Infrared Sauna vs Traditional Sauna

Chances are, you've seen traditional saunas in popular culture or at the gym. Today, a new variation on the sauna tradition has emerged: infrared saunas. Infrared saunas share the same basic idea and philosophy as their traditional steam sauna counterparts. They all boast many therapeutic and wellness benefits, such as detoxification, relaxation and weight loss, among others. However, their benefits differ because of their unique heating methods. To help you better understand the differences between infrared saunas and steam rooms, it's important to get a general understanding of the mechanics and individual benefits of both.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

The infrared sauna is an innovative analogue of the classic steam room. It is a cabin made of wood, in which special heaters based on infrared waves are installed. It has a great effect and works using modern technology.

Infrared rays penetrate directly into the human body through the skin to a depth of about 5 cm and heat it from the inside. The length of our body's thermal energy rays is 6-20 microns. In the sauna they spread to 7-14 µm. This triggers the process of increased sweating, blood circulation begins to circulate actively, metabolic processes are accelerated. Thanks to this design, the user feels a gentle, pleasant warmth.

In infrared saunas warms up not only the upper layers of the skin, but also muscles, joints and bones. Thanks to a higher degree of heating, the body excretes more toxins and salts, which have a beneficial effect on the overall benefit to the human body.

Structurally, the infrared sauna is a natural log wood cabin, installed inside a special heater. The design of the cabin is based on a person sitting on a stool. They are most commonly found in health centres, beauty salons, homes, etc.

Infrared saunas include near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared saunas, each with different principles and functions. With the development of technology, a sonic vibration half sauna is now also developed. Through the combination of different frequencies of sound wave vibration and far infrared heat therapy, it provides multi-frequency exercise rehabilitation for patients who cannot stand but can sit.

How Does a Traditional Sauna Work?

An ordinary sauna is a room upholstered with wooden boards, where the heat is usually supplied by a stove and wood burning, but there are also modern analogues based on heat supply by means of electricity.

As a rule, traditional saunas consist of two compartments: a rest room (anteroom) and, actually, the steam room, combined with a wash room. For more convenience, the traditional sauna can be made in a separate room. The traditional layout is due to nothing more than the economy of materials, heat and firewood.

Traditional saunas generate heat by heating hot stones, which then heat the air. By pouring water on the stones, it creates steam that raises the temperature of the air and warms the skin of the sauna user. Wet steam and heat created by boiling water or water poured on stones is limited to a small area where a person sits for extended periods of time to obtain the associated health benefits.

Traditional stone saunas typically reach temperatures between 90 and 110 degrees before causing the desired health benefits of a sauna for the human body.

infrared sauna vs traditional sauna

Benefits of Infrared Saunas vs Traditional Saunas

Traditional saunas and saunas with infrared therapy are the most common for home use. For thousands of years, people have known how beneficial sauna visits are to the mind, body and soul. High temperatures are believed to provide a number of remarkable health benefits, including stress reduction, metabolism acceleration, detoxification, and relief of muscle and joint pain. Both infrared saunas and traditional saunas have their own advantages.

Benefits of an infrared sauna:

  • The effects of a session are felt better than after visiting sweat lodges of a different principle.
  • Good tolerance. As a result of low temperatures and normal humidity, there is no physical discomfort.
  • Possibility of receiving a heat session at any convenient time. Without preliminary preparation (heating) of the room. Heating does not take much time. About 10 minutes is enough.
  • Ease of operation, mobility. The installation of an infrared sauna does not require much space. Installation of the cabin is allowed in a normal apartment.
  • Increased safety. The principle of action makes IR-sauna virtually harmless. Even an untrained person would have no difficulty operating it, and even a child could cope with it.
  • Safety of use, as the probability of burns is minimized. The number of contraindications is very small compared to other steam rooms.

Benefits of traditional saunas:

  • Are usually large rooms that can comfortably accommodate several people, which provides a social aspect to the sauna experience.
  • They are ideal in places where there is no electricity, as they do not depend on the electric grid.
  • Traditional saunas with their warm, steamy atmosphere are much closer to vintage Finnish saunas. If you can't imagine a sauna without high temperatures and steam, that's a definite plus.
  • In a traditional sauna, you can regulate the humidity by using more or less water. Find a level of humidity that is comfortable for you.
  • Traditional saunas are good for outdoor use in very cold climates.

Differences Between Infrared and Traditional Saunas

Distinguishing the slight differences between steam and infrared saunas is not an easy task for the layman. Both types affect the body differently because of their unique heating methods. A traditional sauna heats the air around you to the point where your body triggers a natural cooling process. Infrared saunas emit a wavelength of radiation that your body absorbs without heating the room around you. This absorption triggers the same cooling process, but without having to steam you in the process.


One of the constant components of a sauna, whether traditional or infrared, is that they use a high level of heat. Traditional saunas can reach temperatures as high as 85°C. While this is very effective in creating the intense sweating that saunas strive for, this level of heat can be overwhelming for temperature-sensitive people.


One of the constant components of a sauna, whether traditional or infrared, is high temperature. In traditional saunas the temperature can be as high as 85°C. Although this is very effective in creating.

The intense sweating that saunas strive for, this level of heat can be overwhelming for people who are more sensitive to temperature. Infrared saunas maintain temperatures from 50-65°C, which is much more tolerable for those who are sensitive to heat. However, infrared rays still cause the intense sweating that characterizes a sauna visit.

Health Benefits.

Saunas have long been a tenet of alternative medicine when it comes to relaxation and therapeutic purposes. If you want to buy a sauna for relaxation, meditation, stress relief, and detoxification, both sauna options will do the trick.

However, thanks to infrared technology, infrared saunas can provide more tangible health benefits. Advanced heaters heat the body directly, and this increases heat energy. In addition to profuse sweating at lower temperatures, infrared saunas also have anti-aging and mental effects.

Other benefits of infrared saunas include improved circulation and lower blood pressure. You will also feel relief in your muscles and joints and possibly water and weight loss. In addition, studies have shown positive effects on wrinkle smoothing, skin detoxification and acne treatment.

Humidity Level.

As you might expect, traditional saunas have much higher humidity levels than infrared saunas. Proponents of traditional saunas point to this humidity as part of the benefits of a traditional sauna. Steam can open your pores and allow your skin to hydrate and promote better sleep later on.

Infrared saunas, of course, do not use steam and therefore have much lower levels of humidity. Instead, they rely on a sweating mechanism. Infrared sauna enthusiasts claim that the intense sweating produced by these saunas can flush toxins out of the body and promote weight loss.

Energy Consumption.

If you are planning to install a sauna in your home, this is one of the important issues you need to pay attention to. Traditional saunas require more energy than infrared saunas because they have to heat water to boiling point. Infrared saunas only use energy to run their heating elements, which makes them much less expensive in terms of energy consumption.

Safe Use.

Heavy sweating requires frequent water intake while in the sauna, especially if you use a bath blanket. It's also important to time your sessions properly and take short breaks in between to avoid overheating and dehydration.

Preliminary studies show that infrared saunas are not harmful to health, but you should use them in moderation. On average, a session should not exceed 20 minutes and not more than a few times a week. Avoid intense sweating if you feel tired, unwell or dizzy.

The Best Type of Sauna for You

Both infrared saunas and steam rooms can provide much needed health benefits to individuals and families. These rooms can relieve stress, improve relaxation, and improve overall health and happiness. Simply put, they can be a valuable component of the home and lifestyle. Overall, infrared saunas are very suitable for modern life. Don't ignore the doctors' recommendations. Before use, you should read the precautions. If you encounter any problems or malfunctions, please consult the manufacturer. Taking care of your own health promotes well-being.

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