A massage therapist’s single most important tool is his or her massage table. The right table will amplify the comfort and effect of your massages, allowing you to practice at your highest potential and for your clients to reap the full health benefits of their sessions. Your table is the foundation of your practice and one of the most important investments you will make. But with so many different massage tables available for sale, how do you know which one to choose?
Here are some important factors to consider when buying a massage table:
A little research into the cost of massage tables will help you set a realistic budget. While there are some places for massage therapists to cut corners and save money, your table should probably not be one of them. Consider a professional grade table with superior ergonomic shape, padding and level of comfort as a long term investment that will pay dividends in happy customers and more business in the future.
While any one company name may not play a huge role in your final choice, familiarizing yourself with the reputable brands and all each has to offer is a good idea. You can view a brief introduction to all our favorite massage table manufacturers here.
Stationary or portable? Static or dynamic? Knowing which type of table is the best match for your practice is essential. Have a look at our Stationary vs. Portable Massage Tables page to learn more.
Massage tables see a lot of use throughout their life. The constant pressure of clients' bodies going on and off the table can result in damage to a cheap model, but thankfully this isn't a problem with professional-grade tables. Everything from the frame and vinyl to the screws and mechanical components are made using the finest materials and highest level of craftsmanship.
When you are shopping for a new massage table, pay close attention to its foam construction. While there are several factors that contribute to a table's overall comfort, foam is arguably the most influential. Stiff, thin or low-grade foam will result in less comfort during the massage. Remember, though, that additional foam on a massage table translates into a heavier weight. There's a difference between massage tables constructed with quality foam material and models built with an excessive amount of foam.
The type of vinyl is another factor that shouldn't be overlooked when choosing a massage table. Although it doesn't hold quite as much importance as foam, vinyl still plays a role in the table's overall comfort. Cheaper vinyl materials will have more of a rough, leathery feel rather than the soft, delicate feel of high-end vinyl. There are two primary types of vinyl used in the construction of massage tables: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU). Some massage therapists prefer PVC, while others prefer PU. When constructed properly, both types of vinyl offer a professional-grade look and feel, so don't stress too much about choosing between PVC or PU.
If you plan on traveling with your massage table – which is common for many massage therapists – you'll want to choose a model that's relatively lightweight. The exact weight will depend on your physical abilities, but it's usually a good idea to stick with models under 40 pounds. Of course, weight isn't an issue if you plan to perform massages solely from your home or office.