at $5000 (so $2000 cheaper), but with less options than the Premium chair. The lack of options is immediately noticeable in the chair size. It is 75 lbs. lighter than the Premium. And this means less cushioning, lower powered air/heat options, and less height adjustment.

Interesting – So What Should I Buy?

First, set a budget limit. And if that isn’t a concern anymore, then move onto research. The previous products we listed are some of the best on the market. And they suit different types of customers. Some are seriously cheap, but lack in options. Other combine price and options (for businesses). And a third type is suitable for luxury consumers. The point is, define the experience you want from the chair. Define which massaging dimensions you should accept. Then get the chair that suits you best!

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