Not all massage tables are created equal. Some are cheaper, some are pricier, some are portable, some are stationary. Unfortunately, some are just downright junk – thin padding, stitches coming off, and squeaky. It’s kind of hard to relax when there’s constant squeaking.
When it comes to the construction of these tables, there’s more than what meets the eye. An example is off-gassing (when the upholstery of the massage table gives off a harmful chemical gas). These tend to happen to cheaper upholstery and is not obvious in the product photos.
I hate cliche’s but it rings especially true for massage tables:
You get what you pay for
We want to help you avoid purchasing a poor quality massage table. And that’s why we spent more than 20 hours on testing and researching to give you our curated list of the best massage tables.
The surface is made out of foam and is 2.5 inches thick. It’s definitely comfortable in that you don’t feel the deck or the Beach timber beneath it.
- 72 inches long
- 28 inches wide
- Adjustable height from 23 – 33 inches
450 lbs weight capacity
Now, imagine the worst thing that can happen to a table in use. That’s right, the worst thing that can happen is if it breaks. So, we made sure to note the weight capacity and structural design.
The SC-901 has a weight capacity of 450 lbs. It also uses tensions wires for support and durability.
Attachable Face Cradle
No one likes their face squished by the table while receiving a back massage. Sierra Comfort agrees not only once… but twice. There is a face hole along with an attachable face cradle that is adjustable.
Speaking of adjustable mechanisms, the legs are adjustable from 23 inches to 33 inches. This can be done by turning the plastic gear on the leg.
The table comes with a lot of accessories like oil pouch, attachable arm rest and face cradle, and even a semi circle bolster. Fortunately, the space underneath the table is utilized very well in that it fits all those things without needing to forcefully shut it close.
Needs Better Carrying Case and Arm Rest
In a perfect world, the carrying ‘case’ which is a tote bag is definitely lacking quality. The crossbody strap is not double-stitched or reinforced. We could definitely see this tearing in the future. The latch that buckles the table together is also made out of cheap material.
The other improvement would be the arm rest. The position of the armrest makes it awkward to actually use and since it’s on the side it almost takes away from the experience since it gets in the way of the masseuse. Also the metal prong that holds it in place is not strong enough so it tends to get loose.
However it’s not all gloom and doom. Sierra Comfort offers a 5 year manufacturer warranty on the frame.
EARTHLITE is one of the leading massage equipment suppliers. As you can imagine from it’s name, they take pride in being green and eco-friendly. In fact, they use Canadian hard maple for the table legs and braces and Baltic birch plywood for the decking (table top) both being renewable wood sources.
According to Alex Fuchs (Former Director of Educational Sales at EARTHLITE), they plant a tree for every massage table purchased.
- 73 inches long
- 30/32 inches wide
- 23-33 inches adjustable height
Luxurious Triple Density Cushioning
The table top is extremely comfortable. The memory foam is thick at 3 inches and does not permanently cave in after heavy use. I could easily fall asleep on this thing.
Shiatsu Release Cables and Reinforcement Ribs
As mentioned before, the structure and stability of the table is very important. The Spirit table has reinforcement ribs that support the tabletop and Shiatsu release cables that help keep the legs in place under load stress but also allows them to be folded underneath for massages without the legs.
The maximum working weight is an astounding 800 lbs. In order to server heavier clients, it’s important to have a table that can support heavier loads.
Yup, you read that right. Earthlite guarantees no squeaking so you don’t have to worry about disruptions.
Needs better Face Cradle and Carrying Case
Comfort, check. Stability, check. No squeaking, Check. Accessory functionality? No check. The face cradle and the bag could use some improvements.
The face cradle nicely contours the face and leaves room for the edge of the eyes. However the velcro used to attach the cushion to the frame is weak so at times it could fall off.
The carrying case biggest fault lies in the zipper placement. Since it doesn’t open all the way, the table has to be lifted and lowered instead of sliding it in the case. It’s a bit awkward when you’re done servicing a client and you have to struggle to maneuver the table back in the case.
Our personal favorite massage table belongs to a brand called Master Massage. The founder, Michael Friedman, is prolific in producing quality components of a massage table (He’s got tons of patents). So it’s a fair assumption that his massage tables follow a high standard and strict quality control process.
The Galaxy Lx has a glossy finish, a 3 inch thick memory foam, and heating capabilities.
- 84 inches length
- 30/32 inches width
- 24 inches to 34 inches adjustable height
If you think about it, a lot of people’s bare skin touches a massage table. Master Massage thought about this and how that can spread germs so as a solution they came up with antimicrobial upholstery which is just fancy term for ‘sanitary surface.’
The upholstery is also scratch-proof, stain resistant, oil and waterproof. Everything that can wear down the surface of the massage table, they took into consideration in the manufacturing of this product.
The Galaxy Lx provides heat on the surface that can be turned off. This is feature is great for chilly weather.
One of the patented technology includes thicker and square shaped hinges. Many of the massage tables on the market use piano hinges which are weaker than the square hinges that clamp the two pieces of plywood together.
Not patented but another detail is extra padding on the corners of the tables. When you lift and lower a mobile massage table, the corners are especially under stress.
Another detail we found pretty nifty are numbered leg adjustments. If you ever assembled a heavy table with adjustable height, you know how much easier it is to get it perfectly leveled when there are numeric indications on the legs.
Needs Better Mobility
Master Massage didn’t skimp out with cheap components but as a trade-off it is significantly heavier. With all accessories and the carrying case, it weighs almost 60 lbs. You definitely want to make sure you can either carry heavier table up the stairs or you don’t service outcalls as much.
Ultimate Massage Table Buying Guide
Especially if you’re an up and coming massage therapist, you want to make a correct investment into a massage table for the sake of your business. Unfortunately, there are tons pitfalls you want to avoid as you’re shopping for your next table.
As such, it’s better to familiarize yourself with some of the basic terms and facts about the industry.
Portable or Stationary Table
According to Amazon, more than 75% of massage tables are portable.
If you’re strictly working out of an office then you probably want to get a stationary table. In this case, there’s a lot less balancing to do with qualities of a massage table since portability is not a factor.
However, if you do a lot of outcalls you probably want to consider a portable table. Even if you don’t do a lot of outcalls, it still might be a good investment. It’s similar to the laptop vs desktop debate. Unless you really depend on the stationary values, a high-quality portable version is often the better choice.
What are standard massage table dimensions?
There’s no one-size-fits-all for a massage table. It all depends on how much portability you want to sacrifice. The taller and wider ones can accommodate more clients but is tougher to carry around.
The standard length of a massage table is 73 inches. The face cradle can extend it 12 inches or so. And since the face cradle is detachable and stored typically underneath a portable table, it’s a great way to service taller clients.
The standard width is from 28 – 35 inches. Keep in mind that the width plays a crucial role in allowing you as a massage therapist to reach the client’s body from different sides of the table. If you’re shorter than 5’5”, we recommend sticking to 28 inch wide tables.
The standard height is from 20 to 36 inches. Usually there are adjustable knobs(one or two) by the legs. Some of the higher-end tables have knobs that are convenient when working with oil – usually there are grooves for better grip – and numbered holes to help you adjust the table in one shot.
What is the difference between Working and Static Weight?
Many brands boast about their static weight since it’s a higher number. However, you should know there is a clear distinction between working weight and static weight.
Static weight is how much idle weight can be placed on top of the massage table without breaking.
Working weight is how much dynamic weight can be placed on a massage table without breaking. Dynamic meaning constant motion. This metric is what you want to consider since it closely resembles a client.
What kind of foam or padding should I consider?
Two important things to consider with the padding of a massage table.
- Does it return to its original form after prolong use?
- Do you feel the deck beneath the cushion when laying on it?
(1) will effect the longevity of the table. If the padding becomes permanently caved in then it becomes uncomfortable.
(2) so the cushion is thick enough to comfort your client and the client doesn’t feel like they’re sitting on a flat piece of plywood.
The standard for cushion thickness is from 2 inches to 3 inches. In terms of material, look for high-dense memory foam.
What are the different types of Upholstery?
There are two main types of upholstery used for massage tables: PVC(Polyvinyl Chloride) leather and PU(Polyurethane). The difference is that PU is stain-resistance and easy to clean.
Some of the higher-end tables like Master Massage will have antimicrobial which is sanitized upholstery that will prevent bacteria from accumulating because of constant bare skin contact.
Find a Table that doesn’t Squeak
Squeaking while massaging a client is awkward and unprofessional. You want to invest into a table that doesn’t squeak or make any other annoying noises. To do that, you need to purchase mid to high end tables that are structurally sound. The reason table’s squeak is because they are made out of cheap wood that isn’t stabilized properly.
Some brands do often a squeak-free guarantee but they are dime a dozen. Make sure to do you research on past customers as they’re are really no other way to find out if a table will squeak.
Aluminum or Wood?
Aluminum weighs less and is generally considered ‘uglier’ than their wooden counterparts. There is an air of stigma floating around in the space confusing aluminum with steel or metal. Just to be clear, when we say aluminum we mean aircraft-grade aluminum.
They both are sturdy so it really comes down how well it integrates with your office space or brand (if you’re totally mobile).