Infrared Mat vs Sauna Blanket

infrared mat vs sauna blanket

Are you weighing up the advantages of an Infrared Mat vs Sauna Blanket?  This article covers everything you need to know.  Infrared mats are better for longer sessions, less intense heat, and relaxation. They often come equipped with PEMF therapy, are easier to use, and don’t restrict movement in any way.

Sauna blankets are better for achieving a more intense heat, an all-over body sweat, system detox, and elevated cardiovascular activity. They’re also more portable, so they’re easier to take on the road. Below we cover everything you need to know, let’s take a closer look.

What’s Better an Infrared Mat or a Sauna Blanket?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. They both use infrared energy to heat the body and deliver a therapeutic and relaxing effect. And, they are both portable and much more affordable compared to a cabin infrared sauna. The differences are found in how they are used and the unique experience each device delivers.

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Infrared Mat vs Blanket Overview

Advantages of an Infrared Mat

What are the key advantages of an infrared mat vs sauna blanket? Let’s take a look at where an infrared mat outperforms a sauna blanket. Here are the unique characteristics that make an infrared mat such an appealing home infrared device.

pair of legs laying on an infrared mat

Lower Temperature

One of the most apparent differences between an infrared mat vs sauna blanket is temperature. Infrared mats operate at much lower temperatures compared to the intense heat of a blanket. If you want a more gentle experience and prefer a milder heat level, you may prefer the feel of a mat. They are a great choice for heat-sensitive individuals.

Longer Sessions

Infrared mats are suitable for longer sessions. It’s not uncommon for people to spend 2-4 hours on an infrared mat. This is largely due to the lower heat levels employed by a mat. A typical sauna blanket session lasts anywhere between 15-45 minutes. It is a shorter and more intense experience.


Infrared mats are geared towards relaxation and potential healing effect. They use longer sessions and milder health levels. If you’re looking for a device that prioritizes relaxation and stress relief then a mat may be what you’re looking for. While sauna blankets can also deliver a relaxing experience – they are often used to trigger an intense sweat, detox the body, and elevate cardiovascular activity.

Reduced Sweating

Another key difference between an infrared mat vs blanket is sweating. More specifically, a mat triggers a much lower level of sweating compared to a sauna blanket. In fact, you can use an infrared mat and experience little or no sweating at all. If you want to enjoy an infrared experience without triggering an intense body sweat – then an infrared mat is the one for you.

Freedom of Movement

When you use an infrared mat you are not restricted in any way. You have complete freedom of movement., You can position your body and limbs on the surface of the mat in any position you choose. You can even freely move around during your session. A sauna blanket on the other hand restricts movement. It wraps around your body like a sleeping bag and encases your body and limbs inside.

PEMF Therapy

Another advantage of an infrared mat vs blanket is PEMF therapy. The best infrared mats on the market come equipped with PEMF technology. PEMF stands for pulsed electromagnetic frequency. It is a type of therapy that uses brief bursts of an electromagnetic field to potentially trigger a healing response. Many believe it plays a role in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing.

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Easier to Use

While both an infrared mat and blanket are easy to use – a mat requires less maintenance and cleaning. A sauna blanket triggers an intense all-over-body sweat. And, when you’re finished using it you’ll have some mopping up and cleaning to do. A mat operates at a much gentler heat level. There’s little to no sweat. And, you’ll only have to perform an occasional clean-up.

Different Sizes Available

Another feature that differentiates an infrared mat vs sauna blanket is size availability. Mats come in a wide range of sizes. Sauna blankets are available in one standard size – with minimal variation.  Mats range from full body size to smaller devices that are designed to be more portable and provide partial body coverage. On the other hand, sauna blankets are designed to cover the whole body. And, they pretty much come in the size of a standard sleeping bag.

Can Be used Seated

Some infrared mats have been specifically designed to be used in a seated position. The dimensions of these mats allow them to be placed in a chair – like an office chair. This makes them ideal for people that want to use an infrared mat while they work at a desk. This is not an option when using a sauna blanket.


Infrared mats can even be used to practice yoga. And, this is something you definitely cannot do when wrapped up inside a sauna blanket. If you’re a yoga fan and would like to add some infrared heat therapy to your session, you can switch out your regular yoga mat for a heated infrared mat. Check out our full article on Infrared Mat for Yoga for more.

Now we’ve covered the main advantages of an infrared mat vs sauna blanket we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of an infrared blanket. And, if you want more information on the benefits of an infrared mat – check out The Pros and Cons of an Infrared Mat.

Advantages of a Sauna Blanket

What are the key advantages of a sauna blanket vs infrared mat? Let’s take a look at the characteristics of a sauna blanket that give it an edge over an infrared mat. Here’s all you need to know about why a sauna blanket may be what you’re looking for.

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More Intense Heat

First up on the advantages of a sauna blanket vs infrared mat is heat intensity. Sauna blankets generate significantly more heat compared to infrared mats. If intense heat is your thing – reach for an infrared blanket. They are excellent devices for rapid, efficient heating right to the core.


Sauna blankets trigger an intense sweat. This is something that a mat does not do. The combination of higher heat levels and 360-degree coverage means you’ll be absorbing much more infrared energy in a sauna blanket. This results in a profound sweat – as your body reacts and tries to cool down.

Full Body Coverage

Another benefit of a sauna blanket is they wrap around your body and deliver heat from all sides. An infrared mat heats only the areas of the body in direct contact with the surface of the mat. A sauna blanket provides 360-degree coverage heating your entire body simultaneously. They deliver infrared heat from your feet right up to your shoulders.


Sauna blankets are the preferred option for system detox. The intense sweat triggered by the elevated heat levels helps flush toxins from the body. As the body heats up it pushes sweat droplets through the pores of the skin in an effort to cool down. This action helps cleanse the body of toxins and contaminants.

RELATED  –  The Best Sauna Blankets 2024

Potential Health Benefits

And, it’s not just system detox. The elevated heat levels and sweating experienced in a sauna blanket are believed to promote other health benefits such as increased cardiovascular activity and skin cleansing. Heart rate increases in response to elevated body temperature and movement of sweat droplets to the surface of the skin helps cleanse the skin of grime and debris.


A key advantage of a sauna blanket vs an infrared mat is its price tag. Sauna blankets are more affordable compared to mats. The best sauna blankets retail for $500-$700. And, the best infrared mats come in closer to the $1,000 mark. If you’re on a budget and want to experience the benefits of infrared heat therapy at home – a sauna blanket may be your preferred option.

Highly Portable

Sauna blankets are highly portable devices. They’re super easy to take on the road and are usually sold with a handy carry case. Infrared mats are also portable. But, they’re more difficult to pack and weigh more compared to an infrared blanket. If you want a device that’s easy to take on your travels, we recommend a sauna blanket.

For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of an infrared sauna blanket, check out The Pros and Cons of a Sauna Blanket.

Which Should You Buy?

So, which one should you buy? An infrared mat or a sauna blanket? It all comes down to personal preference. And, the two are not mutually exclusive. Many people enjoy using both devices. However, we reckon it boils down to what you’re looking for.

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Are you looking for a device that delivers gentle heat for long relaxing sessions? Or, do you want something that packs more of a punch – with intesne levels of heat, lots of sweating, increased cardiovascular activity, and a comprehensive system detox?

Infrared mats are best for people that want a more gentle infrared heating experience. They’re great for longer sessions and can be enjoyed without triggering a sweat. Additionally, mats often come with PEMF which is a therapy rarely found in sauna blankets.

However, if you want to experience the effects of high heat levels – similar to those found in a sauna, then a sauna blanket is the way to go. Blankets can be cranked right up and used to trigger an intense sweat and all the potential health benefits that go hand in hand with it.

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Infrared Mat vs Infrared Heating Pad

About the Author


• Sauna Specialist

Meet Jake, a man with a passion for sauna therapy. Jake’s background is in science. And, his passion is wellness and basketball. Growing up in Orlando Florida, Jake enrolled in Florida International University where he graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences.

As a young man, he worked in the spa and wellness center at the renowned Breakers Palm Beach luxury hotel. Here he developed his skills and understanding of client-centered wellness delivery. Upon graduating from FIU he took up a research position focusing on the application and practical effects of steam therapy.

His research has contributed to advancing the understanding of steam sauna therapy and how it can be applied in the occupational health environment. His work in this area has been officially recognized for its impact on the field.

Jake is a devoted fan of the Orlando Magic basketball team. When not working and advancing his research he enjoys attending games at the Kia Center in downtown Orlando. He also likes to remain active in his local sports community and volunteers as a basketball coach for his local youth team.

With his background in scientific research and passion for wellness, Jake is a valuable addition to the Home Sauna Heaven writer’s team where he shares his knowledge and understanding of sauna therapy, steam sauna therapy, and how they can be used for best effect.

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