How to pay for a home sensory deprivation tank
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How to pay for a home sensory deprivation tank

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Getting the calm you need at home could be more affordable than you think.

Shutting down your senses has all kinds of benefits like boosting your creativity and reducing stress. And a sensory deprivation tank can give you just that by blocking out light and sound and even giving you a sense that you’re suspended in space, thanks to body-temperature water with a high salt content. Spending half an hour or longer in a tank — called floating — is a great way to shut out distractions and focus on what’s going on internally.

But going to a place for a float in a sensory deprivation tank can easily set you back around $100, and if you’re a regular, this can add up quickly.

If you’re a frequent floater, it might be worth building a tank in your home. We guide you through what you can expect to pay — from high-end tanks to DIY floating — and how to finance it.

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    How can I finance a home sensory deprivation tank?

    Buying a sensory deprivation tank doesn’t come with as many financing options as, say, a car. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Here are some of the ways to cover the cost of your tank without breaking the bank.

    Personal loan

    You’ll want to get your personal loan before buying your tank, but it’s a good idea to have a specific number in mind. Not only can it help you find a lender that’s appropriate for your needs, it can also keep you from over-borrowing and paying more than necessary in interest and fees.

    To do this, reach out to the company you’re interested in buying from and ask for a quote for your tank and delivery and epsom salt, if they provide it. If they don’t sell salt, ask if they recommend a manufacturer and reach out to them for a quote.

    Manufacturer payment plan

    Some sensory deprivation tank manufacturers offer payment plans, similar to a personal loan. You’ll apply for financing while you’re purchasing your tank and pay it off according to your manufacturer’s terms.

    The downside of using a payment plan is you can’t use it to cover the cost of items the manufacturer doesn’t sell, like salt. You also don’t have the options to compare different personal loan providers.

    Credit card

    You might not want to put the cost of your tank on a credit card unless it’s on the cheaper end — having a balance of more than 30% of your credit limit can hurt your credit score, not to mention attract more in interest.

    However, it might make more sense to use plastic to cover other costs associated with your float tank like salt and water maintenance gear.

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    How much do home sensory deprivation tanks cost?

    Home sensory deprivation tanks might have more costs than you’d expect. Not only do you have to pay for your tank, you also have to get it to your house and maintain it. Expect to pay at least these costs while setting up and using your sensory deprivation tank.

    The tank

    The biggest immediate cost you’ll cover is the cost of your new tank. How much you pay largely depends on what type of tank you want. On the cheaper end are tents offered by companies like Zen Float Company, which cost a little less than $2,000. Actual tanks are typically more expensive and can set you back as much as $14,500 or even $30,000.

    Typical tank cost: $2,000 to $30,000

    The shipping

    Your new tank is pretty useless if you can’t get it to your house. Lighter tent models typically have lower shipping costs because it’s less involved. Heavy tanks can be a bit more expensive, though we’ve found that some sellers factor the cost of shipping into the overall price of the tank.

    Your shipping costs can also depend on where you live. If you’re ordering a tank from a manufacturer in your state, you probably won’t have to pay as much as if you were shipping it across the country. And ordering a tank from abroad can be even more expensive.

    Typical shipping cost: Free to $1,000 or more

    The epsom salt

    If you watched the first season of Stranger Things, you know that sensory deprivation tanks need a lot of salt. Like, a lot of salt. As in, you could clear out all of your local drug stores and still might not have enough.

    Your average float tank needs about 850 pounds of salt, though it can easily be more than 1,000. Generally, you need about six pounds of salt per gallon of water.

    More than likely, you’re going to have to order it in bulk from a wholesaler or your tank’s manufacturer. You might have to reach out to your salt supplier to get a quote and could potentially negotiate a discount.

    Typical epsom salt cost: $340 to $850

    The water maintenance

    Storing that much water in your home — at least 200 gallons — requires some maintenance. You’ll likely need to get the following supplies to maintain your tank:

    • Hydrometer. Measures how dense your water is — and how like you’ll be able to float in it.
    • Hydrogen peroxide. Used to clean your tank between sessions, preferably at 35% concentration.
    • pH up. A chemical with a high pH to increase your water’s pH level.
    • pH down. A chemical with a low pH used to lower the PH level of your water.
    • Test strips. Strips to test the pH level of your water.
    • Water skimmer. A tool for cleaning the surface of your tank’s water.

    You can usually find these items online or at a local pool supply store.

    Typical maintenance costs: $50 to $100 per year

    The heat

    Keeping your tank at the ideal temperature can also add up over time. It can take as long as 30 hours to get your tank up to ideal temperature — not an insignificant amount of energy.

    These costs can vary significantly, depending on factors like which state you live in and the temperature of the room where you keep your tank.

    Typical cost: $50 to $100 per month

    Is a DIY sensory deprivation tank less expensive?

    Not necessarily — and it can be a lot more work. Building a tank can cost you as much as the less expensive tanks — around $2,500 to $3,000. That’s because it’s a relatively complicated project. You’ll have to sound proof and insulate the tank, filter and heat the water, and possibly install lights inside.

    In other words, it’s not for beginners. Building your own tank is generally only worth it if you enjoy building things yourself.

    5 tips for a better float

    1. Avoid coffee right before. Drinking coffee stimulates your mind and can counteract the relaxing effects of floating. Remember, you’re trying to reduce stimulation as much as possible.
    2. Make sure you’re hydrated. Thirst is incredibly distracting, especially when the only stimulation you have is from your own body.
    3. Don’t shave that morning. Remember, you’re floating in very salty water. Even the tiny cuts you get from shaving can sting and distract you from the experience.
    4. Try not to touch your face. Even if you don’t shave that day, getting such salty water in sensitive parts of your body like your eyes can be painful.
    5. Go in with an intention. Whether it’s experiencing something new, finding out where you hold tension in your body or just trying to let go, having an intention to center yourself can make your experience more meaningful.

    Bottom line

    If increasing your floating practice is important to you, buying a sensory deprivation tank can save you money in the long run. Just keep in mind that the costs don’t stop with the purchase price of the tank. Beyond that, it can take a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

    When it comes to financing, you generally have more options if you go with a personal loan. Visit our personal loans guide to find and compare lenders that you might qualify for.

    Frequently asked questions

    Anna Serio

    Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.

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