Inversion tables are a great way to relieve lower back pain and neck pain. Getting an escape from chronic back pain can tremendously improve your quality of life. Studies have found that using an inversion table can drastically lower the need for surgery, too.
This method of spinal decompression is non-invasive as well and an alternative for people looking to avoid the side effects and reliance on pain relief medication. Let’s talk about the key features to consider when choosing the best inversion table for your specific needs.
Key Considerations for Inversion Tables
An inversion table is an investment in your health. You’re looking at a piece of equipment that can last up to a decade. With that in mind, for most people it’s very much worth paying more for a higher quality inversion table than going for the cheapest one on the market.
That being said if cost is a prohibitive factor, you can still get a cheaper inversion table that will give you the health benefits you need.
Most inversion tables are adjustable to fit your height, but only work for a certain height range. The best inversion tables will fit 99% of the population, but if you are particularly tall or short, you’ll want to make sure to find an inversion table that is labeled for your height.
The same goes for weight. Most inversion tables can support up to 300 lbs, while some go up to 350 lbs. Beyond that weight it’s usually not advised to use an inversion table as it may be too much weight to safely decompress the spine.
Inversion Table Features
Inversion tables come with a variety of different that may be worth paying more for, depending on your needs.
- Angle locking lets you choose just how inverted the table will get. If you don’t like the feeling of 180 degrees (completely on your head), you may prefer a more gradual angle that isn’t as extreme.
- Massage, acupuncture, and heat pads boost circulation to help transport nutrients to back muscles. This heals muscles and reduces pain.
Since you’ll most likely be inverting on a daily basis you need a table that’s comfortable to use. The best inversion tables address comfort in a number of ways
- Table padding – while a padded table may sound more comfortable, that isn’t always the case. A padded table can actually make the table less effective because you sink down into the material (unless you’re inverted 180 degrees) which means less decompression.
- Ankle Locks – the ankle locking system is what matters the most when it comes to comfort. Poorly designed ankle locks and pinch the skin around your ankle and put too much pressure in one spot. High-quality ankle holders are more adjustable and mold to the shape of your ankles for maximum security and comfort.
- Adjustable headrest – this can improve stability and spinal posture while inverting less than 180 degrees and make things more comfortable when moving in and out of inversion.
The Best Inversion Tables
Best Overall Inversion Table | Teeter FitSpine X3 Inversion Table
Height: 4ft 8in – 6ft 6in Weight: 300 lbs / 136 kg
- Most highly adjustable ankle support system on the market
- Extending ankle lock/unlock handle for less back strain
- Folds easily for storage (folded dimensions 20″ deep x 29″ wide x 66″ tall)
- Acupressure nodes can help reduce tension in the back or be removed
- Can be locked in full inversion to be used for abdominal workouts
- Fast and easy assembly – arrives 85% assembled
- Soft, flexible frame to adjust to your body
- The only FDA-Registered inversion table on the market
- One of the heavier tables at ~74 lbs
- Our most expensive inversion table option
- X3 PREMIUM FEATURES: Extra-long, aerospace-grade stainless steel ankle lock handle for easy securing. Stretch Assist and Traction Handles for added stretching options and assistance. Acupressure Nodes provide trigger-point release while Lumbar Bridge supports and focuses traction on the lower back. EZ-Angle tether features preset markings at 20, 40, and 60 degrees.
- UNMATCHED COMFORT & SUPPORT: FlexTech Bed with 8-point floating suspension system moves with you for greater range of motion and allows for maximum body slide for better decompression. Grip-and-Stretch Handholds in the bed and frame for added stretching options. Patented wrap-around ankle cups for comfortable, ergonomic fit.
- PRECISION ROTATION FOR TOTAL CONTROL: It's easy to do - simple arm movements shift your body weight so you can effortlessly invert and return to the upright position. Easily adjusts to any angle with optional lock-out in full inversion.
- TRUST TEETER: UL 3rd-Party Safety Certification; Heavy-gauge steel parts with patented security features; 5-Year Full Warranty; Frustration-Free Assembly with Getting Started DVD; Free TeeterLink App; 37-Year Legacy; 300 lb, 4ft 8in- 6ft 6 in user capacity.
- FDA REGISTERED: Teeter Inversion Tables are the ONLY registered with the FDA as a 510(k) medical device. The Teeter is indicated for back pain, muscle tension and spasm, herniated disc, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, spinal degenerative joint disease, spinal stenosis, spinal curvature due to tight muscles and facet syndrome.
Teeter is the biggest name in the inversion table industry and it’s clear they take their products seriously! While their tables are at the top end of the market, you really do get what you pay for when buying a FitSpine inversion table.
The biggest indicator that Teeter makes the best inversion tables is they went through the time and effort to get it registered as an FDA medical device. The FitSpine is registered helping with the following health conditions – relief of back pain, sciatica, herniated discs, muscle tension and spasm, degenerative disc disease, spinal degenerative joint disease, spinal curvature due to tight muscles, spinal stenosis and facet syndrome.
Comfort and safety are given top priority with the Teeter FitSpine X3, so you don’t have to worry about ankle pain during use or feeling unstable. Everything is engineered to be the best in class from patented ankle closures and precision balancing of the table. Simply put, if the FitSpine X3 doesn’t work for you then no inversion table will.
The FitSpine X3 is our #1 pick for the best inversion table you can buy.
Best Cheap Inversion Table | Innova Heavy Duty Inversion Table
Height: 4ft 10in – 6ft 6in Weight: 300 lbs / 136 kg
- Most affordable option
- Headrest pad is adjustable
- 6 locking positions for adjusting maximum inversion angle
- Lumbar support pad
- Doesn’t fold for storage
- Not the most secure ankle locks
- Material Type: Foam
- Sport Type: Excercise & Fitness
Boasting ten thousand plus reviews on amazon probably means this is one of the best selling inversion tables on the market. There aren’t any real bells and whistles to boast of and it can’t be folded easily for storage which is the biggest downside we see.
It does have heavy-duty steel tubes and with 75% of users giving it a 5-star review, it must be getting the job done for the money. If you want a cheap inversion table, look no further.
Best Inversion Table With Massage | Health Gear ITM5500 Advanced Technology Inversion Table
Height: 5ft 1in – 6ft 5in Weight: 300 lbs / 136 kg
- Foldable for storage
- Removable massage and heating pad
- 4 adjustable angles plus full inversion
- Foam roller ankle locks
- Too much padding and rounded spine area may feel unstable for some people
- Ergonomically designed 4 inch memory-style foam backrest with contour fit for extra comfort and support
- Removable, remote controlled multifunction therapeutic full back heat and vibrating massage pad
- Sur-lock easy in/out ankle support system with 4 adjustable oversized high density foam leg rollers to prevent calf pinching
- Extra long locking arm to minmize back bending when entering and exiting the table
- Easy height adjustor and 4 position (20/40/60/90) side inversion pin system
The Health Gear ITM 5500 has a sporty look that gives off a racing seat vibe. There are two main highlights for the Health Gear ITM 5500. Firstly, the inviting 3 inch foam padding backrest makes it softer than the average inversion table. Also, the heat and massage/vibration pad which runs along the spine.
While the extra foam padding is a benefit if you want to lay in a more neutral or flat position, it may not let your spine decompress as much while inverting since you since into the table more. If you want an inversion table that the primary benefit is the heat/massage to help soothe sore back muscles, this may be the perfect choice for you.
The heating pad boosts circulation to help your body repair your muscles with the necessary tissue. The massage can help relax your muscles, improve range of motion, and help with insomnia.
Best Inversion Table for Elderly/Safety | Innova ITX9800 Inversion Therapy Table
Height: 4ft 10in – 6ft 6in Weight: 300 lbs / 136 kg
- Torso harness for increased safety
- Adjustable headrest
- Great ankle locks with long, easy-reach handle
- No lumbar pad
- Patented (US 10, 105, 276 B2) straps to provide extra comfort for your legs, ankles and feet
- Six (6) position adjustable pin system with added patent pending protective cover for easy positioning and safer inverting over strap Systems
- True balance System for easy inverting with ergonomically ankle holding System
- Adjustable headrest pad with large and comfortable padded backrest
- Accommodates users 4ft-10in to 6ft-6in with a 300 lbs. Weight capacity
The ITX9800 is the safest inversion therapy table which can be especially important if you’re an elderly inversion table user. There’s a true balance system in place that can find your center of gravity to help you ease into your desired angle.
Headrest and backrest are large and wide, making it easier to stay balanced. The harness system allows you to stay safe and secure while operating the table. There are also extended handles to make it easier to grab on to the frame at any point in the inversion process.
Best Heavy Duty Inversion Table | HARISON Inversion Table
Height: 4ft 8in – 6ft 5in Weight: 350 lbs / 136-158 kg
- Highest weight capacity at 350 lbs
- Not foldable for storage
- Newer brand with fewer reviews
- Heaviest table at 83 lbs
- 【HEAVY DUTY NVERSION THERAPY TABLE】: Exclusive design, Refuse plagiarism. Commercial grade material and integrated steel frame make the headstand feet up chair especially stable and durable. High quality memory foam for 3D backrest make the it stand out in the inversion equipment competition, Ergonomics design fully fit your waist curve
- 【UNMATCHED SECURITY AND DURABILITY】:Thickening steel pipe main frame make the table stable and durable. Precision chuck buckle and safety lock Pin system are double securities for safety when inverting,True balance design, Safety belt, non-slip nuts, protective pedal cover, sponge foot cover, and extended secure handles are double securities for safety. is the third safeguard to help you enjoy the smoothest and most comfortable inversion experience. Best fitness Gift
- 【BEST PAIN RELIEF INVERISON MACHINE Easily to 4 angle position, even fully 180 degree vertical inversion, you can use this inversion therapy table according your own needs to relief your lower back pain, Sciatica, neck pain, spine decompression, hang upside down stretching, losing weight and anti-gravity beauty training, release the pressure, keep you away from the back pain or ibuprofen, enjoy your good dream.
- 【300-350 LBS HIGH CAPACITY】Product weight 83 LBS, Much heavier and sturdy than others. Adjustable height for 4.8"- 6.5" .It's easy to do shift your body weight with just simple arm movements for easy return to the upright position.
- WHAT YOU GET: 30 days return, 12months free replacment. 75" x 28" x 55" for product size, 83 lbs for weight, 100% satisfy if any issue.
The Harison Inversion Table is a safety juggernaut. It comes with secure footholds, a non-slip mat, and easy-access handles in close reach. Harison’s sturdy steel frame table will not move or budge if you don’t want it to, thanks to it’s triangular frame design. You can dodge the hassle of assembling the table, by ordering it pre-assembled for an additional fee.
The Harrison Inversion Table’s memory-foam backrest supports the neck and back with it’s ergonomic design. It’s sponge padding is able to hug your body for added comfort and stability. Harison designed the table to be used for pain relief, exercise and other health-related reasons.
Best Inversion Table Alternative | Stamina Inline Traction Control System
Height: N/A Weight: 250Ibs / 113kg
- Aligns spine with shoulder and hips for improved posture
- Prevents joint pain
- Comfortably padded chest pad and handles to keep your body secured
- Requires limited mobility from user
- Good for people with health conditions (e.g. high blood pressure)
- Not as effective as inversion tables
- Can’t be folded for storage
- Helps maintain mobility and provides relief from some forms of back pain
- Comfortable padded chest pad, handles, and arms rolls keep you secure
- Correctly aligns your spine, shoulders, and hips
- The Sturdy steel frame construction can support up to 250 lbs.
- Assembled size: 34 long x 23 wide x 38 tall Inches
Stamina Inline Traction System is a reliable way to get back pain relief. It’s a great solution for those that don’t feel comfortable being fully inverted.
This device is an excellent way of getting relief from your back pain. A solution for individuals who are uncomfortable or incapable of kneeling or using mats to start their treatment. Although the device is effective for back pain it’s often recommended to people that are trying to maintain their mobility in the long term as well.
Best Lightweight Inversion Table | Body Vision Inversion Table
Height: 5ft 1in – 6ft 6in Weight: 250 lbs
- Lightweight at just 47 lbs
- Adjustable lumbar support pad
- Folding design with wheels
- Lighter weight capacity than other inversion tables
- Foam roller ankle locks don’t feel very secure
Body Vision’s inversion table is a lightweight table that’s received high praise. The 47 lb machine can support up to 250 lbs, making it a good option for those who want to frequently move their table or even transport it.
- Premium upholstered memory-style foam backrest 44" x 18" x 2" (longer & wider) with removeable headrest pillow
- Removeable, lumbar support pad can be adjusted to target lower, middle, upper back, shoulders and neck
- Sur-lock easy in/out ankle support system with 4 adjustable high-density foam leg rollers to prevent calf pinching
- Easy height selector and 4 position (20/40/60/90) side inversion pin system
- Accommodates users 5'1" to 6'6" with a 250 lb. weight capacity
How to Use An Inversion Table
An inversion table may look like a scary thing to get started with, but these devices have been around for decades and are generally very safe to use. You can usually get the hang of it within a few minutes.
Set Up Your Inversion Table
First, adjust the table to your height and ensure that the table is rated to handle your weight. For most of the best inversion tables, the limit is 300 lbs. Your head should be able to rest back against the table and not dangle over the edge.
If your table has a setting to prevent the table from going past a certain inversion setting and you’d like to use it, make that adjustment before stepping onto the table.
Strap Your Feet In
The exact instructions may vary slightly but you lock your feet to the table the same general way.
Start with your feet inside of the ankle locks on the footrests with your butt against the table, but leaning your chest forward over your feet.
Secure your feet following the table’s instructions. Most have some sort of adjustable locking mechanism that you can lock into place so it fits just right around your ankle. If you feel tingling, pain, or losing sensation/circulation in your feet then you may need to loosen the ankle holders.
When you’re ready, lean your back onto the table, keeping your arms down to the side or holding onto any grips on the table. You should slowly find the table tilting back, putting you in a completely parallel position to the floor as if you’re just laying in bed.
If it’s your first time using an inversion table, you may just want to hang out here for a bit. You’ll notice little movements of your arms will tilt the table back and forth, but if you hold a steady position the table will stay in place.
Whenever you are ready, you can begin by bringing one arm back behind your head. This should get you pretty well inverted! If you’d like to go for full inversion, bring your other arm behind your head as well. Whenever you wish to return to your start spot, move your hands back down by your waist.
While inverted, take deep breaths. Inhale through the nose and out through your mouth as you hanging. This breathing technique promotes blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Your muscles will start to relax and you’ll be able to decompress the spine, back, and neck more fully.
How Long Should You Use an Inversion Table For?
According to a study by LJ Nosse, inverting makes your muscles relax within 10 seconds. Teeter recommends beginners to start off with one minute, and then work their way up to 5 minutes or more. The most important thing is to listen to your body and not try to push yourself too much.
How Does an Inversion Table Help for Sciatica and Lower Back Pain?
Symptoms of lower back pain and sciatica can be relieved using inversion tables. Inversion therapy reverses the effects of gravity to naturally stretch out your spine.
A 2012 study from England showed that inversion therapy coupled with physical therapy is effective for treating sciatica pain from misaligned spinal discs. It also reduced the need for back surgery significantly.
Benefits of Inversion Table on Back Pain and Problems
Inversion therapy works by decompressing the spine. When you’re standing gravity pushes down on (compresses) your spine downward. This compresses your vertebral structures, spinal discs, and nerves along with other structures. The best inversion tables help relieve the compression by temporarily decompressing the spine, allowing nutrients to flow in and provides relief at any pinching of nerves and discs.
While inversion tables are remedy for many back issues, it’s not recommended for those with a lumbar instability(i.e. spinal fractures or spondylolisthesis)
Back conditions that can be treated with inversion therapy:
- Herniated disc
- General lower back pain
- General neck pain
- Pinched nerves
- Muscle spasms and tension
- Degenerative disc or joint disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Facet syndrome (arthritic condition)
Additional health benefits of inversion therapy:
- Prevents stress and depression
- Helps improve Insomnia symptoms
- Improves circulation
- Joint pain relief
- Speeds up workout recovery
- Improves mental clarity
- Creativity boost
- Aids digestion
Will an Inversion Table Make You Taller?
An inversion table can make you a tiny bit taller, but only temporarily.
When you wake up in the morning, you’re actually slightly taller than you will be when you go to bed after walking around or sitting all day. That’s because gravity spends all day compressing the cartilage in your joints and spine.
Since gravity spends all day working to compress your spine and make you smaller, when you hop on an inversion table, gravity does the opposite since you’re upside down. It pulls the spine to be longer, which can help you recover some of that height.
This will only be temporary though, since you eventually have to get right-side up again and gravity will be compression, making you a bit shorter as the days goes on.