Float the Idea

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I float if I’m pregnant?

Like a pickle covered in maple syrup, pregnant women love floating!  There is even a special position you can float in that relieves all of the weight of the baby off of the mother’s body.  If you are in your third trimester, or have any concerns, please consult with your physician before coming in.


What if I’m claustrophobic?

Being in the tanks is more like floating in outer space than being shut in a box.  You’re always in control of your environment, and even people with extreme claustrophobia have reported having no problems with their time in the tank.


Is this new-agey mumbo jumbo?

Floating has been around for over 50 years and has oodles of published research to back it up.  No mumbo or jumbo here.


Is this like the “Altered States” movie?

Yes, but you’re not submerged in water, you don’t eat ritualistic mushrooms, and only a small percentage of floaters turn into proto-human monkeys.


Is the water clean?

Absolutely.  Float tank water is generally cleaner, in fact, than most swimming pools or hot tubs because only one person uses them at a time, and they aren’t sweating or wearing sunblock.  And we take keeping our water clean very seriously.

The main factor keeping the float tank water clean is the high salt concentration itself.  Nothing pathogenic can grow in such salty water.  Then we sanitize by treating with germ-killing bromine and cycling the water through our 10 micron filter 5 times between every client.  Filtering to remove oils and particulates is taken care of by a swimming-pool-sized filter unit.  We filter aggressively between every client, turning the whole contents of the tank over 5 times, to keep our water sparkling.


Do big people fit in the tank?

They’re seven and a half feet long on the inside, so unless you’re Shaq, you should be fine.  (Sorry, Shaq.)

People weighing over 400 lbs have floated without a problem.


Will I float? I sink in the ocean.

Our tanks contain over 850 lbs of epsom salt, so the water is denser than the Dead Sea.  Don’t worry, you’ll definitely float.  (Unless your bones have been replaced with adamantium – sorry, Wolverine.)


Is the water hot?

The water is warm but not hot.  We keep it as close as we can to skin temperature, 93.5°F.  That allows you to float as long as you like without getting chilled or overheated, and it’s neutral for your skin temperature receptors so you won’t even really feel it’s there.

Some people come expecting the water to be hot like a bath or a jacuzzi, and it’s not.  If you take a very hot shower before entering the tank, it can even feel cool.  To ease your transition into the tank we suggest you try showering a little cooler than usual.

If you do get chilled in the tank, or you’re worried you might, let us know. Not everyone runs at exactly the same body temperature, and there are adjustments we can make to let your float be a little warmer if you like.



Is there anything I should do to prepare?

Don’t drink coffee for several hours beforehand (it can make your system jittery). Also, don’t shave or wax since the salt water can irritate your skin. Eating a light meal about an hour to 90 minutes ahead of time stops your stomach from sounding like an angry monster while you float. Other than that, there’s no specific preparation needed.


Can I float if I’m menstruating?

Yes.  Just follow the same protocol you would for a swimming pool.


Can I float if I just dyed my hair?

While this is generally no problem.  If your dye is fresh, though (less than a week), there is a chance the float water could bleach it.  Our guideline is that you should wait until the dye is set enough that it doesn’t come off when you dry with a towel.  We’d hate for you to damage expensive work, and we’d prefer you don’t dye our tanks. We’ll be happy to help you reschedule if necessary, no problem.


I just got a tattoo, should I float?

Floating and fresh tattoos do not mix! Not only could floating with a fresh tattoo be painful (salt + open wounds = ouch) but the water solution could cause fading or discoloration of your tattoo and permanently ruin its aesthetic appeal. How long you should wait before floating depends on the tattoo and how quickly it heals, but tattoo artists/floaters we have talked to have suggested waiting 4-6 weeks.


Do I need to bring anything?

If you have longer hair, you may want to bring a comb.  Also, something to put your contact lenses into while you’re in the tank.  Other than that, we provide everything you need (towels, robes, earplugs, body wash/shampoo…) Each room is fully private, and you go into the tanks nude, so there’s no need to bring a bathing suit.


Do I have to stay in the whole time?

There aren’t any latches on the tank doors, and you can get out anytime.  That said, the 90-minutes usually goes by waaaay faster than you’d expect (our average customer usually says it felt like 30-45 minutes long).


Who invented these crazy devices?

John C. Lilly.


How long have float tanks been around?

The first float tank was developed in 1954.  These involved full submersion in water and a breathing device that completely covered your face.  The first lay down, commercial tanks were invented in the early 70’s.


Do I get dehydrated from soaking for so long?

No- your skin doesn’t even prune up, but it does become silky soft afterwards.


Can I drown if I fall asleep in there?

Nope.  Some people fall asleep, but the water is so buoyant that you stay afloat.  The worst that can happen is getting woken up by a bit of salt water in your eyes.