Rating: 4.4 Review by Dave Carry
At the time of this writing, the Ironman inversion tables IFT series – including the Ironman IFT 1000 – are the only ones of their kind on the market. The only ones to combine inversion therapy with far infrared technology.
Combining heat and inversion therapy can work wonders for many people who suffer from back pain. Heat Therapy, also known as Far Infrared Therapy, reduces back pain and fatigue, promotes the rebuilding of injured tissue, and stimulates increased blood flow, which improves circulation. Far infrared rays—an invisible spectrum of sunlight—penetrate deep into the body, gently warming the muscles without affecting air temperature, which allows them to be safely used in an infrared sauna or an inversion table.
What's the Actual Weight Capacity?
Unfortunately, if you compare this table descriptions across multiple vendors, you’ll find a few discrepancies. Most probably, this is because vendors tend to copy portions of each other’s product descriptions without checking against the source. These discrepancies are noted (and corrected) below.
First, depending on where you look online, you’ll see descriptions stating that this table has a maximum weight capacity between 300-350 pounds, however, according to the Owner’s Manual published by Paradigm Health and Wellness (the makers of the Inversion Table), the maximum weight capacity is 275 pounds. Bear this in mind if you are considering purchasing the unit. If you are looking for a unit that’s specifically built to support weights of up to 350 pounds, I would recommend purchasing the much sturdier Ironman IFT 4000.
Second, despite what you may read on Amazon, the frame of the table is not powder-coated. It is only painted, and therefore, not scratch-resistant. In addition to this, instead of having tough rubber non-skid stabilizers at the corners of the stand, the this model has small foot caps fitted where the frame base bends in, as you can see in the image above. The table’s stability would have been greatly increased if it had the rubber stabilizers in the corners.
The tops of the stand are covered with safety cloth (not vinyl, as described on some sites) that keeps the nuts and bolts away from your hands while you are using the table, and there is a mesh “pocket” sewn into the cloth designed to store the remote control.
There are two foamed safety handles that not only support you during inversion, but are always within easy reach, so you can control the pace of the inversion, or stop the process if you begin to feel any discomfort. This equipment also has a sturdy nylon strap with steel hooks on each end to pre-set your maximum inversion angle, however, you should use it all the time to assist you, even at full inversion. As is the case with every home electric appliance that meets all safety requirements, the inversion table received the ETL sticker.
How to Control the Heat Therapy?
The backrest is vinyl, and has nice matching colors, double stitching, and a body-like shape that looks beautiful, however, some users might find it too narrow, as there is no place to rest your arms when lying down. On a standard inversion table, that wouldn’t be a big deal, because your arms would be more actively engaged in rotating, but in this case, you’d probably like to rest comfortably a bit longer and enjoy the gentle, relaxing sensation as those far infrared rays penetrate the muscles of your back.
The backrest is padded with one-inch thick foam with an ultra-thin carbon fiber heating pad built in. The pad covers fully two thirds of the area of the backrest, centered in the lower portion.
The heat controller is attached to the back of the backrest, which is the only reasonable place for it. Unfortunately, given its position, the LED can’t be seen while inverted, and given that there’s no display on the remote, you’ll need to set the desired time and temperature before you hop onto the table. With sufficient familiarity with the table, you could adjust the timer or temperature settings by feel, or simply switch it off via the remote control. Just remember that the bed needs to be pre-heated before use, and that it takes 15-20 minutes for the table to reach its maximum temperature of 140 degrees.
Are the Ankle Holders Comfortable?
The ankle locking system of the unit – also known as Ironman Infrared Therapy RX Inversion Table consists of two heel holding cups with rubber padding, and adjustable instep holders with two high density foam rollers and the footrest. The footrest is somewhat adjustable, as you can pick any pair of its four holes to accommodate different sizes and shapes of shoes and feet, unfortunately, it’s not something you’ll want to change often. The footrest is held in place by two bolts to eliminate wobbling. That’s good for stability but makes it a chore to adjust frequently.
The instep holder is spring-loaded so it will snap to your ankles once you pull the T-pin.
The combination of foam rollers and rubber cups snugly locks around your feet, providing sufficient security, but it’s not enough to hold you completely immobile. During inversion, you can expect to slip an inch or two. Also, to actually adjust the adjustable instep rollers, you’ll need to bend down as the T-pin will be lying between your ankles – not a great solution if you suffer from acute back pain and there’s no one around to assist you.
Does it Come Assembled?
Despite the fact that the table comes partially preassembled, you’ll need about an hour to make it ready for its first use. The table does not come with an instruction video, so you’ll be relying solely on the Owner’s Manual to guide you. The process is fairly straightforward, but as with any assembly of this kind, sometimes the pictures aren’t as clear as you’d like them to be. There are some “tools” included with the product, but they are of low quality and not the sort you’ll want to keep in your toolbox once the table has been fully assembled.
Adjustability & Balancing
As with every other inversion table, adjusting the pivot position of this device a time consuming process and requires completely removing the backrest, which comes with the added complication of having to be mindful of the power cord. This has to be unplugged from the controller, then detached from the pivot arm to allow you to take the bed off of the stand, then, once you’ve made your adjustments, the whole process has to be reversed.
There are three holes in each pivot arm. The bottom-most one (the one closest to the backrest) should be selected if you’re just beginning your adventure with inversion therapy on this specific table. Once the table is properly balanced, that position will limit your inversion angle and you’ll find that you will rotate gently in response to your arm movements. The opposite position—the top holes of the pivot arms—will give quite the opposite results. The table will become more aggressive, quickly reacting to the movement of your arms, and will easily allow for full inversion, or even bringing the table into the locked position. If the table is to be used by more than one person in your home, I would absolutely recommend setting it to the less aggressive position for safety reasons.
The table’s balance can be adjusted via the height adjustment bar. Because a person’s weight distribution varies depending on his or her height, some tweaking may be needed when you first set the table up to get this right for you. The goal here is to find the point where the table will barely lift if you lie down with your arms folded across your chest. There’s an additional knob at the bottom of the backrest frame that is supposed to hold the boom tight. It must be loosened before you pull on the ball spring knob and slide the boom in and out.
One end of the tether strap is hooked to the back of the backrest, while the other is on the crossbar of the stand. To make it relatively easy to adjust, it has a plastic buckle on it, and by adjusting the length of the tether strap, you can preset your maximum inversion angle. The longer the strap is the larger inversion angle that can be achieved.
Does the Unit Fold Up for Storage?
This infrared therapy inversion table folds up quickly and easily by simply pushing the A-frame together. Once this is done, the unit can simply be propped against a wall. Note, however, that you’ll need to find some wall space in an area that doesn’t see much foot traffic passing by. The shape of the thing is somewhat awkward with the ankle restraints sticking out on one side, and the handles on the other. This makes it too wide to lay onto its side and store under most beds. If this is something you want to do, your bed will need to have at least 24 inches of clearance in order to be able to slide this machine under it.
Unfortunately, there’s no good way to make the unit requires less clearance than the 24 inches mentioned above. There are two ways you could do it, but both are rather time consuming. The first of these would be to remove the ankle restraint. Doing this will reduce the clearance needed to about 15 inches. The second possibility would be to take the bed from the frame (as outlined above when discussing how to adjust the table’s pivot position). Again, this will make the table have a lower clearance, and thus, it will more easily fit under your bed, but is a time intensive process.
What are the Dimensions whent it's Set UP?
The table accommodates users between 4’9” and 6’6”, and will support a maximum weight of 275 pounds. The shipping box is 53” long, 28” wide, and 5.5” high. It weighs in at a hefty 66 pounds. The ready-to-use table weighs 50 pounds and is 25” wide. The length (horizontal distance from the ankle restraint to the top of the backrest) is 49”, and its height is 62”. The length and height of the table may vary significantly depending on which height adjustment setting is selected. When fully inverted, the table can be up to 75” high.
The ankle restraint solution is good, though not perfect (you’ll find better solutions in more advanced models, but this really is quite solid)
Extra-long handrails – in my opinion, this is a must-have in all inversion tables for safety reasons
Relatively light weight, allowing for easy moving and storing
Lack of any display on the remote control
No marks on the tether strap to allow for easy adjustment of its length
No locking device to lock in a particular inversion angle
The T-pin for adjusting the ankle restraint is poorly placed and in my opinion, indicative of a bad design of this feature
What do Other Customers Say about the Table?
This inversion table receives slightly more than 85% 4 and 5 star ratings, which means that the positive opinions vastly outweigh the negatives. Only 5% of users were strongly negative about the table, and of these, the chief complaint was about a failure of the heat controller.
This table was easy to put together and I am quite happy with the quality of the parts and the design is great. I only have two small complaints… (Read more)
This model and IFT 4000 inversion tables have no competition on the market at this time. The IFT 1000 can easily be get for under $200, new. Another option to consider are special cushions that provide infrared heating. These cushions come in a couple of different models, and if purchased as an extra attachment to the table, would add about $100 to the total price, though you might consider this money very well spent for the added comfort provided. Also remember that if you’re looking for a sturdier model, you’ll find the Ironman IFT 4000 inversion table for about $120 more than the IFT 1000, on the average.
The Inversion Table is Available in Canada: