An infrared sauna is a fun and useful addition to your home that may have health benefits, too, but they can be expensive. Choosing the right one for your home is easier, however, when you take the right things into account.
While traditional saunas use hot air or steam, infrared saunas — sometimes called FIR saunas or far infra-red saunas — use radiant heat from infrared emitters that is directly absorbed into the body in the same way sunlight is absorbed. Some health experts believe there is a health benefit to using infrared saunas that differs from those associated with traditional saunas.
The perceived positive benefits of sweating to cleanse pores and remove impurities from the body are of primary importance with traditional saunas, but some health experts believe infrared heat makes a positive difference on rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions and can help you lose weight, among other benefits There is very little research on this topic, however, so no conclusions can yet be drawn.
It is also important not to confuse potentially helpful FIR heat with ultraviolet radiation, the harmful radiation that comes from the sun. They are different things, and FIR saunas don’t produce ultraviolet radiation.
Infrared saunas are different in many ways from “steam closet” saunas. In fact, any area located near an infrared heat source can be used as a sauna since the surrounding air doesn’t have to be contained for the infrared radiation to work, but many people prefer an enclosed area similar in shape and size to traditional saunas. That means some of the purchasing considerations are the same.
For infrared saunas specifically, however, the quality and type of heat source is essential.
Less expensive models use lower-quality FIR emitters made of ceramic rods that may not last very long. Saunas at the middle and top end of their range usually have better quality carbon-based emitters, but this is not always the case, so choose carefully.
Taking a few other things into consideration will also help assure that you get exactly the product you want.
First, consider the size. That means two things. The size of the area you have available in your home is an important consideration, but so is the number of people you want to accommodate. While one-person infrared saunas can be cramped even for one, a larger sauna is essential if you want to use it with your partner or as the centerpiece of a party, for example. Larger families may prefer a larger sauna as well.
Second, consider the location of controls. While there is always a control panel outside, leaving the sauna to make adjustments disrupts the experience, so you may want to buy a model with a control pad inside the unit for maximum convenience.
Third, think about the materials of which the infrared sauna is constructed. A variety of wood choices and other treatments are available, and a careful choice will assure a durable piece of equipment that can be a valuable part of your home for years and perhaps even decades.
Fourth, think about lighting, entertainment and other amenities. Inside lights are essential if you want to read while in the sauna, but for some, sound systems are also important. Consider your lifestyle needs when choosing the right infrared sauna for your home.
Infrared saunas make enjoyable and potentially healthful additions to any home. When you consider your lifestyle, budget and available space, it is easy to make an informed decision about which models and features are best for you.