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How Much Does It Cost To Run A Sunbed? A Comprehensive Guide

Zuleika Boekhoudt By Zuleika Boekhoudt   •     •   8 minute read

Sunbeds are a popular choice for people who want to get a tan without spending time in the sun.. However, one of the most common questions business owners have is how much it costs to run a sunbed. The cost of running a sunbed depends on various factors, including the type of sunbed, wattage, usage, and electricity rates.


In this article, we'll discuss how much it costs to run a sunbed in the UK. We'll also explore the differences between renting and buying a sunbed and provide some tips on how to keep the costs down.


How Much Does it Cost to Run a Sunbed?

Renting a sunbed is akin to embarking on a new venture. To make a wise and informed decision, it's crucial to understand the fundamental elements, such as the costs involved. By delving deep into these essential details, you'll gain invaluable knowledge that will guide you through the sunbed rental process, allowing you to make choices that align seamlessly with your business's unique requirements and preferences.


Type of Sunbed: Lay Down vs Stand-Ups

When it comes to sunbeds, there are two primary types to consider: lay down sunbeds and stand-up sunbeds.

Lay Down Sunbeds

Woman sitting on top of a Q15 sunbedLay down sunbed Ultrasun Q15 Magnum Power


Lay down sunbeds, as the name suggests, allow users to lie down horizontally while tanning. They often provide a more relaxed and comfortable experience, allowing clients to fully recline and enjoy the session. Lay down sunbeds tend to have higher energy consumption due to their larger size and longer session times. They typically require more tubes and have higher wattage, resulting in high electricity costs.


Stand-Up Sunbeds

Woman wearing sports clothes standing in front of a sunbedStand-up sunbed Ultrasun i9


On the other hand, stand-up sunbeds offer a vertical tanning experience where users stand while being exposed to UV rays. Stand-up sunbeds provide a quicker and more evenly distributed tan, making them a popular choice for clients with limited time. Stand-up sunbeds, being more compact regarding square footage, can be more energy-efficient and cost-effective to run in the long term.

However, it's essential to note that the actual energy consumption and cost will depend on the sunbeds' specific models, technology, and usage patterns. You should carefully evaluate your budget, salon space, and customer preferences when deciding between lay down and stand-up sunbeds to find the most suitable and economical option for your business.


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Electricity Costs 

As a business owner, understanding the wattage of a sunbed becomes crucial when considering the cost of running one. The wattage directly correlates to the amount of electricity consumed by the sunbed during operation. Sunbeds typically have wattages ranging from 4 to 13 kilowatt-hours (kWh). If you were to use a sunbed for one hour each day, you could anticipate electricity costs between £1.39-4*, depending on the prevailing electricity rates in your area.


Given that power consumption and electricity costs are valid concerns for business owners, it's worth exploring more sustainable choices. At Helionova, we offer a diverse selection of energy-efficient sunbeds designed to minimise power consumption while still delivering optimal tanning results.


*Calculated using the UK: Energy Price Guarantee (March 2023) electricity rate of 33.20 pence per kWh.




Renting vs Buying a Sunbed: the Pros and Cons

When adding sunbeds to your salon, you're faced with an important choice: should you rent or buy? Both options come with their own distinct set of advantages, considerations, and implications that are crucial for you to evaluate thoroughly. Take the time to weigh the following factors to make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your business's unique needs and goals.


Renting a Sunbed

Renting a sunbed involves a straightforward and hassle-free process, empowering salon owners to introduce professional tanning services into their establishments effortlessly. Here are the pros and cons of renting a sunbed.



  • Avoid a large upfront investment: One of the major advantages of renting a sunbed is the ability to avoid a significant initial investment. By renting, you can introduce sunbed services at your place of business without the need for a substantial capital outlay.
  • Essential products you need to get started are included: When you rent a sunbed, the package often includes essential products and accessories needed to get started. This saves you the hassle of separately sourcing these items and ensures you have everything necessary to provide top-notch tanning services.
  • No need to worry about servicing and maintenance: Another advantage of renting is that you don't have to worry about the servicing and maintenance of the sunbed. The responsibility for upkeep and repairs falls on the rental provider, allowing you to focus on running your business smoothly.



  • Expensive in the long run: While renting a sunbed can provide cost savings initially, it may turn out to be more expensive in the long run. The accumulation of monthly rental fees over time can significantly impact your overall expenses.
  • Limited customisation options: As a renter, you don't have ownership of the sunbed. This means you cannot modify or customise the equipment according to your specific preferences or evolving business needs.


Buying a Sunbed

Buying a sunbed involves a comprehensive process that grants salon owners complete ownership and control over their tanning equipment. Much like renting a sunbed, purchasing one also has its pros and cons.



  • Ownership and flexibility: One of the primary advantages of buying a sunbed is that you become the owner, giving you the freedom to use it whenever you want. You have complete control over its availability, allowing you to cater to your clients' needs and preferences without limitations.
  • Long-term cost savings: While buying a sunbed entails a sizable upfront investment, it can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to renting. By eliminating monthly rental fees, you can potentially save a significant amount of money over time, making it a more financially advantageous option.
  • Warranty protection: Helionova provides a two-year warranty for the equipment. This warranty coverage offers peace of mind, protecting you against unexpected malfunctions or defects and ensuring reliable performance during the initial years of ownership



  • Upfront investment: Purchasing a sunbed requires a substantial upfront investment. This financial commitment can be a challenge for some business owners, especially those with limited capital or tight budgets. It's important to consider your financial situation carefully and evaluate the potential return on investment before making a purchase decision.
  • Service and maintenance responsibilities: Unlike renting, where the rental provider handles servicing and maintenance, buying a sunbed means taking on the responsibility of service and maintenance yourself. This includes repairs, replacement parts, and routine maintenance costs, which must be factored into your budget and time management considerations.


Take Charge of Your Sunbed Success: Start Planning and Profiting Today!

Understanding the cost factors of running a sunbed is crucial for any business owner looking to offer tanning services. From the initial investment in purchasing or renting a sunbed to considering ongoing expenses such as electricity, maintenance, and servicing, there are various elements to evaluate. 

By conducting thorough research, comparing options, and carefully assessing the specific needs of your establishment, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and business goals.


Remember, the costs are just one aspect to consider alongside factors like customer demand, competition, and the overall profitability of incorporating sunbed services. With a comprehensive understanding of the costs involved, you can confidently embark on the sunbed journey, providing your clients with an exceptional tanning experience while maximising the potential success of your business.


FAQs About the Costs to Run a Sunbed


How much do sunbeds cost per minute?

The cost of running a sunbed per minute depends on the tanning bed. For example, the Ultrasun Q14 Magnum Power uses 8.500W. So, it would cost around £2.82 to run for an hour. In that hour you can sell 3-6 sessions.


How profitable are sunbeds?

How much money you will be making depends on several factors. Helionova's ROI calculator will tell you how many months it will take you to earn back the investment you made into your sunbed(s).


What are the factors to consider when choosing a sunbed rental?

Some factors to consider when choosing a sunbed rental include the type of sunbed, rental cost, rental period, delivery and installation, maintenance and repair services. Moreover, choose a sunbed distributor that you can trust and has experience. Helionova has service technicians and sales support throughout the country, including Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


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