Independent Reviews of the Best Home Infrared Saunas 2021 – Let us help you choose the Best Sauna for your needs with our unbiased Expert Reviews. Our Buyer’s Guide will save you Time and Money when choosing the Best Infrared Sauna for your home.
Discover how a home infrared sauna will open a whole new world of healing and relaxation in your life.
You can own your own private sauna and experience the incredible healing effects of infrared light therapy in the comfort and privacy of your home.
THE BEST INFRARED SAUNAS 2021
WINNER: HIGHERDOSE V3 SAUNA BLANKET
• Excellent Healing
• Great Relaxation
• Deep Heat Penetration
• Superior Build Quality
• Best Price
The Higher Dose V3 is the best infrared sauna in 2021. It combines exceptional build quality with a range of advanced technologies for excellent healing and relaxation effects.
The V3 is also very competitively priced, coming in well below the price tag of its leading competitors. It delivers outstanding value for money.
Excellent Choice For Healing & Relaxation
The V3 home sauna blanket is an excellent option for boosting your health and calming your mind.
Far infrared energy deeply penetrates the body and gently raises body temperature, stimulating cardiovascular activity and triggering an all-over body sweat.
It is our top choice for enjoying the health benefits of infrared sauna in the comfort of your home – healing mind and body, relieving stress, and boosting mood.
Advanced Technologies Boost Results
The V3 combines three cutting edge technologies to boost the healing effects of the infrared heat therapy session.
• Tourmaline Layer – generates negative ions, believed to help boost serotonin production.
• Amethyst Quartz – believed to promote natural healing.
• Charcoal Layer – to amplify detoxification.
VERDICT: The Higher Dose V3 sauna blanket is an incredible all-rounder.
It combines great price, excellent build quality, advanced technologies, and great results! The V3 is our overall winner for best infrared sauna 2021.
Best Cabin Sauna: Kalinda Two-Person Infrared Sauna
• Canadian Hemlock Timber
• Two-Person Capacity
• Powerful Heaters – 1,800W
• Five Heating Units
• Bluetooth Audio
The Kalinda is a great choice for a two-person sauna. Many of the home sauna options are designed for single person use, but this cabin sauna has ample room to accommodate two people at the same time.
Although the price tag is on the high end for a home sauna, you are getting a permanent sauna fixture for your money.
It’s a 250kg permanent wooden cabin. This will appeal to people that don’t want a portable or pack-away sauna unit.
Power, Music, Lights
The Rigo Spa Kalinda is a powerful sauna. It boasts a 1800W heat source and is fitted with five infrared heating units. This will give ample coverage to two people sitting inside.
It is also fitted with LED lighting for a modern clean feel and comes with a built-in Bluetooth system so you can listen to your favorite music or podcast as you work up a sweat.
Hemlock Timber Build
The Kalinda is a two-person infrared sauna cabin from Rigo Spa. It is built from Canadian hemlock wood. Hemlock is a popular choice for saunas due to its durability and low toxicity characteristics.
The timber is kiln-dried to remove moisture content before construction. This process makes the wood more resistant to shrinkage when it is exposed to the high temperatures of the sauna.
VERDICT: The Kalinda is a great buy if you are looking for a powerful, timber cabin, fixed place sauna.
It does come with a higher price tag than its competitors, but can accommodate two people, churns out 1,800W of heat, and even has its own Bluetooth sound system.
Best For Healing: PEMF & Infrared – Healing Mat
• Best Healing & Recovery Device
• Dual Infrared & PEMF Energy
• Charcoal, Clay, Amethyst & Tourmaline Layers
• Excellent Workout Recovery
• Great For Muscle & Joint Pain
PEMF & Infrared Energy
If healing and recovery is what you are looking for – this mat is for you!
The Higher Dose healing mat combines the powerful healing effects of PEMF waves and infrared heat to trigger your body’s natural recovery process.
Enjoy all the great health benefits of a sauna without the intense heat.
Maximize Natural Healing
PEMF is an advanced healing technology that delivers brief bursts of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the body’s natural recovery process.
It helps recharge cells and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
The far infrared energy deeply penetrates the body – gently heating it from the inside.
This boosts cardiovascular activity, circulation, and reduces inflammation, delivering the same health benefits as sitting inside an infrared sauna.
Layers of Healing Technology
The mat has been engineered with multiple layers to maximize , each of which adds a specific benefit to the overall performance of the device.
They include an amethyst, tourmaline, charcoal, and natural clay layer.
• Natural Amethyst – purple quartz amethyst is believed to promote healing.
• Tourmaline Crystals – black tourmaline is believed to generate negative ions that boost serotonin and reduce anxiety levels.
• Charcoal – natural charcoal may play a role in amplifying the detoxification process.
• Natural Clay – a clay layer is used in balancing heat performance and help emit negative ions.
VERDICT: The Higher Dose sauna mat is the best choice for overall healing. It combines two powerful technologies to deliver incredible results.
This PEMF healing mat delivers all the health benefits, and more, of a regular sauna without having to endure intense heat.
Best Sauna Tent: GHLMX 4th Generation Sauna Tent
• Deep Penetrating Infrared Energy
• Powerful Carbon Heating Panels
• One-Person Capacity
• Infrared Foot Pads
• Lightweight, Portable & Foldable
Powerful & Portable
The GHLMX infrared sauna combines impressive heat output with the lightweight convenience of a sauna tent.
It uses five Japanese carbon fiber heating plates to generate 1,500W of infrared heat.
When not in use the tent can be folded up and packed away for easy storage. It measures just 80cm x 84cm x 103cm, and weighs in at 14kg.
Tourmaline Layer & Feet Pads
The tent contains a tourmaline layer that generates negative ions when heated.
It is believed that negative ions can reduce anxiety and stress levels. It also has an infrared heating pad for the feet.
When seated inside the tent, the feet are placed on this heating pad that provides infrared energy directly to the soles of the feet.
VERDICT: The GHLMX infrared sauna tent is a great option for people looking for a lightweight, portable home sauna that can be folded away when not in use.
Despite its small size it delivers a generous dose of infrared energy – and is a great choice for detox, reducing stress, and workout recovery.
Home Infrared Sauna Buyer’s Guide
Read this guide and make sure you buy the sauna that best meets your needs.
There are a range of factors to consider when choosing a sauna for your home – and we will take you through each one.
Now that you’ve seen the best saunas 2021 – here’s everything you need to know when buying an infrared home sauna.
The first thing to consider is the type of sauna you want. There are several options on the market and you can choose from a sauna tent, sauna blanket, or a sauna pod.
These modern options are more convenient, more affordable, and easier to store compared to the old-style timber cabin sauna.
They pack away when not in use and can be easily taken on the road.
These portable sauna units are much more affordable than timber cabins and provide all the same health benefits.
They are easier to run, easier to store, easier to transport and provide 24-hour access to infrared sauna at home and on the road.
For more information on sauna types see our guides:
Next up, you need to figure out how big a sauna you need. Will it be used by one person at a time or are you planning on getting multiple people in there?
The majority of home infrared saunas on the market are designed for single-use.
Most of the best infrared saunas 2021 are designed for single use.
This keeps the size down, ensures low cost, and means the sauna can be easily packed away and taken on the road if needed.
If you are looking for a bigger sauna – there are several larger tents out there that can accommodate two people.
Anything bigger than this is going to involve a traditional fixed-place sauna.
Once the numbers go up you have to begin looking at larger fixed place structures – like the traditional wooden sauna cabin.
These units are permanent structures and cannot be packed away when not in use.
The price of a home infrared sauna varies greatly depending on whether you are looking for a portable unit like a tent or a sauna blanket, or a fixed timber cabin sauna.
Sauna size, build quality, and specification also play a big role in determining the price of a home sauna.
While it is important to get the best possible price when purchasing a sauna it is also important not to cut any corners in terms of quality.
Spending a little more upfront can save you a lot of money and aggravation down the line.
The best home infrared saunas will last many, many years.
Even a lifetime if cared for properly. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
We have reviewed and compared saunas within similar price ranges to make sure you get the best one within your budget.
We guarantee you will get the best price on the market when you choose a sauna with Home Sauna Heaven.
You should consider the running cost of a sauna before you make a purchase.
How much electrical power will it consume? How much will it cost to run weekly?
The best infrared home saunas are incredibly efficient devices. You will be amazed by how little electrical power they consume.
Your supplier will be able to fill you in on the wattage requirements of any sauna you are interested in.
Power consumption is directly affected by the size of the sauna. A one-person 1,600-watt infrared sauna will cost in the region of 20 cents per hour to operate.
On the other hand, a two-person 2,200-watt sauna will cost about 30 cents per hour to run.
Personal usage will vary from one person to the next and power costs will vary from state to state.
However, this gives an idea of how the running costs of an infrared home sauna are minimal compared to a traditional sauna.
Overall, the best infrared sauna for home use will be suprisingly easy on the pocket.
Build quality is key to getting the most out of your sauna experience.
The best home infrared saunas are built to the very highest standards and ensure you will get maximum bang for your buck.
It’s important you get the very best sauna money can buy within your budget.
We examine the materials used and the level of craftsmanship of each sauna and then compare them to other saunas within the same price range.
The best at home infrared saunas are built to last and will serve you well for many years, maybe even a lifetime.
Paying a little more for a well-constructed home sauna will give you peace of mind and save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you are buying a timber frame sauna make sure the timber used is 100% natural timbers.
Steer clear of particleboard and MDF. These synthetic woods can contain glues and formaldehyde.
The best infrared saunas are built using cedar, spruce, redwood, or basswood.
These timbers contain aromatic oils that assist in healing, cleansing, and detoxification.
Western red Canadian cedar is a great choice for a sauna cabin. It is naturally antibacterial and antifungal which helps protect the wood from microbial damage over years of use.
Look out for the types of glues and resins that are used. They must be non-toxic substances. As a sauna heats, so too will the glues and resins.
When this happens any toxic substances could be emitted as a gas. This is a situation you want to avoid.
Type of Heater
Do you have a preference for a particular type of heater in your infrared sauna?
There are three different types – Ceramic, Carbon Fibre, and Ceramic-Carbon Fibre combinations.
Each one generates heat in the form of infrared light but differs in how it operates.
Ceramic heaters create infrared energy using heating rods that glow red hot.
They are a very powerful source of infrared light.
They are considered the best material for creating infrared energy but the downside is they become super hot.
Carbon fibers generate infrared light without becoming super hot.
They are super-efficient and consume less power compared to a ceramic heater.
The downside is that they do not generate as much infrared energy as a ceramic heater.
Ceramic-Carbon Fiber heaters combine the two to form a hybrid technology.
They lie somewhere between the two types – generating more infrared light than a carbon fiber heater and not becoming as superheated as a ceramic.
For more information on infrared sauna heater types – see our frequently asked questions section below.
Positioning of Heaters
The infrared heat sources should be positioned so that they target the core and limbs.
This means the heating panels should be positioned at shoulder height and below.
There should be no panels at head height or above the head.
This will ensure infrared light energy is focused on the core, arms, and legs.
It will penetrate the skin, heat the body from the inside, and quickly trigger a sweat.
You don’t want any heating panels next to your head as this will create an unpleasant sauna experience and shorten your session.
As the core and limbs begin to heat you will also sweat from your head and face.
Check the position of heating panels before making a purchase.
Infrared saunas heat up incredibly quickly. However it’s still worth checking out, so take a look at the manufacturer’s specified start-up time before buying.
The best home infrared saunas heat up in as little as 10-15 minutes.
Quick heat-up time means you won’t be hanging around waiting to start your session.
Once you plug it in you’ll have just enough time to get changed and grab some water before beginning the session.
Start-up time is also a key advantage of an infrared sauna. A traditional sauna takes 30-45 minutes to warm up.
With an infrared sauna, you could have your session completed, showered, and ready to go in this time.
Every infrared sauna is operated using some kind of control panel. Depending on the complexity of the sauna this will either be a simple switching device or a more complex unit with a range of user-adjustable options.
Take a look at the control panel to make sure it allows you to use the sauna as you intend.
Are all the options you need available. Are the controls intuitive and easy to operate?
A good control panel will allow you to get the most out of your sauna experience.
Interfaces should be user friendly and allow you to adjust the temperature, lighting, and audio settings where applicable.
Are you looking for a sauna equipped with chromotherapy lights? If so, check the sauna comes fitted with chromotherapy LED light technology.
Some of the best home saunas 2021 come with chromotherapy lighting.
Chromotherapy is a light technology that uses different colored LED lights inside the sauna for therapeutic effect.
It is used to treat physical conditions, boost mood, and encourage relaxation.
Different colors are used to achieve different results. The colors can be changed to meet the requirements of the user. The most commonly used colors are red, blue, green, and yellow.
For more information on chromotherapy see our frequently asked questions section below.
Do you want a built-in sound system in your sauna? Some people like to listen to their favorite music, podcasts, or radio shows while getting a sweat on.
If this is the case then you need to look at the features on offer.
Does the sound system live up to your expectations? Is it Bluetooth compatible? Is there a WiFi connection? What are the speakers like?
Storage & Maintenance
Storage and maintenance are points worth considering before you commit to a purchase.
If you are investing in a fixed timber cabin then storage is not something you need to think about. It will be a permanent fixture in your home.
Portable home saunas such as sauna blankets, pods, and tents can be easily folded up and packed away when not in use.
Check the dimensions of the packed sauna to make sure it will easily fit in your home in a stored area.
Most saunas are easily cleaned and maintained. Find out if the sauna you plan to buy has any special maintenance requirements.
Most saunas just need to be wiped down with an anti-bacterial solution and allowed to air dry after use.
The top performers above in our unbiased infrared sauna reviews section, are easily cleaned and maintained.
Delivery & Installation
You should take a look at the terms of delivery and installation. What are the costs involved? Does the company deliver to your state? Will you require installation or is the unit self-assembly?
If you are buying a portable sauna such as a sauna blanket or sauna tent delivery will be very straight forward. These are small packages and are easily transported.
There will be no installation necessary for a portable sauna. They are incredibly easy to use. They are essentially ‘plug-and-play’ devices.
All you need to do is plug them into an electrical socket and you’re ready to go.
However, if you are investing in a timber cabin sauna you will need to ask some questions about delivery and installation.
If you’re buying a traditional cabin sauna find out how much it will cost to have it delivered to your address.
Ask the company if they provide installation and how much it costs. If it is self-assembly find out exactly what is involved.
Customer service goes a long way when it comes to enjoying your sauna to the fullest. What level of customer support can you expect over the lifecycle of your sauna?
Does the company score well for customer service? The best home sauna 2021 needs to be backed up by excellent customer service.
When weighing up your buying options check to see if the company offers outstanding customer support. A little online research will show how existing customers feel about the company.
Take a look at review websites to see how they score in terms of after-sales service. And, check them out on social media to see what people are saying.
Another option is to contact them directly and ask questions to get a feel for how they treat their customers.
Check out the warranty on the sauna before you make a purchase. All the best home infrared saunas come with comprehensive warranties that will give you peace of mind.
A warranty provides cover if something goes wrong. The period of cover varies but most saunas are supplied with a 1-3 year warranty. However, 10-20 year warranties are not uncommon.
Some companies even offer a lifetime warranty. But be sure to read the terms and familiarise yourself with what is covered.
Typically they should cover anything that fails before the end of its natural life cycle, such as heating units, lights, electronics, switches, and structural panels.
Infrared Sauna FAQs – Your Complete Guide
Below you will find a guide that explains everything you need to know about infrared saunas – What Are They?, How Do They Work?, and How To Use Them. It answers all the frequently asked questions we receive from our customers.
If there is anything else you need to know you can explore this site for further information or contact us using the details on our contact page – just check out the ‘Contact’ link at the bottom of this page.
We are very happy to answer any questions you may have.
• Do you want a home sauna just to relax and unwind?
Check out the Best Saunas for Relaxation 2021
What is an Infrared Sauna?
An infrared sauna uses infrared light energy to gently heat the body. Infrared heating panels are strategically positioned throughout the inside of the sauna.
These panels emit healing infrared light that is absorbed deep beneath the skin.
An infrared sauna heats the body directly without heating the air inside the chamber.
The infrared energy is absorbed through the skin, heats the core from the inside, and triggers a sweat.
Traditional steam or dry saunas operate differently. They heat the air inside the sauna to very high levels which in turn heats the body.
This process takes longer and requires much higher temperatures.
Infrared saunas achieve the same level of relaxation and health benefits using lower temperatures because they heat the body directly.
These lower temperatures create a more comfortable experience allowing people to enjoy longer sessions and greater benefits.
Infrared light is a completely natural form of light and is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is a perfectly safe light source and should not be confused with harmful UV light.
Infrared light is used in hospitals to keep newborn babies warm.
Home infrared saunas are an excellent option for promoting relaxation, healing, and boosting mood in the comfort of your own home.
They provide round the clock access to infrared heat therapy and healing.
They are much cheaper to run compared to traditional saunas as they run at lower temperatures and consume less power.
Their compact size, simple installation, and ease of operation make them an ideal sauna for home use.
What Are The Advantages of Infrared Sauna?
Infrared saunas operate at much lower temperatures compared to traditional saunas, 120°F vs. 190°F.
This removes the need for oppressive heat and creates a more comfortable environment.
Infrared saunas achieve the same results at lower temperatures because they heat the body directly.
Lower temperatures mean a more comfortable environment. This means you can enjoy a longer session in an infrared sauna compared to a traditional sauna.
Longer sessions mean better relaxation and greater health advantages.
Many of the infrared home sauna options are small compact designs. The sauna tent and sauna blanket options are one-person designs that take up very little space.
They are not permanent structures and can be packed and folded away when not in use.
Home infrared saunas can be folded up and packed away when the session is complete.
This makes them a great home sauna option for people living in homes with limited space.
Their small compact size means they require very little space and can be easily stored away.
The best home infrared saunas are available at highly competitive prices.
Traditional saunas that involve the installation of a wood cabin cost thousands of dollars and can easily stretch above $10,000.
Infrared saunas are available at a small fraction of this price, making them a very attractive option.
LOWER RUNNING COSTS
Infrared saunas are incredibly energy efficient. They consume very low levels of electrical power.
The cost of electricity varies from state-to-state but on average a one-person infrared sauna consumes 20 cents worth of electricity per hour.
Infrared saunas start up very quickly. They reach their operating temperature in just 10-15 minutes.
This means you spend less time waiting around and can start your session sooner.
Traditional saunas take 30-45 minutes to heat-up.
Most home infrared saunas are small portable units. They can be folded up and fitted into a space the size of a suitcase.
This means they are highly portable and can be taken on the road if required. They are compact, small in size, and lightweight.
An infrared sauna is essentially a plug-and-play sauna device.
All you need is an electrical power outlet – they require no water plumbing or ventilation installation.
In fact, there is no installation at all. Just unpack the sauna, plug it in, and you’re ready to go.
Infrared saunas are incredibly easy to clean after use. All you need to do is wipe down with a common antimicrobial agent and allow it to air dry.
Their small size makes this a simple task. There are no timber panels or beams to clean or maintain.
Why Choose an Infrared Sauna Over a Traditional Sauna?
Infrared saunas hold many advantages over traditional saunas and are becoming the preferred option across the US.
Below we explain the main features that make infrared sauna the best option for your home.
GREATER HEALTH BENEFITS
Infrared saunas heat the body directly as opposed to a traditional sauna that heats the air around the body.
This means they run at much lower levels of heat to achieve the same effect.
Lower temperatures make for a more comfortable session compared to the oppressive heat of a traditional sauna.
This means you can enjoy a longer session and still feel comfortable.
You will be spending longer periods of time in an infrared sauna, therefore prolonging the healing effects of heat therapy.
Longer sessions mean greater health outcomes.
Infrared saunas are much more affordable than traditional saunas.
They come in at a small fraction of the price of a dry or steam sauna.
The best portable infrared saunas such as sauna blankets and tents are incredibly competitively priced.
EASIER TO USE
They are much easier to use. All they need is an electrical power source.
Just plug them in, power them on and they are ready to go in minutes.
They require no installation, are incredibly easy to clean, and can be packed away when not in use.
CHEAPER TO RUN
An infrared sauna is much cheaper to run compared to a traditional sauna.
Because they operate at much lower temperature levels, (120°F vs. 190°F), they consume less electrical power – saving you money with your utility bill.
EASIER TO INSTALL
They are much easier to install. The only installation requirement you need for an infrared sauna is an electrical socket.
All you need to do is plug it in and you will be ready to go. Traditional saunas commonly require work to accommodate ventilation of excess heat and water run-off.
BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Infrared saunas are kinder to the environment. They consume less electrical power which means they leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Choosing an infrared sauna over a traditional sauna will help protect the world we live in.
How Often Should You Use?
You can use your infrared sauna as often as you feel comfortable. There is no fixed rule as to how often they should be used.
However, most people enjoy using them three to four times a week. That works out about every other day.
The average length of a session is between 30 and 45 minutes.
If you are a beginner you may want to consider easing yourself in gently rather than jumping in at the deep end.
Shorter sessions with longer gaps between each session can help your body adjust to the use of an infrared sauna.
Beginners should allow at least 24 hours between sessions to rest and acclimatize.
Once you feel you are comfortable enough to do so, you can begin increasing session length and number of sessions per week.
This way you can get the best long term health advantages from your infrared sauna without overdoing it.
Infrared saunas are safe to use and deliver a wide range of health and relaxation benefits. Regular use can help relax, refresh, and heal the body.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Infrared saunas deliver a wide range of physical and relaxation health benefits that heal the body and relax the mind.
Sauna heat therapy has been enjoyed around the world for thousands of years by many different cultures.
The therapeutic effects of infrared sauna are used to promote relaxation, heart health, pain relief, detoxification, workout recovery, improved mood, stress relief, and for the treatment of many chronic conditions.
Infrared sauna boosts health in the following areas:
• HEALTHY MIND
Deep Relaxation, Calm The Mind, Boost Mental Health & Better Sleep.
• HEALTHY BODY
Heart Health, Boost Immune System, Cleanse Skin & Detoxification.
• PAIN RELIEF
Joint & Muscle Pain Relief, Headache Relief, Inflammation Relief & Workout Recovery.
• THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
Treat Arthritis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & Lyme Disease
• READ OUR GUIDE:
HEALTH BENEFITS OF INFRARED SAUNA
Are Infrared Saunas Safe?
All the best home infrared saunas are safe. They use infrared light energy to heat the body.
Infrared light is 100% natural and shouldn’t be confused with UV light.
You can’t burn yourself with infrared heat and it is not harmful to the skin like UV rays. Hospitals use infrared heating lamps to warm newborn babies.
Infrared light gently heats the body from the inside as the light is absorbed through the skin.
It is a more gentle process compared to the stifling heat of traditional saunas.
However, if you have any concerns or underlying medical conditions, the advice is to consult a medical professional before using a sauna.
If you have any worries at all seek a doctor’s opinion. Caution is always the best approach.
Below are some tips to help you stay safe in an infrared sauna and get the most out of your session.
For more safety information, see our guide – IS INFRARED SAUNA SAFE?
As you enjoy an infrared sauna session your body temperature will rise and you will begin to sweat.
Fluids lost as sweat must be replaced by sipping water or other suitable fluid. Keep your hydration levels up.
• DON’T OVERDO IT
The length of time spent in the sauna will vary from one individual to the next.
A beginner may want to start with short session times of 10-15 minutes while experienced users can endure longer sessions of 30-45 minutes.
If you spend too long in the sauna you may begin to overheat.
• PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS/CONCERNS
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, medical device, are pregnant, may be pregnant, or have any concern at all – you should consult a doctor before using a sauna.
What Is the Best Temperature?
The best temperature for an infrared sauna is between 110-130°F.
Beginners should aim for the lower end of that scale and then slowly increase the temperature if you feel comfortable doing so.
If you are aiming to detoxify the body you should be aiming for the lower temperature range – somewhere between 110-120°F is good.
This is the best temperature for stimulating the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands and flushing out toxins.
• READ GUIDE: DETOX USING INFRARED SAUNA.
However, if you aim to heat your body to the core then you can raise the temperature even higher – to 140-150 degrees.
This will result in more heat penetrating the skin and traveling deeper into the body. It will also trigger a profuse sweat.
How Long Should You Stay In?
The optimum length of stay varies depending on several factors.
Experienced sauna users will tolerate longer sessions than beginners and sauna temperature will also play a role.
However, the general guideline is to aim for a session of at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Ten minutes is the minimum time required to open up the pores, work up a sweat, and dilate the blood vessels.
This process is necessary to reap the health and relaxation benefits of a sauna session.
If you feel comfortable, stretch the session out to 15 minutes or more. This will allow the heat to penetrate your body further, warm the core, and deliver greater health benefits.
More experienced sauna users will often aim for 30-45 minute sessions, but if you are new to the game it’s best to start low and gradually work your way up.
Pay attention to how you feel during the session and if at any time you begin to feel uncomfortable you should leave and allow the body time to cool down.
It’s important to make sure you stay properly hydrated. As the body sweats you lose water that will need to be replaced.
Make sure you are replacing your lost fluids by drinking water or a suitable electrolyte drink.
It is worth noting that new users often struggle to work up a sweat when they first begin using an infrared sauna.
Don’t worry, this is quite common and as your body adjusts and acclimatizes you can expect to work up a good sweat in future sessions.
How to Prepare for an Infrared Sauna
1: PRE-HEAT SAUNA
First up, make sure you allow enough time for the sauna to heat from a cold start.
Different makes and models vary, but typically they warm up at a rate of 3-5 degrees a minute.
While the optimum operating temperature of the sauna is 100-115 °F, you can get in at around 85 degrees and allow your body to warm up along with the sauna.
2: TAKE A SHOWER
Taking a shower before starting your sauna session feels great.
Washing away make-up, oils, dirt, and sweat is refreshing and allows you to enter the sauna with a clean slate.
3: DRESS APPROPRIATELY
Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing – more on this below. But expect things to heat up in there so some loose-fitting shorts or swimwear will be good.
Some people prefer to sauna in the nude. You have been warned! Take a towel to sit on and for wiping away sweat during the session.
4: PREPARE TO REHYDRATE
Make sure you stay well hydrated. You will begin to perspire after about 10 minutes of infrared heat therapy.
Fluids lost as sweat need to be replaced. Drink plenty of water or a suitable rehydration drink.
5: ALLOW TIME AFTER A MEAL
If you have just had a substantial meal, it is best to allow at least one hour before you begin your session.
Your digestive system will be busy working on breaking down the food and it’s best to allow time for this to happen.
This way you can ensure a more comfortable sauna session.
What Should You Wear?
To enjoy an infrared sauna session to the fullest you need to allow your skin to sweat.
The sweating process cleans the pores and releases toxins.
The infrared energy needs to penetrate your skin and absorb deep into the core of your body.
To achieve this it’s best to wear as little as possible.
If you feel comfortable and you are using a sauna in the comfort of your own home you could consider going completely naked or using just a towel to sit on.
This way you are allowing maximum exposure of the light heat energy across the surface area of your body.
If you prefer to protect your modesty the key is to choose something loose, light, and breathable.
Don’t wear anything too tight or restrictive as your skin needs to breathe and sweat.
Swimsuits and swim shorts are the most popular options.
Some people prefer the greater cover provided by a loose-fitting cotton sarong or a cotton t-shirt.
Alternative clothing options include sauna exercise suits, yoga clothing, breathable swimsuits, swimwear, light shorts, loose shirts, and loose dresses.
Remember, it’s important to remove all jewelry and accessories before entering the sauna as they can become very hot.
Overall, just remember, less is best when it comes to clothes in a sauna.
To get the most out of your session it’s best to wear as little as possible so long as you feel comfortable.
The exception to this rule is a sauna blanket – where you will need to wear clothing covering all the body except the head.
How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?
An infrared sauna heats the body using infrared light energy. Infrared light is a natural light and is part of the light spectrum.
The light energy radiates from an electrical heat source, passes through the air, and is absorbed by the body.
Home infrared saunas do not heat the air around the body and operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas.
The light energy absorbs directly through the skin and gently heats the body from within.
A home infrared sauna uses electrically powered heating panels to generate far-infrared light energy. These panels sit at strategic points within the sauna.
Infrared light is safe and should not be confused with UV light or microwaves.
Infrared heat is the feeling of warmth when rays of sunshine reach your face on a sunny day.
This type of heat can penetrate the body more deeply than the heat provided by a traditional sauna.
How Does Infrared Energy Heat the Body
An infrared sauna heats the body in the same way as natural sunlight.
Tiny vibrations create the heating effect as the radiant energy enters our bodies and the waves pass through our cells.
The heating effect is primarily the result of two actions: vibrating water molecules and natural resonation of cellular frequencies.
Due to the large water content of biological cells, the vibration of water molecules is the primary source of heating.
As the infrared waves pass through cellular water molecules they cause them to vibrate – generating heat.
Additionally, the waves stimulate a natural resonance with cellular frequencies that vibrate the cell.
Essentially infrared heat energy absorbs into the body due to the vibrations created within the body at a molecular and cellular level.
The heating method of an infrared sauna is very different from that of a traditional sauna.
An infrared heat source generates electromagnetic waves that pass through the air, land on the skin, penetrates to a depth of 1.5 inches, and begin gently heating the body.
Unlike a traditional sauna, they do not heat the air around you and heat only the body in the sauna.
This means an infrared sauna does not have to become as hot as a traditional sauna to achieve the same effect.
The heating process is a much gentler and more comfortable experience. For more on healing, see our best far infrared sauna reviews above.
Ceramic, Carbon & Combination Heaters
Infrared saunas use three different types of heaters to create IR light: Ceramic Heaters, Carbon Fiber Heaters, and Ceramic-Carbon combinations.
The infrared light is created by passing an electrical current through a special material that generates infrared energy.
The panels are strategically located on the inside of the sauna. This light energy radiates out from the source, penetrates the skin, and gently heats the body.
The three types of heaters used are explained below.
• CERAMIC HEATERS
Ceramic heaters work by heating a ceramic heating rod until it is red hot. This type of heater generates the greatest amount of infrared light.
However, the downside is that the material can become super-hot, reaching temperatures of 350-400 °F.
• CARBON FIBER HEATERS
Carbon fiber heaters generate infrared light energy without becoming as hot as ceramic heaters. They generate infrared light at temperatures of 140-150 °F.
This eliminates the problem of the heater becoming so hot that it begins to heat the air in the sauna.
They are also highly efficient and consume less energy than a ceramic heater. The downside of a carbon fiber heater is it does not generate as much infrared light as a ceramic heater.
• CERAMIC-CARBON COMBINATIONS
A ceramic-carbon combination heater is considered the most effective type of infrared sauna heater.
It combines the two technologies to draw on the strengths of both materials.
This type of heater can generate plenty of infrared light thanks to its ceramic components but will maintain a more stable temperature point due to its carbon elements.
Typically these heaters operate at a temperature of approximately 200 °F.
Carbon Fiber vs. Ceramic Infrared Heater
When it comes to choosing either a carbon fiber heated sauna or a ceramic heated sauna it all comes down to personal preference.
The ceramic heater is an older technology and uses a ceramic rod to radiate infrared light energy when it is heated.
These ceramic rods are positioned strategically around the chamber to ensure infrared light reaches all areas of the sauna.
The carbon fiber sauna is a more recently developed technology.
This method employs flat carbon panels that have a larger surface area than the ceramic rods.
These carbon panels emit infrared energy when an electric current is applied.
Let’s compare the key characteristics of the two technologies:
Ceramic: Cheaper of the two options
Carbon: Marginally more expensive.
• HEAT DISTRIBUTION
Ceramic: Heat is more concentrated close to the heaters
Carbon: Better heat distribution throughout the chamber.
• ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Ceramic: Low operation costs, highly efficient.
Carbon: Top energy efficiency. Even more efficient than ceramic.
• WARM-UP TIME
Ceramic: Heats up very rapidly
Carbon: Heats up rapidly, but takes a little longer than ceramic.
Ceramic: Rods can be fragile and should be treated with care
Carbon: More durable, carbon panels have better flexibility and are less fragile.
What is Sauna Chromotherapy?
Chromotherapy is a type of light therapy that involves introducing colored light into a sauna for therapeutic effect.
Sauna chromotherapy is used to treat a wide range of physical health concerns, boost mood, and promote relaxation.
Light therapy has been used since ancient times to treat ailments and assist the flow of energy to the chakras.
It is claimed that the different light colors used in sauna chromotherapy can adjust body vibrations to frequencies that support improved health and harmony.
Different colors are used to achieve different results, with each color imparting specific health and relaxation benefits.
By applying a specific color a specific health benefit can be achieved.
Below is an overview of the colors used and the associated health benefits of sauna chromotherapy.
• RED LIGHT
Stimulates the pulse and raise blood pressure.
Good for the skin and to reduce the signs of aging.
• GREEN LIGHT
Creates a calming effect and relaxes the mind.
Can be used to regenerate the skin and ease redness or blotching.
• BLUE LIGHT
Relieves headaches, stress, nervous tension, and rheumatism.
Promotes a feeling of calmness.
• YELLOW LIGHT
Purifies the skin, boosts the nervous system and stimulates metabolism.
Near Infrared vs. Far Infrared
Near infrared and far infrared sit next to each other on the light spectrum just beyond the light that is visible to the human eye.
They are both types of infrared light energy that radiates from the sun but cannot be seen by the naked eye.
They are differentiated only by having different wavelengths – near infrared 700nm to 1400nm and far infrared 3000-100,000nm.
An infrared sauna will use one or the other, (sometimes a combination of both), with each conveying its own features and range of benefits.
Far Infrared, FIR, has a longer wavelength and is used to heat the body from within.
It is absorbed by water molecules within our bodies and is great for working up a sweat.
FIR is the most popular form of infrared light in infrared saunas.
Near Infrared, NIR, has more recently been introduced to infrared saunas. It can penetrate the skin to a
depth of 5mm.
The lower wavelength of NIR allows it to travel deeper into the body. For more see our home sauna reviews above.
Can You Lose Weight Using an Infrared Sauna?
Long term weight loss using infrared sauna alone is debatable.
There are many claims out there that sauna can be an effective way of losing weight – but the claim is not backed up by hard scientific data.
Some companies claim infrared light energy breaks down lipid molecules and burns off fat.
There is even a study from the Binghamton University in New York that concludes regular sauna sessions resulted in a 4% drop in body fat.
One thing is for sure, as you sweat during a session you will lose water and this will result in a short term weight loss.
However, the picture is less clear in terms of long term weight loss.
The main advantages you can expect to benefit from during a sauna session are cardiovascular stimulation, detoxification, joint and muscle pain relief, boosting the immune system, relaxation, and stress-relief.
What is EMF and ELF?
EMF stands for electromagnetic field. It is a type of energy that radiates from all electrical devices including home infrared saunas.
Electromagnetic fields are generated by everyday devices that surround us all day – cell phones, laptops, televisions, etc.
It is perfectly normal for electrical devices to emit EMF energy, and an electric sauna is no different.
ELF stands for extremely low frequency. This type of magnetic field is generated by the electrical grid.
Small levels of ELF are generated by any device that is connected to the electrical grid. Even the best home infrared saunas emit low levels of EMF and ELF.
When shopping for the best home infrared sauna you will see references to EMF and ELF ratings.