Tanning salons are usually thought of as the ‘go to’ option for getting a quick glow. But why? Making an appointment means planning. It also means having to sit in traffic to get there. And during the pandemic, most salons were forced to close their doors.

Then there’s the financial side, too. Research from across the pond shows that the average tanning salon customer in the US spends $300 per year - equivalent to almost £250 - on tanning sessions. A high quality home sunbed costs as little as £1400, which means that it pays for itself within just a few years. It’s no wonder home tanning is becoming more popular. But with so many options out there, how can you choose the right sunbed?

Finding the right home sunbed is actually easier than you may think. There are four main considerations to take into account that can help you find the right sunbed for you:

1. Size and Space

Of course, at home you may not have the same expanse of space that a tanning salon has, so the size of the sunbed is something that’s very important to consider. It’s important to choose a model that fits, and can easily be stored away when not in use.

What to look for: Consider an over-bed canopy style sunbed, rather than a full bed. These take up less space as they are positioned over your own surface - usually your bed or sofa. A canopy with good height adjustability is key here, as you’ll want to make sure it can be positioned at the right height above your chosen surface. Over-bed canopies often also feature a swivel design, allowing them to be easily stored upright.

2. Comfort

While you may previously have visited tanning salons only before a holiday to get a base tan, you may decide to use a home sunbed more regularly as it’s so convenient. This means that it’s important to consider how comfortable a sunbed is for regular use.

What to look for: Again, an over-bed canopy can be useful as you can use the canopy with your own bed. However, it’s also important to think about integrated features that can help create a more comfortable experience. Some home sunbeds include built-in cooling fans which are ideal for longer sessions (up to 10 minutes at a time is recommended depending on skin type). Others have integrated audio systems, too.

3. Efficiency

Unlike at a tanning salon, you’ll be using your own electricity when tanning at home. And paying for it! So it’s a good idea to look for energy efficient sunbeds and intelligent features that can help to deliver a salon-quality experience while keeping costs down.

What to look for: Power and voltage information will both be displayed on the information for the sunbed you choose, so it’s worth comparing power usage. Another aspect to look for is an intelligent electrical ballast which stabilises load to limit current usage. Not all home sunbeds have this, so keep an eye out for ones that do. The ballast can significantly help to prevent power waste, and keep tanning costs to a minimum.

4. Safety

If you have a home sunbed, you may find that you prefer to tan when you’re home alone, when you can guarantee you’ll have peace and quiet throughout your session. However, this also means that it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re remaining safe.

What to look for: It’s important to look for features that support and facilitate safe tanning, as it can be very easy to lose track of time during a relaxing tanning session. It is imperative to choose a home sunbed with a built-in session timer that ensures you’re exposed to UV radiation only for the recommended period for your individual skin type. This typically ranges from 6 minutes for skin type II up to 10 minutes for darker skins.