If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your flexibility, decrease post-workout muscle soreness, and alleviate back or shoulder pain, look no further than an inversion table. These handy devices allow you to hang upside down at different angles to decompress the spine and relax the body. In this piece, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about picking the best inversion table for your needs.
Benefits of an Inversion Table
- Great for back pain. An inversion table can help relieve back pain caused by compressed spinal discs or pinched nerves. Hanging upside down reverses the effects of gravity and stretches the spine back out, taking the pressure off of the back.
- Destress and relax. If you need a little extra help relaxing, an inversion table might be a great option for you. Muscles that have tightened from stress, poor posture, or too much sitting stretch and relax in an inverted position on the table.
- Increase your flexibility. Regular use of an inversion table can help improve the flexibility of your torso. Micro-movements in the spine and surrounding muscles help make the body stronger and improve posture.
- Reduce post-workout soreness. Some workouts compress different parts of the body, especially with regular lifting exercises or HIIT training. Stretching on an inversion table for a few minutes after a workout helps to decompress your spine, loosen up those muscles, and elongate your body, reducing post-workout soreness.
Types of Inversion Tables
Electric inversion tables take the guesswork and worry out of turning upside down. At the touch of a button, you can invert to the desired angle. When you finish your therapy session, another button press will bring you back upright. The motorized version is beneficial if you want to minimize potential muscle strain while using an inversion table or if you’re concerned about returning to an upright position without a spotter. We do, however, recommend someone spot you if you’re just starting out.
As the name suggests, manual tables require you to be in control of the inversion angle. With a well-made, well-balanced table, rotating through various angles and positions is simple and easy. If the table isn’t properly balanced, however, you may have some difficulties getting upright again, especially if you’re not used to the feel of an inversion table.
Top Inversion Table Brands
Teeter is the ultimate family-owned business and has been around for over 30 years. Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Puyallup, Washington, Teeter is one of the few companies focused on making great inversion equipment. Their most popular products include the Teeter FitSpine X-Series and the EP-960.
In the business since 2007, Conquer is a premium sports equipment manufacturer based in Elkton, Florida. They make a variety of machines, with inversion tables being one of their core products. Their most popular tables include the multi-functional Conquer 6-in-1 Inversion Table Power Tower Home Gym.
Making high-quality therapeutic fitness equipment, Exerpeutic has been around for decades. This means they know what they’re doing. They’re based in the City of Industry in sunny Southern California, where they craft great tables like the Stretch 300 and the 475SL inversion models.
Inversion Table Pricing
- Under $150: The low-end of the price range with some tables having an increased risk of issues or injury. We advise buying a better table, if possible, to get the most out of your new purchase.
- $200-$500: At this price point, you’ll find a number of mid-range models that are safe and well made. Most tables here are made from high-quality carbon steel or similar materials that offer great durability, even with frequent use.
- $500 and up: The high range of inversion tables come with the best feature sets and ultimate durability. A table at this price point is an investment in yourself, your health, and your safety. These tables often use the best materials and last for years.
A quality inversion table is comfortably and ergonomically designed in order to properly support and stretch your body. The bed and A-frame should use quality materials that mold to your body for ultimate comfort. Additional handholds are sometimes present to improve ergonomics and to support advanced stretches and decompression.
You’ll want a secure and comfortable ankle system. This is the part that keeps your legs attached securely to the inversion table, making it safe to rotate upside down. Look for something that’s comfortable and easy to use. Extended handles can make bending over to secure your ankles much easier.
Auto-locking hinges keep you secure while using an inversion table. These prevent the bed from separating from the base of the table during exercises or stretches.
Ease of Use
A well-balanced inversion table is the best and safest choice. Many cheaper tables are poorly balanced and fail to give you enough control to shift your weight around to rotate. Proper balance makes the table easy to rotate using simple arm movements to control the angle.
- Ease of assembly: You don’t want to spend hours upon hours assembling your new inversion table, so look for one that comes mostly pre-assembled. That’ll allow you to get the table up and running quickly. You’ll be on your way to reaping the benefits of inversion therapy in no time.
- Warranty: As with many things, the warranty is an important inclusion to cover any unexpected issues that may arise with the table. Anything with a one- or two-year warranty is dubious. You’ll want to select a table that has at least a five-year warranty and good customer service.
- Third-Party and FDA Certification: Teeter inversion tables are currently the only ones registered with the FDA and certified as medical devices. With any other brand, look for a certification from an independent testing group like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Tables bearing this certification have been rigorously tested for safety.
- Special features: Most inversion tables come with basic features only, especially in the lower price ranges. Some higher-end models, however, have extras like built-in massagers or heating pads to treat back pain or other issues.
Best Inversion Table Reviews & Recommendations
Best Inversion Table Overall: Teeter EP-560 Limited
- FDA REGISTERED 510(k) DEVICE: Teeter is the ONLY FDA...
- PREMIUM FEATURES: Acupressure Nodes (8) in varied...
- UNMATCHED COMFORT AND SUPPORT: Patented wrap-around...
- PRECISION ROTATION FOR TOTAL CONTROL: It's easy to do -...
- TRUST TEETER: UL 3rd-Party Safety Certification;...
Teeter inversion tables are some of the best on the market, and the EP-560 is no different. A high-quality table, this is one of the few that’s FDA certified to treat back pain and other health concerns. It comes with eight acupressure nodes at varied heights for the pressure point release. The built-in lumbar bridge has an adjustable arch for extra traction and lowers back support to make this unit as comfortable to use as possible.
The EP-560 is supremely well balanced, so you’re always in control of your rotation for effortless inversions. The ankle cups are comfortable thanks to their cushioned ergonomic design. The contoured bed flexes for comfort and optimal stretching as well. Made from heavy-gauge steel with patented safety features, this unit also bears a UL safety certification. Its rugged design supports a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
Overall, this inversion table is built to last and comes with a five-year warranty and great customer service. The one drawback we noticed is that the handlebars are a bit short, which can make the rotation more difficult to control. You may need some extra time to adjust to this table when starting out.
Best High-Capacity Inversion Table: Exerpeutic 975SL
- SELECT ANY INVERSION ANGLE WITHOUT GETTING OFF THE...
- Patent pending AIRSOFT ankle holder for UNMATCHED...
- EXTRA WIDE tubular steel frame for additional weight...
- Easy reach "Palm Activated" SURELOCK adjustable ratchet...
- LARGE 2.3” THICK foam backrest for EXTRA COMFORT...
Using a patented disk brake system, this inversion table can easily adjust to almost any inversion angle and lock into place. The airsoft ankle holder keeps your ankles comfortable and free from the pain common with many ankle systems. An easy-to-reach handle controls the locking system and offers extra security thanks to its double-lock ratchet mechanism.
What really sets this table apart is the extra-wide tubular steel frame and high-capacity build, designed to hold up to 350 pounds of weight. The extra-thick memory foam backrest also features a removable lumbar pillow for extra support. This extra comfort makes the 975SL a great table to try inversion therapy or to challenge yourself with inverted sit-ups or other exercises.
A downside to this particular model is that it’s larger and bulkier than other options due to the high-quality build. It does fold up for storage to offset the bulk, but if you’re limited in space, you might want to choose a different inversion table.
Best Inversion Table for the Money: Teeter Contour L5
- Deluxe EZ-Reach Ankle System: The extra-long handle for...
- One-Click Balance Feature: The patented pivot system...
- Sleek Frame Design: Creates both an aesthetic and...
- Pre-set Rotation Control: The EZ AngleTM Tether Strap...
- Patent-pending Pivot System: Ensures a lifetime of...
A deluxe, easy-to-reach ankle system makes this one of the best inversion tables out there. Extra-long handles reduce the need for bending, which protects sensitive back and neck muscles. A highly-advanced balance point system makes adjusting the bed for different body sizes quite easily. This is an ideal pick if you’re looking for something the whole family can use.
The frame is made from aerospace-grade stainless steel with a lockable safety system to prevent over-rotation. The design itself is sleek and aesthetically pleasing while remaining functional. The unique curve of the front legs offers an easier time mounting and dismounting the table, cutting down on discomfort and the potential for tripping. You can also set the maximum rotational angle ahead of time to enhance overall comfort and safety.
The Contour L5 is a great choice if you’re looking for the most comfortable and safe inversion table. This one is also FDA certified, like all Teeter products. The only drawback to this model is the high price point, making this an investment.
Best Heated Inversion Table: IRONMAN IFT 4000 Infrared
- Inversion therapy table with advanced FIR heat...
- Ultra-thin carbon fiber heating elements in backrest...
- May help reducing back pain and fatigue, and increasing...
- Inverts to 180 degrees, with 3 starting positions;...
- Extra-long safety handles; mesh pocket for remote...
The Ironman IFT 4000 is a great pick if you’re looking for an inversion table that also offers heat therapy. Using advanced FIR heat technology, this table soothes stiff muscles, so you can relax after a grueling day or stretch out an achy spine. Ultra-thin carbon fiber heating elements in the backrest provide even heat that’s comfortable and therapeutic, enhancing the relaxing effects of inversion therapy.
The table inverts to 180 degrees and has three different starting positions, supporting a total of 350 pounds of weight. It also comes with extra-long safety handles, so you’ll always be in control of the recline to revert to an upright position. A mesh pocket is included for the remote control that manages the heat settings as well.
Overall, this is a high-quality product that should last you a long time. The main drawback we found is that it’s somewhat difficult to assemble, given the dozens of pieces. This hassle is offset by a great price and feature set, though, if you want a high-end touch.
Best Budget Inversion Table: Merax Vibration Massage & Heat
- Combined with the latest vibration massage technology...
- Adjustable oversized foam rollers comfortably secures...
- Pivot arm placement gives you complete control over the...
- Ultra-thick high Density foam offers incredible comfort...
- Weight Capacity: 300 LBS. Folds up for easy storage and...
The Merax offers great bang for your buck. Coming with a great vibration massage feature, this inversion table is designed to offer the most relaxing experience possible. Adjustable foam rollers keep your ankles secure during inversions. A pivot arm offers complete control over the table’s movement too.
Comfortable, ultra-thick foam makes the Merax one of the most enjoyable inversion tables out there. In addition to the massager, this table features a built-in heating system to loosen up stiff back muscles and to help alleviate pain. Built to last using high-quality materials, it’s easy to store and transport due to its folding frame. It supports a total weight of 300 pounds.
Thanks to its great design, the Merax is an awesome budget pick. One downside to this stellar model is that it comes in 20 pieces that need to be assembled before use. That process can be a little frustrating, but the end result is definitely worth the extra hassle.
Inversion Table Honorable Mention: Innova ITM5900 Therapy Table
- New Patent Pending Advanced vertical massage pad that...
- Multi-mode heat and massage settings with auto and...
- 2-Way Adjustment System: Adjustable Headrest and...
- Improved ergonomic ankle holding system, large front...
- 5-Position Safety Pin Angle Slot System with Patent...
The Innova therapy table features an advanced, vertical massage pad that covers the entire spinal area to loosen up stiff muscles. A contoured lumbar pad ensures a close fit between the massager/heater and the lower back and waist areas. The multi-mode heat and massage settings are completely adjustable to your liking.
Unlike many other models, this one comes with an adjustable headrest to suit your needs. The height of the table is also adjustable, making it easy to find your center of gravity. The ankle system is ergonomic and comfortable, designed to alleviate pressure on the ankles during inversion. A five-position safety pin slot system makes inverting super safe.
Designed to last, this is a high-quality product that’s well made. The only downside we found is that control over the rotation angle is less than ideal compared to other table options. That means you might have some difficulty with inverting smoothly or returning to an upright position.
Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Inversion Table
There are a couple of ways you can make the most of your inversion table. Have a peek at our tips and tricks below!
- If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, headaches, or any heart or medical condition, it might be best to avoid inversion therapy unless your doctor recommends it. As always, seek professional advice if you think you need it.
- Always, always, always use the safety strap included keeping yourself attached to the table. Make sure your ankles are locked into the ankle system as well. These two steps are important for reducing the risk of injury.
- Don’t lean back too far and don’t hang upside down for too long to avoid becoming disoriented on the table.
- When returning to an upright position, rotate slowly to avoid dizziness or blackouts. It’s best to give your body time to adjust when coming out of the inversion. Pause just before you reach the horizontal position before working your way back up slowly.
- If you’re new to using an inversion table, lean back a little bit at a time to get used to the sensation. This will also help minimize dizziness.
Inversion Table FAQs
Q. Will I get dizzy from using an inversion table?
A: This varies from person to person and depends on experience and overall health. There can be a sensation of blood rushing to your head when you first start out. When rotating back to an upright position, you can prevent any dizziness if you pause just before the horizontal position to allow your body to readjust.
Q. Do I have to invert to 90 degrees to feel the benefits?
A: You don’t have to be perpendicular to the floor in order to experience the benefits of inversion therapy. You can start to feel the positive effects at about 20 degrees. If you’re looking to fully decompress the spine, work your way up to about 60 degrees.
Q. When will I feel any benefits?
A: You’ll definitely start to feel an improvement after about two to three weeks of regular use. You might even begin to feel the benefits right away, but this isn’t necessarily common. Getting your body to relax and release tension is key to a good inversion experience. It can take some time for your body to get comfortable with the inverted feel.
Q. How often and how long should I invert?
A: The frequency of your inversions is much more important than the duration of each inversion. For optimal benefits, try to invert a couple times a day for several minutes. The key is to listen to your body to know when you’ve had sufficient time to relax and decompress.
If you’re looking for a high-quality inversion table that comes with one of the best warranties out there, we recommend the Teeter EP-560 Limited.
A more wallet-friendly option is the Merax Vibration Massage & Heat inversion table. This one is loaded with good features to make your inversion experience therapeutic and comfortable.
What do you think of our picks? Do you have a favorite inversion table? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!