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Choosing the right massage table

A massage table is a medical device used to position a patient for sports medicine treatment, relaxation, chiropractic care or bobath massage. Massage is often performed by positioning the patient in prone or supine position. There is a very wide variety of massage tables available, and knowing some essential facts will help you make the most appropriate choice.

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  • What are the selection criteria when buying a massage table?

    Several criteria should be taken into account:

    • The massage table’s intended use, whether this is home care, a spa centre or a physiotherapist or chiropractor‘s office. There are tables adapted to each application. Massage tables for chiropractic use are almost the same as those used for osteopathy.
    • The massage table’s dimensions: as the size of patients varies greatly, it is essential to think about the right size of the table beforehand in order to ensure optimal comfort for everyone. Most massage tables have a standard length of 185 cm, but some can be up to 2 meters long, with a headrest extension. The width of the massage table is also important, as is the size of the practitioner. If the practitioner is relatively small, a narrow table will be preferable and, conversely, if the practitioner is tall, a wide table will be more suitable. This will also offer more comfort for the patient.
    • The maximum weight supported: this includes the weight of the person but also the weight that the practitioner will add by handling and exerting pressure on the patient. Standard massage tables are generally sturdy and can support up to 270 kg, while ensuring comfort and stability. This is especially important today as more and more people are obese.
    • The number of sections and accessories available: many massage tables offer a wide range of options for improving and personalizing the patient experience, such as different possible inclinations, an adjustable backrest, etc. In the case of chiropractic tables, the practitioner emphasizes manual treatments including vertebral adjustments and other soft tissue manipulations. Massage tables adapted to this practice are generally more modular, they have several independent sections and allow the patient to be placed in a greater range of positions.
    • A motorized or non-motorized table: electric massage tables allow you to adjust the height of the table, the inclination of the backrest or to move the central area using a remote control. They are very well adapted for physiotherapists for example.
    • The thickness of the padding: the comfort of the patient should be a priority when buying a massage table. A mattress with thick padding will go a long way towards improving the patient experience and will make them want to come back. The quality and thickness of the padding will also determine the life of the massage table. A table with good upholstery can last several years without any problems. Mattresses with memory foam guarantee longer life and less deformation than conventional mattresses.
    • The choice of material: leather is the most popular material used to cover massage tables. Rightly so: it generally lasts a very long time and is easy to clean. Imitation leather will also do the trick and is more affordable. As for the material of the massage table itself, if you choose wood, it is important to choose a very good quality wood with few knots and a solid grain to avoid cracks forming. If you choose an aluminium massage table, you should also focus on the quality to prevent the material from bending or becoming hollow.
    • Mobility: the weight of the massage table and its ability to be easily transported are decisive factors, especially in the case of mobile therapists who travel to workshops and trade shows or provide home care sessions. Portable massage tables are lighter. Some of them fold up and are carried with a handle, like a large suitcase.
    • The price: low-end massage tables cost about a hundred euros and are suitable for people who want to use them from time to time. On the other hand, the prices for professional massage tables start at 300 euros and can easily reach over 1,000 euros.

    Main selection criteria:

    • Use
    • Dimensions
    • Maximum weight
    • The number of sections
    • Available accessories
  • How to choose a portable massage table?

    AGA portable massage table

    Portable massage tables are particularly recommended for home care. They cost less than standard massage tables, but it is important to verify certain elements.

    First of all, it is important to check the massage table’s stability and reliability to prevent the table from closing during treatment and injuring the patient. The maximum weight is also important so as to avoid unpleasant surprises in the presence of an obese patient. You will need to take into account the height of the table once installed, as well as the weight and size of the table once it is folded

    The choice of frame material is also important. For a lighter massage table, it is preferable to choose an aluminum frame rather than a wooden one. If you want to travel light, the choice of accessories is also important and a table with an optional adjustable backrest will be heavier because of the lifting mechanism.

    Lastly, the choice of mattress (type of fabric, thickness, firmness) is essential and must be considered in addition to the constraints of table weight and price because the patient’s comfort must remain a priority.

  • What is the difference between a spa table and a massage table?

    Hbw Technology spa table

    A spa table has several additional characteristics compared to a standard massage table.

    A spa is a beauty and fitness facility that uses hydrotherapy. A spa table must therefore be able to be used in a humid environment and resist corrosion. The mattress cover must also be waterproof.

    The mattress must also be thick enough to offer a very good level of comfort to spa patients who pay for a relaxing stay in a wellness centre.

    Lastly, spa massage tables often have polished, refined designs that blend into the peaceful and harmonious setting of this type of centre.

  • What is the difference between a massage table and a bobath table?

    SEERS Medical bobath table

    A Bobath table must above all be much wider and stronger than a traditional massage table. A Bobath massage may require the health professional to climb on the table with the patient. The table must therefore be able to withstand a higher weight and pressure than a standard massage table.

    An amplitude of movement is required for certain aspects of this type of therapy. Additional space is therefore required to allow the practitioner to carry out the therapy and for the patient to benefit from it fully.

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