Vertical VS Horizontal sunbeds

Vertical, horizontal, or even both? What are the key differences?

vertical vs horizontal

An example of a vertical unit
(Luxura v8)

A popular question we are asked is whether you should go for a stand up , lay down or both. Like most things, this depends largely on your situation.


An obvious reason for choosing a stand up tanning bed is space. We all love space, and we rarely have enough of it. Rather than having a lay down bed take up a whole wall, you can always position a stand up bed in the corner.
For example, an Ergoline 800 excellence is 233cm wide, 144cm deep, and 138 cm high. If you compare this to an Opal Fitness, for instance, they are measured as follows:
122cm Wide
130cm Deep
229cm High
The most obvious difference here is the height. Consider the height of your tanning rooms and the possibility of obstructions (pipes, lights etc)

Using the bed

For some users, this is an extremely important factor. Whether they’ll be lying down or standing up.
It is well known amongst tanners that lie-down beds can cause “white spots” on the parts of your body in contact with the acrylics. This requires you to turn over to prevent it from happening. For some, this is undesirable, and many would prefer to stand, exposing everything in a 360 angle apart from the soles of your feet. Due to this, some may argue that a vertical bed provides a more even tan. On the other hand, not everybody wants to spend their session standing up when they could be lying down listening to some tunes. All reputable and responsible salons will sanitise the acrylic surfaces before use. Always inquire if this has been done before your session begins.

The tubes and components

Both styles of sunbeds have different amounts of tubes, and lay down beds will have separate lamps for the face and shoulders. Vertical beds will only use the long body tubes, as the layout of the units are designed differently. This may be a factor to consider whilst purchasing. When it comes to re-tubing time you’ll want to know what you’re changing!
For many this is a positive thing, it means there’s less cleaning maintenance and lower costs. Also, horizontal sunbed acrylics are not the cheapest things in the world…

A matter of preference

Overall, tanning beds are a matter of preference. Users with claustrophobia will tend to avoid lay-down units, as they feel enclosed and immobile. On the other hand, you will get people who don’t enjoy standing up and would rather lie down to relax. The vast majority, (if not all) of successful salons will own a combination of both styles. There is no use limiting your clients to one method when you can offer both. It is important to remember that both styles of tanning beds will have their pros and cons, and re-tubing/servicing them will be slightly different. As a salon owner, you will need to remember to sanitise your sunbed acrylics after each use to ensure hygiene is of a high standard.

Other things to remember

Whilst using either style, tanners are required to wear eye protection. Various eye protection can be found: Here
This is important, as UV rays can damage the eyes with prolonged and direct exposure. These goggles are usually inexpensive and therefore there is no reason for you to forget them. As with all tanning, you must use moisturising lotions. Here’s an article we prepared previously about tanning safely : How to tan safely

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