If you are ready to buy an inversion table, there is no shortage of options.
With so many choices, how will you know which inversion table to buy? There’s a lot to consider: Which inversion table is the safest? Which inversion table brand is the best? Which inversion table offers the best value for the price? If you aren’t sure where to start when shopping, take a look at our guide to help you find the right inversion table for you.
What to Know When Buying an Inversion Table
Inversion tables are a well-known and popular method of relieving back pain. With the right piece of equipment, you can invert securely and comfortably to decompress your back and relieve pain naturally in your own home without the use of pain relieving drugs or even surgery (one preliminary study showed that inversion can help sciatica patients avoid surgery)! If you’re still not sure if an inversion table is right for you, check out the comprehensive list of benefits of using an inversion table here.
Of utmost importance when buying an inversion table is safety. You need to be confident that the equipment will hold you and your family securely and reliably. Here are some important factors to consider when buying an inversion table:
When it comes to your health, you should be sure that a product is going to provide the benefits you expect it to make. An objective, third-party review by an organization like the FDA is a reliable way to verify the benefits that an inversion table can provide.
So far, Teeter offers the ONLY inversion tables FDA-Cleared as Class 1 medical devices indicated for the following conditions:
Back Pain, Sciatica, Spinal Degenerative Joint Disease, Spinal Curvature due to Tight Muscles, Muscle Tension, Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis, Facet Syndrome and Muscle Spasm.
2. Third Party Certification
Third-Party certification is a stamp of approval from a reputable source that a product will perform safely and reliably. Unlike a vast number of consumer products, there are no adequate government regulations for inversion equipment that mandate essential manufacturing standards. Just as the star rating system indicates the protection your car provides, a mark from an independent product safety testing group like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the only reliable and independent way to verify the safety and quality of an inversion table.
The UL standard for inversion tables tests for important safety features like table endurance. Inversion tables are put through 30,000 simulated use-cycles at the maximum rated user weight. During these cycles, the ankle closure is tested as well to withstand 30,000 rotations and locking functions.
UL also regularly inspects products to ensure quality and safety standards are met. If the product does not meet standards, the UL mark must be removed from the product. Even without the mark, some brands will continue to advertise UL Certification! You can only be sure that an inversion table or any other product is UL Certified if the mark is clearly displayed on the product itself!
3. Product Comparison
On the surface, most inversion tables look the same. You’ve actually got to look more closely to see what truly sets the premiere brands apart from knock-offs. A product that looks fine on the surface may have been made with shortcuts that compromise quality and user security. And looking closely isn’t necessarily easy to do when you’re shopping online. Be wary of cheap inversion tables. They are cheap for a reason. They are typically made with inferior materials and cost-cutting techniques.
One of the most important pieces of an inversion table that holds all of your weight is the roller hinge, the connector between the A-frame and the rotating bed. Trust only those that are made from quality, heat-treated steel (heat treating is a manufacturing method that makes the steel 10 times stronger than normal steel). The hinges must be able to withstand a 4x safety factor at maximum user weight AND cycle in full rotation 30,000 times without failure! If the inversion table isn’t capable of this, then you’re putting yourself at risk.
Take a look at this video to see the importance of strong roller hinges:
A report published by MTS, a third-party testing lab, comparing ten (10) widely-distributed inversion tables showed a shocking number of failures in tests to verify safety and product-integrity. Using the UL standards for inversion tables, MTS tested factors such as mechanical strength, stability, and endurance. Only one brand passed EVERY test: Teeter.
4. Key Features
Features built into an inversion table can help to ensure security, improve usability, and enhance benefits. Look for models that include these key features:
Ergonomically designed bed and A-Frame with additional handholds built in for advanced stretching and decompression
Ankle system that is not only designed for maximum comfort but also for ease of use. An extended handle can make bending over to secure your ankles much easier.
Accommodates accessories designed to improve benefits and usability
Heat-treated steel in weight bearing joints for added strength
Auto-locking hinges to prevent accidental separation of the bed from the base during stretching or exercise
The focus on safety, form, and function is a sign that an inversion table has been made with providing you with maximum benefits in mind.
5. Ease of Use
How well the inversion table is balanced can make or break your inversion experience. Many bargain brands are not precisely balanced to ensure that you have complete control of rotation while inverting. For your comfort and peace of mind, stick with brands with a time-tested design that allows for the best balance and control. Simple arm movements should be enough to shift your body weight for complete control of your rotation and angle.
6. Ease of Assembly
Nobody wants to spend all day just trying to assemble their inversion table. Look for inversion tables that come mostly pre-assembled so you will be able to unbox and start relieving back pain within minutes!
Inversion tables that come with third-party support for assembly are a nice add-on to make assembly easier. Apps like BILT provide simple 3D instructions that are easy to follow, and with a simple flick of your finger, you can see exactly how to assemble without confusion.
In fact, remember that MTS report that we mentioned earlier? They timed out assembly for all models tested and found that Teeter averaged 2 1/2 times SHORTER assembly time than the others.
7. Built for the benefits
A quality brand will create an inversion table that is ergonomic and designed with built-in features meant to provide you with maximum benefits. For example, a smooth table bed surface reduces friction and helps the body to slide to achieve the fullest decompressive stretch, which ultimately helps reduce back pain. Other features like assist handles provide additional opportunities to stretch and decompress, depending on your unique needs.
When you purchase an inversion table, a warranty is an important promise that the brand stands behind its product. If you find an inversion table with a 1 or 2-year warranty, it is a sign that the brand is not confident that their product will perform as designed for in the long run. Look for inversion tables with a 5-year warranty with an in-house customer service team that can help you with any questions you may have.
9. Success Stories
Common sense and research can go a long way to making an informed decision, but looking over what others have to say about an inversion table can give you the best idea of how a product helps real people who suffer from back pain. Look around and check out unbiased reviews from people just like you. At the end of the day, they may be your best ally in picking an inversion table.
Free gifts are always nice, but you should always ask, “how much extra value am I getting out of them?” For inversion tables, stretching and exercise routines are a must. They help beginners get through the learning curve quicker and help more experienced inverters discover greater benefits with advanced stretching and decompression.
Optional Apps like TeeterLink can help you stick with your inversion therapy program and inspire choices for a healthy lifestyle. These apps are so valuable since they give helpful support articles, set reminders for your next inversion session, and even give you a playlist of relaxing tunes just when you need them, 24/7!