Selecting the best infrared sauna heater is not the only thing to consider when trying to find the best infrared sauna. How do you decide what is the best infrared sauna for you ? Infrared therapy has become immensely popular in Europe and also in the US this is a growing market.
Manufacturers are popping up everywhere.
At the bottom of this page are the names of some manufacturers of infrared sauna's. You can find out about their products by clicking on the names.
There are a lot of decent infrared saunas out there, but it never hurts to get some decent, impartial information, before you buy an infrared sauna. I also have an infrared sauna testimonials page.
Beware, ask questions, study well.1. The Infrared Sauna Heater.
The quality of the infrared sauna heater is a very important parameter for the quality of your infra red sauna.
The paradox of the surface heat.
The surface heat of the heaters should be as low as possible. The lower the surface heat of the infrared sauna heater, the higher the level of far infrared. Far infrared is what you want, because far infrared is more therapeutic for your body than medium or short wave infrared. For a more in-depth discussion about infrared, and why you want far infrared (or long wave infrared), please read this. It will help you understand how to select the best infrared sauna for you.
Infrared sauna heaters that emit medium or short wave infrared rays are less beneficial for your health and their surface heat is higher.
The surface heat should be around 300-350F. If the surface heat of the heaters is above 350F, the sauna will not provide far infrared health benefits.
Size *does* matter.
Larger heaters have – obviously - more surface area, which means lower surface temperature. The heat is spread out over a larger area. This produces more far infrared energy, which is what we all want.
Also take into consideration the *number* of heaters that are used in the sauna. The more heaters, the better. More heaters result in a better body coverage of infrared rays.
On / Off switching.
What does your sauna do when it reaches your desired, preset temperature ? If your sauna completely shuts off the heaters, you won’t feel the comfortable beneficial infrared energy anymore.
It’s exactly the same as being outside in the open when a cloud slides in front of the sun. It feels colder. That’s because the clouds block the suns infrared rays from you. Most people will raise the preset temperature to compensate this, but when the sauna reaches this new temperature, it will shut off the heaters again.
This could mean that during a 30 minute session you only get exposed to the beneficial infrared rays for 20 minutes (or less).
That’s why the physical mass of the infrared sauna heater is important. The higher the physical mass of the heater, the longer it will keep its warmth.
Some manufacturers even offer heat controllers that don’t completely shut off the heaters, but start varying the voltage in the heaters once the desired temperature is reached. This is the best way to make sure you are exposed to the beneficial infrared rays as much as possible.
The quality of the infrared sauna heater says a lot about the quality of your infra red cabin.
2. The cabinetry.
Construction of the cabin.
Best is to look for solid wood, tongue and groove constructed cabins. Veneer constructions may have the advantage of being cheaper, but the cabins are comparatively weak. They are vulnerable to moisture damage that lifts the veneer off the plywood.
Also, and more importantly, plywood constructed cabinetry emits toxic formaldehyde.
Infrared heat therapy is well known for its powerful detoxification capabilities. You don’t want to be inhaling toxic fumes while trying to rid your body of toxins.
That also counts for the windows in your sauna. Look for a sauna with windows in tempered glass. Doing so you won’t have to worry about the off-gassing from the (plastic) windows when heated.
Ask the manufacturer if they can guarantee that non-toxic glue is used for the construction of the cabin.
Solid wood ?
So solid wood cabinetry is advantageous over plywood constructions. But what type of wood should you look for ?
It’s best to stay away from poplar wood. Poplar wood gives off emissions when heated. Cedar wood and redwood have been reported to cause allergic reactions for some people because of the presence of cedrene, a volatile oil of the terpine family.
A better choice would be non-toxic white wood from trees that are grown without pesticides. Some manufacturers also use bass wood, which is known for its anti-allergic qualities. Bass wood also seems to be the wood of choice for bee keepers.
Always look for wood that has no odor, even when heated.
Some manufacturers offer lifetime warranty on their heaters and electrical components. This is of course a plus.
I’ve even come across some manufacturers that offer lifetime warranty on their cabinetry, although you will also find many vendors that offer two or five years on the cabin.
4. Special wiring required ?
Make sure to check with the manufacturer if you need special wiring (110 Volt / 220 Volt outlets) to operate the sauna.
5. Radio / cd player.
Some manufacturers incorporate a (remote controlled) audio system or car stereo in the sauna. Consider the heat these systems have to endure, no matter how well insulated they are. It might be better to look for a cabin with connectors in the back where you can hook up an external audio system.
Below is a list with some infrared sauna manufacturers. You can find out more about their products by clicking on the names.Luxsauna
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