Whether you’ve been tanning indoors for years or about to take your first trip to the tanning salon, it’s good to know all your options! While every tanning salon is different, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ll be offered a variety of tanning beds to choose from. Lay-down tanning beds are the most common type of tanning bed you’ll encounter on your quest for the perfect tan. While many tanners appreciate getting off their feet for a few minutes, there are some tanners who prefer using a stand-up tanning bed.
Stand-Up Tanning Bed vs Lay-Down
Stand-up tanning beds work just like lay-down tanning beds. They both use special fluorescent lamps encased behind acrylic that emit ultraviolet light. This UV light activates the melanin in your skin to produce the deep tan color you’re looking for.
While the basics are the same, there are some differences between stand-up tanning beds and lay-down tanning beds.
Pros of Using Stand-up Tanning Beds
Let’s look at the positives first and review some of the benefits of using a stand-up tanning bed over a traditional lay-down tanning bed.
Shorter Tan Time
First and foremost, stand-up tanning beds generally work faster because of the intensity of the lamps used. Because the lamps are more powerful, the maximum tanning time for most stand-up beds is lower than lay-down beds. If you’re a person who wants a fast tan, then you may prefer this option!
More Even Coverage
In a stand-up tanning bed, you can raise your arms up to achieve a more even tan. Some units will even have bars inside that you can hold onto to help keep your arms elevated. In a regular lay-down unit, your arms are usually resting along your sides, which can block some of the UV rays from reaching your side.
Easier to Clean (and less gross!)
Let’s be honest, tanning beds can be pretty yucky after someone else has used it. Speaking as a former tanning technician, lay-down beds were always the grossest. We used a commercial cleaner to wipe away the smears of sweat and tanning lotion. Stand-up beds usually had minimal to no residue left behind, since the user just had to stand inside. If you’re concerned about germs, I certainly recommend standing over laying-down!
Cons of Using Stand-Up Tanning Beds
There are many who like stand-ups better, but there are some people who may not prefer this method of tanning. Consider the following things before you step into a stand-up tanning bed:
Easier to Get Burned
As previously mentioned, these units emit stronger ultraviolet rays, which could cause you to burn more easily if you’re fair-skinned. If it’s for your time indoor tanning, you should probably opt for a lower-powered lay-down bed instead.
Not as Relaxing
After a long day of work, it might be more relaxing to go to the tanning salon and lay down in a bed for 15 minutes than stand up while you tan. If you think that standing while you tan feels like a chore, just stick with the old stand-by, the lay-down.
Bad for People Who Get Dizzy in Warm Temps
Tanning beds get warm. While stand-ups usually contain fans like lay-downs that doesn’t offset increased temperatures. If you get dizzy in warm temperatures, a lay-down bed would be the better choice. No one wants to pass out in a tanning bed, but it can happen!
Do Stand-Up Tanning Beds Work Better?
Every person is different, but generally, people prefer the results from stand-up beds over those from lay-down beds.
- Stronger lamps mean less time needed in the tanning bed.
- Raising your arms allows for a more even tan.
- Moving around makes you feel less confined than a traditional lay-down.
I’ve used both types of beds and my preference has always been stand-ups.
How to Use a Stand-Up Tanning Bed
If you’re interested in trying a stand-up tanning bed, there are some basic steps to follow.
- Shave and exfoliate the day before.
- Take off your clothes.
- Apply tanning lotion to your body, making sure to wipe excess lotion from palms and between fingers.
- Step into the tanning bed.
- Locate the On button and handlebars if available.
- Place tanning goggles over your eyes.
- Close the door and turn on the tanning bed.
More Stand-up Tanning Bed Tips
While you tan, here are some additional stand-up tanning bed tips to follow to make sure you get a great tan.
Bring Goggles With a Strap
All tanners need to use protective eyewear when tanning, no matter what type of bed you use. When you use a stand-up tanning bed, it’s important to make sure that your pair of tanning goggles have a strap that keeps them on your eyes while you stand and move around.
Tie Back Long Hair
I usually opt for a low ponytail when I’m in a lay-down bed, but a stand-up tanning bed needs a better solution. A typical ponytail will cover areas of your neck and back depending on length, blocking that area from getting tanned evenly. I recommend a fast bun that keeps the hair out of your face and away from your neck.
Use After-Tanning Lotions
After your tanning session, make sure you use a moisturizer to help your skin recover after tanning. Using an after-tanning lotion will also make your new tan look better and last longer.
If you have any other tips for using a stand-up tanning bed, please let us know in the comments! Happy tanning!