Before your next salon visit, it’s a good idea to refresh yourself on the different types of tanning beds out there. Only by knowing your options can you be sure you’ve found the right fit for you and your tan. Different tanning beds offer different tanning intensity levels. Some tanning beds are better than others for your tanning goals while some come with unavoidable risks. Read more about all the different types of tanning beds below.
Tanning Beds Near Me | Find These Tanning Bed Types
In This Article:
- Tanning Bed Types According to Pressure
- Levels of Tanning Bed Types
- Tanning Bed Types According to Orientation
Tanning Bed Types According to Pressure
1. Low-Pressure Tanning Bed
Experts believe low-pressure beds are the safer and healthier alternative for indoor tanning. Fluorescent lamps used in low-pressure beds range between 100 to 220 watts and emit more UVA, or ultraviolet A rays, than UVB, or ultraviolet B rays. Low-pressure beds typically come in three levels (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3), with the highest emitting higher levels of UVA rays.
2. High-Pressure Tanning Bed
High-pressure beds utilize 300 to 2,000-watt quartz lamps, which emit high pressure and highly concentrated UVA rays. These types of tanning beds are favored by serious tanners, as you can achieve a richer tan in less time. The bulbs of most high-pressure beds are usually positioned on the top of the bed, which then requires users to turn over in the middle of a tanning session.
Levels of Tanning Bed Types
3. Level 1 Tanning Bed
A Level 1 tanning bed is the most basic of the tanning bed types. They produce high levels of UVB rays due to the low-pressure fluorescent bulbs used in the tanning bed. These bulbs actually mimic the sun’s natural light, meaning anyone who tries this type of tanning bed could feel as if they’re on a tropical beach. A Level 1 tanning bed emits around ninety-five percent of UVA rays and five percent UVB rays.
Achieving a tan using this type of tanning bed requires a longer tan time (sometimes more than 20 minutes) and repeated sessions. However, a Level 1 tanning bed is recommended for people who are just starting their tanning journey and who want a comfortable tanning experience. Just make sure to prep your skin to avoid sunburn or skin damage.
4. Level 2 Tanning Bed
Level 2 tanning beds are very similar to Level 1 beds but come with certain improvements. Typically, these beds carry more than 35 lamps. Some brands incorporate medium-pressure fluorescent bulbs instead of low-pressure fluorescent bulbs. They are either designed to tan sensitive areas like the face or arms or hard-to-reach spots Level 1 tanning beds can’t target.
Tanning beginners can also go for a Level 2 tanning bed. Generally speaking, Level 1 and Level 2 beds are associated with low-pressure bulbs. If you have a pale complexion or simply wanted to work on a darker base, this type of tanning bed is perfect for you. However, you will still need to put in more time to get the color you want.
5. Level 3 Tanning Bed
A Level 3 tanning bed is equipped with high-pressure fluorescent bulbs, which emit higher amounts of UVA rays. UVA rays are stronger and more effective than UVB rays, as the former penetrates deeper into the skin to produce the melanin that makes your skin tan. These beds also emit UVB rays but at a very low percentage.
The intensity of the rays given off by this type of tanning bed makes it a popular option for serious tanners. This is because you can work on a darker tan faster than a lower level bed. A high-pressure tanning bed can establish a base tan 6 to 8 times quicker than a Level 1 or Level 2 bed. The tan achieved is also richer and can last longer than the tan you’ll get from a lower-level bed.
Tanning Bed Types According to Orientation
6. Horizontal Tanning Bed
As the name suggests, a horizontal tanning bed will have someone lie down to work on their tan for the entire session. Also known as a solarium or a sunbed, a horizontal tanning bed is a comfortable option for first-timers or those who prefer to relax during a session. However, if you’re a germaphobe, you might take issue with a horizontal tanning bed’s cleanliness.
Lay Down Tanning Bed
- Lamps are usually less intense
- The tan might be not that even because of the pressure points
- 15 to 20 minutes
- Contact with surface
- A relaxed, laying position
7. Vertical Tanning Bed
A vertical tanning bed will require users to literally stand in a booth for the entire session. The booth is lined with 48 160-watt bulbs in a 360-degree radius. As the booth emits UV rays from all sides, a vertical tanning bed is perfect when you want to tan hard-to-reach places. However, it can get very uncomfortable for people who do not wish to stand for longer periods of time.
Stand Up Tanning Bed
- Lamps are more intense
- The tan might be more even
- 10 to 15 minutes per session
- No contact to the surface
- Standing position
You can classify tanning bed types according to intensity or level and orientation. Basically, the intensity of a tanning bed determines its level.
Level 1 Tanning Bed
- The most basic tanning bed type
- Has low-pressure fluorescent bulbs
- Mimics the sun’s natural light
- Recommended for people who are new to tanning
- A session may last 20 minutes
Level 2 Tanning Bed
- Medium-pressure or low-pressure lamps
- May reach areas of the body that Level 1 beds can’t
- Has special lamps for the face and arms
Level 3 Tanning Bed
- High-pressure lamps
- Emit higher levels of UVA
- 6 to 8 times more intense than Level 1 or 2 beds
- Gives a richer tan that lasts longer
- Shorter tanning time to achieve a darker tan
Check out this short video introduction to a low-level tanning bed by TanFactoryArizona:
Know the types of tanning beds first before you search “tanning beds near me” on Google. Having this basic knowledge will help you make confident choices. The higher the level of the tanning bed, the faster and richer your tan will be. But if fast tanning is not your priority, there are other types of tanning beds that suit your needs better. Ultimately, the best tanning bed is the one that matches your comfort level and patience.
Got questions about the different types of tanning beds available today? Ask us in the comments section below!
Up Next: Benefits of Tanning Beds
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 23, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.