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How do I Choose the Best Massage Bed?

By Alex Henderson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Massage is no longer considered an alternative medicine, and it's a long way from its days as a thinly veiled cover for a shady back alley business. Instead, it has grown into a role in mainstream medicine, particularly sports medicine. While they do still show up in hotel spas and mall massage parlors, massage beds are medical tools used to treat stress. This means that choosing the best massage bed requires knowing how it will be used. Massage bed sizes vary, so knowing how much space will be available to house it also is important.

A portable massage bed is best for professionals practicing the masseuse trade. These unspecialized beds rely on the skill of trained professionals and require no electricity to work. They are little more than a heavy-duty cot with sturdy supports, and they are more function than form.

Thermal massage beds are a more traditional bed that treats the muscles of a patient with heat; they are sturdy with a high weight capacity. They have a heavy metal frame and use infrared-light-emitting diodes to produce heat that penetrates muscles. This heat is a key component in reducing muscle tension and tightness. Some of these beds are equipped with rollers that perform the massage instead of a masseuse, though all tend to fall short of the massage skill of human hands. These massage beds are best for people who suffer from chronic pain, muscular issues, or are undergoing intense rehabilitation.

Water massage beds are good for a quick, deep massage. The support apparatus of the patient is completely unimportant. The power of the bed lies in the array of water jets that literally attack the patient’s body. The two critical factors are the power of the jets and their distribution across the span of the patient’s body, variables that dictate the power and completeness of the massage. Water massage beds are best for use by athletes, tanning salons, spas, health clubs, chiropractors and those in upper income brackets who can afford the price tag, which easily runs into the tens of thousands of US Dollars.

Before buying any massage bed, you should always make sure your bed comes with padding. Many beds are sold without padding, which must then be purchased separately. Also, make sure your bed can comfortably support the weight of the heaviest person likely to use it. There's no point in spending the money on a bed that can't be used.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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