- 1 Choosing the Right Sauna for Your Home
- 2 Size and Power
- 3 Comparison Chart
- 4 Our Top Picks & Reviews of the Best Infrared Saunas
- 5 Other Models Worth Mentioning
- 6 Buying Guide
- 7 Health Benefits
- 8 Our Buying Tips & Things to Consider
- 9 FAQ
- 10 What People Are Saying About Their Own Far Infrared Sauna
Did you know you can burn 600 calories in just 30 minutes in a far infrared sauna?
Just a few years ago, the idea of owning your own sauna probably seemed impossible, but these days the best infrared saunas are more affordable than ever. We have reviewed dozens of the popular styles on the market and narrowed down our choices to the top five. Each of these traditional saunas utilizes far infrared technology, which has a reputation for heating efficiency, so you won’t have to worry about a major spike in your electric bill.
Considering there are so many styles to choose from, it can be difficult to finding and purchasing the right sauna, especially if you’ve never used one before.
We chose the best models that were reasonably priced and loaded with a wide range of amenities. Each one is also built from quality wood, which not only makes the sauna aesthetically pleasing but more heat efficient as well.
Choosing the Right Sauna for Your Home
If you’re shopping for an infrared sauna, then the odds are you’re already aware of the number of health benefits you will enjoy from regular sessions, including weight loss, treating pain, detoxing the skin and cleansing the pores.
While you can hit the sauna at your local gym or spa, having a sauna right in your home is more convenient, and it can allow you to truly relax alone, or with a couple of friends, depending on the sauna you choose.
Size and Power
Currently, there are one, two and three person wood saunas available. Obviously, the larger the sauna, the higher the price tag. Many of the single and double saunas can be installed right inside your home, while some three person models must be installed in your yard. We’ve included styles from each of these size categories, so you can choose one of the best saunas that will work for your home. So, before you buy, you will need to carefully measure the desired area or room to determine how much space you have to work with.
Some models will also have high power needs, so you must anticipate the added cost of hiring an electrician to modify one of your outlets in order to provide enough juice to power your sauna.
We not only looked at the size options, power needs, the heating elements used, and pricing, we also paid attention to what homeowners had to say. We dug deep to find out how each sauna preforms, how long average heat up times are, and what you can expect in terms of assembly, durability, and overall quality. We’re confident that you will find the right sauna in our top five list.
Now, let’s begin with a three person model by Radiant Saunas. This is a traditional sauna that received plenty of positive feedback from consumers. Well built, beautiful, and loaded with some great features that will make you feel like you’re at the spa, this best-selling unit is our top-rated product.
Our Top Picks & Reviews of the Best Infrared Saunas
Radiant Saunas 3 Pers. Corner Hemlock Infrared Sauna
This three person sauna by Radiant Saunas is a feature-loaded luxury sauna that will instantly transport you to your favorite spa. It’s made out of solid Canadian Hemlock wood. Take pleasure in a relaxing heat experience while listening to relaxing music on the radio, use the built-in racks to put your books and magazines, and other supplies, and change the LED lighting to suit your mood or adjust the temperature from the inside with the dual LED control panel. This is a large, plush sauna that can accommodate up to three people. This unit utilizes 7 carbon fiber heating panels for improved heat efficiency and a more comfortable, effective sauna therapy. It also comes with a 7 yr warranty.
Dynamic Saunas 3 Pers. Sauna Review
This massive three-person sauna by Dynamic Saunas is the epitome of luxury as it is also made out of solid Canadian hemlock wood with a beautiful dark honey finish. It will definitely take up plenty of space, but considering all the amenities, losing a little space is a fair trade. From the chromotherapy lighting system, stereo system and 9 carbon fiber heater panels, this leading unit comes loaded with all the goodies you could ever want in your own sauna – including a 5 yr warranty.
Radiant Saunas 2 Pers. Hemlock Infrared Sauna
Another popular model produced by Radiant Saunas, this two-person unit is equipped with all the built-in amenities you could want in a sauna that puts efficiency first. The carbon fiber heaters are low emf and energy efficient, so you’ll save on your monthly electric bill, a huge plus for any homeowner. Additionally, this unit works by heating the human body only, not the entire environment, so the heat will be comfortable and not over stimulating. It also will not damage any electronics or paper products such as magazines and books. As this is a Radiant Saunas brand, it also comes with a 7 yr warranty.
JNH Lifestyles 1 Pers. Far Infrared Sauna
The JNH Lifestyles 1 person sauna is equipped with top of the line carbon fiber heaters and features a smaller design that allows it to fit into smaller homes without taking up a lot of room and makes it easy to heat too. It also offers an impressive maximum temperature of one hundred and forty degrees, so you can enjoy a relaxed detoxifying heat treatment in the comfort of your own home. Reasonably priced, easy to assemble and built-solid, this unit is a steal for the price – especially considering it comes with a 5 yr warranty coverage too.
Dynamic Saunas 2 Pers. Far Infrared Sauna
This compact far infrared sauna by Dynamic Saunas heats up efficiently, thanks to the carbon fiber heaters. Very energy efficient and easy to heat, this low emf sauna will not cause your electric bill to skyrocket. It also comes with a 3 yr warranty, loaded with some great basic features including a built in sound system, magazine and towel rack, so you can appreciate a little taste of luxury while you sweat out those calories and cleanse your skin.
Other Models Worth Mentioning
Luxury Series 2 Pers. Far Infrared Sauna by Dynamic Saunas
If you’re looking for something a little more fancy, we discovered this best-selling sauna that is high quality and value with great reviews. It’s definitely more open with the whole front looking as if it’s one big window for a more luxury feel. It comes with 6 carbon heater panels, chromotherapy lighting, sound system with speakers and the well known 5 yr warranty offered by the brand.
4 Pers. Far Infrared Sauna by Dynamic Saunas
Even bigger than the large corner unit by Radiant Saunas mentioned above- this wonderful 4 person sauna is certainly popular for those looking for something a little bigger at a great value. Made of reforested Canadian Hemlock wood, this model is paneled with thicker exterior and interior planks to better retain heat given its larger size. It comes with dual control panel (one on the inside and outside) for ease of use. It comes with standard chromotherapy lighting, 9 carbon heater panels and your well known 5 yr warranty by Dynamic Saunas.
Shopping around for the best sauna isn’t easy. Most look very similar, so picking out the right sauna without looking at the specs is almost impossible.
Traditional and Infrared Saunas: The Main Difference
The main difference between conventional steam saunas and infrared saunas is the technology that is used to heat them.
A traditional steam sauna uses convection heat. A convection heater will heat up the air inside the sauna, as the hot air heats the skin. Temperatures in this type of sauna range from 150-200 degrees. But a high temperature in a sauna can be pretty overwhelming, cause claustrophobic episodes, lightheadedness, or anxiety. In this muggy environment, the user can’t really relax during their session.
The air in a traditional sauna can overheat the skin. Heat penetration in the skin is also limited, and steam can’t penetrate or detoxify the skin. This can also have a harmful effect on the epithelial tissue of the eyes and can irritate the throat and nasal passages, or cause itchy skin and rashes.
Due to the lack of direct health benefits, the hot air heating technology used in saunas is now becoming obsolete.
Infrared saunas are much different.
An infrared sauna uses dry radiant heat. This type of unit works by emitting heat towards a specific object. In a sauna, the human body is the object that is directly heated.
Far Infrared light waves are tuned to the human body and are emitted by carbon heater panels that have been mounted on the floor and on the walls. The human body is able to readily absorb infrared energy because the body and infrared waves vibrate at the same frequency. This type of heat technology utilizes the absorption of electromagnetic energy. This process is called resonant absorption. This process can excite the body at a molecular level, resulting in a number of chemical and physical changes within the body. This is where we see the actual benefits of a sauna take place.
The carbon heaters emit tuned low emf far infrared light energy that deeply penetrates the skin, muscles, and tissues in the body, up to three inches below the top layer of skin. The light energy is then converted into heat energy inside the body. This means that the infrared sauna basically heats up the body from inside out, causing the user to feel a type of warmth that is very gentle instead of stimulating. On average, the interior air temperature in this style of sauna is often thirty to fifty degrees lower than that of a traditional sauna.
Over the past several years, this type of low emf infrared technology has simply taken over the sauna industry and have since slowly begun to replace the conventional steam sauna.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed and overpowered by heat, an infrared sauna feels inviting and warm, providing a comfortable atmosphere and session.
Near vs Far Infrared Saunas
Now that we have established that traditional steam saunas heat the air and infrared saunas heat the body, we now need to figure out the difference between near and far infrared saunas as you will see both when shopping around. The main difference is due to the wavelength of the light spectrum in which this heat energy operates.
- Works more on the outer level of the body as this spectrum cannot penetrate very deep
- Great for skin, wound healing, lighter pain relief & circulation
- Works on a deeper level (penetrates up to 3-4 inches) in the body
- Best for deeper pain relief & tension
- Deeply detoxes into the skin, tissues & body
- Boosts immune system & metabolism
- Helps promote weight loss
Ongoing sauna therapy can provide many health benefits. In the body, the fatty tissues, which store most of the collected pathogens, toxins, carcinogens, and acids are broken down into very small particles of PCBs, fats, and toxins. These particles are then expelled from the body via sweat. The sweat that is produced from sauna use can contain up to an impressive thirty percent of toxic cellular waste and materials, thus you are detoxing several times better.
Infrared sauna treatment increases body temperature which in turn improves circulation. This helps the body eliminate wastes and toxins, which is essential when detoxing the body as toxins are released from fatty tissues. Improved circulation also helps your body fight pain and decrease inflammation.
As your body temperature rises, your body burns more calories – in fact you can burn roughly 600 calories in a 30 minute session.
Boosts immune system
Far infrared wavelengths deeply penetrate, energize and promote healing at a cellular level which directly improves immune function.
Pain is diminished as blood flow and circulation are improved. Any pain that remains is relieved by the soothing heat.
Aids recovery after exercise
Saunas can relax muscles, soothe aches and pains, and improves natural healing from the stress of physical activity.
Some studies have found that the regular use of sauna therapy can also help…
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Increase growth hormone up to 200-300% after a single session
- May reduce Alzheimer’s by 65%
- Can improve deep sleep by promoting body relaxation (releasing endorphins)
- Reduce the chance of getting a cold or the flu as the body produces white blood cells more quickly during and after a session.
Our Buying Tips & Things to Consider
Now that you know more about how infrared saunas work and the many benefits they have to offer, it’s time to learn more about the features you should look for if you want the best sauna.
Rod vs Ceramic vs Carbon Fiber
There are many different kinds of low emf infrared saunas to choose from. Poor quality, inefficient heating panels will require the user to spend more time in the sauna in order to experience any results.
Saunas equipped with this type of heating aren’t considered very effective. Heat is emitted with the help of a reflector tray that is mounted behind the emitter, which is designed to compensate for the lack of infrared energy being produced. The heat also doesn’t travel very far or last long, making treatment ineffective with little to no benefits.
This style of heater has a very small infrared emission surface, which means it’s not able to effectively give off heat. It can also operate with a surface temperature of four hundred degrees which is not safe or comfortable. Most manufacturers that use this kind of heater will have a cover placed over the front portion for protection. Should you accidentally lean up against it, you can easily be burned.
These heater panels are considered the best in infrared heating technology available today. The panel produces a light frequency that is precisely tuned to match the max infrared absorption level of the human body. This kind of heating system basically solves all of the problems ceramic heaters can’t.
The surface temperature of these infrared heaters is much lower, and the heat is evenly distributed on the carbon panel’s large surface.
Carbon fiber heating panels are typically larger and produce heat energy that penetrates the skin up to 30-40% more than ceramic heaters. Another bonus is that they don’t need to be replaced unlike ceramic or rod heating systems.
Materials & Structure
Determines the overall quality of the sauna. The type of wood will determine how long your sauna will last as some types will buckle and warp because of the heat over time. Hemlock wood is high quality and one of the best because it’s warp-resistant.
Double paneled constructed walls are super important as it makes for a very well insulated sauna that retains heat exceptionally well, heats up faster and wastes less energy. Thick panels on both the interior and exterior will make a world of difference.
Reforested wood is also something to consider as its more environmentally friendly
Make sure the sauna you purchase has the proper safety certifications. Safety certifications provided by a number of international regulatory bodies can give you the assurance that the sauna has been properly tested and meets all the performance and safety requirements.
Saunas are expensive and will experience wear and tear so it’s important to check and understand the manufacturers warranty. Many high quality brands, including those mentioned in our top picks, come with impressive and long term warranties.
Anchor or Bolt Assembly
A good anchor and bolt system will require tight wall construction and pre-drilled hole alignment that is precise. The wood side panels should be securely attached with the use of countersunk steel anchors. An anchor and bolt system will create a secure, tight fit that results in a durable sauna that will not fall apart on you in a matter of months. This design works well to keep in heat and minimizes the chance of the wood walls splitting, warping, or cupping.
Additionally, saunas with a thin wood construction or door will not keep in heat well or for very long.
Units with a woodworking tongue and groove design can also ensure that walls a snug, perfect fit. However, these saunas are usually on the pricier side.
Can I bring my cell phone in an infrared sauna?
Remember, far infrared heat energy directly heats specific objects – so it may be best to leave the phone outside as it may become hot to the touch or damage it.
How many sessions a week should I do?
Depending on your goals and your health, you can go once a week if you please, or as often as several times a week. It would be best to do no more than 4 or 5 sessions per week as you do want to give your body a break to detox and heal on it’s own – overdoing it won’t be helping it any!
How long should my sessions be?
We recommend you should get a good 30 minutes to get the most out of your sauna, but if you wish you can spend up to an hour.
What should I do after a session? What is the aftercare like?
Once you’re done, you definitely want to get a good shower as the reason we’re in the sauna in the first place is to detox the body and sweat out toxins. This will help get them down the drain and you’ll likely be showering anyway as you will be sweaty from your session.
Also be sure to drink plenty of water that day, and the days that follow. This is important because you have lost water in the form of sweat so it needs to be replaced, plus water promotes elimination of the toxins you’re body is trying to flush.
Can I or should I set the temperature higher to the highest setting?
Of course you will be able to control the heat and set it to your liking to whatever you feel comfortable, but it’s not completely necessary to set it on the highest setting to get the full benefits. The effectiveness comes from the far infrared wavelengths rather than the heat, so hotter doesn’t necessarily mean better – especially if it makes you uncomfortable.
What should I wear in an infrared sauna?
Infrared energy can penetrate through fabric and clothing but not very good. If you’re alone in the privacy of your home then nothing would be best. If you’re not comfortable with being naked or are obviously enjoying the sauna with friends then a swim suit or shorts would be perfect. A thin, light shirt or tank top can also be worn. As long as your clothing is loose, breathable and comfy then you’re good to go.
What are EMF’s? Why is low EMF important?
EMF stands for Electromagnetic Fields. EMF’s occur in nature and we also know the earth and even the human body has its own natural electromagnetic field as well. EMF’s come from the sun and within the earth which is entirely natural. What is NOT natural is EMF’s generated and given off from man-made things like electricity, lightbulbs, radio towers, cell phones wifi, etc. This is because these EMF’s are more concentrated to the point it’s damaging and unhealthy for us. It becomes obvious very quickly that low EMF is the healthiest option when shopping for a sauna for your home.
Who can benefit from far infrared saunas?
Although infrared saunas are still new compared to traditional steam saunas, research and studies show people with the following can benefit from sauna therapy:
- heart disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- chronic fatigue
- chronic pain
- high blood pressure
This is because far infrared saunas are significantly more comfortable and easier to use. Their gentle dry heat is great for a variety of health conditions.
What People Are Saying About Their Own Far Infrared Sauna
” We love it. Fast delivery. Easy assembly. Has helped with joint and muscle pain and I have also noticed I am sleeping better. ”
” It is wonderful to get into and relax listen to my music. What a way to start the day. Everyone should start their day in a Sauna. With my all my aches and pains this takes care of them first thing in the morning. WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! “
” I have been in many different types of saunas, this one is the best. Not all saunas make you sweat, especially not as quickly as this one. Temp feels great, speakers sound good and I love the chromatography. Worth the investment! “
” My wife has very bad arthritis and I thought this sauna could assist her with pain reduction and inflammation. The shipping and delivery were seamless, and it arrived several days earlier than originally scheduled. It was in three large boxes that my wife, son and I moved section by section to our desired location. The assembly was easy, but takes at least two people. I had already had the electric outlet set up so after assembly we were ready to use it. It heated up to 140 in around 30 minutes and will get up to 150 over a longer period of time. My wife and I love this purchase and we use it once or twice daily to warm up our old bones. I would recommend this sauna to anyone. Since we have been using this Sauna the pain from my wife’s arthritis has diminished (not disappeared). “
” Love it. For sure worth the purchase. TIP: Assemble the 4 support beams prior to standing on the base!!! Lol we almost broke it by standing on it without having screwed in the support wood. Pretty straightforward to assemble. 3-4 people needed. Not really a 2 person job. Heats up in 20 min. Low cost to run since it’s infrared. I think we calculated about .25c/hour to run. Not bad at all! Wonderful purchase. “
” I have had this sauna for several months. Fits 3 of my girlfriends uncomfortably but perfect solo or with my guy. Great quality. Not terribly difficult to put together. I use it often even after owning it several months. The novelty hasn’t worn off. “
” I don’t even know where to begin We feel amazing!! I sleep better, my skin feels great, definitely more relaxed.. the list goes on on! Super easy to put together. Just VERY heavy, especially, the glass door. Absolutely worth owning! We couldn’t be happier. “
” I did have to do some extras to prepare for it such as removal of carpet and installed laminate flooring (works well on carpet). I did have to install a 20 amp electrical outlet for about 250.00 for this model. Also, I spent 150 for a handyman with my assistance to get installed and it was not difficult at all we were finished after about 3 hrs. But here are some of the health benefits that have simply changed my life. 1. My skin is clearer, softer, and cellulite seem to be disappearing, 2. Sleeping much better 3. Energy is higher 4. Losing weight, 5. less pain in the knees because of arthritis, 6. Overall feeling much better and using about 30 minutes each day. I am loving this sauna, it is well worth every penny. One of the best investments and a lovely addition to my home. Your friends will marvel! “
” I have been using it for the last 5 days wanted to test it out before writing a review. It has been great for easing the pains in my joints and back,also has been great in relaxing all muscles which now has helped me sleep more. I normally woke up every couple of hrs due to pain in my back or hips now I am up to 5 hrs straight thru sleep and feel as I continue to use the sauna I will get to a full 8. This product is well worth the money. Pros: easy assembly,finish product very nice looking,soothes and relaxes, too many pros to list! Cons: none! “