BEST INFRARED SAUNA REVIEWS 2024 – Independent & Unbiased Reviews

lady standing at door of an infrared sauna

Are you looking for an infrared sauna for your home? You’re in the right place. Our team of independent sauna experts has reviewed the best infrared saunas on the market. Check out our best infrared sauna review and buyer’s guide below. We’ll help you discover your dream infrared sauna today.


INDEPENDENT INFRARED SAUNA REVIEWS


Our site is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you buy through a link. This does not impact our reviews. Our opinions are our own and we aim to provide you with the information you need to choose the best infrared sauna for your home.


TOP INFRARED SAUNAS 2024

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sun home equinox infrared sauna pros, cons, and overview

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higher dose v4 infrared sauna blanket rating and overview image

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maxxus infrared sauna overview, pros and cons

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BEST INFRARED SAUNA FOR HOME

lady smiling and gesturing happily

Infrared sauna is a powerful tool for deep relaxation, recovery, and healing.  And, what better way to enjoy the benefits of sauna than in the comfort of your home.  Our independent best infrared sauna review and buyer’s guide will help you find the perfect sauna for your individual needs.  


Best Infrared Saunas 2024

In This Article

Runner Up Saunas


Winner: Best Infrared Sauna 2024 – Sun Home Equinox 2-Person Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna Review

sun home equinox infrared sauna in a home

FEATURES

  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Full Spectrum Infrared
  • Intense Heat 165°F
  • Chromotherapy Enabled
  • 7-Year Warranty

five stars

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BEST INFRARED SAUNA 2024

The Sun Home Equinox 2 person full spectrum sauna is the best infrared sauna in 2024. It combines excellent build quality, superb performance, and all the extras you expect from a sauna that sits on top of the class. The sauna is easy to use and works great for relaxation and post-exercise recovery.

FULL-SPECTRUM INFRARED HEAT

The sauna is equipped with full-spectrum infrared heaters. This means it generates near, mid, and far infrared light energy for an optimized infrared sauna experience. Most home infrared saunas on the market come with just far-infrared (FIR) capability.

sun home equinox infrared sauna in a home gym

It also gets pretty hot. Especially for an infrared sauna. The Sun Home Equinox 2 tops out at 165°F. This is plenty of heat to work up an intense sweat and feel the full effects of infrared heat therapy. If you’re looking for a hot infrared sauna, this is the one for you. Most infrared saunas operate within a temperature range of just 110-130°F 

EUCALYPTUS WOODEN CABIN

There’s no doubt about it. The Sun Home Equinox 2 is a beautiful home infrared sauna. It boasts excellent craftsmanship and a highly impressive finish. The entire structure is 100% wood, there are no nails or screws. The whole thing slides and clips into place using a tongue and groove system that requires no power tools. 

The timber of choice is eucalyptus. This wood is highly resistant to rot and decay and is a great choice for a sauna cabin. It’s comfortable to sit on and has a subtle fragrance. The wood has been hand-sanded to ensure a high-quality smooth finish. 

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CHROMOTHERAPY ENABLED

This Sun Home Equinox 2 infrared sauna is chromotherapy enabled. That means it comes fitted with a medical-grade colored light therapy system. Chromotherapy uses colored lights to enhance and complement the therapeutic effect of a sauna. Each color is believed to have a set of unique benefits that can impact mood and energy levels. 

SPACIOUS INTERIOR

This is a two-person sauna. But, we feel it’s one of the more spacious 2-person infrared saunas out there. It provides ample room for either one or two people. The cabin has an interior footprint of 45” x 40” inches. The benches are deep and comfortable to sit on. And, the headspace clears a height of 70.3” inches, just shy of 6 feet.

THE EXTRAS

sun home equinox infrared sauna side view

• Bluetooth Speakers

As you’d expect for a sauna that tops the best infrared sauna list, it comes with some extras as standard. The sauna cabin is fitted with a surround Bluetooth speaker system. Simply connect using your phone or tablet and listen to your favorite tunes or podcasts while you relax and unwind.

• 24-Hour Timer

There’s also a 24-hour timer system that allows you to power on/off the device anytime within the next 24 hours. This is great if you want to preheat the sauna before you get home and don’t want to have to wait around for it to heat up. Just set the timer and jump in when you’re ready.

• Warranty

The sauna comes with a limited 7-year warranty on the cabinetry and heaters. And, a 3-year warranty covering the controls. The sauna heaters have an estimated life of at least 30,000 hours.

VERDICT

The Sun Home Equinox 2-person full spectrum is the best infrared sauna in 2024. We love how this sauna is built, how it performs, and how it makes you feel when relaxing inside. It comes with full-spectrum infrared light. A feature that sets it above most other infrared saunas on the market.

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It also achieves incredibly high levels, right up to 165°F – much higher than most other infrared saunas out there. If you’re looking for a super hot infrared sauna, this could be the one for you. It’s made using eco-certified, kiln-dried eucalyptus wood that gives it a traditional feel and a very pleasing aesthetic. And, it’s fitted with chromotherapy and a Bluetooth speaker system. This sauna ticks all the boxes. 


BEST PORTABLE INFRARED SAUNA:
HIGHERDOSE V4 INFRARED SAUNA BLANKET

lady relaxing inside higherdose v4 sauna blanket

five stars

FEATURES

  • COMPACT & CONVENIENT
  • SUPERB PERFORMANCE
  • EASY TO USE
  • CRYSTALS & TOURMALINE
  • EXCELLENT VALUE

HigherDose Sauna Blanket Features Overview

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COMPACT DESIGN

The V4 sauna blanket is an incredibly convenient home sauna device thanks to its compact and lightweight design. If you have limited available space in your home, this could be the infrared sauna for you. The V4 looks just like a sleeping bag and can be rolled out on any heat-resistant flat surface and set up in minutes.

When you’re done, just wipe it down and roll it back up. It can be packed away beneath a bed or at the bottom of a wardrobe until next time. Even better, the V4 sauna blanket is a portable device. Its compact design means you can easily take it on the road with you and enjoy infrared sauna on a weekend break or business trip.

EASY TO USE

This sauna blanket is incredibly easy to use. There is no assembly required when you first unbox the device. And, there’s no installation requirement like a standard cabin sauna. All you have to do is roll it out and plug it into a regular electrical socket.

hand held controller of the higherdose infrared sauna blanket

The sauna blanket is operated using a control panel with two dials that allow you to set the heat level and time duration for the session. It heats up in minutes using a far infrared heating element woven into the walls of the blanket fabric.

DEEP RELAXATION

We found this blanket great for encouraging deep relaxation. When you lay cocooned inside the blanket you feel completely encased in deep penetrating Far Infrared heat. It’s something we haven’t experienced before from a regular cabin-style sauna – but we really like it. The blanket wrap covers you from toes to neck – with your head remaining on the outside, just like a regular sleeping bar.

The inner walls of the blanket become hot to touch at higher heat levels, so you need to cover up with clothes – all the way from feet to neck. This means you’ll have to wear socks, long bottoms, and a long-sleeved t-shirt. The whole experience is deeply relaxing and triggers an intense sweat.

AMETHYST CRYSTALS & BLACK TOURMALINE

This blanket has been constructed using Amethyst Crystals and Black Tourmaline. The crystals and tourmaline are positioned inside the walls of the blanket. When you lay inside they become wrapped around your body.

In alternative medicine amethyst crystal is believed to be a source of healing energy and tourmaline is believed to boost negative ion production. The presence of the crystals and tourmaline cannot be felt and do not cause any discomfort when you lay inside the blanket.

EXCELLENT VALUE

Close up of the higherdose sauna blanket

The HigherDose V4 infrared sauna blanket is superb value. It is much cheaper than a cabin-style infrared o traditional sauna. If you want to introduce an infrared sauna to your home on a budget – this is an excellent option. An infrared sauna blanket will save you thousands of dollars. And, they perform admirably – achieving similar relaxation and healing results.

VERDICT

The HigherDose V4 sauna blanket is the best portable infrared sauna 2024. It is incredibly convenient, easy to use, and achieves excellent results. Its compact dimensions mean it can be easily packed away when not in use. And, when needed it can be set up and pre-heated in minutes. It is the ultimate infrared sauna in terms of convenience.

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The V4 has also been designed and constructed to a very high standard. The device has been built to last and its quality of workmanship is plain to see. It uses a far infrared heating element to generate heat and contains amethyst crystals and black tourmaline – two popular elements of alternative medicine. And, perhaps most significantly it comes in at a fraction of the price of a standard cabin infrared sauna.

 


Runner-Up: Golden Designs Maxxus 3 Person Infrared Sauna Review

maxxus home infrared sauna side view

FEATURES

  • Far Infrared Heat
  • Canadian Hemlock Wood
  • Chromotherapy
  • 7 Carbon Heaters
  • Low EMF

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HEATING PERFORMANCE

The Maxxus 3-person sauna is an impressive infrared home sauna. It uses seven strategically placed FIR carbon heaters to generate ample infrared energy. There are 3 heating panels on the rear wall, one on either side wall, one under the bench, and one located on the floor.

The heating panels on the floor and under the bench target the lower legs and feet. They deliver a lower wattage heat compared to the rear and side panels to deliver a more comfortable heat level and avoid a burning sensation on the legs and feet. A great design feature!

BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN

This is a well-built sauna. The Maxxus infrared sauna has been made using natural Canadian hemlock. A great choice of wood for a home sauna. It demonstrates excellent durability and is highly heat and moisture-resistant. And, it’s one of our top choices of wood for a sauna build.

maxxus home infrared sauna from above

There is a tempered glass door, a full-length front-facing window, and two full-length side windows – one on either side of the cabin. That’s a lot of glass windows. And, it floods the sauna interior with external light. Great news if you want the sauna to feel open and unrestricted.

CHROMOTHERAPY

If color light therapy is your thing, you’re in luck. The sauna comes with an internal chromotherapy light. Choose your preferred light color to suit your mood, enhance relaxation, or restore energy levels. Chromotherapy is an alternative medicine practice that uses colored light for potential therapeutic effect.

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SOUND SYSTEM

The Maxxus MX-K306-01 sauna comes fitted with a slick sound system. It can be operated using FM Radio, Bluetooth, MP3 auxiliary, SD, or USB connection. That caters to all needs and preferences. You can connect whichever way you please, sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite music while gently heating right to the core.

DIMENSIONS & OPERATION

The sauna has an interior footprint of 58″ x 39″ inches. There’s enough room to fit 3 people. But if you want a little extra comfort and space it works great for two or even one person. It has an internal height of 68″ inches. That works out at 5 feet and 8” inches, so anyone above this height will have to stoop to avoid banging their head. 

maxxus home infrared sauna control panel

There is a dual operating panel with one unit located in the cabin interior and the other on the exterior. We like this feature as it means you can operate the device from both the inside and outside. The panel is an LED display and allows you to set the sauna temperature and adjust time functions. 

VERDICT

The MX-K306-01 Maxxus Low EMF 3-person infrared sauna is a solid performer. It delivers reliable performance and impressive build quality. The sauna uses 7 heating panels to generate far-infrared heat. The heaters are strategically placed around the cabin to optimize exposure and the lower panels use reduced wattage to avoid overheating the feet and legs.

The sauna looks great too. It has been built using Canadian hemlock, an excellent choice of wood for an infrared sauna. And, there are three full-length window panels and a tempered glass front-facing door for a 180-degree panoramic view.

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The Maxxus also comes fitted with chromotherapy for light therapy and a sound system that connects via Bluetooth, MP3, and USB. This infrared sauna will meet most people’s needs and will make an excellent addition to any home.


YOUR COMPLETE INFRARED SAUNA GUIDE

Infrared saunas heat your body directly. They do not heat the air around your body. This means they run at lower temperatures than traditional saunas and are more efficient. And, you can expect all the same health and relaxation benefits without the oppressive heat.


INFRARED SAUNA BUYER’S GUIDE

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 infrared saunas 2024 – here’s everything you need to know when buying an infrared home sauna.   

white towels and glass of water inside a sauna spa

SAUNA TYPE

The first thing to consider is the type of sauna you want. There are several options on the market and you can choose from an infrared sauna cabin, outdoor sauna, sauna tent, or sauna blanket.  The later portable options are convenient, affordable, and easier to store compared to static cabin saunas. 

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. 

Portable saunas are 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 check out our guides to portable home saunas below.


SAUNA SIZE

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? 

woman relaxing in an infrared sauna

The majority of home infrared saunas are available in 2 to 6 person capacity.  Two and four person saunas are very popular.  If you are a solo sauna user you can opt for a 1-person sauna.  Or, you can upgrade to a 2-person and give yourself a little more room.

Multi-person saunas are ideal for family hoes and for people that want a shared sauna experience with friends.  The social aspect of relaxing in a sauna is an often overlooked key advantage.  What better way to enjoy time with friends or family than relaxing in a home infrared sauna.

PRICE

The price of a home infrared sauna varies greatly depending on whether you are looking for an infrared sauna cabin or a portable unit like a tent or a sauna blanket.  Sauna size, build quality, and specification also play a big role in determining the price of a home sauna. 

Spending a little more upfront can save you a lot of money and aggravation down the line.  The best infrared saunas will last many, many years. 

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.

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.

RUNNING COSTS

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

Build quality is key to getting the most out of your sauna experience.  The best infrared saunas are built to the very highest standards and ensure you will get maximum bang for your buck. 

legs in a sauna

It’s vital you get the best possible sauna 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 infrared saunas are built to last and will serve you well for many years, maybe even a lifetime.  Once treated with care.

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.

TIMBER TYPE

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 Canadian Red 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 Fiber, and Ceramic-Carbon Fiber combinations. 

inside an infrared sauna

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.

START-UP TIME

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 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.

CONTROL PANEL

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.

CHROMOTHERAPY

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 infrared saunas 2024 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 see our guide to Sauna Chromotherapy.

SOUND SYSTEM

Do you want a built-in sound system in your home sauna? Some people love listening to their favorite music, podcasts, and 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

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 infrared sauna 2024 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.

WARRANTY

Check out the warranty on the sauna before you make a purchase.  All the best 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.


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. 

woman sitting inside infrared 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.  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?

advantages of infrared sauna

GREATER COMFORT

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.

LONGER SESSIONS

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.

CONVENIENT SIZE

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 away when not in use.

EASY STORAGE

They’re just easy to store.  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.

PRICE

The best 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.

QUICK START-UP

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.

PORTABLE

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 super easy to transport and can be taken on the road if required.  They are compact, small in size, and lightweight.

NO INSTALLATION

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 work.  In fact, there is no installation at all.  Just unpack the sauna, plug it in, and you’re ready to go.

EASY MAINTENANCE

Infrared saunas are incredibly easy to clean after use.  All you need to do is wipe down with an antimicrobial agent and air dry.  Their small size makes this a simple task.  There are no timber panels or beams to clean or maintain.


WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFRARED SAUNA AND TRADITIONAL SAUNA?

Infrared saunas hold many advantages over traditional saunas and are growing in popularity across the US.  Let’s take a look at what makes an infrared sauna the best option for your home.

two women sitting inside a sauna

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.

These lower temperatures create 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.

Longer sessions mean greater health benefits.  Spending more time in an infrared sauna will boost your results. 

BETTER PRICES

Infrared saunas are much more affordable than traditional saunas.  They cost just a small fraction of the price of a traditional dry or steam sauna. 

When it comes to price, the best infrared sauna options are sauna blankets, infrared mats, and sauna tents.  They are very 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. 

The best infrared saunas require no installation.  They 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.  They consume much less energy.  They run at much lower temperature levels, (120°F vs. 190°F).  Therefore, they consume less electrical power and will save you money on 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 heat and water run-off.

They do not take up a permanent floor space.  And when you’re not using them, portable infrared saunas can be packed away out of sight.

KINDER 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. Do you want a home sauna just to relax and unwind?  Check out the Best Saunas for Relaxation 2024.


BEST LARGE INFRARED SAUNA
SUNLIGHTEN SIGNATURE 3

sunlighten signature 3 infrared sauna

five stars

FEATURES

  • FAR INFRARED
  • 3 WOOD OPTIONS
  • ONE PRESS START-UP
  • WIDE BENCH
  • 24-HOUR TIMER

BEST 3 PERSON INFRARED SAUNA 2024

Sunlighten Signature 3 features overview pros and cons

The Sunlighten Signature 3 is the winner in the 3 person infrared sauna category. It’s the hands-down best three person infrared sauna and one of the top rated infrared saunas in 2024. It is well built and comes in a choice of three types of wood – basswood, cedar, and eucalyptus. 

We love the quick start-up function that requires a single button press on the outside of the cabin. It’s a great three person sauna for relaxing, calming the mind, and easing aches and tired muscles.

FAR INFRARED

This sauna uses far infrared light energy to heat your body. It is powered by ten carbon infrared heaters strategically positioned throughout the unit. Sunlighten uses a patented carbon heater technology called SoloCarbon.

CHOICE OF TIMBER

The Sunlighten Signature III infrared sauna is available in a choice of three types of wood – basswood, cedar, and eucalyptus. Each has a unique appeal and distinct aesthetic features.

BASSWOOD

Basswood is a light-toned wood with neutral features. It has a soft grain that gives it a smooth touch and it is hypoallergenic. We like the calm cool appearance of its light tones.

CEDAR

Cedar has a warm color tone, looks great, and is a very popular choice for sauna builds. It is a durable timber, with strong dimensional stability and heat resistance. Its low density makes it a good insulator. 

EUCALYPTUS

Eucalyptus is another soft timber and is a very popular choice of wood for sauna builds. It doesn’t overheat, is a strong wood, and is highly durable. The timber has an attractive reddish-brown and is generally sourced from Australia.

EASY START-UP

The Sunlighten Signature III comes with a quick start-up button. Located on the outside of the cabin you can fire the sauna up with just a single button press. This means you don’t have to go inside and access the wall-mounted control panel to switch the sauna on.

This is a great little feature and means you can casually power the sauna up as you walk by. It will automatically set itself to whatever temperature it was last used it. And, we found it heats up at a rate of about 1 degree per minute.

There’s also a 24-hour timer feature. It allows you to program the sauna to be heated up and ready for you at any given time of the day. This is great if you are out for a workout or returning from work and need to use the sauna right away without waiting for it to heat up.

PLENTY OF BENCH SPACE

This sauna is a good fit for three people. We think it will provide enough space for most people. The bench is 56.6″ inches wide 20.2″ inches deep. 

That’s almost five feet wide – and feels comfortable when you sit three bodies side-by-side. Also, the bench is removable. You can easily lift it up and place it outside if you want more room to perform yoga or some stretches.

The interior dimensions of the cabin are 56.8″ x 39.9″ x 70.3″ inches high. That works out at about 5′ feet and 10” inches. So, anyone above this height will have to stoop to avoid hitting your head off the roof. Another few inches in height would add a lot of comfort.

THE EXTRAS

The Sunlighten Signature 3 comes with some welcome extras. There is a sound system you can connect your phone to with a speaker built into the roof. 

It also features chromotherapy lighting so you can complement your heat therapy session with some light therapy. And a wall-mounted internal digital control panel allows you to set the temperature and duration of the session. 

VERDICT

The Sunlighten Signature 3 is the best large infrared sauna on the market in 2024. It’s well built, performs superbly, and is incredibly easy to use. This sauna is available in a choice of timbers – basswood, cedar, and eucalyptus, so you can take your pick.

The bench is wide enough and deep enough to comfortably seat three people side-by-side. But, a little extra height space would be a welcome addition. It also comes equipped with a sound system for connecting your phone and a chromotherapy colored light feature.


BEST SMALL INFRARED SAUNA
RADIANT HEALTH INFRARED SAUNA E-1H

radiant health 1 person infrared sauna review

4 star review

FEATURES

  • CANADIAN HEMLOCK
  • COMPACT DESIGN
  • CARBON FIBER HEATERS
  • CHROMOTHERAPY
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY

BEST 1 PERSON INFRARED SAUNA 2024

The Radiant Health E-1H 1 Person Elite is the best one person infrared sauna in 2024. This sauna has a footprint of just 3′ x 3′ feet – meaning it can be placed in even the tightest of spaces. 

It has been built using kiln-dried Canadian hemlock that looks great, is durable, and gives it a real authentic feel. It has been well built, smartly designed, and most importantly performs impressively. Below, we’ll take you through everything you need to know.

radiant health 1 person infrared sauna key features and overview

MATERIALS & DESIGN

The one person Radiant Health infrared sauna is built using Canadian Hemlock – a popular choice for sauna cabins. The timber panels are assembled using a tongue-and-groove design and the timber is kiln-dried to reduce moisture to 6-8%. This minimizes the risk of warping during use. 

All materials used are non-toxic and contain no volatile organic compounds, so you can rest easily during use. The sauna measures 77” inches tall and has a footprint of just 36” x 36” inches. This compact design makes it an ideal choice for homes with limited space.

PERFORMANCE

The Radiant Health one person infrared sauna packs a punch for its size. It is fitted with Japanese carbon fiber heaters that reach a maximum temperature of 149 °F. The heat is evenly distributed throughout the compact chamber and will have you sweating in no time.

It also has a heated bench, heated ceramic floor tiles, and a tinted all-glass door. The bench heater cycles on and off to maintain a comfortable heat level without becoming too hot. 

And, there’s a delayed start feature that allows you to program the device to power on and begin preheating at a specified time. This works well for people trying to fit a sauna session into a busy daily schedule. 

SIMPLE OPERATION

Radiant E-1H is easy to use. It has two control panels – one on the exterior and one inside the cabin. The panels allow you to power on/off the sauna and set the temperature and duration of the session. Time can be adjusted in 5-minute increments and temperature can be set up to a maximum of 149 °F or 65 °C. Temperature can be displayed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

THE EXTRAS

The Radiant Health one person infrared sauna comes with some interesting extras – color chromotherapy and a built-in stereo sound system.

CHROMOTHERAPY

The sauna comes equipped with colored light therapy, aka chromotherapy. Spotlights fitted in the ceiling interior can be set to shine colored light. There are six colors to choose from – red, yellow, blue, green, violet, and turquoise. 

You can choose your preferred color for the session or allow the lights to cycle through all the colors. In cycle mode, each color lasts for 80 seconds before fading and changing to the next color in the cycle.

SOUND SYSTEM

The sauna also comes with an in-built sound system. Housed in a special compartment in the ceiling you’ll find an Alpine stereo system. You can use the device to play CDs, radio, or connect your device via a hard-wired auxiliary port or USB connection. The stereo unit sits in a special drop-down box that can be tucked back into the sauna ceiling for protection during the session.

VERDICT

The Radiant Health E-1H Elite stands proud in our best infrared sauna review for 2024. It is the clear winner in the small infrared sauna category. Radiant Health has been supplying saunas to the US and Canadian markets for over 20 years. And, this experience shines through in their one-person design.

The sauna is ideal for homes with very little free space. Its 3 x 3 feet compact size can be easily placed in a corner – yet is plenty of space for one person to comfortably enjoy a sauna session.

It is fitted with carbon fiber heating panels, has a maximum operating temperature of 149 °F, and is incredibly easy to use. As a bonus, it comes equipped with an in-built stereo system and color light therapy. Even better, it comes with a lifetime warranty on the wooden cabin and heaters. And, a 5-year warranty covering the electrical components. 


BEST BUDGET INFRARED SAUNA
JNH LIFESTYLES JOYOUS INFRARED SAUNA

JNH LIFESTYLES JOYOUS INFRARED SAUNA REVIEW

4 star review

FEATURES

  • BUDGET OPTION
  • 140 °F MAX TEMP
  • FAR INFRARED
  • CANADIAN HEMLOCK
  • 2-PERSON CABIN

BEST VALUE INFRARED SAUNA WINNER

If you’re on a tight budget and want to enjoy the benefits of an infrared sauna at home – then the JNH Lifestyles infrared sauna is a strong contender. JNH offers saunas at a reasonable price that delivers many of the features of the best infrared saunas on the market.

With a maximum operating temperature of just 140 °F, it doesn’t reach the seem heat levels as other saunas on this list. And, if you want to add chromotherapy or a foot heater – you’ll have to pay extra. Our JNH Joyous infrared sauna review below covers everything you need to know about this sauna.

JNH Lifestyles Joyous Infrared Sauna Key Features Pros and Cons

MATERIALS & DESIGN

The JNH Joyous infrared sauna has been built using 100% FSC-certified Canadian hemlock – a great choice for a home sauna. It looks great and has an authentic sauna feel that most people will find pleasing. The sauna contains zero plywood and all timber is treatment and chemical free.

The cabin employs a dual-wall insulation system to keep the heat on the inside and the inner wall has been designed to allow for expansion during use. And, the glass door and side glass panels have been constructed using high-temperature tempered glass.

SELF ASSEMBLY

The sauna requires self-assembly. To make this as easy as possible JNH has created a modular unit that requires very little DIY knowledge to complete. The Canadian hemlock is lightweight yet sturdy and panels are placed together using a tongue and groove fitting system.

DIMENSIONS

When fully assembled the sauna stands 75” inches tall. It has a footprint of 47.3″ x 39.5″ inches – making it an excellent choice for couples and small families. This sauna is also a great size for individuals that enjoy a solo sauna but want a little extra room to stretch out and unwind.

  • Height: 75″ inches
  • Width: 47.3″ inches
  • Depth: 39.5″ inches

PERFORMANCE

The JNH Joyous sauna is a solid performer considering its price tag. The device achieves a satisfactory heat level and will meet the needs of most people planning on enjoying a home sauna experience. It is stripped of many of the features found on other saunas in this best infrared sauna review – but they can be added at an additional cost.

The model we reviewed was the 2-person sauna. With a rear bench stretching the full width of the cabin, there is plenty of room for two people. We recommend the JNH Joyous infrared sauna for couples, small families, and individuals that want a little extra room.

MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE 140 °F

It has a maximum operating temperature of just 140 °F. This is below the heat output of the very best infrared saunas. However, it is plenty to get the job done. Most people will break into a sweat in 15-20 minutes when inside the JNH running at maximum operating temperature.

The sauna is operated using a digital control panel mounted on the interior rear wall. The panel allows you to set the duration and desired temperature for your sauna session. And, energy-efficient LED lights mounted in the ceiling interior provide mood lighting.

HEATERS

The JNH is powered by seven carbon fiber far-infrared heating panels. They are strategically placed throughout the chamber with two targetting the back, two for the shoulders, two for the legs, and one for the calves. It’s a pretty good layout and provides decent heat coverage. Most of your body will be exposed to direct infrared light.

EXTRAS

The JNH Joyous sauna comes equipped with a BlueTooth sound system as standard. This allows you to connect and listen to your favorite tunes, playlists, and podcasts. There’s also a range of additional features you can include on your JNH infrared sauna, at an additional cost – see below.

• Chromotherapy Light System

Chromotherapy, also known as color light therapy, is used to generate colored light inside the cabin. Many believe color light therapy enhances relaxation and therapeutic effect during a sauna session.

Oxygen Ionizer

You can also add an oxygen ionizer to your JNH Joyous sauna. Oxygen ionizers are used to remove pollutants such as dust and pollens from the air.

Infrared Foot Warmer

Like to keep your feet warm? This optional extra allows you to add an infrared foot warmer that specifically targets your feet and keeps them warm while the rest of your body enjoys the full effects of the infrared sauna.

WARRANTY

The JNH Joyous infrared sauna comes with a 1-year standard warranty covering residential, indoor use. There’s an option to upgrade this warranty to 2 and 3 years for an additional cost. Electrical components, heating panels, and the cabin’s wooden structure are covered. However, the warranty does not cover commercial or outdoor use.

VERDICT

The JNH Lifestyles Joyous is the best budget infrared sauna in 2024. If you’re looking for a bargain sauna with good all-round performance and solid build quality – this could be the one for you. JNH has scaled back many of the fancy extras you find on this best infrared sauna review list. Instead, they’ve focused on delivering the essentials.

The JNH Joyous has a 47.3″ x 39.5″ inch footprint – a generous size for two people. It is well built and the cabin is made using authentic Canadian hemlock timber, a great choice for a sauna build. The cabin is fitted with seven carbon fiber heating panels delivering plenty of far-infrared heat.

It has a maximum operating temperature of 140 °F. This may be on the low side for some but will have most people sweating in 15-20 minutes. The cabin comes with a BlueTooth sound system as standard. You can add chromotherapy, an oxygen ionizer, or an infrared foot warmer for an additional fee. And, it comes with a one-year warranty covering standard residential use


INFRARED SAUNA BLANKETS & MATS

man pointing and smiling

Interested in discovering other types of small portable infrared sauna?  A large permanent wooden sauna cabin is not an ideal fit for all homes.  Some people would prefer a small sauna they can roll out when needed and packed away when not in use.  If this sounds good to you, check out infrared Sauna Blankets and Infrared Mats.  They could be just what you’re looking for.


Frequently Asked Questions

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE AN INFRARED SAUNA?

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 OF INFRARED SAUNA?

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. For more information, see our full guide – Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna

ARE INFRARED SAUNAS SAFE?

All the best 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.

See below for some tips to help you stay safe in an infrared sauna and get the most out of your session. For more safety information see – Is Infrared Sauna Safe?

HOW DO YOU STAY HYDRATED IN A SAUNA?

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.

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.

WHAT ABOUT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS?

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 FOR AN INFRARED SAUNA?

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.  Check out our full detox guide – Detox & 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 A SAUNA?

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 DO YOU PREPARE FOR AN INFRARED SAUNA?

woman's face outside 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.  For more see – what to wear in a sauna.

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?

lady smiling and gesturing happily

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 INFRARED 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.

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.

Infrared saunas use 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.

WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF HEATER?

types of infrared heater

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.

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.

WHAT’S BETTER – CARBON FIBER OR 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:

COST

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.

DURABILITY

Ceramic: Rods can be fragile and should be treated with care
Carbon: More durable, carbon panels have better flexibility and are less fragile.

For more information see – Types of Infrared Sauna Heaters.

IS SAUNA GOOD FOR SLEEP?

Yes, sauna is good for helping you relax and get a good night’s sleep.  Many people use sauna as part of their sleep routine.  We recommend a relaxing short session before bedtime.

This will relax your muscles, relieve tension, and help calm your mind.  Make sure you are well hydrated before you enter the sauna.  Other good sleep hygiene tips include a comfortable mattress, avoiding caffeinated drinks, and getting exercise during the day.

WHAT IS SAUNA CHROMOTHERAPY?

colors of the rainbow

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.

WHAT ABOUT A SMALL INFRARED SAUNA?

If you are looking for something super compact, lightweight, and highly portable you should consider a travel infrared heating mat.  Check out our review of the new – Infrared & PEMF Go Mat.

These mats are about half the size of the full size infrared mat and are the ultimate on-the-road infrared heating experience.  Other options include sauna tents and sauna blankets.  Take a look at our top rated blankets over here  – Higher Dose Sauna Blanket Review, Heat Healer Sauna Blanket Review, and the Sun Home Sauna Blanket Review.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DRINK IN A SAUNA?

Staying properly hydrated while using a sauna is crucial. We recommend drinking water. Regular tap water is fine. It’s cheap, readily available, and does a great job at keeping you hydrated.

Other options include – sports drinks, fruit juice, water with electrolytes, and alkaline water. You can make alkaline water at home using a water ionizer machine.  Most importantly, stay safely hydrated.

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 has a longer wavelength and is used to heat the body from within.  Far Infrared is also referred to as FIR.

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.

WHAT ABOUT OUTDOOR SAUNAS?

Outdoor saunas are great if you want to get back to nature and enjoy the sauna experience in your garden or backyard.  There are many different types and designs to choose from – that cater to all requirements and budgets.  The most popular outdoor saunas are barrel saunas, traditional cabins, and sauna pods.  Check out the Best Outdoor Sauna Reviews for more information. 

CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT IN AN INFRARED SAUNA?

man sitting in a 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.

HOW DO YOU USE A PUBLIC SAUNA?

When using a public sauna you should always take a shower beforehand, wear appropriate clothing, and respect other users at all times.  For more information see our guide – proper sauna etiquette.

WHICH IS BETTER, SAUNA OR STEAM ROOM?

The health and relaxation benefits of sauna and steam room are similar.  Saunas use dry heat and steam rooms use moist heat.  Ultimately it all comes down to personal preference.  Some people just prefer the feeling of one over the other.  For more information, see our guide – sauna versus steam room.

WHAT IS EMF & 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.


About the Author

MAGNUS KARLSSON (BSc, MSc)

• Senior Editor at Home Sauna Heaven

As a native Swede, Magnus developed a deep fascination with the art of sauna bathing from an early age. Born and raised in the picturesque landscapes of Småland Sweden, he grew up in a family where sauna was deeply embedded in the community and daily routine. He graduated from Linnaeus University with a Master of Science in Health Science with a special focus on the “Comparative Analysis of Traditional Saunas vs. Infrared Saunas”.

Moving to the United States in his late twenties, Magnus worked as a health and fitness advisor in a well-known spa and wellness retreat in Malibu California. Over the next 12 years he became the spa’s leading sauna consultant and mentored colleagues on the benefits and applications of sauna therapy.

In 2019 he relocated to Florida to open his own wellness retreat in the Tampa Bay area. Here he continues to inspire others with the restorative power of sauna therapy. In 2020, he became senior editor of Home Sauna Heaven where he shares his deep understanding of infrared sauna and offers expert advice on its applications, benefits, and periodic product reviews.


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