<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=183633997993126&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

How to Choose the Right Sunbed for Your Salon

Zuleika Boekhoudt By Zuleika Boekhoudt   •     •   10 minute read

Choosing the right sunbed is important for a successful tanning salon venture. The equipment you choose will directly impact the quality of your service and the satisfaction of your customers. 


With many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. 


Fortunately, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Our comprehensive guide is designed to help you select the ideal sunbed and supplier for your salon. Additionally, we’ll provide insights into other important factors, such as tanning equipment maintenance and care. So, let's embark on an exploration of the tanning world together.


Different Types of Sunbeds for Your Beauty Salon

Among the wide range of tanning beds available in the market, two primary types are commonly used in tanning salons: lay-down and stand-up sunbeds. Each type has its own unique characteristics, working mechanisms, and pros and cons. Understanding these factors is essential to determine the best option for your salon.


Lay-down Sunbeds


Woman laying inside a Q18 sunbedUltrasun Q18 lay-down sunbed


Lay-downs or horizontal tanning beds are the traditional choice for many salons. These beds feature a flat surface where clients lie down during their tanning sessions.


How Do Lay-Down Sunbeds Work?

Lay-down sunbeds use tanning lamps that emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation that penetrates the skin, stimulating melanin production. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the tanning process. These lamps release a combination of UVA and UVB rays, which mimic the sun's natural rays.


The Pros and Cons of Lay-Down Sunbeds

Lay-downs offer several advantages and considerations that you should keep in mind when selecting tanning equipment for your salon.



  • Natural-looking tan: Lay-downs provide an even distribution of UV rays, resulting in a natural-looking tan.
  • Controlled exposure time: These sunbeds come with timers, allowing you to control the duration for each client. This ensures a tailor-made tanning experience for individual needs.
  • Extra features: Many lay-downs come with features such as facial tanners, air conditioning, and adjustable body ventilation, enhancing the overall comfort and convenience for your clients.



  • Risk of premature ageing and sunburn: Prolonged and excessive exposure to UV radiation can contribute to premature skin ageing, including wrinkles, fine lines, and sunspots. Moreover, excessive periods can cause sunburn and skin damage. The Sunbed Association provides education and guidelines for clients to ensure safe and responsible tanning practices.
  • Cost considerations: Lay-downs can be relatively expensive to purchase outright and maintain. You should take note of the initial investment costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, and tube replacement costs.


Stand-Up Sunbeds

Woman standing in front of a E7 sunbedUltrasun E7 stand-up sunbed


While lay-downs offer a horizontal tanning experience, stand-up sunbeds offer a vertical one. These machines are designed with vertical panels that emit UV rays from all angles, ensuring a more extensive exposure to the skin.


How Do Stand-Up Sunbeds Work?

Stand-ups come with lamps that emit UV radiation to produce a tan. As mentioned, these lamps are strategically positioned within the tanning booth to provide an even distribution of UV rays.


Unlike lay-downs, where clients lie flat, stand-up sunbeds allow clients to stand upright during the tanning session. The client enters the booth and positions themselves within the designated tanning area. The vertical design of stand-ups ensures that the UV rays reach the entire body from various angles. This results in a more even and consistent tan than a traditional lay-down.


The Pros and Cons of Stand-Up Sunbeds


  • Even tan: The vertical design of stand-up sunbeds allows for a more even, longer lasting tan since the UV rays reach all areas of the body from multiple angles. Therefore, it helps minimize the risk of uneven tan lines.
  • Freedom of movement: Stand-up sunbeds allow clients to move and adjust their position during the tanning session. This can enhance comfort and allow for a more personalised experience.
  • Hygienic: Stand-up sunbeds eliminate the need for clients to directly contact the tanning surface, reducing the potential for cross-contamination. This can contribute to a more hygienic environment in your salon.



  • Risk of premature ageing and sunburn: It's important to note that prolonged exposure to UV radiation can hasten the skin's ageing process. Ensuring your clients are aware of responsible tanning practices, which include moderation and proper skin care routines, is crucial. Additionally, it's worth noting that stand-up sunbeds can cause sunburn and skin damage if they're misused or used for extended periods.
  • Cost considerations: When adding stand-up sunbeds to your salon, it's important to consider the higher initial cost than lay-down sunbeds. Additionally, consider the ongoing maintenance, lamp replacement, and space required for the tanning booth. These factors should all be carefully weighed before making a decision.


Helionova offers detailed information about each type of sunbed, including their working mechanisms, pros, and cons. As a salon owner, you can rest assured that you're making an informed decision based on your specific requirements.


What Factors to Consider when Choosing a Sunbed

Man working on a white sunbed

Engineer adding acrylic plate to an Ultrasun sunbed


While understanding the different types of sunbeds is essential, there are other important factors to consider when choosing the right sunbed for your beauty salon. Considering these factors will ensure that you select a sunbed that aligns with your business goals, salon space, budget, and customer preferences.


Calculate How Much Space Your Sunbed Needs

When installing a sunbed in your salon, it's crucial to determine the appropriate space required to accommodate the equipment and create a comfortable environment for your clients. This involves considering the size of the equipment and the ceiling height. Let's delve into these factors to ensure you make informed decisions.


Size of the Equipment

The size of the sunbed equipment plays a vital role in selecting the right tanning equipment for your salon. Depending on the type of sunbed, there are variations in the space they require.


For lay-down sunbeds, where clients lie on a flatbed with overhead lamps, an average floor space of 2.7 meters by 2.4 meters is typically necessary. This measurement ensures that the sunbed fits comfortably within your salon while allowing sufficient room for clients to relax during their tanning sessions.


On the other hand, stand-up sunbeds offer a space-efficient alternative, as clients stand upright while surrounded by UV tubes. These sunbeds typically require an average floor space of 1.8 meters wide by 1.8 meters deep and 2.4 meters high. This compact design allows you to maximize the available space in your salon without compromising the quality of your tanning services.


You should also consider the following:

  • Ease of access for clients and staff: Ensure ample clearance around the sunbed facilitates easy entry and exit for clients.
  • Proper ventilation: Lay-down sunbeds generally require a space of 5.7 cubic meters per minute, while stand-up sunbeds typically need 8.5 cubic meters per minute to ensure proper airflow. And thus maintain a pleasant atmosphere within your salon.


Ceiling Height

The ceiling height of your salon is another crucial aspect to consider, particularly when choosing a tanning bed. Different sunbed models have varying height requirements due to their design or additional features.


For lay-down sunbeds, ensure that your salon's ceiling height accommodates the sunbed without any limitations or safety concerns. Some models may have adjustable canopies or other components that require additional headroom. It's recommended to have a ceiling height that allows for comfortable movement and avoids any feeling of confinement.


Stand-up sunbeds also require adequate ceiling height to provide sufficient space for clients to stand upright during their tanning sessions. Verify that the ceiling height of your salon meets the requirements of the stand-up sunbed you are considering.


By carefully considering the size of the equipment and the ceiling height requirements, you can select a sunbed that fits perfectly within the available space in your salon, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable tanning experience for your clients.


Determining Your Budget


Cost of the Equipment

The equipment cost is a significant factor in selecting tanning equipment. You must choose a device that fits your budget while providing high-quality service. Consider both the initial investment cost and the long-term cost of maintenance and replacement parts.


Cost of Maintenance

You'll need to factor in the cost of maintaining the sunbed. Regular maintenance, including lamp replacement and general repairs, is necessary to keep the equipment in optimal condition. Understanding the maintenance requirements and associated costs will help you plan your budget. When purchasing a sunbed from Helionova, you can contact us for servicing and faults.


Cost of Electricity

In a perfect world, we wouldn't need electricity to operate items. However, that future is a bit further away, and unfortunately, you would need to add electricity costs to your budget. Helionova offers a range of energy-efficient sunbeds that can help reduce your salon's operational expenses.


Lease, Rent, or Buy?

When considering the budget for your sunbed, explore the options of leasing, renting, or buying a sunbed. Each option has its advantages, allowing you to choose the most suitable approach based on your financial situation and business needs. Leasing or renting may provide more flexibility, especially for new salon owners, while buying offers long-term ownership and potential cost savings.


Get in Touch


Helionova offers various options, including buying, leasing, and renting, to accommodate different business requirements and financial capabilities. Our team can provide guidance on the most suitable approach for your salon. Visit our Services page for more information on our options and competitive terms.


Check for Special Sunbed Features

Modern sunbeds come with various features designed to enhance the tanning experience and cater to specific customer preferences. Understanding these special features will help you choose a sunbed that aligns with your salon's offerings and attracts a broader customer base.


Consider the following features when selecting a sunbed:

  • Facial Tanners: Some sunbeds include built-in facial tanners that provide targeted UV exposure to the face, allowing for a more even and consistent tan.
  • Cooling Systems: Sunbeds equipped with air conditioning feature to enhance clients' comfort during their tanning sessions.
  • Advanced Control Panels: Look for sunbeds with user-friendly control panels allowing easy time adjustments and other tanning options.
  • Aromatherapy: Certain sunbed models offer breeze and aromatherapy features, allowing clients to enjoy soothing scents during their tanning sessions.


Understanding Your Customers

Understanding your target demographic is crucial when choosing a sunbed for your salon. Consider your clientele's age range, skin types, and preferences. This knowledge will help you select tanning equipment that caters to your customers' specific needs and expectations.


Offering a tailored tanning experience based on your customers' preferences can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.


Choosing the Right Sunbed Supplier

Partnering with a reputable and reliable sunbed supplier is essential to ensure your equipment's quality, durability, and ongoing support. When selecting a supplier, consider the following factors:


  • Experience and expertise: Look for a supplier with extensive experience in the industry, like Helionova, who has been supplying Ultrasun sunbeds since 1977. With over 100 years of combined experience, our well-seasoned team can provide expert advice and guidance to help you make the right choices for your salon.
  • Product range and availability: We offer a diverse range of sunbed models and accessories to suit your salon's specific needs. We have over 40 sunbeds in stock, allowing you to choose the perfect fit for your business.
  • Nationwide installation, service, and support: A reliable supplier should offer comprehensive services, including nationwide installation, ongoing maintenance, and prompt support. Our in-house trained service engineers ensure that your sunbeds are installed correctly and are always in optimal working condition.
  • Flexible options: Look for a supplier that offers flexible options for acquiring sunbeds, such as buying, leasing, or renting. This allows you to choose the most suitable arrangement based on your financial circumstances and business objectives.


Partnering with Helionova gives you access to a trusted and experienced supplier that understands the unique needs of salon owners. Our comprehensive range of services, competitive terms and conditions, and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the ideal choice for your indoor tanning equipment needs.


Get Honest Advice from an Expert

Choosing the right sunbed for your beauty salon is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your business. Helionova has a dedicated team of experts ready to provide tailored advice and guidance based on your specific needs and goals.


Whether you're just starting your tanning salon or looking to upgrade your existing equipment, our team is here to help. With our extensive experience, quality products, and comprehensive support services, we are committed to helping you make an informed choice and thrive in the tanning industry.


To learn more about our services and the range of tanning equipment we offer, contact us at 01603 789 010 or email us at sales@helionova.co.uk. Take the first step toward transforming your tanning salon to new heights with Helionova by your side.

Get in Touch


FAQs Choosing the Right Sunbed


What's the best brand for sunbeds?

The best brand for sunbeds may vary based on individual preferences and specific business requirements. However, Helionova has been supplying Ultrasun sunbeds since 1977, offering a wide range of high-quality sunbeds with excellent performance and durability.


How much space do I need to install a sunbed in my beauty salon?

The space required for a sunbed depends on the specific model and design. It's essential to consider not only the device's dimensions but also provide ample space for customers to move around comfortably and access the bed. Assess your salon's available space and consult with Helionova's experts to determine the ideal sunbed size for your establishment.


What is the initial cost of tanning equipment, and how much does it cost to maintain and repair them?

The initial cost of tanning equipment can vary based on factors such as the type of sunbed, brand, and additional features. Maintenance and repair costs can also vary depending on usage and the specific equipment. Helionova offers competitive pricing options for equipment purchase, lease, or rental. For detailed information on costs and maintenance, consult with our team for a tailored solution.


What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing Tanning Equipment for My Salon?

When choosing tanning equipment, consider factors such as the type of sunbed (lay down or stand-up), available space in your salon, budget, cost of maintenance and electricity, special features, and understanding your target customers' preferences and needs. Working with a reputable supplier like Helionova ensures expert guidance throughout the selection process.