There hundreds of portable massage tables on the market today. With the influx of cheap Chinese imports and other tables, it has become an overwhelming task to decide on the right table. Here are the key things to consider before making your buying decision.
Many people think they should purchase the widest table available, but there are several factors to consider when deciding on the width of your table. Ease of access, comfort for your client, comfort for you as the therapist, and portability are all things that need to be considered when making your purchasing decision.
Generally speaking, the narrower massage tables will offer you the most access to your clients, as well as greater portability. Wider tables do offer a larger work surface and increased comfort for your client. However, if your table is too wide, you may have difficulty reaching your client effectively. This can become tiresome and difficult on your body over a period of time.
For most general wellness massage choose a 29" - 30" width depending on your size and the size of your clients. Most tables come in a standard width; however Oakworks, Earthlite and Stronglite do offer tables in various available widths. These tables are custom made to order, have numerous options and are typically a little more expensive.
Finally, as the width of the massage table increases so does the weight. If you intend to travel and still want a wide table, consider purchasing a massage table cart to assist in portability.
The standard height range on most tables is around 24" - 34" and will serve the bulk of most practitioners who perform various massage modalities, facials, physical therapy, acupuncture and other therapeutic services. Generally speaking, the height range should be based on the height of the practitioner.
As a rule of thumb, your table should come no higher than your hip joint. You'll probably want a height a little lower than this to provide room for the height of the body on the table. If you are exceptionally tall or short, you may want to consider a table that has various available height ranges. Again, Oakworks, Earthlite and Stronglite do offer tables in various available height ranges. These tables are custom made to order, have numerous options and are typically a little more expensive.
While considering the thickness of your foam you should always keep in mind foam density. These two factors work hand-in-hand in determining comfort and durability. Since most every massage table comes in a multi-layer foam, the only option left to consider is the thickness.
Massage table padding thickness generally ranges from 2 1/4 inches to 3 inches. This is usually sufficient to provide a comfortable experience for most clients. Though you might be tempted to add thickness, this will add weight to the table and may not be conducive to portability. Finally, some modalities like Sports Therapy are more appropriate for tables with firmer padding.
You will find that higher end, custom tables offer a selection of optional tops, including firm, semi-firm, plush, pregnancy and Breast Comfort.
Easy access panels are simply different support braces that connect the two legs on the narrow ends of a massage table. Generally, the support panels go straight across the ends connecting the two legs.
Rather then go straight across, easy access panels are shaped like an upside-down U, creating an arched support. This allows the practitioner to place their legs between the table legs and get closer to the client on the table. This is more important for Reiki practitioners who need access both above and below the client. It can also be convenient for any therapist to slide under the client on a rolling stool, in order to work on the head and/or feet.
Some massage tables come standard with and without Reiki endplates, while some are optional. This option is often available on better tables for free or a nominal charge.
You can buy a no-name massage table from Costco for $199, but think hard before trying to save that $50 bucks. Companies like Earthlite, Oakworks and Stronglite always stand behind their products. Most of these tables offer lifetime warranties on the frame and 2-3 year warranties on upholstery and padding.
It is important to be weary of cheap imports with no recognizable brand. The saying "you get what you pay for" definitely applies to massage tables. Do not risk you or your clients safety on a no-name brand, cheap table. It's just not worth it!
Both wood and metal frames can provide a strong table base. Most wood tables can support at least 450 lbs. The most popular tables have wood frames as these generally have better esthetic appeal and tend to be less expensive than metal framed tables. However, metal frames do often weigh less than their wooden counterparts. If you foresee doing a lot of traveling with your table, it might be worth looking at a metal frame table.
If you will be traveling frequently with your massage table, you will clearly need a portable table. Make sure you get a package that includes a carry case and other accessories. You might also consider purchasing a table cart so you don't have to support the weight on your shoulders.
If you have a day spa, medi-spa, massage studio, or salon, you should consider both portable and stationary massage tables. Some of the most comfortable and highest quality tables are stationary models. These can vary widely in price, but are generally driven by the number of features and options like electronic height adjustment, manual or electric tilting tops, salon tops, manicure armrests and much more.
Although weight is important when considering a portable massage table, it is no more important than the other factors discussed above. Weight is mostly dependent on table size, material and padding. Wooden tables are typically heavier, but often look better and can be more stable than metal tables. Remember the wider the table and the thicker the cushioning, the more weight will be added to the table. Again, consider a table cart to help make traveling easier without sacrificing size and comfort.
Most manufacturers offer an aluminum framed table, but the vast majority do have wooden frames. Wood has proven to be the most often used material for the aforementioned reasons and the fact that it is more abundant and cost effective. You usually want to stick to the hardwoods like Maple or Oak as these tend be more stable and durable.
Before buying your massage table, think about how important these qualities are to you. You most likely want to make a good first impression with your clients so they'll feel comfortable in coming back. Their first experience before the actual massage is when the lay down on your table. Make sure it's not squeaking and rocking or they will not come a knocking!
Table skirts are a must-have when marketing your brand in a public arena. Not only do they cover unsightly table, they prove to be a hassle-free solution used to further advertise a particular brand, product or name. Choose from 4 available and popular styles; drapes, runners, stretch covers, and convertibles. To start with, you will want to be sure your fabric is made out of machine washable, wrinkle resistant, and most importantly, fire-retardant material, like a premium poly-twill fabric. (Most are, but check to be absolutely sure) Table throws and covers make a big impact and require little effort on your part. All you have to do is drape them over 4, 6, or 8 foot table, in most cases. This article discusses the four most popular styles in greater detail.
Table skirting is generally comprised of fluted fabric (resembling a skirt) that wraps around the perimeter of the table and attaches to a table top section of the same color using Velcro. A table skirt can also be described as a simple table cover which simply drapes over the banquet table to create an acceptable presentation. Plain table covers like drapes, are designed to fit most 4, 6, or 8 foot table perfectly. Most of these allow for rear seating comfortably with the back remaining shorter for legs to fit underneath. Additionally, most are also seamed at the back to properly align with your table. Table covers are available in several different colors, with many allowing for logo and text imprinting in a 1, 2, or 3 color process. This printing process is either heat transferred onto the front of your table skirt or completed through a more complex, dye sublimation process.
Table covers, also known as convertible table throws are versatile and so easy to use. Whether you have a 6 foot table for one event, but need a smaller 4 foot table for your next venue, you no longer have to buy 2 covers because one will suffice. Convertible table throws are perfect for situations where table sizes change from show to show. They include Velcro strips sewn into the reverse side of the cloth which allow for the size reduction. These versatile table covers can fit larger table as well as smaller table without trouble. They simply convert using attached Velcro, holding the extra fabric in place with full coverage on all 4 sides.
Runners are smaller pieces of fabric usually draped on top of the table cloths and used as an accent piece. Custom printed logos and graphics are typically printed on the front to highlight your company's name or organization. Runners are either plain or include electronically printed logos and designs to further attract the attention of patrons or clients. Typically 30 or 60 inches wide, table runners serve as table accents usually consisting of an opposing color than the underlying table cover. A table runner, also known as a table drape, covers the center and front areas of a contrasting table cover or skirt. A full-color table runner is ideal for anyone traveling to events where the display table is show-supplied. Unlike most table throws, a table runner fits any size table to customize your exhibit quickly and efficiently. This way, you can save money and just buy one table drape for all of your marketing events.
The most modern table cover, is called a stretch table skirt. Stretch covers transform an ordinary table into a form-fitting, designer display! Stretch table covers eliminate wrinkles by fitting snugly over table with full coverage. Table feet slip into pockets sewn into the inside of the throw. After you slide the cover over the table, simply close the zipper located at the rear of the throw. This stretches the throw for a tight fit, leaving no wrinkles, while giving that characteristic curved appearance. The zipper also allows easy access to items or supplies stored underneath. stretch covers fit larger table, 8 feet long, 30" high by 30" deep. You can buy them as is, (unprinted) or printed with a front-only dye-sub, or full-bleed dye-sub. The term "dye-sub" means dye sublimation, which is the electronic printing process which allows for full color, complex designs to be imprinted onto table covers and skirts. In the dye-sublimation process, your artwork is digitally printed into white fabric, allowing you many more possibilities than heat transferring. You can print complex designs, photographic images, or art with gradients onto your table skirts with dye sublimation. This process is also a good choice for you if you'd like to print an image with more than 3 colors. Full-color graphics and attractive curves are sure to attract more customers and patrons to your table at your next public event.
Covers and throws are often used in banquet halls, at trade shows, conventions, marketplaces, schools, libraries, bookstores, malls, sales exhibits, or hospitality events everywhere. Create an effective display just by covering a table; it's that easy. Now that you know what options are out there, you can decide what style best works for your business.