Whether you are a professional or someone just looking to get a nice and comfortable spot to place your significant other when giving them a massage, this article has your back. It will look to guide you through the basic does and doesn’t when getting a massage table.
How to pick the best Massage table
There are five main features to consider when buying a massage table with all of them giving certain trade-offs in price and quality or practicality.
If you are a professional your massage table needs to be wide enough that all kinds of customers will be comfortable, while allowing you to deliver an effective treatment without putting strain on your own body. Alternatively if you are not a therapist you should just opt for something that accommodates you and your spouse the best.
A good rule of thumb, though, is that if you are a smaller person, you might be better off with a narrower table of 28”. If you’re taller, or if it being spacious is a significant factor, a table in the 30-32” range is better.
A good way to determine the ideal width would be to cut out a few pieces of cardboard in the widths you are trying to choose between. Lay each piece over the kitchen table and lean over it.
Another option is an hourglass massage table that has a tapered shape, being wider at the ends and narrower in the middle.
While width is a key factor, it’s also very important to think of the length of your massage table. Having enough length can significantly increase comfort.
The standard length for most tables is 73”. You can, however, get shorter models if you particularly want one.
If you are a mobile therapist, a shorter table can mean less weight to be carrying around every day. However, it also means that tall clients may experience a little ‘overhang’ at the end of the table.
As long as the table you choose has a breath hole and removable face cradle, you will have all the flexibility you need across treatments.
When you’re choosing a massage table, there are two weight considerations to factor in:
The carrying weight is the weight of the table itself when it’s all folded up and ready to be transported. This is very important if you do a lot of mobile treatments and will be carrying the table frequently.
The working weight is the amount of weight you can put on the table during massages, factoring the weight of the person lying on it and any bolsters or accessories you might be using.
The carrying weight of massage tables usually varies between 22lb and 46lb. The weight is largely dictated by the table’s design and dimensions, whether it has a lifting back seat, as well as whether its frame is wood or aluminum.
A Table’s Working Weight:
For most massage tables, the standard working weight is between 500 and 600 pounds. Considering that most people would weigh between 120 and 200 pounds, it is highly unlikely that you would ever test the upper limits of the table’s capacity.
Getting the right density of foam is one of the most vital choices regarding your massage table.
Naturally, a high level of comfort when lying on the table should be a priority. Thick, high quality foam will ensure that their whole body is supported and comfortable throughout every treatment.
It’s also important that the foam is durable enough to last the lifetime of the table. Higher density foam won’t sag or develop air pockets over time as thinner foam can do.
While PU leather is a much better option, manufacturers of cheaper tables always keep an eye on keeping their costs down, which is why PVC is so common.
PVC leather is a synthetic material – you’ve probably seen it on cheap imitation leather sofas. It’s easy to clean and is very durable, though it’s not the most pleasant against the skin.
PU is also a synthetic leather, but is much closer to real leather in its look and feel. It’s very soft, and is very luxurious to lie on. It’s a very strong material, and like PVC is easy to clean, but is much more durable.
The Ratio of Quality to Price:
As you’ve no doubt found with many things, paying a little extra for something can mean a big increase in the quality you get. Currently, there are three types of massage tables available on the market, and they can be separated by price range:
Budget massage tables, which are generally priced below $120.
Entry level massage tables, which are usually between $150 and $250.
Professional level massage tables, which usually start around $300 and over.
How to use a Massage table?
In this section the article will explore the proper steps to take when using a massage table.
Adjust the height of your massage table.
Locating the proper height will eliminate excess reaching or bending, which puts unnecessary strain on your back. Everyone’s style and preference is different but a good starting point is to stand with your palms parallel to the floor and adjust the table height to just under your palms. From there, take the time to experiment and find the most comfortable height for you. Once you have your working height, lock the legs in place by fully tightening the knobs to keep the table solid and secure.
Adjust your headrest.
When properly adjusted, there will be no strain on the back of the neck and minimal pressure on the face. The best way to learn how to adjust your headrest is by lying on your table and playing with the adjustments yourself, so you can feel the differences.
The first adjustment is height. If the headrest is too high or low, it will put a strain on the neck and upper back. The headrest should be raised for thicker chested people and down for thinner.
The second adjustment is the angle. Everyone has a different idea of what’s comfortable, but you should start by matching a person’s natural curve, which means tilting the headrest down a little. You will notice most good headrests adjust height and angle with one lever, release the lever, find the place that’s most comfortable, and then lock the lever in place.
Adjust width of the headrest pad
The headrest pad is attached with Velcro so it can be adjusted to fit different sized faces. Make the pad wider for larger faces and narrower for thinner faces.
What’s the real difference between entry level and professional?
The entry level tables offer great value for money. They are affordable tables that are also sturdy and reliable. The major difference is simply that each of the materials used for the professional tables are of an even higher quality, and are therefore stronger and more durable.
Which quality level should you choose?
It’s a comparable purchase to buying a sofa for your home. You can go with a cheap and cheerful one that will last a few years and then go out and buy a professional model later on, or you can invest in something really top-notch first day and use it for the rest of your life. Both will do the job; it’s simply up to you in terms of what you want for luxury and service.
Should you opt for wood or aluminum?
Over the last decade, we’ve seen that there is often a preference for the look of wood, but as the design of aluminum tables has modernized, the sleek and stylish look, as well as reduced weight has made them a more appealing choice.
In the professional range it’s not really important whether you opt for wood or aluminum. While an aluminum frame will be stronger than wood, you’ll never get to the upper limit of the working weight of a wooden table, so you have no risk of damaging the frame regardless.
Professional level aluminum tables are built with aircraft-grade aluminum, while the entry level tables are built with an aluminum composite and don’t have as high a build quality. While they are still strong and sturdy, entry level aluminum tables are not as strong as wooden entry level tables.
What kind of massage accessories do I need after purchasing a massage table?
Accessory choices vary widely, but most practitioners prefer having a head rest base and cushion, as well as a carrying case for portable massage tables. To properly protect a massage table, moreover, massage sheets are essential, whether they’re disposable or fabric.
Other accessories can help with more specialized forms of treatment. For example, if you frequently treat pregnant clients, you could purchase a body support cushion. Bolsters are also especially useful for massage and more physically involved treatments, and can greatly boost clients’ comfort.