Planet Fitness Tanning Review: A Guide to Everything You Need to Know 2023

Tanning Bed
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Planet Fitness is known for having lots of gym equipment and a friendly vibe. They encourage everyone to improve themselves, no matter their body type.

However, they don’t just have exercise equipment. PF also has other equipment focused on wellness and beauty.

This includes tanning beds and tanning booths at Planet Fitness, as well as their Hydromassage Beds, Total Body Enhancement Machines, and other spa options that are part of the Black Card Membership.

This article looks at Planet Fitness Tanning and gives you everything you need to know to get a luxe tan at Planet Fitness.

Read on for details on how to tan at Planet Fitness, and learn whether or not you should use these tanning beds and systems.

Planet Fitness Tanning Beds: Who Can Use Them?

Planet Fitness Tanning Bed Review

Planet Fitness offers its PF Black Card members access to its tanning booths and tanning beds. You need both a PF membership and a Black Card spa membership to access the tanning facilities, as well as the other spa facilities offered by Planet Fitness like Total Body Enhancement and Hydromassage.

Different branches of Planet fitness offer different kinds of equipment, and not all PFs have tanning facilities.

Different branches of Planet fitness offer different kinds of equipment, and not all PFs have tanning facilities.

The tanning equipment is first-come, first-serve. If someone is using the tanning equipment, you’ll have to wait for them to finish and for the staff to clean the equipment before you take a turn. (you don’t want Tanning Bed Rash!).

How Do The Tanning Beds at Planet Fitness Work?

Planet Fitness tanning is quite similar to tanning at a tanning salon. With your Black Card membership, you can use the tanning equipment whenever you like within their opening hours (and can even go to other PF locations for free).

If there is a Spray Tan booth, the time when it can be used is usually posted in the booth area.

Tanning beds, on the other hand, are available whenever the branch is open. If the branch you go to is open 24 hours, you’ll be able to go any time you want.

Just remember that there is a time limit to using the tanning beds.

Planet Fitness tanning equipment involves several rules that you should be aware of:

  • Use tanning beds at your own risk. Indoor tanning can increase the risk of skin cancer. You have to be aware of how long you stay inside. Tanning sessions are limited to 9 minutes, though often 5 minutes in the bed is enough.
  • There is usually no dedicated staff that guides members in using the beds, nor do they pay attention to who is next in line. You’ll have to wait in line. Be courteous to other gym-goers.
  • Always check if the tanning bed is clean or not. There should be a cleaning solution and paper towels near the tanning beds. Let the bed dry before use. In some branches, there may be personnel responsible for cleaning the beds, and you’ll have to wait until they’re done before you take your turn.
  • The tanning systems vary, depending on the branch. You may find tanning beds or tanning booths. And some may also have spray tan areas.
  • Keep in mind the dress code at Planet Fitness. You may want to wear different clothes for tanning than you wear for your workout. You can change in the locker rooms.
  • You must be 18 years old or older to use the tanning beds.
  • You must wear protective eyewear (and sunglasses are not enough!)

Planet Fitness encourages clients to be self-sufficient with the equipment available. However, if you need help or if you just can’t figure out how to use the equipment, ask the staff or a Planet Fitness Trainer for help.

How Often Can You Tan at Planet Fitness?

At most, you can go to one tanning session per 24-hour period. This is monitored and is required for safety. Regardless, it’s generally best to wait 48 hours between tanning sessions.

Back in 2015, Planet Fitness used to offer unlimited tanning to all their Black Card membership holders. That changed when they were forced to pay penalties. PF failed to warn customers about the risks of skin cancer due to the ultraviolet light of the tanning beds.

Since the court ruling, PF’s tanning policies have changed.

They agreed to train all the employees who will be in charge of providing their tanning services. In some branches, there will be a designated staff member who’ll inform you about how long the session should last.

Their trained staff can help you use the equipment and ensure (relative) safety.

Nowadays, there are warning signs near tanning devices. Protective eyewear is now required. Most branches offer eyewear for purchase.

What Are The Tanning Machines At Planet Fitness?

There are several tanning machines that Black Card members can use at Planet Fitness, and they vary by branch. You may find a traditional lay-down tanning bed, or an upright tanning booth.

You may also find a spray tan booth.

Lay Down Tanning Beds

The first tanning beds are the lay-down type. They are selected because while you get a tan, you also get to relax by laying down. You can take a rest for a couple of minutes while you soak up the intense UV rays and give your skin some artificial sun.

The problem is the comfort that you feel while laying on the glass. There will be pressure points between the skin and the glass that can cause awkward tanning creases.

To avoid this, you should regularly reposition your body.

Stand Up Tanning Booths

Some prefer stand-up tanning booths because they are more spacious. They allow people to move much easier than a tanning bed. Due to the adequate space, it is possible for members to raise or lower their arms, bend their knees, turn their head, etc.

The intensity of radiation from the standup tanning beds is usually higher. This is why the time limit for each session is lower than a lay-down tanning bed. Also, the tanning booth is filled with reflectors to make tanning easier and more even.

Tanning booths are a bit more hygienic. You’re not laying down on the same glass covered in tanning lotion that everyone else has been laying down on.

On the other hand, you don’t get to relax while you’re in there.

Tanning booths are a bit more hygienic. You’re not laying down on the same glass covered in tanning lotion that everyone else has been laying down on.

Spray Tan Booths

Spray tans are a great option for tanning. They are far healthier than tanning beds. A spray tan can provide an instant golden glow without worrying about skin damage. The result is fast and will last for about a week.

However, it’s not a real tan and gives none of the benefits of a suntan. Also, certain areas like the fingers, knees, feet, elbows, and wrists may tan unevenly, with streaks and cracks.

Tanning Bed Levels

Most of the tanning beds at Planet Fitness are level 2 tanning beds. They are not the level 6 high-power mixed bulb bronzing-tanning beds that will darken your skin in an instant.

They are middle of the road, and are less likely to burn you than some of the higher-power beds.

Tips For Using Planet Fitness Tanning Beds Safely

Indoor tanning is a way to get the tan you’ve been dreaming of, even if it’s winter. Many of us feel so much better with glowing, luscious tanned skin.

But tanning, whether indoors or outdoors in the summer sun, results in damage to the skin. Tanning is the skin’s natural response to UV damage. Melanin is expressed in the skin in order to protect it from further damage. Tanning speeds up aging and can also lead to skin cancer.

This is particularly true of those who misuse their bed, staying inside too long. Indoor tanning machines produce extremely concentrated light (up to 26 times as powerful as sunlight!).

You only need to be under that light for a few minutes. Not all are aware of this, which is why overexposure is a big risk.

Most tanning salons have staff that guides their clients with their tanning sessions. This was the source of Planet Fitness’s problems mentioned earlier. By allowing members to use the machines without supervision, PF neglected to explain the risks customers faced.

The bottom line is that everything we do, including walking down the street and driving a car, have risks associated with them.

Indoor tanning is a way to get the tan you’ve been dreaming of, even if it’s winter. Many of us feel so much better with glowing, luscious tanned skin.

There are real benefits to tanning. And some people just love the feel of a real tan, even if it is a UV tan.

We strongly encourage you to be smart and to understand the risks.

Benefits Of Planet Fitness Tanning Beds

Tanning at Planet Fitness isn’t free. It comes with the price of a Black Card membership. If you choose to get a Black Card and get your tan at Planet Fitness, here are a few benefits you can enjoy:

  • The Black Card membership offers unlimited tanning. However “unlimited” doesn’t mean you can stay in the tanning bed all day or multiple times per day. There is a limit for safety purposes. Unlimited just means you are free to use it whenever you want, provided you follow their policy.
  • Tanning at Planet Fitness is very convenient because you can do it after your workout. No need to visit multiple locations for exercise and tanning.
  • The tanning beds and booths are easy to operate. You can use them on your own, but the staff will be able to help if needed.
  • You don’t need an appointment. You can use the machines whenever you want to as long as they are available.
  • By tanning at Planet Fitness, you’ll be able to keep your tan throughout the year.

Risks Of Planet Fitness Tanning Beds

It may seem exciting to have access to such devices, but there are major risks here.

Don’t ignore the warnings.

Don’t ignore the warnings.

Some of the risks involved in tanning at Planet Fitness include the following:

1. Skin Damage

Tanning beds at Planet Fitness will produce UVA and possibly UVB rays to imitate the sun and cause the skin to tan. These beds can cause skin damage. Do not overuse these devices.

2. Contamination From Others

A disinfectant spray and paper towels are provided so you can clean the beds before and after use. But you can never be sure if the beds are really 100% clean. To effectively clean the beds, the disinfectant should be allowed to completely dry. However, users often don’t wait long enough and end up with rashes, particularly those with sensitive skin.

Also, take a shower before your tanning session!

3. Increased Risk Of Skin Cancer

The risk of skin cancer increases with tanning. This is true with sun tanning, but even more so with indoor tanning. People who do not understand how tanning works may spend too much time UV tanning.

Read the Signs!

Warnings and instructions are found around the tanning beds. Follow them and listen to staff. Don’t try to skip in line or break the rules.

Are the Planet Fitness Tanning Beds Any Good?

Planet Fitness Tanning Review

Different members have varying opinions about tanning at Planet Fitness. Some love the beds and highly recommend them. But others report bad experiences, not necessarily with the beds and booths themselves, but instead with the whole process of using the tanning beds.

Here are two of the most significant issues people complain about with Planet Fitness Tanning:

1. Cleaning

Most Planet Fitness branches expect members to clean for themselves before and after they use the tanning beds. Due to different indoor tanning lotions used by clients, oils can build up.

Some people don’t clean the tanning beds thoroughly enough, so there is often still grime on the beds. Depending on the branch, some staff will clean the tanning beds, while others hardly do.

2. Bulb Maintenance

Some club members also report that there are branches where tanning beds can burn you. The condition of the tanning bed bulbs should be regularly checked and changed. But some branches neglect them for long periods.

That may be a reason why you can get burned while tanning.

Also, if you stay too long on tanning beds (particularly if you ignore the rules regarding timing), you’re more likely to get a burn. Tan for the appropriate amount of time each day.

One of the reasons why people used tanning beds in Planet Fitness is due to the Black Card offerings. With just a single membership, you get access to a bunch of perks.

Although it may not be as well maintained and as clean as a dedicated tanning salon, the Planet Fitness tanning beds are good, and can save users money.

Safety Tips While Tanning At Planet Fitness

Whether you choose to use the tanning bed or the stand-up tanning booth, you still need protection against overexposure to UV light.

1. Figure Out Your Skin Type

Different skin types react differently to tanning beds. Some can tan under a tanning bed for a much longer time than others before they burn. Figure out your skin type (use the Fitzpatrick Scale) so that you know your limits when it comes to tanning.

Fitzpatrick Scale Source: Wikipedia

2. Use Eye Protection

The eyes should always be protected when using tanning machines. There are UV protective goggles that you can wear while lying down. And there are some that can stick to your nose for use in stand-up tanning booths.

3. Time Your Sessions

Don’t just blindly go for a tan. Use the timer to know exactly how long you’ve been under the UV light. Although you have unlimited access to the tanning booth, don’t try to sneak in for multiple sessions or break the rules

4. Avoid Tanning Daily

It is not a good idea to UV tan every day. You can still maintain and build your tan even if you don’t use the tanning machines daily. If you tan every day, you’ll damage your skin. Give it 36-48 hours between tanning sessions.

5. Use the Beauty Angel Afterward

When you’re done with your tanning bed session, hop on over to the Beauty Angel RVT30 Body Enhancement machine for some restoration. These units use red light therapy and vibration to rejuvenate and restore the skin.

6. Bring a Towel for Privacy

Unfortunately, there has been at least one case of a PF employee peeping on members using the tanning beds naked. You want to expose your body to UV rays, not to employees! It’s hard to avoid this risk completely, and the employee was arrested. But regardless, bring a towel along just in case you need to grab it quickly.

Final Words

Tanning is a service offered in many branches by Planet Fitness to all their Black Card members. They provide different kinds of machines that can be used for tanning. If you plan to use them, you need to take a safety-first approach.

Although indoor tanning seems so great at first glance, it has risks that you shouldn’t ignore.

Remember that the Black Card membership at Planet Fitness doesn’t just give you access to tanning beds, there are lots of other equipment that you can use with the membership. Make sure you try them out, too, so you can make the Black Card worth the cost!

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).