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How does an infrared sauna work

When you’re looking for a sauna, one question you might have is “how does an infrared sauna work” and how does it compare to a traditional sauna?

The sauna concept is still the same, but an infrared sauna works very differently from a traditional one. 

Let’s find out how!

What is an Infrared Sauna?

Much like a traditional sauna, an infrared sauna is a small room that’s heated to a high temperature. When used in moderation, they offer high levels of relaxation as well as some great health benefits

So, what makes an infrared sauna different from a traditional sauna?

Whereas a traditional sauna uses hot stones to create steam that heats the body, an infrared sauna uses infrared light. Infrared light naturally occurs in sunlight, along with many other waves of light, and it has some beneficial health qualities. 

The problem with natural sunlight is that too much exposure exposes us to the harmful wavelengths the sun also produces, so an infrared sauna is an ideal way to gain more infrared exposure in a safe environment. 

And how does an infrared sauna work?

Let’s take a look!

How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?

An infrared sauna uses infrared lamps to produce infrared light. 

Unlike a traditional sauna where steam heats the air which in turn heats the people inside the sauna, infrared light penetrates the body directly. This makes the process much more efficient and means infrared saunas can be more economical to run. 

Infrared light comes in different wavelengths and they each have their own benefits:

  • Near-Infrared: These rays penetrate deep into the body, allowing them to heat your core. These rays are best used to heal wounds and increase cellular repair.
  • Mid-Infrared: Mid-infrared rays get captured by water molecules, helping to improve circulation and bringing oxygen to the areas that need them. They also help to raise the heart rate, stimulating the metabolism. 
  • Far-Infrared: Far-infrared rays create a subtle “resonant frequency” or vibration in the cells, helping to release toxins. These toxins are then released through the organs of elimination or the skin, helping us to feel freshers and more healthy. 

    The different wavelengths explain why you’ll see different types of infrared sauna: far-infrared, and full-spectrum.

    All of these wavelengths are effective at penetrating the body, meaning you get that warm, relaxing feeling as soon as you step into the sauna.

    family in an outdoor sauna

    The question of how does an infrared sauna work is less to do with how hot the sauna is, and more to do with the quality of the rays. In fact, infrared saunas operate at a lower temperature of between 115 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, but you’ll still get the same health benefits as a traditional sauna. 

    Infrared Saunas vs Traditional Saunas

    When looking at infrared saunas vs traditional saunas, the big differences come from how the infrared sauna works. 

    Infrared rays are extremely beneficial in themselves, but the added efficiency brings some excellent perks. As the infrared sauna runs at a lower temperature they require less electricity to run. Some sources estimate the running costs of an infrared sauna to be three times less than a traditional sauna. It also means that it gets up to temperature more quickly, meaning less time waiting to get in!

    You’re getting all the health benefits and more without the expensive running costs!

    The Health Benefits of an Infrared Sauna

    The list of health benefits an infrared sauna offers is long (check out this guide for a more in-depth run-through), so we’ll pick out some of the highlights.

    • Improve skin: The heating effect of the infrared rays raises the temperature of your body causing a deep sweat that helps carry off embedded impurities and dead skin cells. 
    • Relive stress and reduce fatigue: An infrared sauna is a perfect place to sit back, relax, and let your stress wash away. 
    • Ease joint stiffness and muscle pain: The deeply penetrating heat helps ease joint and muscle pain and can benefit patients suffering from conditions such as arthritis, neuralgia, and bursitis. 
    • Improve the appearance of cellulite: Because infrared heat penetrates deeper than a traditional sauna, it’s been shown to be more effective at reducing cellulite. 
    • Detoxification: Daily infrared sauna use can help your body get rid of toxic metals and other toxins such as alcohol, nicotine, and sulfuric acid. 
    • Immune system boost: By raising your body’s core temperature, an infrared sauna mimics a fever: your body’s natural immune response. This helps give your immune system a boost. 
    • Weight Loss: Using an infrared sauna has been shown to give the cardiovascular system a similar boost to running! 

    Conclusion: How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?

    The key thing to know about how an infrared sauna works is that it uses infrared rays to deeply heat the body. Not only does this maximize the benefits of sauna use, but it also makes the process much more efficient. 

    Infrared saunas come with lower running costs because they operate at a lower temperature. This also makes them more comfortable to use, and all without giving up any of the great benefits!