- 1 What Is An Inversion Table?
- 2 Top 10 Inversion Tables On The Market
- 3 Health Benefits of Inversion Therapy
- 4 What’s the Best Inversion Table For Your Budget?
- 4.1 Best Inversion Table Under $100 – Confidence Pro
- 4.2 Best Inversion Table Under $150 – Ironman Gravity 1000
- 4.3 Best Inversion Table Under $200 – Ironman Gravity 3000
- 4.4 Gravity 3000 vs. Gravity 4000 Inversion Tables
- 4.5 Best Inversion Table Under $300 – Ironman iControl 600
- 4.6 Best Inversion Table Over $300 – Teeter EP-960
- 5 Does an Inversion Table Help Lower Back Pain?
- 6 Best Inversion Table Brands
- 7 Top 7 Design Features To Look For
- 8 Inversion Table Risks
- 9 Inversion Table Terminology
Inversion tables can provide a wide range of health benefits, from chronic back pain relief to improved circulation.
But how do you find the best inversion table for your budget?
With so many fitness equipment companies making both manual and motorized inversion tables, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Big name brands like Teeter Hang Ups offer a variety of tables and attachment options, but Exerpeutic and Ironman designs are more affordable.
That’s why we created a guide to the best inversion tables on the market. This includes the bestselling Ironman Gravity 4000, Teeter EP-560, and Best Fitness Inversion Table.
We’ve also created a shortlist of the top inversion tables for home gyms. This is based on customer feedback, review ratings, and how well their design relieves back pain and improves posture.
For more information on any of the tables in this guide, you can also check out our individual inversion table reviews.
What Is An Inversion Table?
An inversion table is usually made of two main components: a comfort bed mounted on an adjustable boom, and the A-frame that supports it.
The comfort level provided by the back support varies depending on the cushioning. Some inversion tables have just half an inch of padding, while others offer 2.5″ of memory foam.
Removable pillows for your head, neck, and lumbar region are an option on some high-end models.
The frame construction also varies by price, but most will include a scratch resistant protective coating to improve durability.
Thickness of the steel used for the frame is often an indicator of the weight capacity. More affordable inversion tables usually support up to 250 lbs, compared to 350 lbs+ for some of the bestsellers.
How To Begin Inversion Therapy
Every inversion table offers some form of secure ankle holder system. This is used to prevent you sliding down the table once the inversion angle goes past 90 degrees.
The adjustable boom also provides you with a range of height settings to help control the weight distribution.
If you have the correct setting, you should be able to invert by slowly raising your arms above your head. Coated safety handles are often available to assist you if needed.
Prices between inversion table brands do vary, but not as significantly as for other forms of fitness equipment. Entry level designs are available for $100, but a Teeter inversion table with all the accessories can cost over $500.
Later in this guide we’ll find the best inversion table for every budget, which includes in-depth reviews of the winners.
Top 10 Inversion Tables On The Market
Finding the best inversion table your home isn’t easy. There’s such a broad range of design features to choose from, ranging from infrared therapy to adjustable starting positions.
That’s why we’ve also shortlisted the top 10 inversion tables for all experience levels and budgets. This is in addition to a full explanation of inversion therapy health benefits.
Our unbiased selection hasn’t been influenced by any single manufacturer. But you may notice a trend towards tables from a couple of the market leaders.
We also have in-depth reviews for each of the tables listed below. Just click on any of the names to discover what we found.
Of course, these aren’t the only inversion table reviews we have on the site. To see some different designs, we also have a useful inversion table comparison table.
Health Benefits of Inversion Therapy
If you suffer from lower back pain (LBP), you’re not alone. In fact, LBP is one of the most common reasons patients visit physicians and emergency rooms across the U.S. In 2008 there were 3.4 million emergency department specifically related to back problems.
The same year also saw 13.6 million U.S. adults suffering from some form of spinal condition. 23.7% of these reported a limitation in physical functioning – a 7% increase from 10 years earlier.
Unfortunately, these numbers are still rising. LBP now affects an estimated 80% of us at some time in our lives.
So, what can you do to prevent and relieve lower back pain? Maybe you’ve considered surgery?
But when procedures like lumbar fusion surgery cost $150000 or more, this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, the cost of treating back pain continues to rise. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found overall treatment costs rose 65% between 1997 and 2005 to $85.9 billion nationally.
The fusion surgery for degenerated discs was sighted as one of the most overused procedures. That’s despite studies showing this is often no better than a comprehensive rehab and exercise program.
Are Inversion Tables Safe?
It’s important to mention that inversion therapy isn’t for everyone. We recommend checking our list of health risks to see if it’s the best choice of therapy for you.
Also, check with a doctor or a licensed physician before including inversion therapy in your back-health program. If you get the all clear, it can provide numerous health benefits.
- Even if you don’t include running in your fitness plan, day-to-day movements can place a strain on your joints.
Regular inversion therapy sessions negate this effect by reversing the force placed on your back when standing, sitting, and exercising.
- Several scientific studies have looked into reducing internal disc pressure in lumbar discs, specifically around the lower back.
One such study was carried out by Nachemson, Alf, et al in 1976. This measured internal disc pressure across a range of activities, including sitting, standing, and reaching down.
The results showed that a traction load of 60% body weight can significantly reduce the residual pressure placed on your lower back while standing.
In other words, you can improve your back health even if you don’t rotate 180 degrees on an inversion table.
- This is one of the most popular health benefits reported by companies that produce inversion therapy tables.
The assumption is that, as you invert, the brain becomes flooded with freshly oxygenated blood. A similar idea is behind the Sirsha-asana Yoga pose (head-stand).
By moving to an inverted position, venous blood flow is encouraged up from the legs and pelvis to the heart. It then gets pumped through the lungs.
- Based on the studies and research papers we’ve read, inversion sessions don’t always guarantee a drop in pulse rate.
A study published in ‘Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism’ in 2009 examined physiological responses to inversion in a seated position.
The same study also looked at neuromuscular response times, which showed a 19.3% decrease in instantaneous strength.
But the key take away here is that heart rate decreased by 12.4%.
However, this study included just 16 subjects, so we started looking for something similar with a larger sample size.
Unfortunately the next study we came across was only slightly larger in size, with 20 participants.
Published in the ‘Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association’, this study looked at how inversion affected the pulse rate of healthy young adults.
After 8 minutes in the inverted position, researchers noticed no significant difference in pulse rate. The sample size included 10 men and 10 women, averaging 23 years old, who weren’t on any medication.
In summary, although there’s evidence to prove that inversion therapy lowers pulse rate, it’s far from conclusive.
Improved joint health
Expands the spine
Increases blood circulation
Lowers pulse rate?
Other Health Benefits Associated With Inversion Therapy
- Nourishing the spinal discs
- Helps in recovering from high intensity workouts
- Counteract the compression of spinal discs caused by gravity and weak stomach muscles
- Can help correct spinal alignment
- Helps with stretching muscles pre and post workout to prevent risk of injury
- Assists lymphatic system for longer workouts with less chance of increase the moisture surrounding connecting tissue and between vertebrae
What’s the Best Inversion Table For Your Budget?
Most home inversion tables follow the same basic design principles. But there are several important differences between price ranges, brands, and individual models.
Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages goes beyond a simple price comparison. It requires in-depth research into both negative and positive reviews.
But with so many designs available, finding the best inversion table for your budget can be time consuming.
That’s why we included a quick guide to the top inversion table in each price range. Each choice is backed by unbiased and extensive reviews.
Our reviews cover everything from the height settings and padding, through to the assembly instructions and warranty coverage.
Best Inversion Table Under $100 – Confidence Pro
Some of the best inversion tables on the market can be found in the $100 to $300 price range.
You can buy inversion products for under $100, but they’re usually gravity boots instead of tables. Something like the GIB2’s from Body Solid, or EZ Up XL version from Teeter Hang Ups.
There’s also no shortage of inversion slings for Yoga poses. But if you’re only interested in inversion tables, most of the time you’re going to need a slightly higher budget.
Occasionally, Best Choice Products have a few designs that will be heavily discounted and fall into this price category. However, it’s usually impossible to find a company selling a good quality inversion table for less than $100.
We did discover one design from Confidence, called their ‘Pro Folding Inversion Table, which was priced just under $100. It also came with an attractive 12 month warranty and 300 lb weight capacity.
Best Inversion Table Under $150 – Ironman Gravity 1000
Without a doubt, this is the most competitive price range for inversion tables.
It doesn’t quite cover Teeter Hang Ups ($300+), but you still have access to some of the best inversion tables from Ironman, Body Max, Innova Fitness, and Exerpeutic.
If our decision was purely based on review count and average rating, we would choose one of the Body Max tables. Each design has well over 700 reviews on Amazon alone.
However, the weight capacity is quite restrictive, at 250 lbs.
For just $20 more, there’s an inversion table with a 300 lb capacity, wider back support, and moulded ankle holders.
That table is the Ironman Gravity 1000, which also includes full-length safety handles. Warranty duration on frame and parts is the same as the Body Max designs.
Product weight is also similar at 46 lbs, so it’s no more difficult to move around.
The only exception would be if you were closer to 4’7″ in height, as the Body Champ IT8070 offers a wider range of height settings than the Gravity 1000.
Best Inversion Table Under $200 – Ironman Gravity 3000
This is another competitive price range, and includes the first inversion tables to offer Infrared Therapy. Infrared can be found on the IFT 1000 from Ironman, and ITM4800 from Innova Fitness.
Sunny Health and Fitness also has an inversion table in this category called the SF-807. But for us, there’s a clear winner.
Ironman have built on the success of their Gravity 1000 model by adding three more designs to the Gravity collection – the 2000, 3000, and 4000.
The Ironman Gravity 3000 is our top choice of inversion therapy table for this category.
Gravity 3000 vs. Gravity 4000 Inversion Tables
The price for the 3000 and 4000 models varies throughout the year, but at time of writing, they cost between $190 and $200. The Gravity 4000 being the slightly higher priced of the two.
Both tables offer the patented ratchet system for the ergonomically cushioned ankle holders, have the same 350 lb capacity, same 2.5-inch thick foam padding, 180-degree inversion range, and warranty coverage.
So what is there to separate them?
The Gravity 3000 has handles attached to the base frame, for deeper stretching and more control over the inversion rate.
In our opinion, this stretching brings more health benefits than the removable lumbar pillow that accompanies the Gravity 4000. However, this is very much down to personal preference, and priority may change based on your own reasons for inverting.
Best Inversion Table Under $300 – Ironman iControl 600
The $200 to $300 price range features more premium inversion tables, but with less choice than the more affordable designs.
Ironman live up to their reputation for high quality inversion tables, with their upgraded IFT 4000 Infrared Therapy table. But we’re also starting to see some variation in design and locking system.
The Body Power IT9910 is an excellent example, and one of the only seated inversion systems available. It starts you off in a seated position, then converts to a flat-bed design as you invert.
Teeter Hang Ups products are also featured, with their EP560 inversion table and the more affordable Teeter 700ia.
But it’s a collection from Ironman that we’re interested in, specifically their iControl range.
The iControl 500 and iControl 600 in particular offer some of the best high-density padding in the industry, at 2.75″. You also have a stretching bar fitted to the rear frame and a competitive 300 lb capacity.
The ankle holder features an innovative design that helps distribute weight more evenly and prevent discomfort. This is in addition to the extra-length handle, which reduces lower back strain when bending down to lock and release.
But it’s the disk brake inversion control system that really makes the iControl inversion tables stand out.
Being able to securely lock the inversion angle without having to step off and adjust safety straps is a major advantage. It’s also a clear benefit if you want to combine inversion therapy with abdominal exercises.
Best Inversion Table Over $300 – Teeter EP-960
This is a price range where Ironman still have a few unique designs, such as their ATIS collection. These inversion tables use a rotation braking system that’s similar to the iControl 600.
But once you get over $300, Teeter Hang Ups becomes the dominant name in top-of-the-line inversion table design.
Teeter have four main models to choose from: EP-550, EP-560, EP-950, and EP-960.
The EP-960 is our top choice for this price range, as it includes their EZ-reach Ankle System. It also features full-length side handles, to help you control the rotation and return to an upright position.
Having a handle built into the base of the frame encourages deeper muscle stretching, while Teeter’s EZ Tether Strap is great for limiting the inversion range.
As with the other Teeter Hang Ups tables, the EP-960 is compatible with a range of accessories. This includes their Acupressure Nodes and Lumbar Bridge, which can often be purchased with the table in a package deal.
The solid steel frame supports a weight capacity of 300 lbs and a height range of 4’8″ to 6’6″. A 5-year manufacturer’s warranty is also one of the best in the industry.
Does an Inversion Table Help Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common reasons to visit a physician in the U.S. It’s also one of the most frequent causes of absenteeism from work.
LBP is usually caused by poor sitting posture, sitting for extended periods, heavy lifting, or frequently bending down. This can lead to a number of related health problems, such as bulging discs and reduced mobility.
So how much can an inversion table help relieve lower back pain?
One randomized controlled study was carried out by Mastercare, and published by Lennart Dimberg PhD, and Lars-Göran Josefsson PhD.
The sample size was 116 people with a study duration of 12 months. Participants were assigned to two training groups and a control group:
- Group 1: Inversion for 10 minutes, once per day.
- Group 2: Inversion for 10 minutes, twice per day.
- Control group: No inversion.
After 12 months, people in the first two groups had decreased sick days due to back pain by 33%.
Best Inversion Table Brands
With each review, we try to keep our assessment of inversion therapy tables as unbiased and balanced as possible. This means highlighting any issues, in addition to the benefits.
We also accept no paid endorsements from any brands, and review each product based on its own merits.
That being said, there are always going to be companies with a larger product catalog than others. This is why you may notice more reviews for inversion tables from Ironman and Teeter Hang Ups.
We currently hold inversion table reviews for:
- Innova Fitness
- Body Max
- Health Mark
Top 7 Design Features To Look For
Before deciding which inversion table to buy, we wanted to share with you our 10-point checklist that we use in each of our inversion table reviews.
If you find a table we haven’t reviewed yet, this should help you assess the quality and make informed comparisons.
If you’re anything like us, your inversion therapy sessions won’t involve a spotter. That’s why safety is the first thing we check when reviewing any new inversion table.
So what do you look for if you want to guarantee your safety, even at full inversion?
Anything that limits the inversion angle and rotation speed is a good place to start. Make sure the inversion table you buy has a safety bar, tether cord, or locking mechanism, like the Ironman iControl.
You also want to consider the length of the safety handles. Teeter favor shorter handles on their more affordable inversion tables, whereas the EP950 and EP-960 handles are full length.
Warranty coverage can be a useful indicator of the overall build quality, but this isn’t particularly reliable. There are many bestselling designs with comparatively short warranties.
Comfort and Cushioning
Most inversion therapy sessions won’t last very long. Between 8 and 10 minutes is recommended, but it’s still important to be as comfortable as possible.
The density of the cushioning on the back support varies greatly, and is dependent on the brand and price.
For entry level tables, you could have just 0.75″ thick padding. But for top-of-the-line models, you could enjoy up to 2.5″ of memory foam.
But it’s not all about the foam.
Teeter Hang Ups inversion tables only have padding on the head support. Their flexible ComforTrak Bed is what keeps you comfortable, and compensates for any change in weight distribution.
A thicker cushion is better for pure inversion therapy, whereas thinner cushioning is better for locking tables like Teeter’s. This means you have a solid back support to press against during ab workouts.
We’ve seen very few complaints in the inversion table reviews relating to an uncomfortable back support. However, the ankle holders are a different story.
Check the model you’re interested in to see if it uses ergonomically moulded ankle cushions, or more generic foam rollers.
Size Of The Footprint
Teeter produce some of the most compact inversion tables on the market, but they’re premium designs that aren’t suitable for all budgets.
Due to their A-frame design, it’s not difficult to find a folding inversion table. You just might have to remove some of the parts to do so.
Ironman are an excellent example, where each table can be folded down within seconds (except their ATIS collection). Unfortunately, they aren’t freestanding when you pull the A-frame together. The ankle holders also stick out slightly, even at the shortest height setting.
In most cases, you have to compromise on the folded footprint to get the best value for money.
Fixed-frame inversion tables, like the Ironman ATIS, will always provide the best stability. But even at 90-degree inversion, you’re unlikely to encounter any issues with the tables we review on this site.
The width and length of the footprint is enough to prevent any unwanted movement, but on hard floors it also helps to have some form of traction built into the base.
More affordable designs from Body Max won’t offer the same thickness of rubber feet as the Ironman Gravity collection, but should still be more than adequate in most situations.
Height and Weight Limits
The inversion process works around a simple fulcrum design – a point on which the adjustable boom section is supported and around which it pivots.
But if you plan on using the steeper inversion angles and have maximum control over the speed of rotation, you’ll want to get the weight distribution exactly right.
It’s relatively easy to find tables that support a height range of between 4’10” and 6’6″, and body weights of between 250 lbs and 350 lbs. If you’re too far outside of these parameters you might want to reconsider inversion tables and opt for gravity boots or an inversion chair instead.
Ideally you should be able to find a height setting where simply raising your hands above your head starts the rotation.
If you’ve shopped around for fitness equipment in the past, warranty coverage was likely to be something you used in your comparisons.
It’s a factor in our reviews too, but for inversion tables you should expect something a little different to a treadmill or elliptical.
Top-of-the-line machines in those categories will usually carry lifetime warranties, at least on the frame and potentially the parts as well.
For inversion tables you’ll usually be looking at 1 year on the frame and 90 days n parts for entry level designs. Some of the premium tables from Teeter will offer a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty, but we’re yet to come across any that offer something longer.
There aren’t many points of failure so we’re not sure why the warranty period is comparatively short, but it’s something worth bearing in mind when doing your research.
Stretch Handles or Bar?
Modern inversion therapy tables have a wide range of uses. As well as supporting inversion therapy and abdominal workouts, some designs also have a stretch bar or stretch handles fitted to the rear frame.
Although they can also be used to assist your return to an upright position, their main benefit is allowing deeper stretching of your back and shoulder muscles, as well as your abs, obliques, and intercostals.
Inversion Table Risks
These risks aren’t so much related to the inversion table, as they are to the inverted position itself.
As with any fitness equipment, there’s the potential for worn components to affect the safe operation of your inversion table. That’s why we recommend checking the bolts and safety strap on a regular basis.
However, basic equipment failure is incredibly rare, and we haven’t come across any reviews that had issues during the inversion. This is helped by having very few ‘wear’ parts, resulting in a low level of ongoing maintenance.
There are, however, several health warnings relating to inversion that are worth taking into consideration.
Unsafe Rise in Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Sports Physical Therapy back in 1986 measured changes in spinal disc alignment and blood pressure using a Gravity Gym and Gravity Boots (both inversion devices).
After subjects were inverted in the devices for a period of 7 minutes, researchers found their heart rate decreased and blood pressure increased an average of 20 mm Hg for both systems.
The conclusion of the study was that inversion is an effective means of spinal traction but isn’t something that’s suitable for all patients due to the elevated blood pressure.
It’s important to check with your doctor before starting any new inversion program, even if you’re only inverted for a few minutes each day.
Rise in Eye Pressure (Glaucoma)
The Glaucoma Research Foundation has also highlighted the need to inform your doctor of any inversion exercise which results in a head-down position for an extended period of time.
This advice isn’t unique to inversion tables (also applies to yoga poses such as headstands and shoulder stands), and is recommended for any Glaucoma patient.
A report was published in 1985 in the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ by Thomas R. Friberg, M.D., and Robert N. Weinred, M.D. which looked into the effects of inversion tables on the eyes.
Specifically, researchers measured intraocular pressure in the eye, which they found more than doubled during inversion. While this in itself doesn’t represent an issue, if you already have an eye disorder like Glaucoma then you should probably take an eye exam and check if it’s safe for you to use inversion tables as a form of lower back pain relief.
Although there have been several smaller studies like these, we’re still waiting to see the long-term effects of inversion on the optic nerve head measured across a larger sample size.
Rise in Ear Pressure
This is a similar concern to the one we mentioned above, relating to increased pressure in the eyes (intraocular).
Intracranial ear pressure during inversion is something that you occasionally see mentioned as a concern surrounding inversion tables.
But in reality we haven’t come across a single scientific study that backs this up with any evidence. That being said, it’s certainly worth bearing in mind, and is a contraindication that Teeter highlight on their own website and in their product manuals.
Inversion Table Terminology
- Safety tether cord
Inversion tables use one of three controls to restrict the inversion range; tether cord, braking gear, and safety bar.
The tether cord is the most common, which is an adjustable strap that connects the underside of the bed to the front of the frame.
- Gravity boots
Also available as a stand-alone inversion device, these are just one of the attachment options available for the Teeter Hang Ups inversion tables.
- Braking gear
Another method of restricting the inversion angle, but offers much more control than the safety tether cord.
Seen on tables in the Ironman iControl collection amongst others, this allows you to lock and release the adjustable boom at the desired angle without having to stand up.
This is the best type of inversion table for anyone that wants to combine ab workouts with their inversion sessions.
- Acupressure nodes
Another accessory for the Teeter Hang Ups ComforTrak system, these adjustable nodes allow pin-point placement for a shiatsu style massage while you invert.
- Gravitational traction
Used to describe the hanging upside down suspension that forms the basis of inversion therapy. Often used to assist with widening of the intervertebral space in patients with lumbar disc herniation and disc degeneration.
- Roller hinges
If you discover an inversion therapy table with adjustable starting positions, they will usually be fitted with roller hinges.
They’re positioned on either side of the back support, and can be used to influence the weight distribution, making the inversion process easier or more difficult depending on the placing.