Having the best infrared sauna in your home can be an effective tool for healing, meditation, and relaxing your body after a stressful day. There are many infrared light benefits that can have a major impact on your overall health, energy level, and even your mood. Infrared light is able to penetrate human tissue, and in turn, can produce a variety of benefits that make infrared therapy one of the leading home therapies available. If you want to lose weight, feel better, and look better, than regular IR therapy treatments may be just what you need to receive your goals.
But since the word has spread in regard to the health benefits associated with regular use, the market has been flooded with infrared saunas designed for home use that come equipped with a wide array of features and amenities. So, how can you find a sauna that will work for you, your budget and your health needs?
That’s where I come in.
I’ve made it my mission to review several of the leading models on the market. I’ve looked at the risks associated with each model and selected saunas equipped with the best safety features, such as precise temperature control, tempered glass doors, automatic shut off systems, and more.
I also learned everything I could about infrared sauna technology, including information regarding how often should you use an infrared sauna, what type of health benefits you can expect, and even how long to stay in it, in order to find models that come with the right features that can provide the types of benefits you’re looking for such as pain relief and rapid weight loss.
After I spent weeks searching the market I narrowed down my choices to the top six models, each of which has something special to offer whether it’s a reasonable price, portable design, or innovative controls that will allow you to customize treatment.
Below you’ll find a comparison chart of the six models I’ve chosen. The chart will list the similarities and differences between each model including cost, rating, size, and heater type.
Top Infrared Saunas Comparison Chart
Models that Are Leading the Way in Infrared Therapy Technology
Below are brief summaries for the six models that made it onto my list. These summaries will go over exactly why each sauna earned a spot, some of its top features, and what made each model stand out from the competition.
Best Overall-Medical Sauna 4 Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna
This infrared sauna by Medical Saunas is the only model on the market that was designed by a team of doctors. It was tested and developed over a period of several years and features the latest in IR therapy technology. Aside from the top of the line carbon fiber heater system it comes with built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and removable benches and backrests, which you can take out for an intense session of hot yoga. A sauna that has it all, this medical grade quality sauna will help you achieve your health and fitness goals in a matter of weeks.
Best Far-Durasage Infrared IR Far Ion Portable Indoor Personal Spa
The Durasage infrared indoor personal spa and sauna is lightweight, portable, and easy to use. It offers many of the same benefits that a solid IR sauna does, but the portable design allows you to easily move your sauna from room to room or you can pack it up for your next trip. Use the controls to adjust the sauna’s temperature and the length of a session, for a customized sweat whenever you want. Additionally, the sauna’s negative ion generator will remove impurities, toxins, and allergens from the air, for cleaner air and more effective treatment.
Best Two Person-Far Infrared Relax Sauna Amazing Long Term Health Benefits
This Relax Sauna comes equipped with a computer programmed semiconductor chip that’s made out of ceramic. The chip filters out any type of non-healing light for treatment that’s safer and more effective, with minimal infrared sauna risks. The portable design allows you to enjoy your next sauna session wherever you are. If you’re short on space, simply break it down and store it when not in use. Relax Saunas has created a portable sauna that comes loaded with intuitive controls, a powerful heating system, and a foldable design that allows you to pack it up and store it when not in use. This is essentially a perfect sauna for homeowners searching for a space-saving model.
Best Portable-Radiant Saunas Rejuvenator Portable Personal Sauna
The Rejuvenator by Radiant Saunas is a portable model that features five temperature settings and six automatic timer options so you can customize your sauna experience. Unlike other portable models in this price range, the Rejuvenator comes with an automatic shut off feature, which will shut the heater panels off immediately after the timer goes off. If you want to change the temperature setting or extend the amount of time you spend in the sauna, use the included remote control for a fast adjustment. Lightweight, portable, and easy to use, this is one infrared sauna that’s designed for the buyer on a budget in need of an affordable model that can deliver the type of IR therapy benefits you’ve only read about.
Best for Home Use-JNH Lifestyles MG301HCB MG317HB Far Infrared Sauna
This JNH Lifestyles infrared sauna is made out of tough Canadian Hemlock that’s chemical-free. The sauna features an impressive eight panel carbon fiber heating system designed for total coverage, which equals more effective treatment. The sauna’s cabin features a dual wall construction for improved insulation. The sauna itself is ETL approved and made out of materials that received FSC certification.
Best Outdoor Sauna – Sunray Sequioa 4 Person Infrared Cedar Sauna
The Sequioa by Sunray is a large four person infrared sauna that features chromotherapy lighting, complete with seven color options, a nano-carbon heating system, and a built-in oxygen ionization system that purifies the air, removing harmful toxins and allergens. The sauna’s cabin is made out of a beautiful rich cedar with recessed lighting for a sauna that’s not only powerful and efficient but eye-catching as well. This model has a high rating for its energy efficient design, ergonomic seating, and it’s intuitive controls that allow you to customize every sweat session.
Finding the best infrared sauna is not easy, especially considering that most models tend to look very much alike. Knowing the difference between setups, heater types, and learning about the different types of features available will help you choose a model that will work for you, your family, and your budget. The right type of sauna should be built to last you for decades to come. Now, let’s look at the different styles and features available.
When most people think of saunas, they tend to think of the conventional steam saunas, not infrared saunas. Below, we’ll go over the different types of saunas available and what makes the infrared sauna the safest and most effective option.
The steam sauna utilizes convection heat. With this heating option, the convection heater will basically just warm up the air that’s inside the sauna. The hot air is what heats the skin. The temperature in this style of sauna will range from one hundred and fifty to two hundred degrees. However, when the air reaches temperatures that are higher than one hundred and fifty-five degrees it can cause certain issues to arise.
Higher air temperatures inside the sauna can be very overwhelming to the user and may even cause an unpleasant experience. Some people have reported feeling anxious, claustrophobic, lightheaded, or extreme stress. In this type of environment, the sauna isn’t exactly relaxing.
The air in a hot convection sauna can easily overheat the skin’s surface, instead of actually soaking into the skin. This type of limited penetration can severely limit the sauna’s ability to help detoxify the body. In a steam sauna, only a small percentage of sweat will contain heavy metals, carcinogens, toxins, and acids.
Additionally, higher temperatures in a steam sauna can also cause damage to the viscous membrane tissue of the eyes and can irritate the throat and nasal passages. It may also cause itching and a rash in other areas of the body that are very sensitive.
Due to the undesirable results and lack of direct health benefits, the hot air technology that’s commonly used in a conventional sauna is quickly becoming obsolete.
An infrared sauna uses radiant heat. This heat transfers radiant energy from a type of heat source to the user.
The light waves from far infrared technology are tuned to the body and are emitted by large panels made out of carbon. These panels are mounted to the floor and walls of the cabin. The user’s body will easily absorb this type of energy because both the human body and the light waves emitted by the infrared vibrate at the same type of frequency. This process is referred to as resonant absorption, which involves the absorption of electromagnetic energy. This process produces numerous chemical and physical changes in the human body that are directly linked to improved health.
A carbon heater panel will emit a specific bandwidth of infrared light energy that can penetrate the tissue of the human body, as well as organs, and muscles up to three inches below the surface of the skin. The light energy is converted into a type of heat energy, once it penetrates the skin. This reaction is referred to as direct light conversion. This type of technology will basically heat the user from the inside out. The warmth you’ll feel in the sauna is due to your body heating up once the light energy turns into heat. In the cabin of the sauna, the air will have a temperature that ranges from thirty to seventy-five degrees lower than a steam sauna. This lower temperature will create a more comfortable, relaxing environment.
If you want to learn more about infrared light benefits, head over to my full article on the topic!
The Rise of the Infrared Sauna
Over the past several years, the use of infrared heat has totally changed the sauna industry. The use of these saunas comes with an extensive list of health benefits that have been documented in the medical community for years.
These saunas are quickly replacing the steam sauna and have become the sauna of choice for a variety of reasons including durability, comfort, efficiency, and safety.
One of the biggest reasons people choose this type of sauna is because of its detoxification of the body. The congested fatty tissues of the body, which store most of the collected carcinogens, pathogens, acids, and toxins will be broken down into small particles thanks to the vibrational effects of infrared technology. These smaller particles of fats, toxins, and heavy metals will then be expelled from the body via sweat. The sweat that’s produced while you’re in the sauna can contain ten to twenty percent of toxic cellular waste, in addition to different types of environmental pollutants.
Since the heat from the infrared sauna tends to heat more body mass while increasing the user’s core body temperature without burning the skin, the body will sweat almost twice as much as it would when using a steam sauna, however, the environment remains comfortable.
The type of heater in the sauna you purchase will be one of the most important specs to pay attention to. There are a few different types to choose from including ceramic, carbon, and carbon and ceramic. The carbon heaters are able to heat up to one hundred and forty degrees, which may not be enough to raise the core body temperature. The ceramic heater is able to reach temperatures of four hundred degrees, which is much too hot to sit next to. The carbon and ceramic heater are by far the most efficient when it comes to raising the core body temperature up to two hundred degrees, yet it’s still comfortable enough to sit next to for up to thirty minutes.
Basically, the carbon and ceramic heaters allow the user to absorb the most amount of infrared energy. This is due to the fact that they incorporate the longest infrared wavelength combined with the most infrared emissivity. The next best option is ceramic, followed by basic carbon heaters.
The carbon heater is the most affordable to manufacture which is why saunas with this type of setup are often the cheapest. However, they’re also riddled with high levels of electromagnetic frequency, or EMF for short.
A ceramic heater will have a much lower electromagnetic frequency rating, compared to a carbon heater. However, you’ll need to verify a pure ceramic sauna’s heater via third-party testing or you can even use your own EMF meter. The carbon and ceramic combo heaters will have the lowest levels of EMF compared to the other two types of heaters. This is because they’re a two in one heater complete with a couple of layers of ceramic and carbon compounds. The EMF is cancelled by negating the negative and positive currents since the two heaters are usually placed directly on top of each other.
In the end, the combination of ceramic and carbon heaters seem to be the most effective when it comes to increasing the core body temperature over a period of half an hour. The carbon elements in the heater will allow it to produce a longer wave of infrared heat. This longer wave will penetrate deeper into the tissues of the body. The ceramic layer of the heater will emit a high and hot infrared output when it’s compared to a basic carbon heater.
The quality of the wood used to build the sauna’s cabin is often one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to searching for the right model. But when you buy a cheap sauna, you’ll immediately notice just how low quality the bench and cabinetry are. A cheap bench will be thin, uncomfortable and may shift when you sit on it. The wood used to construct the cabin will also be very cheap and may have a strong chemical smell to it.
Cheaper woods include spruce, pine, and hemlock. Most of the time, the wood that’s used hasn’t been kiln dried correctly. And the result? Over time, the cabin will begin to warp. Since these saunas consist of six wood panels, if warping occurs, the sauna can easily become destroyed and unusable.
A poor quality cabin will also have a bench with a flat backrest, which can be pretty uncomfortable when you’re sitting up against a steeply angled wall. And if you buy a sauna that’s not comfortable to use, you’re not going to end up using it consistently.
Instead, look for a sauna that comes with an ergonomic backrest and bench, one that will contour to your body and back. It should feel like you’re sitting in a comfortable chair that was designed to fit your body, not a park bench.
Another thing to look at is the thickness of the walls. Thicker walls often equal better insulation. This, in turn, equals a lower operating cost, not to mention faster warm-up times and a more durable sauna overall. Thicker walls can also make assembling the sauna easier.
Number of Panels
Another thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the number of panels and their placement. Most models will have heaters located on the back panel of the cabin, in front of the user on either side of the door, and under the bench. Basically, the more square inches of heater coverage, the better.
While it’s not quite as important as the type of panel you choose, the number of the panels a sauna has will definitely influence how long it will take for the sauna to heat up, in addition to how fast and how much you sweat. Obviously, the more heater panels you have the more you’ll sweat and the more benefits you’ll enjoy.
When you’re shopping for a new heater look for the highest total square inches of heater coverage and the max number of heat panels in the model you’re considering. Fewer panels can mean that the sauna will take much longer to reach the ideal temperature which can cause your electric bill to skyrocket.
A sauna with wall to wall panels can ensure a heating experience that’s free of hot or cold spots.
Most models of saunas these days will have a control panel located on the outside of the cabin. The control panel is where you’ll turn on the lights, set the timer, and switch on the heat. But it’s also important to have a set of controls inside the sauna’s cabin. This means you won’t have to step out of the cabin to adjust a setting or extend the time.
If you plan on spending more time in your new sauna at a lower temperature of one hundred degrees up to one hundred and twenty degrees, then look for a model that features individual heater controls.
These saunas come in a variety of sizes that can accommodate one to six people. Of course, the size of the sauna will have a major impact on how much it costs. You should consider how much space you have to work with in your home before you buy. Corner style saunas can save plenty of floor space, yet they’ll still feature a roomy cabin.
Many models now come with interior lighting, however, it’s always important to check this feature out before you buy, since lower-priced saunas may only come with a single interior light. Some saunas will also come with exterior lighting, which allows you to turn your new sauna into a beautiful showpiece. Another lighting option comes in the form of light therapy. These setups will consist of a variety of colored lights that you can use to help you relax during treatment.
If you’d like to learn how to get the most out of your sauna IR treatment, you can click here to read my article on some of the best tips for that.
We hope our guide and our in-depth reviews of the best infrared saunas on the market has helped you narrow down your choices and find a sauna that meets your needs, comes loaded with the best features, and the type of heat settings you and the whole family will enjoy. Of course, finding the right sauna will include choosing a model that comes complete with a top heater system, a well-built cabin, and all the controls you need to ensure you can fine-tune every treatment. In the end, we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect fit in our top five lineup.