Why do so many infrared sauna cabins look the same?
If you've been doing much browsing for saunas on the Internet, you may have noticed something rather unusual. Many of the models from one website to another don't look any different. Don't worry - you're not imagining the similarities. They are very real and are quite easy to explain: a lot of them are the same sauna.
The Identical Sauna Mystery Solved
There is a good reason why so many of the infrared sauna cabins in the Internet market are the same. The answer is money. What has happened in recent years is that a sauna industry has been developing in China and now those products are being offered to many sauna distributors in North America. Because the Chinese versions cost less, they can actually be sold at lower prices to customers here which means more people can purchase them.
While that may seem like great news for the average consumer who always wanted to buy a sauna but could never afford one, the truth is that some of these Chinese infrared sauna cabins are not only inferior in quality but can be downright unsafe.
The Sauna Recall
In June 2008, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on four models of infrared sauna cabins sold through a single web company and all made in China. The models shared the same defect. Because of mechanical failure, the saunas were overheating and causing fires. Four fires had been reported and all four resulted in property damage.
Thankfully, no personal injuries were reported. However, it's easy to see how this type of malfunction could have lead to serious injury or even death for users.
Now you might argue that the same types of errors could have happened in infrared sauna cabins made in the United States or by non-Chinese manufacturers. While that's true, the problem is the safety standards in Asia are so much more relaxed than the ones in the US that problems such as these are more likely to occur.
If you're not convinced just think back to the product recalls for Chinese-manufactured goods in the past year. Everything from toothpaste to children's toys has been removed from the shelves and from consumers' homes because of dangers directly related to these lax standards.
Why Continue Getting Saunas from China?
The answer is that the cheap prices are still attractive to many consumers. Most people aren't aware of the recall and don't know enough about saunas to make a distinction between high quality construction and the poorly made ones which could put their property and life at stake.
Many companies ignore the risk these inferior products create because they are generating so much money by selling them online. However, more people are beginning to take notice. For example, the Canadian Electrical Safety Authority investigated many saunas similar to those in the recalls and found not only fire risks but also a greater danger of electrical shock to users.
Additionally, others have reported disgusting fumes coming from the glues used to put together the sauna, exposed wires, staples and other pieces hanging out, un-sanded and rough wood, and cheap heaters that barely function.
Unfortunately, many companies are only looking at the short-term benefits of selling these more affordable saunas. They may not be so happy with the consequences. For example, the company responsible for selling those saunas involved in the recall had to give refunds to all of their 225 customers who purchased them. Not only have they lost a lot of money but they've lost something even more valuable to the company: their reputation.
Choosing a Quality Sauna
When you're buying online, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you are getting a quality sauna. However, one thing you can do is ask questions either by phone or by email. Reputable companies will be able to tell you which materials are used to create their saunas. They can also explain the differences between the heating elements used in saunas and will even provide a warranty in case you are unsatisfied with the sauna you receive.
Of course, one of the big red flags that the sauna in question is made in China is the price. When you see a price that looks too good to be true, it's worth investigating or shopping somewhere else. Generally, those low prices mean that the finished product is going to be of low quality and that's not what you want for a sauna.
Remember if you're ever in doubt about the quality of a sauna, don't take chances just ask questions.
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