Massage Table Sheet Sets 101

You have been buying your sheets at Target and JC Penny because it is just too convenient. I get it. I enjoy looking at their sales and feeling/inspecting the sheets before I buy them too. But now you are searching for something that fits your table really nice, lasts a long time and makes your clients want to tell their friends to make an appointment with you.

Why are they so important?
This may sound silly and simplistic, but sheets are so important to the massage. They keep the client warm and help set up the very important physical boundary during a massage. Sheets are one of the first things a clients sees when they walk in the room. Clients want to see and feel nice, clean sheets.  They say a lot about you as a professional. Take pride in your work and buy some good sheets.

What are the options?
Flannel, Cotton, Cotton-poly, Jersey Knit, Egyptian cotton, bamboo, organic,  microfiber, double brushed, or whatever.

Massage Sheets vs Twin 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 table. If you use these items, sheets specifically for massage tables can be too snug. I have had someone suggest Bed Bands for sheets that are too loose. Massage sheets typically also come with a fitted face cradle cover. If they do not, try these Flannel Face Rest Covers (10 Pack). I always use Fleece Face Cradle Cover. My friend, Amy, also sells these: Heavenly Face Cradle Covers.

Choose high thread counts and quality
One thing is that your sheets need to be durable and not translucent. Also they need to withstand more than the typical amount of washing. Typically this translates into high-thread count and quality sheets.  So, we need sheets that are going to last. 

Does this mean you need to use flannel?
For the love of flannel. Most clients love flannel sheets, especially in the winter.  My colleagues in the southern states where air condition is a year-round thing, also will get their fair use of of flannel sheets.  If you need a basic set – try this set – Basic Flannel Cotton Set.

I also like this set on Amazon- Flannel Sheet 3 Piece Set (White).

This one – Flannel Sheet Set.

And this one (it is not in stock as often) –Fun Color Flannel 3 Piece Set.

Staying Cool
Some clients do not like to be warm during a massage. They may experience hot flashes, or dislike warm days during the summer. For these client, forgo flannel sheets or a nice set of cool sheets. I have not found a poly-blend massage set I like, so I buy poly-cotton sets at a big box store.

Finding a good deal– Are massage sheet sets really worth 20+ dollars?   One tip of mine is to use the time of year to your advantage.  We all want to save money and have great sheets.   When stores start thinking Spring, hit the flannel sheet isle to pick up some great deals on great sets of flannel sheets.  After college starts, check out the clearance section.  Twin sheet sets with fun prints can be very cheap (but watch out, sometimes these sets can be made cheaply too).  I have picked up some great sets in September and when winter items go on sale.

Solid vs Print
Whether you like colors, solids, prints, or bright white, keep your sheets clean.  I know some practitioners use only white sheets so the can bleach the sheets to show their clients what a clean office they keep. I also know some practitioners who use prints to hide oil stains from natural oils they use. Lets resolve that issue now.

Keep your sheets clean and fresh
Natural oils are nice, but are they more important than presenting clean sanitary sheets? If you use natural oils, or have issues with staining, try a new Laundry Soap, or read review of my favorite massage oils, lotions and creams and which ones wash out the best and are natural.

How long do sheets last?
Depending on the number of  washes, types of oils, types of detergent, and quality of sheets- massage sheets usually run their course. When you notice more strings, any stains or thin spots, it is time to retire your sheets. Check out Pinterest “old bed sheets” and see some really cool ways your upcycle your old sheets (You can follow me on Pinterest here).

One last tip – Top sheet alternative / Blanket
Try a nice, fluffy bath sheet (not a bath towel, a bath sheet).  They add a nice weight to the client (feels secure).  They can be used as blankets and are very easy to wash.  

I recommend these – bath sheets here.

Here are a couple other blanket options – . It comes in 10 different colors and are easy to launder. Here is one more Simple Throw Blanket.

What sheets are best in your opinion?  Any tips for laundering?

Happy Shopping!

Ivy Hultquist

Advanced Massage Techniques ~ Massage CEUs

Bonus- Folding! See this pin


  1. Nicole Smith says

    Ivy – sorry you didn’t care for your set of sheets. Over the years, I too, have bought sets from Massage Warehouse that I have been very unhappy with. I have also purchased sets from JCPenny Home Store when their flannels go on sale. I think the sheet sets that I carried, do somewhat hold up a little better in multiple washings, yet, for me, having a wider table, they are stretched to the max! I have bought the 10.99 ones at Massage Warehouse years ago, and they rip & tear after a couple months.
    Who knows what the answer is. I guess we just have to face the fact that when we wash them so often, they will only last so long.
    Thanks for the input & support for my store. I will be sending out an email in the next couple days of about a gal that is going to open a smaller store close to downtown Des Moines. Smaller & more limited hours to begin with, so hopefully she can get the great support I got. She is going to be carrying Sacred Earth too :)

  2. says

    Oh Nicole! I was not disappointed. I had read the reviews on massage sheets on several sites, and none were outstanding. You had a great deal on them, so I got them! I knew what I was maybe getting myself into and that I was going to write about them anyway. I loved getting to order my supplies from you. Great customer service and fast, reasonable shipping!

    Thank you for the news about the other store. I am excited to hear about it and anyone who has read this blog knows my feelings on Sacred Earth Botanicals!

    Good Luck in your return to your massage practice!

  3. says

    Great post! Good tip about waiting for the clearance items after college starts, definitely an important thing to keep in mind. I prefer the white sheets myself.

  4. David Chesson says

    Hello Ivy

    I’m a student massage therapist and I graduate in March. I purchase a fitted sheet for my table from Now Your Body Best in Toronto, Ontario. $12.00 each.
    I find that they fit my 30 inch table great and are really well made. I have been using it for almost a year and it get washed 3 times a week and still looks great.
    I do a lot of spots massage and I find that the sheet doesn’t move around when I need to move my 6 foot plus, 225 lb client.

  5. says

    I’m trying to decide what sheets to get! I’m a year out of school and my original “target” sheets are getting pretty stained at this point. When I go to other spas and studios, they always seem to have very impressive, wrinkle-free sheets. How do they do it? More importantly- how do I do that? I usually have a blanket on the table so it’s somewhat of a non-issue, but now that Summer’s here I want to make sure the sheets are nice enough and heavy enough that I can keep the table blanket-free for a few months and still have a good looking table!

    • says

      As far as wrinkle-free sheets, I do not know. They may just use wrinkle-free sheets, which cost a little more. I heard a suggestion recently from someone who did not like their clients “getting tangled” as they turned over with flannel sheets. They use one flannel and one cotton sheet. I have tried that lately, and it does work well. I really do like a heavy-weight flannel for the warmth, added weight, and they seem to wrinkle less. I typically buy them at a department store because they are a little bigger than massage table sheets and my table has added padding, heating pads, and an additional vinyl cover. Hope this helps a little. Good luck! Let me know if you find something works well for you!

  6. Naomi says

    Is it considered suitably professional to use non-massage-table-sized fitted sheets in your practice, and use regular twin size instead? I’d much prefer to use the twins, partly because it gives me a hugely wider selection of colors, thread counts, etc., at lower prices, and partly because the extra room leaves me space to fit a warmer/fleece combination under it, add body pillows for sidelying positions, etc., without having to stuff things under a sheet that was sized with the intention of fitting closely over the table alone. But I’m afraid that if I use twins, they’ll sag in the wrong way, and the client’s first visual impression of my room won’t include a crisp, clean-looking table, and they won’t be pleased. I’m new — just graduating and setting up my practice, buying everything I need from scratch — and could really use advice; thanks!

    • says

      Hi Naomi,
      I have used actually massage table sheets once. I thought they were way too snug for my table. I may have just had a bad brand though. I have always used twin sized sheets (12+ years). I have never thought they were too big either. I do like room for extra bolsters too.

      If you feel the fitted size is too big, I talked to someone recently that uses those bed sheet clips under their table to make the sheet fit a little tighter. You might look into that. I need to remember to pick some up at the store to try too.

      Best wishes on your new business!

      • Carrie says

        Hi Naomi,
        I,m just starting out also. In school we used only flat sheets. We tied the bottom sheet in knots, one on each corner. It,s a bit more work but it worked great as it makes it more adjustable for extra padding. I plan to use this method in my practice. We used polyester but I like the idea of one flannel and one polyester so they don,t stick as the client is turning. Good luck on your new adventure!

    • says

      Twin bed sheets work fine. They are a little bigger than massage table sheets, which I like. IF they are too big, you can use those clips to keep sheets tight on a bed under your massage table.

  7. Jefferson J. Jones says

    Hello. I am a beginner and just doing this for my wife. What are the essentials for using a massage table correctly including accessories like sheets, covers, etc.? Where will I get a family man, economy friendly deal but still give my lady a wonderful experience? Thank you for your help.

    • says

      The bare minimum is just a table with face cradle (it usually comes with one included), a bolster for under knees if face up or ankles if face down, and a set of twin-sized sheets. You can use a pillowcase for a face cradle cover by draping it over the face cradle and them pushing the middle out so there’s a space for her to breathe through.

      Things you might *like*, however, include a fleece face cradle cover (goes under the pillowcase, and is softer to put one’s face against), a fleece table pad (goes under the sheets likewise), and a table warmer (sometimes this is combined with the fleece pad into one unit — it’s fleece that’s got warmers inside — and I think that’s best of all). You might also consider getting a few actual configured face cradle covers to use instead of the pillowcase; it looks better and is sometimes more comfortable.

      Often, a bunch of things including the above, as well as items such as a rolling stool for the therapist to sit on during focused work on a specific area, massage oil, lotion or cream and a holster for carrying it, etc. are all sold together in packages. sells a bunch of table packages which have modestly-priced massage tables that come with a lot of the basic items such as the ones I’ve mentioned.

      Best wishes! I think it’s great that you’re doing this for your wife.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *