If you’re a massage therapist, it’s crucial that you choose a massage table that suits you and your needs. Massage tables are available in a range of styles, so picking the right one can be a challenge. One of the first steps is to make sure you’re choosing a table that can hold enough weight.
How much weight can a massage table hold?
All massage tables have a slightly different weight capacity due to their construction and what materials they are made of. Massage tables also have different static and working weights, and the table’s intended use can also affect the weight capacity.
However, in general, most massage tables can hold between 250 and 350 pounds of working weight.
Most massage table manufacturers list the weight capacity and any other of the table’s specifications on the table’s webpage or the packaging. You can also usually call the company to inquire about a specific table’s design and weight capacity.
Static and Working Weights
When you’re looking at massage table weight capacities, you might see the weights listed as static or working weights. Static weight is the weight of only the person lying on the table.
Working weight is the weight capacity the table can hold while you, the masseuse, apply pressure. Massaging can require a great deal of downward pressure, which can put pressure on the joints or pieces of the table.
Most of the time, the listed weight capacity of a table will be its working weight. Working weights are usually less than static weights because they account for additional movement and pressure in particular areas.
A table with a working weight capacity of 250 pounds, for example, can safely hold a 250-pound person, and it can simultaneously stand up to the pressure you exert as you massage the client.
Static weights often sound impressive, as they’re much higher than working weights, but they don’t give a good idea of a table’s true strength. For example, some massage table companies might list the static weight capacity of their tables at 1,500 or even 2,500 pounds.
These tables might have a very low working weight, though, and they could collapse when you start to massage your client.
In general, it’s best to choose a table with a high working weight and worry less about the static weight. It’s also a good idea to aim for a higher working weight capacity than you think you’ll need, if possible.
Table Materials and Structure
What a table is made of can affect its total weight capacity, but how the table is constructed is even more important. In general, wooden tables are not quite as strong as aluminum tables.
However, wooden tables that are strongest along the middle seam and at the corners can bear more weight than aluminum or steel tables that have a weaker or lighter structure.
Steel was once the most popular option for massage tables, but it is heavy and prone to rust, so although it’s quite strong, it’s not as commonly used as it once was.
Aluminum is the most common choice for portable tables since it’s durable and lightweight. Both wood and aluminum are commonly used to make stationary tables.
Portable and Stationary Tables
Portable massage tables are designed to be lightweight and easy to move. Although many of these tables are still quite strong and have a high weight capacity, portable tables, simply due to their structure, usually can’t hold as much weight as stationary tables.
How much does a massage table weigh?
The weight of a massage table itself can vary, and stationary tables tend to be much heavier and harder to move than portable tables. In general, portable massage tables weigh between 33 and 34 pounds, although some sturdy types can weigh as much as 40 pounds.
A lighter table does not always have a lower weight capacity. Again, it comes down to how the table is made and what the materials are. A table’s weight can also be affected by the type of foam padding used on the top of the table. Foams with a higher density are often more comfortable, and they tend to weigh a bit more.
What if the table doesn’t specify a weight?
Most massage table manufacturers clearly display both the static and working weight of their tables. However, you may occasionally find a massage table that doesn’t list the weight capacity.
This is usually a clue that the table isn’t well-made and most likely wasn’t designed to hold a good deal of weight. Companies might want to hide the fact that their table isn’t sturdy. If you’re not sure or can’t find the weight capacity, always call or write in before purchasing the table to double-check that it will suit your needs.
It’s also always a good idea to read the instruction manual. If you can, it’s best to read the manual before you purchase the table. Some table manuals warn against applying pressure in certain areas.
This points to flaws or weak spots in the design of the table, and these warnings could be a sign that the table isn’t durable and wasn’t meant to last for a long time.
If you’re buying a table secondhand and there isn’t any information about the weight capacity, you can often look up the table’s information online by searching for the brand and specific table name.
You can also call the company to get more information about the table.