Choosing the Best Massage Table for You

Massage tables come in different shapes, sizes, colours and a plethora of different accessories. Determining which table is the most suitable for you can be a difficult challenge. As the price from massage table suppliers can vary considerable, buying a massage table is a significant investment and taking the time to understand your needs is essential.

massage table

Probably the first question to address is whether the table will be used in one location such as a clinic or whether it needs to be portable. If your intention is just to use the table in one place then a heavier, studier, wider table may be appropriate (or if budget permits an electric table with ability to adjust height while working on a client). Fixed tables also may have other features such as shelves.

If you intend to use the table for say mobile massage then the weight of the table is one of the most important factors. Carrying a 20kg table up three flights of stairs is simply not a viable proposition and a portable table needs to be light enough for you to carry (+ easy to fold). However be aware that some super light tables have a flexible base that can impact on the quality of deep tissue massage.

Body Mechanics and Massage Modality Matching the table to the type of bodywork you do (or intend to do). For example if you plan on practicing structural integration then you may require a table that can be significantly lowered. A Kahuna therapist may prefer a wide table so that client can comfortably lie prone with their arms on the table.

Even if you are perform one massage modalities you may have such a diverse client base that a height adjustable table is worth considering (the height adjustment mechanism needs to be simple, safe and quick to change - having to unscrew nuts and bolts to change table height is not practical).

Using a massage table that is the right height for you is clearly important for your massage body mechanics. The second factor is this equation is the table width. This tends to be a compromise with client comfort - clients would tend to prefer a wider table, therapists (particularly those who are a little shorter ) would prefer to have a narrower table so that there is less reaching across clients. Some tables have curves edges so that the middle is narrower than the ends which enables therapists to get in closer to client when working around lower back, pelvis area.

Client Comfort
Cheap massage tables are generally uncomfortable to lie on for significant periods of time. Being forced to have your neck in extension in a hole cut into the table which is the wrong size does not lead to a relaxing treatment. Thin layers of low quality foam can also be disadvantageous to a quality treatment. Cheap vinyl covers are also not recommended, in particular for the longevity of your table. Paying more for better quality padding and better surface materials is worth the extra expense if your budget permits.

However, a word of caution, that modalities such as sports massage and deep tissue massage require a firm padding than a very soft surface that might be more appropriate for a spa.

Client Weight
Consider the safe weight bearing limit of any massage tables you are thinking of buying. Cheaper and lighter tables tend to have lower load limits which may be a factor if you are dealing with larger clients.

Massage Table Accessories
The range of accessories that are available from a particular massage table manufacturer may be worth consideration as a factor in determining which table you choose. Not all accessories may be available for all tables so it is worth asking the question about being able to match accessories for any type of massage that you practice (or may be considering practicing in the future). Normal accessories that should be available are

  • adjustable face crest
  • carry case (with wheels?) for portable tables
  • table covers
  • bolster
  • extenders for larger clients
  • etc

Warranty information may be an important factor and can be overlooked when making your decision. Warranties typically vary from around 3-5 years to the lifetime of the massage table. It is important to understand the warranty information for table prior to purchase, and thoroughly read any information after you receive the table, particularly with respect to care and maintenance.

Obviously price enters in the equation whilst it may be glib to say that you should be prepared to spend the most you can afford as an investment in your practice. If you find a table that meets your requirements that comes in under budget all well and good. Buying cheap does not necessarily mean buying value if the table disintegrates after 6 month of use.

There are many massage tables that are made of quality materials, easy to clean and are durable available for reasonable price so please take your time investigating, talk to massage therapists about their recommendations, ask massage schools and don't be scared of asking the tough questions to the massage table suppliers.

Massage Table Suppliers in Australia

(please note - the following information is provided as a service and is not a direct recommendation for any of the suppliers nor a complete list of suppliers in Australia). Most of the larger manufacturers have a statewide distributors so phone following numbers for your local supplier.

  • Athlegen. 1800 813 000
  • Firm n Fold. Burleigh Junction. Queensland. 07 5522 1612
  • Auspedic Massage Equipment. Milperra. NSW. 1800 354 431
  • Meridian Massage. Kirrawee. NSW. 02 9542 4900
  • Centurion. Lewisham. NSW. 02 9561 0161

By Richard Lane

Any information, advice, recommendations, statements or otherwise contained herein, or in any other communication whether oral or in writing, is not intended to replace or to be a substitute for medical advice trained by a trained physician or healthcare practitioner.

Phone 0421 410057