The 7 Best Inversion Tables of 2021

These easy-to-use machines may help relieve back pain

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First Look

Best for Back Pain: Innova ITX9600 Inversion Table at Amazon

"You have multiple foot security options with the ITX96000 and you can find your center of gravity with ease due to the variety of customizable features."

Best for Neck Pain: Harison Heavy Duty Inversion Table at Amazon

"The rest is specifically aimed to help the benefits of inversion, hugging your body’s natural contours to allow for added comfort and pain relief."

Best With Massage: Innova Massage Inversion Table at Amazon

"This adjustable, rectangular pad both massages your back and applies heat to wherever you need it."

Most Secure: Exerpeutic Inversion Table at Amazon

"Unlike most inversion tables, this SURELOCK and AIRSOFT table has extra security when you’re inverted."

Best Yoga Swing: UpCircleSeven Aerial Yoga Swing at ubuy.co.th

"The UpCircleSeven swing can hold up to 550 pounds, is triple-stitched for security, and features handles for easier inversion."

Best Heavy Duty: IRONMAN Gravity 4000 at Amazon

"The IRONMAN name lets you known this is designed for serious athletes, but it can be a great choice for anyone."

Best With Heat: Health Gear Advanced Inversion Table at Amazon

"The heat may be the focus of this table, but it truly delivers all of the best features needed for inversion therapy."

Advil and Tylenol don't always do the trick when it comes to back pain relief. And if you've ever injured your back (or suffer from chronic back pain) you know that it can be immobilizing. Inversion therapy, or the use of inversion tables, is a non-medicated form of pain relief that involves flipping your body upside down to relieve pressure from the bones, joints, and discs in the low back. This is thought to decrease back pain by creating a traction force through the spine.

While inversion tables can be a great way to naturally relieve pain, there are a few potential risks to know about before you reach for your credit card. For one, it's important to find a table that has strong, durable ankle support straps, as it's possible to fall while using them. If you have high blood pressure, you should ask your doctor if it's safe for you to try inversion therapy. Flipping upside down could create unnecessary pressure in the eyes or a rise in heart rate.

If you've talked to your doctor and want to give inversion therapy a try, here are some of the best machines on the market that are worth seeing.

Our Top Picks

Best for Back Pain: Innova ITX9600 Inversion Table

Innova ITX9600 Inversion Table

Courtesy of Amazon

Popular and well-reviewed, it’s hard to find anyone who has something bad to say about the Innova ITX9600 Inversion Table. One of the overall best inversion tables on the market today, the ITX9600 table is ideal for people looking to treat back pain.

The ITX9600 has a large, padded backrest and headrest for when you invert. The equipment boasts six different positional options, ideal for people of different heights and needs. The sturdy metal system includes ergonomic handholds, reversible ankle holding blocks and an adjustable headrest. The True Balance system makes it nearly effortless to invert and to do so safely—none of the dangers of a messy strap system. You have multiple foot security options with the ITX96000 and you can find your center of gravity with ease due to the variety of customizable features.

The ITX9600 inversion table is just the thing to quickly and comfortably invert with ease. It can help you feel that relief from back pain by allowing the compression to stop. The reasonably priced table can be purchased with or without assembly. 

Best for Neck Pain: Harison Heavy Duty Inversion Table

Although commonly used for back pain, some use inversion tables to help with neck pain. By applying the same principle that gravity is a force that acts on your spine and helps compress your discs, using an inversion table can similarly help reduce pain in the neck and upper back. The Harrison Heavy Duty Inversion Table is a great option to specifically treat neck pain and generally see many of the advantages of a quality inversion table.

The Harison inversion table is made with a memory foam 3D backrest that supports both the back and neck with an ergonomic design. The rest is specifically aimed to help the benefits of inversion, hugging your body’s natural contours to allow for added comfort and pain relief. The table can invert anywhere from 20 degrees to a full 180 degrees. Harison explains that this table can be used for pain, relief, exercise, and many other health-related purposes.

In addition to all of the comfortable characteristics, this inversion table also sports a number of safety features. The table includes a safety belt, secure and covered footholds, easy-access handles, a non-slip mat, and a sturdy, steel frame. The stable machine won’t move unless you want it to and the peg-based adjustable inversion system is easy to use but won’t slip. This table is available assembled with an added cost. 

Best With Massage: Innova ITM4800 Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Table

Many bodily aches and pains cannot be easily cured. Unlike a broken bone that heals itself with rest, an achy back or neck often takes a variety of imperfect approaches. Inversion is one such option, heat and massage are others. The Innova ITM4800 Inversion Table combines them all into one device that might just be the thing to deliver your relief.

With many of the functions of a standard inversion table, what sets the ITM4800 apart is the lumbar pad. This adjustable, rectangular pad both massages your back and applies heat to wherever you need it. The pad is attached to the foam and vinyl back pad for a convenient comfort.

In addition to the heated lumbar pad, the inversion table sports an adjustable headrest, leg extension, and the ergonomic ankle-holding system. The table has six inversion options with an easy-to-use pin system. The entire system is sturdy with steel legs and sports oversized handles for easy maneuverability. 

Most Secure: Exerpeutic Inversion Table with SURELOCK and AIRSOFT

If the purpose of an inversion table is to reduce the pressure of the impact of gravity on your body, then it’s important to feel relaxed and secure while you’re upside down. How can you reduce pressure on your back if you’re tense from fear of falling on your head? Luckily, the Exerpeutic Inversion Table takes security to the highest level with the large and comfortable AIRSOFT holder ankle straps.

Unlike most inversion tables, this SURELOCK and AIRSOFT table has extra security when you’re inverted. The SURELOCK ankle locking system uses two palm-activated adjustable ratchet-tooth locks to secure your feet in place before you go upside down. Additionally, the AIRSOFT locking system covered the original SURELOCK ratchet locks with air-tight padding to cover large portions of your leg and ankles for a firm grip. It’s more secure and more comfortable.

In addition to the extra security of this model, the inversion table also has a removable lumbar pillow, full loop handlebars, 165-degree inversion, and an adjustable rear crossbar with three inversion positions.

Best Yoga Swing: UpCircleSeven Aerial Yoga Swing

Upcircleseven aerial yoga swing set
Courtesy of Amazon.

Inversion tables are an excellent way to experience inversion therapy, but they are far from the only ways. Some of the most popular alternatives are yoga swings. These more rope-like devices are better for small spaces, often less expensive, and may allow people to do more versatile workouts. The UpCircleSeven Aerial Yoga Swing is one of the best options on the market when it comes to popularity, price, quality, and satisfaction.

Unlike an inversion table, which looks like a standard piece of workout equipment, a yoga swing is more of a series of connected fabrics that hang from a structure and allow inverted activity. The UpCircleSeven swing can hold up to 550 pounds, is triple-stitched for security, and features handles for easier inversion.

Able to be hung from a beam in your home or a tree outside, this parachute material swing allows for a range of exercises in addition to standard inversion. This swing is available in black, blue, orange, pink, purple, and green and comes with a user guide. However, mounting equipment does need to be purchased separately.

Best Heavy Duty: IRONMAN Gravity 4000

Inversion therapy is popular for people of all types. However, larger people may have trouble fitting on some tables. Many have a maximum height only around six feet and others have low weight limits.

The IRONMAN branded Gravity 4000 is designed for larger inverters. With a maximum height of six-foot-six-inches and a weight limit at 350 pounds, this table can invert a large, strong athlete without issue.

In addition to its extra size and strength, the IRONMAN Gravity 4000 has several other nice features people will enjoy. The adjustable lumbar support is a nice touch for people looking to soothe their back pain with inversion.

Additionally, the palm-activated ratchet ankle locking system gives you peace of mind when you’re going upside down regardless of your weight. The ankle system also sports an ergonomic design. The table can invert a whole 180 degrees and is made of steel, foam, and PVC. The IRONMAN name lets you known this is designed for serious athletes, but it can be a great choice for anyone.

Best With Heat: Health Gear Advanced Technology Inversion Table

Some doctors believe that inversion therapy can help reduce muscle spasms in the back and reduce pressure on the nerves in the short term. Another proven method to help soothe back spasms is applying heat to the area. The Health Gear Advanced Technology Inversion Table combines these approaches for positive results.

This inversion table has a long heat pack running vertically along the backrest. Unlike some lumbar-only heating systems with inversion tables, this one will warm the entire back. The electric heating pad can also massage your back for added comfort. The rest of the backrest, which includes neck support, is made with memory foam.

This inversion table has a maximum weight for 300 pounds and a top height of 6-foot-5-inches. There are four inversion positions, an extra-long locking arm, and easy-to-use ankle locks. You can easily store this table, as it folds and has wheels. The heat may be the focus of this table, but it truly delivers all of the best features needed for inversion therapy. 

Final Verdict

If you're looking for an inversion table that checks all your boxes (while remaining affordable), you'll want to try Innova's Heavy Duty Inversion Table. For a table that gives you a little more than just the upside down action, Innova's Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Table offers a therapeutic vibrating massage pad that can soothe moderate back pain while giving you the full body stretch you need.

What to Look for in an Inversion Table

Needs: Many inversion tables are designed with specific needs in mind, while others offer benefits for anyone. If you have a specific condition, make sure you choose one that’s safe and supportive for you. Also, consider the space in which a table will go to make sure you have room for your selection. 

Features: From basic models to those that feature heat, massage, and other options, inversion tables come in a wide range of styles. Your reasons for inverting as well as your budget will determine how many bells and whistles you want in a table.

Comfort: No matter what your needs, you want an inversion table that’s comfortable. Consider how it fits your body as well as the materials it’s made of to find one that makes your inversion time as comfortable as possible.

The Ultimate Inversion Table Buying Guide 

By: Jennifer Nied

Back pain is one of the most common complaints doctors hear. Around 16 million adults or eight percent of all adults experience persistent or chronic back pain, per Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute . And if you've ever injured your back (or suffer from chronic back pain) you know that it can be immobilizing. Back pain can limit leisure activities and get in the way of work on a regular basis. Advil and Tylenol don't always do the trick, or you may want to avoid meds altogether. But there are effective solutions available. Inversion therapy, or the use of inversion tables, is one example of non-medicated pain relief. It involves flipping your body upside down and hanging there to lessen and eliminate pressure from the bones, joints, and discs in the low back. And no, you do not need to be an expert yogi or gymnast to reap the benefits. 

Inversion therapy can temporarily provide relief, but multiple research studies have not been able to demonstrate long-term effects. “Inversion tables are a subset of treatments that work by providing traction on your spine,” says Dr. James Lin, spine surgeon with the Mount Sinai Health System. “Instead of performing traction manually (someone providing pressure), or mechanically (with a special table with attachments), an inversion table theoretically works by allowing your spine to stretch using gravity.”

While inversion tables can be a great way to naturally relieve pain, there are a few potential risks to know about before you reach for your credit card. For one, it's important to find a table that has strong, durable ankle support straps. Without strong, secure supports, it is possible to fall while using the table. There are also health conditions that deem an inversion table more risky. If you have high blood pressure, you should ask your doctor if it's safe for you to try inversion therapy. Flipping upside down could create unnecessary pressure in the eyes or a rise in heart rate.

If you've talked to your doctor and want to give inversion therapy a try, here’s what you need to know about inversion tables and how to use them at home.

Key Considerations

Inversion tables look a bit like a massage table or a piece of gym equipment, and the effects is somewhere in the middle. 

Inversion therapy with an inversion table can help with more than back pain. “Inversion is a form of spinal decompression that decreases the gravitational pressures that can lead to a spinal injury,” says USA Sports Therapy's Eric Centofanti, licensed doctor of chiropractic, certified chiropractic sports physician, and a certified athletic trainer. “Inversion can help conditions such as disc herniations and spinal stenosis by increasing the distance between each vertebrae, decompressing the disc and spinal canal.”

Everyday activities, even walking around, cause compression of the spine. Inversion tables work by releasing that temporarily. “Inversion tables theoretically help with spinal issues by taking pressure off your spine,” says Dr. Lin. “Prolonged walking and heavy lifting can exacerbate spine related pain because gravity compresses down on your spine. On the other hand, oftentimes lying down can often relieve spine related pain because the weight of gravity is removed. The idea behind inversion tables, as well as other traction techniques, is to take this to the opposite extreme by lengthening your spine. It is important to keep in mind that whatever traction that is applied on your spine with inversion is gone the moment you stand up.”

The relief is real, but it is short lived. “There is some evidence that traction may provide some temporary relief in the cervical spine,” says Dr. Lin. “Ultimately, some patients do report relief with an inversion table, but I would recommend consulting with your spine doctor prior to purchasing one.”

Although commonly used for back pain, inversion tables can also help with neck pain. By applying the same principle that gravity is a force that acts on your spine and helps compress your discs, using an inversion table can similarly help reduce pain in the neck and upper back. 

If the purpose of an inversion table is to reduce the pressure of the impact of gravity on your body, then it’s important to feel relaxed and secure before and while you’re upside down. Adding a pre-inversion activity like stretching or yoga can help enhance the benefits. “Inversion can be more effective if the muscles are loosened beforehand with light active stretching,” says Centofanti. “To compliment inversion, one should also practice spinal stability exercises to ensure the muscles around the spine are toned and activated, which will help prevent future injuries.”

It doesn’t take long to get the positive spine sensations going. “When using your inversion table, start with sets ranging from 30 seconds to one minute, performing a few sets daily,” says Centofanti. “Always start with less time inverted and with more sets until you know how your body responds.”

Then, easing back into a normal head upright position is equally important. “When returning upright, go slow and help support your body with the hand supports,” says Centofanti. “Abrupt or instant return to your feet can cause compression and can exacerbate underlying disc or nerve injuries. When inverted, you should expect a sensation of spinal stretching, increased blood flow to the head, decreased joint pressure, and a feeling of relief. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or an increase in pain, return to an upright position.”

Inversion tables range from $125 to $500, per Centofanti.


Inversion Alternatives

A yoga swing or hammock can offer a similar sensation and position. This minimalist option is a series of connected fabrics that hang from a structure allowing for supported inversion. They’re made to hang from a beam inside or a tree in your yard.


Materials/Composition

No matter what your needs, you want an inversion table that’s comfortable. The materials used in the straps, cushions, and handles all contribute to the comfort. If it’s not a piece of equipment you look forward to spending time on, you’re less likely to use it as often as recommended.


Technology

Bells and whistles like massage and heat may seem like over-the-top extras, but they can help with muscle and back pain. Some doctors believe that inversion therapy can help reduce muscle spasms in the back and reduce pressure on the nerves in the short term. Another proven method to help soothe back spasms is applying heat to the area. Some models have heat focused on the lumbar area, while others have a heated mechanism lining the entire back support pad.


Size/Weight Limitations 

Each inversion table has its own height and weight specifications. Most can hold someone up to 6’5” and 300 to 350 pounds. You definitely don’t want to push the limits and end up collapsing mid-inversion, so respect these numbers. And, consider how the cushions and straps match up to fit your body. Most have adjustable elements to ensure a custom fit.

These are also signs of a well-designed and built inversion table. “A quality table has a high weight capacity, better safety features, and adjustable settings for more comfort,” says Centofanti. “Safety is always the most important thing to consider when purchasing an inversion table. Ensure there is a safety clip that limits how far you invert back, that it has proper handles and grips to help bring yourself upright, and settings to adjust how inverted you go.”


Storage

Inversion tables that don’t fold up can take up a lot of space. However, if they do collapse, they’re very convenient to store between inversion sessions. As with any at-home equipment or furniture, be sure to consider the space where you want a table to go to make sure you have room for the model you choose in multiple positions.


Safety

The inverted position is a vulnerable one, according to doctors. You’re at the mercy of the equipment, so safety is top priority. “Being in an inverted or suspended position certainly puts patients in a vulnerable position at risks related to falls or injuries,” says Dr. Lin. “These risks can be heightened in elderly or less coordinated patients. I would recommend consulting with your spine doctor before undergoing inversion therapy.”

Your own doctor can help you determine if inversion is safe for your specific condition. “Prior to buying and using an inversion table, I would recommend patients be evaluated by a spine doctor (either a physiatrist, pain management doctor, orthopedic or neurosurgeon),” says Dr. Lin. “A physiatrist or pain management doctor may be able to guide patients regarding the specific modalities of conservative and manual therapy that would be best suited for the patient. More importantly, they can help identify any conditions that may need more urgent treatment.”

That doesn’t mean you can’t safely invert using inversion tables at home. “Inversion can safely be done at home, however there are conditions one should consult their health care professional before using, such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, blood clot or vascular disorders, acute muscle spasm, fracture, and infection,” says Centofanti.

Brands/Manufacturers

Innova

Innova, which stands for “innovation with advanced products,” is one of the major players in the inversion table market and fitness equipment. Each inversion table is built with the customer and health top of mind. The Innova tables feature ergonomic and secure ankle straps as well as adjustable components for a custom fit. They fit a range of users, and the table max out at 300 pounds. Plus, the reasonable price point of Innova’s inversion tables is another benefit.

Teeter

Teeter has been making a range of high-quality inversion tables as well as fitness equipment for four decades. It sets itself apart with the only inversion tables on the market that are FDA-Registered 510(k) medical devices. The price point falls in the upper range of inversion tables, but customers gain access to the free Teeter Move app for inversion training with guided sessions led by the company’s Corrective Exercise Specialist, Getting Started tutorials, how-to videos, and more. The tables themselves undergo rigorous third party safety certification, so you can rest easy upside down.

Accessories

Inversion tables come fully equipped with all accessories needed for a safe upside-down session already attached. There’s no need for add-on cushions, straps, or other mechanisms.

Conclusion

Overall inversion tables are safe for most people to use at home. They aren’t a miracle or instant cure. But, when used under the care of a physician or specialist, an inversion table can provide real relief.

Inversion tables are commonly used for neck pain, back pain, disc herniations as well as athletic injuries. The flipped position uses the natural force of gravity to increase the distance between each vertebrae, decompressing the disc and spinal canal. However, it’s worth noting that any added space goes right back to the way it was once your head is above your feet.

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Article Sources
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