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Infrared Sauna Features and Options to Look Into

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W e all seek comfort and relaxation after a stressful or tiring day, and one of the best means to achieve this is through a relaxing sauna session. Steam saunas, while still popular, have lost some of their appeal among modern folks when it comes to home use as a dehumidifier is usually needed to tip the scale and prevent excess humidity from becoming an indoor issue.

This is one of the reasons why infrared saunas have become so popular, aside from the health benefits they provide, not producing humidity in the process, so no actual repercussions existing even if you use them regularly. But the topic of benefits and perks is covered in another article, what we focus on here is how to make a successful purchase.

An infrared sauna is not a cheap acquisition, that’s for sure. So you have to establish a budget first, and then take your time to follow through with the steps we will cover in the following lines. This way, you make sure the model you pick suits your needs and comes with the latest in terms of features and options for your experience when using it to be pleasant throughout.

Indoor or Outdoor?

After you establish the budget for this purchase, the next step is to decide what type you want – is it better for you to install it inside, or outdoors? If you live in a condo or don’t have much space in the backyard, an indoor sauna is what you should go for. On the other side, if you seek a more spacious model and you have room for it outside, the outdoor sauna is the option you should consider.

This is a matter of space and personal preference, after all. The only thing to keep in mind is that the sauna needs to be weatherproof if you plan on installing it outside, so beware of build quality as it weighs a lot when it comes to outdoor models.

Is your heart set on an exterior model that you can install near the pool and have fun with friends whenever they’re over? Then check out the best outdoor saunas here to see what are the most modern and reliable options available yet.

Size Matters

Infrared saunas range in size from 1-person up to 6-person models, prices varying accordingly. Picking the right size for you is likely one of the most important aspects to take into account, and it is a matter of personal preference and needs. In other words, quality is not affected by the size, but you will be.

If you know that you are going to use it alone, then a 1-person model is sufficient and helps you cut on costs. If you want to spend time with your partner while getting your sweat on, a 2-person sauna is what you need. It all depends on how many people you estimate will use the sauna. Think it through well, and make a choice based on how you estimate it will be used and by whom.

Are you looking for a portable solution to get your sweat on? Then look at the best portable sit down infrared saunas that take up little space, are made for use by a single person, and that you can pack up and store when you are finished using.

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Heater Type – Ceramic or Carbon Fiber?

Now that you have placement and size covered, let’s move on to the next item on your shopping checklist – the type of heating it uses. There are two selections from this point of view, carbon fiber far infrared heaters, and ceramic far infrared heaters.

  • Carbon fiber heaters distribute the infrared heat in an even manner and take an estimated 10 minutes to reach a maximum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Price-wise, they are the more budget-friendly pick to opt for as well.
  • Ceramic heaters, on the other hand, while a tad more expensive than their carbon fiber counterparts, are worth the extra cash as they generate longer-lasting infrared heat. Moreover, it doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes for them to provide the sweat-inducing heat either.

Material – Hemlock, Cedar, or Aspen?

Build material and quality is just as important with indoor saunas as it is with outdoor models. This is because construction quality indicates the durability of the product. Seeing how costs run quite high with these products, it is wise to not neglect the durability aspect as you likely intend to get one that lasts for as long as possible. The three materials commonly used are hemlock, cedar, and aspen. Let’s see what each material is about:

  • Hemlock: This hardwood resists stains and mildew naturally, so it doesn’t matter how much you will sweat inside the structure. Another perk stands in the fact that it is less aromatic than other woods, which recommends it for people who suffer from allergies.
  • Cedar: It naturally resists insects and mildew, which makes it the preferred material for building outdoor saunas. It is durable and aromatic as well, so a long lifespan is expected of it. However, costs are higher with this material precisely because of its upsides.
  • Aspen: Mostly used for indoor saunas as it is not as durable as the aforementioned materials, nor does it resist decay as well either. As it is an odorless material, it makes for a good option for allergy sufferers.

What Is the Right Temperature for an Infrared Sauna?

Ideally, you should set the sauna between 110°F to 130°F, the lower temperatures aiding in detox, whereas, the higher temperatures stimulate sweat production better. But the exact temperature at which you set it is a matter of personal preference.

A quick tip: If you want to sweat extra hard when you use the sauna and lose more weight than you normally would, wear a sauna vest. The wearable comes in handy when used separately as well. Put it on when you exercise or do chores, and you will sweat out those excess pounds in no time!

How does this weigh in the purchase you make, though? Well, it’s simple. You have to check out the selectable temperature span provided to make sure the sauna will comply with your preferences at all times. We suggest that you look into a model with as wide of a temperature range as possible so that you can select the heat level you find best suited at any given moment.

Keep an eye on the temperature in the sauna with any of these top-rated sauna thermometers. Due to their build, they can be utilized in infrared and steam saunas alike.

Features and Specification You Should Look Into

  • EMF rating: To ensure there won’t be any negative health effects as a result of using the sauna, you must look for a model that is assessed to have a low to zero EMF emissions rating. Manufacturers generally provide this information, so it won’t be difficult to find out how much EMF it produces.
  • See here the best infrared saunas that are all safe to use as their EMF levels are low and provide only health benefits after use.

  • Number of heaters and placement: The more the better when it comes to the number of heaters it should have so that you sweat rapidly while inside. Placement is important too as the infrared heat should come from all directions simultaneously, covering as much of your body as possible.
  • Lighting: With indoor models, interior lighting suffices, whereas, with outdoor models, you should look into the interior and exterior lighting. This way, you have an illuminated path when getting in and out of the sauna at night. The purpose of interior lighting, on the other hand, is to provide you with illumination so that you can read a book while you sit and sweat. We recommend that you look into LED bulbs as these are more lasting and energy-efficient.
  • Sound system: A sauna session can even last up to 30 minutes, and with nothing to do inside, you will get bored quickly. But not if it is fitted with a sound system that lets you play your favorite tunes in the meanwhile.
  • Chromotherapy: Color therapy is utilized to adjust the vibrations of your body to certain frequencies. It is an important feature to look into as it adds to the relaxation process and provides added health benefits, including decreased inflammation, improved sleeping, improved blood circulation, decreased muscle tension, and more.
  • Oxygen ionizer: Provides a sterile environment inside as it cleans the air of impurities. The ionizer is especially important for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.
  • Timer: This important feature lets you set the duration of the sweat session. With it, you are ensured that you won’t ever overuse the sauna and risk health repercussions as a result as the heaters will turn off after the set amount of time.
  • Vents: Let fresh air get inside whenever you need it, helping cool the sauna through air circulation as well.
  • Backrest: Convenient to have as it provides a comfy place to rest your back on, it is an accessory that not many models come with but that does add to the experience.
  • Magazine rack: Not crucial but preferable to have as it provides convenient placement for your books and magazines, it is an accessory worth looking into.
  • Power rating: It indicates the power of the heat session, so if you seek a hearty sweat, you must look into a model with a high rating from this point of view.

Conclusion

Saunas have always been a preferred means to sweat out toxins, lose some extra pounds, and relax after a stressful day. Nowadays, with the evolution of infrared technology, we can enjoy a healthy dry alternative to the old steam saunas, one that is more convenient for indoor use as humidity levels are not affected by the sweat sessions it provides.

Here, we went through the important aspects to consider and elements to look into if you seek to add a sauna to your home, and we advise that you pay attention to every detail listed to make the most out of your investment. As long as you set aside a budget and stick to it, opt for the type that suits your situation best, either an indoor model or an outdoor sauna, and make sure it comes with the right features, you will have the time of your life using it daily.

Tobey Hunter
Tobey Hunter
Tobey is the editor-in-chief at Optima Institute, his prior experience as a niche product reviewer in air quality improvement systems helping shape his path to conduct thorough research toward selecting and analyzing products so that customers are satisfied with the provided recommendations. During his carrier, Tobey also gathered technical input that makes him well versed in understanding advancements in modern systems, helping readers in turn to better understand how modern devices help improve life quality.