how does a sauna blanket work

How does an infrared heating blanket work?  A sauna blanket uses infrared light to gently heat your body. It wraps around you and provides 360-degree infrared heating – just like a regular sauna.

Sauna blankets are made from waterproof polyurethane and fire-resistant cotton. A carbon fiber heating element is used to generate infrared heat.

Sauna blankets work in the same way as a regular infrared sauna.  They both use infrared light to penetrate the surface of the skin and gently heat the body from the inside.


How does a sauna blanket work?  Sauna blankets use a type of light energy called infrared light to have a heating effect. It is a natural form of heat – the same type of heat energy we get from the sun.  The infrared energy has a thermal effect on your body, gently heating it from the inside as it penetrates the skin.

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A special heating element inside the walls of the blanket generates infrared light energy when it is connected to an electrical power source.  The infrared heat radiates outwards from the heating element, through the walls of the blanket, and is absorbed by your body.


how are they made?


Sauna blankets, sometimes referred to as sauna wraps, are made from non-toxic polyurethane and a fire-resistant fabric – usually cotton.

The polyurethane provides a robust waterproof layer that shields the blanket from sweat and protects against water damage.

The fire-resistant cotton provides protects the blanket from direct contact with the carbon fiber heating element and prevents it from catching fire.

Fire-resistant fabrics are chemically treated to give them their flame retardant properties. They are usually 100% cotton but sometimes contain nylon.


The carbon fiber heating element is safely nestled inside the walls of the sauna blanket and radiates infrared heat when powered on.

It is positioned all the way throughout the blanket to provide complete body coverage and heating when in use.

These heating elements are manufactured from carbon fiber material and are known for having a long service life and efficient heating.

Large velcro patches are used to hold the blanket in place when inside. Velcro is a good choice for quick and easy opening and closing, even when you are inside the blanket.


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No, when using a sauna blanket your head should remain outside. Only your body from neck to toes should be inside the blanket.

They usually measure 180cm in length. This should be plenty big enough for the majority of people to fit comfortably inside.


Using a sauna blanket is super easy. All you need to do is plug your blanket into an electrical power source, switch it on, and get inside. It’s that easy!  They come with a handheld control panel that is used to power on/off the blanket, adjust the temperature, and set a timer in case you fall asleep.

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To begin using one, just unroll the blanket on a flat suitable surface, climb inside, wrap the blanket around your body, and fasten the velcro patches or zip.  Switch the blanket on, select your preferred temperature, and set a timer alarm to wake you up in case you fall asleep in there.


• Best Sauna Blankets 2024 – click here


When examining ‘how does a sauna blanket work’ – we need to take a look at infrared light.  Infrared light has been used in saunas for decades and is a safe and effective way of enjoying a sauna session and triggering an intense sweat.

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While infrared light cannot be seen by the human eye it sits right next to visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum.  It is a type of radiant light energy and should not be confused with UV light which is dangerous and can damage the skin. Infrared is perfectly safe for heating the body.


When we ask the question – how does a sauna blanket work? – we need to take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of using a sauna blanket.  Is the device right for you?  Let’s take a look.

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of a sauna blanket, check out our guide – The Pros & Cons of a Sauna Blanket.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does The Carbon Fiber Heating Element Work?

The carbon heating element in the blanket is a specially designed type of heater that generates infrared heat when powered by electricity. They are robust heaters and are known for their long life expectancy.

Is The Heating Element Safe Inside The Blanket?

Yes, sauna blankets are tested for safety and can be used at home without any danger of the element catching fire. Fire-resistant cotton is used to protect the blanket from catching fire.

For more info on how to safely use your sauna blanket – refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.


About the Author


• Allied Health Specialist

Meet Amy, a dedicated advocate of sport, fitness, and the application of infrared sauna therapy. Originally from Texas, she moved to the Sunshine State at an early age. Growing up in the Tampa Bay area, she enrolled in the University of Tampa where she graduated with a BS Degree in Allied Health and a MS in Athletic Training.

Amy’s expertise lies in infrared sauna therapy, with a special focus on the synergistic effects of infrared sauna in combination with traditional therapies. She has a passion for exploring and developing innovative approaches to wellness enhancement and injury recovery.

Amy began her journey as a swimming coach at the YMCA Aquatic Center in Central Florida. Here she developed a passion for applying her sporting knowledge to help individuals achieve their goals. Transitioning to a role more closely aligned with her allied health and athletic training degrees, she delved into the field of infrared sauna therapy. She has been instrumental in pioneering the use of infrared sauna in rehabilitation and injury recovery.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Amy is actively involved in a community-based soup kitchen where she helps support her local homeless community. In her free time, she enjoys cycling and exploring her local national parks, including Biscayne Park, Big Cypress, and the Everglades.

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