Are you wondering between standing up tanning beds and laying down tanning beds which is best for you? If YES, then here are things to note in 2022. Indoor tanning is a way to get a tan without outdoor sun exposure. According to reports, over 10 percent of Americans visit an indoor tanning facility each year. Indoor tanning equipment, such as tanning booths and beds, emit ultraviolet (UV) rays. The sun naturally emits 3 types of UV rays, which are: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

According to experts, UV-C rays are the shortest and the most harmful to your skin, while the UV-A rays are the longest and least harmful to your skin. Therefore, to help protect your skin, tanning equipment only emits UV-A and UV-B rays. However, too much exposure to the ultraviolet rays, whether through indoor tanning equipment or naturally in the sun, can be harmful to your skin.

Note that the skin’s epidermis, or top layer, contains melanocytes, which are cells that produce melanin when stimulated with ultraviolet light. When you sit under a tanning bed or in a tanning booth, the lamps stimulate the melanocytes to produce melanin, which appears as a dark pigment on the epidermis.

This melanin is produced by your body as a way to protect you from further sun exposure. The longer the exposure to the tanning equipment’s UV rays, the more melanin that is stimulated. Indoor tanning techniques are without doubt the greatest beauty offering for tan aficionados.

Tanning techniques do away with the hassle of basking under the sun for countless hours with only little browning and more harm. Given the gamut of tanning techniques to choose from, many are confused about whether to go for vertical tanning bed or horizontal tanning bed.

However, to be able to make that choice, one should know how the two are different from each other. Your choice will also depend on your tanning needs and desired results.

Similarities between Standing up Tanning Beds and Laying down Tanning Beds

Knowing how these two types differ can help you choose the right option for you. However, before discussing the critical differences between stand up tanning beds vs. laying down, here are the fundamental similarities they both share.

  1. Purpose

Whether you pick a lay down or standing tanning booth, note that your primary objective is to achieve a sun-kissed skin. Both of them are used for indoor tanning and they are also considered recreational beds.

  1. Technology

Have it in mind that the mechanism that is used in tanning beds is not different. Though they don’t produce the same radiation intensity, these tanning beds make use of bulbs that emit UVB and UVA rays. The rays penetrate your skin to help in the production of melanin. This is the component that allows the skin to darken. The rays, therefore, helps your skin tan.

  1. Number of Sessions

Experts suggest that you attend more than a single tanning session for you to achieve excellent results. Both stand-up and lay down tanning booths need more than one session to develop a base tan. Irrespective of the tanning equipment you choose, you should attend two sessions at least 24 hours apart. This can help the tan take effect accordingly.

Difference Between a Standing up Tanning Bed and a Laying down Tanning Bed

Understanding how these two differ can help you choose the right option to help you fulfill your tanning needs. Most of the salons offer both options. Nonetheless, here are the primary differences between the two;

  1. Coverage

Every tanner desires an even and flawless tanned skin. Patchy and creased tan lines can put you in embarrassing situations. When choosing a tanning bed, you will have to consider how much coverage it can offer.

In a lay-down tanning bed, the side you are lying on gets blocked. Areas like the buttock, shoulders and rear thighs may not get tanned. And if you are lying on your belly, your front body parts may not get evenly covered in the tanning solution.

Meanwhile, in vertical tanning beds, the person is expected to stand upright with arms lifted upwards. This ensures the entire body gets smeared in the tanning solution. The solution ejects from the nozzles evenly, further allowing one to have an even and natural-looking tan.

  1. Sunburns

Do you have sensitive skin that gets irritated fast? Then you have to be careful with the type of tanning bed you choose. You can compare stand up tanning beds vs. lay down by looking at their effects on the skin.

A vertical tanning bed makes use of high-intensity bulbs. The rays can easily cause severe sunburns on the surface. Though you can still get sunburns from the lay down tanning bed, the effect is minimal. Also, you can quickly get out of a lay down tanning bed in case you notice any adverse reaction.

  1. Intensity

Stand-up and lay-down tanning beds are known to use bulbs that emit light in different intensities. The higher the power of the bulbs used the quicker and more robust the results would be. Horizontal tanning beds use 120 Watts bulbs, while vertical tanning beds have 160 Watts bulbs. In addition, vertical tanning booths also have unique reflectors for enhanced results.

  1. Comfort

The comfort level of tanning beds tends to differ due to the position you are expected to maintain. The lay down tanning bed is more relaxing and allows you to take a nap in the confined space. For some people, this is the only time that they get to rest their eyes and take a break from life pressures.

The warm lights also create a pleasant atmosphere making the experience therapeutic. You should not, however, remain in one position for long. You will have to move around as you change lying positions so that you can minimize pressure points.

If you are comfortable with standing, you can choose the vertical tanning booth. The problem with this form is that it can feel more like working rather than relaxing. You may not like it if you are not used to standing in one place for a while.

  1. Time Requirements

Have it in mind that vertical tanning beds use more intense waves when compared to the horizontal tanning beds. Therefore, stand-up tanning beds have short tanning sessions. The sessions can be 10 to 15 minutes long.

If you have less time at hand but require effective tanning results, choose a vertical booth. On the other hand, lay down tanning beds leverage less intense light, and therefore, it takes longer to produce the desired result. You may need to spend at least 20 minutes on the lay down tanning bed.

  1. Skin Problems

Have it in mind that tanners are concerned about hygiene, and there is a legitimate reason to be. If you are prone to skin allergies or other such issues, the stand-up tanning booth will be the best choice. Since one has to stand in the vertical tanning booth, there is no chance the skin touches any part of the equipment. Meanwhile, in a lay down tanning bed, your skin comes in contact with the acrylic surface, which can cause skin issues.

  1. Facial Tanning

Note that since our face comes in the direct contact with UV rays more than any other body part, you should look for a tanning solution that offers even tan. Horizontal tanning beds are ideal options for even tanned skin.

These beds are equipped with facial units that allow one to have the same skin tone as of the face. In vertical tanning beds, there are no such arrangements. If you don’t wish to tan your face, cover it while inside the enclosure.

Cost Comparison of Both the Standing up Tanning Bed and the Laying down Tanning Bed

Note that tanning beds are not priced based on their types but mainly based on features and uses. For instance, home tanning beds tend to have lower prices, while commercial tanning beds usually have more features. Not only can a home tanning bed be cheaper and easier to install in your home, but you also have a greater variety of bulb counts and features. Since they are designed to handle many uses per day and typically have more bulbs and features, commercial tanning beds typically have higher prices. However, they also have special warranties.

The Best between a Standing up Tanning Bed and a Laying down Tanning Bed

The best among the two will surely depend on individual preference and tanning intentions. You will have to consider the intensity of tan you want as well as how much time you have for the tanning sessions. Since you have to pay for tanning sessions, you should strive to get the value for your money.

Horizontal tanning beds are ideal for people who enjoy spending time alone, relaxing in safe spaces. It also suits people looking for a facial tan. However, if you have back problems and dislike confined spaces, a vertical booth would be the ideal option for indoor tanning.

Note that although a stand-up tanning bed still encloses your body, it has more space so that you don’t feel confined. You can also move more in a stand-up tanning bed to get better coverage. This form works well for people looking for a darker tan over a short duration.

As you choose a tanning bed based on your needs, you should have in mind factors such as your skin sensitivity. Everyone who visits a tanning salon has a unique goal. Some people only tan when attending specific occasions while others try to maintain shiny skin for consecutive months.

Your individual goals should guide you into picking the right tanning bed. Ensure you visit a tanning salon that can help you fulfill your need. The right salon also advises you on the right skincare products to use.


For some users, tanning is much more than just tanning the skin. The light rays are often recommended as mood boosters, especially to combat depression or low moods during darker seasons of the year. If you use tanning beds therapeutically, consider which positions will most contribute to the experience. Lying down can offer a restful or even meditative session (just don’t fall asleep).

On the other hand, standing allows you to move around or dance, which may also be beneficial. Tanning beds come in a range of sizes and styles, and what is right for you might not work for another user. If you are going to invest in one for your home or business, ensure it is the type that will best meet your needs.