Looking to relax your mind and muscles while detoxifying your body? Have a difficult time sweating but know the importance of perspiration to the overall health of your body? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you may be ready to begin your search for your first home infrared sauna. If you’ve already owned a sauna at some point in the past and are looking to upgrade what you already have or add one to your new home, you are also in the right place. We’ve collected some of the best infrared saunas on today’s market (as determined by popularity, sales statistics, and consumer reviews) and brought them all right here in one convenient location.
I want to begin by making one thing clear here. The word is infrared, not infared. The terms quickly and easily get mixed up as many of us mispronounce the proper infrared as infared. Trust me; I learned this lesson the hard (and embarrassing) way. I bring this up for the simple reason – it will be much easier for you to find the actual unit you are searching for if you type the correct words into your search bar.
Why Infrared? – Let’s begin with a quick discussion of different types of saunas. Surely you’ve encountered a steam or hot rock sauna at some point in your life. Hot rock saunas (and even some steam saunas) actually require a small fire to be built inside the sauna, making it unsuitable for indoor use. Traditional saunas also heat your body from the outside inward. The heat, therefore, can harm your skin before it even manages to penetrate deep enough to release toxins and relax muscles. While this traditional heating option can be a wonderful way to cleanse pores, it isn’t very efficient or effective when it comes to what people are actually searching for in a sauna experience. If you would like to use steam to clean your pores, I suggest using a steam shower to achieve this goal and maintaining a proper, infrared sauna for your relaxation and detoxification needs.
Traditional saunas heat the air which, in turn, heats your skin which, in turn, heats the rest of your body over time. The problem is that it takes a while to actually heat your body, and many people grow claustrophobic or have difficulty breathing in the humid atmosphere of a traditional sauna. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use radiant heating to heat everything at an equal rate, all the way through.
The best way I can explain the way an infrared sauna works is to tell you a quick story about when I was first introduced to radiant heating. Growing up, our garage was a hangout place for neighbors and friends to drop by over the holiday season. It was just that easy place to gather and drop in where people didn’t feel as though they were intruding on our home. The garage was somewhat insulated but, with its concrete floor and drafty old door, wasn’t the warmest area. We used space heaters (electric and propane operated) for a while, which heated the air (like a traditional sauna) but did little more than help our fingers keep from falling off. Finally, my father purchased a radiant heating system. It made a world of difference. The air was warm, just like it was with the space heaters, but suddenly, so was everything else – the tools, the chairs, the walls and, most of all, each of us.
What Types of Heating Materials Are Best? – There is a bit of debate in the world of infrared saunas as to which types of heating materials are the best. Let me begin by first stating that your options include steel rod systems, ceramic systems, and carbon systems. The general consensus is that carbon systems are the best option. Apparently, steel rod systems create many cool patches inside the sauna, which may make the experience uncomfortable rather than relaxing.
Ceramic rods and tubes only provide heat to those people and things placed directly in front of them and must be heated to extreme temperatures before they will actually emit any heat. The extreme temperatures on the surface of ceramic heaters make them very unsafe to touch, even accidentally. Apparently, ceramic systems also create electromagnetic fields (EMF) which can make some people ill.
Carbon systems appear to create the least cool spaces, heat the most evenly, and do not create EMF fields. These facts make them a favorite among many sauna enthusiasts.
What Type of Wood is Best? – Since much of a sauna is made up of wood, a common question many people ask is, “What type of wood is best?” Again, this is a topic of hot debate. Overall, the general consensus appears to be that there are certain woods you should steer away from and certain woods you should steer toward. Since the following types of wood are considered too soft, too stiff or too “shrinky”, most enthusiasts and experts suggest avoiding them: fir, poplar, spruce, California redwood, Aspen, western pine. Among the most popular wood types used for infrared saunas are Pacific coast hemlock and Canadian red cedar.