Have you been suffering from new or chronic back pain? It’s a common and growing complaint and many people are desperate to find relief. One increasingly popular way to keep the aches of back or neck pain (even sciatica) at bay is the use of inversion therapy. It has been scientifically proven that hanging upside down provides enough traction (or stretching action) to realign the spine. It also delivers several other health benefits such as improved circulation.
Most people who use inversion as a back pain remedy go with inversion tables as their preferred means of getting into the correct position. If you are considering using an inversion table, then checking out the best inversion table reviews is a good place to start.
I’ve prepared this guide to help you identify the qualities to consider as you make your choice. It provides an impartial comparison of the top brands and an up close look at the features of the best rated inversion tables on the market.
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Different Types Of Inversion: Tables, Chairs, And Boots
Inversion therapy usually involves the use of inversion tables, inversion chairs or gravity boots (also called inversion boots). With the tables, you stand strapped in and slowly ease yourself back into the desired angle. The chairs keep you in a seated position throughout inversion and the boots support you as you hang by your ankles from a rack or bar.
Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages and each is best suited for persons of different fitness levels. Each type of inversion apparatus offers different features for comfort, ease of mounting and dismounting, as well as in the design and security of the restraints.
The table keeps your body stretched out at all times during use. When inverted your weight is supported by straps and/or boots around your ankles and feet. One amazing benefit of an inversion table is that it gives the experience of pressure reduction along all the joints and muscles of your whole body.
When selecting an inversion table, comparison of all the characteristics must guide your choice. Some tables are basic in what they offer and what you can do on them, but others have added features such as massage, heat and motors. A safety strap on most inversion tables allows you to choose the degree of inversion you want.
In their inversion table reviews, some users highlight foot, ankle, knee and hip pain from using the equipment. People who have problems with their legs, knees and feet may find these issues worsened by an inversion table. I write in detail about issues such as the pros and cons, how to use the tables and even specific exercises and stretches so read on!
How are inversion chairs different from inversion tables? It’s all in the positioning. While you lie flat on the table, you sit in the chair and tilt yourself backwards into an inclined position. You are never hanging by your ankles, so you will not get a full extension.
The chairs benefit you by relieving the pressure on your spine and decompressing your vertebrae. You get the other benefits of inversion as well, such as increased blood flow to the brain and detoxification of the organs. For detoxification, you will have to invert a little while longer on the chair than on the table.
Chair users tend to report that they do not experience hip or lower extremity pain. They also point out that in the chair they find it easier to do stretches and exercises. They are better able to move their torso than when using the inversion table. I review two of my favorite chairs here.
The boots strap on around your ankles and allow you to hang upside down from a stabilized horizontal bar (also called an inversion rack). While the boots are completely safe, they and the bar are your only support while you invert. For this reason, gravity boots are best left to persons who are extremely fit or athletic. With the boots you invert a full 180 degrees and partial inversion is not possible.
Best Inversion Table Brands
There are several inversion table brands for you to select from. As you decide, take a look at the company’s years of manufacturing experience, price range, and user reviews. That’s when the brands for best rated inversion tables really stand out. Among the top brands are Teeter Hang Ups, Ironman and Innova. Some other brands worth considering are Stamina, Health Mark and Exerpeutic.
Teeter Hang Ups has been around for over 30 years, pioneering the development of inversion equipment. They manufacture fitness equipment that includes gravity boots, inversion tables and chin up racks. Among users of inversion equipment, the Teeter Hang Ups brand is perhaps the most recognizable. Along with their industry leading name, however, come industry leading prices. Teeter Hang Ups products are among the priciest you will find.
They are ahead of their rivals in quality of materials used. Teeter Hang Ups also incorporates innovations into their equipment to make inversion safer, easier and more comfortable. As a result, their users often report better results than when using other products. They can boast that their products are tested for quality and performance and certified with an independent product safety organization.
Ironman has the widest range, not just of inversion tables, but also of all types of fitness equipment. Their products include indoor exercise bikes, ellipticals, weight benches and squat racks. They also sell a host of accessories to go with each of their products.
Their name is best known in association with the hugely popular Ironman Triathlon competitions. The brand markets its equipment as being of the highest quality to get competitors and you into optimum condition.
They provide a free app that helps you with equipment assembly, registering it and tracking your training progress. They also offer an extended warranty which sets many customers’ minds at ease.
Innova Health and Fitness brand has been gaining popularity for its line of fitness equipment. Innova features a wide selection of inversion tables as well as weight and utility benches and upright bikes.
Their items usually get high marks in the area of comfort. Many reviewers report surprise at the low price point relative to quality. Prices for Innova items are much lower than those of both Ironman and Teeter Hang Ups. In terms of quality, the brand is consistently cited for offering strong, sturdy and durable products at its budget prices.
A Closer Look At The Top 5 Inversion Tables
Safety, comfort and size are all major points you will have to bear in mind when selecting the right inversion table for your needs. I’ve taken these into consideration for my inversion table comparison. I refined my findings to the top 5, plus 5 others you might want to check out. Each one gives the basics of any inversion table, but the top 5 set themselves apart with added features, comfort, security and ease of use.
Within the top five are two models from Teeter Hang Ups – not a big surprise there, since the company is a leader in the field. Also in the top 5 are one selection each from Innova, Exerpeutic and Ironman. We all expect to pay for quality, but you will find that even within the top 5 there are a couple of surprisingly affordable options.
This is the our top pick for 2016. Customer reviews are full of positive feedback for the EP-960. It also gets high marks from professionals in the fitness and therapeutic care industries. Most reviews highlight its Stretch Max handles for easy inversion and getting upright again. Users also like the EZ-Reach triple-lock ankle-locking system. With EX-Reach, users who have trouble bending over to reach their ankles can still safely secure themselves onto the table.
The EP-960 comes 85% assembled and takes just 25 minutes to complete setup. The table is made from high quality heat treated steel with a scratch-resistant powder coating. It folds easily and can be stored in a closet or behind a door when not in use. The EP-960 weighs 73.4 pounds so you will need to be careful when moving it around.
The ComforTrak of EP-960’s bed has precision balancing, is extremely comfortable and allows for easy oscillation while stretching or exercising. It accommodates users up to 300 pounds and within a height range of 4 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 6 inches. With this inversion table you pay for all its innovative features. But, you know that you are getting a long-lasting, sturdy and trusted piece of equipment.
This tough inversion table is constructed of heavy gauge steel and is able to support users up to 300 pounds and a maximum of 6 feet 6 inches tall. Innova ITX9600’s extra-long and wide padded backrest is comfortable, sturdy and stable. It has thick foam leg rollers and its handle bars are covered in soft easy to grip foam.
The Innova ITX9600 has a simple and secure pin system for adjusting its position. With this system users can quickly and easily change the table into any of its three positions for full or partial inversion.
Assembly will take you just over an hour (shorter if you have help). It weighs a little over 50 pounds and is quite easy to move around. For storage, the Innova ITX9600 does not include a pin to keep it in the folded position, so you will have to lean it against a wall. It might be best to get this table if you are able to leave it in position between uses. This doesn’t have quite the quality or features of the EP-960 but it’s still a good table at a great price.
The Exerpeutic has a simple frame but still offers users the security and stability they are looking for in an inversion table. It is made from 5-inch think square steel and will accommodate users of up to 300 pounds. Users can adjust it to match heights of between 4 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 6 inches.
It is extremely budget-friendly and yet manages to incorporate some very commendable features. Among these are cushions placed in the ankle supports and foam rollers for greater comfort. The table also has foam covered heavy-duty full loop handlebars. And, it offers a broad range of motion with its adjustable, secure tether straps. Users of the Exerpeutic can comfortably achieve many inversion angles and feel sufficiently supported by its foam backboard as they stretch and exercise.
The table takes approximately 45 minutes to assemble using the included tools and weighs 64 pounds when completed. It does not fold without some disassembly and is not very portable. It suits users with the space to leave it in place between uses.
The Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 lives up to the EP in its name – Exceptional Performance. It can be used with equally good results for both inversion therapy and core workouts. This is perhaps why inversion table comparisons often cite it as one of the best models on the market.
You can easily adjust it to match you height and weight up to 300 pound and anywhere from 4 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 6 inches tall. Its ComforTrak Bed with adjustable headrest is made of flexible plastic that supports your body while you stretch and exercise.
The EP-560 is made of only top-quality materials. Its frame is heat-treated carbon steel and has squeak-free pivot bearings. So even while the rest of the house sleeps, you can quietly do your inversion stretches and exercises without disturbing anyone. The table is made with auto-locking hinges for safety and a dial on its Pressure-Reducing foam ankle locks for you to select your comfort level.
Most reviews of this table are quick to point out how easy it is to set up. It comes to you already 90% assembled and with full instructions on how to complete the process. You’ll be done in under 15 minutes! It weighs 67 pounds but is portable and folds for easy storage. If you want even more info on this great model, check out my in-depth review here.
The Ironman Gravity 4000 proves itself to be the strongman among the best inversion tables of 2016. It supports users up to 350 pounds and who are between 4 feet 9 inches and 6 feet 6 inches tall. The table takes about an hour to an hour and a half to assemble using the included tools. It is easily folded for storage against a wall or in a closet.
Its backrest is made of solid vinyl covered with 2.5 inches of padded memory foam. The backrest also comes with an adjustable and removable lumbar pillow for extra support and comfort. The Gravity 4000 has extra-long foam covered safety handles. These allow you to have complete control over the inversion angle and for you to easily return to the upright position.
The Gravity 4000 is able to take on the largest weight capacities among non-motorized inversion tables. That’s due to its extra wide tubular steel frame with powder coating for protection and durability. The table is quite heavy at 75 pounds but rigid and able to withstand great external pressure. As you can imagine, it is hard to move across a carpet (or just hard to move in general). Its stability is enhanced by its high base-to-height ratio and the rubber stabilizers fitted to the corners of its U-shaped frame. I review this model in more depth here.
The Rest Of The Top 10 Inversion Tables
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Adjusts to user height from 4 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 8 inches
- Adjusts to fit thigh length of user
- Backrest made from 840 nylon denim
- Tubular steel construction
- decorative, protective and durable powder coat finish
- Easy-to-grab curved handlebars
- Full back support
- Ankles lock in place with a strong spring-loaded pin system
- Front split leg design for stability
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Heavy gauge tubular steel construction
- Decorative, protective and durable powder coat finish
- Adjustable back rest
- Padded chair, front ankle and knee support
- Adjustable ankle and lap belts
- Supports up to 250 pounds
- Heavy duty steel frame
- Padded hand grips, back rest and ankle supports
- Easy to secure and remove ankle supports
- Leg lock system for added security while inverted
- Rubber stoppers fitted to the base of each leg
- Starts with user seated and flattens into a table while inverting
- Very affordable price
- Supports up to 250 pounds
- Adjusts to fit thigh length of user
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Padded backrest, handlebars and ankle support
- Low-to-the-ground seat for ease and stability while mounting and dismounting
- Skid resistant rubber protectors for your floor
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Adjusts to user height from 4 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 6 inches
- Made with a high-quality tubular steel frame
- Decorative, protective and durable powder coat finish
- Polyurethane- leather backrest
- Thick, soft-to-the-touch foam rollers
- Rubber, non-skid floor stabilizers
- Safety bar to limit the inversion position
Features To Look For When Selecting An Inversion Table
Regardless of how much you paid for your inversion table, you want to feel assured that it will last you for many years. Its frame should be strong and sturdy to safely hold you as you get into an inverted position. At the same time, the parts you come in contact with should be made to withstand your pressure as you mount, dismount, stretch and exercise
Price And Brand
You are buying an inversion table to hold you up by your ankles with the real possibility of falling on your head. Think of that as you consider price and brand. Sure, you could get a cheap table from a brand no one has heard of that doesn’t have a reputation for quality. But, are you putting yourself at risk?
It is well worth it to go for a trusted brand and pay a few dollars extra if in return you are getting a better guarantee for your safety. Pricier and more recognized brands tend to have better ankle restraints and ankle locking features to keep you safe as you invert.
Weight Capacity And Height Range
So, size really does matter! Most inversion tables will suit the average person. If you fall outside of the average range it’s best to check out the weight capacity and height range of the table before buying.
If you are on the smaller side, a large table is more expense than you need to bear. If you are on the bigger side, then a small table might be of no use to you and may actually be dangerous for you to invert on.
Storage And Assembled Size And Weight
How much space can you spare in your home for an inversion table? Will it be permanently set up or will you need to move it back and forth, storing it away after each use?
Inversion tables that can fold, that are lighter or are more portable suit most users. Determine the space you have available for the assembled table. Choose one that will fit comfortably and allow you to move it into storage when not in use. Most of the sturdier models will not fold sufficiently to fit under the average bed so think of how far you will have to move it to store it.
Comfort And Flexibility
A good inversion table will not just let you invert, it will also allow you to stretch, twist and exercise in your inverted position. A flexible back rest is necessary for that as are restraints that will not pinch, squeeze or chafe you as you move.
The more comfortable you are using the table the more likely you will be to want to use it and reap the health benefits that inversion offers. How easily you can mount and dismount from the equipment should be given careful consideration. This is especially true if you have mobility issues. That is why I included the seated versions in my review.
Perhaps the best way to find the ideal “anything” is to hear from people who have used it before. Hence, your wise choice to check out my review! Online sites like Amazon will show you the user rating for each table and allow you to read their often helpful reviews. Likewise, there are sites like this one that sift through all of the user reviews for you and help you to make a reliable comparison.
This video shows some of the features of one of the best models on the market.
There are many inversion tables out there for you to choose from. You are sure to find one that will give great results and fit into your budget. You just have to be willing to take the time to do a bit of research and comparison shopping. Inversion table reviews are a good place to start off on your search.
Many of the newest inversion table models have several add-on accessories to make your inversion experience more rewarding. There are still quite a few options that just take care of the basics, so the decision is really up to you. Keep safety and ease of use in the forefront of your mind and you should end up with a table that fits right in with your expectations.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com