The 6 Different Types of Portable Massage Tables

When choosing a massage table and trying to buy one on the internet, the choice seems daunting. But it shouldn’t be.

Follow this simple process and look to eliminate the styles of massage tables you DON”T need and then what is left will be a small selection to make your choice from.

Here are the 5 types of massage tables on the market. Tick which ones don’t apply to your treatment style or specifications.

  1. Lightweight & Mobile Friendly
  2. Flat
  3. Lifting Back Rest
  4. Ergonomic
  5. Wooden
  6. Aluminium

Once you select one or two types, the number of massage tables to choose form will be greatly reduced. Then you should move to the next decision which is quality level.

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to quality. There is essentially a price/quality trade off in everything we buy. We can buy a cheap Nokia mobile phone or an Apple iPhone. Both make calls and surf the web but one is 6 times the price. If you are shopping for a sofa for your living room you can buy a cheap one for £200 where the leather is feels like plastic or you can spend £1000 on a nice PU leather sofa with nicer foam inside. You can sit and read or watch TV on both sofas so why would you pay more?

Massage tables are the same. All massage tables will get you from A to B, i.e. you can massage a client on all of them BUT the ride will be different.

Once you have selected from the 6 types above, Then choose your quality level.

  • Do you want a budget table under £100 where the table will creak and rock and may eventually break. The inferior foam will compress after a few months so the client will be laying directly on the wood!
  • Do you want an entry level table which is usually between £100-£200 where you are getting higher quality components. The table shouldn’t creak or rock during treatments, the foam should last a number of years and the table should feel sturdy and reasonably good quality and value for money.
  • Or do you want the Mercedes of massage tables. The one that gets you from A to B and the ride is comfortable and superior feeling. You usually have to spend  in the high £200s upwards to get experience the best build quality and components.

Everyone has different budgets and a price/quality trade off and only you know yours.

  • Manuela

    Hi Stephen, have you ever reviewed massage tables adaptable to pregnant women ( with hole for the belly and brest space)? Cheers. Manuela

    • Stephen

      Hi Manuela,

      I have not reviewed them but I do know a high level prenatal therapist in London who massages all the famous actresses and actors wife’s who are pregnant and she told me they are terrible and unsafe. It is better to use a specialist body cushion designed to be put on top of a secure massage table. The cushions are also very comfortable for anyone who is not pregnant as they support each part of the body very well including hips, shoulders and pelvis. They also cater for people who have a bit of a belly. I have been thinking of getting one myself for my home clinic.

      • MarieKersey

        I used to use the BodyChoice cushion (for all types of clients) and love it. But after speaking to a midwife for hours, I will no longer massage a pregnant person prone. It does diminish blood flow and oxygen supply to the fetus, and when it comes to SIDS which is still partially a mystery, it just hasn’t been proven that positioning has no effect on risk…
        Sorry if this sounds like scare mongering. I’m open to revising my take on this with more knowledge/evidence. But I also found that I can work very well on pregnant people in the sidelying positions, and safely provide the deep lower back work many of them want.

        The BodyChoice cushion was actually very good to use for side massages, to decrease pressure on the lower shoulder. But since it’s expensive and I left mine in another country, I’m going to see if I can’t accomplish something similar with regular pillows :)