Built-in heating system and comfortable memory foam pad. Ergonomic and adjustable face cradle and armrest shelf. Oil and waterproof with durable upholstery.
Heating pad takes a little while to warm the bed.
Lightweight and easy to set up. Comes with plenty of accessories. Made of durable, quality materials. Easily adjusted height and dense padding.
Pad is thinner than more expensive models (but high-density foam is plenty for most).
Lovely maple construction. High weight limit. Convenient carrying case. Sustainably sourced wood. Built to last with non-slip hardwood legs and ergonomically optimal adjustment knobs.
Lacks some of the accessories and extra features of other models.
Firm and strong with sturdy headrest. Thick 3-inch cushioning for exceptional comfort. Table height is adjustable. Good variety of upholstery color options.
Heavier than some models. Carrying case and accessories lower quality than some more expensive models.
Water and oil-resistant upholstery. Comes with many accessories, including a comfortable sheet set. Support cables for frame add extra stability.
Carrying bag straps can be uncomfortable when bearing the table's weight. Some issues with the comfort and utility of included attachments.
For giving a massage with the best results, a massage table is necessary to properly support the receiver of the massage. Massage tables may look similar, but there are a handful of features you should carefully consider before making your decision.
Massage tables vary in their design, construction, and upholstery. Portable tables fold in half for easy storage and are light in design, but they may have a lower weight limit. Stationary tables can support heavier patients and have sturdy designs, and hydraulic tables can easily be raised and lowered. Different types of upholstery and padding will result in a different feel. Considering your available space and who will be using the massage table will help you determine which table is best for you.
Any massage table is a significant investment. Whether you are purchasing a table for home or professional use, you should consider all factors before making a purchase.
So why would anyone want to receive a massage in the first place? It’s more than just a feel-good experience.
Massage can help relieve pain stemming from soft tissue strain. Athletes with injuries, sore muscles, and joints often benefit from massage.
Massage can bring relief to individuals with chronic pain issues including fibromyalgia and temporomandibular joint pain.
Doctors believe that massage can help manage symptoms associated with digestive disorders, headaches, and insomnia.
Massage can often help alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
Even if you don’t have an injury or chronic health issue, massage can help relax you.
Let’s take a look at the three main types of massage tables available for purchase: portable tables, stationary tables, and hydraulic/electric tables.
A portable massage table is exactly what it sounds like: a table that folds easily and is lightweight enough to carry from place to place.
If you’re hoping to receive or give a massage while on vacation or at a friend’s house, a portable massage table is a convenient option.
Portable massage tables typically cost less than other types of massage tables.
Notably, portable massage tables consist of many moving parts that can make a lot of noise. They also feature a middle hinge that may not support larger individuals.
Unlike portable massage tables, stationary massage tables are designed to stay in a single location, so they’re usually heavier and sturdier.
There is no middle hinge in a stationary massage table. Therefore, a stationary massage table is a better choice for larger clients.
Stationary massage tables tend to have a mid-range price tag. They aren’t the cheapest massage tables available, but they aren’t the most expensive, either.
Stationary massage tables often include some storage space for linens, bolsters, and other accessories.
Stationary massage tables are heavy. If you need to move the table, you’d likely need at least one helper.
Stationary massage tables usually don’t allow for much adjustment, so you may not be able to raise or lower it.
A hydraulic or electric massage table can be easily raised or lowered. This is great for clients who may have difficulty climbing aboard.
Hydraulic or electric massage tables are usually very sturdy and durable.
They offer more adjustability than any other type of massage table.
They also tend to be the most expensive type of massage table. If you’re only buying a massage table for home use, a pricey hydraulic table is probably not worth the investment.
Hydraulic/electric massage tables often require repair work, which can be costly.
Hydraulic/electric tables aren’t easy to move. If you do need to move one, you’d likely need to enlist the help of others.
Granted, you’re the only one who knows what you need. But we posit the following recommendations.
For home use, a portable massage table is usually the best option. It’s lightweight, easy to move, and can be taken on trips. If you’re training to be a massage therapist, a portable table is also a good beginner option.
For professional use, a stationary massage table is a great solution. You can leave the table out all the time, and it will accommodate a larger population of clientele than a portable massage table would.
For office-bound professionals, a hydraulic or electric massage table is another good choice. Many therapists and clients appreciate the adjustability this type of table affords. However, it’s a pricey option.
Wood-framed massage tables tend to be heavier, but they have a classic look that many people prefer. A massage table with an aluminum frame is lighter in weight and very strong, but some people just don’t like the way they look.
For stationary and hydraulic massage tables, weight is not usually a major issue because the table isn’t designed to be moved. But for portable massage tables, weight is a key factor. We advise potential buyers to opt for a table weighing between 22 and 30 pounds.
Massage tables vary in size, so it’s important to choose one with the right width and height for your needs. Both the therapist and the receiver of the massage need to be comfortable.
Most massage tables range from 28 to 35 inches in width and 20 to 36 inches in height. The width isn’t adjustable, so it’s important to get a size that not only accommodates the individual on the table but also the massage therapist, who will be bending over the table while massaging. Typically, a width of 29 to 31 inches works well.
Some massage tables allow you to adjust the height, so you can raise or lower the table within a range of at least 10 inches. Ideally, the table should touch the hip joint of the individual giving the massage.
Many massage tables are upholstered with vinyl plastic. This material is strong, durable, and water- and oil-resistant. However, it’s not an environmentally friendly material, which could be an issue for some people. Other tables are upholstered with PU leather, a synthetic material that is very soft and durable. PU leather is a more environmentally friendly option, but it doesn’t resist water or oil.
For the sake of comfort, a good massage table will have some foam padding beneath the upholstered material. But how much padding should it have, and which kind? High-density foam doesn’t sag or flatten over time, so it’s worth paying a little more for. However, you should usually avoid massage tables that have more than three inches of foam padding. These tables are often uncomfortable, because the hard brick foam typically found beneath the upholstery doesn’t provide adequate cushioning.
Most massage tables come with accessories that increase comfort and make the table more functional.
A face cradle gives the massage receiver a comfortable resting place for his or her face. Most cradles are removable and can be placed at either end of the table.
Some massage tables come with bolsters. A bolster can be placed under the ankles and knees for proper positioning.
Some massage tables come with linens designed to protect the upholstered surface.
Massage tables vary in price based on type, materials, and accessories, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 and $2,000 for one.
For an entry-level portable massage table, a price tag of $60 to $125 is reasonable.
For a high-quality portable massage table, the cost will be higher. Expect to pay somewhere between $125 and $400.
For a stationary massage table, you’ll usually pay between $450 and $1,000.
For a hydraulic or electric massage table, you’ll usually pay between $1,200 and $2,000.
Clean your massage table after every use to avoid spreading germs. Wipe it down with a mild solution of soapy water, and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.
Enhance user comfort with a table cover. Table covers are available in a variety of materials, including fleece, that can keep you feeling warm and cozy. Some table covers are made of memory foam for extra cushioning.
Regularly examine your massage table for mechanical problems. Pay particular attention to the frame, braces, and legs for signs of damage.
Periodically move the face cradle to the opposite end. This helps prevent one end of the table from sustaining too much wear.
Store your massage table carefully. When it’s not in use, always cover your massage table to protect it from possible tears, rips, and spills.
Q. What features can make a massage table more comfortable?
A. Look for a table with a good combination of foam thickness and density to provide adequate cushioning. High-density foam typically holds its shape better than other types of foam. It may cost more, but having this type of foam beneath your upholstery will enhance durability and user comfort.
Q. What’s the difference between the working weight and static weight of a massage table?
A. A table’s working weight refers to how much weight the table can support when it’s spread evenly across a surface. You should not massage a client whose body weight exceeds your table’s working weight.
Static weight refers to the amount of weight the table can take dropped onto it to test its strength. Manufacturers may boast a 2,000-pound static weight limit, but that doesn’t mean the table could hold a 2,000-pound person!
Q. How long does a massage table last?
A. A massage table’s lifespan depends on the quality of its construction and frame material. Those made with hardwoods like birch or maple can last ten years or more. Models made with soft wood or aluminum may last only a few years.
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