Can you use a sauna blanket for weight loss? We put it to the test. We took one sauna blanket and one willing volunteer (me) and spent 4 weeks using the device daily. For the first 2 weeks, I spent 30 minutes in the blanket every day at a medium-high heat.
And, for weeks 3 and 4, I cranked the heat level up to high and extended the sessions out to 45 minutes. I weighed myself before and after each sauna blanket session. The results are interesting. Here’s what happened.
Sauna Blankets & Weight Loss: Do They Work?
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Can a sauna blanket be effectively used for long-term weight loss? Does it burn calories? Or, are you just losing water weight? I did some research on the matter and found a lot of conflicting claims. And, little or no evidence to back them up.
It seems sauna blanket manufacturers are keen to point out the potential health benefits of their devices. But, there’s not a whole lot of scientific evidence to back up these claims. From what I can gather, most of it appears to be subjective and anecdotal. With that in mind, I decided it was time to put one of these sauna blankets to the test.
I decided to use a blanket every day for 4 weeks. My weight would be measured before and after each sauna blanket sweat session. And, then again 1 hour later – after I drank water and properly hydrated. These infrared blankets trigger an intense sweat so all that water lost needed to be replaced to prevent dehydration.
How We Did the Test: 4 Week Trial
The test was set out over 4 weeks. I would complete a session every day over this 28-day period. The first 2 weeks would involve sessions of medium-high intensity. And, weeks 3 and 4 would see the intensity increase in both terms of blanket temperature and duration of session.
Our testing didn’t use any fancy equipment and could be performed by anyone with a few basic household items. We used a Sun Home Saunas infrared blanket and a good old-fashioned Salter’s weighing scale to measure my weight before and after each session.
- Infrared Sauna Blanket (Sun Home)
- Digital Weighing Scales
- Water (For Rehydration)
Measuring Body Weight
I recorded my body weight before each sauna blanket session. And, then twice afterwards. Two measurements were necessary as I wanted to see if any weight loss found immediately after the session was wiped out when I drank water to rehydrate.
I’m one of those people that sweats profusely when exercising. And, when I spend time inside a sauna blanket – it’s no different. I release a lot of sweat. This loss of fluids results in a temporary reduction in water weight. It’s temporary because it needs to be replaced quickly to prevent dehydration.
So, this experiment observes weight loss on two levels. Firstly, any temporary water-weight loss will be captured and recorded. And, secondly, once the body has been rehydrated a second weighing will capture if any long-term weight loss has occurred. Specifically, has the sauna blanket helped burn fat and calories?
Consistent Food Intake & Exercising
For the experiment, I tried to maintain consistent levels of exercise and food intake each day over the 4 week trial period. I managed my calories and kept them to a similar level each day – within reason. However, as my weight was measured before and after each sauna blanket session I feel this was of little significance. I’m no scientist, but I was determined to get to the bottom of this. And, I did!
Testing a Sauna Blanket for Weight Loss
Phase 1 lasted 2 weeks. For this phase, I began using the blanket at a medium-high intensity. I figured not everyone is running the blanket at its highest heat settings. It would be interesting to gather some data based on how a regular person might use the device. It also gave my body some time to acclimatize before jumping up to the high-intensity sessions of phase 2.
Sauna Blanket Sessions
- Temperature: 55°C (131°F)
- Duration: 30 Minutes
For the first 2 weeks the blanket was set to a temperature of 55° C and each sweat session lasted 30 minutes. My blanket was set in degrees Celsius. There was no option to choose a temperature in Fahrenheit. However, 55°C is equivalent to 131°F. This is plenty of heat to work up a significant sweat. Especially for yours truly.
My starting weight was 182.4 lb. I jumped on my old reliable digital weighing scale and took a quick photo. This is my starting point. Would using a sauna blanket over the next 4 weeks significantly reduce my body weight? I was eager to find out.
After the session, I went straight back on the scales. I didn’t drink any water. I wanted to see if there had been a change in body weight. And, to my surprise, there had been no change. Absolutely nothing. The scales were returning the exact same number, 182.4 lbs.
I couldn’t believe it. There had been a significant amount of sweating and my clothes were pretty wet. Just like you’d expect after a light jog. But no change in weight. At least according to my digital scales. And, the results were consistent, right across the 2 weeks of phase 1. No change in weight after each session.
I’ll hold my hand up and say I was a little disappointed. Maybe even shocked. I really expected to see a small change over the course of phase 1. Maybe my weighing scales lacked precision and just couldn’t pick up a small incremental change. Either way, it was time to move on to phase 2. More heat, longer sessions, and a hell of a lot more sweating.
Phase 2 of this experiment lasted a further 2 weeks. It was time to ratchet up the heat and endure much longer sessions. For phase 2, I set the temperature to 70°C (158°F) and stretched the session time out to 45 minutes. More intensity, better results? I was really looking forward to seeing how weeks 3 and 4 went, see below.
Sauna Blanket Sessions
- Temperature: 70°C (158°F)
- Duration: 45 Minutes
This was a big leap. And, not recommended for beginners or people with limited experience in using sauna blankets. Once again, I began each session by stepping on the scales and recording my weight. And, once again my starting weight was 182.4 lb.
The change in conditions was noticeable immediately. It felt incredibly hot inside the sauna wrap. And, I was sweating a lot more. After these sessions, my clothes were saturated in places. It was clear I was losing a lot more water weight this time around – but what about calories?
After each session, I jumped straight back on the scales and recorded my post-session weight. This time there was a change. It had dropped from 182.4 to 182.0 lb. That’s a loss of 0.4 lbs. A hell of a change in just 45 minutes. Result!
Sauna Blanket: Water Weight vs Calories Burned
But, was that change due to sweating and a loss of water weight or did it burn calories and fat – like so many companies claim? To check this out, I gradually sipped a large glass of water over the next 60 minutes to quench my thirst. And, effectively replace the water that was lost due to sweat.
When I was feeling properly hydrated, I jumped back on the scales to see if things had changed. And, they had. I had returned to my original starting weight of 182.4 lbs. The loss in weight was temporary and was reversed once I drank some water.
Conclusion: Can a Sauna Blanket Be Used For Weight Loss?
It looks like the weight loss I experienced using a sauna was purely down to reduced water weight. I’m no doctor or scientist but from what I can see sauna blankets can be used to reduce your weight due to sweating. My weight dropped by 0.4 lb after a long intense session. But, the weight went straight back on when I drank some water.
It was just a temporary change. Any fluids lost while sweating inside infrared sauna blanket needed to be replaced. Otherwise, I ran the risk of becoming dehydrated. And dehydration is bad news. It can make you feel unwell and in extreme cases can be a serious health risk.
So, can you use a sauna blanket for weight loss? You can, but the results are temporary. You’ll lose some water weight but it all goes back on when you rehydrate. From what I can see, there’s no long term weight loss.
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