Should Massage Therapists Be Tipped?

Find out whether should massage therapists be tipped and the etiquette surrounding this practice. Get expert insights and answers to your questions.


When you step into a spa or wellness centre for a soothing massage session, your main concern is relaxation and rejuvenation. However, an unspoken question often lingers in the background: Should you tip the massage therapist? By providing comprehensive information regarding this topic, this article aims to answer your questions and shed light on the etiquette surrounding tipping massage therapists.

The Tradition of Tipping

The practice of tipping has long been customary in the realm of massage therapy. It’s a way for clients to show their appreciation for the skilled and caring service provided by massage therapists.

Should Massage Therapists Be Tipped?

Yes, tipping massage therapists is generally considered customary and a way to show appreciation for their services. While it may not be mandatory, it’s a gesture of gratitude for their skill, professionalism, and the relaxation they provide. Tipping rates can vary, but 15-20% of the session cost is a common guideline. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice, but it’s a practice that can support the hard work and dedication of massage therapists.

Should Massage Therapists Be Tipped?
Should Massage Therapists Be Tipped?

Why Tipping Matters

Tipping massage therapists is more than just a financial transaction; it is a gesture of gratitude for their dedication to improving your well-being through the healing power of touch.

The Unspoken Rules

Clients often tip their massage therapists as a token of appreciation in many countries. However, tipping practices may vary depending on the establishment’s location, culture, and policies.

Establishing a Connection

Tipping is also a way to build a positive rapport with your therapist. When you tip generously, you express gratitude and encourage your therapist to provide excellent service in the future.

Customary Rates

The customary rate for tipping in massage therapy is between 15% and 20% of the session cost; however, this can vary, and you should feel comfortable adjusting it accordingly.

Massage therapy tips are a longstanding tradition that allows clients to express their gratitude for the healing touch of skilled therapists. While tipping is not obligatory, it is a thoughtful way to express your gratitude for a rejuvenating and therapeutic experience. It fosters a sense of connection and encourages exceptional service.

Understanding Massage Therapy Pricing

Several factors can affect the cost of massage therapy, making it essential to clearly understand these factors to make informed decisions about your treatment.

Session Duration

The duration of the session largely determines massage therapy pricing. A typical session usually lasts between 30 minutes and 90 minutes. Longer sessions are more expensive because of the additional time and resources needed.

Type of Massage

Depending on the type of massage, the price may vary. Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone massages have varying prices. Specialized treatments such as aromatherapy or reflexology may also be more expensive.

Location and Establishment

Spas, wellness centres, and independent massage therapists may have different pricing models. Prices in urban areas tend to be higher than in rural locations due to the high cost of living and service demand.

Therapist’s Experience

Highly trained and experienced massage therapists may charge more for their services as they reflect their expertise and experience.

Additional Services

Additional services are available in some establishments, such as aromatherapy, hot stone treatments, or sauna sessions.


It is important to consider whether gratuity is included in the price or if tipping is expected. In some places, gratuity is added to the bill; in others, it is left at the client’s discretion.

Packages and Memberships

If you plan regular massage sessions, many spas and wellness centres offer package deals or membership programs.

Taxes and Fees

Be aware of any applicable taxes and fees that may be added to the total cost. These may vary based on your location and the policies of the establishment.

Various factors contribute to understanding massage therapy pricing, including session duration, type of massage, location, therapist’s experience, additional services, gratuity, packages, taxes, and fees. By considering these factors, you can make informed choices that align with your budget and wellness goals.

Should Massage Therapists Be Tipped?
Should Massage Therapists Be Tipped?

Tipping Etiquette

Tipping etiquette in massage therapy includes understanding when, how much, and why to tip your therapist.

Gratuity is Not Always Mandatory

When scheduling your massage appointment, it is important to inquire about the tipping policy. Tipping can vary based on location, culture, and establishment policies.

Factors Influencing Tipping

Some factors can influence your decision to tip or how much you tip:

  • Quality of Service: If your massage therapist provided exceptional service, you might wish to express your appreciation with a generous tip.
  • Establishment Policies: In some spas and wellness centres, gratuity is included in the price, but in others, it is left to the client’s discretion.
  • Personal Financial Situation: It is important to consider your financial situation when making a tipping decision. It is important to be comfortable with the amount you choose to tip.

When to Tip

It would help if you tipped your massage therapist after completing your session. This is to show appreciation for their efforts in providing you with a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

The Case for Tipping

Tipping your massage therapist can have several benefits:

  • Encouragement: Tipping is a way to encourage excellent service and show your appreciation for the therapist’s hard work.
  • Building Rapport: It can help build a positive rapport with your therapist, leading to a better overall experience in future sessions.

The Case Against Tipping

On the other hand, some argue against tipping massage therapists for the following reasons:

  • Inclusivity: Tipping can perpetuate wage disparities in the service industry, as therapists may rely on tips for a substantial portion of their income.
  • Clarity in Pricing: Including gratuity in the upfront pricing can make the process more transparent and less stressful for clients.


Is tipping expected after every massage session?

In general, tipping is appreciated. However, it is expected after only some sessions. It depends on the establishment’s policies and your level of satisfaction with the service.

How much should I tip my massage therapist?

You can adjust your tip based on your judgment of the quality of the service provided by the massage therapist. The standard tip for massage therapists is 15-20% of the session cost.

What if I can’t afford to tip?

Feel free to tip if you can afford it. A polite thank you would still be appreciated, and your therapist will understand.

Should I tip in cash or on a credit card?

Undoubtedly, many therapists prefer cash, as it allows them to receive the tip directly. However, some establishments allow you to add a tip to your credit card payment.

Is it appropriate to tip the owner of a massage practice?

There is no custom of tipping the owner of a massage practice since they often set their prices and earn their income in different ways.

Are there alternative ways to show appreciation besides tipping?

You can show appreciation by providing positive feedback, referring friends and family, or leaving a glowing online review.


In massage therapy, tipping is a thoughtful gesture of gratitude. However, tipping is not an obligation, and the decision to tip is based on your financial circumstances and satisfaction with the service. You will be able to navigate this practice more confidently if you know the nuances of tipping etiquette and the factors involved.

5/5 - (1 vote)
my tip calc logo png final (1)
My Tip Calculator

About The Doers Firm

The Doers Firm is a studio that focuses on web development and digital marketing. They specialize in creating websites and implementing digital marketing strategies. The team at The Doers Firm is highly regarded and consists of passionate individuals. They have also developed a useful tool called the Tattoo Tip Calculator, which helps solve a specific problem.

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This