What are Infrared Saunas
Saunas were introduced to the world by the Finnish people.
These units became quickly popular for their healing properties.
Traditionally people used to sit in an enclosed space filled with warm air and heated stones for an extended period of time.
As technology continued to evolve, more and more health benefits of this practice were revealed.
To understand infrared saunas and how they work, we need to get a little technical.
IR, or infrared, is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The electromagnetic spectrum is composed of different wavelengths of light.
Infrared is classified into three main categories, i.e. near infrared(NIR), middle infrared(MIR), and far infrared(FIR).
Infrared saunas generally utilize far infrared wavelengths.
This band of light is invisible, but it has the ability to warm you up.
Imagine you’re walking outside your home on a chilly winter day.
The sun comes out and you start feeling the warmth.
An important thing to note here is that the sun makes you feel warm and comfortable without warming the air around you.
This is because almost 80% of the sun’s rays are composed of IR radiation.
Now that you have a basic idea of what infrared radiation is, let’s have a quick look at how infrared saunas work.
Saunas powered by infrared radiation mimic the same light frequency emitted by the sun, which is then absorbed by your body.
Remember that your body absorbs far infrared frequencies when they match the frequency of your body cells.
This absorption of energy causes the toxins stored inside your cells to be released into the blood stream and then eliminated from the body.
Because your body will absorb the FIR radiation, it heats up, perspires, and ultimately releases the toxins.
In this article I will explain why far infrared saunas are better than regular sauna, what you should look for when you want to buy FIR sauna, and I will list top 5 best saunas that we could find available online.
Our Top 5 Sauna Picks
This JNH masterpiece features seven carbon fiber heaters that emit infrared radiation to heat the unit.
Because it is a small sauna, you can easily fit it in your home.
This sauna is made of high-quality timber and has dual wall insulation.
This means you no longer have to worry about the sauna walls expanding when the unit heats up.
The safety glass used to design the door can tolerate highest temperatures easily.
These units also offer high visibility both inside and outside the unit.
The biggest advantage of having a ‘high visibility’ door is that you can keep a check on the inside and outside of the sauna.
Most customers who have purchased this sauna unit say that it is easy to construct and all you have to do is click the panels together.
There is a speaker set along with a switch and a volume rocker so you can listen to your favorite music while enjoying a sauna session.
The LED bulbs you find in the unit can last longer than other ordinary bulbs and are more energy-efficient as well.
The sauna itself comes with a five-year warranty, and you can expect that your investment is going to last much longer.
If you thought that setting up a sauna unit yourself is difficult, your thoughts will change when you get hands on this JNH sauna.
That’s right. You don’t have to worry about complex installation or maintenance.
Anyone can set up the sauna instantly and get it running in no time.
Having a far infrared sauna at home gives you the chance to relax and unwind whenever you want to.
If you are looking for an affordable sauna option that can work inside your home, look no further than the JNH Lifestyles 2 Person Far Infrared Sauna.
- 7 carbon fiber far infrared ray heaters
- FSC certified wood
- Best insulation
- 5-year warranty
- UL listed and ETL approved
- Digital controls
- Built-in Aux control and high-quality premium speakers
- Best performing far infrared ray unit available
- Sturdy construction
- Chemical free wood
- Bulky – cannot be moved easily after construction
- Instruction manual is not user-friendly
If you are looking for a perfect means of relaxation with a spacious interior and intense heat, this HeatWave hemlock sauna is the right choice for you.
As an infrared red sauna, the unit features 7 far infrared carbon heaters that cover the entire space.
Two heating elements are placed on the left back wall and, similarly, two heaters are placed on the right side.
There is one heater on the floor and two heaters are placed directly in the front of the bench for maximum heating efficiency.
The wavelength of FIR radiation emitted from carbon heaters used in this system ranges from 5 to 12 microns and benefits your body greatly.
The maximum temperature this unit reaches is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can enjoy a pleasant sauna experience without feeling irritated.
There is a built-in CD player system with MP3 connection and speakers, so don’t forget to bring your favorite music.
Thanks to the solid hemlock wood construction, your sauna is stable and durable.
The design elements, in particular, the bronze tinted door and corner shape, enhance the aesthetic appeal of your unit.
The dimensions of the sauna are such that 3 adults can enjoy relaxation at the same time and release their unwanted stress and tension.
Both the wood construction and sauna structure comes with a 5-year warranty.
The good news is that you can assemble the unit anywhere in your home with great ease, but you do require a power connection for the unit to function.
The control panel to adjust the time and temperature of the sauna can be accessed from both inside and outside the unit.
This HeatWave 3 Person Sauna Unit has exterior and interior lights, and there are special holes in the floor for efficient air circulation.
Similarly, there are adjustable vents in the ceiling, so you can receive fresh air from the outside if you want to.
- Corner Hemlock Infrared Sauna
- 7 carbon heaters
- Easy assembly
- Color mood light
- CD player, MP3 access
- 1740 watts
- Interior and exterior LED control panels
- Max temperature 141 degrees Fahrenheit
- Oxygen ionizer kills odor-causing bacteria and keeps sauna fresh and clean.
- This sauna can accommodate 3 persons at one time.
- Easy assembly
- Eco-friendly construction
- Spacious design
- Can only fit into corners
- Sometimes can take time to heat up
Infrared saunas are recommended due to the fact that they provide a pleasant spa experience and do not make you feel uncomfortable.
And this Crystal Sauna is one of the best choices you can make.
The pure-carbon far infrared heating technology used in this product is innovative and penetrates your body for a better effect.
The heaters included in this spa system are efficient – your unit heats up faster, which can help you reduce the power usage.
Sturdy construction of the unit ensures that the heat does not escape through the walls.
The CD player installed inside the unit gives you easy access to your favorite music at all times.
Other exciting features of this sauna include extra leg heaters, as well as exterior and interior lights.
This Crystal Sauna features knot-free “Grade A” hemlock tongue and groove panels, both inside and outside the unit.
The safety glass used in construction is almost 5 times stronger than ordinary glass.
This means the glass won’t break into tiny sharp pieces, even if the unit falls.
The modern heating technology used in the sauna does not allow the heat to get trapped between the heaters and the wall.
Another useful feature of this sauna is that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Most customers say that they do not encounter any problems while using this wonderful product.
Because a CD player is installed inside the unit, you will find it comfortable to use and your spa experience will be made more enjoyable.
- Pure-carbon commercial grade heaters with lifetime expectancy of 100,000 Hours
- Floor heaters to keep your feet warm and comfy
- Efficient hot air circulation – heat does not get trapped, and the sauna gets hotter quickly. Unlike other saunas, the heat does not escape through the sauna walls.
- 7 color light therapy helps you relax while you are using the sauna
- Thick safety glass door and windows
- 7 -color light therapy has a number of health benefits including detoxification and soothing pain.
- Exciting design
- Ease of use
This sauna model is constructed using environmentally friendly reforested Canadian hemlock wood.
The unit has sturdy double panel construction.
You will find that the Dynamic Sauna has thicker interior and exterior construction, compared to other units in the industry.
Unlike other cheap saunas, this model uses 6 low EMF far infrared ray carbon heaters that are highly energy-efficient.
These heaters produce heat that can penetrate your skin better, and maximize therapeutic benefits.
The good thing is that you will never have to replace the carbon energy-efficient heating panels.
Assembling the unit is fairly easy, and the sauna operates at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps maximize the health benefits as you won’t feel uncomfortable.
In addition to a convenient touch control panel, this Dynamic Sauna model has an LED display that helps you know the existing temperature and time.
You can play your favorite music through the built-in mp3 system.
What customers really love about this sauna is that it can be plugged into any dedicated 110V outlet, and you won’t require any special connection.
- Natural reforested Canadian hemlock wood construction
- Max temperature 140 Fahrenheit
- 6 infrared energy efficient carbon heating panels
- Chromo-therapy lighting system
- This Dynamic Sauna is capable of accommodating one to two people.
Overall the unit is easier to install at any location inside your home, unlike a traditional sauna, and it’s a fraction of the cost.
- Aesthetically pleasant
- Large heating panels
- Efficient heat retention
- Heat may not distribute well under the seat
- Often fits only one person comfortably
This Radiant 4 Person Corner Infrared Sauna is perfect for enjoying a spa experience with friends and family.
You can install the unit conveniently into a corner of your room.
The good thing is that the natural Canadian red cedar wood used in construction can enhance any décor.
The energy-efficient heating panels used in the sauna allow for easy temperature control – this unit is loaded with 10 carbon heaters which operate at up to 141 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cedar wood has always been well-known for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, as well as purifying aromatic oils that assist in detoxification.
This Radiant Sauna is backed by international certifications, along with recognized levels of quality, safety, and professional manufacturing.
The manufacturer claims that the refreshing and aromatic cedar wood is resistant to rotting and mildew.
The infrared heat produced by carbon heaters can penetrate deeply into your skin and increase blood circulation.
Spending 30 minutes in this Radiant Sauna can help you burn up to 600 calories.
- 10 carbon heaters
- 141 degrees Fahrenheit operating temperature
- 2270 watts
- Solid Canadian red cedar wood construction
- Adjustable roof vents for better ventilation
- Oxygen ionizer to purify air and keep the sauna clean and fresh
- Dual interior and exterior LED control panel
- 7 color chromo therapy
- Bronze tinted tempered glass
- 7-year warranty
- This sauna can accommodate up to 4 persons at a time.
- You can find multiple extras such as towel hooks, an ergonomic backrest, and magazine racks.
- Ease of use
- Aesthetic design
- Useful add-ons
- Bulky – becomes difficult to move after construction
Why Far Infrared and Not Traditional Saunas
Of course, traditional saunas were ‘the most popular’ thing in the 11th century, but like every other invention, they became outdated with the passage of time.
On the other hand, these traditional units utilized heated rocks and wooden logs which caused the room temperatures to reach as high as 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Such elevated levels of heat are not tolerated well by most people.
Sitting in high-heat enclosed spaces can dry out your nasal passages which can lead to inflammation.
Some traditional saunas introduced splashing of water at regular intervals, but this had little to no effect on the high heat.
The temperatures you would encounter in a far infrared sauna range typically from 100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and this, according to most medical experts, is a tolerable temperature.
Numerous studies show that temperatures generated by infrared encourage a more efficient toxin removal.
Yes, infrared saunas can increase the number of toxins excreted by the liver and kidneys without causing unpleasant side effects, such as inflammation and dried-out nasal passages.
History and Evolution of Saunas
The benefits of saunas are not a contemporary discovery.
In fact, historical evidence shows that the first wooden sauna was constructed over 2000 years ago.
Heavy rocks were heated along with wooden logs, and as soon as the temperature reached the right level, people entered the room.
The smoky scents released were an integral part of the historic healing ritual.
Interestingly, the steam and heat generated by saunas triggered perspiration and helped users eliminate impurities and toxins from their body.
In traditional Finnish saunas, steam was generated by splashing water on the heated rocks.
The traditional Finnish saunas were used to cleanse the mind and rejuvenate the soul.
Because Finnish people loved traveling to new areas of the world, they took their saunas along.
The recent advances in technology led to further evolution of sauna design.
The different types of saunas you can find today include:
- Wet saunas
- Dry saunas
- Steam saunas
- Infrared saunas
Raising body temperature for treating various illnesses is a recognized medical technique.
Various Greek physicians elevated body temperature and used it as a potent healing tool against infections; this practice continued for centuries.
Health Benefits of Far Infrared Saunas
Ancient herbalists used heat-producing herbs and plant material for treating colds, respiratory infections, and other complex medical conditions.
If you look at the electromagnetic spectrum, you will find that far infrared is released by the sun.
The energy of this wavelength cannot be detected by the naked human eye.
Instead, you can only feel the heat sensation.
Infrared rays cannot be blocked by any kind of sunscreen or other protective formulations.
However, unlike UV radiation, far infrared doesn’t damage your skin or your skin cells.
If you look at the technical details, you will find that infrared energy heats things by molecular excitation and does not affect the air.
When your body absorbs infrared energy, your blood flow is improved and water can transfer across the cellular membranes.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature of infrared, and far infrared, in particular, is its exceptional ability to penetrate the deepest skin layers with ease.
When your body is exposed to infrared radiation, the best absorption occurs at the 9.4-micron range.
Remember, human skin can absorb infrared energy ranging from 3 to 50 microns.
Because infrared rays penetrate deep into the body, they assist in expanding capillaries and encouraging better blood circulation.
Generally, far infrared was only used for heat lamps and other far infrared products designed for the space program.
As technology advances became more common, far infrared made its way into consumer electronics, as well as the healthcare industry.
Surprisingly your body can absorb almost 93% of the infrared radiation that reaches your skin.
Unlike traditional saunas, the temperatures used by infrared saunas are lower and they do not increase your risk for cardiovascular side effects.
Remember, susceptible individuals are at a higher risk of developing side effects due to exposure to higher temperatures in a traditional sauna.
Saunas without a doubt are relaxing and rejuvenating, and there’s no harm in indulging in a little relaxation.
What you may not know is that a regular infrared sauna practice is one of the easiest ways to enhance your overall well-being.
Historically hot air baths or traditional saunas were used for relieving stress.
Later the invention of focused light therapy replaced the use of fire and heated rocks.
Dr. John Harvey was the first person to invent the light-based near infrared lamp sauna.
Since his discovery, various improvements have been made in far infrared sauna therapies as a whole.
You know that far-infrared saunas emit light waves that cause you to sweat and release stored toxins.
The good news is that these saunas not only can help you improve your health, but you can also use them to detoxify your body and cope with physical pain.
What are the other popular benefits of infrared sauna therapy? Continue reading to find out more.
Detoxify Your Body
Infrared saunas are known to make you sweat. Sweating, as you can guess, is an excellent way to flush out toxins from your body.(1)
Because infrared rays penetrate the deepest skin layers, sweating from exposure is more profuse, and you can excrete a larger percentage of toxins than in a traditional sauna.
What most people love about infrared saunas is that they don’t heat up like conventional saunas – yes, you don’t have to avoid them for medical reasons.
As stated earlier, infrared saunas run at a gentler heat, i.e. 20 to 60 degrees lower than a conventional sauna, which makes them more tolerable.
While saunas are good for your health, you should always get clearance from your doctor before diving into a regular sauna routine.
Far Infrared rays encourage increased blood circulation and immune system response.
The heat generated by infrared radiation directs blood flow to tissues, joints, and muscles.
This improved oxygen and nutrition delivery helps reduce inflammation.
Studies also show that infrared sauna can reduce the occurrence of chronic degenerative diseases.
Often the accumulation of toxic metals in joints and connective tissue diminishes the ability of your cells to take up oxygen and nutrients.
As toxins continue to build up, detrimental chemical changes take place inside the body and eventually inflammation is triggered.
Strong evidence shows that far infrared sauna therapy can provide a broad spectrum of health benefits.
Because infrared radiation improves blood flow, regular far infrared sauna therapy helps get rid of toxins from your body including:
- Formaldehydes, Pesticide, & Insecticide Residues
- Residues of Hair Dyes
- Deodorant residues
- Heavy Metals such as Mercury and Lead
Remember that continuous exposure to industrial chemicals such as Phthalates, chlorinated water, and nitrate can also damage your health and weaken the immune system.
And it is important that you take the necessary steps to eliminate such toxins from your body.
If you suffer from chronic muscle aches or joint pain, infrared saunas can improve blood circulation which helps your stiff muscles and painful joints to relax.(2)
Medical experts suggest that far infrared sauna therapy can help cope with painful joints and muscle conditions such as:
- Muscle Spasms
- Tight Shoulders
- Joint Stiffness
- Low Back Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Muscle Tension
- Compression Fractures
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Muscle Pain after intense workouts
- Facial Paralysis
Like any other diet, exercise, or physical therapy program, you should consult your doctor before using far infrared sauna for pain relief.
Infrared saunas have always been rated as a healthy weight loss solution.
Studies show that they can help you burn up to 600 calories in a single 30-minute session.(3)
Interestingly, you burn just 150 calories after 30 minutes of walking at 3.5 mph, and 300 calories after jogging for 30 minutes.
On the other hand, a 30-minute FIT sauna session can make you sweat so much that you can burn 600 calories which is the same as running 2 or 3 miles.
Remember that you can easily regain the water lost during the sauna session, but you won’t regain the lost calories.
So it is a win-win situation in every case.
So the million dollar question is, ‘How do far infrared saunas help with weight loss?’
Well, traditional saunas have been around for years.
Infrared versions are more modern, and they are becoming popular all over the world.
Unlike traditional saunas, FIR energy penetrates deeper into the body and pushes out toxins and sweat, and because the body is heated at a much more tolerable temperature, you’ll feel better in infrared saunas.
Infrared Saunas are extremely effective in pulling sweat out of the body.
Far Infrared energy penetrates deeply through your skin – as deep as 3 inches – and helps get rid of sweat and toxins.
As the body is heated from the inside out, all toxins and waste products are eliminated along with sweat.
Generally, FIR saunas are heated at 90 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and this heat is more tolerable than traditional saunas because it warms you, and not the surrounding air.
You will perspire more as fat deposited in your body begins to dissolve at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fat that dissolves moves through the blood and is finally eliminated from the body resulting in effective weight loss.
Infrared Saunas Reduce Cellulite
Far infrared radiation can also assist in breaking down cellulite.
Profuse sweating during an infrared session clears fat, toxic waste, and excess water stored below the skin.
Studies show that FIR radiation can penetrate your body deeper, and even a 30-minute session is up to ten times more effective than a conventional sauna.
Promote Blood Circulation and Regulate Blood Pressure
There is evidence that far infrared radiation improves blood and oxygen supply to tissue and muscles.(4)
This in return helps reduce chronic pain and, at the same time, promote relaxation.
Numerous studies reveal that sweating in an infrared sauna can normalize blood pressure, reduce stress, and normalize sleep.
A recent study conducted in Germany concluded that FIR therapy can significantly reduce high blood pressure by promoting dilation of blood vessels.
Boost Your Immune System
FIR therapy shows the potential for preventing the common cold and flu from developing.
The deeply penetrating heat of the Infrared system can raise your body temperature and strengthen the immune system.
More research on this aspect of the FIR sauna is still underway.
Eliminate Chronic Fatigue
Studies show that repeated far infrared therapy is a promising method for getting rid of chronic fatigue.
Tips for Buying FIR Sauna
If you have heard the buzz about far infrared saunas, you might be thinking about purchasing one for your home.
Well, choosing the right sauna can be tricky, especially due to the wide variety you can find on the market these days.
The following section is designed to give you a good idea of what you should look for while buying an infrared sauna.
Test Drive the Product
Do you ever buy a car without testing it first?
Well, the same is the case with a FIR sauna. If possible, find a local dealer who can allow you to try out the sauna before you buy one.
It’s not surprising that the design of the sauna is the most important factor that would influence your purchase decision.
But what you need to understand is that the design of the unit is about much more than simple aesthetic appeal.
Make sure the unit you buy has excellent furniture quality along with comfortable seating and properly sealed doors and windows.
The Choice of Wood
Ideally, the FIR sauna you choose should be made from smooth western red cedar.
On the other hand, the wood used in sauna construction should be certified from a sustainable forest.
Sometimes cheaper sauna models use wood from rain forests, which worsens the environment impact.
High-quality models use hemlock or cedar from forests that are replanted after harvesting.
WRCC or Western Red Canadian Cedar is slowly becoming the best wood for infrared saunas.
Other popular choices include redwood and spruce.
The good thing about WRCC is that it resists cracking and is not affected by changes in temperature.
Because Cedar wood contains therapeutic oils, heating up the wood releases aromatic substances that are well-known for their healing and cleansing properties.
Studies also show that cedar wood has exceptional antibacterial and antifungal properties, mainly due to the unique properties of cedar oil.
This is especially important in the case of sauna units where the moist and heated environment provides an ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
Not to mention, cedar wood smells great and you will feel energized after a 20- or 30-minute infrared sauna session.
The Type of Heater Used
When comparing FIR models, you need to look at the size of the heater as well as the material that is producing the heat.
Experts recommend that you have a detailed look at the heater material, the quality of heat produced, and most importantly, the surface temperature of the heater.
The two most common materials used for far infrared heaters are ceramic and carbon.
Ceramic is one of the best heating materials available, and it is one of the most efficient and effective materials that produce infrared heat.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of a ceramic heating element is that it has a high emission rating.
Simply put, ceramic heaters can produce more infrared heat than that produced by any other material.
The only downside of using ceramic heaters is that they tend to produce shorter infrared wavelengths which are not readily absorbed by the human body.
On the other hand, carbon heaters produce longer infrared wavelengths, but they have lower emission ratings compared to ceramic heaters.
Some sauna models are equipped with full-spectrum far infrared heaters.
This simply means the heater unit will emit all three kinds of infrared radiation including near-IR, mid-IR, and far IR.
You would also come across heater models that produce only one kind of radiation.
Some of the modern infrared saunas use low wattage LED bulbs to produce near-infrared light.
Well, LED bulbs might be effective for topical infrared treatments, but they are not really suited for the sauna environment.
The number of heating elements, as well as their placement, is also important.
Although these factors are not as important as the choice of the heating element, they do play an important role in the amount of time it takes for the sauna to heat up and its efficiency.
Fewer heating elements mean that your sauna unit will take a long time to heat up, and this can yield high electricity bills.
Sauna units that have a wall-to-wall heating system ensure that the unit is heated evenly and there are no hot or cold spots.
Infrared saunas raise your body temperature and induce deep sweating that flushes out toxins from your body.
When used regularly, infrared saunas can produce a host of health benefits.
But if you want to reap the health benefits of infrared sauna, you need to ensure that the unit can heat your body effectively.
For a sauna unit to be effective, it must deliver the right level of infrared heat.
As stated earlier, the efficiency of infrared saunas is measured by their ability to release heat or emissivity.
Before you make a final decision, make sure the sauna you choose has an effective heating element.
Needless to say, the sauna unit should be safe for your body as well as your home.
Experts suggest that using cheap materials can damage your health and at the same time, threaten your safety.
You should look into the construction of the sauna and ensure that the joints are tightly sealed so that the heating panel does not release harmful gas.
If your skin is particularly sensitive you should use a sauna model that is made of hypoallergenic wood.
Often sauna buyers take the electrical safety of the sauna unit for granted, but this can be a huge mistake.
Make sure you read the product information carefully and ensure that the model you have chosen is completely safe to operate within your home.
If you want to buy a sauna for a commercial facility, you need to test it for use for an extended period.
Most saunas have a control panel on the outside of the unit so that you can set time and heat easily.
But that’s not enough.
Ideally, the sauna unit should have a control panel on the inside as well so that you don’t have to step out of the sauna to make changes.
It is also important to understand that not all sauna control panels are created equal.
You should look for units with digital controls so that you can set time and temperature.
Sauna controls should also include light switches for turning lights on and off.
Size Does Matter!
Infrared saunas can range from units designed for from one person up to six people, and the price of the unit will vary accordingly.
Before you choose a unit, you should consider the space you have inside your home.
Most customers prefer a corner unit that helps save floor space and is still roomy.
If you decide to buy a one person sauna unit, remember that there will be no room for another person.
That’s right. You should not buy a one person sauna unless you live alone and don’t want to share your sauna.
The more popular saunas have enough room for 4 to 6 people to relax, and even move around in easily.
The bottom line is that the benefits of infrared sauna cannot be understated.
You have a lot to gain from infrared sauna sessions, and it is important that you choose the right product.
Hopefully, this post will help you get familiar with the factors you need to keep in mind before buying the best far infrared sauna for your home.
So what are you waiting for? Buy an infrared sauna that best suits your needs today.
Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
Well-BeingSecrets.com is participating in Amazon Associates affiliate program and some of the links to Amazon might earn us a small commission. This helps us to support this site and create more high-quality content for you. Amazon is the rightful owner of all Amazon related trademarks and copyrights.