woman sleeping on a sauna bench

What’s better, an infrared Sauna Blanket or a Sauna? Sauna blankets are better for people seeking a more affordable sauna, something compact and lightweight, and those that want a portable device. A regular sauna is better for those who want an authentic sauna experience, enjoy relaxing in the company of others, and don’t want to have to pack the sauna away after use. Below we cover everything you need to know about sauna blanket vs sauna.


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What are the advantages of an infrared sauna blanket over a regular sauna? Why have they become so popular? And, why are so many people choosing to add them to their homes? Below we take a look at the benefits of an infrared sauna blanket versus a regular sauna.

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One of the biggest differences between a sauna blanket and a sauna is the price. Sauna blankets are much more affordable compared to regular sauna cabins. If you’re on a budget and want to introduce sauna to your home without breaking the bank – a sauna blanket is the way to go. The Best Sauna Blankets cost in the region of $600-$700. A small regular home sauna costs anywhere between $3,000-$5,000.


Sauna blankets are super convenient and easy to use. All you have to do is roll them out on a flat surface, plug them in, and you’re good to go. They heat up in minutes and will be ready for use by the time you’ve changed and grabbed a glass of water. There are no complicated settings or control panels to be navigated. And, there’s no long-winded user manual that needs to be read.


If you want to save space – a sauna blanket is the obvious choice. Homes with limited free space will struggle to accommodate the wooden cabin of a regular sauna. However, a sauna blanket can be rolled out on any suitable floor area as needed. Then, when you’re finished pack it away until next time.


The lightweight and compact nature of a sauna blanket makes them highly portable. They are often sold with carrier bags and are ideal for taking on the road. When packed up they are comparable in size and weight to a sleeping bag. They’ll easily fit in the trunk of a car and can be enjoyed on holidays and work trips.


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They are also very easy to store. Their small size makes them ideal for packing away when not in use. A sauna blanket can be easily stored under a bed or in the bottom of a wardrobe. Their compact size makes them an excellent choice for apartments and smaller homes.


Another key benefit of a sauna blanket vs sauna is the absence of any installation requirements. All you have to do is plug the device into your regular home electrical power supply and you’re ready to go. There are no assembly or hard-wiring requirements. On the other hand, regular saunas require self-assembly AND installation. This can be time-consuming and daunting to those with little DIY experience.


They are incredibly time efficient. A sauna blanket heats up in minutes and won’t keep you waiting around. Most regular saunas require at least 15-20 minutes to preheat. This can have a significant impact on people with busy schedules. If you want to enjoy a sauna session quickly – reach for a sauna blanket. Most are ready to go within 5 minutes of being plugged in.


Sauna blankets are smaller devices.  They heat a much smaller area compared to a sauna cabin. They have similar dimensions to a sleeping bag. The heating element is contained within the wall fabric. Their compact design means they consume much less electrical power compared to a sauna – and will help keep your energy costs down.


A sauna blanket will keep your head cool. When you use a sauna blanket you will be covered from your toes – right up to your shoulders. Just like a sleeping bag. Your head and face remain on the outside and enjoy the cooling effect of ambient air. When you use a regular sauna, you step inside a cabin. This means your entire body, including your head, will be exposed to intense heat.


Sauna blankets are easy to clean and maintain. There are no wooden paneled walls or timber benches to be treated or cared for. When you’re finished, all you have to do is rub the interior down with a clean towel and allow the blanket to air dry. If you want, you can periodically clean with warm water and a gentle cleaning solution. Either way – it’s a walk in the park.



What are the advantages of a regular sauna over an infrared sauna blanket? If you’re a fan of cabin saunas and enjoy that traditional Finnish and Swedish experience you may prefer what a regular sauna has to offer. Here are the benefits.


three women following the rules of public saunas

One of the biggest advantages of a sauna over a sauna blanket is the shared communal experience. You can enjoy a regular sauna with other people. On the other hand, a sauna blanket is for solo use and can be enjoyed by just one person at a time. If you want to relax and unwind with friends or family – a regular sauna is what you need.


It’s hard to beat the authentic feel of a sauna cabin. You just don’t get this with an infrared sauna blanket. If you’re a fan of traditional sauna and enjoy relaxing in a wood cabin with wooden benches – you’re going to get more from a regular sauna experience. This is how saunas have been enjoyed for thousands of years.


Another great benefit of a regular sauna vs sauna blanket is that they have a fixed place in your home. They don’t have to be rolled up and packed away after each use. Once installed, they remain in situ and you can just jump in any time you’re in the mood for a relaxing sweat session. Sauna blankets are set up and packed away each time they’re used.


woman in a sauna in a bathing suit

Many saunas can be powered using a wood-burning stove. This means you can choose an alternative power source if you don’t want to wire the device to your electrical supply. It can be a completely stand-alone heating device. This is a great option if you want to place the sauna in a remote area.  No need to run an electric cable!


Saunas are great if you want to strip off and relax in your swimwear. Users of sauna blankets must be fully clothed, from shoulder to toe, to prevent skin contact with the hot interior walls of the blanket. This can feel constricted for many. When you use a regular sauna there’s no need for clothes. In fact, you can go naked or just wrap up in a towel if you want to.


Regular cabin saunas often come equipped with chromotherapy. Chromotherapy is a form of light therapy that allows you to change the color of the lighting to suit your mood. Led spotlights in the sauna roof can be set to change color and potentially stimulate a therapeutic effect.


Which should you buy? What’s better for you – a sauna blanket or a regular sauna? It depends on what you’re looking for. It all comes down to personal preferences and how these devices meet your needs. What are your priorities?

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If you want a lightweight portable sauna that can be packed away when not in use – then a sauna blanket clearly wins out. They are also more affordable, save on space, and are very easy to use. There are no assembly or installation requirements and they will save on energy bills by consuming less electricity.

However, if you want the authentic sauna experience you can’t beat a regular sauna cabin. They allow to sit back and unwind in a wooden cabin with friends and family. Regular saunas offer the social and communal experience that many sauna users value most. They are also available with traditional or infrared heaters and can even be placed outdoors.


There are many different types of ‘regular sauna’ to choose from. The two most popular types are traditional saunas and infrared saunas. But, then there are outdoor and portable saunas to consider too. When weighing up the pros and cons of a sauna blanket vs regular sauna – we need to take a look at the different types of sauna you can choose from.

infrared sauna with woman standing outside


When most people use the word ‘sauna’ they are referring to a traditional sauna. This is the sauna type most of us are familiar with. The chances are you’ve spent time in one at your local spa or gym. A traditional sauna generates heat by heating a stack of sauna stones. They can be powered by electricity or by a wood-burning stove. The structures are built using wooden cabins and they can seat anywhere from 2-6 people. Some, extra large saunas cater to even bigger numbers.


An infrared sauna is also housed inside a wooden cabin. It is similar to a traditional sauna in many ways. It has benches and can house similar numbers of people. The difference is in the heat source. An infrared sauna uses an infrared heating panel to generate infrared light. Infrared energy heats the body directly without heating the air inside the cabin. They achieve similar effects as a traditional sauna but at much lower temperatures.


An outdoor sauna, as the name suggests, is for outdoor use. These saunas are specially designed and constructed to withstand the elements and perform in an outdoor setting. They are a great choice for people with ample garden space and who live in a climate that encourages outdoor activity. These saunas allow people to reconnect with the great outdoors and enjoy their natural surroundings.


There are many different types of portable saunas – not just sauna blankets. You can also choose from an infrared sauna tent, a portable steam sauna, or an infrared heating mat. Each of these has its own set of unique features and benefits.


An infrared sauna tent uses infrared heat to gently warm the body. They are small tents that rest on the ground and cover the body from your feet to your neck. A small port on the roof of the tent is used to keep the head on the outside. Infrared sauna tents are affordable alternatives compared to regular saunas. They are also lightweight, easy to use, and can be packed away when your sauna session is finished.


A portable steam sauna works in a similar way to an infrared sauna – except it uses steam instead of infrared light to generate heat. These saunas also use a small tent that the individual sits inside. The head remains on the outside thanks to a portal on the tent roof. These devices come with a steam generator that feeds steam into the tent to create the sauna effect.


An infrared heating mat looks like a yoga mat that rolls out on the floor. However, an infrared heating element inside the mat is used to generate heat and impart a therapeutic effect. Infrared mats allow the user the freedom to move and change position during the session. They are also great for targeting specific areas of the body.


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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