Infrared Sauna Benefits vs Traditional Saunas
Feel the benefits and the warming sensation of infrared waves - the new energy efficient way to sauna!
Infrared sauna, infrared room, infrared cabin… the new wave of saunas are known by many names. So here are the basics and the benefits of infrared vs traditional saunas.
First of all, what exactly is infrared?
Infrared technology utilises panels that heat up the room to approximately 60 °C. These panels use infrared elements to radiate heat of differing wavelengths depending on the infrared category: near, mid, or far. This heat penetrates skin more deeply than just warmed air enabling the bather to achieve more intense sweating at lower temperatures than in a traditional sauna (1). Infrared mimics the warming effect of sunlight without containing the harmful UV rays.
Why choose infrared?
A traditional sauna heats the air around the sauna bather, warming the surface of the skin which opens the pores and induces the body to sweat, whereas infrared saunas emit a wavelength of light which is absorbed deeply into the skin heating the body more efficiently without the need for an unbearable room temperature.
So Infrared shares the health benefits of the traditional sauna but achieves them more efficiently. For example, it can lower your risk for heart and vascular diseases (2) and help your muscles recover and relax (3). Saunas can also benefit and bring relief to people suffering from rheumatoid diseases such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis,and ankylosing spondylitis. Chronic fatigue and pain syndromes can also be eased with regular sauna use.
In addition to these physiological effects, sauna bathing also has beneficial psychological effects, such as releasing endorphins and improving the quality of sleep (4).
Another case to be made for infrared is its ease of use: just turn the power on and the panels will warm up and be ready for use almost immediately. Additionally, due to the dry nature of infrared, you can read a book or listen to music while enjoying an infrared experience without having to worry about ruining your books or audio devices. And of course, an infrared home sauna is far more energy efficient than a traditional sauna, a 20 minute session in a Harvia Radiant two person sauna cost less than 12p in electricity!
Are infrared saunas suitable for anyone to use?
Infrared heat is safe and suitable for anyone who requires deep muscle relaxation. The lower temperatures provided by infrared compared to electric or wood-burning heaters can also be more suitable to people who have circulatory problems. A lighter load on the body typically results in lower heart rates compared to traditional sauna methods (3).
Beever, R. (2009). Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors: summary of published evidence. Canadian family physician, 55(7), 691-696.
Laukkanen, T., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F., & Laukkanen, J.A. (2015). Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. JAMA internal medicine, 175(4), 542-548.
Mero, A., Tornberg, J., Mäntykoski, M., & Puurtinen, R. (2015). Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men. Springerplus, 4(1), 1-7.
Hussain, J., & Cohen, M. (2018). Clinical effects of regular dry sauna bathing: a systematic review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018.