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How to Select the Right Massage Table

Nicks J
When it comes to saving money and room space, buying a portable massage table is the perfect choice. On the other hand, stationary tables are on the heavier side and tend to have thicker foams and features like storage cabinets. Besides this, let's look at other points to aid you select the right massage table.

Did You Know?

Ideally, a portable lightweight table should not weigh more than 25 pounds.
If practicing massage therapy is your source of livelihood, you simply cannot afford to go wrong in choosing the right massage table. The 'comfort' factor of your client is not just restricted to your professional skills.
The type of table you have also plays a crucial role in taking the massage experience to a new level. Following are the things that you need to keep in mind when buying a massage table.

Factors to Consider

Foam Thickness

If the client's comfort is your topmost priority, you need to go in for thick foam massage tables. Usually, therapists choose a table that has a 3-inch thick foam. However, it is not just the thickness that matters; the density of foam is equally important.
Foam padding made from high-density foam is necessary to provide extra comfort to your client. A table with double foam padding would provide excellent comfort to anyone lying on it. No matter what type of massage you practice, buy a table that comes with comfortable padding.

Portable or Stationary

In case you decide to visit clients' homes to offer service, then buying a portable massage table is recommended. These versions are lightweight and can be easily moved from one place to another. They are ideal for those who travel frequently and prefer to visit the client's place.
They come with a folding design, which makes them easy to assemble and transport. In short, mobile therapists will look for massage tables that offer portability.
Stationary massage tables are for those who own a massage clinic or plan to set up one. These tables are heavy as they come with many added features such as cabinet base and shelf base. For instance, some tables come with an electric lift that allows you to change their height with a foot pedal.
Also, the framework and support structure of stationary tables are sturdier than their portable versions. They are built to carry heavy loads, so even a person weighing 500 pounds can comfortably rest on this table. Find out the weight rating of the table, which indicates its load-carrying capacity.

Width of the Massage Bed

If you want your client to rest comfortably, make sure your table has a wider massage bed. For an average American, a 28-inch wide massage bed might be enough. However, in case your clients are athletes or overweight people who are taller and larger in size, choosing a 30-32 inch wide table is advisable. 
Again, wider the bed, higher will be the weight of the table, thus, making it slightly difficult to carry a heavier table from one place to another. So, if you are providing mobile service, select a portable massage table with a 25-inch bed width.

Table Length

Most massage tables have a standard length of 185 cm (73 inches). Although shorter length tables are available, they are not suitable for taller clients. Also, you should buy accessories like face cradles as they allow you to increase the table length by 20 cm.
It is observed that as the length of the table increases, its weight also increases. So, buying a longer massage table (more than 185 cm) can decrease its portability.

Space and Cost

Portable versions are foldable and take very little space when not in use. They are ideal for places with space constraints. Moreover, they are inexpensive, and you can get a good quality table for around $200, which is quite economical.
On the other hand, stationary massage tables require a lot of room as they are heavy and cannot be folded. Also, even the most basic model is priced at $500 and can go up to $2000 for tables with added features. No wonder, massage students and newly qualified professionals―keeping in mind the cost and availability of space―choose portable versions.


If you are looking for portability, choose tables made from aluminum as they are extremely lightweight and easy to carry. On the other hand, stationary versions that are placed in salon shops should have a solid wood construction. These tables are sturdy, highly reliable, and designed for long-lasting durability.

Adjustable Tables

Choose a massage table that comes with adjustable components. As a therapist, you need to ensure the table is designed to fulfill the massaging needs of your client. For instance, some clients may want a massage while they are sitting. In such circumstances, your table should be equipped with an adjustable back rest.
Also, in case the table is going to be used by more than one therapist, make sure it comes with an adjustable height. Every therapist is comfortable carrying out the massage procedure for his client when the table height is set at a predetermined level.
So, ensure that the table you choose has an easy height adjustable mechanism that allows you to set the needed height.


Although arm support, face cradles, body wedges, bolsters, and body cushions are accessories, they can enhance the comfort level of your client during a massage. So, consider buying these accessories that provide comfort and help maintain the right posture.

Type of Massage

Selecting a massage table that suits your style of massaging is another factor that cannot be overlooked. For instance, if you practice Reiki (that involves seated work), it is imperative that your table is fitted with Reiki panels. These are U-shaped end plates that enable the therapist to comfortably keep his legs beneath the table while sitting.
Also, those who perform shiatsu massage need to buy tables that are specially designed for shiatsu practice. A traditional shiatsu massage is always practiced on the floor. No wonder, a shiatsu massage table is equipped with cables that enable the user to easily fold the legs of the table so that its surface is at ground level.
So, make sure the table you choose has all the accessories that are necessary to perform the type of massage you practice.
On the whole, as a massage therapist, assess all your needs and then choose a massage table that fulfills your criteria.