Last Updated on December 24, 2022 by Naomi Nimu
Beyond the massage therapy skills you’ve honed over the years, a massage table is a critical tool in your practice. With the correct table, you can deliver effective massage treatments. Massage tables come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, materials, and functionality. This page discusses everything you need to know about aluminum massage tables and tips for choosing the right massage table for your practice.
Wood Vs. Aluminum Massage Tables
Choosing between a wooden and an aluminum table depends on your preference. We’ve seen that some people still prefer wood furniture, but as modern designs of aluminum tables have come along, they are becoming more attractive.
Some therapists are no longer actively involved in their own therapy practices and still think about the days when metal tables were more popular. Some therapists would use heavy metal tables that would eventually rust and cause noise.
Some tutors still recommend against using aluminum tables, not realizing how much the industry has changed, and trying to conjure up images of a fancy table with metal. Although metal massage tables are becoming rarer, there are still some cheap options that you can buy for under $100. However, they are of low quality, and you would have to buy a new one very soon after buying one.
Which Option Do Therapists Prefer?
Many therapists are now opting for aluminum over wood because it is strong and lighter. In terms of quality, there is no significant difference between the quality of aluminum tables and wooden tables. They are both made from high-quality materials and built to the same very high standards.
It’s best to choose the table that will be a good fit for your needs. It really does not matter whether you choose to use a wood or aluminum table for your therapy practice. Aluminum tables are stronger than wooden ones, but they still can’t support as much weight as wooden ones.
A good set of aluminum tables is built with aircraft-grade aluminum, while entry-level tables are made from inferior material. While still strong and sturdy, aluminum tables are less strong and stable than those made from strong wood.
Top 3 Aluminum Massage Tables
Here are our top picks for the best aluminum massage tables:
1. Master Massage 28″ Zephyr Lightweight Portable Massage Table
This table includes a curved table backed with a rust-proof aluminum frame, a padded pillow that adjusts for your specific preferences, and a bag that is “bullet proof” (durable). It’s Made from aircraft grade, T6 Aluminum — only 29 lbs. It is super lightweight yet super strong!
The table features shimmy-lock leg stabilizers and 1,000 pounds test support cables to provide unmatched strength and stability. It weighs only 750 lbs with incredible stability. It can hold up to 3,000 lbs. and an amazing 750 lb weight when loaded with tools and equipment.
The table is capable of supporting a max load of 3,000 lbs., and the chair can support 200 lbs. Capacity for weights up to 100 lbs and working weight of 300 lb. The luxurious 2-inch foam cushioning combined with the extremely soft and luxurious upholstery offers unsurpassed luxury in a lightweight table. The full sizing is 30″ x 73″, 24″ – 34″ in height.
2. CLORIS 84″ Professional Massage Table
This high-quality massage table features thick, breathable foam on the tabletop and has a luxurious PU leather massage cover that is durable and easy to clean. It is also safe to use because it is not toxic like other synthetic materials.
It is very durable and offers great support to support a maximum weight capacity of up to 1100 LBS. It is easy to fold and unfold, and its non-slip feet offer protection to most types of floors. There are five adjustable height position holes on the feet of our professional massage bed, with one of each hole allowing users to quickly adjust the massage bed height from 23″ to 33″.
The portable massage table is easy to fold and unfold. It stores all the necessary accessories in the unit. It comes with a convenient carrying bag so that you can easily carry it. It provides such a huge comfort for massage therapists and users. That’s why it is widely used in massage centers, health clubs, beauty parlors, salons, gyms, and even at home.
The warranty starts on the day you purchase the product and ends one year from the day you purchase it. CLORIS is aware of just how stressful life can be. Therefore, they manufacture valuable healthcare products that people can use and enjoy. They work hard to develop and produce useful products for everyone.
3. EARTHLITE Portable Massage Table LUNA
This sturdy aluminum massage table includes a forged aluminum table with folding legs, a swivel cradle with a memory foam top, and a durable, nylon carry case (bulletproof). It is designed to be super strong and very lightweight – 2 lbs. Aluminum frame; 4 lbs.
Polyester upholstered cushion 6 lbs. It has powder-coated steel legs, making it super light but super durable. The cable supports and leg stabilizers give your table a super stable, long-lasting structure.
The patented design of the leg stability system on this table is unmatched. It uses 1,000 lb. test strength support cables that provide strength and stability that no other table can match. You can easily load this table with 750 lbs. EARTHLITE tables are heavy-duty and lightweight, supporting loads up to 3,000 lb (500 kg) when fully loaded.
It has an amazing 3,000 lbs. static load capacity (not a portable massage table) and 1,750 lbs. dynamic load capacity. The Pro-Lite cushioning features multi-densities foam and velvet upholstery that provides unsurpassed luxury in a light table. Full shaped: 30 “x73″, 24″ – 34” height range.
The brand offers a lifetime warranty on the table and upholstery material and 3 years on the material used in the construction. That’s why EARTHLITE has been the world’s most popular massage table manufacturer since 1987.
How to Choose the Best Aluminum Massage Table
There are multiple things to consider when choosing an aluminum massage table. They include:
1. Massage Table Width
In massage practice, you will come into contact with a wide range of body types. Some clients are very tall, and others are short. Some are wide, and others are very tiny. Your table should be large enough that people of all sizes will be able to sit and lie comfortably and yet allow you to do a thorough treatment without putting too much strain on your own body.
The massage table width depends on your experience level and ability to work comfortably. Each physiotherapist is unique and wants something very specific from their table. We see many small therapists who opt for a table that is more like a small pool table and tall therapists who decide that a narrow 28 table is better.
It all comes down to your personal preference. There are many different ways to work out your preferred table width. If you are small, you might be better off with a wider table than 28. If you are tall and you need your clients to have plenty of space, then getting a table that is between 30 and 32 inches wide is probably the best choice.
How to Choose the Right Width
If you’ve got no idea which table width is right for you, head down to your local therapy room. See what other therapists are using as examples. Ask other therapists if they use a similar table and ask them how wide they are. You will have a better idea of how big the table is that your colleagues use.
Most massage tables are sized to fit 30″ x 40″ clients very comfortably. Many massage table companies do now offer 28 tables, but because they are narrower, they are not suitable for therapists who are short and who could potentially hurt themselves by having a longer table.
Choosing a table with a width of 28 would be useful if you need a very light table. When we narrow the massage table slightly, it causes it to be lighter – but that also means you can carry it easily. If your clients are very mobile, having a light table is worth having.
Hourglass-shaped tables are comfortable for people with very tight muscles; the tables are wider at the ends and narrow in the middle. You can have a very nice setting for your client and care for your health.
2. Massage Table Height
While a large massage table can help you in many ways, the length of the table is equally as significant. Having a massage table that is long enough will allow you to give your clients the most comfort possible. There are many tables available that allow you to easily add on another leg if your clients are very tall.
The average length of a massage table is 73 inches. Some companies charge extra for a table that is shorter than that. You may be able to find shorter massage tables if you really want to. If you add a face cradle to the end of your massage table, that will add 7.5″ to 9″. That will take the total length up to around 80″ or 82″. Because the cradles are easily removed, you will be able to give multiple treatments.
There are only two things you need to think about when deciding on the length of your table. If working from home, a shorter table means you’ll be able to carry less weight around with you every day. But it will mean that tall clients will feel a little overhang on the other side of the table.
If you choose a table with a breath hole and a completely adjustable and easily removed cradle for placing your face, you will have all the flexibility you need for your different treatments.
3. Adjustable Height
Nearly all of the massage tables on the market today have height settings that can be adjusted. It is possible to adjust the height of the table on many different models of massage tables, to suit all the different therapies you want to perform.
The most common massage table height is between 23″ and 33″, which will suit most therapists. Do the steps below to find out the ideal height you should work from to effectively handle high-powered equipment.
- Stand by the table and keep your arms at your sides and keep your fists shut.
- Have someone take a quick measure of the distance in which you are positioned from the knuckles to the floor.
- Set the massage table to that distance and allow a few inches of extra space around the massage bed to accommodate the fact that someone will be lying on the bed.
You can only change the height of your massage table if multiple therapists are working on it and there is a lot of height variation. You should probably adjust the height of your table if you are working with a deeper-seated patient than your usual clients.
Adjustment of the massage table height should only take 2 or 3 minutes, and it should be easy. Aluminum Table Tops are typically equipped with push-button height controls. Just like pushing a button to release a crutch, it is easy to adjust the height of a massage table. It takes only a couple of seconds to get your leg up using this strong, steady mechanism.
4. Massage Table Weight Limit
When you’ve decided on a table that will be used for a massage, weigh the table so that it can carry all that you need to carry, and consider its working weight. The table itself weighs approximately 50 pounds when fully folded up and ready to be taken anywhere. It is important to consider this when you travel a lot and are going to be carrying the massage table around quite a lot.
Working load is just how much weight you can safely carry around when you are performing treatments on a table. It depends on how heavy your client is and what accessories you are using. The weight of a massage table in its folded state when it’s being transported to a mobile clinic or spa can vary considerably, depending on its design and the weight of its frame. It is important that you choose a table that is as lightweight as possible and that it has a wooden or aluminum frame.
If you do a lot of mobile massages, choose a table that weighs less than 30 lbs. In practice, try to be as light as possible, but try not to sacrifice any of your other ‘must-haves.’
There are three ways to help you decrease the weight of your massage table:
- Choose a table that’s made of aluminum rather than wooden frames.
- Choose stools that do not have a lifting mechanism because they usually add 4 to 6 pounds to the weight.
- Choose fewer parts of your massage table (such as a smaller length or a smaller width). So do something to save weight on your massage table, but remember to keep some of your heavier clients in mind.
It’s the most cost-effective option for therapists to use an aluminum table since it will give them a much better massage than a wood table. If your table needs to be lighter, you can simply take out the backrest and reduce the length or width of the table.
Even though aluminum tables are more costly than their wooden counterparts, we always say that the difference is worth the extra money spent on the table itself. This difference will be recouped in a matter of two or three treatments.
It may hurt to spend the $100 now, but it will be worth it over the course of your career. You should also consider it as a form of insurance. By getting a cheaper table that is heavier than your normal table, you risk serious injury. Going with a lighter table protects yourself, your customers, and your business for a long time.
Plus, aluminum massage tables have more support and are stronger than wood tables, which means that your clients will continue to enjoy their sessions and are more likely to refer you to their friends.
We’ve talked about choosing flimsy tables, but some therapists will find that heavy tables with a backrest work better. You may need to take a heavier table with you when you travel, and you may need to purchase a massage table trolley cart to help you move around and take your clients easily.
If a therapist has clients that will need to be seated upright during treatments, you could purchase a very light table and a small bolster to support them. Most therapists have a handful of clients who need to be standing up straight during treatment – maybe 3 out of 20 treatments.
Buying a heavy table will mean having to carry it to all the treatments, but if you choose a table that is light and has a wedge bolster, you can go straight to all the treatments without carrying a heavy table.
6. Massage Table’s Working Weight
Working weight is the maximum weight that can be safely placed on a table during treatment. This number depends on how heavy the client is and how hard you apply pressure to the patient during the treatment.
On most massaging tables, it is safe to assume that the client weighs between 500 and 600 pounds. If you are somewhere between 120 and 200 pounds, it is highly likely that you will never test the limits of what the table can handle.
7. Massage Table’s Static Weight
Each of the tables on the market is put through rigorous testing to see if they are strong enough. 2000lbs of heavyweight are dropped on each table to ensure it can withstand that kind of pressure. It’s as though you are watching a vehicle crash test to prove that it is safe. While knowing the weight of the table is useful – and all of our tables hold up to 2000 pounds – it’s really helpful knowing the table’s working weight.
8. Foam Thickness
It is vital that you choose the density of the foam that will give your massage table the perfect feel. It’s vital that your clients feel comfortable when they are lying on your massage table. Having a solid piece of high-quality foam under your table ensures that your clients will be supported and comfortably supported throughout the duration of their massage.
It’s crucial that the foam that you use is durable enough to last a long time. When you use thicker foam, the tables will last much longer than cheaper foam. It’s much more comfortable and supports your clients better than cheaper foam. It ensures the table looks good and is performing to a high standard, and will last for many years of quality use.
Cheap tables often have very thin foam under the upholstery, even though they say that they use high-density foam. It means that you will sacrifice a lot of client comfort and the table will appear worn out much faster.
We understand just how crucial comfort and appearance are, and that’s why we recommend a good quality table that is made from 2.5 to 3 inches of foam. It’s known as semi-firm foam, and it provides more support and comfort than any other product.
Many cheap tables will have PVC vinyl leather upholstery on them. While putting expensive PU on top of tables is better, it can be costly, so cheap tables are often covered in PVC vinyl.
PVC is a very cheap imitation of genuine leather, and you can find it on cheap imitation leather sofas. PVC is easy to clean and highly durable, though it does not feel luxurious against the skin.
PVC is very soft, thick, artificial leather, but PU feels much more like leather than PVC does. It’s extremely soft and feels very comfortable to lie on. It’s very strong, and like PVC, it’s easy to clean, but it’s also very resistant to water and stains.
10. Cable System
During massage therapy, we use a cable system called the tensor cable support system. This system gives your portable massage tables more strength and stability and prevents them table from becoming unstable.
It will also help to prevent the massage table from being rocked or moving around during a session, ensuring that your clients will have a much more comfortable treatment. Since being stable is very helpful during a procedure, ensure the table is made with a stable cable system.
Some therapists feel that buying an entry-level table will be fine for their business. Others start with a cheap entry-level table and then move up to a professional one later in their careers, as they want to ensure that their clients are comfortable and that their treatments are professional.
Buying a massage table is like buying a new sofa for your house. You could buy a fairly cheap and basic table that will last a while and then go out and buy a more expensive table later. But if you invest in a high-quality massage table made from quality aluminum, it should last you for the rest of your life.