Table of Contents
What Is Biomat
This article will review Biomat, its health benefits, and the pros and cons of this particular mat.
First things first, I should tell you that this is not my first experience with FIR (Far-Infrared) mats.
I’m well-acquainted with this type of healing treatment.
After I reviewed Inframat Pro, several readers contacted me to ask how the Inframat compares to Biomat.
Thanks to their requests, I’ve decided to take a closer look at Biomat so that I can help others understand how these FIR mat products compare.
Frankly, I was really surprised by my experience with Inframat Pro, so I was excited to test drive the Biomat — especially since Biomat is so often called the “gold standard” of FIR mats!
But now I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s rewind.
Biomat is a mat with healing properties, manufactured by Richway International, founded in 1997 and based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
(However, according to official FDA correspondence found here, the company is actually based in Seoul, South Korea.
They have only a small office in Hawaii, which they maintain for legal purposes.
Sounds a little odd, but okay…)
The founders of the company owned an amethyst and jade mine in Korea.
They noticed that individuals who spent time in the mine were experiencing healing effects.
To better understand what was happening, they partnered with scientists to assess the situation.
According to the scientists’ findings, the healing effects were a direct result of the infrared emitted by the crystals.
After conducting their research, the founders wanted to replicate the healing effects observed in the mine through the creation of a heated crystal mat.
Initially, they selected jade as the primary crystal, but later decided to substitute it for amethyst, which they discovered was superior thanks to its higher infrared transmissivity.
Biomat’s main heat source is infrared.
But there are all different forms of infrared – which one is most beneficial for your body?
Initially, the company’s plan was to produce infrared within the human infrared spectrum, which is between 3 and 50-micron wavelength, with a peak of around 9.4 microns.
Then, they had a “Eureka” moment.
They came across a study comparing the healing properties of pain medication versus a mother’s touch for children.
The study’s results were incredible.
A mother placing her hand on her child was more effective for treating pain than the most current pain medications.
The Biomat founders realized that mothers hands were quite literally healing their children with the emission of 6.5-micron wavelength infrared from the palms of their hands.
This finding totally transformed the company’s thinking about how to maximize Biomat’s effectiveness.
The moment they tuned the output to a 6.5 micron wavelength, the Biomat’s healing effects shot up dramatically.
This uniquely human and comforting infrared frequency emitted by Biomat is what makes it special and sets it apart from other infrared mats and saunas.
The Biomat emits a comfortable heat that resonates naturally with the body, much like a mother’s soothing touch.
How FIR Works
Now we’re going to go deep into some science.
I apologize in advance for getting a little geeky about this!
So how and why, exactly, does FIR work?
The sun, that wonderful source of life-sustaining power, is our answer.
On a clear, sunny day, the comforting warmth you feel on your skin is far infrared radiation.
Unlike ultraviolet radiation, far infrared light is completely safe and does not cause sunburn or skin damage.
Generally, far infrared light waves have proven to be extremely beneficial to overall health because of their safe, natural thermal properties.
Infrared light waves are electromagnetic waves located between visible light and microwave.
With a wavelength range between 0.76 to 1000 um, infrared is divided into three wave types: Short, Near and Far Infrared.
FIR light waves, found within a frequency of 8-14 um, are most optimal for improving overall health because of their thermal properties.
Far infrared energy causes the molecules of the body to vibrate at the same frequency used for therapeutic purposes.
When applied to the human body, only the FIR rays have biologically beneficial effects.
These warming “far infrared rays” have a wavelength compatible with the human body and can be easily absorbed.
Heat Transfer and Electromagnetic Radiation
You’re probably wondering how all this healing energy gets transferred from the mat to your body.
Energy can be transmitted through three phenomena: electromagnetic radiation, conduction, and convection.
Most FIR mats include all three energy forms, but the primary form utilized is electromagnetic radiation.
While conduction and convection require a material medium for transmission, electromagnetic waves operate without any medium.
As with the electromagnetic radiant energy of the sun, which travels through the atmosphere to warm the earth, the radiant energy emitted by FIR mats is absorbed by the body through a natural process.
All of the components of the electromagnetic spectrum, regardless of frequency, share the typical properties of wave motion.
The wavelengths range from millionths of a centimeter to many kilometers.
The wavelength and frequency are important in determining the heating effect, penetration, visibility and other characteristics of the electromagnetic radiation.
Before we can fully understand infrared, we should get to know the meaning of radiant heat.
Radiant heat, also known as infrared energy, heats objects through a process known as conversion (in other words, without heating the air space in between the objects).
Infrared is the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves in the portion of the spectrum just beyond the limit of the visible spectrum.
The infrared light is measured in microns or micrometers and is divided into three segments by wavelength:
0.076 – 1.5 microns = Near Infrared (NIR);
1.5 – 5.6 microns = Middle Infrared (MIR);
5.6. – 1000 microns = Far Infrared (FIR).
Health Benefits of Far Infrared Radiation
Far Infrared Radiation has come a long way in terms of therapeutic and medical effects on the human body.
Technological advances have provided new techniques for delivering FIR radiation in healthy, natural ways.
For that reason, far infrared radiation has become safe, effective, and a widely used source for healing (1).
Here are 10 science-backed health benefits of far infrared radiation:
Treats Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis – one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world – has a dramatic impact on patients’ quality of life.
The staggeringly high cost of treating allergic rhinitis necessitates alternative methods of treatment.
Allergic rhinitis is a nasal inflammation. Symptoms are likely caused by increased vascular permeability.
In many cases, conventional therapeutic options such as immunotherapy, allergen avoidance, or medication are ineffective in treatment of this chronic illness.
Therefore, researchers seeking out alternatives have discovered far-infrared therapy can successfully treat different vascular diseases caused by increased blood flow.
According to a 2007 study conducted and published by the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, FIR therapy can alleviate symptoms including nasal itching, eye itching, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and rhinorrhea.
The researchers also concluded that FIR therapy may play a role in alleviating overall symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and can be considered a novel treatment modality for allergic rhinitis (2).
Helps in Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases
There is increasing evidence to suggest that FIR rays are beneficial to the health of patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease.
In 2015, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine published a review suggesting that FIR therapy may play a significant role in treating some chronic diseases that yield no adverse effects (3).
Aids in Treatment of Arteriovenous Fistula
Arteriovenous fistula is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein, which causes blood to directly flow from an artery into a vein, thus bypassing some capillaries and causing a reduced blood supply to the bypassed capillaries.
It usually occurs in the legs, but can develop anywhere in the body, and is surgically created for use in dialysis in people with severe kidney disease.
Based on evidence from a 2014 study conducted at the Department of Nursing in Taiwan, far-infrared therapy has had incredibly beneficial effects in the treatment of arteriovenous fistula in hemodialysis patients.
Moreover, the findings of this systematic review revealed that FIR therapy improves blood flow to and from the arteriovenous fistula, not to mention reduces risk for arteriovenous fistula malfunctioning (4).
Suppresses Vascular Inflammation and Vascular Diseases
Vascular inflammation often occurs in patients diagnosed with arteriovenous fistula.
So, a group of ingenious researchers realized that FIR therapy may be useful in treating vascular inflammation.
A 2008 study conducted at the Institute of Clinical Medicine in Taiwan made a remarkable discovery on this topic.
Researchers were working on evaluating the interaction between FIR radiation and HO-1 in regulating vascular inflammation.
The study’s results suggested that FIR radiation is the main inhibitor of vascular inflammation—which means it can have incredible benefits from those suffering from symptoms of inflammation.
In addition, FIR radiation has an anti-inflammatory effect on patients undergoing hemodialysis.
Because FIR therapy inhibits inflammation, it can preserve blood flow in hemodialysis patients (5).
FIR also treats vascular-related diseases.
In 2012, the Department of Internal Medicine in Taiwan found in a study that that far-infrared therapy reduces the risk of vascular-related diseases.
The researchers found evidence to demonstrate that FIR improves the function of vein cells (6).
Improves Motor Functions
In a study conducted in 2015 at Taiwan’s Department of Radiology, researchers investigated the effects of postoperative low-power far-infrared radiation therapy on nerve function.
The evidence suggests that FIR treatment is beneficial, noninvasive, and effective when it comes to improving motor function and enhancing nerve regeneration.
The study laid the foundation of FIR as a novel treatment for a wide variety of peripheral nerve injuries and diseases (7).
Relieves Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps
Ladies, I know you know “dysmenorrhea” – those painful cramps that usually occur right before or during the menstrual period – all too well.
In 2012, researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Taiwan investigated the beneficial effects of using a far-infrared belt on patients with primary dysmenorrhea.
The study included a group of fifty-one women diagnosed with severe dysmenorrhea.
During their menstrual period, half of the women wore the FIR belt, while the other half did nothing different.
The women who wore the FIR belt experienced an increased abdominal temperature of 0.6°C and a 3.27% increase in abdominal blood flow, which led to considerable pain reduction.
On the other hand, the group who did not wear the FIR belt showed no improvements.
These results indicate that the use of a belt made of far-infrared ceramic materials can relieve the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea (8).
That’s a breakthrough I can get behind!
Relieves Symptoms of Back Pain
Lower back pain is one of the most common health issues in the world Managers, take note: it is also a significant cause of lost workplace productivity.
There are many different strategies for back pain relief that don’t involve drugs.
One of the best strategies is FIR therapy.
In 2015, Dr. Gaze and her team conducted research on far-infrared therapy and its effects on chronic back pain.
They gathered 50 people with lower back pain, who were told to have a FIR pad placed in their chairs.
The researchers observed statistically significant changes in a physical and mental health of the patients, including reduced pain in the lower back area.
And of course, there were no reported adverse events (9).
Treats Some Types of Cancer
Far infrared radiation suppresses the proliferation of some cancer cells due to the changing effect of body temperature range.
According to Medical Oncology in London, FIR therapy suppresses the growth of cancer cells, thus reducing the risk of various types of cancer, including lung, breast and tongue cancer (10).
Accelerates Wound Healing
One of the benefits FIR is best known for is its ability to promote growth and modulate sleep.
This led many cutting-edge scientists to ask whether it would have similar effects on wound healing.
So, in 2010, for the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, researchers evaluated the impact of FIR exposure on tensile strength.
After two weeks, results showed that FIR may induce inflammatory changes and enhance skin tensile strength, thus accelerating wound healing (11).
Another study investigated the effect of FIR on collagen.
Dr. Ju Hee Lee and his team conducted tests on 20 females between ages 35 and 61, and results were quite surprising.
All females experienced moderate to major improvements with small wrinkles, skin tone, brown spots, and skin elasticity. (12)
FIR therapy has been used to stimulate and increase blood flow to the breasts to enhance lactation in women.
According to a study conducted in 1990 by the Annals of Physiological Anthropology, FIR therapy has far-reaching effects on enhancing lactation for women with poor lactation (13).
My Experience with Biomat
Here’s the deal: there are many different options for FIR mats on the market right now.
My first exposure to this entire concept came through Inframat Pro, but I’ve heard from so many friends and readers that the best brand is Biomat.
So, of course, I was excited when a friend of mine offered me her Biomat so I could give it a try.
I’ve done some research into other brands, and some of them seem decent, but I never had hands-on experience with them, so this review will focus on comparing Biomat with Inframat Pro. (If you have personal experience with other brands, I’d love to read your insight in the comments section.)
Notably, Inframat is cheaper than Biomat (my Inframat Pro cost me about $800 and a similar Biomat is about $1,600).
(Bargain Alert: If you’re excited about the Inframat, you can use the coupon code “discount10.” You’ll get free shipping and $10% off your mat – that $120 savings isn’t too shabby).
Since it is very difficult to differentiate these two products when they’re side-by-side, I want to compare them based on important criteria like quality, warranty, certifications, shipping policy, etc.
I’ve done a lot of research on both brands – like I said, I get geeky about this stuff! – and I’m thinking there are lots of tidbits of information here that you won’t find anywhere else.
First, and foremost, both products are great.
We first purchased Inframat Pro to relieve with my husband’s back pain and it did this job perfectly.
Biomat also dealt with back pain efficiently — probably as well as Inframat Pro.
The Biomat also helped me with various minor issues like muscle pain, flu, insomnia and joints pain.
So if you’re wondering whether either of these products work, and the research didn’t convince you, I can say from personal experience that FIR can be a transformative solution to many health issues!
The goal of this review is to compare the nitty gritty features of Biomat and Inframat Pro, the two leaders on the FIR mat market.
Both products very good, so your choice may come down to preference and small details.
Let’s dive in!
First of all, both Inframat and Biomat use top-quality real stones in their mats.
What makes them different in this respect is the variety of stones used in mats.
The Inframat Pro has a greater diversity of stones in its mats, while Biomat relies only on one stone: amethyst.
Inframat Pro mats, on the other hand, use amethyst, tourmaline and jade stones in their mats.
This means the mat has immense potential for stone combinations.
Some people say that amethyst is the superior stone for FIR therapy, which is partially true.
The problem is that these stones are genuinely different, and health benefits they bring to the table are not identical.
For example, jade has the highest output of negative ions, amethyst has a higher level of FIR, and tourmaline is very good for blood circulation and anti-bacterial treatments.
So, ideally, you would want a mat that has all 3 stones in order to get the most bang for your healing buck.
BTW, while doing my research, I stumbled upon this gem on the main Biomat website:
“The larger mats do not contain Tourmaline because it would greatly increase the cost and the company determined that they feel customers would not pay the increased price.”
Now, let’s get back to the Inframat Pro I use.
The mat is carefully designed to maximize health benefits.
On one side, it has crushed amethyst stones (just like Biomat), but on the reverse side, there is a mix of jade and tourmaline stones.
While crushed amethyst side is my favorite, I still use the other side for particular purposes.
You can actually feel the difference.
When jade and tourmaline side heats up, you can feel soft electric energy emitted by the stones – quite a unique experience!
Both Biomat and Inframat Pro have 12 functional layers, which gives them a luxurious, premium feeling.
The Inframat Pro comes with a cotton waterproof cover, while with Biomat you’ll have to pay an extra $100 for a cover – and the cover isn’t even cotton, it’s polyester.
One major difference between these products is the controller.
Biomat’s controller is digital and looks more like a tablet.
This design has pros and cons, depending on your perspective.
The friend who loaned me the Biomat told me that it could be glitchy sometimes and that she had to return the first controller after it totally stopped working.
Luckily, she still had a warranty.
After the initial warranty runs out (one year if you purchased from an official dealer), you have the option to either buy a new one or pay for repairs.
The new one will cost you about $270.
Inframat Pro, on the other hand, has a very simple controller with two knobs to regulate temperature and time.
Plus, its replacement is always free.
And yet, I have to admit that I really do like Biomat’s controller much more.
However, I’m not sure if I’ll be happy to pay a pretty penny for a replacement every year or so…
Another huge difference between these products is the range of models offered.
Biomat has 5 models: Mini, Pro, Single, Queen and King.
The only difference between these models is size.
Inframat Pro, on the other hand, has about 40 very different models.
They a wide variety of designs and stone combinations, which can feel quite overwhelming when you aren’t sure what to buy.
I do appreciate the array of options, though.
It shows me that Inframat is dedicated to innovation and improvement.
Shipping and Returns
Most savvy shoppers are very cautious about shipping and return policy, especially when making a significant health investment.
After digging into these policies, I’ve found that both products offer affordable services with slight differences for shipping and returns.
Most notably, Inframat Pro offers a 45-day trial, while Biomat has a one-month trial.
From what I’ve read on various forums, Biomat is not always in stock, and sometimes it might take a few weeks for you to receive your purchase.
But if that delay happens to you, don’t fret about returning the mat on time.
Both companies will honor your return request without any issues.
Certification is essential, and both products claim to be certified.
However, you do have to be very careful when you hear such claims.
The issue is that the product can be both “Certified by FDA” and “Approved by FDA”.
For a product to be certified by FDA, has all the company has to do is file 510(K) Class I online form and wait.
FDA will do a very light review and most likely give the product the green light.
To become “Approved by FDA”, on the other hand, the product must go through multiple clinical tests.
These tests are reserved for high-risk products like new drugs.
Both Biomat and Inframat Pro are “Certified by FDA”.
The problem that I came across is that there are some unusual issues with Biomat’s certification.
Here is a link to their official 510(K) form. If you read through the first page, you might be able to spot a couple of issues.
First, this form is filed for Bio-mat 2000 model, which doesn’t exist.
Yes, you read that right! There is no such product available for purchase anywhere. That seems a little…unusual.
At some point, the story goes, the Bio-mat 2000 was discontinued, and Richway (the parent company) never bothered to refile paperwork.
Another off-putting issue?
This form is filed under the “Lamps” section, which is kind of a strange classification for a mat.
But wait – there is an even larger issue with this paperwork.
According to official FDA records, Richway was issued an official warning in January 2013, and it doesn’t look like the company ever took care of it.
You should read the letter for yourself. Some of the claims are quite alarming.
However, despite some of the unsettling points mentioned in that letter, I still think the Biomat product is decent.
All products malfunction sometimes. It happens.
But when the unexpected does happen, you need to know what you have agreed to upon purchase.
In the case of Inframat Pro, you have a one-year free instant exchange (so you’re getting a totally new product), while Biomat offers free repair within one year.
The Inframat Pro controller will be replaced for free for as long as you own the product, while Biomat requires extra $200 to repair it.
What I do appreciate about these products is the fact you have the option of extending the warranty period.
What I find interesting about Inframat Pro is that in order to extend your warranty period beyond the first year, all they ask is that you write a review or record a video review of their product.
This offer shows me that they are very confident in the quality of their products – a good sign, in my opinion.
With an extended warranty, you can replace your Inframat Pro totally free five years.
Biomat will gladly repair your mat within 30 years, but those repairs will cost you a considerable amount of money.
One crucial aspect some consumers forget to consider when making their purchase is distribution.
This category is where Inframat Pro differs dramatically from Biomat.
I’m not sure what your opinion is about multi-level marketing companies.
I, personally, got burned when I participated in one during college. I ended up losing $300!
Since then I’ve been very skeptical about all MLM companies, even though I know there are many legit ones.
Biomat is one of those legit companies.
The only way you can buy a Biomat is through a distributor – a.k.a. a participant in Biomat’s MLM.
Once you buy the Biomat, you can become a distributor yourself.
It doesn’t cost a lot to become a distributor, so a lot of people do.
The problem with legit MLM companies is that they tend to use aggressive over-selling.
Not only is this tactic annoying – it can also be misleading.
If you look for other Biomat reviews online, you’ll see that they are 99% positive.
Why? Simple human psychology, really.
When people buy a $2,000 item, they aren’t worried about dropping an extra $65 to become a distributor.
Once they’re official, they can sell the product to relatives or neighbors and make some money themselves.
This is the ingenious way Richway transforms the majority of their customers into brand ambassadors.
As I mentioned earlier, the MLM strategy results in a lot of these distributors pushing Biomat products all over the Internet, which makes tracking down unbiased opinion almost impossible.
Another problem with this system is that Biomat doesn’t have official distributors.
All Biomat distributors have to order their products from the official website, and of course, this website doesn’t always have items in stock.
HealthyLine’s Inframat Pro, on the other hand, uses the conventional distribution model.
You can purchase their products on the official website as well as from official distributors.
You’ll never have to worry about working with a distributor if you’re interested in the product – you can purchase it directly all on your own.
Comparing these products turned out to be something of an interesting experience.
Both of these products are of a very high quality, and choosing the right one for you comes down to details and preferences.
My main complaint with Biomat is its price.
A better two-sided (tourmaline and jade on one side and crushed amethyst on the other) Inframat Pro cost me $900, while a one-sided Biomat of the same size goes for $2000.
The Biomat is the same size and double the price of the Inframat, but ultimately it is an inferior product, as it doesn’t offer variation with the jade and tourmaline stone side.
Earlier in this post, I quoted RichWay’s official website, where they stated that adding tourmaline will raise the price considerably.
Obviously, this claim is not true.
On HealthyLine’s Inframat website, you’ll see that their price range is between $99 to $1,699, while RichWay’s Biomat sells for $550 to $4,000.
(And don’t forget! You can use this discount code I found, “discount10”, to make Inframat’s price even lower. You’ll get 10% off and free shipping, which comes out to around $80-$200 of additional savings on top of an already low price.)
Plus, some of the Inframat Pro mats come with another incredible perk: PEMF.
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, a therapeutic method that can be used to treat non-union fractures, failed fusions, congenital pseudarthrosis and depression.
Most companies sell PEMF mats on their own – without any stones – at prices of around $4000.
With the Inframat Pro, you get FIR therapy and PEMF at once for under $1000.
I can’t complain about bonuses like that.
Here is a link to Healthyline’s PEMF products, in case you are interested in PEMF mats.
I do like Biomat’s controller, but that’s probably because it hasn’t broken on me yet.
When it does, well, I won’t be thrilled to pay a minimum of $200 to fix it.
The Biomat’s MLM scheme is also somewhat worrying; it took me hours to dig through dozens of websites to form an objective opinion about the product
If I didn’t have my Inframat Pro to compare to Biomat, I would probably assume that Biomat is the best FIR mat on the market.
Inframat Pro’s line up of 40 diverse models is much more impressive than Biomat’s five identical models.
Biomat’s issue with the FDA is also somewhat worrisome.
I understand that the company is based in South Korea, but it doesn’t take that much effort to get your paperwork in order, right?
Especially when you have so many distributors in the USA and all of them claim that Biomat is FDA certified.
Some sites even claim that Biomat is a Class II APPROVED medical device, which is not true and could get Richway in even more trouble with the FDA.
Inframat Pro, on the flip side, is based in NYC, has all its paperwork in order, and has been tested in a US-based laboratory.
I can’t say the same for the Biomat.
In short, although the Biomat is a solid product, I really do prefer the Inframat Pro to the Biomat.
Inframat is lower in price, similar in quality, and comes with amazing perks that really do the trick for me.
My whole family is thrilled with Inframat Pro. Every time I loan a relative my Inframat Pro for a test drive, they love it so much that I have to buy them a new mat for their birthday!