Massage Sheet Sets 101

This week I did something I have NEVER done in my 10+ years as a massage professional. I bought a set of massage sheets. Yes, ones that come with the face rest cover. I do not know why I have never done it.  The $21 (plus shipping) non-sale price at Massage Warehouse price just never impressed me. When they did run their sale (still no free shipping!) I was not ready for new sheets. Plus, Target and Wal-Mart are too convenient. I love looking at their sales and feeling/inspecting the sheets before I buy them. I buy my face cradle covers separately (There was a great deal on Amazon for 3 for $5 a while ago. Of course it is pretty easy to get their super saver shipping n Amazon too.  My friend Amy also makes a great cradle cover that I will blog about soon.

Is it time for new massage sheets for you too? Depending on the number of  washes, types of oils, types of detergent, and quality of sheets- massage sheets usually run their course. It is just one of those days you are making up the massage table and think – “I need new sheets”.   The presentation of your table is important.  Clients want to see and feel nice clean sheets.  They say a lot about you as a professional.  Now, what do you look for in new sheets and where do you look?

Flannel, Cotton, Cotton-poly, Jersey Knit, Egyptian cotton, bamboo, organic,  microfiber, double brushed, or whatever.

One thing is that your sheets need to be durable and not translucent!  Typically this translates into high Thread Count sheets.  Companies do not usually make sheets with the massage therapist in mind.  They are not thinking their sheet sets are going to get washed many times each week.  So, we need sheets that are going to last.  Good quality usually means higher price.  I have too fell victim to the cheap 180 count see-through sheet sets.  Sure, some clients could care less about the sheets, but for some clients, the hour they spend on your table is meant to be their hour of luxury for the month.  I try to make those clients happy too.  Try a bath sheet, not a bath towel, a bath sheet.  They add a nice weight to the client (feels secure).  They can bee used as blankets and are very easy to wash.  Most clients love flannel sheets, especially in the winter~  My colleagues in the southern states where air condition   Some clients do not like to be warm  hot flashes or warm days and would sometimes prefer you forgo flannel sheets or a nice set of cool sheets.

Cost – Are massage sheet sets really worth 20+  dollars?  Sure they come with nice matching face cradles, but I am not impressed by any of them yet.  I suggest you wait for the 10.99 sale.  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).   Still, I have picked up some great sets in September!

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 their keep.  Yeah for ethics!   I also know some practitioners who use prints to hide oil stains from natural oils they use.  Natural oils are nice, but are they more important than presenting clean sanitary sheets?  Sheets are important to the massage session for the client and practitioner.   They keep the client warm and help set up the very important  physical boundary during a massage.  Take pride in your work and buy some good sheets.

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

Happy Shopping!

Ivy Hultquist

Advanced Massage Techniques ~ Massage Ethics CEUs

On a sadder note, this sheet set was my last purchase from Massage Works (Iowa massage supply store) in Des Moines. As of July 1st Nicole will no longer have the supply store open. Back to buying supplies on Amazon.

About Ivy Hultquist

Thank you for reading this post! In addition to writing here at Massage and Bloggywork, I write specifically about barefoot massage at, as well as teach massage continuing education at Advanced Massage Techniques.


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  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. 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. 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. 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!

    • 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. When you wash your sheets add salt to the washer, helps get rid of all the oils! Works Great!!

  7. 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!

    • 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!

  8. Paul Garling says:

    Can one use just plain bed sheets for a massage table or do you have to massage table sheets

    • 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.

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