How to Choose the Best Massage Table

Buying a portable massage table is a big investment in your business, so we have outlined a couple of guidelines to think about when you’re buying a best massage table. You want to look for one that is sturdy, durable, and has all the features you want for a good price.

Type of Massage Practiced

The first thing you need to consider is what type of massage you are currently practicing or are going to be practicing in the future. You want to make sure all the features on your portable massage table will match the kind of work you do. For example, you may need a massage table that can be lowered substantially if you plan on doing any structural integration or you might want a removable top or folding legs if you practice shiatsu. If you practice skin care or spa treatments, you may want a massage table with a salon top (adjustable backrest or armrests).

Price vs. Quality = Value

A portable massage table is an investment in your practice. You want to be certain that the portable massage table you are purchasing will be functional for years to come, but will also fit into your budget. By investigating the price versus the quality of the massage table, you can determine its value. You don’t necessarily want to buy the cheapest portable massage table on the market, because you may find that it falls apart in a matter of months under professional use, and your investment has been wasted. There are plenty of massage tables that are easy to repair and clean, are made of high quality materials, and are very durable, available for a reasonable price.

Body Mechanics and Therapist Convenience

One thing you need to consider when buying your portable massage table is how easy it will be for you to adjust. If you are a massage therapist or massage student that work on a diverse clientele, you may need a massage table that is easily adjustable for height. You may also want to choose a portable massage table that is wider or narrower depending on your height (the shorter you are, the harder it will be to reach across a wide table). You want to find a best massage massage table that will fit your body and cater to a variety of different heights for optimal massage therapist convenience and body mechanics.

Client Comfort

There are many different kinds of padding offered by different manufacturers to accommodate client comfort. Be certain to consider both functionality and comfort for you clients. Some super lightweight massage tables may only have a thin layer of foam, while other massage tables may have multiple materials used in tandem to pad the massage table. Some modalities require a harder surface (sports, structural integration, etc.) while other modalities work better on a very soft surface (spa work, Swedish, etc.). You also want to consider the longevity of the foam: thinner foam will break down more quickly than thicker padding, and this can have an effect on the value of your massage table over time.

Warranty Information

Warranty information is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of choosing massage tables. On average, warranties range from 3 years to the lifetime of the massage table. Be certain you understand the warranty information for your portable massage table before you buy it, and thoroughly read any information after you receive the table. This will expedite getting any problems solved that might arise with your massage table later.


You need to consider what massage table accessories you will need for the type of massage you practice and the demographic to which you cater. For example, will you need special massage bolstering for pregnancy massage? Do you need massage table extenders for larger clients? Do you want a face rest? Do you need a massage table cart to facilitate transportability? Massage table packages often offer basic massage table accessories (adjustable face rest, carrying case, etc.), to help the beginning massage therapist to establish themself. You may also want massage table linens, a table warmer, or a fleece pad.


You need to assess how mobile you think you will be with your portable massage table: where you will work and how often you think you may be moving your practice to different locations. One good way to determine how mobile you will be with your massage table is to imagine yourself carrying it up a flight of stairs. For example, if you do outcall massage you may have to carry your massage table up stairs, and might therefore want a lightweight portable massage table. If you aren’t going to be moving your massage table often, you might want to consider a stationary or lift table.

The Environment

You may prefer to buy a best massage table brand that is made by an environmentally conscious manufacturer. They may use water-based, non-toxic lacquers and responsibly managed hardwoods, or have non-chlorofluorocarbon emitting foams. Be sure to read about the manufacturer and their materials, if this is important to you. You may also want to consider how humidity or moisture might damage your massage table, especially if you practice outdoors or near water. Many companies, such as Earthlite, are producing aluminum frames to reduce the impact of water damage.

Breaking down a Massage Table

Massage tables are like onions..they have layers (little spoof from Shrek, ha!). But, really, they are. There are many factors that you have to take into consideration for a table to be A) comfortable for your client. B) Easy for you, the therapist to get around. Then there’s sheets, warmers, blankets, and added padding. There’s an order to which you should choose each of these according to Angie Patrick. She’s says, “Massage tables are like elegant desserts. The best ones have the perfect balance of sumptuous and delicious layers…More layers really equals more luxery and more indulgance.”

massage table warmer

First, there’s table warmers and they come in all shapes, sizes and forms, washable, not washable, chemical durable, water proof, etc. Before you choose what kind to use, you should decide wheter you plan to practice treatments that require the warmer to be water proof. If you practice herbal wraps, you’re going to want a water proof option so that you can wash it after a session. Always make sure that your table warmer has an ‘auto off’ feature. That way, like space heaters and curling irons, you don’t have to worry about if you left it on or not. I think it would make sense to get a table where you have a timing option.  That way, you can time your table to turn off after a session and make sure it doesn’t turn off during one.

massage table pad

As for added padding, the most used is fleece because it’s so soft and plush. When picking out your added padding, make sure there is elastic at the ends so that it hugs tight;y to your table. Some things to take into consideration for picking out fleece is whether you want it synthetic or natural. Some people, such as myself, have allergies to wool. You don’t want your client uncomfortable and not able to breath during their massage! also, natural wool can not be washed. It has to be dry cleaned, whcih can be costly. As far as cost for a fleece, they are actually pretty affordable! you can spend anywhere from $25 to $110 depending on your budget!

memory foam

Another option, which makes perfect sense because we all love sleeping on it, is memory foam. Temperpedic beds are flying off the shelves, so why not cover your table with something so comfy? Memory foams works like this: It reacts to body heat and then hugs the body and conforms to it. This truly provides an amazing amount of comfortablity for your patient. Unfortunatlely, this kind of comfort is expensive, but the life of memory foam is worth the expense.

massage table sheets

After you’ve chosen the bottom layers of your masterpiece of a table, you have to choose a top sheet. Comfort, once again, is key. There are all different types of materials I think would be nice to have laid down on a table while I’m getting a massage. Cotton, a natural fiber is soft to the skin. It’s easily washable and can be inexpensive. Flannel, a nice and warm, natural cotton fiber is another great choice. Flannel is lond lasting and durable and may also be laundered without too much problems. Flannel does ten to shrink, so make sure when you buy this typ of sheet, you buy them big enough for that. Poly cotton is a blend of cotton and polyester. This is great for us Floridian massage conessieurs as they are great in warmer climates. They are also inexpensive and are durable when laundered.

When buying sheets, make sure they’re not too lod or cheesy. You don’t want your clients thinking they can’t take you seriously if you have hearts and rainbow sheets on your bed. I wouldn’t choose any loud or neon colors, either. Also, you don’t want your sheets to have old oils stains or smell like old oil, either. Don’t forget to also buy them big enough so that they cover the entire table, warmer included.

Average Best Portable Massage Table Specs:

  • Length: 73 inches
  • Width: 28, 30, 32 inches
  • Height: 24-34 inches
  • Foam: 2.5-3.5 inches thick
  • Weight: 29-34 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years to lifetime
  • Extras: Reiki endplate, armrests, extra padding, special colors, bolstering, face rest, non- standard height/width/length
  • Cost: $50-$500

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