Massage Table Buying Guide
Massage Tables 101
Types of Massage Tables
Fixed Massage Tables
Portable Massage Tables
Hydraulic Massage Tables
Massage Tables with Elevating Sections
Matching Massage to Table
Deep Tissue Massage
Hot Stone Massage
Aromatherapy and Ayurvedic Massage
Orthopedic and Sports Massage
Massage Table Cleaning Tips:
- Clean the massage table with mild soap and water or a vinyl and leather cleaning solution after each use
- Clean all oil stains on your table immediately to prevent drying and cracking
- Wash all protective covers and linens after each use
- Regularly disinfect your table with a diluted 5:1 water-to-bleach solution
- Let your upholstery dry completely before using or storing
Working Weight +
Choose a table that has the right working weight (that is, the combined weight of the person on the table and the person giving the massage) to suit your needs and specific massage techniques.
Foam Density and Thickness +
When it comes to padding thickness, 2.5 inches of foam provides acceptable comfort for most massages. For "hard" massage techniques like shiatsu and sports massage, a firm, dense foam is better as it doesn't require the masseuse to work as hard. Conversely, for “soft” massage techniques such as reiki, thicker foam (three inches or more) is preferred. Keep in mind that foam quality is related to the density of the foam, not the thickness. Regardless of the thickness you choose, it’s best to buy layered, dense, small-cell foam that's highly rated for comfort and durability.
Massage tables are available in a variety of fabrics, including leather, vinyl and synthetic, and some are more durable and easier to clean than others. If you’re using your massage table outdoors, without sheets or with oils, you might want to choose easy-to-clean vinyl, which is waterproof and oil proof. If you’re focusing on massages that require lots of lotions and oils, you may want to avoid leather.
Head Rests, Footrests and Bolsters +
Physical supports can add to a client’s comfort and transform a good massage into a great one. Head and foot rests offer ergonomic support to the skeletal structure and contribute to comfort and relaxation, while adjustable head and foot rests allow you to customize the table to be most comfortable for each client. Face rests can help support the face and alleviate stress on the neck. Bolsters and body cushions can provide ergonomic support to the ankles, knees, neck and skeletal structure while keeping pressure off soft-tissue areas like the breasts and stomach.
Carrying Cases +
Carrying cases for portable massage tables are reinforced with tough materials and designed to protect your table and upholstery from wear and tear. Look for a case with several handles and a shoulder strap for easy portability. Even better, choose a model with wheels. Some carrying cases feature pockets or compartments for storing supplies such as oils and linens.
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Massage Table Maintenance Tips:
- If your massage table is portable, check and tighten all screws and knobs after each set-up as they may loosen during transit and due to temperature changes
- Use protective covers and linens, which can be washed and reused, to help protect your upholstery
- Keep your table away from extreme temperatures to prevent cracking and fading
- Always store and transport your portable massage table in a carrying case
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and care