The Best Healthy Sun Tanning Bed Machines (Home, Gym & Commercial)

Ever since Coc Channel came back from a 1923 holiday in Cannes with a golden glow, tanning has been in fashion. Tanning equipment like “healthlamps” and “sunlamps” came out in the roaring 20s, and even though they generally caused one’s skin to burn, it didn’t stop the tanning trend. A few decades later, German scientist Friedrich Wolff was credited with creating the tanning bed and in 1977, the first tanning salon opened in Berlin. 

The American love affair with the “chic glow” that Channel raved about to Vogue magazine persists to this day, and tanning beds have continued to get more elaborate and sophisticated over the years. We’ve rounded up the best tanning beds on the market, dividing them into three categories: tanning beds for the home, the gym, and for commercial use. 

Whether you are a salon or facility owner looking for the best commercial tanning bed, or a home user who wants to install a sun tanning bed at home, you’ll find the perfect option for you on this list. 

The Tanning Bed We RAVE About: ProSun Onyx 32 SLi

Our top choice for the best overall tanning bed is the ProSun Onyx 32 SLi. This mid-range tanning bed is a little pricier than some of the home models, but its commercial build means it can withstand years of wear and tear. It’s got all the bells and whistles you would expect in a luxury model—a turbo cooling system, 32 lamps (including facial lamps), an easy-access timer, an optional audio system, and more. 

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What To Look For When Shopping for a Tanning Bed

Tanning beds are a significant purchase and one you should take some time to consider before deciding on the brand or model you will ultimately buy. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are shopping for the right tanning bed for your needs.

Different Types of Light

If you’re considering purchasing a tanning bed for your home or business, it’s essential to understand how they work. Tanning beds use fluorescent lamps that emit the same type of ultraviolet (UV) light that the sun provides. This stimulates a reaction that causes your skin to tan. Different lamps emit different types of light. Let’s look at each of these:

UVC Light: UVC is the most penetrating and powerful type of light, and it can cause skin damage. While the sun does emit a tiny percentage of UVC, to be FDA approved, a tanning bed cannot.

UVB Light: UVB light is often called the “burning ray.” Have you noticed that you sometimes get a sunburn when you go to the beach for the first time of the summer, but on subsequent visits, it turns to a tan? That’s because when the skin absorbs UVB, the cells are stimulated to produce melanin, which protects you from getting a burn. However, it takes a while for melatonin to reach the surface of your skin, which is why you can burn when first exposed to the sun but get a golden tan later on. 

UVA light: UVA is the weakest type of light, and it does not penetrate the skin. But when melanin is exposed to UVA rays, it oxidizes and causes the skin to turn brown. This is how we tan. A tan is actually just oxidized melanin on the skin’s surface. 

The lamps in a tanning bed are designed to produce a small amount of UVB to amp up melanin production and a more concentrated amount of UVA light to turn your skin brown. The strength of the lamp depends on the amount of UVA and UVB light it produces. 

What About Red Light Therapy? 

During the course of visiting a tanning salon or shopping for a home tanning bed, you might have come across beds that utilize red light. While none of the tanning beds on our list have this capability, it can be useful to know the difference between a tanning bed and a red light therapy bed.

Red light therapy (RLT) is also called low-level light therapy (LLLT), photobiomodulation (PBM), or soft laser therapy and has a number of purported health benefits. It is thought that this type of light can strengthen the mitochondria and repair cellular damage. People utilize red light therapy for pain, inflammation, scars, wounds, and a host of other conditions. 

RLT is still being researched for its effects. If you are searching for a tanning bed, the important thing to know is that an RLT bed alone won’t give you a tan. Hybrid beds are available, but development is still in the early stages, and reviews are mixed. 

The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Tanning Beds

Tanning beds for the home typically come equipped with between 14 and 36 lamps and are made with lighter materials. Often, all that is needed to run them is a standard household plug.

Commercial tanning beds can have up to 60 lamps or more and are steel constructed to withstand non-stop use in a salon or gym environment. They also need to be hardwired by an experienced electrician.  

Naturally, you can install a top-of-the-line commercial bed in your home if you wish, although you would need to research the electrical requirements first. However, the size and weight of these machines are usually too cumbersome for the average homeowner. 

Other Things To Look For When Purchasing A Tanning Bed:

Size: Ensure you measure the area where you plan to place your tanning bed before making your final purchase. If you are tall (over six feet), consider that you will need a tanning bed with at least 28 bulbs since those with less tend to be shorter.

FDA-Approved: A high-quality system will be FDA approved and should emit no UVC rays.

Assembly: Can You put it together yourself, or will you have someone helping you? Many vendors will ship the product partially assembled, or you can enlist a nearby service to do it for you. 

Facial Tanner: Your face is the hardest part of your body to tan, but many tanning beds have built-in facial tanners that direct more UVA rays to the face. If getting a glowing tan on your face is a must, you will want a machine with a facial tanner.

Warranty: A tanning bed is a pretty significant investment, and you obviously want it to last. Make sure you shop around and compare warranties from different brands to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

The Top Three Residential Tanning Beds We RAVE About

Tanning at home is convenient, discreet, and cost-effective over the long haul. As more people turn to products that make their home lives more comfortable, home tanning beds are becoming more popular than ever. Here are our picks for the top three home tanning beds:

1. Solar Storm 32S Home Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 98/100

User Interface/Options: 95/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 97/100

The wildly popular Solar Storm 32-lamp 110-volt suntanning bed is one of the best residential tanning beds on the market. If you are looking for a fantastic tan without leaving the house, this home-inspired model is engineered for comfort and durability, plus it comes with an excellent manufacturer’s warranty.

The Solar Storm has 16 SunFusion face and arm lamps and 16 high-output Wolff lamps to give you a bronzed and even tan that goes into all the cracks and contours of your body. Remarkably efficient, it features High-gloss aluminum reflectors and Fulham electronic ballasts that use 40 percent less energy than standard ballasts.

Available in silver, red, or black, the Solar Storm is made in the USA and will plug into any standard 110v household receptacle. This reasonably priced tanning bed will pay for itself in short order so that you can have all the advantages of a salon tan right at home. 

Solar Storm 32S Specs:

Dimensions: 84” x 40″ x 36″

Weight: 282 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 110 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 20 Amp

Receptacle: Standard 110 Household

Average Retail Price: $2,499 

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2. Avalon 24 Suntanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 97/100

User Interface/Options: 98/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 98/100

The Avalon 24 is a deluxe sun tanning bed for the home designed for head-to-toe comfort. With 24 tanning lamps and 2400 watts of power, it can do the job in 15 minutes and help you maintain a fabulous tan year-round. This model uses ESB Green Energy Technology, so it’s highly cost-effective, providing 1000 hours of tanning lamp life from the bulbs. This equates to just pennies per session, meaning that the Avalon 24 will soon pay for itself.

The Avalon uses Sunergy® tanning lamps that are not offered in other tanning beds. There are eight Swirl Facial Reflector Lamps, eight Swirl Arm Reflector Lamps, and eight Select Body Reflector Lamps in all. Each lamp has a built-in reflector that offers up to 50 percent more tanning power than other units. They have two levels of tanning power that promise a deeper and darker tan.

If you’re worried about safety, the Avalon 24 has you covered. Not only does it feature a built-in timer to let you know when your session is complete, but there is also a backup safety timer. This provides additional peace of mind for those who tend to fall asleep while tanning. The Avalon comes in Silver Pearl with Silver Trim to fit in nicely with any home decor. 

Avalon 24 Specs:

Dimensions: 76” x 37″ x 32″

Weight: 184 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 120 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 20 Amp

Receptacle: Standard 120

Average Retail Price: $2,699

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3. ESB Galaxy 18 Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 95/100

User Interface/Options: 94/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 80/100

Overall Value: 89/100

The Galaxy 18 by ESB is the cheapest home tanning bed on our list at around $1,850. Since it features only 18 lamps, the tanning time is slightly longer at 20 minutes per session. However, the additional five minutes may be worth it for those looking for an inexpensive tanning bed model. 

As one of the most popular beds on the market, the Galaxy 18 can give you the home tanning experience you are looking for without breaking the bank. Made to ESB’s high standards, it has a five-year warranty on structural metal components and a one-year warranty on parts. It’s designed like a commercial tanning bed, with ten canopy lamps overhead and eight bench lamps for 1800 total watts of power. The bed features Apollo lamps made to last 1,000 hours. 

The elegant black pearl and silver trim design of this capsule-style bed will look at home in most homes, and it will plug right into an ordinary 120-volt household receptacle. The Galaxy 18 is comfortable, quiet, and ESB Green Energy Approved.

ESB Galaxy 18 Specs:

Dimensions: 84” x 40″ x 36″

Weight: 260 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 120 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 20 Amp

Receptacle: Standard 120

Average Retail Price: $1,850

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The Top Three Gym Tanning Beds We RAVE About

Sun tanning beds for the gym need to be tough. They get a lot of use, day in and day out. With so many people utilizing them, it makes sense that a gym tanning bed is often (though not always) pricier than a residential model. Have a look at our top three choices for tanning beds for the gym:

1. ProSun Onyx 32 SLi

Tanning Effectiveness: 99100

User Interface/Options: 99/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 99/100

The ProSun Onyx 32 SLi is a level three commercial-grade tanning bed, perfect for fitness centers, salons, hotels, and housing complexes. It is designed for durability and frequent use, and you can choose from multiple models to suit the specific needs of your business.

If you are looking to add on to your existing services, tanning is a great option to offer to your customers. The Onyx is very affordable for a commercial bed, and its size—84 inches long and 35.5-inches wide—lets you install it in facilities where space is already at a premium.

Your clients will appreciate the cooling body fan of this unit, plus it’s equipped with T-max integration so they can start the session once they are in the unit. However, the business can still have the control timer at the front desk to keep tabs on the exposure time when necessary. 

ProSun Onyx 32 SLi Specs:

Dimensions: 83” x 35.5″ x 48″

Weight: 375 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 220 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 25 Amp

Receptacle: Direct wire/no plug (needs to be installed by a qualified electrician)

Average Retail Price: $5,399

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2. Solar Storm 32-Lamp Commercial Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 98/100

User Interface/Options: 97/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 98/100

Like its residential counterpart, the Solar Storm 32-lamp commercial sun tanning bed is equipped with the same great features that the brand is known for, including 16 Wolff high-output lamps, eight Sunfusion face lamps, and eight Sunfusion face and arm lamps. 

What makes this model different is that it is T-Max system-compatible so that you can control it at the front desk. Plus, the unit is more powerful. You can’t just plug it in; you’ll need a qualified electrician for the job. 

The Solar Storm commercial can be fitted with standard lamps for 20-minute tanning sessions or upgraded lamps for 15-minute sessions. Depending on your color scheme, select from silver, black, or red. It comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a three-year warranty on parts. 

Solar Storm 32-Lamp Commercial Specs:

Dimensions: 84” x 40″ x 36″

Weight: 288 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 215-230 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 30 Amp

Receptacle: Direct wire/no plug (needs to be installed by a qualified electrician)

Average Retail Price: $3,400

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3. Sunfire Pro 32 Deluxe Commercial Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 98/100

User Interface/Options: 96/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 90/100

Overall Value: 95/100

The SunFire Pro 32 Deluxe is a reasonably priced tanning bed to add to your gym or fitness center. A breeze to maintain, it’s constructed with an easy-to-clean acrylic removal system. It also features adjustable spring lifts and energy-efficient electronic ballasts that can help keep your overhead costs down. 

It sits on a decorative base, and your customers will love the stylish tunnel design, turbo cooling technology, and user-friendly timer. The timer is also Tmax-compatible, so you can control the session from the front desk if necessary. 

While it won’t save a whole lot of time, the Sunfire Pro 32 deluxe is on a 14-minute timer. Hey, every moment counts, right? The unit also comes with an audio system built-in so clients can relax to their favorite music or podcasts. 

Sunfire Pro 32 Deluxe Commercial Specs:

Dimensions: 81” x 36″ x 34″

Weight: 260 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 220 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 20 Amp

Receptacle: Direct wire/no plug (needs to be installed by a qualified electrician)

Average Retail Price: $3,495

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The Top Three Commercial Tanning Beds We RAVE About

Our last three picks are commercial-grade sun tanning machines. These tanning beds represent the best of the best when it comes to luxury and features. While you can certainly install them in your home, most clients choose one of these models for salons where durability and comfort are paramount. Prices vary widely, and in most cases, you will need to inquire with several distributors to get the best price. Here are our top choices:

1. SilverBullet SE – Commercial Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 99/100

User Interface/Options: 99/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 99/100

The commercial SilverBullet SE is a high-end futuristic-style tanning bed for those who want only the best. While one can certainly install a SilverBullet at home, these sun tanning machines are designed for luxury salons and lodgings, and it shows in the details.

There are a total of 49 lamps in this model, along with features like adjustable facial lamps, integrated sound system with MP3 jack, soft-touch control panel, self-contained air conditioning system, and more. 

If you get too warm, you can deploy the MistyBreeze cooling system, which delivers a cooling mist at the touch of a button. A double-cooled acrylic lounge and full and upper-body fan controls also ensure that you stay comfortable. At 1100 pounds, this is a rugged unit that will last for many years. 

SilverBullet SE – Commercial Tanning Bed Specs

Dimensions: 90” x 52″ x 50″

Weight: 1100 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 230 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 40 Amp

Receptacle: Direct wire/no plug (needs to be installed by a qualified electrician)

Average Retail Price: Final price will vary. Contact the dealer for a quote.

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2. iBed Swing – Commercial Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 99/100

User Interface/Options: 99/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 99/100

The iBed Swing Commercial Tanning Bed by UWE is so named because of its patented Swing System Lamps. They rotate slowly in the unit’s canopy, eliminating shadows and hot spots so that customers get the most natural-looking tan possible.

This luxurious masterpiece boasts an impressive list of features, including MP3 ports, air conditioning, aromatherapy, floor and handle illumination, Misty Breeze, PowerSpot shoulder and neck tanners, and more.

While the iBed is definitely not considered a low-cost sun tanning bed, its cutting-edge features and dramatic appearance will keep your clients coming back session after session. It is wireless-ready and can be optionally equipped with a T-Max Plug & Go Module.

iBed Swing – Commercial Tanning Bed Specs

Dimensions: 98” x 59″ x 56″

Weight: 1800 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 230 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 40 Amp

Receptacle: Direct wire/no plug (needs to be installed by a qualified electrician)

Average Retail Price: Final price will vary. Contact the dealer for a quote.

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3. Lotus – Commercial Tanning Bed

Tanning Effectiveness: 99/100

User Interface/Options: 99/100

Face-Specific Lamps: 99/100

Overall Value: 99/100

The Lotus Commercial Tanning Bed is an elite unit with an aesthetically pleasing and thoroughly modern design. Easy for business owners to maintain, it’s made to withstand repeated use year after year and is equipped with choke ballasts and hinged acrylics, so changing out the lamps is easy.

The innovative features of the lotus are truly impressive—an elliptically designed, spring-lift canopy, multi-speed full-body cooling, adjustable facial lamps, floor illumination, an onboard amplifier & MP3 Jack in the built-in speakers, and much more. 

This unit is slightly lighter than the other two commercial sun tanning beds on our list, coming in at 1,000 pounds. It is equipped with a remote-ready 12-minute timer, and business owners can opt for a T-Max Plug & Go Module to control the unit from the front desk. 

Lotus – Commercial Tanning Bed Specs

Dimensions: 90” x 54″ x 50″

Weight: 1000 pounds

Dedicated Circuit: 230 Volts

Circuit Breaker: 40 Amp

Receptacle: Direct wire/no plug (needs to be installed by a qualified electrician)

Average Retail Price: Final price will vary. Contact the dealer for a quote.

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Heather Ryerson

Heather Ryerson is a freelance writer who enjoys creating content across a broad range of industries, including travel, education, cannabis, and more. An iced coffee addict and Maine native, she is happiest when she is fully caffeinated, working near any body of water, and hanging out with the fam.