Infrared Sauna vs. Traditional – The Differences

You may not know this, but the soothing heat of a sauna comes with many health benefits, including detoxification, stronger immune system, weight loss, and so on. Either you opt to install a sauna at home to use it whenever you want or to go to the local spa center, using a sauna is without any doubt a healthy habit for many people. Today we have access not only to traditional saunas but also to infrared ones which promise to be more efficient in so many ways. There are certain differences between traditional and infrared saunas and they will be further detailed for providing you an overview of their main characteristics.

Traditional Saunas

Traditional saunas come with a long history behind and people have used them not only for health reasons but also for social or cultural ones. The first sauna appeared in Finland and little by little, it extended in the entire world. In general, saunas use a heater and stones that create a hot environment, usually with temperatures ranging between 185-195°F. The traditional saunas fall into dry and wet saunas, this depending on the stones. The first type refers to saunas in which the stones are heated and radiate the heat into the room. Inside the sauna, there is a ventilation system that allows fresh air inside. Usually, there’s no water involved which means that these rooms make you sweat more, so they are ideal for detoxification and weight loss. The second type of saunas, also called wet saunas or steam rooms involve the use of water which is poured on the heated rocks, thus creating a burst of steam. In this way, the air humidity is increased, while the temperatures are lower. Some models use a steam generator that boils water which is released into the air. The wet saunas are great for all sorts of respiratory problems, like sinusitis and asthma, but also for skin hydration. In what concerns the methods of heating a traditional sauna, there are more options, including wood, gas, or electricity. The electric saunas are more popular and most models use this heat source as it’s more convenient.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use built-in infrared heaters and unlike traditional ones, they don’t get extremely hot, the maximum temperature they can reach being approximately 150°F. Due to the fact that they don’t use rocks or water, they are not actually considered saunas by the Finnish sauna organizations. So, instead of heating the air inside the room, they only heat the body and the objects within. In simple terms, infrared radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that has longer wavelengths that can’t be visible to the human eye. It is said that the infrared saunas, or better said, the infrared rooms can penetrate the body deeper, so you can enjoy more health benefits. Even though they operate at lower temperatures, they seem to do wonders when it comes to a wide range of disease like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, chronic diseases, etc. Also, they help you relieve stress and relax muscles, being ideal for all those who practice a sport. Additionally, the lower temperatures makes them a better choice for people who can’t tolerate high heat.

To better understand the differences between traditional and infrared saunas, take a look at the comparison chart below.

Traditional Saunas

Infrared Saunas

Reach temperatures up to 195°F Reach temperatures up to 150°F
Use dry or wet heat Use infrared heaters
Heat up in about 40-45 minutes Heat up in about 25-30 minutes
Deliver health benefits in a session of 30-45 minutes Deliver health benefits in a session of 10-15 minutes
More expensive and require more instalaltion time Lower price and can be installed in about an hour
Electric models use more electricity Energy-efficient
Bulky design Elegant, modern design
Recommended for warming the enitre body Recommended for targeting certain body areas

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