Tanning bed shocks are integral mechanisms attached to the sides of most tanning beds. They control the operation of the canopy so that people can move it up and down with relative ease. Generally, tanning beds use gas piston shocks, which should be periodically replaced to ensure proper operation.
Most tanning beds are shaped like cylinders and have lids that lift up and down. The lid is more technically known as the canopy. A person tanning typically lies on the cylindrical bed and pulls the canopy down into the desired position. When the individual is done tanning, he or she pushes the canopy back up so that he or she can easily exit the bed.
Gas piston shocks are sometimes called gas spring shocks, although the latter is something of a misnomer. These types of tanning bed shocks do not generally use springs. Rather, the shocks are made up of a rod attached to a piston, which is inserted into a pressurized tube filled with gas. The gas, generally a safe, neutral gas such as nitrogen, acts as a cushion against the pressure exerted by the lid.