Yes, to ensure your skin gets evenly exposed, experts advise that you turn and lie on your stomach halfway through your tanning session. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but lying on your back throughout will not help you to achieve the even tan you want. When you lie on your stomach spread your arms on your side with your palms down and shifts your arms occasionally.

It is really shocking to know that many people don’t think about the perfect tanning bed positions. This lack of knowledge leads to an uneven and ugly tan that will leave your confidence shattered. If you don’t properly position yourself in a tanning bed, you will not only achieve uneven results, but your safety may be at risk too. By using the right positions, you will eliminate any risk of damages to your skin and eyes.

One big mistake people make when using tanning beds is that they lie still. Lying flat with your arms at your sides and your legs straight creates an uneven tan. You will have to move around some to make sure the tan covers every curve. Try changing your position every 30 to 90 seconds, depending on the length of your session.

Lie with your arms raised above your head and/or your knees slightly bent. Spend part of your time on the bed with your head and body shifted slightly to the left, and then slightly to the right. If you are a first-time tanner, the process can be a bit confusing.

If you are going to use a tanning bed for tanning, it is important to know how to lie in a tanning bed if you want to get that glowing sun-kissed tan and avoid an uneven tan with tan lines and butt circles. This is why professional tanners stress the importance of proper posture during indoor tanning.

Different Tanning Bed Laying Positions

Even though tanning beds are a quick and very convenient way of achieving a golden glow, poor positioning in a tanning bed can cause you a lot of stress trying to fix the areas that haven’t been properly tanned. So, here are some tanning bed positions that you can use in your next tanning session.

  1. On Your Stomach

Although this is not a commonly preferred position, but it is imperative that you lay on your belly to avoid getting creases on your backside. This is how you lay on your stomach.

  • Use both of your hands to form a pillow and rest your chin over it. This will ensure that your neck gets properly tanned and also your wrists and other parts of your hands.
  • Rest your feet on your toes by raising them and ensuring that your toes maintain contact. This ensures that your feet have very little contact with the tanning bed surface and your feet get an even tan. Your knees also get a chance to get a tan.
  • Avoid moving a lot because you will get tired faster not to mention lying on your stomach is already tiring and boring.
  1. On Your Back

According to experts, this is the easiest and most common tanning bed position, but you are more likely to get an uneven tan. Although it is a very comfortable and preferred tanning position, a big part of your body doesn’t get exposed to UV rays, and regardless of how hard you try there will be some parts of your body that you can’t expose lying on your back. Here is how you can properly lie on your back while tanning.

  • Try to lie as flat as possible to avoid creases on your back and raise your knees slightly so that they are higher than your body.
  • Try resting your feet on your heels so that you expose the soles of your feet to tanning to avoid looking ugly when you are wearing your slip-on.
  • If you are comfortable, fold your arms behind your head or rest your arms beside your body but ensure they don’t come in contact with your body. This will ensure that the sides of your body aren’t left un-tanned because of your arm’s shadow.
  • Occasionally switch positions by shifting your weight to either side to void getting butt moons.

Tips to Lay in a Tanning Bed to Ensure Good Results

If you don’t properly position yourself in a tanning bed, you will not only achieve uneven results, but your safety may be at risk too. Note that by using the right positions, you will eliminate any risk of damage to your skin and eyes. Here are quick tips to consider and remember;

  1. Ask A Staff Member To Go Over The Tanning Process

Indeed, this is very necessary if you are a first-time tanner or you are not familiar with the type of tanning bed. Note that some tanning beds have control buttons for the fan and separate bed bulbs that you can turn on and off. You may also be required to close the lid of the tanning bed before tanning on the machine.

  1. Locate Your Timer

Also, remember that not all tanning salons will have a staff member coming to remind you when to turn your body during the tanning session. Most of the standard tanning beds have a timer on the inside that you can use to monitor your session.

  1. Remove The Pillow

Most tanning salons provide you with a pillow in their tanning beds to keep you comfortable, but you shouldn’t use it. The pillow will cover your neck when tanning which will result in tan lines and a white stripe on your neck.

  1. Use Goggles

After applying your indoor tanning lotion, it is advisable you put on your goggles. You are expected to wear eye protection because our eyes and eyelids are very sensitive to UV light and if the rays penetrate your eyelids they can cause serious damage to your eye.

Closing your eyes won’t work because UV light exposure can cause serious damage to the external and internal structure of your eyes. You also want to avoid getting raccoon eyes by adjusting the goggles during the tanning session occasionally so that they don’t stay in one position for too long.

  1. Stretch Out

Stretching during your tanning session also ensures that all parts of your skin get exposed so you get an even tan. If you rest your arms for too long close to your body you can get an uneven tan. You should avoid lying in one position for too long especially when you are lying flat with your arms too close to the sides of your body. Lie on your back with your arms and legs spread out on either side to ensure you avoid getting tan lines.

Switch positions after some time and place your arms above your head so that the skin on your arms and legs get exposed and spread your arms and legs apart. Stretching allows more UV rays to penetrate your skin in less time so the more space you allow, the more radiation sets in resulting in a deep, darker tan that will last longer.


To avoid complaining about an uneven tan, tan lines, and butt moons, you are expected to know how to lay on a tanning bed and the proper tanning positions that will ensure you achieve an even tan. It is also necessary that you use a quality tanning lotion since the results will also depend on the quality of the product you use.

Also, make sure that you have prepared your skin well before tanning to avoid burning your skin. Remember not to stay in the tanning bed for too long, hydrate, and keep your skin well moisturized throughout your tanning session and even after.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Long Should You Go In A Stand Up Tanning Bed?

Experts recommend that you wait 36 – 48 hours in between each session to allow your tan to fully develop in-between visits. You can build up your tan by gradually increasing indoor tan-time and tanning two to three times a week.

  1. How Long Does It Take To Get A Tan In A Tanning Bed?

A good period of time spent in this kind of bed should be a maximum of 15 minutes only. Increase the time if your skin adapts to the rays.

  1. How Do You Get The Best Results From Tanning Beds?

In order to get the best results from a tanning bed;

  • Make sure you shower, exfoliate and shave.
  • Make sure you apply a non-oil-based light moisturizer right after you shower.
  • Make sure you apply a lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Make sure you use tanning lotions, bronzers, and intensifiers formulated exclusively for sunbed tanning.
  • Make sure you check the side effects of your prescription medications
  • Please do not wear makeup or jewelry, and avoid heavy perfumes or essential oils.
  1. How Long Does It Take For A Tan To Show Up From A Tanning Bed?

Usually, the results are noticeable after three tanning sessions, but it may take a few weeks of consistency to get a defined tan (at least 3-4 times weekly). If you are preparing a base tan before going on a holiday, consider starting tanning three weeks prior.

  1. What Is The Equivalent Of 10 Minutes In A Tanning Bed?

Ten minutes in a sunbed compares to about 2 hours in direct sunlight.

  1. How Many Minutes In The Sun Is Equivalent To A Tanning Bed?

20 minutes in a tanning bed is equivalent to 20 minutes in the sun – no big deal! 20 minutes of exposure in a tanning bed may equal up to two hours spent on the beach under the hot mid-day sun without protection. Artificial tanning bombards the skin with UVA which is three to six times more intense than sunlight.

  1. How Many Times A Week Is It Safe To Use A Tanning Bed?

Moderate tanning of 2-3 sessions a week is OK for everyone else but make sure you rest the skin for a minimum of 24 hours between each session and at least 48 hours for skin type 2.

  1. What Is The Difference Between The Levels Of Tanning Beds In Salons?

The difference between the levels has to do with tanning power, with the lowest being Level 1 and moving up in power with each subsequent Level. How exactly does this work? Level 1 and Level 2 tanning beds offer low pressure bulbs, while Level 3, 4, 5, and 6 offer medium to high pressure bulbs.

  1. Can You Get Tan In A Week From A Tanning Bed?

Yes, you can achieve a tan within a week when using a tanning bed, but you do need to be careful.

  1. Should You Take Off Your Make Up Before Going On A Tanning Bed?

Many people have found that wearing makeup acts as a barrier between UV rays and the skin, resulting in an uneven tan. Whether it is base, foundation, powder, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, or mascara, no makeup should ever be used as a substitute for sunscreen.

  1. Can You Open Your Eyes In The Stand Up Beds With The Goggles In?

Yes. All goggles and disposable eye protection shown in major tanning distribution catalogs and advertised in Magazine provide a complete UV block, and yes, they are all see-through!

  1. Do You Flip Over In A Tanning Bed?

This is usually indicated by a timer or a staff member telling you to flip over.

  1. Now That The Timer Has Finished And Your Tanning Bed Session Is Over, What Do You Do Next?

Tanning dries out your skin even though you hopefully used a tanning lotion before you got into the tanning bed. So, be sure you moisturize your skin again once you are through with the bed. Also, drink plenty of water to replenish what you lost through sweating in the tanning bed.

So also, even if you are squeaky clean when you climb into the bed, the warm environment will attract bacteria. Over time, these bacteria can result in rashes, itchiness, and infections. Whether you are tanning in a salon or using a personal tanning bed in your home, you need to be sure to clean the bed after each use.

  1. How Long Should Your First Tanning Bed Session Be?

Initially, your first tanning session should only last from 6 to 8 minutes. You may need to stay at this time for several sessions before bumping it up. If ever your skin is burned, wait till the burn is completely gone before tanning again, and bump your time down.

  1. Should You Apply A Tanning Accelerator To Your Face?

You can apply a tanning accelerator to your face and as a matter of fact, tan accelerators should be applied 2-4 weeks before heading into the sun to really give your skin a chance to build up its melanin production. Because they are super moisturizing, they can replace your normal body cream during the summer months without any additional fuss or steps needed.

  1. Is Tan Accelerator Bad For Your Skin?

Using tan accelerators for a long time has been found to increase the risk of skin cancer. When taken by mouth, the possible side effects of tan accelerator products include nausea, headaches, and itchy skin.

  1. How Do I Get Darker While Tanning?
  • Exfoliate your Skin prior to Tanning
  • Keep your Skin Hydrated and Moisturised
  • Apply a sunbed cream or tanning accelerator prior to tanning
  • Remove any kind of makeup and other cosmetic products
  • Choose foods that accelerate tanning.
  1. How Long Does Tan Accelerator Take To Work?

They act very quickly – you can obtain a delicate color already after one hour, and the maximum effects become visible after approx. 4-5 hours from application.

  1. Why Should I Use Lotions After Tanning?

Tanning will likely make your skin dry so using a moisturizer is crucial. Also, using lotions formulated specifically for use in tanning beds can help you achieve your tan more rapidly as well as ensuring the tan sticks around longer. There are plenty of tanning lotions to choose from and it can sometimes be tricky to know which one to get.

  1. What Are The Best Sunbed Creams For A Darker Tan On A Sunbed?

The best sunbed creams for a darker tan on a sunbed are;

  • Pro Tan Black
  • Shine Brown.
  • Devoted Creations Tanning Skincare
  • Power Tan
  • Onyx