In today's culture where beauty is everything, more people are seeking the quick glow a tanning bed provides. Tanning beds are sturdy, safe equipment, but they should always be used with extreme caution. Modern beds are more solid than the originals, which arrived in America in 1978. At the time, tanning beds were flimsy and relatively unregulated. While modern beds have not evolved much mechanically from their predecessors, they are now built to be stronger and more steadfast.

Tanning Beds and Weight Limits

Today's beds can be narrow or wide. Most base beds can hold up to 250 pounds, while wider, more-advanced versions can hold up to 400 pounds. Alternatively, you can choose stand-up beds that have no weight limit. These beds not only stay cooler, but they give you an all-around tan. You can also choose a spray tan---there are no weight limits, and the results last a few weeks.

First Visit

A first visit to a tanning bed can be a daunting and nerve-racking experience. At first glance, the bed's surface appears to be a thin sheet of glass that could break from the slightest strain. But the surface is actually acrylic. It is thick, will protect your body from the heat of the bulbs, and is very capable of holding your weight.

Recommended Uses

While it is rare that a tanning bed breaks due to excess weight placed on it, it is more common for a crack to occur on the acrylic surface if the bed isn't used properly. You should never sit, kneel or stand on the bed; always lie flat against the acrylic. You should only shift on the surface in order to avoid developing tan lines.

Still Unsure?

If you are still concerned whether the tanning bed you are about to use can support your weight, air your concerns with the management. They will be able to assure you of the bed's weight capacity---and rest assured, they don't want to damage their very expensive beds.


While you will never be injured by broken acrylic or burns from the bulbs, there are some warnings that warrant attention. As with natural sun exposure, the use of tanning beds has been linked to premature aging and various skin cancers. Accordingly, goggles are highly recommended to protect eyes from the harsh bed bulbs. In addition, antibiotics make skin highly sensitive, so check with the management for a list of those that could prove a bad mix for the bed.