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Is There A Weight Limit For Tanning Beds?

In society’s quest to remain a golden brown all year long, tanning beds were invented in the 1970s and have grown in popularity since. Today, millions of people use tanning beds not only to get a golden tan.

Exposure to the UV rays of tanning beds has been said to offer improved mood, higher vitamin D levels, and possible improvements in certain skin conditions.

With more people realizing the benefits and efficiency of tanning indoors, questions are rising. Have you ever wondered how much weight a tanning bed can hold? If so, you are certainly not alone.

While tanning beds are sturdy and made to be safe for tanners, there are weight limits. If you are on the heavier side, you may wonder if a tanning bed will safely hold your weight.

Before we provide answers on weight limits, there are some things you need to know about tanning beds and how to use them.

man laying in a tanning bed

Key takeaways:

  • There are weight limits for tanning beds.
  • Most tanning beds have a weight limit of between 250-300 pounds.
  • Some more advanced tanning beds can have a weight limit of 400 pounds.
  • Tanning beds have weight limits due to the acrylic being used.
  • Excessive weight can crack or damage the acrylic resulting in costly repairs.
  • The manufacturer’s weight limit for a specific tanning bed should be followed at all times.

Today’s Tanning Beds Are Stronger

When tanning beds first arrived on the scene, they were not as durable as they are now. Tanning beds first entered the market in 1978, and at that time, they were mostly unregulated.

Some of these tanning beds would only hold 200 pounds, making them inaccessible to those who were overweight.

Stronger and thicker acrylics have allowed tanning beds to hold greater weight, making tanning more available to people of all sizes and shapes.

modern tanning bed open

What Are Tanning Beds Made Of?

Tanning beds are made of many materials. The material you should be concerned with first and foremost is acrylic. Tanning beds feature a layer of transparent acrylic tanners lie on while tanning.

The acrylic is thick and supported enough to hold the tanner’s weight while allowing the UVA rays to pass through and tan the person’s skin.

The type of acrylic used in tanning beds is made of a polymethyl methacrylate, which allows for the passage of ultraviolet rays. This material also protects the tanner from too much heat exposure that could cause burns.

Is There a Weight Limit For Tanning Beds?

As with most technology of this sort, there are weight limits for tanning beds. The average base bed holds about 250 pounds, with some stretching up closer to a 300-pound weight limit.

More advanced, high-end tanning beds are made to hold a higher weight of up to 400 pounds. It is important to note that no matter your weight, damage can be done to a tanning bed if you do not know how to use them properly.

man laying on back wearing goggles in a tanning bed

Weight Issues With Tanning Beds

The reason tanning beds have weight limits is because of the acrylic tanners lie on while using them. Some less expensive tanning beds use thinner acrylics that can easily crack under too much pressure.

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Replacing the acrylic on a tanning bed is expensive. The acrylic liner can cost $300 or more, plus most owners have to pay to have a professional to install it for them.

Because of the damage that can occur with too much weight, you will see most tanning salons enforce weight limits strictly. Do not be surprised if a tanning salon asks you your weight. Try not to be offended.

The salon owner is just looking out for your safety and the protection of their expensive tanning equipment.

How to Prevent Acrylic Cracks in Tanning Beds

As we mentioned above, damage can occur to tanning beds, even if you are under the weight limit. It is essential you learn how to operate a tanning bed correctly. It is even important to learn how to enter and exit the tanning bed.

The following offers some tips that will assist you in avoiding cracks in the acrylic of your tanning bed. Following these tips will keep the acrylic durable and beautiful.

  • Remove all jewelry and hair accessories before entering the tanning bed. Metal objects can cause scratches in the acrylic that will weaken it and could eventually lead to cracking.
  • When getting into the tanning bed, exiting, or turning, always distribute your weight evenly. Never push on one area with force, or you could cause cracking.
  • Never use tanning lotions that contain mineral oil. Mineral oil breaks down acrylic and causes residue that can weaken the liner of the tanning bed.
  • Once you are in the tanning bed, avoid moving. While slight shifts in your weight are fine, turning over and moving too much can lead to unequal pressure that causes cracks in the acrylic.
  • Inspect the tanning bed acrylic liner before entering the tanning bed. If a crack is present, putting weight on it could lead to the crack becoming larger and more damaging.
open tanning bed with lights on

Tan Standing Up

If you are over the weight limit for traditional tanning beds, this does not mean you cannot tan indoors. Stand-up booths have no weight limits. You simply stand up while surrounded by UV lamps.

For people over the weight limit, tanning booths offer a safe alternative. Some people even prefer tanning in tanning booths over beds because they have more space to move around and feel less claustrophobic.

woman using a stand up tanning booth

Follow the Manufacturer’s Weight Limits Carefully

If you are over 250, use caution when tanning in a tanning bed. To save yourself the embarrassment, call the tanning salon and inquire about any weight limits before you schedule an appointment.

Most tanning salons are accustomed to serving larger clients. These salons usually have larger tanning beds that can accommodate higher weights.

When in doubt, consider using a tanning booth because there are no weight limits that would prevent you from tanning safely and effectively.

These booths offer an ideal alternative when the weight limit of a tanning bed is questionable.

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