Massage chair brands like Panasonic, Inada, and Fujiiryoki have been designing and developing massage chairs for over 50 years. With advances in massage technology the introduction of 3D massage chairs, S-track rollers, L-track rollers, and SuperTrac rollers have changed the way people get massage. Many changes have happened over the years, and trends have come and gone. In this Massage Roller Comparison we’re going to explore the different types of roller tracks. Read below to explore the different technology and see what might be best for you.

S-Track
An S-track massage roller is designed to follow the curvature of a person’s spine. This helps provide an accurate massage from the neck to the tailbone. This does vary from chair to chair and not all chairs are created equal. An S-track roller length can range from 29 to 32 inches. An S-track also has one built in intensity and is not adjustable, unless it has a 3D roller mechanism.

Ogawa Refresh Massage Chair

Pros

  • Accurate Massage Roller

Cons

  • Not 3D – No strength Adjustments
  • Does Not Massage Glutes

L-track
An L-track massage roller is designed to massage from the neck to the glutes. This massage track will sweep underneath the seat in an L-shape. The intensity and length of the L-track roller will vary between L-track chairs and can range from 41 inches to 47 inches. An L-track roller is built on an S-track design as well, but can vary in the strength and accuracy of the massage. The L-track can provide more coverage than a standard S-Track.

Infinity Iyashi L-Track RollerPros

  • Glute Massage

Cons

  • Not 3D – No Strength Adjustment
  • Low Quality Neck Massage

SuperTrac
The SuperTrac massage roller is an exclusive technology designed by Ogawa and in their Active massage chair. The SuperTrac is 43 inches long and massages from the neck to the glutes in a completely flat Bed Position. The SuperTrac design was created to offer both extended massage coverage and the most accurate neck massage. The bed position helps use gravities natural forces to offer a strong massage. Based on the user manual there is also a Removable back pillow to change the massage from Strong to Deep.

Ogawa Active SuperTrac Bed Position

Pros

  • Accurate Neck Massage
  • Glute Massage
  • Removable back pad to change from Strong to Deep

Cons

  • Not 3D

3D Massage Roller
A 3D massage roller is a specific massage mechanism that allows a user to change the intensity of the massage. This technology was first pioneered by Fujiiryoki and Panasonic, and is considered the gold standard in massage technology. Many models have included this technology into their premium models because a 3D mechanism provides the most lifelike massage experience. Not all 3D massage rollers are created equal and they differ in quality and the depth of massage. The 3D massage roller allows the user to change the intensity of the massage roller from light to very deep. For example the Ogawa Smart 3D has 6 levels of intensity, the Panasonic EP-MA73 has 5 levels of intensity, the Osaki JP Premium has 12 the Luraco 7 has , and the It-8500 X3 has levels 5 levels, and . Another important note about a 3D massage mechanism is the smoothness and depth of the massage roller. Currently 3D massage roller depth will range from 3-5 inches.

Ogawa 3D Body Scan Ogawa 3D Neck Massage Ogawa 3D Massage RemoteOgawa 3D Strength Adjustment

Pros

  • Strength Adjustments
  • Smoother More Lifelike Massage Methods

Cons

  • No Massage Roller Glute Massage

Final Thoughts
Shoppers will have a lot of questions to ask themselves when deciding which massage roller will work best for them. A major question will be how accurate of a neck massage they need, how much coverage they need, and how strong of a massage they need.

We invite shoppers to check out some of the most exciting 3D massage chairs, and L-track massage chairs. If you have a question, please leave it in the comments!.

~Steph
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About The Author

Stephanie Cunningham conducts consumer research for health related products. She’s originally from New York and moved to California to attend UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She loves providing useful information and understands how important the research process is when purchasing a Massage Chair. Her readers should know that she’s always there to help answer any questions. She loves fashion, cool apps, and checking out new places.

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2 Responses

  1. Ter Caldwell

    Thank you for providing such a helpful article with those differences explained!

    I was wondering if I can get some advice considering our current needs?

    I am 5′ tall, my husband is 5’6″. I really love the idea of the 3D massage chair; however I noticed one of the cons was “No Massage Roller Glute Massage”. Is there a different way the chair will massage the glutes?

    If it helps, we have an old HWE get-a-way (EMS.9) massage chair (thats what the remote says anyway)…the problem I especially have with it is because I’m short the only way for my glutes to be massaged is if I sort of “get taller” by squatting so the rollers can reach my butt rather than sitting which is just crazy.

    Any suggestions you can offer are super appreciated!

    • Stephanie Cunningham

      Hi Ter,
      Thank you so much of for asking such a great question. I’m somewhat familiar with the massage chair you have, I believe it looks like a recliner with an unattached ottoman massager. Your height will work for a lot of great massage chairs out there, and some that recommend someone taller will usually only effect the leg massage in an upright position. When a chair doesn’t have an L-track it will – in most cases- have airbags in the seat area that massage under the glutes, on the hips, the lower back, and waist area. In some non L-track chairs, the massage roller will reach to the tailbone area and massage the point where the spine meets the hips (like upper glute area). You also mentioned a good way to massage the glutes on a non-l-track chair and that’s by moving up on the backrest when the chair is reclined. There are some really advanced 3D massage chairs out there, and for someone who wants to have different intensities of a massage (or satisfy multiple people) a 3D chair may be the way to go. We also recommend trying a chair to get a feel for some of the new features chairs will have. This will help you know what type of massage chair will be best for you, and what features matter most.

      Thanks again Ter, let me know if I can help in any way.
      ~Steph