Infrared vs. Traditional Sauna: Which is Better?

Nov 22, 2022

Traditional dry and wet saunas have been used for centuries as a way to relax and detoxify the body. But with the sophistication of modern technology, a new type of sauna has emerged and is becoming increasingly popular around the world – infrared.

Infrared and traditional saunas share many of the same qualities, but there are significant differences as well. As such, each possesses its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s go over some of them so you know what to expect and exactly how to get the most out of your relaxation time.

In this article:

  1. The Benefits of Using an Infrared Sauna
  2. How Infrared Saunas Work
  3. Far-Infrared vs Near-Infrared Saunas
  4. The Benefits of Using a Traditional Sauna
  5. How Traditional Saunas Work
  6. Pros and Cons of Infrared and Traditional Saunas
  7. Why Are Infrared Saunas So Popular?
  8. Final Word

The Benefits of Using an Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas are spreading across the world like wildfire, and for good reason.

While traditional saunas work by heating the air around you, infrared saunas use infrared light to heat your body directly. This results in a deeper, more detoxifying sweat that can offer a range of health benefits.

For one, infrared saunas can help to relieve pain and stiffness by increasing blood flow and circulation. They can also improve skin health by stimulating collagen production and releasing toxins from the body. In addition, infrared saunas can boost the immune system and improve heart health.

Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or simply unwind after a long day, an infrared sauna may be the perfect solution.

How Infrared Saunas Work

Infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation, which means it travels through the air as a wave of energy. When this wave hits an object, such as the human body, it is absorbed and turned into heat. This process is known as conversion by radiation.

Infrared saunas work by converting electrical energy into infrared light, which then heats the body. The benefits of infrared saunas are thought to come from this deep, gentle heat. Unlike traditional saunas, which can be quite hot and harsh on the skin, infrared provides a more relaxing and comfortable experience.

Additionally, infrared saunas are thought to be more effective at detoxifying the body and providing health benefits due to their ability to penetrate deeper into the tissues.

The Benefits of Using a Traditional Sauna

The sauna is a traditional Finnish method of relaxation used for centuries. The word sauna actually derives from Finnish. Some would say “sauna” is the most popular Finnish word in the world! 

Originally, saunas were used as a way to cleanse the body, but they have since become a popular method of relaxation and stress relief.

There are many health benefits associated with sauna use, including

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Improved skin health

Saunas also improve mental health by promoting relaxation and providing an escape from the stresses of daily life. Furthermore, saunas can help to relieve pain and tension in the muscles. For these reasons, saunas are an effective form of therapy for a variety of conditions.

How Traditional Saunas Work

Traditional saunas work by heating the air to a high temperature, typically between 150 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat causes the body to sweat, which helps to flush out toxins and improve circulation. The intense heat can also help to relieve muscle pain and tension.

With this more “authentic” sauna experience, another thing to keep in mind is that most saunas are constructed from wood materials like cedar or fir. This not only gives the sauna a more rustic feel, but also creates a pleasant aroma. 

Most traditional saunas will also have a stone heater, which heats the air rather than using electric heating coils. The stones retain heat well and help distribute an even temperature throughout the space so you can enjoy your time without worrying about hot or cold spots.

Pros and Cons of Infrared and Traditional Saunas

When it comes to saunas, there are two main types: infrared and traditional. Each has its own set of pros and cons that you should consider before deciding which is right for you.

Due to the fact that infrared saunas can reach higher temperatures more quickly, some people find them more comfortable as a result. 

At the same time, traditional saunas are typically larger and can accommodate more people, which you may want to take into consideration if you’re looking to use your sauna with other people.

Another difference between the two types of saunas is how they impact your skin.

  • Traditional saunas cause your pores to open, which can lead to skin irritation or dehydration if you stay in for too long.
  • Infrared saunas also cause your pores to open, but because the heat is less intense, it’s less likely to cause irritation.

Finally, it’s important to consider the cost. Traditional saunas tend to be more expensive upfront, but they often last longer and don’t require as much maintenance since there is not much involved in the unit (pretty much just a wood room and a stone heater).

On the other hand, infrared saunas may be a more affordable option in the short term, but you may need to replace them more frequently due to the technology involved. 

Of course, cost becomes less of a factor when you sauna at a local business.

In this case, the per-visit expense is typically lower for infrared saunas, since traditional saunas are often an add-on benefit when you buy an expensive membership package to a health club.

So, which type of sauna is right for you?

Of course, it depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you’re looking for a quick way to raise your body temperature, relax, and unwind, or want a sauna that’s easier on your skin, infrared is likely the better choice.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a larger sauna that will last for years to come, a traditional sauna may be the way to go.

Why Are Infrared Saunas So Popular?

Infrared saunas have been gaining popularity in recent years as more and more people discover the many benefits they offer.

Traditional saunas provide lots of great benefits, but infrared saunas take it to the next level, providing a huge list of advantages. To recap, infrared saunas improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, relieve pain, speed up muscle recovery, and even boost weight loss.

With so many uses, it’s really no surprise that infrared saunas are so popular – because they offer something for everyone. So whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or simply relax and unwind, there’s a very good chance that you’ll enjoy an infrared sauna just as much as the rest of the world increasingly seems to be. 

Final Word

Truth be told, it’s hard to go wrong with any type of sauna. But, due to the wider range of health benefits and improved comfort for some people, we would say that infrared saunas are the better option (if you HAD to choose).

At the end of the day, you’ll have to do your own testing and decision-making to determine which option is most suitable for you.

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with infrared saunas, please leave a comment below. And if you’re not already, follow us on TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest for a steady stream of relaxing content! As always, thanks for reading.