Looking to buy a new sauna for your end-of-workout downtime, or just to relax at the end of a stressful workday? You have a big choice to make: traditional or infrared saunas. Not sure which to choose? We can help by breaking down both sauna types so you can learn which is the best option for you. Here’s everything you need to know about infrared vs traditional saunas!

Clearlight® Infrared Saunas are the best infrared saunas on the market today. Explore the many fantastic models available for sale here at The Sauna Life, and contact us today to request a quote.


How Infrared & Traditional Saunas Work

Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to warm the sauna space with light that’s invisible to the naked eye. Even though you won’t be able to see the infrared light, your body will certainly feel it. Infrared light penetrates your skin and can warm deeper tissues quickly and efficiently. Many infrared sauna users compare the experience to basking in sunshine.

In contrast, traditional saunas warm their occupants by using hot rocks heating water into steam, which raises the temperature of the enclosed area. The steam first warms the surface of your body, then eventually your muscles and deeper tissues. Your body then sweats to cool down, purging your skin of toxins.

Key Differences Between Infrared & Traditional Saunas

The distinct mechanisms behind both sauna types result in several significant differences:

Heating Methods

As mentioned, infrared saunas use infrared light to warm your body whereas traditional saunas use heating implements like hot rocks or steamers. For sauna occupants, these heating methods result in a different physical experience:

  • Traditional Saunas. A traditional sauna can be quite intense as the skin is warmed more directly than other tissues in the body.
  • Infrared Saunas. In contrast, infrared saunas feel gentler even while heat reaches the core of your body much more quickly.

Typical Temperatures

Infrared and traditional saunas typically operate at different temperature levels as well.

  • Traditional Saunas. To induce the desired experience, traditional saunas typically operate between 150° and 190°F.
  • Infrared saunas do not need to operate at temperatures that high. Infrared light can quickly warm deeper tissues without having to first warm up the skin. These saunas usually operate at temperatures between 115° and 120°F.

Time Spent Inside Sauna

The differing heating methods of these sauna types also affect the ideal time to spend in each sauna:

  • Traditional saunas use more intensive heat. A typical traditional sauna session can last from anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes.
  • Infrared saunas produce a gentler heat that more directly heats your deeper tissues. Average infrared sauna sessions last from 25-45 minutes. Just be sure to stay hydrated during lengthier sessions!

Health Benefits

Both traditional and infrared saunas can induce a number of health benefits. Shared health benefits include improved blood circulation throughout your body, joint pain relief, clear and tighter skin, improved sleep, detoxification, weight loss and more.

How to Choose Between a Traditional or Infrared Sauna

Since both types of saunas can be helpful, which should you choose? You’ll be most satisfied if you nail down what you’re looking for and figure out what your budgetary limitations are before purchasing a sauna:

Benefits You’re Seeking

Consider the exact benefits you want from your sauna sessions. If you want an intense sweating experience or to simply relax surrounded by steam, a traditional sauna is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want more direct muscle recovery assistance or greater stimulation of deeper bodily tissues, an infrared sauna may be a better choice.

What Experience Do You Want?

You should also think about the experience each sauna type can provide. Infrared saunas provide a gentler experience and can be more enjoyable if you have tried a traditional sauna before and felt overstimulated or became too hot too quickly.

Cost Factors

Lastly, be sure to think about price before purchasing. Infrared saunas can be cheaper to run in the long term, since they use less electricity to produce infrared light than traditional saunas use to warm rocks or to create steam.

Order an Infrared Sauna Today

Experience the difference of an infrared sauna for yourself. Clearlight® Infrared Saunas are the best infrared saunas on the market today. Explore the many fantastic models available for sale here at The Sauna Life, and contact us today to request a quote.