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We’re constantly told about the benefits of the best home saunas for muscle recovery, heart health, and pain relief from sore muscles, but let’s face it; if you’re not a fan of the heat, traditional dry saunas aren’t the most comfortable means of recovery on the market, reaching temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit—sometimes a bit more.

If you’re not interested in that level of heat, infrared saunas might be a great alternative, providing a lot of the same health benefits, but at lower temperatures, ranging between 120 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Considering an infrared sauna? You’re in luck; our team of expert product testers—certified personal trainers, lifting coaches, and lifelong athletes—have tested and compiled our picks for the best infrared saunas on the market, providing a variety of sizes and types of infrared saunas, from indoor and outdoor saunas to sauna blankets and tents. In compiling our list, we observed and tested these saunas on factors such as:

  • Delivery and setup
  • Cost
  • Construction
  • Performance
  • Footprint or portability
  • Extra features and amenities

Read on to see which infrared sauna can help you recover better and help you achieve your fitness goals.

The 7 Best Infrared Saunas 

Best Overall Infrared Sauna: Sun Home Equinox 2-Person Full-Spectrum Infrared Sauna

Good for: Those wanting a high-quality sauna with full-spectrum infrared heating 

Best Overall

Sun Home Saunas Equinox 2-Person Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Full-spectrum infrared sauna
  • 500W infrared heaters
  • Kiln dried eucalyptus wood
  • Requires 120v outlet
  • Includes medical-grade chromotherapy LED lights
  • Includes Bluetooth surround sound

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No power tools required for assembly
  • Full-spectrum infrared
  • Kiln dried eucalyptus wood
  • Only requires 120v outlet
  • Limited lifetime warranty (7 years) on cabinetry and heaters

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 2-person capacity might be a tight fit
  • Heavy

Bottom Line

The Sun Home Equinox Sauna is a full-spectrum infrared sauna, providing near, mid, and far infrared rays during a sauna session. With a controlled temperature adjustment, the sauna also features medical-grade chromotherapy LED lights and Bluetooth or auxiliary enabled surround sound.

The Equinox from Sun Home Saunas delivers on two principles; first, it uses quality shielding to keep potentially dangerous ELF/EMF levels (extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields) low. It’s important to note that the radiating energy from infrared saunas doesn’t pose any real danger so long as the at-home sauna is used as recommended, with limited exposure of around 15 minutes at a time.

RELATED: Infrared Sauna Dangers

Secondly, the Sun Home Equinox uses full-spectrum infrared heating. Most infrared saunas utilize only far infrared waves, which produce mostly heat. Full-spectrum infrared also incorporates near- and mid-infrared waves. A recent study1 shows that a full-spectrum infrared sauna session after training helped reduce perceived muscle soreness of athletes.

RELATED: Benefits of Sauna After Workouts

While we haven’t used the Sun Home Equinox specifically, our GGR testers have tested Sun Home Saunas, and we’ve noticed their products are high-quality and well made, receiving a 4.5 out of 5 in durability and construction. Sun Home Saunas claims that their saunas are the only infrared saunas in the world to reach a maximum temperature of 165 degrees. 

Close-up of the heating panels in one of the best infrared saunas from Sun Home

The two-person sauna is built with kiln-dried eucalyptus wood and features a Bluetooth-connected surround sound system, as well as medical-grade chromotherapy LED lighting. It’s one of the more expensive infrared saunas on the market, priced around $6,399, but Sun Home does provide a nice limited lifetime warranty on the sauna (three years on controls).

Exterior dimensions50.9” W x 45.9” D x 77.7” H
Weight520 lbs
Number of people2
Material or woodEco-certified kiln-dried eucalyptus
FeaturesFull-spectrum infrared heaters, Bluetooth surround sound system, medical-grade chromotherapy LED lights
WarrantyLimited lifetime warranty on cabinetry and heaters, 3 years on controls

Best Infrared Sauna for Home: Sunlighten Amplify II

Good for: Homeowners who want a quality indoor sauna with far infrared rays

Best for Home

Sunlighten Amplify II Infrared Sauna

Product Highlights

  • Infrared sauna
  • Durable eucalyptus or aesthetic hypoallergenic exterior
  • Plugs into standard 120V outlets
  • Built-in sound system

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Two wood choices
  • Built-in stereo
  • Uses 120V outlets
  • Full spectrum, infrared heating

Cons

  • Must call to get pricing

Bottom Line

The Sunlighten Amplify II is a full-spectrum infrared sauna with a built-in sound system and color therapy features

For the best infrared sauna for home use, our pick is the Sunlighten Amplify II Infrared Sauna. Available as a two-person sauna, the Sunlighten Amplify II will be able to fit as large—or small—of a space as you have in your house. 

While we haven’t tested out the Sunlighten Amplify II sauna, it has some nice features and customizations we approve of. You can choose between eucalyptus or basswood for the wood construction. Each wood has positives and negatives, but eucalyptus is a heavier, more durable wood, while basswood is hypoallergenic.

As with most indoor infrared saunas, the Sunlighten Amplify II sauna requires only 120-volt outlets, which is the standard power voltage of houses. Outdoor and traditional saunas can often require 240 volts, which will have an added cost of electrical installations.

RELATED: How Long Should You Stay In a Sauna?

The sauna has six heaters, two of which are full spectrum high intensity heaters, which will help heat the body and safely raise your heart rate. The sauna is able to reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit fairly quickly so you can get your sweat on in no time. In addition, the Sunlighten Amplify II sauna also includes chromotherapy lighting, a built-in sound system, and a removable bench so you can make room for doing push-ups or crunches while you detox.

You will want to carefully consider the amount of space you have available before buying this sauna. You need to have eight-inches between the sauna and wall and twelve-inches above the sauna for safe use.

For exact pricing of the Sunlighten Amplify II sauna, you’ll have to request a quote. For a two-person sauna, you can make a safe bet that it’ll cost a few thousand dollars, which might be out of some people’s budget. Still, with its many features and amenities, this can be a great add to just about any home.

Exterior dimensions50.9” W x 45.9” D x 77.7” H
Weight456 – 541 lbs depending on wood choice
Number of people2
Material or woodDurable eucalyptus or hypoallergenic basswood
FeaturesChromotherapy lighting, built-in sound system, removable bench
Warranty7 years on cabinetry and heaters, 3 years on controls; 1 year on stereo 

Best Infrared Sauna Blanket: HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket

Good for: People wanting infrared heat therapy who don’t have the space for an indoor sauna

Best Blanket

HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Portable sauna blanket
  • Sleeping bag-style design
  • Powered with far infrared rays
  • Additional blanket inserts available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Promotes circulation
  • May aid muscle recovery
  • Portable design

Cons

  • Takes 10 minutes to preheat
  • Costs extra for blanket inserts
  • Designed for one person at a time

Bottom Line

The HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket offers a portable and affordable alternative to installing a sauna in your home. The sauna blanket uses far infrared technology to provide heat stimulation to your entire body while you’re inside the sauna blanket.

At-home saunas can take up quite a bit of space, so sauna blankets are a nice alternative when you need a portable or smaller option. As a weightlifter, I have experience with these since Team USA usually travels with sauna blankets for athletes making weight cuts or wanting to help with their recovery. Our pick for the best infrared sauna blanket is the HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket.

RELATED: Does the Sauna Burn Calories?

GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele tried out the HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket and rates its performance a 5 out of 5. She explains, “It’s super easy to use. It comes with a dial that lets you control the temperature, and it heats up in less than 10 minutes. Each session is 30 to 45 minutes long.” 

The heating elements of the sauna blanket are surrounded by charcoal, clay, and magnetic layers, which are entirely encased in a non-toxic vegan leather coating. The sauna blanket is $699, which is far less expensive than a typical infrared sauna—although it’s a pricier sauna blanket.

Woman using the Higher Dose Infrared Sauna Blanket

Additionally, you can purchase inserts for the blanket, which will help catch sweat within the blanket while in use. “I would highly recommend buying extra inserts,” Lindsay says. “It seems like a better option to help keep things clean. I also used a towel as recommended, and the clean-up was much easier.”

This is probably the largest issue with the sauna blanket. Because it can’t be washed, the sweat could cause some premature breaking down of the vegan leather. Because of this worry, Lindsay rates the durability and construction a 3.5 out of 5. Still, the inserts and proper care should help prolong the life of the blanket.

Exterior dimensions71” L x 71” W
WeightNot disclosed
Number of people1
Material or woodNon-toxic vegan leather coating
FeaturesTemperature controller, timer
Warranty1-year limited

Best Budget Infrared Sauna: Smartmak Far Infrared Sauna

Good for: Anyone looking for a budget-friendly option for infrared heat therapy

Best Budget

Smartmak Far Infrared Sauna

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Portable and personal full-body infrared sauna tent
  • Comes in large and extra-large sizes
  • Requires 110v outlet
  • Washable
  • Timer and temperature control

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Washable and foldable when not in use
  • Temperature control and timer
  • 110v outlet
  • Lifetime warranty for consumer/home use

Cons

  • Might be small for larger people and athletes
  • Can only sit in the sauna tent

Bottom Line

The Smartmak Far Infrared Sauna is an inexpensive and portable solution for an infrared sauna. Being compact, this sauna can be folded when not in use. Available in two sizes, this portable seated sauna tent may still be a tight fit for larger athletes.

For those who want the recovery benefits of infrared wavelengths, but don’t have the budget for a fully fledged infrared sauna, there’s the Smartmak Far Infrared Sauna. This sauna tent is a compact, portable one-person sauna that one can sit in, and is available on Amazon for under $200, which is an extremely low home sauna cost.

Unlike many of the saunas we’ve discussed so far, the Smartmak sauna is constructed with a cotton fabric exterior, with a waterproof fabric on the inside of the sauna tent. Within the compact space are three carbon fiber heating elements, as well as a heating foot pad. The user remains seated in the tent with an included foldable chair.

RELATED: Sauna for Weight Loss: Can It Help?

GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele gives the sauna a 4 out of 5 on performance, as it took another 20 minutes to warm up to its max temperature. Once the sauna reached its peak temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it performed well. “This held my set temperature the entire time,” Lindsay says, adding, “Even when I had my arms out of the sauna, using the arm pockets, the temperature didn’t drop.”

Woman in the Smartmak Far Infrared Sauna Tent

While this sauna is made to be very compact and portable, the size of the sauna may be a bit small for larger people—especially the folding chair. Lindsay explains, “The chair was comfortable for me—more comfortable than some wooden sauna seats. However, I am 5 feet and 4 inches tall and around 130 pounds. I could see someone bigger than me feeling uncomfortable in the chair. It’s like a cheap, small lawn chair.”

Another complaint Lindsay had was the sauna’s lack of aesthetic appeal. She says, “This feels so silly to sit in, with your head and arms popping out of the sauna tent. I’d laugh so hard if I walked into someone’s home gym and saw them relaxing in this thing next to their squat rack.” Thankfully, the sauna can be folded and put away while not in use. Plus, the fabric covering of the sauna tent is machine washable, making clean-up a breeze.

Exterior dimensions31.5″L x 27.6″W x 37.8″H
Weight20.6 lbs
Number of people1
Material or woodCotton
FeaturesFoldable chair, remote control, timer, heating foot pad
WarrantyLifetime for consumer or home use

Best Portable Infrared Sauna: Sunlighten Solo

Good for: Anyone needing a portable sauna that will travel or stow in between uses

Best Portable

Sunlighten Solo Portable Infrared Sauna

GGR Score: 3.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Infrared sauna
  • Zone-based heating
  • Sliding double-dome system
  • Lightweight design, easy to store

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Designed for small spaces and movability
  • 5 zone-based digital heaters
  • 4 color-changing modes
  • Infrared heater
  • Increases core body temperature

Cons

  • Pricing isn't easily to find on website
  • Size may not be a suitable for all users

Bottom Line

The Sunlighten Solo Portable Infrared Sauna is designed for movability and compact storage. It has multiple zone-based digital heaters and built-in chromotherapy features.

If you need a sauna that can travel, or that needs to be put away in between sessions, our pick for the best portable infrared sauna is the Sunlighten Solo System Portable Far Infrared Sauna. 

This sauna is pretty easy to set up and is super light. It’s basically just a matter of unfolding the pieces and laying them out in your chosen location. It’s designed to be easily moved and small enough to be stored in the corner of your garage gym or living room. 

sunlighten solo sauna

As far as temperature goes, certified personal trainer expert product tester Lindsay Scheele says it takes up to 30 minutes to reach the maximum temperature of 150 degrees. “This holds heat fairly well, but there are several places where the heat can spill out,” she says. “The main two places are where the tubes overlap, and the top of the tub where your head’s at.” While there are a few places heat can escape, Lindsay adds that as long as you use the covering that comes with the product you shouldn’t have too much heat spill out. 

Scheele also says it only takes about five minutes to set up and requires no professional knowledge. GGR gives it a 5 out of 5 for assembly. 

The product consists of a portable nesting dome design that goes over your body while you lay on the SoloPad and a pillow. The dome has five SoloCarbon heaters inside and the SoloPad has four SoloCarbon heaters. This is important because red light provides a variety of health benefits but you need to experience the light at all the different wavelengths to get all of the benefits, such as . Having multiple heaters helps increase your chances of experiencing all wavelengths at one time since they all require different temperatures.

sunlighten solo sauna

You can set this sauna up anywhere that gives you access to a power source and enough space to lay out the pad, which is just a few inches under six feet long and a bit over four feet wide. “Once out of the box, it is a little awkward to move around,” he says. He mentioned that the various pieces mean multiple cords which can make moving it a bit of a struggle. 

RELATED: Infrared Sauna Benefits

Since you may spend up to 20 minutes in this sauna, comfort is pretty important. Luckily, the SoloPad portion of this portable infrared sauna is made of memory foam so it’s pretty comfy. 

“The floor pad is pretty comfortable honestly, I enjoyed using this for the two sessions that I did. This is a two-inch squishy pad that provided a good place to lay on the floor in the warehouse,” Lindsay says. 

That being said, if you are a larger or taller-bodied person you may find this solo sauna to be a tight squeeze. Because of the size limitations, we rate this portable infrared sauna a 3 out of 5 for comfort. 

While this infrared solo sauna is portable and can be taken with you when you travel, you probably want to limit it to trips that are within driving distance because getting it on a plane may be a bit tricky. Both the pad and dome are bulky and the dome alone weighs 46 pounds, so fitting it in your luggage might be challenging. However, for a portable and inexpensive option, the Sunlighten Solo is a solid choice.

Exterior dimensionsDome: 69” x 28” x 18”, SoloPad: 69” x 23.6” x 4”
WeightDome: 46 lbs, SoloPad: 13 lbs
Number of people1
Material or woodBamboo carbon on dome, pad and pillow. Celliant/cotton on pad cover, and curtain.
FeaturesPortable pad and dome, remote control with color changing mode,  pillow. Additional accessories available for purchase.
Warranty7 years on heaters; 3 years on Solo and SoloPad® controllers; 1 year on heater fabric and SoloPad memory foam.

Best Outdoor Infrared Sauna: Sun Home Luminar Outdoor 5-Person Sauna

Good for: People wanting a spacious, high-end outdoor infrared sauna

Best Outdoor

Sun Home Luminar Outdoor 5-Person Infrared Sauna

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Outdoor full-spectrum infrared sauna
  • Only need a screwdriver and included Allen wrench for assembly
  • Grade-A carbonized all-season wood exterior to prevent warping and cracking
  • Cedar interior
  • Panoramic glass windows for view of outside
  • Requires 240V outlet

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Minimal tools for assembly
  • Outdoor infrared sauna
  • Full-spectrum infrared
  • Grade-A carbonized wood

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • More of a 4-person sauna
  • Requires 240V outlet

Bottom Line

The Sun Home Luminar Outdoor Infrared Sauna has a sleek aesthetic to its design, while also being functional. One of the only infrared saunas that are able to be set up outdoors, this sauna has an exterior built from Grade-A carbonized wood to prevent warping, cracking, and shrinkage of the exterior. This sauna is a full-spectrum infrared sauna, providing near, mid, and far infrared heat in the sauna.

Outdoor saunas are an appealing option, as the sleek design of many saunas stands out in an outdoor setting. When it comes to infrared saunas, though, there aren’t many outdoor options, mostly due to the infrared heating elements being fragile and not being able to survive the elements of the outdoors.

RELATED: SweatTent Outdoor Sauna Review

This isn’t the case with the Sun Home Luminar Outdoor Sauna. Available in a two- or five-person sauna, the Luminar’s carbon heaters are made to last, backed by a substantial six-year warranty. Additionally, the sauna uses carbonized red cedar wood, also known as charred wood, which adds to the stability and durability of the sauna, as well as resistance to decay and insects—perfect for the outdoors. The sauna earns a 4.5 out of 5 for its construction.

Infrared sauna dangers

Additionally, the Sun Home Luminar performs exceptionally well, earning a 5 out of 5. GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele says, “This heats up in less than 10 minutes, which is wild for its size; when you turn on the sauna, you can feel the heat within seconds.” The spacious five-person sauna boasts 15 total infrared heaters—five far infrared heaters and 10 full-spectrum heaters (far, mid, and near infrared)—and reaches a top temperature of 160 degrees.

At just over $9,000, it’s not cheap by any means, but the Luminar’s biggest feature is its exterior capabilities, although it also boasts Bluetooth connectivity and chromotherapy lighting, too. With that said, the assembly can be time-consuming, as Lindsay rates it a 3 out of 5. It wasn’t the most difficult assembly we had, but the bulk of the sauna will require a team of people.

“The panels come pre-assembled, which is nice, but each panel at this size weighs a lot, so you’ll need multiple people,” Lindsay says. “We had two people holding a wall on one side while two other people held a wall on the back of the sauna. Then a fifth person screwed those two walls together.” Fortunately, the five-person sauna will fit all the people who help you build out this sauna at least.

You can check out our Sun Home Sauna review for a more in-depth look at the Sun Home Luminar sauna line.

Exterior dimensions82” W x 51.5” D x 82.5” H
Weight1,270 lbs
Number of people5
Material or woodCarbonized red cedar wood
FeaturesFull-spectrum infrared heating, mobile app-enabled control system, Bluetooth surround sound system, medical-grade chromotherapy LED lighting
Warranty6-year limited on carbon heaters, 1 year on all other components

Best Low-EMF Infrared Sauna: Dynamic Andora 2-Person Infrared Sauna

Good for: Those wanting to minimize harmful EMF frequencies in their infrared therapy

Best Low-EMF

Dynamic Sauna Dynamic Andora Infrared Sauna

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 2 person in home sauna
  • Low EMF FAR infrared carbon heating system
  • Includes Chromotherapy lighting system
  • Increases blood circulation
  • May help soothe sore muscles

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • LED display and control panel
  • Features reforested hemlock wood
  • Includes MP3 auxiliary connection and two speakers
  • Customers reviewed the sauna positively
  • In home use

Cons

  • Recommended consult a certified electrician before use
  • Dedicated circuit recommended (110V/15 AMP)
  • Difficult installation process according to reviews
  • Vague warranty information
  • Customers note poor customer service

Bottom Line

The Dynamic Andora in home sauna fits two people and reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The sauna also features MP3 auxiliary connection with two speakers and Chromotherapy lighting system which uses colored light and their vibrations to help improve physical health. The sauna has a large number of positive reviews but many customers had difficulty reaching customer service when issues arose.

Infrared heat can produce some levels of EMF, or electromagnetic fields, which could be harmful at higher frequencies2. To keep frequencies this low, some infrared saunas will use shields to minimize EMF output. For those worried about EMF frequencies, there’s our pick of the best low-EMF infrared sauna from Dynamic Saunas: the Andora 2-Person Infrared Sauna. This sauna is made with six dynamic low-EMF infrared carbon heating panels that provide even far infrared heating to a maximum temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

RELATED: How to Use a Sauna

The sauna performed well in our testing, with GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele saying, “This took 39 minutes to heat up to the full 140 degrees, which is within the time frame the website gives. We even shot pictures in it for the first 10 minutes while it was heating up; the door was open and shut several times during the photo shoot, and it still managed to heat up pretty well.” She rates the performance a 5 out of 5.

Woman sitting in the Dynamic Andora INfrared Sauna

A pleasant surprise is that the assembly of this sauna is fairly simple. Due to its size, you’ll need two people, but GGR operations manager Sam Presley says the assembly process is pretty straightforward. “The wall and floor panels slide in together, so you’ll just need one person holding up walls while another slides the panels in place. Compared to many saunas we’ve built out, this one was fairly easy to put together, and the instructions were written well.” He gives the setup a 4 out of 5.

Although it claims to be a two-person sauna, the bench width is only 43 inches, which might be narrow for two larger people. “Unless you are really comfortable with the person next to you, I don’t think this is a good amount of space for two people,” Lindsay says. The bench height is also only 18 inches tall, which may be a little short for taller people, as well.

Exterior dimensions48” W x 42″ D x 75” H
Weight330 lbs
Number of people2
Material or woodNatural reforested Canadian hemlock wood
FeaturesSoft-touch control panel, LED display, MP3 auxiliary connection
WarrantyNot disclosed

Other Infrared Saunas We Researched

We looked at a lot of saunas, both infrared and traditional, when testing out this muscle recovery tool. Here are a few honorable mentions that didn’t make our top picks.

How We Picked and Tested

In making our list of the best infrared saunas, we looked at aspects of each of the top brands and products on the market. In testing them, our team of experts looked at certain aspects, giving them scores on the following criteria:

  • Delivery and setup: Saunas can be large and difficult to put together, so this is a very important aspect of a customer’s experience. Some saunas just require sliding panels together, while others might require putting lots of pieces together and some power tools.
  • Construction: You want a sauna to feel sturdy since you’ll be leaning on its wood pieces for extended periods of time. Certain woods also provide better protection for the extremes of weather for outdoor saunas, as well.
  • Footprint: The size of the infrared sauna needs to make sense for your own home. Since most infrared saunas are designed for indoors, you need to make sure these saunas can actually fit at home.
  • Performance: Each sauna will perform somewhat differently, but the heating panels of an infrared sauna provide infrared heat, which will get the temperature up quicker than traditional saunas, although it won’t go as warm.
  • Features and amenities: Not every sauna has the same features, but common sauna features are Bluetooth connectivity for a sound system, temperature controls through a panel or remote, and chromotherapy lighting.
  • Value: Saunas are already pricey, so the cost of a sauna needs to make sense for its size and features.

We also looked at company policies, such as warranties and returns, as well as how well customer service performed. After looking at each of these aspects, we narrowed our selection even further, and selected the best saunas to cover a broad range of needs—our best infrared saunas.

Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Before we get into the possible health benefits of an infrared sauna, let’s talk about the practical convenience of infrared home saunas. Traditional dry and steam saunas work by warming up the air through heat and humidity, which over time can lead to water damage or mold if not properly kept clean.

RELATED: Proper Sauna Etiquette

Infrared saunas use infrared bulbs and heaters, which will keep your sauna actually dry, so you won’t have to worry about moisture in the air. Infrared saunas will also warm up quicker than traditional dry saunas.

While there are fewer studies on the health benefits of infrared saunas specifically, there are quite a few benefits of general sauna use.

Increases Blood Flow and Muscle Recovery

woman closing door to the Dynamic Andora Sauna

Typical of use in all dry saunas, the increased temperature of a sauna is able to help increase blood flow and circulation. Specifically, a 2018 review3 points out that hot, dry sauna usage increases body temperature. This in turn makes blood flow around the skin more efficiently, although it decreases blood flow to internal organs.

RELATED: Wet Sauna vs Dry Sauna

The increased blood flow can help people recover from exercise faster. A small study from 20154 showed that infrared saunas penetrate heat into the body deeper than traditional saunas typically do—about 3 to 4 centimeters deep—and was found to be helpful in reducing soreness and recovering muscles after resistance training.

May Improve Heart Health

Infrared therapy has been shown to have the potential to improve heart health over repeated use, although research is still pretty new and more is needed. A study from 2009 from the Journal of Cardiology5 observed 129 patients suffering from chronic heart failure, who were exposed to infrared sauna therapy for weekly 15-minute sessions. A control group was also observed; after 5 years, the infrared therapy group had an 84% survival rate, significantly higher than the control group.

Another small study from 20086 showed that infrared sauna use can potentially help reduce blood pressure, as well as increase exercise tolerance in patients with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this study, patients were given 15-minute sauna sessions daily.

Helps Sweat Out Toxins

woman lying in the Sun Home Infrared sauna

While not a unique feature of infrared light therapy or saunas, detoxification is often a buzzword around infrared saunas. In essence, infrared saunas can help you detox, but in the same way that any raised temperature would help you detox: by sweating. Sweating is one of the ways7 that your body can expel harmful toxins like heavy metals—aluminum, cadmium, and lead, amongst others.

RELATED: Are Saunas Good for Your Skin?

What to Look for in Infrared Saunas

There are quite a few things to consider when buying an infrared sauna. Since saunas in general can be pricey investments, make sure to do your research on the best saunas before making your final purchase.

Size

sun-home-sauna-luminar-sauna-in-warehouse

How much room you have for an infrared sauna is going to be a big factor in the options you have available. Make sure to look at each sauna’s exterior dimensions to determine if its footprint will fit in the space you’ve set aside for it. There are portable and compact options too, such as infrared tents and blankets. You can also consider indoor or outdoor saunas, although infrared saunas are more often made for indoors.

The interior space of a sauna will be just as important, too. Many infrared saunas can hold one or two people, but if you’re wanting to seat more at once, you may consider a larger sauna. It’s also important to consider that the maximum capacity of a sauna may be a tight fit. For example, if a sauna says it seats three people, it probably seats two comfortably, but for three people, you’ll be pretty crammed inside.

Cost

The budget will be a big factor as infrared saunas can range from a couple hundred dollars for portable sauna tents, to over $7,000 for large five-person sauna rooms. Your budget available will determine the overall size of the sauna you can buy. Fortunately, lots of infrared saunas have financing options available, so you’ll rarely need to drop thousands of dollars all at once on a sauna.

Also, the value needs to make sense for the infrared sauna you’re considering. If a sauna is particularly pricey, there should be a reason behind it. It could be larger, made with finer materials, or have a lot of extra features to it. Find the sauna with the most value to you, with a budget you’re able to afford.

Performance

Infrared saunas can vary a bit by their peak temperature, but most should top out between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the infrared heaters start producing infrared rays immediately, infrared saunas can warm up fairly quickly, reaching their top temperature within 20 to 30 minutes, getting you through the sauna experience quicker.

RELATED: Dry Sauna Benefits

Features and Amenities 

Setting the control panel in the Dynamic Saunas Andora INfrared Sauna

Infrared saunas can have quite a few additional features and amenities, depending on the product. Common additional features include a temperature control panel (along with remote control through a WiFi connection), Bluetooth or auxiliary sound support, and even LED lighting.

Sometimes, the LED lighting can be adjusted through different colors, which is associated with chromotherapy lighting—an alternative medical treatment that supposedly can help alter the moods of patients. It has also often been regarded as pseudoscience. However, as scientists have developed more of an understanding of electromagnetic fields and radiation, there has been more research done8 on this unique treatment.

Best Infrared Sauna: FAQs

Are infrared saunas just as good as traditional saunas?

Infrared saunas have many of the same health benefits as dry, traditional saunas, so they can be very beneficial when used. However, because infrared saunas are a more recent product, there isn’t as much research to support its benefits.

RELATED: Infrared Sauna Benefits

Another thing to consider is that a dry sauna’s increased temperature (between 176 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit) can provide more benefits than the lower temperature of infrared saunas (topping out at around 160 degrees). One study9 even suggests
that heat stress and exercise can help increase healthy brain proteins able to help with anxiety and depression10 or even memory function.

Do infrared saunas just plug in?

Infrared saunas tend to have an easier assembly process than traditional saunas, and one major reason for that is that most infrared saunas only require a 110- or 120-volt power supply, which is the normal voltage inside most American homes. So yes, most infrared saunas can just plug into your wall once fully assembled. 

Many traditional saunas will require 220- or 240-volt outlets, which most houses don’t normally have, and it’ll mean extra costs for electrical installations.

What brand is the best infrared sauna?

The best brand of infrared sauna will depend on what you’re looking for in an infrared sauna. You’ll need to consider things such as the sauna’s footprint, performance, and its overall price and value. As a starting point, here are our picks for the best infrared saunas:

Best Overall: Sun Home Equinox 2-Person Full-Spectrum Infrared Sauna
– Best for Home: Sunlighten Amplify II Infrared Sauna
Best Infrared Sauna Blanket: HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket
Best Budget: Smartmak Far Infrared Sauna
Best Portable: Sunlighten Solo
Best Outdoor: Sun Home Luminar Outdoor 5-Person Sauna
Best Low-EMF: Dynamic Andora 2-Person Infrared Sauna

References

  1. Ahokas EK, Ihalainen JK, Hanstock HG, Savolainen E, Kyröläinen H. A post-exercise infrared sauna session improves recovery of neuromuscular performance and muscle soreness after resistance exercise training. Biol Sport. 2023 Jul;40(3):681-689. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2023.119289. Epub 2022 Sep 15. PMID: 37398966; PMCID: PMC10286597.
  2. Miah T, Kamat D. Current Understanding of the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields. Pediatr Ann. 2017 Apr 1;46(4):e172-e174. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20170316-01. PMID: 28414399.
  3. Jari A. Laukkanen, MD, PhD; Tanjaniina Laukkanen, MSc; and Setor K. Kunutsor, MD, PhD. Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. August 2018.
  4. Mero A, Tornberg J, Mäntykoski M, Puurtinen R. Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men. Springerplus. 2015;4:321. Published 2015 Jul 7. doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1093-5.
  5. Kihara T, Miyata M, Fukudome T, et al. Waon therapy improves the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure. J Cardiol. 2009;53(2):214-218. doi:10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.11.005.
  6. Umehara M, Yamaguchi A, Itakura S, et al. Repeated waon therapy improves pulmonary hypertension during exercise in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Cardiol. 2008;51(2):106-113. doi:10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.01.004.
  7. Genuis SJ, Birkholz D, Rodushkin I, Beesoon S. Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011 Aug;61(2):344-57. doi: 10.1007/s00244-010-9611-5. Epub 2010 Nov 6. PMID: 21057782.
  8. Azeemi ST, Raza SM. A critical analysis of chromotherapy and its scientific evolution. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Dec;2(4):481-8. doi: 10.1093/ecam/neh137. PMID: 16322805; PMCID: PMC1297510.
  9. Hiroshi Ohko, Yasunori Umemoto, Yuta Sakurai, Shouhei Araki, Daisuke Kojima, Yoshiichiro Kamijo, Kota Murai, Yoshinori Yasuoka, Fumihiro Tajima. (2021) The effects of endurance exercise combined with high-temperature head-out water immersion on serum concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy young men. International Journal of Hyperthermia 38:1, pages 1077-1085.
  10. Maniam, Jayanthi, Morris, Margaret J. Voluntary exercise and palatable high-fat diet both improve behavioural profile and stress responses in male rats exposed to early life stress: Role of hippocampus. Psychoneuroendocrinology Volume 35, Issue 10 1553-1564 (2010). ISSN 0306-4530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.05.012.

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