Stand Up VS Lay Down Tanning Beds – Which is Better/Stronger?

woman in stand up tanning bed

The ultimate tanning bed enthusiast debate: to stand or lay down?

Stand up tanning beds are more intense and more hygienic compared to lay down tanning beds, but this does not necessarily mean they are the better option – it entirely depends on your needs and skin type.

Let’s delve deeper into what the two types of tanning beds have in common and what differences they have.  

Stand Up Tanning Beds

Stand up tanning beds have bulbs that measure at 160 Watts, resulting in slightly less amount of time required – 10-15 minutes.

When it comes to tanning time it is only a general rule of thumb because it really depends on your skin type and stage of the tanning process, so the timing can vary quite a bit.

The downside to this is that if you stay slightly too long, there is a higher risk of skin exposure which can cause skin irritation, burning, etc.

Many of these tanning beds are manufactured with reflectors inside the bulbs to help maximize results.

Moreover, when it comes to tanning stand up vs laying down, many tanners find it more comfortable to stand because of the better coverage.

Although you do have to think about how to stand and pose, at least there are no hard-to-tan areas, such as the back when laying down.

Since there is no contact, stand-up tanning beds are also considered more hygienic.  

For more on stand-up tanning beds check our article – how to use a stand-up tanning bed.

Lay Down Tanning Beds

Lay down tanning beds have bulbs that are typically between 100-120 Watts and 15-20 minutes is required, which is only about five extra minutes needed compared to stand up tanning beds.

It’s important to always do research and check out a tanning bed timing chart, to find out how long you should be tanning for when starting out depending on your skin type.

Although they are weaker than the bulbs of stand-up tanning beds, they are preferred for certain skin types, such as skin types 1 and 2, and are better at building a deeper, darker tan more gradually. If you are struggling to get a darker tan check out our article – Why Am I Not Getting Darker in the Tanning Bed?

This does not really pose a big issue because tanning is always gradual no matter how you go about it. Just to achieve a base tan, it takes 3-5 tanning sessions, which need to be spaced out, so all in all it takes several weeks for beginners.

The main downside with these beds is the parts where your shoulders and bottom press against the bed, not only because it can feel cold and/or uncomfortable but also because the tan doesn’t always come out right.

Additionally, some may experience mild skin irritation and a rash after tanning – itchiness is quite normal, being a common reaction to UV exposure, and there are things that you can do to relieve the symptoms.

However, a rash is slightly less common and is likely to occur due to the tanning bed having not been regularly cleaned or sanitized properly.  Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies and more to help.

Final Round Up

Both stand up and lay down tanning beds each have their own pros and cons to them. What’s most important is that you time your sessions carefully, very often only a few minutes are needed regardless of which bed you choose since tanning is gradual and takes time as well as consistency.

At the end of the day, it is a personal choice whether one finds it more comfortable to stand or lay down.  

Related Questions

How Long Should You Tan in a Stand-Up Tanning Bed?

How long one should spend tanning is highly dependent on their skin type, sometimes as little as 3-5 minutes is needed. Remember that tanning is a gradual process – the maximum amount of time would be 10-15 minutes because the bulbs are quite intense at 160 Watts.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Stand-Up Tanning Beds?

The pros of stand-up tanning beds are that less time is needed since the bulbs are more intense and that some tanners find them more comfortable since there is no contact, making them more hygienic too. However, they are stronger so there is a higher chance of burning, which could ruin the whole tan and render you back at the beginning of the process.   

What is the Lay Down Tanning Bed Time?

Depending on the skin type and stage of the tanning process, it could take as little as 4-6 minutes but the maximum for these beds is 15-20 since the bulbs are less intense (100-120 Watts) than other types of tanning beds.

What are the Pros and Cons of Lay Down Tanning Beds?

Lay down tanning beds provide less risk when it comes to burning but the cons that come with it are that there are some hard-to-reach areas such as your back and bottom, and there is a greater risk of streaks and a rash.

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