How to Lay in a Tanning Bed

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We all know that tanning beds are designed to be a substitute for laying under the sun. The biggest difference is the amount of time that you need to lie down inside the tanning bed. 

But laying down on glass for a short period feels very different than laying down on a chaise lounge!

If you are new to using a tanning bed, you may not know how to use it properly. You need to know how to lay in a tanning bed so you get an even tan. 

Some who use a tanning bed for the first time end up with areas that were not evenly tanned as compared to the other area. That has a great deal to do with how you position your body in a tanning bed. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through experimenting just to try to figure out the position you should get into when using a tanning bed. Today, I will share with you the proper way of laying in a tanning bed so that you get your body evenly tanned. 


Tanning Beds 101

Before you learn how to lay inside a tanning bed, let’s first clarify what it is. That will help you be more comfortable in laying inside it and not being afraid of moving or positioning your body while it is on. 

Tanning beds are created as a substitute for UV exposure that is traditionally done under the sun. Technology has helped create light sources that produce UV light so you can tan indoors by using a tanning bed. 

These are made to be sturdy so that those who wish to tan can use them without fear of breaking the glass and injuring themselves. Tanning beds have their weight limits so if you are on the heavy side, you might want to check the weight limit first. 

Usually, tanning beds can hold up to 200 lbs. However, there are now stronger tanning beds that can hold more weight. That’s because they make use of thicker and stronger acrylic. 

The acrylic sheet is what holds you and what covers the light bulbs so that your body doesn’t directly touch them. However, they are clear and they let the UV rays pass through so they can get to your skin and make you tan. 

Reasons To Know Proper Tanning Bed Positions

Learning the proper positions that you should get into while using the tanning bed is very important. That’s because it makes sure that you get the most out of using the tanning bed. If you don’t do the proper positions, you would just be wasting your time and money using the tanning bed, and you’ll end up with a patchy tan.

When you know which positions to get into, you’ll have a better chance of having an even tan. Tan lines are avoided and those pesky butt circles wouldn’t show up.

Tan lines can be difficult to remove so it is best to avoid them in the first place. 

When you know which positions to get into, you’ll have a better chance of having an even tan. Tan lines are avoided and those pesky butt circles wouldn’t show up.

Additionally, you can prevent raccoon eyes or damage to the eyes and skin when you know which positions to take. 

How To Lay In A Tanning Bed

To get that even tan and make the most out of using the tanning bed, you have to know how to properly lay inside it. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

1. Don’t Use A Pillow

A pillow might feel comfortable while you are lying down, but it is best not to use one. Even if a pillow is available, skip it. It will only take a few minutes of laying down and not using a pillow. 

The pillow can cover some parts of your skin like your neck. That can result in a tan line or a strip of the whiter or lighter area on your neck. 

Don’t worry, you’ll surely survive laying down without using the pillow for a few minutes. 

2. Pick The Legs Up

If you ever find a white streak at the crease of your butt and upper thigh as a result of tanning in a tanning bed, the issue is the position you are in while getting the tan. 

That moon-shaped crease is known as a “butt moon”. They are developed because the extra skin on the butt and thigh overlaps in the crease. That prevents the UV radiation from reaching those areas efficiently. 

To avoid this, bend your knees and pick your legs up while laying down. This would help prevent the butt moons from appearing. 

Bend your knees and pick your legs up while laying down. This would help prevent the butt moons from appearing. 

3. Stretch

Have you ever tried stretching inside a tanning bed? That’s a good idea because stretching helps expose the skin better to UV rays. It helps the UV rays be absorbed faster because there is more area that’s exposed. 

Reach your arms up above your head so that you’re not blocking your sides while you tan, and regularly move them around to give them sufficient exposure.

Laying in a Tanning Bed: The Positions

When laying inside a tanning bed, there are two main positions that you take. The first is laying on your back and the second one is laying on your belly. Let’s take a closer look at these positions and how you should do them properly. 

1. Laying On Your Back

This is the most common position you use when you get inside a tanning bed. But how exactly do you do it? If you just lay down and don’t take note of how the different areas of your body are positioned, you are likely to end up with an uneven tan. 

When laying down, fold your legs a bit so that the knees are higher than the body. As mentioned, this position will help prevent the butt moons from developing. 

In this position, try to rest the heels of your feet. This position will expose the soles of the feet too. 

If you ditched your pillow, you can fold your arms behind your neck so that it would be more comfortable for you. 

You can put your arms to your side but make sure that they are away from the body. This will help make sure that the sides of your body are tanned. 

2. Lying On Your Belly

Lying on your belly is another position you can get into while using a tanning bed. With this, your chin should be propped up by your hands as a chin rest. 

This will expose your neck so it gets tanned properly. This will also expose your wrists and hands so they can evenly as well. 

In this position, the feet should be resting on the toes. Occasionally, you can raise your feet but still, make sure that the toes are in contact. This will help with the exposure of the knees to UV light. Shifting a bit is good, but it would be best not to move a lot.

Keeping these in mind will help make sure that you tan your body evenly and prevent unwanted tan lines.

Tanning beds are designed so that the UV bulbs hit reach every exposed part of your body. When you are in the right position, you only need to shift a littleto get that even tan. 

Prevent Cracks and Damage In Tanning Beds

As mentioned, tanning beds have thick and durable acrylic sheets that you lay on. They can support a good deal of weight but you should still take precautions. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not be careful when using them. 

Here are a few things to remember to prevent tanning beds from cracking when you use them. 

Don’t Hop Onto the Bed with a Thud

Most acrylic tanning beds can handle 300+ lbs, but if you hop up and slam your butt down on the glass, the impact can cause damage to the bed. Instead, slide on more gently.

Remove Jewelry And Hair Accessories

Most tanning salons will instruct you to remove jewelry or hair accessories that have a metal part in them. If you are putting your hair up, it would be best to use a hair tie than a metal clamp. When the metals scratch the acrylic, it can weaken in time and could crack. 

Distribute Weight Evenly

Whether you are getting into, going out of, or simply moving inside the tanning bed to turn, it is best to make sure that you evenly distribute your weight. Avoid pushing in one area with too much force or you could crack the acrylic. 

Avoid Mineral Oil Tanning Lotions

If you prefer to use tanning lotions while tanning, it is best to check the ingredients. Avoid those that have mineral oils. That’s because those can break down acrylic due to their residue. This could weaken the acrylic and cause it to crack in the long run. 

Avoid Moving Too Much In The Tanning Bed

It’s absolutely fine to get into various positions or switch sides when using the tanning bed. However, it is still best to minimize movements.

Once you’ve turned or repositioned, you should avoid too much movement. That’s because too much movement could cause unequal pressure.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).