- Inversion Tables: A Great Way to Relieve Back Pain
- In Depth Stationary Inversion Table Reviews
- ListofFit Best Pick: Teeter EP 960
- Things to Look For In An Inversion Table
Inversion Tables: A Great Way to Relieve Back Pain
If you have chronic back pain, an inversion table could be the solution you’ve been looking for to get ongoing relief without constantly making appointments with a chiropractor or other specialist. Inversion tables can greatly reduce general back pain, relieve pressure on your joints, and help your lymphatic system work more effectively.
This is very important as the lymphatic system plays several key roles in overall health and wellbeing. It can even help fight the effects of aging on your height by keeping your back straight and your vertebrae decompressed.
With all that in mind, it can be difficult to know which inversion tables will give you maximum benefits. That is why we reviewed several different inversion tables and ended up selecting five that we felt were the best available. The information table below offers a good overview of each table and allows you to view each product’s Amazon page. However, remember that these tables vary widely in price and features, so be sure to take a look at our in depth reviews to see the pros and cons of each table.
- Weight: 73 lbs.
- Price: ~$400
- Pro: The design offers handles for turning while inverted, and has spaces for acupressure accessories (sold separately).
- Con: Significantly more expensive than the other inversion tables, the Teeter will put a hole in your wallet.
- Bottom Line: The best option for those who have chronic back pain and want a table that is designed to offer relief.
- Weight: 87 lbs.
- Price: ~$200
- Pro: The Ironman Gravity 4000 is a nicely padded inversion table that includes a lumbar pillow for added support during sessions.
- Con: Does not allow for rotation stretches while inverted like the Teeter EP 960 does.
- Bottom Line: Great choice for chronic pain suffers who need additional lumbar support.
- Weight: 55 lbs.
- Price: ~$140
- Pro: The Innova ITX 9700 is a great value, and offers solid padding and lumbar support.
- Con: Due to the light weight of this inversion table, it is not as stable as some of the other more heavy-duty options.
- Bottom Line: A good inversion table for the price, despite the 300 pound limit, this table is best used for lighter weight individuals.
- Weight: 64 lbs.
- Price: ~$100
- Pro: The lowest cost inversion table on our list, the Exerpeutic is light on your budget and offers basic inversion capabilities.
- Con: You do get what you pay for here. While good for the price, the Exerpeutic's quality does not match up to a Teeter or Ironman Gravity 4000.
- Bottom Line: Perfect for those who want to try inversion without spending an arm and a leg.
- Weight: 46 lbs.
- Price: ~$120
- Pro: With the backing of Ironman's reputation, the Ironman Gravity 1000 has solid components and firm padding, which we prefer on an inversion table.
- Con: The Ironman Gravity 1000 suffers from similar stability issues as the Innova ITX 9700 due to it being too light weight for heavier users.
- Bottom Line: Perfect for those who want to try inversion without spending an arm and a leg.
1.) Teeter EP 960 Inversion Table
The Teeter EP 960 inversion table has a patented ComforTrak bed that’s specifically shaped to help better reduce pressure on your spine and joints. Because different angles of inversion can be more beneficial for different types of back pain and joint mobilization, the EP 960 has pre-set rotation control with settings at 20, 40, and 60 degrees.
The extended ankle lock release handle makes it easy to get in and out of the ankle locks when you need to, and there’s a triple-lock feature to ensure that your ankles are safely secured in the locks when you invert. And, with multiple sizes of acupressure nodes (available separately) that you can insert anywhere on the ComforTrak bed, you can get even more pain relief and mobility assistance as you invert at different angles.
With a list price of around $550, the Teeter EP 960 is the most expensive inversion table we reviewed. Right now it’s available at a significant discount, but this still sets it firmly at the top of the price pyramid for the top five inversion tables.
However, it’s also the only inversion table that can be used with acupressure nodes, so you can potentially get more dramatic results from using this table than from other inversion tables.
The Teeter EP 960 inversion table does everything that it claims. The ankle locks are very secure, and the shape and angles of the table are conducive to improving a number of problems with the spine and joints. Whether you’re interested in using an inversion table to improve your core strength and posture or to relieve pain from a spinal injury, you won’t be disappointed with the EP 960.
With or without acupressure nodes, the shape of the ComforTrak bed is surprisingly effective at putting your spine in the correct position to fight the effects of compression and to use gravity to your advantage. The extended handles for the ankle locks gave us more confidence that we could get out of them if we needed to, as well. That said, the ankle locks can be a bit tight and uncomfortable for some people.
2.) Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table
The Ironman Gravity 4000 has a comfortable foam back and adjustable, removable lumbar support pad. It’s height adjustable and works well for users who fall between 4’10” and 6’6” tall. Its frame is made of extra wide tubular steel to accommodate up to 350 pounds of weight, and it folds up easily for compact storage.
The safety tether strap on this inversion table is adjustable so that you can safely reach different inversion angles, and it offers three adjustments for different starting angles for the most comfort and best results possible. There are also vinyl side covers on the table to prevent you from pinching or catching your hands and fingers as you invert or come back up.
The ankle restraints are controlled by a patented “Palm Activated” ratchet adjustment so that you can set the ankle locks comfortably and securely every time.
Ironman brand also makes the best rated power tower based on our review.
The list price for the Ironman Gravity 4000 is around $250, and it’s actually available at a discounted rate. While it’s not the least expensive inversion table we reviewed, it is much more cost effective than the Teeter EP 960. So, if you don’t need the aid of the ComforTrak bed or the acupressure nodes that come with the Teeter bed, you might want to consider spending a bit less and getting the Ironman Gravity 4000.
The Ironman Gravity 4000 lives up to its reputation. Its height adjustments make it easy for a user of any height to safely and comfortably invert on this table. The lumbar support is extremely helpful with some inversions and can be completely removed for inversions that it will interfere with.
The foam padding is comfortable, though the shape is not as ergonomic as the Teeter EP 960. For the price, if you don’t need to use acupressure nodes and you aren’t expecting the most ergonomic table on the market, though, the Gravity 4000 does an excellent job.
3.) Innova ITX 9700
The Innova ITX 9700 addresses the issue of spinal alignment and positioning with a memory foam backrest and a removable padded head pillow. It also includes a universal lumbar pad, which can be used with a hot or cold compress (not included) to relieve spinal pain and reduce inflammation.
This inversion table can be set to four different positions with a sturdy pin setting, which ensures safer, more accurate inversions than older tables. And, for added comfort, the handlebars have foam padding.
The ankle locks are ergonomically molded with comfortable cushions to hold your ankles in place securely without squeezing too hard or causing discomfort.
The table can accommodate anyone between 4’10” and 6’6”, so it works well for almost any adult, and its frame is made of extra wide tubular steel so that it can safely hold additional weight if necessary.
Available around $150, the Innova ITX 9700 is one of the more cost effective inversion tables that we reviewed. It’s not the cheapest, but it packs in a lot of features for the price, especially the memory foam back pad, head pillow, and lumbar support pad.
The memory foam backrest is the most alluring feature of the Innova ITX 9700. It is incredibly comfortable and gives the user a personalized experience as the foam forms to their spine. Our testers also liked the upgraded inversion system, as it was a clear improvement over the strap system that the Ironman Gravity 4000 and other models offer.
That said, some taller users have had issues with full 90-degree inversions. Likewise, some of our testers reported that the frame of the inversion table actually got in the way when they inverted and tried to find a comfortable position for their arms.
With that in mind, most of our testers had a really good experience with this table, and we found that it’s both sturdy and easy to assemble. If you’re looking for a better deal on an inversion table that will hold up under heavy use, the Innova ITX 9700 could be the inversion table for you.
4.) Exerpeutic Inversion Table
The Exerpeutic inversion table is one of the simpler tables you’ll find on the market today. It’s constructed of sturdy 1.5” square steel and can safely hold up to 300 pounds. The backrest is padded with soft foam, but it does not have a lumbar support pad or any other ergonomic shaping.
The safety handlebars are made of long, full loops, and inversion is controlled with an adjustable tether strap.
Your ankles are held in place on the Exerpeutic inversion table using ergonomic foam rollers with a pull-pin release so that you can easily get out of them when needed. Height adjustment is easy, and this table can accommodate users between 4’10” and 6’6”.
The most cost effective inversion table that we reviewed, the Exerpeutic inversion table has a list price of right around $100. There isn’t an appreciable discount available right now, but at a price this low, most people won’t have a problem with paying list price. If you don’t have specific medical needs that require you to use an inversion table with an ergonomic backrest, then this could be a great deal for you.
Like the Innova, this table relies on the traditional strap system for inversion. This system isn’t as nice as some of the newer ones available, but it does work well for most people, especially those interested in using an inversion table for fitness rather than spinal therapy.
We did find that the Exerpeutic inversion table is more cumbersome and difficult to store than some other tables. It doesn’t fold up, and it’s not lightweight. So, if you don’t have a dedicated space for your inversion table, this isn’t the model for you. Likewise, assembly isn’t as simple or easy as some other models.
5.) Ironman Gravity 1000 Inversion Table
The Ironman Gravity 1000 has a few things in common with the Gravity 4000. Its frame is constructed of sturdy tubular steel and is powder coated to prevent scratches and rust so that you can use the table for years to come with no corrosion buildup.
It’s foldable and only weighs 46 pounds, making it a great choice for those who don’t have a dedicated space for an inversion table but would like to regularly use one in their home.
The non-skid rubber floor stabilizers make it possible to use this inversion table on virtually any interior surface without worrying about the table slipping or becoming unstable.
The Ironman Gravity 1000 has a 300-pound weight capacity, and it inverts up to 90 degrees, using a strap system for inversion. It’s height adjustable for users up to 6’6”, and the ankle lock system is spring loaded so that you can easily get in and out of it without worrying about falling out when you’re inverted.
The list price for the Gravity 1000 is around $120, making it price competitive with the Exerpeutic inversion table. At this price, if you’re looking for a cost effective inversion table with a few more features than the Exerpeutic, you may want to consider the Ironman Gravity 1000.
Unlike other models, the Ironman Gravity 1000 doesn’t have a foam backrest. Instead, it has a flexible back that’s firm enough to support your back but soft enough to allow you to comfortably sink into it. The material is breathable, as well, making it more comfortable to invert for longer periods of time when necessary.
The Ironman Gravity 1000 is a no-frills inversion table that is comfortable and gets the job done. That said, if you’re in the market for an inversion table for chronic back pain or for specific joint issues, rather than overall fitness, you may want to spend a bit more money and go with something like the Innova ITX 9700 or the Teeter EP 960 instead.
Also, users who weigh more than 300 pounds will need to get a sturdier model to ensure their safety.
ListofFit Best Pick: Teeter EP 960
While the Teeter EP 960 is the most expensive inversion table we selected on our top five list, it is also the best. What really sets this inversion table apart from the rest is the design and craftsmanship. I
n regard to the design of the EP 960, this table has the ComforTrak bed that works to reduce pressure in the spine. There are also built in grips so that users can stretch their back muscles by gently turning at their torso. Not to mention the EZ lock ankle system that makes it easy for all users to free themselves from the device.
Another feature that is not seen on any of the other inversion tables is the ability to add acupressure accessories to take your inversion to another level. While these do not come with the Teeter EP 960 out of the box, they can purchased and help those with knots and other specific pain areas in their back and spine.
Lastly, the Teeter comes with a DVD that shows you how to get the maximum out of your inversion table. This gets you up to speed on how to use your table effectively and properly so that you can live a life free of back pain.
Things to Look For In An Inversion Table
Whether you’re looking for an inversion table as an addition to your home gym, to help you stabilize and strengthen your core muscles while working on decompressing your spine and mobilizing your joints, or you’re looking for an inversion table to help with a medical issue like a compressed disc, it’s important to find one that will work well for you. To do this, you’ll want to look for a few key factors.
1. Safety First
Before you look at any other features of an inversion table, you should consider how safe it is. Does it have safety handlebars? How is inversion controlled and how can you safely and easily get out of an inversion? Do the ankle locks have safety features that will help keep you secured when inverted but also let you disengage easily, as well?
2. Controlling Your Inversion
A quality inversion table will let you set the angles at which you can invert and will have features to allow you to easily go into and come out of an inversion without a lot of effort. Traditionally, manual inversion tables use one or more tethered safety straps to control the angle of inversion, but newer tables have more advanced controls, as you saw in some of the tables we reviewed above.
3. Ergonomics and Comfort
Higher end inversion tables like the Teeter EP 960 will be specifically made to guide your spine into the correct position when inverted at any angle. The Innova ITX 9700 has memory foam padding that has a similar effect, and the Ironman Gravity 4000 has a removable lumbar support pad to help with some inversion angles, as well.
Some users won’t need an ergonomic back for their inversion table, but it’s important to have a table with a comfortable backrest that works for you.
That’s why we like the Ironman Gravity 1000. Of all the more cost effective inversion tables available, it has one of the most comfortable backrests for a variety of spinal conditions.
Of course, ergonomics and comfort don’t end with the backrest and/or lumbar support pad. If you’re going to be inverted and your weight is going to be held largely by your ankles, you want to ensure that the ankle locks will be comfortable and supportive. If they’re too tight or aren’t ergonomically shaped, they’re likely going to bruise your ankles and you won’t want to use the inversion table often enough to see any positive results.
4. Assembly and Storage
Finally, don’t forget that you’ll have to assemble your inversion table and that you might have to do this while your back is hurting and/or your joints are stiff. A quality inversion table should go together fairly easily and shouldn’t take more than an hour to put together.
Consider also, when you buy your inversion table, where you’ll be storing it and how much space you have available for it. If you don’t have a dedicated space for your home gym area, you might want to consider an inversion table that folds up and can be put away in a closet or storage area.
Keep these things in mind when picking out the best inversion table for your needs and you’ll have a much easier time choosing the one that best suits you and your home.