Tanning bed shocks are the devices attached to the sides of the lid of a tanning bed that make it easier for users to open and close the lid. Most commonly, tanning bed shocks are a type of shock called a gas piston shock. Gas piston shocks are also commonly found on the trunks of hatchback cars and SUVs.
The top of a tanning bed contains a large amount of lighting and other electrical equipment, so it can be very difficult to lift without assistance. Shocks allow the user to more easily and safely open and close the bed without slamming it, which could hurt the user and damage the bed.
A gas piston shock looks like a long metal rod, and consists of a hollow piston and a solid rod. When the rod moves into the piston, it compresses the gas inside. This gas compression absorbs the energy from the heavy lid, ensuring a smoother closing process. When the user opens the lid the gas expands again. The rate at which the gas expands is known as the "K-factor," and a higher K-factor indicates a higher quality of shock. Like all mechanical parts, gas piston shocks can wear out and become less effective with age, so they require periodic replacement.