Home » Blog » Infrared Sauna Options: A Comprehensive Guide for Wellness Seekers

Infrared Sauna Options: A Comprehensive Guide for Wellness Seekers


Infrared Sauna Options: A Comprehensive Guide for Wellness Seekers

Did you know that the first sauna was invented back in 2000 BC in northern Europe? It’s true. It seems that even 4,000 years ago, people understood the health benefits that these hot and dry rooms could provide. 

These earliest saunas were built in man-made caves, had a fire burning within, and mainly were sealed off with animal pelts to keep the hot air in. But perhaps most interesting, these saunas served multiple purposes—not just to help people relax in dry heat. 

These early sauna functioned as kitchens, washrooms, and hospital-like environments. And, of course, they served as a way to bring warmth. As time passed, these early saunas were also used for religious rituals. 

And as they are today, they were used to calm the mind and body.

So it should be no surprise that the worldwide sauna and spa market was valued at $3,909.89 million USD in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.79% throughout the forecast period, ultimately reaching $5,178.06 million USD by 2028.

The Rise of Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas were introduced back in the 1960s when Japanese researchers wanted to understand the health effects on the human body. The earliest infrared sauna was a simple wooden box with infrared heat lamps contained inside.

Since that time, sauna technology, especially the use of infrared, took off. Today’s infrared saunas have all the features you would expect in a sauna for your home or business. You’ll find models with modern digital controls, Bluetooth speakers, and chromotherapy lighting.

The global infrared sauna market is expected to grow considerably through 2030. And adoption of this approach to health and wellness is on the rise. 

Understanding Infrared Saunas 

There’s been a lot of conversation in recent years about the best type of saunas and whether or not infrared is better than the traditional sauna types. The truth is that both types have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. For wellness seekers, it’s often a personal choice as to which is better or preferred. 

Many people enjoy the effects of a traditional sauna and prefer the hot, humid air. However, others are turning to the modern infrared sauna because it provides a lower temperature and can be more comfortable—without compromising health and wellness benefits.

For reference, infrared saunas typically maintain temperatures ranging from 110 degrees Fahrenheit to 135°F (43.33 degrees Celsius to 57.22°C), while traditional saunas typically operate within the range of 150°F to 195°F (65.55°C to 90.55°C).

Here are the health benefits that you can anticipate if you choose to pursue an infrared sauna:

  • Improved cardiovascular well-being
  • Alleviation of muscle discomfort
  • Relaxation
  • Relief from discomfort and pain
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Ability to get a better night’s sleep
  • Detoxification 

Types of Infrared Saunas

As with traditional saunas, there are various types and styles when it comes to infrared saunas. Specifically, there are four variations.

Near-Infrared Saunas

Near-infrared saunas utilise the shortest wavelength within the infrared spectrum. This means they emit light waves with a wavelength slightly longer than visible light. These saunas generate radiant heat that penetrates deep into the skin, offering various therapeutic benefits such as:

  • Deep skin penetration
  • Collagen production
  • Cell regeneration
  • Energy production
  • Wound healing
  • Pain relief

Mid-Infrared Saunas

Mid-infrared saunas operate with an intermediate wavelength in the infrared spectrum. This wavelength, deeper than near-infrared, penetrates the body more impactfully, making it ideal for improved blood flow and circulation. 

It effectively targets inflamed or injured tissue, potentially aiding in rapid healing and pain reduction with regular use. Specific benefits include:

  • Improved blood flow and circulation
  • Increased metabolism to aid in weight loss

Far-Infrared Saunas

Far-infrared Saunas utilise the longest wavelengths, closely mimicking natural body heat. Approximately 20% of the heat warms the air in these saunas, while 80% directly heats your body through radiant heat. 

This deep skin penetration distinguishes them from traditional saunas. With lower temperatures and the air around you not being heated, far infrared saunas are often more comfortable and tolerable. The specific benefits of far-infrared saunas include: 

  • Deep tissue penetration
  • Detoxification
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle recovery
  • Stress relief

Full-Spectrum Infrared Saunas

Full-spectrum infrared saunas simultaneously blend near, mid, and far infrared wavelengths. While they share the benefits of far infrared heat, these saunas also provide advantages such as targeted pain relief, cellular support, skin rejuvenation, and enhanced wound healing, thanks to the combined wavelengths.

More specifically, benefits of full-spectrum infrared saunas include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Eased joint stiffness
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Reduction in overall body stress

Infrared Saunas: What Powers Your Sauna Experience?

It’s natural to wonder how infrared saunas work. After all, they’re quite different from those archaic saunas of yesteryear that leveraged fire and animal pelts to seal in the heat. 

These saunas are powered with more modern technology, including ceramic heaters, carbon heaters, and combined ceramic-carbon heaters.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heaters are the engine behind many infrared saunas. They’re tough, stick around for a long time, and put off some serious heat. Ceramic can soak up and shoot out infrared waves better than anything else, and that’s why these heaters are so popular for saunas. 

These heaters will last around two or three years. However, their longevity depends on how often you use your sauna and for how long. Further, these heaters need to reach about 150 degrees F to heat your sauna, which may limit the time you can sit inside.

Carbon Heaters

Carbon heaters are a popular option for heating infrared saunas and provide a unique advantage: lower health risks associated with extreme heat. Because of their longer wavelengths and lower temperatures, these heaters can warm up the sauna to an even temperature relatively quickly, thus reducing the risk of hotspots that can occur with traditional ceramic heaters. 

This even heat distribution allows the heat to penetrate deeper into the skin, improving the detoxification effects and enabling the body to produce more sweat, compared to the heat generated by ceramic heaters.

Ceramic-Carbon Combination Heaters 

The ceramic-carbon combination heater represents a unique third option, combining ceramic heating rods with carbon fibre infrared panels. These heaters are powered by electricity and produce infrared light energy through the synergy of ceramic rods and carbon fibre heating panels. 

As a result, they emit this infrared energy throughout the sauna, directly warming your body.

Choosing the Right Sauna Setting: Indoor vs. Outdoor 

Aside from selecting the best sauna and heating system, a critical decision for prospective sauna owners is where they will situate their sauna when they get it. There are advantages and disadvantages to selecting indoor vs. outdoor and vice versa. And it is largely a logistical and personal choice.

Here are some things to consider when deciding where your sauna will be located:

  • How much space do you have outdoors and within the interior of your home or intended location?
  • How often do you plan to use your sauna?
  • Do you enjoy an outdoor setting, or do you want a more intimate indoor experience?
  • How close are your nearest neighbours?
  • How much do you want to spend on installation (indoor saunas may require additional expense)?

This all said, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. Popular Sauna Float ACT models include the Clearlight Premiere Far Infrared Saunas and the Sanctuary Full Spectrum Saunas for those considering an indoor sauna

For those seeking that outdoor experience, we recommend the Clearlight Sanctuary Outdoor Series. To help you decide, check out the advantages and disadvantages of indoor and outdoor saunas.

Indoor Saunas

Here are the advantages of an indoor sauna setting:

  • Climate Control: Indoor infrared saunas provide comfort every month of the year, allowing you to enjoy sauna sessions regardless of outdoor weather conditions.
  • Privacy: When your sauna is inside your home, you don’t have to worry about strangers or onlookers trying to get a glimpse.
  • Convenience: There’s no need to venture outdoors or travel to a spa when it is located inside your home. This means no tracking water through the house from the back door, saving you time, effort, and some clean-up. Maintenance is easier, too, as you don’t have to battle the outdoor elements.
  • Design Integration: Integrate the sauna seamlessly into your home’s interior design, creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing space.
  • Utter Relaxation: The convenience of an indoor sauna makes it more accessible for frequent use. This means easier access to relax, detoxify, and improve your overall well-being.

Here are the disadvantages of an indoor sauna setting: 

  • Space Limitations: Indoor saunas require dedicated space and electricity, which may not be feasible for those with limited room or who prefer to use the area for other purposes.
  • Installation Challenges: Installing an indoor sauna often involves electrical work and proper ventilation, which can mean a costly and time-consuming installation.
  • Moisture Management: Indoor saunas produce heat and moisture, which can affect the surrounding environment and mean you need to take additional measures for moisture control.
  • Home Decor: Integrating a sauna into your interior design may be challenging, as it may not align with your home’s overall look and feel.
  • Ventilation Requirements: Adequate ventilation is crucial to maintain air quality and prevent the buildup of excess heat and humidity, which can be cumbersome to manage in an indoor setting.

Outdoor Saunas

Here are the advantages of an outdoor sauna setting:

  • Natural Setting: An outdoor infrared sauna allows you to connect with nature while enjoying the sauna experience, enhancing relaxation and overall well-being.
  • Fresh Air: Breathe in the refreshing outdoor air as you detoxify in the sauna, contributing to a rejuvenating and invigorating experience.
  • Scenic Views: Take advantage of the scenic surroundings, whether it’s your garden, woods, or a beautiful landscape, creating a tranquil and visually pleasing environment.
  • Portability: Outdoor saunas are often more portable, offering flexibility to relocate them within your property, ensuring you can enjoy different outdoor settings.
  • Privacy: Depending on the design of your property and your proximity to neighbours, enjoy the seclusion and privacy of the outdoors, allowing you to unwind without the presence of others and providing a unique escape from indoor living.

Here are the disadvantages of an outdoor sauna setting: 

  • Weather Dependency: Outdoor saunas are susceptible to weather conditions, making it challenging to use them during inclement weather, extreme cold, or heavy rain.
  • Maintenance: While accessing your outdoor sauna makes maintenance easier, the exposure to the elements may require more frequent maintenance, including wood treatment and weatherproofing, to ensure the sauna remains in good condition.
  • Pests and Wildlife: Outdoor saunas may attract pests and wildlife, potentially leading to issues with insects or animals seeking shelter or warmth.
  • Limited Seasonal Use: Depending on your location, outdoor saunas may have limited seasonal use, reducing availability during colder months.
  • Accessibility: Accessing an outdoor sauna, especially during unfavourable weather, can be inconvenient and require additional pathways or sheltered walkways.

Making the Right Choice: Which Sauna is Best For You?

Did you know that Finland boasts the highest sauna usage? It’s true! This is because Finlanders make it a part of their everyday life, from the busiest workdays to the most special and joyous occasions. 

Coincidentally, Finland is listed as one of the top ten healthiest countries as determined by the Global Health Security Index (GHSI). This tool assesses the ability of countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. 

The way we see it, the folks in Finland are on to something, and you could be, too. But how do you decide which sauna is best for you? Do you want to pursue infrared sauna options or a more traditional style? 

Ultimately, it’s a personal choice based on the health benefits you wish to attain, how often you plan to use it, and the type of heat that you enjoy. That said, we’ve put together a list of some things to consider to help you decide on the right option.

  • How will you use it?
  • How much space do you have available?
  • What is your budget?

For example, if relaxation is your goal, you might be best served with a far-infrared sauna. Yet, if pain management is your pursuit, consider either a near-infrared or mid-infrared sauna. 

Near-infrared saunas can relieve localised pain by deeply penetrating the skin and promoting healing in specific areas. Mid-infrared saunas, with their ability to improve blood flow and circulation, can also help alleviate pain in muscles and joints. 

If you are seeking detoxification benefits, we recommend a far-infrared sauna as these saunas emit longer wavelengths that can penetrate deep into the body, enabling increased sweating and detoxification.

Integrating Sauna Sessions Into Your Wellness Routine

With any major purchase, such as a sauna or spa, you want to ensure that you can recoup the dollars you invested. Further, you won’t experience the many health benefits if you don’t put it to good use.

Here are some tips to help you integrate sauna sessions into your health and wellness regimen.

  • Start by creating a wellness goal. Decide what it is you want to achieve. Are you looking to relax, detox, or lose weight? Knowing what you want to achieve can help you be more motivated to use your sauna.
  • Decide if you want to use it before or after you exercise. Sauna use offers advantages anytime, yet its post-workout benefits are noteworthy. After exercising, a sauna session can be especially beneficial when you’re slightly dehydrated. While a sauna can help loosen your muscles before a workout, it shouldn’t replace your standard warm-up routine.
  • Determine the best time of day for you to use your sauna. This is a personal choice; you should decide when it makes sense. Many people find using their sauna in the morning is advantageous because it not only relaxes them but provides them with a clear state of mind to help them face the day. Others prefer detoxification at the end of the day.
  • Take baby steps to increase your usage. Start by using your sauna two or three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes to help you acclimate (and to help your body tell you it wants more).
  • Slowly build up your time. Make it your goal to use your sauna three or four times weekly for 30 to 45 minutes per session. Of course, be sure to discuss appropriate sauna usage and time limits with your medical provider.


Deciding on the right kind of infrared sauna is a personal choice based on your current physical state and health and wellness goals. A great way to see how much you enjoy using a sauna is to visit a sauna wellness centre near you, such as Sauna Float ACT. 

Give it a try and see what you think. Our team is convinced you will love what you discover and will want to visit us again and again. And we look forward to seeing you. Contact us today.