The Best Inversion Tables 2017 – Top Picks & Reviews
The first wave of inversion therapy hit its peak of popularity during the early to mid-80s. Then, after a decade-long slump, inversion therapy made a comeback and kept growing in popularity during the next three decades. Today, the inversion table appeals to many people as an easy-to-use therapeutic device. If you’re here, you’re probably well-acquainted with the benefits of inversion therapy, so we aren’t going to talk about that in too much depth.
Instead, this article will help you find the best inversion table for your price range. You see, there are a lot of inversion tables out there and a wrong choice can lead to serious consequences for your health and your wallet. Nobody wants that, right? So, we’ve created this guide to steer you away from common pitfalls and help you towards an informed purchase.
Our Top 5 Inversion Table Picks
|MODEL||PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||ITEM WEIGHT||USER RATING||PRICE|
|IRONMAN Gravity 4000||49 x 26 x 65 inches||76 pounds||4.7/5||$$$$
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|Innova ITX9600||46 x 28 x 63 inches||52 pounds||4.6/5||$
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|Innova ITM4800||46 x 28 x 63 inches||57 pounds||4.5/5||$$$
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|Exerpeutic Inversion Table 5503||57 x 27 x 46.6 inches||55 pounds||4.4/5||$$
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We’ve organized the information here into two parts. The first part has inversion table reviews that will help you become familiar with the best products in the budget-tier, mid-tier, and top-tier categories. Then, in the second part, we will discuss all the factors you must consider when buying an inversion table. Using what you learn in the two parts, you can easily find the ideal inversion table for the best price. So, let’s begin with our top pick – the Ironman Fitness Gravity 4000.
#1 IRONMAN Gravity 4000 – Our Top Pick
The Ironman Gravity 4000 is the bestselling inversion table in the $150 to $200 range on Amazon. With 94 percent of nearly 3000 reviews being positive, this is the best inversion table on the market right now. Its powder coated, scratch resistant, and durable U-shaped frame, along with the non-skid floor stabilizers, provide safety and stability while you’re inverted.
Designed for a maximum load capacity of 350 lb, the Gravity 4000 supports 50 lb more weight than other leading brands. Its memory foam backrest has a durable double-stitched vinyl covering, making the product comfortable and long lasting. The removable lumbar pillow provides extra support and stretch to your lower back if required.
Like many other inversion tables, the Gravity 4000 uses a strap-carabiner system to adjust the degree of inversion. However, this model also has a three-pivot setting that limits the extent of inversion. This safety feature prevents you from becoming fully inverted in case the strap fails.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of any inversion table is its ankle-lock mechanism. Although the Gravity 4000 has a strong, secure, and comfortable patented ratchet ankle locking system, a lot of reviewers have complained about it. However, discomfort can arise from improper use of the machine, and not necessarily from the ankle holder’s design.
This model comes with a year’s warranty, which is not the best in the industry. Also, the machine is heavy and cumbersome. Even though it is designed to fold, the folded dimensions aren’t all that compact. Most people find folding and unfolding the table laborious. So, before buying, make sure you have enough space to place the equipment.
Reviewers have also made unfavorable remarks about the assembly process. But, these remarks were subjective. A majority of customers assembled the product without much trouble. However, the process is time-consuming. So, be prepared to spend quite a bit of time setting it up.
- 350 lb capacity
- Sturdy and durable
- Safe and comfortable
- Large even when folded
- Heavy and hard to move
- Only a year’s warranty
#2 Innova ITX9600 – Best For The Money
Priced at around $100, the Innova ITX9600 is the best inversion table for the money. With 2700+ reviews, and more than 90 percent of them positive, this product has secured a comfortable lead over other inversion tables in this price bracket. Interestingly, no product in the $100 to $150 range comes close to the quality and quantity of this table’s customer ratings. In fact, the only product that beats the ITX9600 is the Gravity 4000, our top pick. This is amazing considering the price difference.
From a structural standpoint, the ITX9600 has a sturdy frame and a stable base. The backrest is well-cushioned and the long safety handles provide a good and safe grip. Also, the adjustable headrest ensures that your head is always supported well. However, unlike the Gravity 4000, this inversion table has a pin-through-hole design for adjusting the degree of inversion. You can change the inversion to 20°, 40°, 60°, and 80°. But, you can’t set it to any value between these settings.
The ankle-locking mechanism has a spring-loaded pin-through-hole design. Although the U-shaped holders and the foam rollers provide good support, Innova specifically says that you must wear shoes while using the equipment. Taking your sports shoes on and off multiple times a day can be a hassle.
In the light of the ITX9600’s price and popularity, I believe the compromises are fair. Another point to bear in mind is that a better inversion table will require you to stretch your budget considerably. So, if you’re shopping for an inversion table under $100, this is the best option.
- Durable and sturdy
- Comfortable backrest
- Adjustable headrest
- Necessary to wear shoes
- Only 4 inversion settings
- Difficult to assemble
#3 Teeter Hang Ups EP 960
Teeter is synonymous with high-end inversion tables. For those without budget constraints, the EP 960 is an obvious choice. This model is everything an inversion table should be. When you look at it, you will immediately notice that the EP960 does not have cushioned backrest. The Comfortrak Bed replaces the traditional type of backrest. This new design provides many advantages.
First, the bed flexes to match your body’s contours, giving a custom feel to the bed. Also, the smooth surface of the bed reduces friction, allowing your body to slide down and optimize stretch. Next, the bed has built-in hand-holds for added stretch and decompression. The Stretch Max handles mounted near the pivot point also helps increase the stretch. Lastly, the Comfortrak bed is compatible with accessories, such as lumbar bridge and acupressure nodes, that enhance the benefits of inversion therapy.
The EP960 is so precisely balanced that you get excellent control over inversion using hand movement. Also, the strap-carabiner adjustment has 20°, 40°, and 60° marked on it. So, you can quickly jump to these settings or choose any angle in between. The ankle locking system is also excellent. It is easy to reach and allows you to quickly engage and disengage. Added features such as Ergo Embrace Supports and Ankle Comfort Dial ensures uniform weight distribution for a broad range of feet sizes.
The equipment is also easy to fold, unfold, and transport. Plus, all this comes with a 5-year warranty. Perhaps the only problem with the EP960 is its cost. At nearly $400, this model is out of reach of most people who are new to inversion therapy. Now, don’t get me wrong – the product is expensive but fairly priced. So, if you can wait, then saving up to buy this product will be worth it.
- Brilliant design
- Excellent construction
- Safe and comfortable
- Easy to fold and move
- Many useful features
- Some accessories sold separately
#4 Exerpeutic Inversion Table 5503
The Exerpeutic 5503 is another great inversion table under the $100 price range. Although it doesn’t have as many Amazon reviews as the Innova ITX9600, the 5503 does have close to a thousand positive reviews. So, it would be unfair to leave this product out without an honorable mention.
The 5503 has all the qualities one expects from a budget-friendly inversion table. The frame is stable and sturdy, the backrest is comfortable and durable, the pivot point is well-balanced, the long safety handles provide a sturdy grip, and the strap-carabiner system allows superior control over the degree of inversion.
However, the ankle locking system needs a little improvement. The spring-loaded pin-through-hole design doesn’t provide enough flexibility to ensure a snug fit. It may be a little tight or a little loose. Although this may put some extra stress on the ankles, it’s not a major deal breaker. After all, even high-end inversion tables struggle to get this part right.
Another thing I love about this product is that it is easy to assemble. The instruction manual guides you through the process well enough. But, if you run into trouble, Exerpeutic customer support is very helpful. After assembly, you can easily fold and unfold the equipment for use and storage.
Also, if you buy the product from the parent website, you qualify for a free 5-year limited warranty over the 1-year warranty. That’s a total of six years. However, buying it at the parent website may cost you up to 50 percent more than buying it on Amazon.
- Durable and well designed
- Sturdy and stable
- Safe and comfortable
- Easy to assemble
- Folds and unfolds effortlessly
- Ankle locking mechanism needs improvement
#5 Innova ITM4800
The Innova ITM4800 combines the therapeutic benefits of inversion, heat, and massage. As you stretch and decompress, you can set the pillow to massage your lower back, middle back, upper back, shoulders, or neck. The pillow attaches to the backrest using velcro. So, you can move the massage pillow to any position you want. Then, you can choose between pre-programed, as well as manual settings. The massage pad also provides a gentle heat at the region where it is placed.
Apart from the addition of the massage and heat pillow, the Innova ITM4800 is very similar to the ITX9600, our top choice in the budget segment. Like the ITX9600, the ITM4800 also has a durable and sturdy frame, a stable base, 5-inversion angle settings, a comfortable ankle locking mechanism, and a well-cushioned backrest. In fact, you get a removable headrest along with the ITM4800.
But, here’s what you need to think about, the ITM4800 costs slightly more than the Gravity 4000, our top pick. So, is the heat and massage feature worth it? It’s an interesting feature. But, I suggest trying the product in person to see how much the added features benefit you. If it doesn’t make a significant difference, buy the ITX9600 to take advantage of the cost benefit. Or, buy the Gravity 4000 to take advantage of all the added features.
- Adjustable heat and massage pillow
- Excellent construction and design
- Stable and safe
- No other additional features
- Only one year’s warranty
Factors To Consider When Buying an Inversion Table
The first thing you must do before shopping for an inversion table is to consult a physician. Getting clearance from a doctor is important because inversion therapy works in only specific situations. If you read the owner’s manual for any well-known inversion table, you will find a list of conditions that overrule inversion table use.
Once you’re cleared to use an inversion table, the next thing you must do is experience it. The spine is a complex system of bones, cartilages, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. It’s impossible to predict the extent of relief or lack thereof unless you experience inversion first hand. So, give it a try yourself before you spend your hard-earned money on an inversion table.
Also, the inversion table is a therapeutic device, not a piece of exercise equipment. So, if you’re planning on doing strenuous exercises such as inverted crunches, this is not the ideal equipment for you. However, an inversion table does allow a few exercises involving gentle stretches.
What are the important factors I must consider when buying an inversion table?
Okay, so after getting the go-ahead from your doctor and gaining some firsthand experience of using an inversion table, you can begin shopping for one. A budget-friendly inversion table costs around $100. However, mid-tier inversion tables cost between $150 to $200 and the high-end tables can cost $400 or more. Once you set the budget, you can use the following factors to pick the best machine in your price range:
- Maximum Weight Capacity: Every inversion table advertises its maximum weight capacity. Since it’s never a good idea to use any equipment at its maximum capacity, I recommend leaving a 20 percent margin. So, an inversion table with a maximum capacity of 300 lb is ideal for people who weigh less than 240 lb.
- Frame Strength and Finish: The inversion table’s frame must be made of thick material that is corrosion resistant. A powder-coated finish provides better resistance to scratches and corrosion than a painted finish does.
- Stability of the Base: A wobbly base is the last thing you need when you’re inverted. Also, the base must not slip or skid when in use. When you’re on the table, no part of your body touches the ground. The stability of the base is all that is keeping you suspended in the air. Unfortunately, unless you try the table yourself, you must depend on reviews to gauge the stability of an inversion table because there is no way to tell by visual inspection alone.
- Height Adjustment: Adjusting the height of the backrest to the correct setting is extremely important. The height adjustment does not correspond to your height. You must set the height in such a way that your head stays slightly above your feet when your arms are by your side. In other words, you’re almost parallel to the ground. And, when you move your arms backward, the table tilts. For this reason, always leave an allowance of 1 or 2 inches. For example, if you’re 6’ 2” tall, look for an inversion table that has an upper limit of at least 6’ 4”.
- Ankle Locking System: In the inverted position, your entire body is hanging from your ankles. No matter how hard the designers try, there will be some amount of discomfort. But, a well-designed ankle locking system considerably reduces the stress. So, when you’re looking at the ankle locking system, check whether the locking mechanism is easy to engage and disengage. Also, check the number of stop positions of the foam roller. More positions allow finer adjustment and a closer fit.
- Backrest Comfort: The backrest must be firm, comfortable, and level. The material covering the backrest must be soft and durable. Some backrests come with removable lumbar pillows and head pillows. Although these attachments are not necessary, having them is not too bad. You can always detach them if you don’t need it.
- The Degree of Inversion: Doctors recommend that you must start with a gentle inversion of about 20° and then increase the inversion by a few degrees every week. But, a lot of people ignore this advice and try 90° immediately. The sudden jump causes a lot of problems. To enable a progressive increase in angle, the table must allow infinite adjustment between 0° and 90°. This is most commonly achieved through a belt-carabiner system.
- The Length of Safety Handle: If the table is well-balanced, you should be able to get back to the 0° position just by placing your arms by your side. Thereafter, you can pull yourself up into the vertical position. However, if you’re not able to get to the 0° position that way, extra-long safety handles can help you recover.
- Guards at Pinch Points: The area where the backrest pivots around the frame is a pinch point. If you get your hands or fingers stuck there, it causes intense pain and serious injury. So, make sure this region is covered.
- Portability: If you don’t like having the inversion table lying around your house all the time, you must make sure the inversion table is foldable and light. If the folding and unfolding mechanism isn’t easy, quick, and intuitive you will have a hard time shifting between storage and usage.
- Ease of Assembly: Some inversion tables are extremely easy to put together. The instruction manual clearly explains all the parts and how they go together. But, with so many components things can go wrong. So, you must go through the process slowly and deliberately. Assembling an inversion table is not something you do over a couple of beers. If you’re careless, you will find that the holes don’t match or that the screws don’t fit. However, if you pay attention, you will be able to do the assembly on your own.
Awesome, I could really use an inversion table. What are my options?
Teeter has a long tradition of making excellent inversion tables. However, Teeter tables are costly. They are worth the money, so if you can wait long enough to save money to buy a Teeter table, that’s the best way to go. However, if you don’t want to wait that long, Innova Fitness, Ironman Fitness, and Exerpeutic make high-quality and affordable tables. In our list of best inversion tables, we have reviewed the most notable products from these brands. So, I recommend you check it out again before you do your own research.
The section on factors to consider when buying an inversion table and the five reviews of inversion table will help you get closer to the final decision if you haven’t already. In any case, a quick summary would help bring everything together. First, if you’re looking for a budget-tier inversion table, the Innova ITX9600 and the Exerpeutic 5503 are two great choices.
If you have a larger budget, you can go for the Ironman Fitness Gravity 4000. It’s the best inversion table you can get under $200. And, if budget isn’t a constraint and you want absolutely the best inversion table in the world, go for the Teeter EP960.
As the benefits of inversion therapy gain more credibility in health and fitness circles, people are gravitating towards it in increasing numbers. The rise in popularity, naturally, lead to the introduction of many brands and models of inversion tables. Although a few of these products are safe and effective, their cheap knock-off versions can jeopardize your health.
But, if you are familiar with features and factors that make a product great, you can steer clear of these inferior products and find your way to top-quality brands. And, I assure you, there are great products at every price range. Hopefully, this article has all the information you need to find and enjoy the best inversion table for your needs.