How Much Should a Hot Stone Massage Cost?
Massage pricing varies based on factors such as the type of business and massage. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member John S. of Norfolk, Mass.)
Adding heated stones to a massage therapy session, hot stone massage promotes deeper muscle relaxation, and warmth that provides a great way to unwind from the stresses of daily life, especially on a cold day. So how much does hot stone massage therapy cost?
Hand and stone massage therapy prices vary based on the location and experience of the massage therapist. Typically, a stone massage costs more than a regular massage or a Swedish massage because the massage therapist needs additional training and must purchase additional equipment (the stones, a heating device and additional towels). He or she also requires additional time before the massage to prepare the stones, and after the massage to clean up.
The cost of a hot stone massage can range from about $85 an hour from a massage clinic to $150 or more at a fancy spa. Most hot stone massages price between $75 and $125 an hour.
Where you go, type of massage affects cost
Type of business: Usually, a massage at a spa is more expensive, though "affordable" day spas are cropping up around the country. A fancy destination, resort, or hotel spa typically charges more than a local day spa. Prices at massage clinics and from individual massage therapists in private practice vary greatly. Choose wisely and not based on price alone to ensure you don't get rubbed the wrong way by a massage therapy.
Type of massage: A variety of massages with heated stones are available. Some names you might see include LaStone Massage, Native Hot Stone Massage, EarthStone Massage or TheraStone Massage. Many spas have their own signature names for the stone massage offered and charge more for their "special" massage.
What to expect during a hot stone massage
Because some massage therapists focus on just placing stones and not doing a lot of massage, ask for a description of the session before scheduling an appointment. If the massage is most important to you, you don't want to lie on the massage table for most of the session with stationary heated stones placed on your body.
When you receive a hot stone massage, the heat should always feel comfortable to you. If it doesn't, let your massage therapist know. A careful therapist should make sure the stones don't burn you.
Also, be aware that some people feel lightheaded after a heated massage due to the deep relaxation effects. Move slowly as you get up from the massage table. Because the heat can dehydrate you, it's also a good idea to drink at least a glass of water soon after the massage.
Finally, understand that added heat is not a good idea for people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain skin conditions. Your massage therapist should always ask about your medical history to ensure a massage with heated stones is safe for you.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on August 23, 2013.