Researching the best massage chair for you can be a little confusing. There are terms used by massage chair companies that you may not understand. S-track and L-track are two such terms. But what exactly do they mean?

Let’s start with the basics. Not all massage chairs have rollers. Chairs on the lower end of the price range may have only rotating nodules and some only vibrate.

Massage chairs with rollers (including all inTouch massage chairs) provide a much more effective and therapeutic massage. These chairs have a track or rail that the rollers follow and, in most cases, this track is an S-track.

The S-track refers to the shape of the track. Imagine that the track is straight. How would it massage the natural curves in our neck and spine effectively? The answer is, not very well. You would find that the neck and lower back miss out.

Think about the shape of the letter ‘S’. It closely resembles the natural curves of the spine and, therefore, is the best shape for a roller track, enabling your back and neck to be massaged effectively, from the neck and down the curves of the spine to the lower back.

S-track massage chair

So, what is an L-track then?

A massage chair that offers an L-track roller system is basically an extension of the S-track. So, the rollers will start at the neck and continue down through the curves of the back, then continue even further around to the gluteus muscles (the buttocks). The track or rail follows the shape of an ‘L’, hence the name. The inTouch Smart Glide massage chair is one such chair that offers this L-track.

L-track massage chair

An L-track is a great selling point and retailers will be keen to point out this feature. So, if it’s not clear whether the chair you are looking at is an S-track or an L-track, it’s most likely an S-track.

Which option is best?

The answer depends on what you’re looking for and your budget. An L-track massage chair can often sit in a higher price bracket than an S-track massage chair. However, it adds an extra element to your massage. An L-track can be great for people that hold a lot of tension in the glutes which can cause back and leg pain. For people with certain forms of sciatica, an L-track can be beneficial.

If you are considering an S-track massage chair, some have air bags positioned in the seat area that provide pressure to the glutes. So, purchasing an S-track massage chair doesn’t necessarily mean that this part of your body misses out. However, if you particularly want your massage chair to massage the glutes most effectively, an L-track can be a good choice.