A massage table is a piece of specialized equipment used by massage therapists, tattoo artists, and aestheticians. The term “table” is a bit misleading; a massage table is more like an adjustable padded bench, designed to accommodate a client while he or she receives a massage, tattoo, or beauty treatment. Massage suppliers usually carry a range of massage tables, and they can also be purchased through firms which cater to spas and beauty parlors.
A basic massage table is a rectangular padded bench which attaches to a set of legs. In some cases, the legs can be removed, allowing the user to fold the table in half and store the legs inside for transport. In other instances, the legs of the massage table fold up. The legs are fully adjustable, allowing the user to adjust the height of the table for greater comfort. Typically, a massage table comes with a face cradle which can be attached to one end of the table to support the face of the client while he or she is laying stomach-down.
Although the basic design of a massage table is quite simple, there are a number of variations. Some, for example, have special padding in certain areas for greater client comfort. Massage tables designed for female clients sometimes have a “breast recess” which allows women to lie stomach-down without compressing their breasts uncomfortably. Massage tables also come with matching bolsters to support various parts of the body during a massage session, along with a durable case which can be used to transport the table.
The table's padding is usually covered in vinyl or another material which is easy to wash. Most massage therapists also cover their massage tables in sheets for sessions with clients, both for comfort and to reduce the risk of spreading disease and parasites. A fitted bottom sheet can be used to cover the table, while a flat top sheet is used for modesty to drape the client during the massage session. Pillows and other props used for support are also typically covered during the session.
Some massage tables are equipped with warmers for client comfort, and it is also possible to purchase a warmer cover for a massage table. Many therapists also use padded covers to increase client comfort on the table, especially for older clients, who may have fragile bones.