If you don’t want to read through the whole article and just want our recommendations, here they are:
Best Spray Tan Machines for Home / Mobile Use
- MaxiMist Lite Plus – Editor’s Choice
- Norvell M1000 – Top Pick. A very close second
- Oasis Spray Tan Machine – Best Budget Buy
- MaxiMist Allure Xena
- Maximist Evolution TNT
- Fuji Mini Tan M
Best Professional Spray Tan Machines:
- Fuji Spray 6100 studioTan – Editor’s Choice
- MaxiMist Ultra Pro
- MaxiMist Evolution Pro – Best Budget Buy
- Sun Labs Professional Mobile Airbrush Tanning Machine
If you are looking for a suitable spray tan solution to go with your machine, check out our best spray tan solution guide.
Best Spray Tan Machine for Home/Mobile Use
Maxi- Mist Lite Plus
The Maxi-Mist Lite Plus is an HVLP spray tan gun that features a powerful 300-watt turbine and German engineered spray nozzle that adjusts between a horizontal and vertical pattern for application. It is very easy to use and helps you to get into those hard to reach places to give the ultimate spray tan ever.
The Lite Plus version can also be used with any brand of professional solution you prefer, which is great for me because I love sticking to my own brands.
It has a lightweight design that you can take anywhere, anytime. The spray gun incorporates a non-stick needle that minimizes fluid build-up and clogging making it easy to clean plus you will find the overall machine cleans up pretty well.
The Cons: This system is designed to provide fine mist atomization with the least amount of overspray possible, but upon use I found this to be quite the opposite. Set on high, it uses a bit more solution than I would like, leaving me with a heavier tan that takes a longer time to dry. So you have to adjust it to a low or medium setting for best results.
Also, no fault to the actual spray tan machine, but the Maxi-Mist Lite Plus kit comes with a tent that isn’t very accessible. It’s a pain to remove from the bag and an even bigger pain to put back; otherwise, everything else is great.
A very close second
I love the Oasis for its compact and portable design; it actually looks like a blow dryer. It is one of the easiest spray tanning machines to use, which makes it more than ideal for home and mobile use plus, it delivers expert results with fewer components than those all-in-one professional kits.
The micro-mist nozzle is removable for easy cleanup but, more importantly, does a pretty good job with misting the tanning solution unto your skin for a nice light, natural-looking spray tan.
It has a sturdy base that enables you to set the unit on a tabletop without it toppling over; this comes in handy, especially while you are tanning.
The Cons: The Oasis is a compact unit with all its components secured in its construction; there are no removable parts (except for the nozzle), which means if one thing goes bad, the whole unit is compromised. Even though it’s suitably priced, this could mean a whole $190 bucks down the drain.
The complete structure is a little weightier than the guns that come with a separate compressor since everything in its construction is all in one. However, the design makes it easy to manoeuvre for tanning.
Best Budget Buy
Oasis Spray Tan Machine
I love the Oasis for its compact and portable design; it actually looks like a blow dryer. It’s one of the easiest spray tanning machines to use, which makes it more than ideal for home and mobile use plus, it delivers expert results with fewer components than those all-in-one professional kits.
The micro-mist nozzle is removable for easy cleanup but, more importantly, does a good job of misting the tanning solution onto your skin for a nice, light, natural-looking spray tan.
Its sturdy base enables you to set the unit on a tabletop without it toppling over; this comes in handy, especially while tanning.
The Cons: The Oasis is a compact unit with all its components secured in its construction; there are no removable parts (except for the nozzle), which means if one thing goes bad, the whole unit is compromised. Even though it’s suitably priced, this could mean a full $190 bucks down the drain.
The complete structure is a little weightier than the guns with a separate compressor since everything in its construction is all in one. However, the design makes it easy to manoeuvre for tanning.
Best of the rest
MaxiMist Allure Xena
The MaxiMist Allure Xena is an at-home-worthy device with a compact design for even on-the-go users. It offers more than a typical handheld spray gun but is way less bulky than those massive all-in-one systems you find at the salon.
The unit comes with three guns and has a control dial for managing the solution flow, which through experience, has demonstrated limited over-spray compared to other units.
The flexible hose is adequately long for an at-home scenario; it twists and locks onto the spray gun securely for optimal movement during tanning. One of the best perks of the MaxiMist Allure Xena is how quietly it runs. It is built with noise-reduction turbines to produce a whispering sound effect during operation.
The Cons: The machine has a lightweight feel due to the light plastic material it is made of; as a result, it doesn’t feel sturdy or durable.
The first couple of sessions using this device were messy; the tanning solution splattered a bit, making the coverage uneven and sketchy. However, I noticed a more steady flow after re-adjusting the control dial to a lower setting, and it’s been smooth sailing since.
MaxiMist Evolution TNT
The MaxiMist Evolution is better quality for your money through and through.
This purchase offers 4 spray guns, a compressor, a hose, a tent, cups with a couple of bottles of tanning solution, and even spare parts.
The tanning system delivers fine mist atomized spraying for a perfect-looking tan in as little as 5 minutes. This is due to its high-speed 570-watt dual-stage HVLP turbine, although it may take a user/technician with some experience to accomplish this.
It’s a well-made system created with good quality material and hi-tech components, which work together to give you expert results.
The Cons: Even though we recommend this as a good portable spray tanning kit, it isn’t very light, so it is best used at home. It also takes some packing and unpacking to get from one place to the other, but it is certainly doable and worth the task for the tanning experience and results it gives.
Clean-up also isn’t very easy, especially if you are working on several persons. Also, I’m not a fan of the tanning solutions that are provided in the kit and wouldn’t recommend them for that reason. Although what doesn’t work for me may work for you, so feel free to do a patch test on an area of your body before doing complete body coverage.
Fuji Mini Tan M
The Fuji Mini is perhaps one of the most eye-catching spray tanning machines you will find. The spray applicator is metal with stainless steel components and hosts a fluid control knob to adjust easily between spray patterns. It has a long flexible hose to supply additional space and leeway when working.
The Fuji Mini is deliberately designed with mobility in mind, being lightweight and easy to assemble for each tanning session. So if this is necessary for you, it is perhaps the best recommendation.
The Cons: The design is quite similar to a typical airbrush model; however, it still doesn’t give quick enough coverage. It takes some time to complete a full-body session; I would say 15 -20 minutes if you are familiar with its performance.
Although it is advertised as having quiet turbine technology, it still makes more noise than I was expecting. I wouldn’t say it is extremely loud, but a bit noisy. The price tag is also a bit steep.
Best Professional Spray Tan Machine
Fuji Spray Sunless 6100 studioTAN
Another Fuji masterpiece, this spray tanning system is excellent on the eyes with all the stainless steel fixings, its attractive black helix, clear plastic bend restrictor, 10 feet long flexible hose.
This version delivers a professional-looking tan easily and quicker than its other counterparts, which makes it perfect for salon use.
There is a noise-reducing feature to look forward to that makes for quieter tanning sessions with your clients.
The parts connect as quickly as they pull apart, making it great for cleaning purposes, performing checks, and making adjustments during tanning.
The Fuji Spray 6100 machine can go for long periods, providing multiple tanning sessions before overheating.
The Cons: When the unit actually starts overheating, unfortunately, the metal encasing gets pretty hot, so you may want to keep some distance away. Although, you should use that as an indicative signal to give the machine a break.
Also, the Fuji spray gun has a non-bleed style nozzle that only allows air to pass through when the trigger is pulled, which is better suited for a technician with expert tanning skills.
Best Of The Rest
MaxiMist Ultra Pro
This is a terrific piece of equipment with a whole bunch of benefits.
It is made with a powerful variable turbine that not only allows for precise and uninterrupted tanning but also gives you up to 50 applications per day with the same performance.
There is an overheat relay switch in case something goes wrong, giving you the added security needed when operating heavy-duty machinery.
The spray tan gun has a lightweight design with an easy to hold handle and trigger that provides a good amount of control during tanning.
One of my favorite things about this machine is how the adjustment knob lets you quickly dial into “Airbrush” mode for touchups and contouring. It demonstrates consistency every time, producing terrific coverage that looks natural and rich.
The Cons: This is one of the more complicated tanning systems that require a bit of know-how to set up and run and maintain in good condition.
Make sure to read up as much as you can and consult the user manual if need be.
MaxiMist Evolution Pro
Now here is a pretty good deal on a spray tan machine; the MaxiMist Evolution Pro is among the high-end line of tanning devices that you can find with a reasonable price tag.
It is a well-built system with the right features to help deliver a professional tan.
It’s great for beginners because the design provides so much control and is so easy to use.
The spray gun component hosts a systematic trigger that switches between either a horizontal or vertical pattern to deliver a steady flow of tanning solution to achieve a great, evenly covered tan.
Also, the Evolution Pro series features an EZ Flip adjustment knob that allows you to seamlessly select “Airbrush” mode for touchups and contouring after the base tan has been applied.
The Cons: The MaxiMist Evolution Pro passes the test for professional use, however, falls short in how many applications it can handle per day.
Other machines in its category can go up to 50+ sessions daily, while this Pro series can safely do 25 applications per day without any problems.
The unit is somewhat heavy for mobile use, but we don’t recommend it for that, so portability isn’t a big issue.
It may be challenging to set up, but once assembled correctly, you should experience a flawlessly working machine.
Sun Labs Professional Mobile Airbrush Tanning Machine
What’s better, the tanning product or the spray tan machine?
There are a lot of mixed reviews about this since Sun Laboratories is widely known for its tanning products.
Surprisingly, their spray tan machine does a good job misting the tanning solution onto your skin and handles it very well.
The compressor hums its way through every session and is not frustratingly noisy like many other machines.
The complete system comes with a bunch of handy implements to optimize the tanning process. That includes the spray gun and attachable cup, flexible hose, and a pretty dynamic ‘skylight’ spray-tanning tent that pops up easily when pulled out and closes up just as well.
The tanning solution, of course, is top of the line and comes with a tanning mitt to help even out and manage the excess application on the skin.
The Cons: The biggest complaint about the Sun Laboratories Sunless Spray Tan Machine is the length of the hose that comes with the unit.
It is too short and as such limits you from moving around the person you are tanning, instead, the hose tugs on the compressor and often times detaches itself.
This causes another problem; when the hose becomes loose, spray tan solution can sputter out and creates a mess, and of course, cleanup becomes a drag.
How to Choose the Right Spray Tan Machine
A spray tan machine is a simple device, but there are a plethora of things to know before making a purchase and actually making the right one.
We will break down all the features you should look for to allow a seamless application process and those that will optimize your tanning results.
It Should Hold the Correct Amount of Fluid
Different machines will have different cup sizes, some may allow for multiple uses while others will only give you one or two applications.
This may be perceived differently among individuals, as some users can’t be bothered with the hassle of refilling the cup every time they need to reapply their spray tan whereas other people like myself prefer adding the tanning fluid with each session. This way I know I’m getting a fresh coat of tanning spray as opposed to one with stale fluid that has been sitting in the cup for a few weeks.
However, if you tan frequently like every couple of days, then having a larger size cup that holds more fluid would be more convenient. If you use your spray tan machine for work then the larger the cup the better as well. This allows you to facilitate consecutive clients seamlessly throughout the day without stopping to refill with more tanning fluid.
In general, regardless of the type of spray gun machine you have and your body size, you will need approximately 2 ounces of tanning solution per full-body coverage. If you use significantly more, then it’s likely you are over-applying the solution.
So based on what your needs are, you will know how to purchase a spray gun machine with the correct cup size in mind.
Choosing Siphon Feed or Gravity Feed
What you should know about siphon and gravity feed in a nutshell has everything to do with how the spray tan machine situates the cup containing the tanning fluid for dispersion.
These features do not directly influence the performance of the spray tan machine, but instead indicates the machine’s fluid capacity and how long it would take before having to refill it.
Siphon feed machines host the cup at the bottom or on the side of its structure allowing for the fluid to reach the nozzle through an air suction system.
Gravity feed utilizes the simple physics of gravity to transport the fluid to the nozzle for dispersion.
The machine or spray gun is designed with the cup on the top so that the fluid descends directly into the channel leading to the nozzle.
In terms of whether one is better than the other, it really comes down to the user’s skillset and preference.
Siphon feed designs have been preferred, for the reason that it gives better versatility.
Side siphon-feed uses smaller cups which enables you to rotate the machine in various angles while spray tanning all while allowing you to view the strokes as they are being made without any obstructions.
Bottom siphon feed designs permit the use of larger sized cups and even bottle structures and help you to change the color of the tanning solution seamlessly if needs be, e.g. switching between clients with different skin shades or for establishing darker results.
Gravity feed is known to give more control when applying the tanning solution, offering excellent hand movement coordination, and is perfect for fine detail applications.
Many models offer additional cups and separate caps/lids to not only preserve the fluid from drying out but also help you to identify different colors of tanning fluid especially if you are working on several clients throughout the day/week.
Is an Adjustable Nozzle Important
Why yes it is! Choosing a spray tan machine with an adjustable nozzle allows you to obtain different spray characteristics and appropriately tan various body parts to their requirement.
For instance, you wouldn’t tan your face with the same nozzle setting as you would for your back, would you?
Think about it, your face requires closer and smaller circumferential coverage because it is a small area with many nooks and crannies, while your back is a larger and much plainer area that would require longer and wider strokes.
Having an adjustable nozzle is also necessary so that you can control how much tanning spray is used throughout the tanning session.
At times you can adjust the nozzle to release more or less fluid, e.g. If you are just touching up an area that wasn’t covered properly then you can adjust the nozzle to a lighter misting setting to add another thin layer of tanning fluid.
Easy cleaning is a necessary feature for any spray tan device to have because of how messy they get.
Regardless of how skillful or careful you may be, the tanning fluid tends to get everywhere, whether from excess emission or during fluid changes.
Low volume low-pressure (LVLP) spray tan systems are known to be the least messy. They give users more control and time to carefully execute tanning. They usually have a lightweight design and are less likely to leak during a tanning session.
Also, when choosing a spray tan machine, try to find one with more than less movable parts, meaning you can pull more of its sections apart so that cleaning is not only easy but thorough.
Changes Spray Pattern
Spray tan machines with the option to switch spraying patterns allow for versatile tanning applications and deliver better overall results.
Professionals will tell you the spray gun should be set to an elliptical rather than a round pattern for general tanning.
This makes the tanning solution cover adequately, evenly, and looks natural with fewer chances of unusual shading to occur.
Smaller areas of your body however are better suited with the round spray pattern, this way the output spray targets those places better and with less waste.
Who wants a noisy machine? Every time you decide to touch up your spray tan the whole house is in on it or the pesky neighbors may turn up their nose at your life choices.
This is nobody’s business but your own, so shop around for a spray tan machine with a quiet motor, which is responsible for sounding up the device.
This feature is usually mentioned in the product description, as manufacturers like to brag about such an accomplishment.
Also, customer reviews will give you the scoop about stuff like this, so be sure to read up on the machine beforehand.
What you should know however is low volume low-pressure (LVLP) tan machines are typically the loudest, while high volume low pressure (HVLP) ones are known to be the quietest.
This is due to the extra fans that are in the turbine. These are also more popular for salon use, so if this were the purpose of your purchase then the noise it produces would be less of a factor.
Volume of Use
This has everything to do with how many times you will be using your spray tan machine per day.
There are some designs that cannot handle multiple uses throughout the day and as such will overheat and eventually get damaged.
If you’re planning on using it for professional salon use, then you need to look for the best machines for that purpose, see the section ‘Best Professional Spray Tan Machine’, as you read further.
If you do enough research, you will find out exactly how many applications are recommended for a particular spray tan machine.
They can often range from 10 to 50+ applications a day or some product descriptions may rate the machine for light, medium, or heavy use.
Light use machines are perfect for at-home tanning while medium and heavy use machines are essential for professional salons.
Weight of the Machine
While there is a long list of lightweight devices to choose from, there are also other things to consider that will contribute to the weight.
Accessories like the cup and the fluid that is placed inside add a couple of ounces to the overall weight plus the location of the cups (siphon or gravity feed) will affect the heaviness of the machine during use.
Spray tan machines also have different designs, some bulkier than others, so these are the things to take into account to determine the overall weight.
The manufacturer’s description will usually state these details so be sure to read up this before making a purchase.
It’s always a good rule of thumb to go with the popular brands and usually, the more expensive things tend to be of better quality.
Manufacturers typically price their products according to how much they spend to make them, however, some are just a little greedy to make back their profits plus more.
Always wise to utilize the guinea pigs out there that have used the product and were kind enough to share their reviews online.
Reading reviews will tell you if the sale cost is worth what’s in the box, whether you choose to purchase online or in an actual store.
Spray tan machines normally cost anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to thousands of dollars depending on the type.
Small portable machines or a single unit spray gun can cost a minimum of roughly $40 and the bigger all-in-one spray system comprising of the tent, turbine, spray gun, connecting hose, floor fan, solution cups, safety glasses, nose filters, a sunless product line along with an online training course plus more, can cost you up to $4000.
Nonetheless, there are kits with fewer components for cheaper, as well as airbrush sprays that will cost anywhere from $20 and up, but be sure to look for the types designed for spray tanning and the user ratings that go along with them.
Why Would You Use A Spray Tan Machine?
If you’re asking yourself why get a spray tan machine or upgrade your existing one, then there are a couple of reasons to consider.
Are you an avid spray tanner? Well, there is no question about it; you should get your own machine. The cost for a spray tan kit is equivalent to about 6 professional spray tans, which is almost the amount of sessions you would have over a month or so. Once you have the kit, you will have unlimited sessions and the only reoccurring expense is the tanning solution, which is just a fraction of the cost of a professional spray tan. For this reason, it’s only wise to invest in a tanning kit as this saves you a significant amount of cash.
Another great reason to get a spray tan machine is for the results it gives.
Users can expect a professional looking spray tan with the added perks of using less tanning formula yet achieving better coverage.
Also, you will come to realize how much easier and faster the process will be once you get the hang of it. After a while, perhaps you could try hooking up a few friends with a wicked spray tan, you’d be sure to get all the compliments. Plus you never know, this could be the stepping-stone to starting your own tanning salon business.
If you already have a machine and perhaps considering an upgrade, then this is a good time to do it.
Newer spray tan machines aren’t just newer for no reason. Manufacturers have made many improvements to these devices not only for the sale factor but also to solve the issues previous owners complained about.
Parts go bad or lose effectiveness after a couple of uses, a poor design limits what you can do when tanning or makes the process difficult, clean up is a drag, or mobility is just impossible.
Newer devices can make many if not all these issues go away, so it’s just a matter of what your personal requirements are and what is important to you during tanning.
If, like us you are stuck indoors, now is the perfect time to buy a machine and practice on yourself so that when you need it, you can give yourself that golden tan.
2 thoughts on “The Best Spray Tan Machines”
Hi Mandi I have a question. Which of the self tanning spray tans for the Maxi Mist machine do you like that wont turn you green ?
Hi Traci, have a read of our guide – https://tanningreview.com/spray-tan/best-spray-tan-solution/