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Which Saunas are best and why?

Updated on June 22, 2012

Which Sauna Might Benefit You More?

Most of us know that saunas can be used as a relaxing way to sit back and unwind after a long day. The basic use of saunas is to induce sweating by using wet or dry heat. But did you know they also have many health benefits? Below I will list the benefits that some claim saunas have and some of the debate whether they are helpful, and which ones are better then others.

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The First Sauna

Did you know?

The very first saunas were called smoke saunas. They would put a pile of rocks into a room with no filtration, and light a fire under them. They would wait for the rocks to heat up then put the fire out. After the extinguish the fire, they clean up the ashes and embers and the benches and floor are cleaned, and the room is allowed to air out and freshen for a period of time. The temperature was only about 60 °C, while the humidity stayed relatively high. And that was how the first saunas were started.

Purpose of using a Sauna

What is your reason for sitting in a sauna?

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Traditional Saunas

Traditional saunas usually are a small room made of wood and are heated with a heater that sits in the corner. The heater can be run by electricity, gas, or wood. They are a high heat, low humidity environment, temperatures ranging between 185-195°F. To heat these saunas water is sprinkled over rocks causing the room to heat and a steam to rise up.


* Sitting in the sauna for about fifteen minutes will increase your heart rate up to 75%. This provides the same metabolic result as physical exercise. This increase will cause your blood vessels to expand to make room for the increased blood flow increasing circulation.

* The increased blood flow helps the vessels to be more flexible increasing circulation to smaller blood vessels that route to the skin, helping to improve the health of your skin.

* Who wants to sweat and why? Well, sweating let's your skin and sweat glands rid the body of toxins. Did you know that 30% of wastes are passed through the skin? So in other words, sweating in a sauna helps you to detoxify your body.

* Raising your bodies temperature help you to kill off bacteria that can only survive in cooler temperatures.

* Heat helps relieve pain, such as arthritis or sore muscles after a workout.

* Steam saunas can help relieve respiratory problems, such as bronchitis and sinusitis.

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Far Infrared Saunas

What It Is

Far infrared saunas use ceramic or metallic elements for heating that give off far infrared range. There will be small electric heating elements that are spread around the sauna space. Some may have large sheets of black carbon material that is electrified to give off far infrared energy.

Why is it better then conventional saunas?

* Far infrared saunas temperatures are much lower then traditional saunas, making it more tolerated. It is safer for people with cardio problems.

* Far infrared heat tissue three times as much as conventional saunas.

* There are no hot surfaces to injure yourself in an far infrared sauna.

* Far infrared saunas are portable. Take them with you on vacations or trips.

* The lower temps of a infrared do not dry out the mucous membranes.

* Infrared energy requires upu to 90% less electrical energy then a traditional sauna.

* Infrared heats your body up more, which in turn induces more sweat.

Possible Drawbacks-

These types of saunas give off stray electromagnetic fields which may be harmful to some people.

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Near Infrared Light Saunas

Near infrared light saunas use incandescent infrared heat lamps for heating. They emit mostly near infrared. This type of sauna also provides warming and as well as color therapy. You will be able to see orange, yellow, and red lights. They are known for their healing and therapeutic value.

What is the difference between infrared and near infrared?

Near Infrared is a shorter wavelength of infrared energy that carries 10 times the energy of far infrared. It is also closer to the visible spectrum.

* The light frequencies they emit are said to draw energy downward in the body and can assist the digestive and eliminative organs to some degree.

* The temps of these are cooler then traditional saunas, the Infrared penetrates the skin and heats from the inside, so you feel less warm but sweat more.

* The heat source of near infrared is all concentrated into a small area, and not due to the frequencies of the energy used.

* Near infrared is an antioxidant nutrient, activates the cells, supports metabolic processes and rids water molecules of toxins.

* It is said that it is helpful for wound healing and cellular regeneration as well.

Is Near Infrared better then Far infrared?

* The near infrared light waves penetrate deeper inside the body then the far infrared. This may cause better cell regeneration and quicker healing in addition to heat therapy. The tissue penetration with near infrared sauna therapy is more than 3 inches, while it hardly reaches 3 inches for the far infrared sauna therapy.

* Infrared sauna benefits include increased production of collagen which helps promote healthy looking skin, relieving pain, detoxifying effect and reducing inflammation. But the far infrared sauna benefits are more notable for to body detoxification and heat therapy.

* Near infrared saunas give us less EMF then a far infrared sauna.

* A near infrared sauna consumes a lot less energy and is easy to maintain. Changing the bulbs is really simple.

Downfalls of Near Infrared

* Installing the heating elements of far infrared sauna is kinda hard, and usually requires professional help.

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Which Sauna Is Better?

Which sauna do you prefer?

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Safety Precautions For Using Saunas

There are some dangers to all saunas. So make sure you take proper precautions when using any of these.



Losing to many electrolytes or minerals through sweating

The effects of mobilized toxins, chemicals or drugs leaking out of fat back into your system.

* Always make sure you have supervision if you are suffering from any illnesses.

* Make sure you are well hydrated before you take a sauna to prevent dehydration or electrolyte imbalances.

* Start slowly, do not do more then twenty minutes. Work up to that time. See how you react to smaller sessions first.

* If you start to feel faint or light headed, leave the sauna right away.

* After sauna, shower to remove sweat with toxins and chemicals off your skin.

* Allow about fifteen minutes to relax after taking a sauna. Let your body cool down.

* Always consult a health professional if you have a chronic illness.

* Avoid using saunas during pregnancy.

My Disclaimer

Everything written here is just my opinion after researching saunas. I started looking into them for a disease I have called Lyme Disease. Struggling with this disease for over twenty years, I learned the importance of detoxing. And through that research this is what I have found. Saunas are not approved for medical use and any research is mostly the benefits reported by patients and people not from the medical community, although research is going on in the use of saunas, and they are commonly used in many countries such as Finland.

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