Everything seems to be getting a technological upgrade these days. Our phones are smarter, our speakers talk back, even our cars can park themselves. While it’s still a little creepy when Siri answers a question nobody asked her, the more refined technology gets, the better the service, and saunas are no exception. So…What’s an infrared sauna?

infrared sauna wood - small - single person

The basic purpose of a sauna is to make you sweat out the impurities in your body. This cleansing process is done with heat, which opens your pores so the bad stuff can sweat out. Saunas also help relax muscles, improve circulation, soothe aches and joint pain, and relieve stress. All of this is accomplished as the thermostat rises to somewhere between 150-175 degrees. However, at this temperature, it can quickly get uncomfortably hot, which is why it’s important to stay safe when using a sauna. With new advances, it’s now even easier to regulate the temperature inside a sauna to achieve health benefits for you in the safest environment.

What is an infrared sauna?

An infrared sauna creates heat using light. Traditional saunas get hot with a small fire or stove under a pile of rocks. These rocks absorb the heat and continue keeping things toasty even after the fire goes out or the stove is turned off. This process heats the air, which in turn heats you. Infrared saunas skip a step and heat your body directly without having to mess with the air temperature.

One of the best methods for detoxifying, relieving pain and helping the stress sweat right out, infrared saunas and traditional saunas have similar health benefits, but with infrared options, things don’t get as hot. They typically run around about 40 degrees cooler, at a temperature range of 110-130 degrees. This makes the sauna accessible to people who can’t tolerate the higher temperatures of a traditional sauna, including children.

How does an infrared sauna work?

Infrared heat is attracted to objects rather than the air. When you light a fire in your living room the heat dissipates into the space. You’ll feel warmer the closer you sit by the fireplace, and the longer the fire burns the further the fire reaches. Infrared heat goes straight for your body, the furniture, any physical object in the room, allowing you to feel the heat faster. This same principle happens in a sauna. Traditional saunas warm rocks which absorb the heat and release it into the space. The closer you sit to the rocks and the heating element the warmer you feel. Infrared saunas focus their heat on you, penetrating up to three inches below your skin and muscle tissues. Once there, this special bandwidth of infrared light is converted to heat energy. And, all this occurs at a lower overall temperature.

This targeted heat-up, emitted by special carbon panels, gets you to the health benefits of using a sauna faster. You sweat faster and begin releasing toxins from your body sooner. Your joints and muscles get a more direct shot of heat to help soothe aches and ease stiffness. This all happens using less electricity than most household appliances.

What are the best features of an infrared sauna?

There are enough brands and models of infrared saunas on the market today to compare features and specifications to find the best-performing option. When shopping around, you should look at certain components to check quality, including:

  • Heater composition: Carbon panels are the most efficient, while steel or ceramic rod heaters can take a lot of time to reach the right infrared bandwidth. Heating panels should extend around the seating area of the sauna. Rear, side, and lower leg, panels should be present.
  • Wiring: A lower-quality infrared sauna may not necessarily take as much time in setting up their wiring in the safest way possible, leaving electrical components out in the open rather than enclosed in safe, metal housing.
  • Safety certification: Check safety certifications. If your sauna brand has multiple international regulatory agencies certifying the safety of your infrared sauna, you’re in good hands. The Helo Infrared series of saunas, for example, are not only certified in Sweden, but exceed their standards with their patent-pending Pure Infra™ technology.
  • Overall construction: You want an infrared sauna that doesn’t feel flimsy. Take some time to inspect the materials your sauna is made from, and how well it was constructed. 
Large Infrared sauna

Where can I see an infrared sauna person?

As a New Englander, an infrared sauna can do wonders to keep sore muscles and tired bodies feeling their best no matter the season. Whether your shoulder and back hurt from shoveling snow or you need to warm up after a long day outside, the benefits to owning the latest in sauna technology can be worthwhile. If you’re looking for the best price on an infrared sauna in or around Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Great Bay Spa & Sauna has you covered. With the best prices and highest-quality selection in the seacoast area, our showroom is prepped and ready to give you a peek into an amazing sauna experience. Come and visit today to learn more.