It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional massage therapist, massage student, personal trainer, or a chiropractor. Chances are you will need a portable massage table at some point in your career. Hello, my name is Kelly and I have been a massage therapist for 13 years and I have work with several types of massage tables and I would like to share my picks for the best portable massage tables to help you in your given career.
When should you buy a portable massage table?
There are three types of massage tables to chose from; portable, stationary, and electric lift tables. When you are just starting out as a massage therapist you have to have a portable massage table as part of your curriculum basics. 13 years ago I purchased my first massage table when I was in school and I still use it day. It is close to retirement but I definitely got my moneys worth out of it!
Having a portable massage table is absolutely a necessity for your business. Like many educational beginnings there will be some up front cost, that’s just the way this world works. Your tuition will likely cover your books, scrubs, and of course the classes. Some schools do have the option to include a massage table in the tuition but I don’t recommend going that route.
A school will likely up charge the cost of the table like crazy and it is very likely you will not be able to pay off your student loans right away so in the end you potentially will have paid three times the amount of the original cost of the massage table and that’s just silly. I recommend you purchase your massage table before you start your massage program so you will be able to start massaging at home right away.
People think massage is easy but it is an art form and if you want to be successful in this industry you need to practice as much as possible before you have paying clients on your massage table. If you are considering a career in massage therapy I would definitely get a massage table asap so you can start practicing today and begin your journey as a healer. As previously stated there are three different types of massage tables but for today’s purpose I will only high light portable massage tables. I will discuss stationary and electric massage table in future posts.
Should I buy a massage table even if I’m not a massage therapist?
I personally know several people that have there own massage table. One of my good friends is a personal trainer who works out of her garage and has a table set up so she can stretch her clients afterwords. The chiropractor I used to work for had several portable massage tables so off site events.
I even have a few clients who own massage tables just to make my life easier when I do in home sessions. Having a portable massage table at your disposable can be very useful. For example, I have a client who his wife suffers from chronic pain due to several accidents and fibromyalgia.
Despite her pain she doesn’t like the idea of a stranger touching her. As strange as that sounds I hear that from time to time and that’s ok, everyone is different and everyone comes from different backgrounds. So my client bought a massage table and I taught him basic moves so he could help his wife in the comfort of there home so she felt safe.
Also, if your not interested in a career in massage but you have for example a spouse, friend or child at home that needs ongoing therapeutic touch you can simply watch some YouTube videos to get a general idea of how to give a decent massage but you would want to invest in a portable massage table so you can deliver a massage without killing yourself in the process.
Does a massage table take up a lot of room?
A portable massage table actually folds up a stores away nicely. My massage table has moved with me to a lot of places and I never had trouble finding a home for it. Every portable massage table comes with a traveling zip up bag that is quite handy. The bag helps protect the table and makes it easier when traveling.
Believe it or not but a massage table will fit in most compact vehicles, although a large trunk is ideal the tables will fit on most vehicles. I had a Jeep Liberty for years and it was perfect for getting the table in and out of. When I was in school I had a little Pontiac Sunfire and my massage table fit in the trunk of that little vehicle just fine.
Are portable massage tables heavy?
Not at all! The average massage table weighs just 30-60 pounds and with the traveling bag’s straps it’s a snap to get your massage table from point A to point B. I will say massage tables are an odd shape so the weight might not be an issue but the dimensions of the table could be a challenge for some.
Have no fear, lucky for you God created smart people who make smart things to make our lives easier. If you plan on traveling with a massage table often it may be in your best interest to invest in traveling case with wheels. This massage case in my humble option is the best thing ever created!
I used to do a lot of corporate office events and I always had to park far away. I’m 5’1; picture a little girl trying to carry this odd shaped table and a book pack walking several blocks in the summer, downtown to get to the right building. Trust me, it’s not fun. This case was a game changer, totally worth $65!
Listed below are my top picks for portable massage tables. This list was based off of brand, price, reviews, and my personal experience with some of these products. When researching for this article it made me want to buy a new portable table myself. As stated earlier my table is 13 years old and the new tables are way cooler than my older model.
1: The Sierra Comfort All-Inclusive Portable Massage Table was a shoe will for my top pick. Sierra is a trusted brand in the massage world. This particular table weights in at 37-lbs and it is 72 inches long and 28 inches wide. If you are brand new to the massage world and are starting from scratch, this is what you need! The Sierre Comfort comes with everything you need to be a successful massage therapist.
- carry bag
- disposable face sheets (great for sporting events)
- towel holder
- oil storage pouch
- arm shelf
- AND a set of massage sheets
This is literally everything you need to be a massage therapist except I would buy an oil/cream holster, but other than that you are set!
2:Best Massage PU was a close second for me. I and a big fan of this brand and I have used there products for years. The only negative point in my option is the aluminum face rest holder. I am not a fan of aluminum when it comes to massage tables because I don’t feel like they hold up over time and can become squeaky. My associate has an all aluminum table and I have used it before and I wasn’t impressed. This table however is still a good table I would simply upgrade to a better face rest. This tables features include:
- 2″ padding
- carrying case
- and has a 450lbs weight maximum (good for the bigger guys)
I would use this table no problem
3: Next up Spa Beds & Tables. This brand I don’t know a lot about but after looking into the company they have a tremendous amount of positive reviews. I chose this table as number three for it’s additional padding of 2.5inch opposed to the industry standard 2inch foam padding. It is an all wood frame which I always prefer and it has over 1,000 five star reviews. This table includes.
- front arm rest
- side arm rest
- carry case
It comes in two colors, black or cream. Side note, the lighter colors always look pretty but they don’t hold up. Whatever table you get go with the darkest color it will hold up and look new longer
4: Saloniture Professional Portable folding massage table. This is a great table for the price! What’s fun about this table is the additional face opening on the table itself. This feature would be useful for sporting events, when working with children or if you have a client who can never get comfortable in the traditional face rest. This table was built to last with it’s all wood frame and additional support tension wires. This bad boy weights in at 30 pounds (very light) and comes in a variety of colors. Features:
- face rest
- front and side arm rest
- additional face opening on the table
This table would have been my number two picks except I feel the carrying case is on the cheap end and will need to be replaced sooner than later. Other than that I really like this table and I’m considering buying this one myself for my spare room in my office.
5: Master Massage Galaxy Lx is a great table but I made it my fifth choice for its price point as this article was geared towards newbies. However, this table is pretty legit! This table weighs in at 38 pounds it has a 3-inch thick pad, soft Italian durable upholstery, and can hold up to 1,800 pounds (what??). If you want to present your business as a professional stand out from the rest, this table will do that for you!
This is a pricey table but you need to keep in mind that a massage table is the number one most important element to your business next to you obviously. Your table is a representation of you and your business and with THIS table it makes a statement.
If you show up to an event with this sleek massage table people will take notice. It is both beautiful and incredible functional. This table is designed for portability but it could be used as your primary table in your office as well which would save you money in the long run if you only needed to purchase one table. So please don’t over look this table simply because of the price. Features:
- front and side arm rest
- carry case
- 5 year warranty
- 3 inch foam cushions for maximum support
- curved face cradle for optimal comfort and support for your clients
What about used massage tables?
I get asked this question a lot from massage students and it is a logical question, I like saving money to. There is nothing wrong with wanting to save some money but if you try to cut cost if could end up costing you dearly in the end. We live in an age where people are sue happy and if something happens to a client when they are in your care, guess what? Lawsuit!
In the beginning of my care I worked for a major franchise and on two separate occasions they were hit with a small claims from clients who fell off of the tables because they collapsed when the client was on them. Both times the individuals were paid out $10,000!
For me this is a risk I do not want to take. If you are still considering a used table versus buying new I recommend inspecting it really well. Look at the legs, sit on it, and sure the frame is not compromised in any way. I tell students all the time go with a new table that has a warranty. That’s just my opinion.
OK guys I hope you found this article helpful as you make your massage table purchase. We covered why having your own massage table as soon as possible is key, we covered what to expect with weight and dimensions, storage and portability and of course the top 5 best massage tables on the market right now in 2018. I hope that I made your purchasing decision easier and you feel confident as you buy your first massage table. For FAQ regarding portable massage tables check out this article. If you have any questions you would like to ask before purchasing your first massage table, please leave a comment below or check out my next article to learn everything you need when buying your first portable massage table.