Best Infrared Saunas

Updated January 2020
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

20 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
321 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best infrared saunas

Last Updated January 2020

Are you considering making an investment in self care and wellness? An infrared sauna is a popular choice for those who seek a comforting experience with therapeutic heat and light.

Unlike a traditional sauna, which relies on a convection heat source, an infrared sauna warms the space with light. This means that infrared saunas are effective at a lower temperature while still providing a great sweat experience. As a result, they’re preferred by people who aren’t comfortable in the high heat of traditional saunas. Infrared saunas are available as portable or more permanent wooden models, and there’s one for every budget.

We at BestReviews are here to help make your decision easier, so we’re sharing this buying guide on infrared saunas. Read on to learn more about their features and benefits and pick up a few shopping tips while you’re at it. We’ve included some of our favorites, too.

Many homeowners install an infrared sauna in the basement. Check whether your basement is at risk for flooding and the ceiling is high enough to accommodate the sauna.

Key considerations

Infrared sauna styles

Infrared saunas are fully enclosed spaces for total temperature control.

Wooden infrared saunas are made of wood and glass and resemble traditional saunas. Wooden models have well-sealed doors, which are typically made of glass and premium wood.

Portable saunas usually consist of a folding chair and pop-up frame that encloses the body from the neck down. Portable infrared saunas rely on zippers to keep the warm air in. While these models don’t close off as well as saunas with doors, they’re constructed with additional seams and barriers to control the temperature.

Sleeping bag or blanket saunas fall under the umbrella of portable saunas, but given their popularity, they’re in a league of their own. For these, you’ll need to lie flat on a bed or the floor and zip yourself into the sauna from the feet to the neck.

Seating

In most infrared saunas, you need to sit upright. There are only a handful of models with full-length benches for lying down. Wooden saunas have simple benches. Depending on their capacity, they can accommodate from one to six people. Portable models come with a folding chair or stool and fit one person. These saunas are often available for purchase in pairs so that two people can enjoy them simultaneously.

Infrared lighting

Infrared saunas use radiant heat from heat lamps, wire elements, carbon heating panels, or ceramic elements. Because infrared heat is broad spectrum, it’s often classified by its wavelength. In the case of infrared saunas, far infrared (FIR) emitters are most common, especially in wooden models. Once the emitted heat hits an object, such as the body, it’s radiated back and continues to warm the area around it.

EMF

Every electronic device emits EMF, or electromagnetic fields. This includes everyday items like hair dryers and cell phones, as well as infrared saunas. Generally speaking, infrared saunas emit a low level of EMF, making them safe for regular use. In fact, some manufacturers have made great strides in further reducing EMF in their infrared saunas. They’re very forthcoming in their advertising about it, so it’s relatively easy to identify models with this feature if you’re specifically looking for it.

Health considerations

Before using an infrared sauna, it’s necessary to make sure there are no health concerns that would restrict your use of one. If you’re at risk for high blood pressure, dehydration, or illness, it’s recommended that you discuss infrared sauna use with your doctor first.

It’s also important to use your infrared sauna safely and appropriately. Sessions should be limited to a 20-minute maximum. If you’re new to using an infrared sauna, begin with 5 to 10 minutes per session and gradually work your way up to 20 minutes.

EXPERT TIP

Educate children about the importance of not playing in a sauna. Improper use could result in serious injury.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Materials

Wooden infrared saunas are made with Canadian hemlock or cedar or other premium wood. These types of wood are known for their luxurious color and finish in addition to commercial-grade durability. Wooden saunas also use high-quality glass panels for doors and windows.

When it comes to something as large as a wooden sauna, assembly is something you’ll need to consider, not to mention include in your budget. There are some models with easy DIY assembly, while others are better left in the hands of a professional.

Portable infrared saunas feature cabins made of plastic or wood frames covered with a few layers of nonporous material. Many have terry cloth or plush details around the collar as well. Seats are constructed from a variety of heat-safe materials, including plastic, canvas, neoprene, and mesh.

Controls

Infrared saunas are equipped with timers, heat settings, and light controls. They’re adjusted by way of a remote or control panel. Manufacturers strongly recommend learning how to control these features before using the infrared sauna for the first time, both to avoid injury and to ensure a comfortable experience.

Sound system

Some infrared saunas are equipped with a sound system to create the best experience and ambience. These models have inside speakers that are Bluetooth enabled or can be hooked up to an outside media device.

Extras

Some wooden saunas also come with magazine racks, sauna buckets, and/or headrests. Sauna buckets are great if you’d like to include aromatherapy in your sessions. Some portable saunas come with heated footpads, magazine pockets, and/or seat pillows.

EXPERT TIP

Most electronics aren’t safe inside an infrared sauna, but that’s a good thing. It gives you a much-needed digital break and promotes a relaxing, undisturbed experience.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Bathrobe: Lands’ End Calf-Length Turkish Terry Robe
Wear a comfortable terry cloth robe before and after your sauna session. We like this one from Lands’ End, which features a relaxed fit and spacious sleeves. Choose from five rich colors, and if you’re feeling fancy, have the lapel embroidered with your initials.

Essential oils: URPOWER Essential Oils
Turn your infrared sauna session into a full-blown spa experience with aromatherapy. We like this essential oil set from URPOWER, whose oils are 100% pure, with no additives or fillers. Enjoy lavender, eucalyptus, and four other relaxation-inspiring scents while you unwind in your sauna.

Infrared sauna prices

Infrared saunas range in price from $130 to $3,000. While there’s one for any budget, you certainly get what you pay for with these, so spend wisely.

Inexpensive: For the budget-conscious shopper, you can find portable models and blanket styles for between $130 and $500. Infrared saunas with chairs are at the lower end of the range, whereas blanket styles are usually toward the top of the range.

Mid-range: If you’re interested in a wooden infrared sauna, single- and double- occupancy models begin at $1,000 and go up to $1,800. Many models are available with a timer, sound system, speakers, and even Bluetooth capability.

Expensive: Infrared saunas that accommodate three or more people cost $2,000 and more. These are significantly larger units that require professional assembly. Most have all the bells and whistles you can imagine and are often constructed with premium imported wood.

EXPERT TIP

You’ll be thirsty after spending time in your infrared sauna. Listen to your body and rehydrate immediately upon exit.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Add a sauna to your wedding registry. A portable sauna costs about the same as a small kitchen appliance. Add one to your wedding registry for a unique self-care gift that will get plenty of use.
  • Use clean towels every time. To keep your infrared sauna clean and keep bacteria at bay, use a clean towel every time.
  • Rinse off before entering the sauna. It’s best to enter your infrared sauna after taking a soapy shower. In addition to promoting relaxation, it also helps to prevent dirt and grime from entering the sauna.
  • Protect your hair. To prevent damage or excessive dryness, wrap your hair in a towel before using the infrared sauna.
  • Use a deep conditioner inside the sauna. You can also coat your hair with a deep conditioner for a special moisturizing treatment. Make sure your hair is well secured under a towel to prevent conditioner from dripping in the sauna.

Other products we considered

If you don’t see exactly what you need in our matrix, we have a couple more options for you. If you’d like a laid-back model, we recommend the Gizmo Supply Infrared Sauna Blanket. This sleeping bag-style sauna zips up to let you get cozy and zone out with every use. The temperature is adjustable from 77°F to 185°F and controlled from an accessible remote.

For a portable model from a leading brand, we like the Radiant Saunas Rejuvenator. This low-EMF, budget-friendly model takes only a minute to set up. It also comes with a comfortable canvas chair, cozy collar, and relaxing heated foot pad.

Contact lens wearers may experience eye dryness or irritation inside an infrared sauna. It’s recommended that you remove your lenses before each session. Some people add contact-safe moisturizing eye drops before putting lenses back in as well.

FAQ

Q. Will I need a permit to install a sauna in my backyard?
A.
It depends on your town’s ordinances and zoning laws, which may stipulate dimensions and approved structures. A sauna is usually small enough to install without a permit, but it’s best to check before moving forward with it.


Q. How do I get my infrared sauna repaired?
A.
Contact the manufacturer directly and inquire about their repair process. If your sauna is still covered under warranty, the company may dispatch a technician at no charge. If not, it might be able to provide a list of recommended sauna repair companies in your area.
 

Q. Can I use a different chair inside my portable sauna?
A.
While another chair may fit inside, it’s best to stick with the one that came with the sauna. It’s made from heat-safe materials and won’t burn you or melt. Some chairs are also treated with antimicrobial or antibacterial coatings to provide a sanitary sauna experience. Unfortunately, other chairs may introduce bacteria or dirt into the sauna.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey