Last Updated: 3/31/2016
Your table presentation is one of the first things a client sees when they walk in the room. Clients want to see and feel nice, clean sheets. They keep the client warm and help set up the very important physical boundary during a massage.
Your linen choices, and care, say a lot about you as a professional.
Sheets need to be durable and withstand more than the typical amount of washing. Thin sheets will never give you positive reviews and pilling (little fuzz balls) will not create a comfortable feeling for the clients on your table.
Thread counts do not mean what they used to, and can be deceiving. I have seen advertisements for “equivalent to 1200 thread count” and “Egyptian quality” sets.
Here are a few helpful tips to consider as you shop for the best sheets for your table:
Long fibers are best.
Long-fiber cottons, such as Pima, Supima and Egyptian, are stronger fabrics and less likely to pill. They are also the most expensive options and rarely available in massage sets.
Poly blends wrinkle the the least.
Cotton/polyester blends do not wrinkle as much as 100 percent cotton sheets, but poly-cotton blends are more likely to make your client feel warmer on your table.
Let’s talk about flannel.
Most clients love flannel sheets, especially in the winter. My colleagues in the southern states where air conditioning is a year-round thing, also will get their fair use of of flannel sheets.
Flannel sheets have a tendency to pill, or ball up, because the are often made of cotton and synthetic fibers. Flannel sheets will not indicate a thread count, but may be classified by ounces or say if they are “brushed”. Brushed flannel is usually softer than non-brushed flannel.
Here are some flannel sets I recommend:
When stores start thinking spring, hit the flannel sheet isle to pick up deals on sets of flannel sheets.
What is microfiber?
Microfiber is made from polyester. It tends to resist pilling, but does not breathe as well as cotton. This may be a problem for clients that run warm during a session.
Massage Sheets vs Twin Bed Sets; which is best?
Massage Sheet Sets
Massage sheets tend to fit a table a little snugger than a twin fitted and give a very professional appearance. This is good except if you use extra bolsters, or have a larger than normal massage table. If you have a bigger table or larger bolsters massage sheets sets may not fit your table.
Twin Sheet Sets
Twin sheets can be too big for your table and can give a sloppy appearance. If you want to secure a larger set of sheets or use a flat sheet on the bottom, I suggest Bed Bands.
Face Rest Accessories
Towels and Blankets
I learned about using a bath sheet (not a bath towel, a bath sheet) as a blanket at one of my first spa courses. They add a nice weighted feeling for the client and are very easy to wash.
I recommend these – Bath Sheet Towels.
For blankets, I recommend the Gentility© Polar Fleece Massage Table Blanket. It comes in 10 different colors and is easy to launder.
Another option is a Simple Throw Blanket.
Cleaning Your Sheets
Sheets should be laundered within 24 hours of use with a perfume free detergent. Never dry sheets that have oily residue on them, as this increases the risk of fires.
If you use natural oils, or have issues with staining, try a new Laundry Soap, degreaser, Dawn or chalk to remove stains. Here is a review of my favorite massage oils, lotions and creams and which ones wash out the best for a massage, natural and wash easily out of sheets.
A note about prints:
Whether you like colors, solids, prints or bright white linens, keep your sheets clean. Some practitioners use solid colors or only white sheets so they can bleach the sheets to show their clients what a clean office they keep. Never use prints to hide stains.
Here are a couple folding techniques for fitted sheets:
Storage and Transporting Sheets
Always keep one basket or container for soiled sheets only. Take clean sheets back to the office in a clean container. For my Florida colleagues, some establishment inspectors will require clean sheets to be stored in a container with a lid or door.
Disposing of Old Sheets
Depending on the number of washes, types of oils, types of detergent and quality of sheets, massage sheets usually run their course within a year of regular use. When you notice any strings, stains or thin spots, it is time to retire your sheets. Check out Pinterest “old bed sheets” and see some really cool ways to up-cycle your old sheets.
What sheets are best in your opinion? Any tips for laundering? Let me know in the comments below!