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Sun Tanning Beds

Updated on March 29, 2010

Sun tanning beds are a popular and controversial product found in America and parts of Europe.  In this article, we'll look at the raw basics of these items.  Namely, we'll touch on the different types of sun tanning beds and where they're primarily found.  After careful consideration, I've decided to leave out all info on benefits, risks, and practices when it comes to tanning beds.  Taking on all these subjects with one article would be rather messy in this author's opinion...  Stay tuned for more articles though!

Before we continue, I think it's important to mention that I'm not a doctor.  If you're thinking about using a sun tanning bed, do a lot research first.  The Internet is a good place to start for information.  Read some reviews, join a few forums and make sure you ask a lot of questions.  This will ensure you're prepared to make a decision as to whether or not you want to start a tanning program.

Sun Tanning Bed
Sun Tanning Bed

Sun tanning beds are known under a number of different names like sunbeds and tanning beds.  Don't let all these terms confuse you...  They're exactly the same thing.  You've probably seen them before but see the picture here for an idea of what they look like.  It's a device that a man or woman lies down in to get a tan.  Lamps inside the device emit both UVA and UVB rays much like the sun.  The primary reason folks use these tanning beds is cosmetic in nature.  Many people really like the way their skin looks when it's tanned.

Commercial Sun Tanning Beds

Cheap Home Tanning Beds

These are the most common types of sunbeds out there.  They're the kind that are found in tanning salon's around the world.  Popular franchises you've probably heard of are Fanutan and The Tanning Studio...   There are countless tanning salon's in America sporting all sorts of funky names.  All of them feature similar sun tanning beds.

Salon beds are considerably more powerful than ones found in wealthy people's houses.  Your standard salon style bed has anywhere between 24 and 60 lamps under the hood.  Each of these lamps puts out about 200 watts of power and heat.

High Pressure Commercial Sunbeds

This type of commercial bed is fairly rare.  This is really due to the fact that they're bloody expensive!  They feature all sorts of reflectors, quartz lamps and filters that work together to create more UVA than UVB.  This is said to allow the user more of a "slow bake" tan than the instant fry that comes with a UVB heavy tanning lamp.

Tanning Booth

Another fairly rare type of tanning bed is the tanning booth.  They're uncommon for a number of reasons - the most obvious being comfort.  You see, with a booth, the tanner needs to stand up.  Because folks like to relax while they tan, the standard lie down units are generally preferred.  These units are also VERY expensive.

Why use one then?  Well, some people feel that standing gives the user a more even tan.  I suppose this makes sense if you think about.  The user is free to move while standing up.  One is also able to raise his or her arms and tan the entire body.  These units also sport stronger bulbs than standard lie down units.

Home Sun Tanning Beds

One of the hottest trends in the tanning bed market involves home tanning.  Men and women who frequent tanning salons are quickly finding out that owning their own bed may actually be the way to go.  This is for several reasons.  The first is cost.  Used home tanning beds can be purchased for as little as $3000.  While this doesn't sound that inexpensive, you have to consider the fact that many people spend a ton of money on salon fees.  Folks who frequent these studios also worry about hygiene.  This makes a lot of sense really.  After all, you wouldn't share a bathtub with a stranger would you?

Generally speaking, home tanning beds aren't quite as powerful as their commercial counterparts.  They typically only come with between 12 and 28 lamps.  These lamps are usually only half as powerful as commercial grade ones as well - weighing in at about 100 watts each.

Thoughts?  I'd love to hear from you!


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      Maria Cole 7 years ago

      If you are an avid tanner, home tanning beds are the way to go. For the amount that you pay a month at the tanning salon, you could be making a payment to your own tanning bed. Just make sure when you buy one you choose the bed that seems to fit your tanning style best. has a great selection of home tanning beds and you can also get the replacement bulbs there. One stop shop! Thanks for the great hub!