Best Inversion Table in 2020 [Full Reviews & Buying Guide]

FDA and UL certified medical device

Teeter FitSpine X1

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Teeter FitSpine X1
  • Medically supported design
  • Best warranty & support
  • Most flexibility

Most Features, FDA-Rated

Teeter FitSpine X3

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Teeter FitSpine X3
  • Adjustment and use features for those with limited mobility
  • Best warranty & support
  • Medically supported design

Sturdiest Inversion Table

Ironman Gravity Inversion Table

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Ironman Gravity Inversion Table
  • Higher weight capacity than other models
  • 6 year warranty if purchased direct from manufacturer
  • Easy to reach ankle lock

Table of Contents

On the surface, an inversion table might sound like a fancy gimmick. Turning upside down? How can that help?

Fortunately for you and me, the research (and customer testimonials) proves that this is more than snake oil made of steel and foam. Countless individuals have stated over and over again how inversion tables have changed their lives in ways that nothing else has. Leg pain, back pain, and more, all gone with just a few minutes a day at a different angle. The most common question they ask is – “Why haven’t you bought one yet??!”

Throughout our lives, we are putting strain on our back and legs. Even without a specific injury, your spine and hips take a lot of pressure, especially if you have a physically demanding job, or are on your feet all day. Inversion therapy helps by reducing pressure on your spine – after all, it is carrying the significant task of supporting your whole body, all day long!

Inversion therapy works by relieving pressure, allowing your spine to stretch back out. Imagine you’ve been wearing a pair of tight-fitting shoes all day, and the relief that comes at the end of the day when you take them off and get to stretch your toes out, no longer confined. This is what your spine does when inverted, even at a slight angle.

Understandably so, you might be questioning whether or not inversion therapy is for you. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions asked to get an understanding of how this works – and how it can help you live a pain-free life.

(How) do inversion tables work?

Inversion tables work by allowing the spine, hips and legs to “decompress.” Every day, as you sit, stand and move around, your spine, hips and legs are carrying the weight of all that is above them. Even when lying down in bed, this pressure is only relieved as the weight is removed, but there is no reverse action (stretching back out.) An inversion table provides this relief by inverting the body.

Inversion tables are often used at different angles, or degrees of inversion. While the term “inversion table” may bring visions of being fully inverted (180 degrees, completely upside-down) this is not normally the case. Most users find a gentle inversion from 15 to 45 degrees is enough to reap the benefits.

How long should I use it for?

We recommend seeking specific advice from your medical professional, but for beginners, sessions lasting 5 minutes at low inversion levels, such as 15 degrees, are recommended. It is not recommended to start out with long sessions, or extreme angles.

In this case, please take note of the term inversion therapy – therapy intones that this is a long term solution! You will likely feel immediate results, even with short sessions. 5 minutes a session, 2-3 times a day, is a good place to start. You can increase the time spent inverted, and the inversion angle, as your body adjusts.

Do physiotherapists and doctors recommend inversion tables?

Inversion therapy is recommended by many medical professionals for those suffering from various issues that cause back and leg pain. While we recommend consulting a medical professional before beginning any health routine, inversion therapy is well documented as a viable solution for many. In fact, a study conducted by the Regional Neurosciences Centre in the UK reported that a group of sciatic patients who conducted inversion therapy for two minutes a day, three times a week, reduced their need for surgery by over 70%!

Are they dangerous/what are the risks?

Used properly, with advice from your medical professional, inversion tables are not inherently dangerous. That said, there are a few key things to keep in mind when considering or beginning inversion therapy:

  1. Don’t start out too aggressively! A low angle and short stints (under 5 minutes) is the way to go. Many of the reported injuries using inversion tables have come from those who inverted at an extreme angle for too long. Start out with the lowest inversion setting for under 5 minutes per session, and increase after weeks of therapy.
  2. Speak to your medical professional if you have blood pressure issues. Being inverted causes blood to rush to your head, which puts stress on your circulatory system. If you have high blood pressure, hypertension, or are taking blood thinners, do not use an inversion table without medical advice.
  3. Being inverted may also cause additional pressure on the inner ear or eyes. If you have retinal detachment, inner ear problems, or glaucoma, an inversion table may make these issues worse. There may also be issues using an inversion table if you have a bone fracture, hernia or osteoporosis, or are significantly overweight or pregnant. In any of these cases, do not use an inversion table without consulting a medical professional.

Now that you know what inversion therapy is all about, let’s dive into the best-of list! While there are a lot of options out there for inversion tables, I believe the 5 below cover all the bases and offer everything you need to stretch that spine out and find relief. Take stock of your personal needs, speak to your medical professional, and find the inversion table that’s right for you!

Our top picks - best inversion tables in 2020

#1 FDA and UL certified medical device

Teeter FitSpine X1

Teeter FitSpine X1

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The (second) best inversion table, for a price. However, it has the added benefit of being FDA & UL certified as a medical device – which none of the other inversion tables can claim. This also may make it easier to purchase using an FSA or HSA funds, tax-free.

Pros

  • Medically supported design
  • Best warranty & support
  • Most flexibility

Cons

  • Cost
  • Ankle adjustment may be difficult to reach for those with problems bending over

The best comes with a cost, but with such high praise, who are we to argue? The Teeter FitSpine X1 is the inversion table to beat. Rather than simply a “me-too” product, the Teeter is a design that has been tested, reviewed and improved upon time after time, and the X1 is the result of all that hard work.

While many inversion tables are a copy of other designs, with minor “features” such as a thick pad or minor adjustability, the Teeter X1 takes the idea of an inversion table more than a few steps forward, and it’s easy to see. All inversion tables have the same basic concept, but one look at a Teeter and you know it’s a different beast.

With a thicker steel frame, elevated back support, and a premium design, it’s easy to see why they can command a higher price. What really sets Teeter apart is the service and support. Arriving 85% assembled, most can put it together in just 30 minutes. It also ships with interactive assembly instructions, a DVD (or streaming) videos on how to use the device, as well as a 60-day money-back guarantee, 5-year warranty, and US-based customer support.

As far as the actual inversion goes, the Teeter X1 offers unlimited angles, including 180-degree full inversion if you so desire. Highly adjustable, the Teeter makes it easy to find your center of gravity and operate at whatever angle you find comfortable. There are also adjustable acupuncture points that you can use to further the benefits of your inversion therapy if you so desire – though they can be removed if you’re not a fan.

Teeter has also taken steps to earn certification for the X1 from the FDA as a Class-1 510k Medical Device. While this may sound fancy, it really means that Teeter has taken the extra effort to certify that this is more than just a home remedy. It might help you if you’re hoping to purchase your inversion table with funds from your FSA or HSA. Talk to your plan provider for additional details.

The biggest difference between the Teeter X1 and the X3 is the “EZ-Reach Ankle System” – which allows the user to lock the ankles in place with a long handle. If you have problems bending over, then look at the X3. Otherwise, save your money and get the X1. It’s hard to beat the best.

#2 Most Features, FDA-Rated

Teeter FitSpine X3

Teeter FitSpine X3

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The best inversion table, for even more of a price. It has all the benefits of the X1, but adds additional features to help those with limited mobility use the inversion table without assistance.

Pros

  • Adjustment and use features for those with limited mobility
  • Best warranty & support
  • Medically supported design

Cons

  • Cost

Building on the same successful platform as the Teeter X1, the X3 adds a few features that may be critical to you if you have limited mobility.

With the X3, Teeter adds three design features. First, and most importantly, the “EZ-Reach Ankle System.” Essentially, this is a mechanism that allows the user to lock their ankles in place without bending over. For some, this is not essential, and not worth the extra cost. But for others who have trouble bending over due to back issues (probably why you need an inversion table in the first place!), this is a key feature, and it’s what puts the X3 on the list.

Second, the X3 has “EZ-Stretch Traction Handles” – basically, an accessory that allows you to have an additional hardpoint to grab for stretching, as well as a push-button release from full inversion. Third, the X3 has an “EZ-Angle Tether” – which is a color-coded strap to set different inversion angles. These are both minor upgrades, and not worth the additional cost if you don’t need the ankle system.

Teeter has also taken steps to earn certification for the X3 from the FDA as a Class-1 510k Medical Device. While this may sound fancy, it really means that Teeter has taken the extra effort to certify that this is more than just a home remedy. It might help you if you’re hoping to purchase your inversion table with funds from your FSA or HSA. Talk to your plan provider for additional details.

Other than these features, the X3 is just like the X1. Built with a sturdy frame and a premium design, backed by a great warranty and money-back guarantee, the Teeter really is the best of the best. Buy the X3 if you need the “EZ-Reach Ankle System” – buy the X1 if you don’t.

#3 Sturdiest Inversion Table

Ironman Gravity Inversion Table

Ironman Gravity Inversion Table

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

For those needing a larger capacity, look no further than the Ironman Gravity. With a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, this rises above the competition significantly. It also has an easy-to-reach ankle lock.

Pros

  • Higher weight capacity than other models
  • 6 year warranty if purchased direct from manufacturer
  • Easy to reach ankle lock

Cons

  • Only inverts to 90 degrees
  • No additional features

The Ironman Gravity 4000 is an inversion table with all the features you need, and none you don’t. It’s higher weight capacity, easy to reach ankle lock and sturdy build make it a great choice for those needing an affordable yet durable inversion table.

Built by Paradigm, a maker of many different kinds of home exercise equipment, the Ironman Gravity 4000 is a “white label” product built for the Ironman name. You will find similar inversion tables, such as the Exerpeutic 975SL, built by Paradigm as well. They are all the same basic model, with some additional features. For the money, the Ironman Gravity 4000 is the best choice.

Built for those of larger frame, the Gravity 4000 is a large inversion table, and will likely take two to assemble and get in the house. It’s a heavy duty piece of equipment and requires about a 7 foot by 3 foot space to operate properly. It does fold slightly for storage, but don’t plan on sliding it underneath your bed – it’s still quite large. Assembly is fairly simple, and takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Once assembled, the Gravity 4000 uses a strap system to adjust the level of inversion from 0-90 degrees, or remove the strap for full 180-degree inversion. Adjust the height, lock in the ankles, and you’re ready to go.

Speaking of the ankle lock, Paradigm has made a wise choice in offering an easy to use ratcheting ankle lock system. This allows the user to lock in place without bending over significantly, which is useful for those with limited mobility.

While built overseas, Paradigm has built a name for itself with solid build quality at an affordable price. While you can find the Gravity 4000 at a cheaper price from online stores, if purchased directly from Paradigm, they will add 5 years to the limited warranty, giving you a total of six years – this is hard to beat.

#4 Inversion table with Heat & Massage

Innova ITM5900

Innova ITM5900

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

Still at a low cost, the Innova ITM5900 is the only one on this list with heat & massage features. Its ankle-lock system is also easier to reach. While these features may not be medically necessary, it sounds like a nice way to spend your time inverted!

Pros

  • Heat & massage support for lumbar region
  • Easy to reach ankle lock
  • Low(er) cost

Cons

  • Only 6 levels of inversion
  • One year warranty

A step up from the ITX9600, the ITM5900 adds some features that just might make it worth the extra cost for you. It builds on the same basic concept, with 6 different inversion settings, but adds a heated back massager, easier to reach ankle locking system, and a thicker back pad for added comfort.

First, let’s talk about the heated back massaging function. Who doesn’t want this? While it may not equal the benefit you’ll get from a real back massage, it does feel nice. Don’t expect a deep-tissue Swedish massage however, it’s more of a gentle vibration. The heat is helpful to loosen tight muscles, and is a nice added benefit.

Innova has also improved upon the ankle locking system, with an easy to reach locking bar and better ankle locks. This is more comfortable than the foam roller setup of the ITX9600 and other budget models. The ability to lock the ankles without bending over is a significant improvement for those with limited mobility – if you have a hard time bending over, we highly recommend purchasing an inversion table with this feature.

The thicker back pad provides some additional comfort, but since the goal is to stay inverted and relieve pressure on your back, it’s really just an added bonus and not necessary. As with the 9600, it is adjustable on both height and headrest, so you can find the right place for your specific center of gravity.

With the same one-year warranty and basic support email address as the ITX9600 from Innova, it can’t match the others on this list for support. However, it is well built and assembly takes a little more than an hour, though two people are recommended due to the size and weight. If the heat, massage, and ankle-locking system are a game-changer for you, you can’t go wrong with the ITM5900.

#5 Best Budget Inversion Table

Innova ITX9600

Innova ITX9600

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

Editor's opinion:

Sometimes, you just need to flip over and stretch your back. With the Innova ITX9600, that’s about all you’re able to do. It has no-frills, but it gets the job done for a good price. In my opinion it’s the best inversion table on a budget.

Pros

  • Lowest cost
  • Adjustable headrest

Cons

  • No added features
  • Only 6 levels of inversion

Lacking all of the fancy features of the other models on the list, the ITX9600 is like a pair of jeans – it’s not going to impress anyone, but it’s going to get the job done. If you’re on a budget, look no further than the ITX9600.

Built by Innova, a company that manufactures a wide range of home exercise equipment, the ITX9600 is their entry-level inversion table. However, entry-level still gets you a device with six different angles of inversion: 15, 30, 45, 60, and 85 degrees, plus full inversion (180) with the pin removed. For most, this is enough. For those who want a full range of motion, or more choice, this could be limiting.

The ITX9600 is easy to assemble and takes about an hour to put it together. I recommend having a ratchet and a set of sockets on hand, as the included wrenches can be cumbersome at times, and slow the process down. While the inversion table is foldable, it really only reduces the length of the device when it is fully upright and ready for use – it is not very compact.

Once assembled, it’s pretty easy to use, given the lack of additional features. Set it for your height – you may need to go slightly above or below your actual height to find your center of gravity, adjust the headrest, set the inversion angle, and away you go! For those with limited mobility, the ITX9600 does not have an ankle lock that is easy to reach – you do have to bend over. If that is an issue for you, consider one of the other models on this list. You may also find that the ankle support is not enough if you are barefoot. Try the ITX9600 both with and without high-top shoes to find what works best for you.

Unfortunately, unlike other brands on this list, the Innova only comes with a one-year warranty, and their website provides merely a contact email if you have issues. That said, it is a sturdy piece of equipment that works. If you’re on a limited budget, the Innova ITX9600 is hard to beat.

The best inversion table: buying guide, tips & tricks

While all of the inversion tables outlined here are going to do the basic job of getting you inverted, there are some key features and differences to consider based on your circumstances and comfort level, as well as your budget. We recommend considering the following as you seek to find the best inversion table for you.

Mobility & Assembly

A device like an inversion table is designed for those with specific medical needs who want to reduce back pain and reduce trips to the chiropractor. So, one of the most important considerations to take into account when searching for the right inversion table for you is how easy it will be for you to use!

Three of the five inversion tables we recommend have an easy to reach ankle locking system. While it may be tempting to purchase an inversion table without this feature to save money, remember that inversion therapy is just that – therapy. It is designed to assist with a medical condition over time. You will not be using this device once or twice, it will be once or twice a day over weeks, months, maybe even years.

With this in mind, selecting a device that meets your needs is key – you don’t want to buy two of them, do you? Therefore, if you have limited mobility, we highly recommend spending the extra money on an easy-reach ankle locking system. Over the long haul, it will prove to be invaluable, and there are a number of models here that have this feature for not much extra cost.

Similarly, please consider ease of assembly – one of the reasons we love the Teeter X1 and X3 is that they come 85% assembled. Since this is a medical device to assist those with pain, please consider your potential limitations when assembling the device, and ask a friend or family member for help. It’s not worth it to hurt yourself before you even get started!

Features – are they worth it?

When you’re looking for an inversion table, you will come across a plethora of offered features. While you are the only one that can decide which of them is worth it, I recommend taking an account of your needs and desires and consider which of these will assist with your pain in the long run.

Certainly, as mentioned above, features that offer ease of use for those with limited mobility may be very important to you. Others, such as “stretch handles” or features that allow the user to “easily right themselves” from an inverted position, are mostly marketing gimmicks. If you set up your inversion table correctly by finding your center of gravity, righting yourself from an inverted position is simply a matter of lowering your hands to change your center of gravity.

Stretching handles may seem beneficial, but I do not believe they are worth the often significant additional cost that upgrading to a model with them would imply. I recommend working with your health care provider to find a stretching routine that specifically targets your personal problem areas to address tight muscles.

Beyond these, you will find heat, massage, infrared therapy, “disc brakes” and other features that are not necessary. If you believe that having a feature like heat or massage will help you use your inversion table more frequently, then it may be worthwhile for you! The most successful users of inversion therapy often find that multiple frequent sessions (3-5 times per day, 5-10 minutes each) are needed, so if you need these features to get you on the table, then it may be worth it!

Warranty and Support

As mentioned above, therapy is a long-term solution. While many report that inversion therapy provides immediate relief, you will likely be using this device for a long time. Therefore, a solid warranty and manufacturer backing is very helpful to consider.

In addition to this – you may be wondering, is inversion therapy for me? Will it work? Is it just snake-oil? While thousands of reviews and testimonials suggest otherwise, you don’t know until you try it, and buying an expensive, heavy machine to test out the theory can make anyone uncomfortable. Teeter’s 60-day money back guarantee may provide some additional comfort if you are concerned about this!

A warranty helps if something breaks down, but it’s not much good to you if you can’t reach the company to service the warranty. While we applaud Paradigm for offering a 6-year warranty (if purchased direct) on the Ironman series, Teeter’s US-based customer service is hard to beat, as is their extensive library of YouTube videos, how-tos, and guides to help you get the most out of your inversion table.

That said, inversion tables are not complicated devices, and any of the options on this list should provide you with years of worry-free service. But the additional support from Teeter might just tip the scales for you.

Final verdict

For those on a moderate budget, the Innova ITM5900 is a great choice, as it offers some nice features and the easy-locking ankle system. For those of greater size, the Ironman Gravity 4000 is also a great choice. If you just can’t spend the money for these, or don’t have a problem bending over and are OK with the basics, the Innova ITX9600 will definitely get the job done for less.

If you have the money, we absolutely recommend the Teeter X1 inversion table. With excellent customer support, easy to assemble, research-based design, and overwhelmingly positive customer testimonials, Teeter is the table to beat. If you do not have mobility issues, buy the X1. If you feel like bending over to lock your ankles in place multiple times a day is too much, spring for the X3. Also, please contact your FSA or HSA provider to see if an inversion table is covered – you may be able to buy it using tax-free dollars!

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Elisha Catts
Elisha Catts

As a working mother of three, I know how hard it is to find time to research products, exercise, and eat right! I want to help others discover products, methods, and lifestyle choices that will make a difference. I enjoy writing, research, and exploring new things.

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