When comparing massage chairs, you may come across different terms to describe the features of the chair. One such term is 3D.

Massage chairs have been marketed as 3D for quite a number of years now, however the 3D technology has only been available recently. So what did it mean before? And what does it mean now?

Prior to the technology being available, many massage chairs were referred to as 3D as they had three different actions in the chair – the rollers to massage, the airbags for compression and the heating for relaxing the muscles. In fact, the term 3D is still often used today to describe a chair such as this when, in fact, a chair with these features would describe most massage chairs on the market today.

Standard massage chair

What is 3D technology?

When referring to massage chairs today, the term 3D should refer to the direction that the rollers move. All massage chairs with rollers have actually been, until recently, 2D massage chairs. This means that the rollers follow the massage track in both a vertical (up and down) and horizontal (left and right) direction. 

Innovations in the industry brought about the launch of true 3D massage chairs. So, the rollers on these chairs follow the massage track in a vertical (up and down) and horizontal (left and right) direction and also extend and retract from the track for a deep or soft tissue massage. This incredible innovation means that a massage chair can now more closely replicate the hands of a massage therapist who can apply extra pressure as needed.

Additional roller direction of a 3D massage chair

There are different ways that this 3D function is used and it varies with each chair. For example, two of our inTouch massage chairs have the 3D function – the PowerPro and the Smart Glide. The PowerPro has six automatic programs, three of which use 3D and three of which don’t. With the Smart Glide, the 3D function can be turned on or off in any of the automatic programs. With both chairs, the 3D function can also be controlled manually when customising your massage. Simply press the 3D button and the rollers will extend from the track for a deep tissue massage. Keep pressing until your desired level of intensity is reached.

Now that this 3D technology is available, it’s important when choosing a massage chair to ensure that the term 3D is used in its true sense. If a chair is marketed as 3D, the rollers should extend and retract from the track.

Are there 4D and 5D massage chairs?

In short, no. There is no other direction for the rollers to travel.

If you see a chair that states it has 4D or even 5D technology, look carefully at the way this is described. The terms 4D and 5D are simply marketing speak designed to entice you into believing that they have some added innovative technology. However, this is most likely not the case and the terms could be describing anything – perhaps some other standard feature of the chair or its capabilities.

4D and 5D may sound great, however there is no true 4D or 5D massage chair.