Best Home & Commercial Tanning Beds: Reviews & Guide (2018)

Updated 6 years ago

Save money, save time, and protect yourself from skin disease by tanning at home. Instead of paying for visits to a salon and being at the mercy of their hygiene practices, you can bronze your skin in your own tanning bed.

Tanning outdoors is free, but it's unpredictable. Depending on UV conditions, the weather, and air pollution, you can’t be sure if you’re burning or not until it’s too late. A tanning bed is safer and faster. Just five minutes in a bed is equal to about two hours outside in the sun.

Why tan at all? Besides looking healthy, you’ll feel better, too. You can get a natural high from beta-endorphins released in your body while you tan. You’ll get a dose of Vitamin D for healthy bones. And you’re protecting yourself from melanoma, or skin cancer, by tanning slowly.

Home use tanning beds are a pricey investment at first, but their cost over time more than compensates for what you’d spend going to a salon. Each session tanning at home only costs pennies.

Home Tanning Bed Reviews

Let's take a look at the top tanning beds for home use. We would love to help you choose the perfect one for you. We’ll start with the best one for the money.

Solar Storm 24S Bulb Wolff Systems Tanning Bed with Face Lamps

What could be easier than having your own tanning bed delivered right to your home? The Solar Storm 24S Bulb Bed comes almost completely pre-assembled so you can start tanning right away.

We liked the Solar Storm 24S the most because it’s got the best value for the money you’ll spend. A twenty-four bulb setup is the minimum size for a good tan without striping. Plus, this bed includes arm and face tanning lamps.

The bed itself is a roomy 78 by 34 inches, or 6-1/2 feet long by almost 3 feet in width. It’s curved in a tunnel shape for a perfect all-over tan. Eighteen Wolff System bulbs encircle your body while six lamps treat your face to warm rays.

Since you’re tanning at home, you can even enjoy it in the nude. If you use tanning oil, just make sure it’s the indoor kind so it doesn’t damage the acrylic liner of the bed.

When you lay down to tan, the default session is 20 minutes. But if you’re new to tanning, or plan to bronze parts that haven’t seen the sun in a long time, start with a five-minute session. Press the red button and hold it to reduce the time in 1-minute increments. When the bed starts, it’s quiet, unlike a salon bed.

The Solar Storm 24S is made in the USA and comes with a 3-year warranty on the powertrain and a lifetime warranty on the bed frame. Their customer support is just one phone call away.

If you think that 24 lamps aren’t enough for you, check out the advanced home use tanning bed below.

Solar Storm 32S Wolff Systems Tanning Bed with Face Lamps

While the Solar Storm 24S is great for most people who like to tan at home, the 32S is made for experienced, die-hard tan lovers. It has 24 super-efficient lamps that completely surround your body for a perfect all-over dark tan. Eight more lamps send rays down on your face.

It’s super easy to get started because the Solar Storm 32S comes almost completely assembled to your front door. Plug it in to a regular wall outlet and adjust the built-in timer for the session length you want. The bed keeps track of hours used on its built-in counter. This is handy for knowing when it’s time to change the bulbs.

All the bulbs and system parts come from Wolff Tanning, a brand recognized worldwide. The bed uses high-gloss reflectors and super-clear acrylic to send all the UV through to your skin.

It measures 78 by 34 inches, plenty for almost any adult. The durable aluminum frame has a lifetime warranty while the electronics have a 3-year warranty.

Stand-Up Tanner SunDream Tanning Full Body 12 x 100W 71" Wolff Bronzing Tan Lamps Curved Canopy

If you don’t like laying in a tiny tunnel to get tan, there’s a happy solution for you. It’s called a stand-up tanner. This SunDream curved canopy is made by ProSun and it uses 12 Wolff Tanning RUVA lamps to bronze your skin while you stand, sit, or lay down. Yes, you can lay in the comfort of your own bed and get a great tan.

The curved canopy measures 78 inches tall and the lamps cover 71 inches by almost 30 inches. This means it’s like half of a tanning bed, but it takes up a lot less space.

Like the home-use tanning beds we reviewed above, this stand-up tanner uses regular 110V electricity in your home. It comes with a steel swivel frame with wheels so it’s easy to move around.

It takes longer to tan with a stand-up tanner, and you can only bronze one side at a time. It has a 30-minute timer that you can adjust down to shorter sessions to start.

ProSun includes goggles for use with the tanner. They offer a 1-year warranty.

Sperti Fiji SUN Table Top Tanning Lamp

If you want to catch some rays without exposing your whole body at once, you may like the Sperti Fiji Sun Tabletop Tanning Lamp. It’s powerful enough to give your face a healthy bronze in 15 minutes or less a day. It can also tan a section of your body like your lower legs and feet.

The Fiji Sun has a timer that lets you select a session from 1 to 15 minutes long. It automatically shuts off after 15 minutes so you don’t get a burn if you fall asleep or get distracted. The lamp doesn’t overheat and draws less household current than some cell phone chargers. It’s UL-listed for safety.

The lamp comes ready to use right out of the box, no assembly required. It measures 25 inches wide by 14-1/4-inches tall for maximum coverage. The side axis swivels and the angle changes so you can position it where you need it—your feet, under your chin, and more.

The box contains an extra set of bulbs and a pair of protective eye goggles. The four bulbs provide a mix of 70% UVA and 30% UVB rays. This mixture has won approval from the FDA for home use.

Sperti offers a 6-month warranty on the Fiji Sun Lamp. It’s made in the USA.

Tanning bed accessories

Now that you’ve seen the best tanning beds and lamps available, here are some very useful and needed accessories to go along with your new bed.

24 NIB Wolff Velocity Extreme Tanning Bed Bulbs F71

After 500 hours of use, tanning lamps operate at about 50% efficiency. After 1000 hours, they may still give off light but they won’t bronze your bod. It’s time to replace them with new ones. What could be better than Wolff Velocity Extreme Tanning Bed Bulbs?

Wolff Tanning is a brand recognized all over the world for their excellent indoor tanning beds and products. The Velocity Extreme 100-watt bulbs emit both UVB and UVA rays at high power so you get a dark tan as fast as possible.

Plan to replace your bulbs every three to five years so you can keep that sweet bronze going.

AG ph Neutral Disinfectant Tanning Bed Cleaner 32oz

It’s easy to keep your tanning bed clean with Australian Gold disinfectant. It’s a no-rinse, one-step liquid that won’t damage the acrylic or hurt your skin. Spray it on, wipe it off, you’re done. A one-quart bottle makes up to 16 gallons of cleaner because you mix it with water.

The EPA has approved Australian Gold pH Neutral Disinfectant for wiping out fungi, viruses, mildew, and odors.

PINK Super Sunnies UV Eye Flexible Tanning Bed Goggle

Protective goggles are essential for indoor tanning. This inexpensive little pair of flexible eyewear keeps your peepers from frying because they block over 99% of the UVA/UVB rays. Think of them as chic sunglasses because you can still see out of them while you use them. They don’t even leave tan lines.

Indoor Tanning Lotion

We previously reviewed the top indoor tanning lotions and you can see the best ones here. Choose one to speed up your tan while keeping your skin looking young and in top condition.

How to tan indoors

The first word of advice about tanning indoors is patience. Please do not fry your skin. Take your time. If you have an important event coming up and you want to look perfectly sun-kissed for it, plan to start tanning four to five weeks ahead of time.

With that said, here is some more wisdom about bronzing your body indoors.

  • Read the manual for your tanning bed or lamp. Yes, it’s a little boring. You’ll survive.
  • Exfoliate in the shower before your first session.
  • Wear goggles to keep your eyes safe.
  • Start with short sessions, 5 minutes tops if you are really pale.
  • You may not see the results until the next day.
  • Tan with 48-hour breaks between sessions. Tan on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
  • Use indoor tanning lotion. It keeps your skin healthy and speeds up the process.
  • Once you have a good base tan, you can maintain it with just two sessions a week of 20-30 minutes
  • Keep your tanning bed clean with a quality disinfectant even if you’re the only one using it.
  • Change your bulbs after 1000 hours of use. (This is more than 4 years of tanning every day for 20 minutes.)

What's your type?

Take a quick quiz to discover what type of skin you have. This will help you decide how long to tan and what type of lotion to use.

For example, it asks questions about the color of your untanned skin, your hair, your eyes, how many freckles you have, and so forth. There are 6 types of skin, and all of them tan a little differently.

Type 1 are people who always burn. Tanning isn’t recommended at all. Type 2 means you can tan slowly and carefully. Type 3 covers most of humanity, people who can tan successfully but occasionally burn. Type 4 means you can tan rather quickly and rarely burn. Type 5 means you hardly ever burn and usually have a deep tan. Type 6 means tanning will have little effect on your skin because it’s already very dark.

Indoor tanning and skin cancer

We can’t give medical advice here. What we’re about to say is in hot dispute.

There is evidence that seems to show that using a tanning bed can actually prevent skin cancer. Most people who end up with melanoma aren’t gardeners and fishers and farmers who get daily doses of rays outdoors. The people who often get skin cancer are people who had bad sunburns and irregular sun exposure when they were young.

Tanning indoors seems to build up a protection against developing melanomas. If the skin cancer appears on tanned skin, it’s usually easier to treat. Plus, tanning gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin D and that helps your overall health.

The downside of indoor tanning

Did you ever hear about the major league baseball player who missed several games because of a sunburn? True story. Marty Cordova of the Baltimore Orioles fell asleep while tanning. There was no automatic shutoff and he suffered a bad burn. Doctors orders kept him out of daytime games until he healed.

Your tanning bed has a timer. Feel free to use a backup alarm if you tend to nod off, especially if your bed or lamp doesn’t have an automatic shutoff. Sunburns are no fun at all.

Another downside to indoor tanning is time “wasted.” At least some people feel like those 20 to 30 minutes are lost even if they are sporting an awesome bronze. Try learning to meditate, or buy a tanning bed that lets you hook up music or an audiobook.

Finally, skin cancer is a big downer to tanning. But there is mounting evidence that indoor tanning is a whole lot safer than trying to tan outdoors in sunshine. It may even protect you from skin cancer in the future.

Speaking of skin cancer, here is a way you can tell if you or a friend might have it. It’s called the ABCDE rule.

  • Asymmetrical—Draw a line down the middle. One part of a mole or birthmark doesn’t match the other.
  • Border--The edges of a mole or spot are irregular or blurred.
  • Color--The color is not the same all over and may combine shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
  • Diameter--The spot is larger than ¼ inch across, or bigger about the size of a pencil eraser. (Although sometimes skin cancer can be found smaller than this. If the other signs are there but the spot looks too small, have it checked anyway.)
  • Evolving--The mole is changing in size, shape, or color over time.

If you want to learn more about the warning signs of skin cancer, check out this great resources at the American Cancer Society website.

What if you can't tan at all?

People with Type 1 skin burn very easily and never tan. In that case, you can always use a self-tanning liquid. In the past, it was hit or miss if you’d wind up with orange skin. Now you’re almost always guaranteed a lovely bronze tone.

Check out this Bahama Tan self-tanning lotion that’s all natural and organic. It’s non-comedogenic so it won’t cause acne and it moisturizes your skin while it makes you look good. Layer several days in a row to darken your "tan."

Indoor tanning and mood

We’ve mentioned that indoor tanning can be a good mood-booster. If you want to feel better without getting a tan, it's totally possible. Check out this popular tabletop lamp recommended by the New York State Psychiatry Institute.

NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp

See the bright light of the sun without the burn of UV rays. The NatureBright SunTouch is an ion-therapy lamp that you can use for 30 minutes or more each day. Turn it on and enjoy reading, watching TV, eating, or exercising. It resets your body’s clock to keep hormones in sync. You should notice a positive improvement in your mood and energy levels in just a few days.

While you wait for your new tanning bed to arrive

Check out our reviews of the top products for skin care. If you’re planning outdoor activities in summer or skiing in the winter, choose from the best sunscreens for sensitive skin.

Tanning beds near me

Thank you for taking the time to read today. We wish you all the best. Happy tanning!