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How do I Choose the Best Home Tanning Bed?

By Henry Gaudet
Updated May 21, 2024
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If you’ve decided to purchase a home tanning bed, you have some important factors to consider when selecting the best bed for you. Some tanning beds take up a lot of space, and depending on your home, this might be a problem. Bulbs, power requirements and safety concerns might limit your choices as well. Price also is likely to affect your decision.

Your first step in choosing a home tanning bed is to consider the space you have available. Decide where you will put the bed, making sure that there is an outlet handy, and measure the available space. Based on the available space, you can decide whether to purchase a horizontal home tanning bed, an upright booth or a portable canopy.

Horizontal beds take up the most floor space. To use the bed, you lie down on one bank of lights, with a second bank above you. Upright booths also use multiple banks of lights but require you to stand. Portables require that you lie under a single canopy of overhead lights. Your tan might not be as even with a portable home tanning bed, because you will have to turn over to tan your front and back, but these beds can be stored when not in use and might be the best option if your space is limited.

Residential tanning beds are available with 100-watt high output (HO) lamps or 168-watt very high output (VHO) lamps. VHO bulbs are more intense, but HO bulbs generally are cheaper and more widely available. Residential electrical wiring might not be suitable for VHO lamps, particularly in older buildings. For most users, HO lamps should be sufficient, with the more powerful VHO bulbs adding needless expense and health risk.

A home tanning bed is an expensive item, and you might have to consider the price when deciding which one to buy. For most users, a simple model is all that is required, and extra features merely add expense. Take time to shop around. Retail outlets run sales, and online and direct sales often can provide the same machine for less money.

You might consider purchasing a used bed, and ads for tanning beds are easily found in newspaper and online classified ads. Before buying, make sure that the bed is in good working order. It is especially important to make sure that the correct bulbs are installed, because using the wrong wattage might cause a fire.

Remember, whether under sunlight or ultraviolet lamps, tanning comes with significant health risks. When using a home tanning bed, be sure to follow all safety guidelines to minimize these risks. Remain in the bed only for the recommended time, and use sunscreen when tanning to avoid sunburn. Tanning goggles or eye covers also are required to protect the eyes from ultraviolet light.

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Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Mar 05, 2014

If price is a concern, I recommend looking into purchasing a used home tanning bed. Believe it or not, people have been known to buy new tanning beds and then decide they don't want them for one reason and another. You can sometimes get really good deals on these items online.

If price is not an option then you will have more options than you can consider. It might be a good idea to make a list of the features you consider most important and then start looking. As the article mentioned, space should be a primary consideration.

By Animandel — On Mar 04, 2014

Drentel - No tanning bulbs or tanning beds are safe in terms of the long term damage they can inflict on human skin. Tanning beds filter out the more damaging forms of UV light, but the light used is still linked to skin cancer.

I read that people who begin to use tanning beds at age 30 are 75 percent more likely to develop skin cancer than people who do not use the beds. Those scary numbers will make me think twice before getting into a tanning bed.

By Drentel — On Mar 03, 2014

I have seen online advertisements for "cheap home tanning beds." They are still expensive for my budget, but that's not the issue. I'm wondering are the cheaper tanning beds more dangerous than the more expensive one?

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