What Is an Infrared Sauna?
Ever since ancient times, people have been trying to find ways to reinvigorate the mind and the body. The yearning to do so is hard-wired into our brains – it’s a part of our collective DNA. Saunas have been a part of our society and culture for thousands of years.
The indigenous people of the Americas and Nordic European countries used to relax and unwind in primitive ‘hot rooms’, and it is no wonder that the word sauna itself has its roots in the Finnish language. There, the word was commonly used to describe a wooden hut one could fill with steam.
Today there’s a modern twist on this ancient classic. An infrared sauna is a type of sauna that uses special heaters to emit infrared light that we experience as radiant heat. This heat is easily absorbed by the surface of the skin, allowing deeper penetration and therefore making infrared saunas more beneficial than traditional ones.
There are different types, shapes and sizes of infrared saunas and if you’re already interested in buying one – we’ve got you covered. The next section is where we list our Top Picks.
Or perhaps you want to learn more about infrared saunas, their benefits, and how they work? You’ll find all of that and much more further down below.
Our Top Picks
If you already know a thing or two about infrared saunas and, even better, if you’ve already used one, then this concise info about the best products on the market might come in handy.
The Best 1-Person Infrared Sauna
The best 1-Person Infrared Sauna on the market today is, without a doubt, the JNH Lifestyles Joyous. This is a large, powerful, luxurious and convenient model that emulates a real sauna experience. In fact, it does not only emulate it – it will match and exceed your expectations, even if you’re used to frequent spa visits.
The Joyous features 6 powerful infrared heaters, looks absolutely gorgeous and is made of high quality Canadian Hemlock timber. The quality and craftsmanship is as good as it gets, while the glass door adds a beautiful touch of modern design.
Performance is absolutely stellar and the user can easily tweak and fine-tune the sauna as much as they like. It’s big, comfortable and effective. Arguably the best thing about this model, apart from the performance, is the double wall construction – this feature eliminates heat loss.
The speakers add another dimension to the product and make it one of the best infrared saunas money can buy. You can simply zone out listening to your favourite music and enjoy yourself even more than you would at a real spa with its piped-in pan pipes.
Is there a catch? While the Lifestyle Joyous itself doesn’t really have any flaws, the downside for some could be the price. Although this sauna is definitely worth the money, there might be some sticker shock at first.
But there is a budget alternative. If you are a new to infrared sauna therapy you might want to test a smaller, cheaper model before you fully immerse yourself in this world. If that’s the case, we recommend Radiant Saunas BSA6310 Rejuvenator.
The BSA6310 is a beautiful and practical little infrared sauna. This one looks like a little camping tent, but don’t let the unconventional design fool you – some manufacturers take the space-saving route. Even though this isn’t really a luxury model, it has just about everything you could need: it’s easy to assemble, works amazingly well, relieves different kinds of pain, provides ultimate stress relief and it’s very budget friendly. Absolutely perfect for beginners.
The Best 2-Person Infrared Sauna
Our top 2-person infrared sauna is another superb JNH Lifestyles product – the NE2HB1. This is another luxury model, perhaps not for every budget (which, by the way, is its only flaw) but definitely worth the money. The NE2HB1 is by far the best 2-person sauna available today. It has absolutely everything two people could need and more – perfect for couples who love relaxing together at home after a long day at work.
The NE2HB1 is big enough to fit two tall individuals and packs all the luxurious features most of us dream about: modern design, stellar performance, 7 powerful infrared heaters, high quality double layer build, LED lighting and two premium speakers.
The NE2HB1 is big, powerful, luxurious and heavy. But, that doesn’t mean it’s complicated to use or hard to assemble – on the contrary, even if you’ve never owned a similar product before, using all the wonderful features of this JNH model should not be a problem.
If the high price of the NE2HB1 is off putting or simply exceeds your budget, then another JNH model might interest you. We are referring to the 2 Person Far Infrared model. This is pretty much the budget friendly version of the NE2HB1 – it’s a bit smaller and a bit lighter, but it performs very well and it’s almost 3 times cheaper.
The Best Infrared Sauna for a Family
The largest infrared saunas can fit 4 or more people. These are family models, perfect for those of you who want to have a relaxing spa-like experience at home with your family or a couple of friends. Even though these large models might not be for every budget, we’ve done our best to find two models worthy of our recommendation – a luxury one and a budget friendly one.
Another JNS Lifestyles product, the Joyous 4 Person infrared sauna is our top pick when it comes to family models. This is one of the biggest and most powerful infrared saunas out there – it has 9 infrared heaters, double layer construction and a ton of different luxury features, including digital control and high quality speakers.
This model is pretty much a full-blown home spa and certainly a good investment for everyone who wants to take care of their and their family’s health and well-being.
As always, we have included a more affordable model. This time, it’s the Crystal Sauna BH400. This is definitely the best product within the price range and by far the best budget-friendly family sauna out there.
The BH400 has 8 infrared heaters, covering a total of 5260 square inches of heating surface. Needless to say, this is a powerful model that works perfectly well and looks slightly different than most infrared saunas nowadays, which is certainly another plus and a clear sign of designer effort. Naturally, it doesn’t have a lot of luxurious features, but the interior and exterior lights, the CD player and ease of use definitely justify the BH400’s inclusion in our Top Picks section.
How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?
The basic principle is fairly simple. Just like any other type of sauna, the infrared sauna is usually a small room in which heat is produced. This type of therapy yields numerous benefits that work wonders for both mind and body. What separates infrared saunas from conventional saunas is the unique type of heat that they produce.
Infrared saunas use infrared heaters instead of traditional heat sources. This type of heat penetrates the human skin more deeply, therefore allowing the user to experience more intense effects in a much shorter period of time. Apart from being more effective, infrared saunas are also a lot safer than traditional saunas, because they don’t get unbearably hot. More about the benefits of these saunas below.
Advantages and Benefits of an Infrared Sauna
The key benefits of infrared saunas and infrared sauna therapy are:
Detoxification – According to scientific research, infrared saunas help the body get rid of approximately 7 times more toxins than traditional saunas do. Sweating is an incredibly important bodily function because it is the best natural way to eliminate toxins from the body.
Pain relief – Sore and achy muscles or joints can be treated with infrared sauna therapy. This form of therapy relieves inflammation and therefore eliminates pain. This is why elite athletes often use infrared saunas as a post-workout relaxation and rejuvenation technique.
Relaxation – Stress is one of the biggest health issues we are facing today. Stress increases heart rate and blood pressure, among other things, not to mention the emotional toll it can have on an individual. Infrared sauna therapy is perfect for overstressed, overworked individuals – and don’t we all fall into that category? The infrared heat reduces levels of cortisol (the primary stress hormone) and relaxes sore muscles, therefore eliminating and reducing stress.
Improved circulation – Logically, the infrared heat these saunas produce increases body temperature. An increase in body temperature naturally increases circulation and stimulates blood flow, which is one of the most important functions of the body, since it supplies oxygen to the brain and helps cell growth.
Skin purification – Infrared sauna therapy purifies the skin by eliminating toxins and improving blood flow. These toxins form and grow in the pores of the skin – infrared sauna therapy opens up and cleanses those pores, letting our skins produce healthy oils. These effects are often obvious after only a couple infrared therapy sessions – users look younger, better, and healthier.
The immune system – Regular infrared sauna sessions help our bodies produce white more blood cells, which are key to the proper functioning of the immune system. The bodies of those who indulge in infrared sauna therapy are healthier and more resistant to disease.
Stamina – This is the main reason infrared saunas are popular among athletes. If you are an individual who exercises regularly, an infrared sauna could greatly help with increasing your stamina. The basic concept is this: after numerous infrared therapy sessions, the human body gets used to high temperatures, which improves stamina and overall performance in sports, whether it’s weight lifting, running, or anything similar.
Weight loss – According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a single 30-minute infrared sauna session burns around 600 calories. This is due to an increase in body temperature that occurs during an infrared therapy session. Our bodies work harder to lower that temperature, thus burning many more calories than usual. (Note that the exact number is in dispute as the trial cited was conducted on a very specific group of people – regardless, the number is likely to be quite high!)
|Activity||Calories Burned (30 mins)||Source|
|Infrared Sauna||up to 600||American Medical Association|
Who Should Consider Buying an Infrared Sauna?
After this overwhelming amount of information, a legitimate question arises: Who should consider buying an infrared sauna?
Since we’ve already reflected upon the endless benefits of these saunas, it would be redundant to address them all again. There is, however, something we should all keep in mind: health comes first.
The modern way of living can take a significant toll on one’s physical and emotional health. We all lead stressful lives and we need a safe place to relax, unwind and reinvigorate ourselves. Instead of going to an overpriced spa, why not build a mini-spa at home and relax there instead? Thanks to infrared saunas, home spas have never been more available, more powerful and more affordable.
We are inherently inclined to look for ways to revive our minds and bodies. Naturally, as our society has grown and progressed, saunas have also evolved. The infrared sauna may not be the final stage of sauna evolution, but it is the latest one. Simply put, an infrared sauna is an ultra-modern twist on a timeless classic, and an easy-to-justify investment in your health and well-being.