Infrared sauna buying guide

My infrared sauna buying guide is designed to help you make an informed decision when purchasing your sauna. This is an investment into your health and should be considered carefully so you use and enjoy your sauna for years and years.

How Much to Spend?

One of the first considerations is your budget. If it turns out the sauna you really want is more than you planned on spending, do you have a contingency plan to come up with the extra money, like using money you'd earmarked for vacation or skipping dinners out for a while?

Follow the infrared sauna buying guide: Plan ahead and you'll be less stressed over your decisions. (Saunas are meant to relieve stress, not create stress!)

Sauna Size and Location

Before you go buy a sauna, decide if you want it indoors or outdoors. Indoor saunas will hold their beauty longer since they're not subject to the elements, but if you don't have room, you'll need to find space outdoors. You may also have more privacy indoors.

Infrared saunas typically come in 1, 2, and 3-person models, though larger capacity models are available. One person models are generally about 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep. A two person model is about 4 feet by 4 feet.

Special infrared sauna buying guide tip: Especially if you are buying your sauna online or in a kit, check measurements before you purchase to make sure what they call a 3-person sauna will actually be comfortable for the 3 people who will be using it.

Some saunas are less than 6 feet in interior height, but most are just over 6 feet. Be sure to check all dimensions before purchasing if this is an issue.


Many saunas have windows in the doors at the very least, but some have no windows at all. If you or someone who will be using the sauna is the least bit claustrophobic, take this into consideration. When you're shut in a small, hot space, claustrophobic feelings can intensify, even for someone who is not typically claustrophobic. An upgrade to include a few windows in your sauna might be worth any additional cost so that the sauna is enjoyed and used frequently, which is the reason for the purchase in the first place.

More infrared sauna buying guide tips: Types of Sauna Heaters

Infrared saunas come with one of three types of heaters: ceramic, carbon fiber, or combination.

Carbon fiber heaters are a very thin film, only about 1 millimeter thick. The surface area of a carbon fiber heater is larger than that of a ceramic heater, which allows for a wider heat distribution and a lower surface temperature than ceramic heater rods.

Every infrared sauna buying guide will tell you that carbon fiber heaters are more economical to operate than ceramic heaters, saving up to 40% in energy usage. They also have better infrared penetration due to the surface area.

Carbon heaters tend to be more expensive than ceramic heaters, but the investment in your health may be worth the extra expense. Consider, too, that carbon fiber heaters are becoming more popular and ceramic heaters, less popular. When it comes time to replace heating elements, you want to be sure the parts you need are available and affordable. What's cheaper now may not be cheaper to replace in a few years.

Ceramic heaters are a single ceramic rod. (Several rods are placed around the sauna's interior, not just one rod.) Because it is a rod, the surface area is very small, and thus the area in which the infrared rays hit your body are smaller. Remember, infrared light heats up what it "hits" not the air around it, so if infrared rays are not hitting your body, you're not getting the full effect.

The combination heater is a patented technology from True Value. They combine a micro ceramic compound into the carbon fiber heater for the best of both heat technologies.

Infrared sauna buying guide: Options and Accessories

Just like a car or a house, your sauna has accessory options, too.

Chromo therapy uses colored lighting to create healing and relaxing moods. This alternative medicine form treats imbalances in our physical, spiritual, emotional or mental state.

If you like music or audio books while you sauna, you can use an MP3 player, but remember that you will be sweating heavily. Your earbuds will get sweaty and you might be irritated by cords hanging on your body while you're sweating in an infrared sauna. Having a sound system installed in the sauna is an option to strongly consider, but make sure it's a quality system that will hold up to heat and humidity.

Indoor/outdoor controls. It's convenient to be able to turn the sauna on from the outside to let it heat up, and turn it off while you're inside without having to open the door and let heat out or cold in. Even better, consider whether a timer option is worth the investment.

Oxygen ionizers purify the air in the sauna. Remember that as you sweat, you'll be releasing lots of toxins from your body. It's healthier to breathe fresh, purified air than stale, toxin-laden air.

Every infrared sauna buying guide will tell you that windows and glass doors are a must, as mentioned earlier, for anyone with claustrophobic tendencies. Even if you're not claustrophobic, but uncomfortable in small spaces, being able to see out windows and doors will make it feel more spacious.

Other options include LED lighting, cup and magazine holders, fresh air vents, and even DVD players.

Service and Reliability

By all means, purchase your sauna from a reputable company with quality customer service. If you have issues in putting your kit together or if something isn't working properly, you want a company who will be there to stand behind their warranty, and who will be help you quickly.

Also, before you purchase, do a quick internet search for sauna recalls. Make sure the manufacturer hasn't had any recalls. You want to be safe and enjoy your sauna for years to come.

Even if you know you want to order your sauna from an online company, try to look at some saunas in person to try out the different sizes and get familiar with the options available.

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