So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into Inversion Therapy….great idea!
Now you need an inversion table.
But, what exactly should you be looking for? Are they all created equal? How does the severity of your condition affect your choice of table?
With a seemingly endless amount of options at your fingertips, it’s easy to become a bit overwhelmed with the choices. And trust us, not all inversion tables are created equal.
We purchased one of our own last year, only to see it crumble before our very eyes within a month. Not only did we waste money, we wasted a lot of time.
Our mistake taught us the 5 most important factors to look for when buying an inversion table. Make sure to research these factors to avoid wasting your money.
At first glance, it may look like most Inversion Tables are largely built the same way, with the differences being subtle in nature and maybe not warranting an increase on the price tag.
That’s simply not the case.
First and foremost, you’ll want to buy a table frame made up of high carbon steel. Carbon steel is a durable material that will hold up far better than its plastic counterparts.
If a table looks “cheap”, it probably is, and quality and safety have most likely been sacrificed in favor of a lower cost. Remember, you’ll be putting the entire weight of your body on the table, so it’s incredibly important that it can withstand the weight.
In addition to the frame, an important piece of your Inversion Table is the roller hinge. This device connects the frame of the table with the rotating bed that you’ll lie on. Look for a table with a hinge comprised of quality, heat-treated steel or other sturdy material. This will ensure that your table will operate effectively and safely for the duration of its use.
Lastly, a non-skid floor protector is always a useful bonus inclusion to any table. This will prevent the table from skidding or sliding across the floor during usage.
In theory, lying upside down for a prolonged period of time could be considered uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be. There are a few key factors you should take into account when considering your comfort level on your table.
First, the table should be extremely ergonomic. This is a fancy way of saying “comfortable”, but a table marketed with an ergonomic design means it’s optimized for coziness. Thick pads tend to be far more comfortable than thinner ones, and removable lumbar support is a welcome addition to those of us suffering with lower-back pain.
Secondly, additional handles are always a welcome inclusion on any table. An extended handle on the ankle braces will allow for simpler use when securing your body to the frame. It’ll also make getting out of the table itself far easier.
Arguably the most important quality to look for when purchasing an Inversion Table is how safe it is. After all, hanging upside down puts us in an extremely vulnerable position, and we’ll need to trust our equipment to keep us safe.
The easiest way to verify the safety of your table is to look for some sort of third-party certification. This is essentially a stamp of approval from a company that the product you’re purchasing will perform safely and effectively. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the most reputable third-party organization that specializes in safety of consumer products.
UL makes sure the maximum rated user weight advertised on tables will hold up under repeated use. In particular, they’ll test the table through 30,000 simulated user cycles, ensuring safety and peace of mind for the eventual user.
In addition to certification, you’ll want to look for these features on any prospective table:
Like any sort of body weight exercise or activity, it isn’t wise to jump right into full, 90-degree rotation when first embarking on your Inversion Table journey. You’ll need to gradually work your way up to feeling comfortable, and a table with inversion control is the way to do it.
Inversion control allows the user to tailor exactly how much of an angle they’ll be hanging upside down at. Jumping right into a full inverted extension could result in some unpleasant side effects, such as dizziness and nausea. Trust us, we dove headstrong into full inversion from the start, and felt less than ideal by the end of it!
Inversion control will also allow you to get the most out of your table. Not everyone will need to be completely inverted; in fact, most studies recommend a 60-degree inversion angle to get the most out of your therapy.
Of course, at the end of the day most of us will be concerned with the price tag associated with an Inversion Table. The question is, how much is too much, and how little is too little?
On average, you should expect to spend at least $150 or so on a mid-range or introductory table. These models will typically get the job done, but may not last forever and won’t always come with some of the cool bells and whistles higher priced models may include.
On the pricier side of things, top end table models range anywhere from $300-$500, with some on the upper tier even including motorized inversion. While spending more up front may not be the most favorable decision, you’ll reap the benefits in the long run saving yourself on costly repairs and replacement parts.
We wouldn’t recommend purchasing any table that markets itself for less than $90-$100. These are considered questionable at best, and probably wouldn’t be considered among the safer options on the market.