Achieving a tan has never been easier, with the number of products available on the market and the different ways to tan your skin indoors.
When it comes to tanning indoors, and not using self-tanning products, you have a decision to make about the type of tanning booth you want to use. The two main options are a stand-up tanning booth and a lay-down tanning bed.
Which is the best to use – stand up or lay down tanning beds? They give you different intensity tans, offer different comfort levels, and are used for different durations. Which is the best will depend on what you are looking for, and the tan you are wanting to achieve.
Take a read through the below information to find out all about stand-up and lay-down tannings beds, and the differences between them, to work out which might be the better option for you!
The Differences Between Stand-Up Tanning Beds And Lay-Down Tanning Beds
There are some similarities between these two types of tanning beds, but before we get to that, we are going to take a look at how they are different, so you can better know what to expect from either type of tanning bed.
Intensity is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a tanning bed. The intensity of the lamps and bulbs used in the bed is directly proportionate to how quickly you build a tan.
When it comes to stand-up and lay-down tanning beds, stand-up tanning beds come out on top. On average, lay-down tanning bed bulbs measure between 100-120 watts, whereas stand-up tanning beds have bulbs that measure 160 watts.
Stand-up tanning beds also have unique reflectors, and along with the stronger bulbs, they are much more intense, and this leads to a quicker tan.
This helps to build a tan over a shorter amount of time, but a more intense tanning experience can have its downfalls too, such as doing more damage to your skin if used for too long or too often.
While lay-down tanning beds are not as intense, they can still help you build a darker tan gradually.
Another way to get a faster tan is to use a tanning accelerator. This tanning accelerator is a great one for people who have tattoos (it prevents fading). The Devoted Creations Face Tanning Lotion is the best for faces.
No matter how intense the tanning bed is, whether stand-up or lay-down, the most important thing you want is even coverage, to get an even tan.
You don’t want the tanning bed to leave you with some light patches here and there. Tanning beds don’t always cover all areas of your body evenly. With lay-down tanning beds, there are points where your shoulders and bottom are pressed against the machine.
This means that these pressed points are not always tanned evenly unless you move around quite a bit in the tanning bed.
Stand-up tanning machines give you more even coverage, as you are not laying down against the bed, so there are no pressed points or areas that are not covered by the UV lights. You are also able to maneuver your body easier to make hard-to-tan areas more accessible, such as under your arms.
Time Spent Tanning
The amount of time required to build a tan differs from stand-up tanning machines and lay-down tanning beds.
As stand-up tanning machines have stronger light bulbs and UV lights, you do require less time in the tanning bed to develop a darker, more even tan. You only need around 10 minutes in a stand-up tanning bed to get a bronze tan.
Lay-down tanning beds, as they have weaker bulbs, require more time. You would need to spend an average of 20 minutes in a lay-down tanning bed to get the same tan as you would in a stand-up tanning bed in 10 minutes.
At first, 10 minutes might not seem like a big deal, especially if you are laying down for most of it, but if you do two appointments a week every week, the extra time can add up quite a bit.
Whether you prefer to stand up and tan or lay down for a longer period to bronze is completely up to you.
There are comfort benefits to both, such as not having to come into contact with anything while standing in a stand-up machine, or not having to stand up for some time in a lay-down machine.
If you are looking for a more relaxing tanning session, then a lay-down bed is a good option, but keep in mind that you will have to change position every now and then to tan evenly and relieve pressed points.
Some people who do not like feeling confined to small spaces might prefer a stand-up tanning bed, where they can move freely without much restriction.
Stand-up tanning beds are considered to be more hygienic than lay-down tanning beds, as your body does not come into contact with the machine itself.
With lay-down tanning beds, some people experience skin irritation such as tanning rashes, as you are laying down directly on the bed. This is also why it is important to make sure that the beds are properly cleaned and kept sanitized.
Chance Of Burning
Both lay-down tanning beds and stand-up tanning machines have a chance of causing your skin to burn, as both use UV light bulbs that are strong enough to cause damage to the skin if the skin is not protected properly, and if too much time is spent in the machine.
As stand-up tanning beds have stronger UV bulbs, they have a higher chance of causing burning, and your skin can burn quite quickly in a stand-up tanning bed before you even realize it.
The Similarities Between Stand-Up Tanning Beds And Lay-Down Tanning Beds
There are obviously going to be some similarities between stand-up tanning machines and lay-down tanning beds, as they are effectively helping to achieve the same thing.
These are the similarities that the two share:
Both beds are used for the same purpose – to help you build a bronze tan without having to spend time out in the sun. These are the two most popular types of indoor tanning machines and with good reason.
Amount Of Sessions
You would need to spend more than just one tanning session in both machines to build up a base tan, and to darken the color from there.
You would likely need the same amount of sessions per machine to achieve the tan that you are after.
Frequency Of Sessions
As both stand-up tanning machines and lay-down tanning beds work with UV light, you need to have a gap between sessions.
You cannot attend an indoor tanning session every day, as your skin would not have had time to recover, and this can be really damaging. You should wait at least 3-4 days between tanning sessions.
How They Work
Stand-up tanning machines and lay-down tanning beds both make use of bulbs that emit UVA and UVB rays to tan the skin. The same technology is used by both types of tanning beds, although stand-up tanning machines often use a stronger bulb.
Choosing The Right Bed For You
Either stand-up tanning beds or lay-down tanning beds can help you achieve a gorgeous tan without having to spend time out in the sun.
At the end of the day, it is down to personal preference as to which tanning bed you would prefer.
Lay-down tanning beds are a good option for those who want to have a relaxing time, lying down in the bed as the bulbs tan your skin. Lay-down tanning beds are also a good option if you are looking for a facial tan too.
For those who do not want to lay down and develop pressed points, and who do not enjoy enclosed spaces, a stand-up tanning machine is best. These also cut down the amount of time you need to spend tanning, as the bulbs are stronger. They are also the more hygienic option as none of your skin actually comes into contact with the machine.
Consider the differences between the two machines, and what you want to achieve out of a tanning session, to decide which would be the best option for you!
Which type of tanning bed is safest?
You cannot pick out one tanning bed as the safest, as all expose your skin to UV rays which can damage the skin over time, and increase the chances of prolonged skin conditions.
What is 20 minutes in a tanning bed equal to?
Spending 20 minutes in a tanning bed is the same as spending up to 3 hours in the sun at the beach, without any sun protection. Tanning beds can emit 3-6 times the amount of UV rays usually given by the sun.
Why do I smell different after spending time in a tanning bed?
If you have noticed an odd smell on your skin after tanning, you haven’t done anything wrong. This smell is caused by naturally occurring bacteria on your skin reacting to the UV light exposure from the tanning bed.