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Infrared sauna vs dry sauna

If you’re looking at buying a sauna, then you might be wondering: infrared sauna vs dry sauna, what’s the difference, and which one is best for me?

These differences might be subtle, but they actually work in very different ways.

What Is a Traditional Sauna?

A traditional sauna uses very hot sauna stones to heat the air within the sauna. This in turn heats the people in the sauna, creating the health benefits we all know and love. 

Saunas have been around for thousands of years, and over that time, the mechanisms have changed very little. However, with infrared, saunas have taken a big step into the future. 

Wet vs Dry Saunas

Before we look at infrared saunas vs dry saunas, let’s take a quick look at the distinction between a wet and dry sauna. 

The difference between traditional wet and dry saunas is the use of water. In a wet sauna, water is poured onto the burning hot sauna stones, releasing steam into the air. The steam gives a wet sauna that cloudy element and gives them a distinctive feel.

Infrared sauna vs dry sauna - wet sauna

Dry saunas on the other hand simply use the stones to heat the air without having to use water. This results in a clear, steam-free environment. 

Infrared Saunas 

Infrared saunas are more similar to dry saunas in that they produce heat without producing steam. They use infrared light - a naturally occurring lightwave - to heat the body, stimulating a wide array of health benefits

The key difference when it comes to infrared saunas vs dry saunas is how they heat the people in the sauna. 

A traditional dry sauna uses hot stones to heat the air, with that heat gradually transferring to the people sitting in the sauna. Infrared saunas work in a much more direct way though. The infrared rays directly penetrate the body, heating the person in the sauna while heating the air as a byproduct. 

People often ask are infrared saunas as good as traditional ones, and the answer is the results are very similar, an infrared sauna just does it more efficiently. 

What’s the Difference: Infrared Sauna vs Dry Sauna 

The key difference is the way the two saunas heat the people in the sauna. For dry saunas, this is done by heating the air, versus infrared saunas which do so by directly heating the person’s body. 

This means that dry saunas and infrared saunas run at different optimal temperatures. As the dry sauna needs to first heat the air and then the person’s body, it’s got to reach a much higher temperature, generally, between 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit.

infrared sauna vs dry sauna - infrared sauna

As infrared light is absorbed directly into the body, this means infrared saunas operate at a lower temperature of between 115-135 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower temperature means infrared saunas are much quicker to heat up, and some people who find the heat of a traditional sauna overwhelming can find the lower air temperature of the infrared sauna more manageable. 

Infrared Sauna vs Dry Sauna Benefits

Scientists have found that infrared waves are beneficial to the human body, helping to stimulate the lymphatic, immune, and cardiovascular systems, while also removing toxins. This adds to the other benefits we commonly associate with sauna use:

  • Pain Relief: Improved circulation helps oxygenate sore muscles, bringing you natural pain relief.
  • Reduced Stress Levels: A sauna is a stress-free environment where you can sit back and relax. Infrared saunas stimulate the autonomic nervous system, putting your body in a restive state.
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: You might be sitting back relaxing, but your body is hard at work pumping blood at a higher rate than in your resting state. This can result in improved cardiovascular health.
  • Improved Skin: The deep sweat your body produces helps clear the skin of dead skin cells and impurities. 
  • Weight Loss: Sauna use has been proven to help burn calories, meaning it can be a good way to lose weight. 
  • Other Frequently Asked Questions about Infrared Saunas include:

  • Is a dry sauna better than infrared? Infrared sauna vs dry sauna is a common debate, but there’s not much between them. They both offer great health benefits, but an infrared sauna is more efficient, saving you money on your running costs.
  • What is the difference between an infrared sauna and a regular sauna? The main difference is the heating mechanism. A regular sauna uses hot stones that heat the air whereas an infrared sauna uses infrared light to heat the body directly. 
  • What type of sauna is best for your health? All saunas offer lots of health benefits, but infrared light has been shown to be very beneficial for the body. Infrared waves help stimulate the lymphatic, immune, and cardiovascular systems.
  • Are infrared saunas as good as traditional? Infrared saunas offer all the benefits of a traditional sauna with some additional positives. They’re much more effective at delivering heat, making them more efficient to run.
  • Does sauna improve the immune system? Saunas can improve the immune system by invoking an artificial fever. This strengthens the immune response in case of infections. 
  • Conclusion: Infrared Sauna vs Dry Sauna

    The question of infrared saunas vs dry saunas arises a lot because when you’re sitting in them, they feel very similar. They both use a dry heat that’s quite different from a traditional wet sauna, but in the background, there are many differences. 

    When it comes to benefits, both the infrared and dry saunas are excellent for people’s health. The one key benefit the infrared saunas has over the dry sauna is their efficiency. They deliver heat to the body in a more efficient way, making them an excellent progression in sauna technology.