There are several factors which affect the cost of a tanning bed. The design, number of bulbs, bulb wattage, and optional features add to the overall initial cost of a tanning bed. Additionally, the larger the bed, the more it costs to operate. Operation and maintenance contribute to the overall cost.
There two basic designs of tanning bed: vertical and horizontal. Vertical tanning beds are upright and cylindrical and are entered by a curved door. The inside of the bed, including the door, is lined with bulbs. The user stands for seven to ten minutes for each tanning session. Vertical tanning beds are typically more expensive to purchase than horizontal beds, but take up less square footage.
A horizontal tanning bed is shaped more like a cot. Its lid opens to allow users to lie inside. Sessions typically last from eight to 20 minutes.
There are different sizes of tanning beds as well. More expensive beds are longer and wider, which allows them to accommodate larger users. Men often find cheaper tanning beds too short to be comfortable or allow for an even tan.
The cost of a tanning bed is usually lower if there are fewer bulbs of lower wattage, which means a longer time is required for tanning to take effect. Frequent tannning bed users sometimes prefer a higher wattage tanning bed because tanning is faster. The higher the wattage, the higher the level of the bed. Usually, vertical and high wattage horizontal beds are called level two and level three beds. They are not recommended for anyone who is not already using a tanning bed on a regular basis.
Not only is the initial cost of a tanning bed greater for higher wattage beds than for lower wattage beds, the maintance and operating costs are higher as well. Higher wattage bulbs use more electricity than lower wattage bulbs, which increases the cost of power. Bulbs also have to be replaced after a certain number of hours, and higher wattage bulbs are more expensive. The more bulbs, the greater the cost of replacement.
Both vertical and horizontal tanning beds have a number of optional features available. The most common are facial tanners, built in fans, and built in radios. Facial tanners are specially designed bulbs, located at the top of the tanning bed, that ensure optimum tanning of the face. A built is fan is a practical addition to a tanning bed, since the beds get quite hot, and a built in radio is a good way to pass the time. Many tanning bed salons have a stereo or built-in stereo system in the building, however.