Home Sauna: Traditional or Infrared?

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There’s nothing better than a 30-minute relaxing sweat session in a sauna. The health benefits of sauna range from improved heart health, detoxification, pain relief, immune system boost, stress relief, skin rejuvenation, and much more.

Saunas have been part of many cultures for many centuries. Even today, saunas are very popular. That said, not all saunas are the same. That’s why you should be well informed before investing in one. 

When it comes to saunas, it narrows down to two options: Infrared saunas and traditional saunas. Even though both infrared and traditional saunas produce heat, they work entirely different. Each has its benefits, making it difficult to choose between them.

But we’ll help you understand the differences between an infrared and a traditional sauna. With this knowledge, you can choose the right sauna for your needs.

So, let’s jump in! 

What is a traditional sauna?

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A traditional sauna or Finnish sauna is a type of sauna originating from Finland. Initially, the natives used it to keep the body warm during the freezing temperatures of the Nordic winters. Over time, the sauna has become popular in health and wellness. 

In the traditional sauna, a room made of wood and stones is heated with fire or electricity. The heated stones, usually inside the frame, retain moisture, while the holes or slats in the wooden floor allow evaporation. The circulating hot air raises the temperature, encouraging sweating and benefiting health.

What is an infrared sauna?

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An infrared sauna is a modern type that uses infrared light to generate heat. The infrared light creates deep penetrating infrared waves that penetrate deep into your skin, muscles, and joints, which promotes blood circulation. 

For these reasons, numerous home wellness service providers like Audacia Home incorporate these saunas to assist people in building a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, these passionate experts ensure people get the desired benefits in the comfort of their homes.

Critical Differences Between Infrared Sauna and Traditional Sauna

  1. Heating Method 

In traditional saunas, wood or stones are used for heating. However, modern traditional saunas with electric heating elements have a faster response time and can be used for either dry or steam heat for different benefits. 

In contrast, the infrared sauna uses an infrared light source to heat the environment. Unlike the traditional sauna, where the air around you is heated, the infrared light reaches the body directly without increasing the temperature in the room. 

  1. Comfort

In the traditional sauna, the temperature is increased up to 185 degrees Celsius. Although the temperature works well and leads to intense sweating, the high heat can be too much for users who are sensitive to high temperatures. 

Unlike traditional saunas, the infrared sauna generates heat without increasing humidity. So, the infrared sauna provides the same effect while remaining cool. The temperature rises to about 120-150 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more tolerable for sensitive people. 

In addition, traditional saunas, which are inadequately ventilated, can accumulate carbon dioxide, which can cause discomfort. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, have excellent air circulation and offer more comfort. 

  1. Sauna Duration

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Both traditional and infrared saunas use high heat to stimulate sweating. However, the considerably low temperature in the infrared sauna means the experience is less intense, and you can stay in the sauna longer. A sauna session in the infrared sauna can last up to 45 minutes, while in the traditional sauna, you can spend only 10-20 minutes. 

  1. Energy Demand

The energy requirement is an essential factor when choosing a home sauna. The high-temperature conditions of traditional saunas (185-200°F) mean higher energy consumption. Infrared saunas heat up to 150°F, consuming much less energy. They use about 1.6 kW per sauna session, about one-third of what traditional saunas use.

  1. Heating Time

With different heating methods, the warm-up time varies. Traditional saunas can take up to 45 minutes to reach the desired temperature. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, require only 15 minutes. Hence, with traditional saunas, you may have to wait longer and plan. 

  1. Cost

Traditional saunas can be expensive to buy and install. Because of the high temperature, they require high-quality materials to withstand the temperature. On the other hand, you can purchase off-the-shelf infrared saunas on a budget and install them with the help of a friend. 

As for maintenance, these saunas are relatively inexpensive. However, traditional saunas usually consume more energy, while infrared saunas are energy efficient. A lower temperature means lower operating costs. 

  1. Safe Use 

Traditional saunas that involve burning fuels can be dangerous in some cases. There are also frequent cases of poisoning CO and accidents caused by carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses. Saunas with infrared heating provide a safe and healthy environment. They do not produce poisonous gases, and the risk of accidents is minimal. 

Additionally, traditional saunas are unsuitable for pregnant women and people with heart problems. They can also be dangerous for people suffering from high blood pressure or other diseases. 

In contrast, saunas with infrared heating are safe for everyone. There are no known health concerns or side effects for people with various medical conditions. However, stick to the recommended duration of sauna sessions and use them moderately. 

Final Words: Which One Is Right for You?

Sauna sessions provide a deeper detoxification experience and can help with relaxation and stress relief. They are also very effective in weight loss, improving blood circulation, and strengthening the immune system, among other benefits. 

Now that you know all about infrared and traditional saunas, which one should you choose? For most people, the infrared sauna is the better choice because it is easier to use, cheaper, safer, and more comfortable than its traditional counterpart.