What’s The Difference Between 3D And 4D Massage Chairs? A Simple Explanation

It’s 4:30 PM. I just signed off from work and my back hurts from sitting on your office chair all day.

I wish I didn’t have to get in my car and go all the way to the spa to get a custom massage from massage therapists. If only I can get a massage at home.

Maybe I should get a new massage chair!

Sound familiar?

You probably have had these thoughts, but when you went to go search for the right massage chair you were hit by a billion different terms that you never heard of. Like, what’s the difference between 3D and 4D massage chairs?

When it comes to massage chair technology, we have all of the answers for you below.


4D vs 3D Massage Chairs

The numbers three or four in gold font.

3D Massage Chairs

3 dimension or 3D massage chair technology means that the rollers that massage your body move up and down, side to side, and in and out. In other words, 3D massage chairs run on the X, Y and Z axes.

Another way to think about the movement is that the chair’s roller mechanism takes the roller vertical across your back. The roller also stretches outwards to reach your sides. Then, the roller can also extend out.

What’s the result? A relaxing deep tissue massage.

To actually get the best results and feel less stressed, your body needs deep tissue work.

With 3D massage chairs, you can adjust the depth of your massage and the intensity of the massage rollers to get your desired relaxation results.   

4D Massage Chairs

Raising the bar, 4 dimension or 4D massage rollers are a step up from 3D massage roller technology. Not only can 4D massage rollers move up and down, side to side, and in and out, but they also have a rhythm to the movement which is the fourth dimension.

If you want a human-like feel and a personalized massage, then 4D massage chairs are your best bet.

To get a better idea of 4D massage roller technology, imagine getting a back massage in a circular motion. However, during the circular motion the speed increases at the top of the stroke and also towards the bottom.

4D massage chairs provide you with the most humanistic massage therapy experience. You can find 4D massage technology in the latest Japanese massage chairs or included with some of the other best massage chairs.

What Is A 2D Massage Chair Roller Technology?

Historically, 2D massage roller technology has been around the longest and was found on traditional massage chairs. The massage roller inside of the chair only moves in two directions, up and down.

This is also known as working on the X and Y axes.

You should not expect to find 2D technology anymore unless you are looking at some of the older massage chair brands or cheapest massage chair models.

Is A Massage Chair Worth Buying?

Woman at the spa getting a back massage from a therapist for her sore muscles.


Not only do massage chairs give you a relaxing experience, but they also provide a number of health benefits.

In regard to your health, there are numerous benefits of massage chair use regularly.

Studies have shown that regular massage can improve circulation, ease muscle tension, and boost immunity and more! 

Massage chairs provide a convenient way to enjoy these benefits on a daily basis. Here are just some of the ways in which a massage chair can improve your health:

  1. Enhanced Mobility
  2. Better Brain Function and Cognition
  3. Strengthens Lower Back
  4. Better Posture
  5. Removes Toxins
  6. Decrease Stress, Anxiety, and Improves Mood

2D 3D 4D Massage Chairs, Which Is The Best?

The answer really depends on how much pressure you prefer.

If you are more sensitive and are looking for the basics, then a 2D massage roller chair is best for you. Fortunately, these models are cheaper too.

For the average person who still wants to walk away relaxed, comfortable, and with a smile on their face then 3D is your answer.

Finally, for the person who’s back is completely tangled up and has tight muscles from working all day then 4D massage chair models are going to be best. They will give an amazing deep tissue massage with movement. You can find this massage experience in premium massage chairs.

Other Massage Chair Functions To Look For

There is a huge difference between what you get with a low end massage chair compared to a high end massage chair. So, you should be prepared and know what to look for.

The basic massage chairs give you some vibrations and a 2D rolling massage. On the other hand, expensive massage chairs can do a lot more to give you comfort and relaxation.

Here are all the features or functions to look for:

  • Pre-Programmed Function Menu
  • Roller Movement: 2D, 3D, and 4D
  • Roller Speed
  • Massage Techniques: Kneading, Rolling, Vibrations, Shiatsu
  • Heat Therapy
  • Sound Therapy
  • Zero Gravity & Inversion Therapy
  • Compact Design
  • Body Scan Technology

Learn More: What To Look For When Buying A Massage Chair

Putting It All Together

When you are looking for the perfect massage chair, be prepared to be confused. There will be hundreds of acronyms and abbreviations thrown around.

You will have no idea unless you read this article.

Fortunately, you have read this article and you now understand that 2D massage chairs just move up and down. 3D massage chairs take everything from 2D and add one layer. Going in and out.

Finally, 4D massage rollers take everything from 3D chairs and take them to another level by adding movement and a rhythm to give you a deep massage for your tense muscles.

That’s all you need to know and be able to tell the difference.

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Director of Wellness


Fact Checked by our Director of Wellness Hi! My name is Yoshi! We understand that investing in massage devices is a big deal. So my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.

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