Types of infrared saunas

Exploring the Different Types of Infrared Saunas

Table of Contents

Infrared saunas have gained popularity in recent years for their numerous health benefits and relaxation properties. Unlike traditional saunas that use heated air or steam to warm the body, infrared saunas utilize infrared light to directly heat the body. This unique heating method offers a range of therapeutic effects and a more comfortable sauna experience. In this article, we will explore the different types of infrared saunas, including near-infrared, mid-infrared, far-infrared, and full-spectrum infrared saunas. We will also discuss the science behind infrared saunas, the spectrum of infrared light, types of infrared sauna heaters, and how to choose the right infrared sauna for your needs.

The Science Behind Infrared Saunas

Before diving into the different types of infrared saunas, it's important to understand how they work and why they are beneficial for our health. Infrared saunas use infrared light to penetrate the body's tissues, warming them directly without heating the surrounding air.1 This unique heating method allows the body to sweat and detoxify at a lower temperature compared to traditional saunas, making it more comfortable for many individuals.

The main difference between infrared saunas and traditional saunas lies in the type of heat they produce. Traditional saunas use heated air or steam to warm the body indirectly, while infrared saunas emit infrared light that heats the body directly. This direct heating method has several advantages, including deeper penetration into the body, more efficient sweating, and a lower perceived temperature.

The Spectrum of Infrared Light

Infrared light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and is divided into three main categories: near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared.2 Each category has different wavelengths and characteristics that determine their effects on the body. Some saunas are designed to emit a specific type of infrared light, while others combine multiple wavelengths to provide a full-spectrum experience.

Types of Infrared Saunas

Near-Infrared Saunas

Near-infrared saunas emit light with wavelengths between 700 and 1400 nanometers. This type of infrared light has the shortest wavelength and is known for its ability to penetrate the skin deeply.3 Near-infrared light is often used in medical and therapeutic applications due to its potential benefits for cellular regeneration, collagen production, and wound healing.

Infrared saunas that focus on near-infrared light provide a range of benefits for the skin and overall well-being. The deep penetration of near-infrared light stimulates the production of collagen, which can improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Near-infrared light also promotes cellular energy production, which can enhance cell regeneration and accelerate the healing process.

Mid-Infrared Saunas

Mid-infrared saunas emit light with wavelengths between 1400 and 3000 nanometers.3 This type of infrared light has a slightly longer wavelength than near-infrared light and is known for its ability to penetrate deeper into the body. Mid-infrared light is particularly effective at improving blood flow, boosting metabolism, and reducing inflammation and chronic pain.

Infrared saunas that focus on mid-infrared light provide a range of benefits for cardiovascular health and pain management. The increased blood flow resulting from mid-infrared heat can improve circulation, enhance oxygen delivery to tissues, and promote overall cardiovascular health. Mid-infrared saunas have also been shown to reduce inflammation and alleviate chronic pain, making them a popular choice for individuals with arthritis or musculoskeletal conditions [5].

Far-Infrared Saunas

Far-infrared saunas emit light with wavelengths between 3000 and 10000 nanometers.3 This type of infrared light has the longest wavelength and is known for its ability to penetrate deep into the body's tissues. Far-infrared light is often used for its detoxification properties, as it can induce sweating and assist in the removal of toxins from the body.

Infrared saunas that focus on far-infrared light provide a range of benefits for detoxification, circulation, and relaxation. The deep tissue penetration of far-infrared light stimulates sweating, which can help eliminate toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities from the body. Far-infrared saunas also promote improved circulation, which can enhance nutrient delivery and waste removal at the cellular level. Additionally, the gentle warmth of far-infrared heat induces a state of relaxation and helps reduce stress and tension. Learn more about using an infrared sauna blanket for anxiety treatment, or what the difference is between a traditional sauna vs sauna blanket.

Full-Spectrum Infrared Saunas

Full-spectrum infrared saunas combine all three types of infrared light: near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared. This comprehensive approach provides a wide range of health benefits and allows individuals to experience the unique advantages of each type of infrared light.

Full-spectrum infrared saunas offer a holistic approach to wellness and can provide a combination of benefits for the skin, circulation, detoxification, pain relief, and relaxation. By incorporating all three wavelengths, full-spectrum saunas create a versatile and customizable sauna experience that caters to individual needs and preferences.

Types of Infrared Sauna Heaters

In addition to the different types of infrared light, there are also different types of infrared sauna heaters that generate and emit infrared heat. The most common types of infrared sauna heaters are ceramic, carbon, and ceramic-carbon combination heaters.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heaters are the traditional type of infrared sauna heaters and have been used for many years. They consist of ceramic rods or plates with a heating element inside. When the heater is turned on, the ceramic surface heats up and emits infrared heat.

Ceramic heaters provide a good balance of heat distribution and efficiency. They can reach high temperatures quickly and evenly distribute the heat throughout the sauna cabin. However, they may emit higher levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) compared to other types of heaters, which can be a concern for individuals who are sensitive to EMFs.3

Carbon Heaters

Carbon heaters are a newer type of infrared sauna heaters and have become increasingly popular in recent years. They consist of carbon fibers or panels that are evenly distributed throughout the sauna cabin. When the heater is turned on, the carbon elements emit infrared heat.

Carbon heaters offer several advantages over ceramic heaters. They provide a more gentle and even heat distribution, which results in a more comfortable sauna experience. Carbon heaters also emit lower levels of EMFs compared to ceramic heaters, making them a safer option for individuals who are concerned about EMF exposure.3

Ceramic-Carbon Combination Heaters

Ceramic-carbon combination heaters combine the benefits of both ceramic and carbon heaters. They typically consist of ceramic rods or plates with embedded carbon elements. This combination allows for efficient heat production and distribution, as well as lower levels of EMFs.

Ceramic-carbon combination heaters offer a balanced approach to infrared heating and are often used in full-spectrum infrared saunas. They provide a comfortable and effective sauna experience, combining the rapid and even heat distribution of ceramic heaters with the gentle and low-EMF properties of carbon heaters.3

Choosing the Right Infrared Sauna

When choosing an infrared sauna, it's important to consider your individual needs and infrared sauna therapy preferences. Factors to consider include the size of the sauna, the number of people it can accommodate, the materials used, and the overall design. You should also decide whether you prefer an outdoor or indoor sauna, as each option has its own advantages and considerations:

  • Outdoor Saunas: Outdoor saunas offer a unique experience and can be a beautiful addition to your backyard or garden. They provide a sense of privacy and tranquility, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of infrared saunas in a natural setting. However, outdoor saunas require careful planning and construction, as they need to be weatherproof and properly insulated.
  • Indoor Saunas: Indoor saunas, on the other hand, offer convenience and easy access. They can be installed in a spare room, basement, or even a bathroom, depending on the available space. Indoor saunas are typically easier to install and maintain compared to outdoor saunas. However, it's important to ensure proper ventilation and insulation to prevent moisture buildup and maintain a comfortable sauna environment.

Another important consideration when choosing an infrared sauna is the level of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by the sauna heaters. EMFs are electromagnetic waves that are generated by electrical devices, including infrared sauna heaters. Some individuals may be sensitive to EMFs and prefer low-EMF saunas for their health and safety. When researching saunas, look for models that are specifically designed to emit low levels of EMFs.3

Discover Lifepro's Sauna Blankets & Infrared Saunas

If you're looking for convenient and portable infrared saunas, to enjoy the benefits of infrared light therapy, Lifepro's sauna blankets are an excellent option. Sauna blankets are designed to wrap around your body, providing targeted heat therapy and allowing you to experience the benefits of infrared saunas in the comfort of your own home.

Do sauna blankets work? Lifepro's sauna blankets utilize far-infrared heat to provide deep tissue penetration, detoxification, improved circulation, and relaxation. The blankets are made with high-quality materials that are safe, durable, and easy to clean. They also feature adjustable temperature settings, allowing you to customize your sauna experience to suit your needs and preferences.

There are so many infrared sauna blanket benefits to know and with Lifepro's sauna blankets, you can enjoy the rejuvenating effects of infrared saunas anytime, anywhere. Whether you're looking to relax, detoxify, or improve your overall well-being, Lifepro's sauna blankets are a convenient and effective solution.


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  2. Beever R. Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors: summary of published evidence. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55(7):691-696
  3. Henderson KN, Killen LG, O'Neal EK, Waldman HS. The Cardiometabolic Health Benefits of Sauna Exposure in Individuals with High-Stress Occupations. A Mechanistic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(3):1105. Published 2021 Jan 27. doi:10.3390/ijerph18031105
  4. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:1857413. Published 2018 Apr 24. doi:10.1155/2018/1857413
  5. Brunt VE, Minson CT. Heat therapy: mechanistic underpinnings and applications to cardiovascular health. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2021;130(6):1684-1704. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00141.2020
  6. Blum N, Blum A. Beneficial effects of sauna bathing for heart failure patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2007;12(1):29-32.
  7. Kunutsor SK, Khan H, Zaccardi F, Laukkanen T, Willeit P, Laukkanen JA. Sauna bathing reduces the risk of stroke in Finnish men and women: A prospective cohort study. Neurology. 2018;90(22):e1937-e1944. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000005606


Joel Gottehrer

Joel Gottehrer is the Co-Founder of Lifepro Fitness and has dedicated his life to helping people transform theirs. With over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and owner of two personal training studios, Joel has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to helping transform lives. After suffering from physical injuries, Joel and his business partner, Abraham Brach, came together with a common goal to alleviate the pain caused by their injuries.

They continued to find themselves disappointed with the results stemming from various products promising to relieve their pain, and with that – Lifepro Fitness was born. Joel's mission is to have a positive impact on millions of lives with the Lifepro brand. Whether it's finding new and innovative ways to help people recover from injuries or developing products to improve overall wellness, Joel is always looking for ways to push the boundaries. Thanks to his commitment to help people live their lives free of pain, Lifepro has been able to do this for thousands of people since its founding in 2017.

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