How to Dress a Massage Table


A massage table is a horizontal piece of furniture that massage therapists use to perform their work. Just like any other piece of equipment, massage tables need to be cared for and maintained regularly. This ensures the longevity of your investment and extends the life of your table.

How to Dress a Massage Table

Proper cleaning will also help prevent bacteria, mold, mildew, or dust mites from accumulating on the surface of your table over time. In this article, I will discuss how to dress a massage table. So let us get into the core discussion.

A Detailed Stepwise Guide on How to Dress a Massage Table

Step 1:

Make a list of all the equipment and supplies you will need to do this job. There are many ways to skin a cat, so this may vary from person or place to place. I have listed my tools for dressing a table from head to toe, including disposable items, because it’s just how I roll! The supplies you use should reflect your particular style and budget restrictions, so please feel free to alter them as needed.

I like carrying everything in a rolling suitcase with a retractable handle (the one thing they don’t tell you on infomercials is that the cheap plastic wheels break off easily)

Rolling Suitcase – Make sure it has retractable handle 3/4″ Flannel Sheets (no top sheet, just the top) 1/4″ Flannel Sheets 1 Plastic or Velcro sheet cover Top Sheet (not a fitted sheet, a flat sheet that hangs to the floor. I find it easier to move around if it covers both sides of the table and does not have to be perfectly positioned after lathering up a client) Pillows for Neck Support under head pillow Scalp Massage Mitts used as Towels Oil

You Are Going to  Position Your Table

Containers – these come 3/4 full from supplier 5-gallon Buckets with Lids for Hot Water Linen Hangers Table Cloth Drying Rack. A suitcase filled with supplies for dressing massage table

Step 2:

Figure out where you are going to position your table. If you use one of those cheap, plastic massage tables with the rigid metal handle in the middle of the head end, you will need to remove it. If it is removable, consider packing it with your supplies and keep a spare on hand for people who forget theirs. Most people do not want to be parted from their handles, so I leave these intact and remove my own.

If there is no removable handle on your table, simply flip the table over and unscrew it from one side or both, depending on which way you prefer to orient your client as they face away from you.

Step 3:

Unfold the bottom sheet. Make sure it is flat and that the corners are not tucked under. Next, fold it in half along its length with the fold at the top (like you would fold a letter to put into an envelope). Never tuck sheet corners under, as this will cause bumps on your client’s back!

Figure Out Where You Are Going to Position Your Table

Step 4:

Lay down the plastic or velcro cover. Most people prefer to use one of these because they can be hosed off after each client and not be laundered. This is probably more sanitary than cotton sheets, especially if you are working out of your home, but make sure you change them between customers and let them dry completely before putting them away (heat kills germs!). I like using a vinyl table cloth, but some massage therapists choose to go without a cover.

Step 5:

Lay down your folded sheet. Tuck in the top corner at the head ends about 12-18″. Flip the table over onto its side and reach under to grab that corner and pull it through. Then flip it back over, open the other side and do the same thing. When you are done, you should have what looks like a giant “X” on your table. Go ahead and fold up the four corners by bringing one in from each diagonal towards the center, so they all meet at the middle of the table surface. You may now want to go ahead and put an oil rub or lotion on your hands, as this next step can be a bit stickier than sticking them under a rock.

Step 6:

Place pillows under the head pillow.

Step 7:

Pick up a roll of flannel and bring it into position at the foot end, overhanging about 12 inches on either side. Tuck one side in the underfoot end, then tucks the other side in. Repeat with back roll placing it diagonally across the upper portion of the table with hanging corners on each side. You will probably need to make some adjustments as you go along to get these looking nice and straight, but this is what I start with.

Step 8:

Make sure your top sheet is unfolded flat across both sides of the table (no lumps!), with the bottom tucked under all sides except for one corner at the foot end that can be folded around to your body where you are standing or left loose (not tucked underneath). When you flip it over to do this, ensure that the seams match up both on your left and right sides. This may mean flipping the sheet back over either once or more than once if you need to keep adjusting as you go along.

Tuck One Side in the Underfoot

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Need for a Massage Table?

A massage table is an essential piece of equipment for any professional massage therapist. It can be used to provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for your clients, as well as you.

There are many different types of massage tables that come in various shapes and sizes, but all will provide the same benefits and services.

The first thing that comes into mind is having a strong frame made out of either steel or wood which can support a weight up to 300 pounds without buckling or breaking. This is because the structure needs to support the pressure exerted by your client’s body on it while they’re lying down on it during their session.

Next, there should be some padding covering the surface so your client feels safe when they lie down on it while they’re receiving their treatment from you. There should also be some sort of heating system installed so the temperature remains constant throughout each session, ensuring that both you and your client feel comfortable throughout their treatment time. Finally, there should be an electrical outlet installed near the head area so you can plug in any other necessary equipment such as foot baths or cooling fans for use during treatments with ease.

Can You Recover a Massage Table?

The most common way to recover a massage table is by soaking it in water. This process is called hydro-washing.

When you do this, the oils and other chemicals built upon the surface of the material will wash away.

You can also use an industrial cleaner like “Lysol” or “Murphy’s Oil Soap.”

What Should a Massage Room Have?

A massage room should have a variety of different types of chairs, tables, and music. It should also have towels, disposable sheets, and scented oils.

It is also important to have an area where the client can shower after their treatment as well as leave their belongings before they come in for their next session.

What Are Contraindications for Massage?

Contraindications for massage are diseases, conditions, or symptoms that should be discussed with your healthcare provider before receiving a massage.


I hope you have obtained all the necessary information regarding how to dress a massage table. Always use clean materials before you start messaging. Thank you and have a nice day!

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