What is the best spray tan machine? The first thing you should consider is whether it is produced by a brand-name company. Avoid buying such products from unknown sellers as they can be of low quality. Another essential factor is the noise level. The quietest ones are the HVLP models, followed by airbrush and LVLP spray tanning machines. Also, when buying a spray tan machine, make sure that it comes with a tent and carrying bag. This will make using the device more comfortable and will eliminate some problems. As for the ease of use, HVLPs seem to be preferable and the best for beginners as they work fast and spray the solution heavily. We believe that MaxiMist Lite Plus Sunless Spray Tanning KIT fits these criteria best.

What Are the Types of Spray Tan Machines?

There are four main types of spray tan machines: high volume low pressure (HVLP), low volume low pressure (LVLP), automatic booths, and airbrush systems. If you are planning to get all of your tans at home to help save money, then you will most likely want either an HVLP, LVLP, or airbrush system as automatic booths are commercial grade and can be quite expensive.

Differences Between Them

In terms of appearance, an airbrush system looks very similar to a regular airbrush system that can be used on cars or for painting. Most HVLP or LVLP systems look like small, handheld vacuums.

Typically, HVLP systems are the quickest and quietest of the three models, LVLP systems are more precise and leave an evener coat, and airbrush systems are the more affordable but take the longest.

Benefits They Have

HVLP machines are usually very lightweight, easy to transport, and are simple enough for spray-tanning beginners to use at home. LVLP machines are professional-grade but still affordable compared to an automatic booth sprayer.

Airbrush machines are precise enough to prevent you from wasting spray tanning solution, something the other types do often due to their design and handling.

MaxiMist vs Norvell Spray Tan Machine

Norvell Sunless Tanning Machine Kit

Norvell has been around for over thirty-five years, belonging to and run by the Norvell family down in Alexandria, Tennessee. They are a smaller company but are growing in popularity, especially their spray tan solutions. This is mostly because they specialize more with tanning solutions more than tanning machines.

This is an HVLP spray tanning machine that comes with a three of their own solutions (Venetian, Cosmo Ultra Vivid, and Professional Premium Sunless), an 8-oz spray bottle, a 10-foot long hose that can be disconnected from the machine, and a training program.

Some of the ways it is better than the MaxiMist down below is the extra-long hose, the larger bottles of spray tanning solutions that are included, and comes with a shoulder strap for the user. This model may be the better choice to use at home if you are a beginner due to the extra hose length, something that is often very needed by beginners.

  • Has an extra-long detachable hose
  • Has a larger than average spray bottle
  • Comes with 3 8-oz bottles of spray tanning solution
  • Does not come with a tent

This model can be more reliable than the MaxiMist due to it being just as if not less faulty, but their customer service is generally much easier to contact. Returns and/or exchanges seem to happen much quicker and with fewer hoops to jump through when compared to MaxiMist.

Norvell: Check the current price

MaxiMist Lite Plus Sunless Tanning Machine KIT

MaxiMist is a more corporate-like company, which only based out of a warehouse and being less connected with its customers; the only way to contact them is through email or leaving a message at an (800) phone number. They include sample spray tan solutions with their machines, but unlike Norvell, they do not sell solutions by themselves, at least not on their Amazon page or website.

This one is also an HVLP system, and it comes with a 6.5-foot hose, 3 5-oz cups, 2 lids for the cups, a carrying bag, a tent, an instruction manual, and three small sample tanning solutions.

This model is better than the Norvell when it comes to the number of spray cups that it comes with, the lighter weight (this weighs around 5-lbs while the Norvell weighs over 12-lbs), and the tent that is provided.

However, this model may be better to use at home if you are planning to have a spray tanning party because of the shorter hose length. Still, this is more popular than the Norvell, especially by smaller salons or one-man professionals.

  • Comes with a tent and carrying bag
  • More popular
  • Comes with multiple spray bottles/cups
  • Smaller-sized bottles of solution and spray cups

When it comes to reliability, this machine can be more hit and miss than the Norvell since about every one in three machines can be temperamental and or faulty. Returning them can also be equally difficult since customer service can take a while to respond to return/exchange requests. 

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MaxiMist: Check the current price

8 Best-Selling Spray Tan Machines Comparative Table

Beginner's Guide on How to Use Self-Spray Tan Machine & Lifehacks

Set up

Try not to shower at least a day or so before you use the machine since your natural oils can help the color to stick better to your skin. Even so, do not wear any perfume or deodorant as this can stop the tanner from being absorbed into your skin.

Using an oil-free exfoliator can help to 'clean' your skin without preventing the tan from setting in.

To protect your hair and eyebrows, wrap your hair up in a shower cap and cover your eyebrows with moisturizer or petroleum or risk orange hair.


In order to avoid tan lines and/or creases, it can be better to start off at your bottom end between the feet and thighs. Each machine/solution is different, but they will generally instruct you to spray slowly and about 6-inches away from your skin.

Try to lightly spray around the ankles and feet since this area is more absorbent and can come out darker if you spray them regularly.

Spray your midsection/torso next. The breasts (and around them), armpit, wrists, and underarm are also more absorbent than the other areas of the body, like the feet and ankles. Doing these areas normally is one mistake that stands out the most since it can end up being obviously unnatural-looking.

Finally, the face and then the hands are done, which both should be done with patience and lightly. Some people get better results by doing the face in sections and then rubbing the tan in their hands immediately after spraying them. Make sure to clean your nails directly after (for hands and feet) or they will get stained.


Try not to put clothes on for a little while if you can; if there are any damp spots, they will smear off on your clothes and look uneven afterward and possibly ruin your clothes.

Also, in order to avoid the color from fading or becoming uneven, do not shower within eight hours at least once you are dressed.

What To Look For When Buying A Spray Tan Machine

The most common things to look at when it comes to choosing a spray tanning machine are the company itself, the noise level, and the ease of use. Some people think that looking at the company is unimportant, but these machines are not cheap.

Buying a popular machine that is known for either not working fresh out of the box or breaks down within the first thirty days should be simple and easy to return or exchange, but some companies like MaxiMist can either drag the process out or refuse to do returns or exchanges, meaning you may have just wasted a few hundred dollars.

In terms of noise (quietest to loudest), first is the HVLP models, which are about as loud as a hair drier, then the airbrush models, and last are the LVLP models.

When it comes to which types are easier to use, HVLPs are usually the best for beginners due to how fast and heavy they spray the solution. LVLPs are more for professionals or experienced self-tanners since they spray slower and require more precision.

What Do Buyers Say?

Typically, most of the buyers generally prefer MaxiMist when comparing the types, prices, and packages with other choices. However, there are a few who think that the quality of the Norvell is just as good if not better, and they are harder to beat when it comes to their customer service.

Some of the most popular opinions for MaxiMist users are that this machine is quieter than the Norvell, it is much easier to be moved around, and it can provide a more professional result. Those who use it for their own business seem to love the number of cups that it comes with, especially when they are doing group events or special seasons; weddings, prom, bikinis, etc.

Those who favor the Norvell say that the guide seemed clearer because they, who have never gotten a spray tan ever, who did their own tan for the first time alone, got excellent results. They also thought that the extra hose length was needed in order to do the hard to reach areas like their back, especially for those who are taller than average and need more slack.

While there is a slight difference between these two companies, these are still two great spray tanning machines.

What are Spray Tan Machines? Spray tan machines are specialized machines for applying chemically-based spray-on tans. While it is entirely possible to purchase spray-on tan solutions and apply them by hand, the precision needed for a moderately-convincing tan is not something that most people can readily achieve.

Too much or too little will result in blotching, which looks far worse than no tan at all. Furthermore, it can be nigh-impossible to reach one’s back and bottom to apply proper amounts of the tan without someone else’s help, or the use of a machine. Spray tan machines come in stand-up or lie-down versions, which use a spray hose attached to a gantry-mounted power train which gradually traces along the body’s form, applying an even amount of the tan solution.

Stand-up machines often have an additional parallel articulation in the power train, allowing it to follow your body not just vertically, but radially, giving you an even tan across your entire body, provided you have the privacy to stand in it nude to do so.

Home spray-tan machines are usually much simpler, and can take a lot longer to complete the process, due to the expense of building sophisticated machines, and the space which they take up.

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