How to Lay in a Tanning Bed

If you’re a first-time tanner, the process can be a bit confusing. You may be worried that you haven’t moisturized your skin enough or you might not know how to lay in a tanning bed and which are the best positions so that you don’t get tan lines.

The most surprising thing is not most tanners know the perfect tanning bed positions which aren’t a healthy sign.

If you’re going to use a tanning bed for tanning it’s important to know how to lay in a tanning bed if you want to get that glowing sun-kissed tan and avoid an uneven tan with tan lines and butt circles.

This is why most professional tanners stress the importance of proper posture during indoor tanning.

Different tanning bed laying positions

Getting an uneven tan is very embarrassing and it’s even worse if you glowing tan starts to break up because of undesired creases or underexposed skin. Although tanning beds are a quick and very convenient way of achieving a golden glow, poor positioning in a tanning bed can cause you a lot of stress trying to fix the areas that haven’t been properly tanned.

Here are some tanning bed positions that you can use in your next tanning session.

On your stomach

This isn’t a commonly preferred position, but it’s important that you lay on your belly to avoid getting creases on your backside. This is how you lay on your stomach.

  • Use both of your hands to form a pillow and rest your chin over it. This will ensure that your neck gets properly tanned and also your wrists and other parts of your hands.
  • Rest your feet on your toes by raising them and ensuring that your toes maintain contact. This ensures that your feet have very little contact with the tanning bed surface and your feet get an even tan. Your knees also get a chance to get a tan.
  • Avoid moving a lot because you will get tired faster not to mention laying on your stomach is already tiring and boring.

On your back

This is the easiest and most common tanning bed position, but you’re more likely to get an uneven tan than normal lying in this position. Although it’s a very comfortable and preferred tanning position, a big part of your body doesn’t get exposed to UV rays and no matter how hard you try there will be some parts of your body that you can’t expose lying on your back. Here is how you can properly lie on your back while tanning.

  • Try to lie as flat as possible to avoid creases on your back and raise your knees slightly so that they’re higher than your body.
  • Try resting your feet on your heels so that you expose the soles of your feet to tanning to avoid looking ugly when you’re wearing your slip-on.
  • If you’re comfortable, fold your arms behind your head or rest your arms beside your body but ensure they don’t come in contact with your body. This will ensure that the sides of your body aren’t left untanned because of your arm’s shadow.
  • Occasionally switch positions by shifting your weight to either side to void getting butt moons.

How to lay in a Tanning Bed

Ask a Staff Member to go over the Tanning Process

This is very important if you’re a first-time tanner or you’re not familiar with the type of tanning bed. Some tanning beds have control buttons for the fan and separate bed bulbs that you can turn on and off. You may also be required to close the lid of the tanning bed before tanning on the machine that is why you need to know how all these things function before laying on the tanning bed.

Locate your Timer

Not all tanning salons will have a staff member coming to remind you when to turn your body during the tanning session. Most of the standard tanning beds have a timer on the inside that you can use to monitor your session.

Remove the Pillow

Most tanning salons provide you with a pillow in their tanning beds to keep you comfortable, but you shouldn’t use it. The pillow will cover your neck when tanning which will result in tan lines and a white strip on your neck.

Put your legs up to avoid butt moons

If you’ve noticed white streaks over creases on your thighs and butt, these are called butt moons. This happens when the skin on your butt overlaps your thighs to form creases that make it hard for the UV rays to penetrate through. Raising your legs and bending your knees will help in preventing this from happening. This way your skin stretches out to get an even tan all over.

Use goggles

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After applying your indoor tanning lotion, you should put on your goggles like the ones above. You must wear eye protection because our eyes and eyelids are very sensitive to UV light and if the rays penetrate your eyelids they can cause serious damage to your eye.

Closing your eyes won’t work because UV light exposure can cause serious damage to the external and internal structure of your eyes. You also want to avoid getting raccoon eyes by adjusting the goggles during the tanning session occasionally so that they don’t stay in one position for too long.

Make sure that when adjusting the goggles they continue to cover your eyelids.

A good tanning goggles like Flexible Super Sunnies will not only keep your eyes safe(as its FDA approved) but also is really light on your wallet. You can check it below

Stretch Out

Stretching during your tanning session ensures that all parts of your skin get exposed so you get an even tan. If you rest your arms for too long close to your body you can get an uneven tan.

Avoid lying in one position for too long especially when you’re lying flat with your arms too close to the sides of your body. Lie on your back with your arms and legs spread out on either side to ensure you avoid getting tan lines.

Switch positions after some time and place your arms above your head so that the skin on your arms and legs get exposed and spread your arms and legs apart.

Stretching allows more UV rays to penetrate your skin in less time so the more space you allow, the more radiation sets in resulting in a deep, darker tan that will last longer.

Turn on your Stomach

To ensure your skin gets evenly exposed, turn and lie on your stomach halfway through your tanning session.

It can be a bit uncomfortable, but lying on your back throughout will not help you to achieve the even tan you want. When you lie on your stomach spread your arms on your side with your palms down, and shift your arms occasionally.

You can also bend your arms to support your chin over your hands to ensure the sides of your arms get exposed to UV light for an even tan.

Shift Sides

To ensure that your sides also get tanned, flip to your sides after some time. Lie on one side and the other for an equal amount of time, but avoid staying on one side for too long to avoid getting tan lines.

Remember to Tan your Neck

Tanning salons provide you with a pillow in every tanning bed, but you would be better off without it. The pillow can get in the way of achieving the perfect sun-kissed tan you want. Avoid using the pillow and make sure the area around your neck gets enough UV exposure if you don’t want to get a white strip on your neck.

Wait before Taking a Bath

You should wait at least 3-4 hours after your tanning session to take a shower to allow the tan to soak and settle properly on your skin. If you take a shower immediately after your tanning session, your tan can become dull or have blotchy marks.


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Tanning beds can change the condition of your skin, so remember to apply a moisturizing lotion after your tanning session like the one we recommend above. This will help your skin to recover from exposure to UV light. Get a lotion that contains extra vitamins and coconut oil that have natural benefits that are good for your skin.

How to Ensure that Different Parts of your Body get an Even Tan

The main aim when you visit a tanning booth is to get an even tan all over your body. The tanning process can take a lot of your time and you can only get the desired results if you do it right. An uneven tan is a very common issue, but there are ways of ensuring that different parts of your body get an even tan.


Tanning your face isn’t very difficult. You just lie on your back and wear tanning goggles so that you don’t end up damaging your eyes. A common complaint about tanning goggles is raccoon eyes. To avoid this, adjust the goggles a few times during the tanning session to ensure that the UV rays don’t concentrate on one particular part of your face.

Neck and Shoulders

If you’re a woman, your hair can hinder you from properly tanning your neck. To prevent this, tie your hair in a bun before starting your tanning session. Your shoulders also need to be exposed to UV radiation. Lie on your stomach and support your chin with your hands to allow your shoulders to get a good tan.


Tanning your back will require you to lie on your stomach. Tanning your back isn’t difficult because this is the largest part of your body and is completely exposed to UV light.

Stomach and Chest

To tan these parts of your body, you need to lie on the flat of your back. These parts are easy to apply tanning lotion, so they won’t be a problem tanning.

Legs and Thighs

To ensure that you get an even tan on your legs and thighs, there are a few steps you need to follow. As you’re lying flat on your back, the down part of your thighs isn’t getting exposed to UV radiation. To get your all your legs and thighs tanned all at once, you need to toss and turn a bit. You can raise your legs when lying on your back and bend your knees a little leaving only your heel touching the tanning bed. When lying on your belly, use your toes to ensure that your legs and thighs don’t touch the tanning bed.


To tan your groin you will need to lie on your back and spread your legs apart making an acute angle with your legs. Many people are afraid of applying tanning lotion on their groins, but it’s okay. You can tan this part of your body by just lying on your back and spreading your legs wide apart.


Tanning your buttocks is very complicated. It’s very easy for you to get butt moons because the skin in your buttocks overlaps over your thighs which is a result of lying on your back for too long. This is most likely going to happen unless you flip and lie on your stomach a few times during your tanning session. You can lie flat on your stomach and flex your hips.


It’s not hard to tan your feet like other parts of your body. While lying on your back, keep your feet upright and only let the hind part of your feet to touch the tanning bed.


To avoid complaining about an uneven tan, tan lines, and butt moons, you must know how to lay on a tanning bed and the proper tanning positions that will ensure you achieve an even tan with that golden glow you want. It’s also important that you use a quality tanning lotion because the results will also depend on the quality of the product you use. Ensure that you have prepared your skin well before tanning to avoid burning your skin. Remember not to stay in the tanning bed for too long, hydrate, and keep your skin well moisturized throughout your tanning session and even after. 

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