Table of Contents
- Striving for the Important Things
- Stationary Tables vs Portable Tables
- Choosing a Stationary or Portable Table
- Table Size Matters
- Material—Aluminum or Wood Tables
- Variable Height for Portable Tables
- Wood Tables Height Adjustment
- Aluminum Tables Height Adjustment
- Weight for Portable Tables
- Working Weight vs Static Weight
- Significant Impact
- Foam Cushion Padding
- Cover/Upholstery Material
- Cable System
- 5 Best Massage Tables Reviewed
- 1. Sierra Comfort All-Inclusive Portable Massage Table
- 2. Best Massage® Two-Fold Portable Massage Table
- 3. Saloniture Professional Portable Folding Massage Table with Carrying Case
- 4. EarthLite Harmony DX Portable Massage Table Package
- 5. Merax® Aluminum 3-Section Portable Folding Massage, Facial, Tattoo Bed
- Tips When Buying a Massage Table
- Folding and Unfolding Massage Tables
- Tips for Using
- Final Thoughts
My massage therapist uses this Sierra Comfort All-Inclusive Portable Massage Table when I visit her weekly for the best relaxing massage ever. It’s not just her adept hands and fingers, it’s also the table I am on. My face is comfortable and rests in the soft padded head and face cradle so that I want to fall asleep. My arms are comfortable not tensed on the swinging armrest. She takes it with her to her many clients at offices, since it folds fully assembled with carrying handles and carrying bag. My feet go over the bolster she puts at the end for a nice toe and foot massage. She covers the sheets that came with it with a thin warming blanket that feels extra nice. I would suggest this table for all spa and home user massage therapists who might engage in Reiki as well, a wonderful Japanese technique so spiritual and relaxing.
Select from the best massage tables that are functional and comfortable. Portable and stationary massage tables are available for the privacy in your home and for professional massage therapists. The best lightweight massage tables are evaluated and reviewed for your purchasing consideration. Some home users and professional settings also use massage chairs for people who cannot easily lie down on tables.
Striving for the Important Things
All people love a good and relaxing massage. The benefits are many therefore more tables are being sold—both stationary and portable. Professional massage therapists want a comfortable table for their clients. They also provide soft music if you prefer and fabulous aromatherapy with essential oil diffusers.
The first thing to consider is the strength and stability qualities of the table. A table must be able to support weight and maintain this quality over years. Always check the weight limit of tables you have in mind.
Be sure to check for a Warranty and the length of time, especially with Limited Warranties that only cover specific issues. A 1-year Warranty is standard and more years are even better.
Stationary Tables vs Portable Tables
As a massage therapist, you want a rigid stationary table that stays put where you positon it in its permanent space. As a home user, or a massage therapist, a portable table has a tendency to flex whereas a stationary table does not. Additionally, immobile tables will hold more weight. Either way you go, both require minor maintenance.
Choosing a Stationary or Portable Table
After you decide on the table that you want for your own home use or professional use, read the items below for more information. Novices to massage might like to read the differences in table types. Tables do come in a variety of colors and materials and many options to enhance your requirements and massage goals with clients.
Stationary Massage Tables
- Larger initial investment
- Ideal for spa-type studios
- Manages higher weight clients
- Stronger construction
- Cannot be moved
Brands of tables are evaluated below for your assessment. The best massage table brand would give you:
- Affordable price
- Quality and comfort
- Accessories package
- Material—aluminum or wood
- Variable height
- Working weight vs static weight
- Foam cushion padding
- Cover/upholstery material
- Cable system support
The massage table is the most vital tool you will need, except for your very well trained hands.
Table Size Matters
The table size is important for different body sizes of your clients. To have the capacity for all clients and not be too broad for the therapist to maneuver is the ideal table. You will want to be at right angles to your client’s hips, hands parallel to the spine, and that you can turn comfortably and easily at your waist.
The width of the table must correspond to your height. If you are 6-foot tall and standing over a 30-inch table this is perfect for the client, but only if you can maneuver. Conversely, a 25-inch table would suffice if you were shorter than that. The most common tables are 28- and 30-inches wide. You do not want to put your own back in pain with the wrong width for your height. The quality hourglass, curved-in-at-the-waist tables offer a narrower middle part that truly has advantages for the therapists’ ability to move in closer without sacrificing the client’s comfort.
We cannot forget about the length of the table. Typically, the average length is 6.0 feet. Tables are also available at 5.9 feet and 6.4 feet. Remember too, that if the table has a face cradle, that will add more length for a taller patient. The face cradle usually adds another 7.9 inches to the length for the patient’s face when lying on their stomach. With a 6-foot table, it would make it be 6-feet 7-inches long and that should accommodate most patients.
Material—Aluminum or Wood Tables
Aluminum tables are preferred when traveling to clients. Wooden tables are preferred to stay put in a massage studio never being moved from that location.
There are combination tables in the marketplace. Some tables have aluminum frames with wood legs and that reduces the weight of the table. Always check the specifications for aluminum tables. You do not want one with plastic joints between the legs and joints making the table cheaper and those parts break quicker from weight and friction. Plastic will be the weaker link in the chain of table parts and materials.
Variable Height for Portable Tables
Contemporary massage tables have legs that are changeable. You want a range to fit the clients and allow you, the therapist, to move about easily without strain. Height can be from 23.6 inches to 32.6 inches, a range of 9-inches that is considerable. You should be able to adjust the legs in a few minutes.
Wood Tables Height Adjustment
Tables made of wood usually have knobs that twist and it takes a little longer time than the telescopic up-and-down adjustments found on lightweight aluminum table legs. It is better to have two knobs for strength rather than one that comes with less expensive table models. One knob will not have the stability as two knobs, so always check that before buying. A one-knob unit can break the leg causing your client to fall and you can be injured as well.
Aluminum Tables Height Adjustment
This is an easy task by simply pressing in buttons to adjust the height by slipping the button into a slot. Easy peasy. This reminds me of the aluminum crutches I used for nine months when a horse knocked me down and stepped on my tibia (lower leg large bone) compounding the fracture. I was always changing the height of the crutches determined by the shoe heel height I was wearing on the opposite foot not in a cast.
Weight for Portable Tables
You will need to consider if you can handle an average weight of a portable table of 26- to 46-pounds, your satchel or purse, and anything else you might carry when visiting client sites. Tables are also available in 30 pounds that are lighter to move about. You can purchase a carrier to pull it behind you. The tables fold easily making them not bulky to move. A lightweight 18-pound aluminum table will cost about $1000, but is the lightness beneficial to your clients?
Working Weight vs Static Weight
If you are new to massage, or those already experienced and need to know, working and static weights are two different distinctions.
Working weight is a lower level of weight than static weight. This means that the working weight will be about one-fourth the amount of static (inactive) weight. Static weight is constant and does not vary. Working weight flexes with pressure. This is when the massage pressure changes constantly on the table when a person is on it being manipulated.
Static Weight is inert, inactive, and never changing. This is the amount of weight of a person that can be on the table without destroying it. Most good tables can hold at least 2000 pounds of weight for an unmoving person. As soon as the person is manipulated with pressure, the weight is now working weight.
Varieties in treatment will determine the amount of working weight. For example, working on obese clients will need a higher working weight. Deep tissue massage requires more demanding and intense pressure than other types of massage calling for a higher working weight.
The bottom line is that working weight and static weight are not going to affect your business. However, these are essential to know about. You must be able to work safely with different client body types, weight, and height where injury could occur to your client and possibly to you. Other than lower price, the advantages of working and static weight are not significant, yet be mindful of this when purchasing a new or next generation massage table.
Foam Cushion Padding
Two things are important when considering the thickness or density of the foam. The cushion must feel comfortable to your client. Next, the look of the cushion and its ability to wear long-term. Higher density foam will not flatten or sag between the air pockets within the foam itself. Do not be fooled into buying thin cheaper lower density foam that will wear out quickly. A thicker cushion will give your client a feeling of security and safety when lying on it and be very comfortable. A thick density will not have your clients feel as though their bones are touching the table surface. Foam between 1.9-inches to 3.15-inches is best, and your budget will guide you in your selection. If in person, test it with the spring back test using your hand. A good quality foam will snap right back when you lift your hand off.
Generally, the foam is covered with either PU (Polyurethane) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), both faux (fake) leathers made from chemicals, not animal products.
PVC is the standard in synthetic leather looking like leather and is often used as imitation leather on sofas, recliners, car seats, and more. It can be wiped down easily with detergent and water and dried. Being strong, durable, water and oil proof, it is ideal for a massage cushion covering.
PU leather is the best thing synthetically made that resembles leather. It feels good next to the skin and is soft and strong. However, it is not water and oil resistant (in case you use lotions). Do not be fooled into believing that it is resistant as some sites profess to get you to buy it. Consider the cost factor when purchasing the upholstery because the client does not lay directly on it—the cushion is covered for the next client with a clean covering for hygienic reasons.
This is a common feature today and is highly recommended that is a tensor design that stretches and tightens a cable just as tensor muscles do. It will give you added stability and strength for your portable massage table and keeps it from swaying back and forth.
5 Best Massage Tables Reviewed
1. Sierra Comfort All-Inclusive Portable Massage Table
The Sierra Comfort model number SC-902 black massage table is portable and comes with an accessories package to get you started immediately with fitted sheets that cover the face cradle and cushion made of 100% cotton. You will also receive a semi-circular bolster, oil pouch, oil bottle, towel hanger, and 2 one-use throwaway face cradle sheets. The table will support 450-pounds of working weight.
The table is constructed of strong Beech hardwood, a pale cream color wood with 2-inches of high-density foam in the cushion. The cable system of coated tension wires connects the leg supports for superior strength and extreme durability. Clean the cushions with mild soapy water, rinse, and towel dry.
The lightweight face cradle is adjustable and can be removed completely for your applications. The forward swinging armrest cradle to support arms is removable and all coverings are water and oil resistant needing only a wiping down periodically. The head/face cradle braces are metal and the head support is wood and padded well. The table can be used for Reiki, a Japanese method for reducing stress and inducing relaxation. It is a wonderful spiritual and vibrational healing promoting balance throughout the body system.
The included carrying case (SC-515) with shoulder strap is 72-inches long x 28-inches wide x 5-inches deep. The table has first-class carrying handles, and the cushions are heavy-duty stitched.
The open dimensions are 72-inches long (82-inches with face cradle) x 28-inches wide x 23 to 33-inches adjustable height.
The closed dimensions are 38-inches long x 28-inches wide x 7-inches thick.
The base table is 36 pounds and 39 pounds with the accessories. No tools are required for setting up the massage table. It comes fully assembled.
The table is 6-feet long not including the face cradle. With the face cradle, it should sufficiently hold a 6-foot 6-inch person.
Sierra Comfort provides a 5-year Limited Warranty that the table is free from any manufacturing defects in material and workmanship. The table is made in China.
2. Best Massage® Two-Fold Portable Massage Table
The Best Massage® table is portable, made of Birch hardwood for strength and durability, and has 2-inches of high-density foam padding on top of thin plywood. It is oil and water resistant and easy to clean with warm water and detergent. It comes in 6 colors of black, blue, burgundy, cream, mixed, and purple. The cushion is PU (Polyurethane) faux leather. The table will support 450-pounds of working weight.
You will receive a free nylon carrying case for the folding table. It has a shoulder strap and side handle for ease in carrying. It is an ideal table for home users and professional massage therapists. You could also use this table for eyelash attaching and facials.
Additionally, you will receive with the table an adjustable headrest, tilting face pillow, hanging armrest, and a pair of hand rests. The face cradle is adjustable and removable. Standard massage table sheets will fit this table and they are not included. A 12-inch x 1/2-inch dowel is attached with a 9-inch Velcro® strap to store things. The legs fold easily and the attachments are removable and stored on the inside of the table when folded to put into the carrying case for transport. The base for of the headrest is aluminum tubes and attaches to plastic that attaches with Velcro®. It is made of the same foam and covering as the bed cushion.
The open table dimensions are 6-feet long without the face cradle x 27-inches wide. The leg height can be adjusted from 26- to 36-inches with plastic screw knobs. The table weighs about 32 pounds. With accessories, it will weigh about 35 pounds in the carrying case. No assembly is required; simply unfold the legs and start working.
The Best Massage® table comes with a 5-year Warranty and is made in China.
3. Saloniture Professional Portable Folding Massage Table with Carrying Case
The Saloniture portable massage table is made of sturdy hardwood for the frame with 2 tension knobs on each leg for stability. The cables offer more support for feeling secure and safe on top of it. It is the same type of steel used in car brake systems that can support 450 pounds working weight.
The headrest/face cradle is adjustable with durable and supportive aluminum posts. The cradle is adjustable for height and angle to give your client the best of comfort. The arm sling is underneath the headrest and the armrests are winged for comfort and repositioning as needed. A half-round bolster pillow is 26-inches long x 6-inches wide x 3-inches high for the preferred method of your clients.
The tabletop cushion has 2-1/2-inches of high-density foam covered with PU (Polyurethane) faux leather that is vegan-friendly. The PU material is much softer than PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) leather. It is easy to clean with warm soapy water, is water and oil resistant, and waterproof. There are no ‘new smell’ odors that can be unpleasant. The face pillow has 3-inches of foam and the cover is removable. The feet on the table legs will not mar hardwood or tile floors and are stable with a non-slip material to be good on carpet as well.
The table weighs about 35 pounds and folds in half for easy moving. It will lock with chrome clasps and has double handles. You will additionally receive the tough nylon carrying case that has an adjustable shoulder strap. The side pockets are convenient for taking along yours oils and other supplies. The attachments for the table can be stored inside the table. The face rest that is 6-1/2-inches long x 4-1/2-inches wide can be left on or off when you move the table.
The open table is 84-inches long with the headrest x 37-inches wide with the armrests. The height is adjustable from 24-1/2-inches to 25-1/2-inches.
The folded table is 36-3/4-inches long x 8-1/2-inches wide x 28-inches high.
Saloniture’s return policy is that you may return most new, unopened items within 90 days of delivery for a full refund. They will pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of their error where you received an incorrect or defective item. The table is made in China.
4. EarthLite Harmony DX Portable Massage Table Package
The EarthLite Harmony DX portable massage table comes in mystic blue, black, burgundy, and teal colors. It is affordable and eco-friendly. The table is constructed of hard wood Maple from managed forests and has water-based lacquers and glues used to be earth-friendly. The table has lightweight aircraft grade Birch decking with aircraft cable wire at 1000 pounds test. For your security and safety, it passes a 2400-pound static load test, 450-pounds of dynamic load drop test with a working weight of 600 pounds. The table is vegan friendly; no animal products used.
The 1-1/2-inch cushion is free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), those harmful chemicals that destroy the ozone layer of earth. The cushion is covered with PU (Polyurethane) faux leather for comfort and style being very durable. It has a durable Mid-brace™ cradle-lock cabling system with non-slip Stablefoot™ traction pads on the bottom feet.
The dimensions are 30-inches wide x 73-inches long and weighs 33 to 34 pounds. The height is from 23-inches to 33-inches. The table will accommodate a person 6-foot 4-inches in height.
The CE mark is a European Union standard for safety, health, and environmental requirements and the mark appears on the table. There is no outgassing odor from the foam in the cushion.
The table comes with a carrying case with a comfortable shoulder strap and two handle straps. It is fully assembled when it arrives and there is no armrest or bolster pillow included. The headrest does move up and down and can be removed. There are holes at both ends for it to be attached. The face cradle is 7-1/4-inches from right to left slot.
EarthLite provides its Lifetime Limited Construction Warranty with 3-years Warranty for the foam and upholstery. The table is made in China.
5. Merax® Aluminum 3-Section Portable Folding Massage, Facial, Tattoo Bed
The Merax® massage bed supports all your client’s body, including face with the head cradle. The arm rests support their arms never having them dangle at the sides and are removable if necessary. The bed is comfortable whether on the back or front side. Various positions can be achieved with the adjustable head cradle and backrest for clients with more weight and height.
The table is easy to set up and no tools are needed. It is portable, durable, strong, and lightweight. With the 2-inches of high-density foam, your clients will be assured of comfort for a massage, facial, or body tattoo. The legs are strong aluminum with folding hinges to take with you easily in the free carrying case. To raise or lower the table, push the leg button to insert into holes to hold securely in place.
The striking color of black with red trim or solid black is covered with polyurethane (PU) faux leather. It can be wiped down with warm soapy water, rinsed, and towel dried. Sheets or blankets fit well over it too.
Clients can be put into a comfortable sitting position for facials using the backrest adjusting to a specific position or comfort level. Massage therapists might want their clients sitting for certain arm and leg therapy.
The Merax® massage bed is ideal for students learning the trade, professionals such as massage and physical therapists, chiropractors, home users or SPA bodybuilding salons. Tattoo artists will love this table for those people wanting body art.
The dimensions are 72-inches long with face cradle x 27-inches wide. The adjustable height is 26- to 36-inches (6 ft. x 3 ft.) and will hold a 500-pound person easily. The face cradle is 84-inches, and side arms are 43-inches all removable. The back rest is a 45-degree angle. The table weighs 37-pounds. The table uses strong airplane wire cabling at the legs.
You will receive the table, headrest, armrest, side arm extenders and carrying case with handle.
Tips When Buying a Massage Table
- Read Buyer Guides and customer reviews.
- If you have experience with massage tables whether professionally or with friends, decide on the length and width of your dream table. Select from flat and those that lift at the back depending on your therapy type or other uses.
- Make a decision as to if you want a lightweight portable table or free standing permanent table.
- If your budget permits, choose a more expensive table to impress your clients with looks and comfort.
- Look for tables with accessories and a carrying case.
- With faux leather, the cushion is easy to keep clean. People sweat and it can go through your covering to the cushion.
- Be sure to check that your table is secure by checking the nuts and bolts, knobs and cabling periodically.
- Do not have clients lay face down after ocular surgery or cataract surgery without first contacting the client’s surgeon. This is very important and influences eye pressure.
Folding and Unfolding Massage Tables
Q – How do I keep lines from my face when lying face down on the headrest on the massage table?
A – That’s a no brainer! Put a thin pillow or sheet between you and the headrest to attract the facial indents. Some therapists use sheepskin to make you comfy to absorb lines. They will go away in 10 minutes all by themselves.
Q – Why do my sinuses and nose become stuffed up when facing down on the massage table?
A – Gravity! Face down creates increased sinus pressure and tension within 15 to 20 minutes. Gravity will pull the fluids into places they do not go normally go. When you lie on your back or stand up, it will go away.
Tips for Using
Massage therapy is wonderfully relaxing and eases sore muscles, knotted muscles, tension headaches and more. Here are a few conditions that a great massage therapist can help with.
- Massages are valuable to all people of all ages including youngsters who can have sports muscle issues
- Arthritis and tendinitis inflammation
- Conditions due to stress
- Muscle spasms, strains, and sprains
- Migraine headaches
- Back pain
- Recurring strain injuries
- Whip lash
- Respiratory issues
- Circulation problems
- Post-injury rehab
- Post-surgery rehab
- Pregnancy care
Massage Tables are an important piece of furniture for a professional therapist and those learning massage techniques. We hope you have gained some useful information here and have much success with your business. If you are just starting with your massage career and need a basic massage table or you are already a professional ready to take your practice to the next stage, massage tables are available for your specialized needs. Most tables are equipped with either standard or deluxe accessories. Be sure the massage table offers comfort to your client and convenience to you. As an added ambience, plug in a diffuser with 100% essential oils, and forget the chemical candles. Your clients, both male and female will love the fragrance so relaxing as your hands move across their bodies.