Tempered glass door and 2 windows. Roomy interior large enough for 2 people. MP3 input with 2 speakers. Can be fully assembled within 45 minutes. Large, clear LED display.
Heavy at 330 pounds.
Design can be packed and transported. Remote controls time, auto-heat, and temperature. Zippers on front for arm movement. Heating in carbon panels and footrest.
Takes time to fully reach the top temperature.
Portable chair and integrated pockets for easy transport. Resilient fabric to be placed both inside or outside. 3 infrared panels release gradual, safe heat. Reached 140 degrees F.
Chair can be a little uncomfortable to sit in and clean.
Carbon fiber construction with room to move. Heated foot pad for added luxury. It's easily installable and can be folded up. Neck foam pad for additional comfort. Handheld controller.
Set up can be a bit difficult.
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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.