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Top 10 ways to upgrade a tired massage table

by Samantha Jenkins November 28, 2020

Interior of modern massage room with a massage table ready for a treatment

Is your massage table looking tired but you're not quite ready to take the plunge and look for a new one? Perhaps you are a newly qualified massage therapist and have opted for a second hand massage table or inherited a massage table that isn't quite up to the quality you would like.
Don't worry there are lots of ways to upgrade your treatment table without breaking the bank and still have your massage therapy clinic or mobile massage treatments looking top notch!

Our top 10 ways to turn your massage table from shabby to chic! 

1. Change the colour of any massage table

Just like giving a room a fresh lick of paint, you can cover your massage table and hide any blemishes with a fresh cotton or terry towel fitted couch cover. They come in different styles and colours so you can choose a colour that best suits your decor. They also serve to upgrade the treatment experience by offering your clients fresh new bedding for each treatment.


Terry Towel Massage Couch Cover



2. Replace the vinyl covering

Some old massage ables receive years of abuse from chemical and alcohol based cleaners which take out the moisture from the upholstery and make them corrode and tear. Massage oils and body sweat residue if left on the couch surface will also erode the material over many years.  If left in storage without use for long periods, the issues can compound where bacteria eats away at the vinyl.

Example of damaged vinyl on a massage table

What is the solution?

We've made fitted replacement covers out of the same high quality PU vinyl that our professional treatment tables are made out of. So instead of having your entire table re-upholstered, which has to be done by a professional and can cost quite a lot, you can simply cover the table with a new upholstery cover made of the same or better material than your previous table.

If you originally bought a low cost table then you are now getting the covering from a professional grade higher quality massage table.

pu vinyl massage table cover


3. Upgrade your face cushion

One part of every massage table that has come a long way in terms of design and technology is the face cushion. Old massage tables had hard breath holes which left a ring on the clients face. Then face cushions were introduced

different types of face cushions for massage tables


And we have recently upgraded the face cushion yet again to be more soft yet supportive giving a more generous and ergonomic cut out for the face and cheek bones and a wider area for the eyes so the head is fully support but nothing gets in the way of the facial comfort and proper breathing function of the client.

massage table face cushion

massage face cushion

4. Treat your clients to extra shoulder & arms room with massage table width extenders 

Not just for broader or slighter larger clients, making your massage table wider can increase the comfort for a range of customers, after all who doesn't appreciate a bit of extra space!

Adding a width extender is a ridiculously easy way to add value to your massage table treatments. In mere seconds you can increase the space clients have to rest their arms by eleven inches! 



5. You can also treat your taller clients to extra leg and foot space with massage table length extenders 

If increasing the width isn't your thing You can also extend the length of your massage table easily and inexpensively, with this lengthening accessory. Who knows, by promoting this feature on social media you might even get some referrals as often taller people are put off going for a massage as it can be uncomfortable to be hanging off the edge of the massage table!


6. Strengthen the cradle

 If your table was of the cheap budget type then chances are the face cradle could be improved. Our professional treatment tables come with the highest quality and most robust face cradles produced today.

And the good news is you can buy them separately and retrofit them to most modern tables to give your client a sturdier and more secure feeling treatment

face cradle for massage table


7. Hide that clutter!

Tidy up your treatment room or keep your mobile massages neat and tidy with a handy under table accessory shelf

Under Table Shelf from Massage Warehouse


Perfect for storing oils, bolsters or extra sheets towels, this easy to assemble waterproof shelf means that everything you need for your treatments will be within an easy reach, making your massages slicker and the room more tranquil! 


8. Upgrade arm shelf for greater support

Many clients might find having their arms by their side uncomfortable during their massage treatments. Showing that you have gone the extra mile to give your clients some added support and comfort will really cement the value of your massage therapy business in the minds of your clients. 

For under £10 you can add this arm sling to the underside of your massage table, giving your clients more options for their arms during treatments meaning you can really get into the scapula, rhomboids and latissimus dorsi! 


arm sling for massage table

Or for a little extra you can get the best arm shelf on the market. The contour shelf is shaped in line with the 

 arm shelf rest for massage table

9. Spa head cushion 

If you are using a massage table with a lifting back then you may have noticed that many massage tables only have the horse shoe shaped cushion which is more appropriate for prone/face down treatments. 

Perhaps you are a reflexologist or you are planning to offer Indian head massage treatments. These are just two examples where it would be handy to invest less than £20 to provide a more comfortable treatment with a spa head cushion for your clients and plus, what customer wouldn't be impressed that you are offering them multiple options to keep them comfy! 

Spa Head Cushion from Massage Warehouse UK


10. Give your clients that floating on a cloud feeling! 

For many clients going for a massage is associated with visiting a spa and experiencing a certain level of luxury. Whilst we want to encourage our clients to see us as more than a one off treat, it doesn't hurt to bring a little bit of a spa like ambience into your treatments.

Creating a luxurious and relaxing space will aid in your clients unwinding during their treatments, remember massage is an awkward experience to many people, so anything you can do to create an inviting ambience away from the stress of daily life will add to your clients' experience, and make it more likely that they will be tempted to come back regularly. 

Adding a fleece layer under your sheets and towels give your table a cloud like feel! Fleece pads are 1 inch thick and are guaranteed to almost send your clients to sleep its so relaxing these can be used year round but are especially cosy in winter! 


For another extra element of luxury adding a massage table warmer can really give your treatment the edge and helps towards relaxing your clients muscles especially in the colder months. Whilst it looks similar to a regular electric blanket it is tailor made for massage tables and creates and unforgettably cozy treatment experience.


How do you plan to upgrade your equipment this year without blowing your budget? Let us know in the comments below!


Samantha Jenkins
Samantha Jenkins


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Massage Table Size Guide

Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!

A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.

The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because

  1.  They are smaller in size (normally around 61cms wide) and as such have less materials
  2. They are sold by specialist retailers who also sell anything else they can import and turn a profit on. As such they just buy the cheapest massage tables they can find in China. They go for smaller sizes as they are cheaper.

Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.


The Width of the Massage Table:

Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.

Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.

Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.

Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.

If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:

Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.

measuring the width of a massage table

Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.

The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.

You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.


The Height Of the Massage Table

Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.

A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:

1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.

The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.

You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!

There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.

1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):

If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.

2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):

The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.


Massage Table Shape:

The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.

1. Rectangle shaped with square corners 

This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.

2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners

Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.


3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient 

A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.

This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.


4. Hour glass shaped with sharp gradient
Same as point above but instead of the it gradually going from wide to narrow, the massage table changes quickly from normal width to narrow width so people of very short stature can get in close.
5. Oval Shaped

 The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.

oval massage table


Have any questions or comments about anything above? Please let us know in the comments below!