Infrared vs. Traditional Steam Sauna: Which is Best for Your Health?

infrared sauna vs. steam sauna

Infrared vs. traditional steam saunas is a debate that continues since there are many people who enjoy one or the other type of sauna for various personal reasons. There is no denying, however, the general health benefits from using either an infrared or steam sauna several times a week.

Some health clinics even use commercial saunas to assist in a monitored detoxification program for those who are extremely ill. Various research studies show that even diabetes, cardiovascular problems and hypertension responds positively to sauna use. So obviously, there are ample sauna health benefits, but for many people, a sauna is simply an enjoyable personal treat that makes them feel better!

Home Infrared or Traditional Steam Sauna?

The trend toward owning a personal home sauna is on the rise, since there are many companies that have developed smaller, lighter weight models specifically for home use. The smaller, pre-built models can be shipped to a home and set up quickly for immediate use. No more waiting for a unit to be built into a designated location in a house.

This option makes it even more important to know the differences between an infrared vs. traditional steam sauna before you choose one, since you can literally buy one on line and have it shipped to your home.

If you’re not particularly savvy about how to select the right sauna, here are some basics about infrared vs. traditional saunas that can help you make an informed choice for your particular needs.

About Infrared Saunas

infrared sauna New home infrared saunas are designed with the latest upgraded technology built into the heating units that offer a more comfortable experience in stimulating perspiration.

Infrared rays emit constant, even heat from ceramic sauna heaters throughout the interior of the unit. Infrared heaters produce rays much the same way that natural sunlight does and provides a much more natural heating effect.

Unlike natural sun rays, however, there is no dangerous solar radiation emitted, so users only receive the best of infrared rays. Since a ceramic sauna heater like this produces more controlled heat, there are no sudden bursts of hot steam or heat, as is common with traditional steam saunas. Circulation, damaged body tissue and cells all benefit from infrared rays that travel 2″ to 3″ deep into the body which creates a healthy, deep heating effect without discomfort.

About Traditional Saunas

steam suanaTraditional sauna units have been around a long time and are still quite popular among many users who enjoy a more aggressive type of stimulus for perspiration.

Many of these saunas can be used either dry or with steam, when users pour water over hot rocks that are provided in some traditional sauna heaters.

Conventional units continue to receive updated technology and new features because many people love them and still don’t prefer the milder infrared saunas. Traditional sauna units also cause more profuse perspiration than do infrared saunas and many users still like the original technology best. Many fitness gyms and other public places that offer saunas still use the older steam saunas.

Common Features

Both types of sauna units cost about the same to operate, with only pennies difference. Some units, both infrared and traditional, also require a dedicated breaker to supply power, although many portable saunas only require an existing wall socket. However, keep in mind this rule of thumb: Saunas that can be plugged into wall sockets are regulated differently than those that require dedicated breakers, and as a result, do not provide the same even, output as do well built saunas that require breakers.

For the best sauna experience, it’s always best to select a unit that requires a breaker, unless you really don’t care about high, consistent heat output in your unit. In that case, wall plugged saunas are quite effective and may be exactly what you need.

Doctor Recommended

There are other issues to consider when deciding which type of home sauna will work for you, such as price, warranty, size, portability, installation and delivery. Be sure to compare the best infrared home saunas vs. traditional saunas very carefully, as this can be an important investment in your health and enjoyment for years to come. Remember, however, that most doctors recommend the use of infrared saunas for personal health, safety and enjoyment at home.


Dr. Whitaker: Health Benefits of a Sauna

Natural Health Magazine

Everyday Health

What Do You Think? Don't forget to log in to Facebook to comment. :)