What is the best Infrared Sauna?

If you are a gym enthusiast or spa lover, the presence of a sauna at your favourite facility is probably enough reason to get you through those doors every so often.

There is no denying that saunas are incredibly relaxing but they also offer great health benefits such as skin purification and detoxifying the body.


While you will come across different types of saunas, one type has become particularly popular for use at home and health spas. This is the infrared sauna.

As the name implies, infrared saunas use infrared heaters instead of traditional sources of heat to heat up the room. Compared to traditional saunas, infrared saunas warm up the body faster and they are less dangerous.

Infrared light penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin. This offers many benefits including healing the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin. Heat from infrared promotes collagen production and improves skin tone. It isn’t surprising that people increasingly prefer infrared saunas over the traditional types.

Before Buying a Sauna, there are Four Things to Know:

  • Safety: Be sure how to use a sauna safely.
  • Decide which one between a steam and infrared sauna will best meet your needs.
  • Consider your budget and home to determine whether you need an outdoor or indoor sauna.
  • Buy a sauna that can accommodate all your family members at the same time. Saunas are available for up to 4 people.

How to choose an affordable, good quality sauna

There are different types of saunas but what differentiates them is the emitter i.e. some come with a ceramic emitter while others have a carbon type.

Both types of saunas are effective but the difference is in the size of the heater and the amount of heat emitted.

When both types of emitters are taken into consideration, the carbon emitter comes out a clear winner. Carbon emitters spread heat more evenly compared to the ceramic type. This way, the entire sauna is well heated and the heat is able to penetrate your body evenly.

Ceramic emitters are divided into incoloy and solid emitters. Incoloy is not purely ceramic; it is a substance covered in ceramic. It is best to avoid incoloy due to its generally low quality.Solid ceramic emitters come with a convex-shaped solid heater. If you want to build your own sauna, it might be easier to fit your sauna with a ceramic emitter.

The downside of solid ceramic emitters is that they tend to be small and the emission of heat is localized. To optimize comfort with this type of emitter, move the backrest at least four inches away from the heater; coming too close to the heater may cause discomfort due to the localized nature of the emitter.

If you opt to build a large sauna, you would need to install several ceramic emitters due to the emitters’ smaller size.

Compared to ceramic emitters, carbon emitters have a larger surface area. As such, they tend to be cooler on the surface and they warm the body more evenly.

The large surface area and cool surface temperature means that you can enjoy the heat of the sauna without burning. Also, the sauna will be uniformly warmed.

Infrared Saunas: A Brief History

infrared sauna review

Contrary to popular belief, infrared saunas are not a recent fad—in fact, this type of sauna has been around for quite some time.

In 1893, a scientist by the name Dr. Kellog created the first sauna that was powered by light sources. Prior to this, saunas typically used steam to get the room heated.Dr. Kellogg’s ‘electric light bath’ utilized light bulbs to heat the sauna and while these bulbs did not emit infrared light, the heat generated was on a wavelength similar to that emitted by infrared light.

By the 1920s, the use of infrared light became more common with German physicians experimenting with this type of light to determine its various health benefits. Since then, scientists have continued to experiment with infrared to examine how the human body responds to heat.

As mentioned earlier, infrared sauna technology has many health benefits. You can use this technology in various ways for example by covering yourself with an infrared sauna blanket which enables your body to rest better. You can also wear a sauna heat belt, which can help with weight loss.

Infrared v. Traditional Saunas

Heat Intensity

The main difference between traditional and infrared saunas is the way each of these saunas is heated up. Variation in the method of heat production means that the intensity of heat within the sauna varies too.

Temperatures in traditional saunas range between 185 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures are usually too high for people who cannot withstand too much heat.

On the other hand, infrared saunas have lower temperatures ranging between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. But, just because these temperatures are significantly lower does not mean that infrareds saunas are not as effective as the traditional types.

The biggest advantage of infrared saunas is that the heat produced by the unit penetrates deeper into the body, causing the body to sweat more even at these relatively low temperatures.

Traditional vs. Infrared - Infrared Sauna Benefits
Source: Fix.com Blog

Power Consumption

Compared to infrared saunas, traditional saunas consume more power. Typically, a traditional sauna can use as much as 6Kw compared to just 1.6kW of power consumed by the infrared type.

In other words, it costs about three times more to operate a traditional sauna compared to an infrared sauna. Obviously, if you use your sauna regularly, you can see how the costs quickly add up.

Heating Time

The time it takes to heat up the sauna really matter, especially if you consider power consumption. A traditional sauna can take up to 30 minutes to heat up while an infrared one warms up within just 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the unit.

Assembly Time

Putting together an infrared sauna unit takes around two hours. This type of unit is made of prefabricated panels that can be screwed or fitted together easily.

On the other hand, you might need to set aside a couple of days to assemble a traditional sauna. Some traditional saunas come as fabricated units but these still take a considerable amount of time to build compared to the infrared type.

If you have decided to purchase an infrared sauna, we have reviewed for you some of the best home saunas.

Far Infrared Saunas

Far infrared is a spectrum on the infrared electromagnetic radiation and is often categorized as radiation with a wavelength of 15µm to 1mm.

Saunas that use far infrared light have several benefits and are among the best saunas available.This type of sauna creates radiant heat energy that penetrates deep into the body in a way that is not possible with the traditional sauna.

Radiant heat offers several health benefits including relieving joint pain, reducing muscle stiffness, and relaxing store muscles. Radiant heat can also promote weight loss and alleviate the effects of skin conditions such as cellulite, acne, eczema, psoriasis etc.

By promoting natural sweating, dry radiant heat aids in detoxifying the body of toxins such as nicotine, cholesterol, alcohol, sodium, as well as potentially carcinogenic heavy metals.

An added benefit of far infrared saunas is the relatively low temperatures that are more tolerable than traditional saunas. These benefits can be enjoyed within a relaxing environment that is accommodating even to those with physical limitations or respiratory problems.

Recommended Far Infrared Saunas

If you are looking for good-quality far infrared saunas, check out these:

Carbon Fiber Infrared Saunas

As explained earlier, carbon fiber saunas perform better than ceramic ones. The benefits of carbon fiber infrared saunas include:​

  • Larger surface area:
    More even distribution of heat.
  • Lower temperate:
    Safer and more tolerable therefore allowing longer sessions to maximize therapeutic benefits.
  • Longer infrared wavelengths:
    Enables deeper penetration of infrared rays into the skin for optimal health benefits.
  • Energy efficient and costs less to operate

Recommended Carbon Fiber Infrared Saunas

Summary

Infrared saunas are fast becoming an excellent choice for those looking for good quality saunas that provide optimal therapeutic health benefits.

This type of sauna is not only less dangerous than the traditional type; it also warms up the body faster and more evenly.

There are different types of infrared saunas on the market but before buying any one of these, consider factors such as your budget, sauna safety, and personal needs such as the size of your family and the available space indoors or outdoors.