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Infrared vs Traditional Sauna: Which One Is Better for You

Infrared vs Traditional Sauna
Written by Kai Michel
Last Update: August 10, 2023

Generally, saunas are fixtures found in most spas, fitness centers, and other health facilities within and across the US. Today, the device has found its way into many US households. There are 2 types of saunas used across the US: steam (traditional) and infrared.

Both the traditional and infrared saunas are accompanied by their unique features. It can seem tough to choose the right one if you don’t have a clear idea about what separates them from one another. That’s why this guide will provide an in-depth “infrared vs traditional sauna” comparison and help you choose the perfect sauna type for you. Let’s jump right in.

Infrared Vs Traditional Sauna: Key Differences

Infrared Vs Traditional Sauna

1. Heat

One of the significant differences that exist between infrared and traditional saunas is the level of heat they produce. The traditional sauna is designed to function with a temperature range of 180 -200 degrees Fahrenheit, which appears overwhelming for those who are allergic to heat. On the other hand, infrared saunas operate with a milder temperature level that ranges between 130 -150 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, due to the use of rays that transfer heat directly into the body, infrared sauna often leads to vigorous sweating when it runs on a lower temperature range.

2. Humidity

If you are making a comparison between traditional steam sauna and infrared sauna, it’s vital to consider their rate of humidity. The steam sauna has a relatively lower temperature when compared to the conventional sauna. But most times, the steam sauna employs more heated steam that often creates an artificial humid experience. The infrared sauna doesn’t use steam to carry out its operation; it depends wholly on the use of infrared heaters to carry out its overall operations.

3. Power Needs

This factor is yet another significant difference that exists between most traditional and infrared saunas; the amount of electrical energy required to operate them. Traditional sauna operates with more electrical power, which ranges around 6 kW when compared to infrared saunas that make use of 1.6 kW. This means that using a traditional sauna is three times expensive as using most infrared saunas. I bet this can make an enormous difference in your budget. Although, it all depends on how often either of the devices is used.

4. Action

A stove is used in a traditional sauna. And as the temperature increases, your body temperature increases too. To this effect, the cooling process in your body gets activated. This happens when the body transport blood close to the skin surface and allows the pores to get open for sweating.

On the other hand, the infrared sauna is also known to heat the surrounding air, but this time it is done with a lesser degree change in temperature. The skin directly absorbs the wavelength produced by the infrared sauna, and this increases the temperature of the body. This also causes a similar effect that is experienced while using the traditional sauna.

5. Health Benefits

All over the world, saunas are used to gain remarkable health benefits for decades. Over time, excessive sweating has been associated with remarkable health benefits since it helps the body flush out disease and toxins; and this help to maintain your health.

Some of the health benefits accompanied by the use of sauna therapy are detoxification of anti-virus, pain relief, improved circulation, sinus relief, weight loss, improved skin condition, and relaxation. Sweating in a sauna can be effective when keeping fit, and its helps the body restore health.

6. Operation & Maintenance

Since the wood used to build a sauna is continuously exposed to extreme temperature and moisture, it is vital to carry out proper maintenance on the wood. Proper ventilation is critical to overcoming excessive moisture. When using a public sauna, backrests, benches, and bumpers should occasionally be treated with the use of paraffin oil. If a window accompanies the sauna, it is essential to treat around the glass of the window; you can also use paraffin oil too. Woods can be damaged by permanent condensation.

The paraffin oil most times is colorless and odorless and can protect your wood and make it waterproof, making it pretty easy for you to clean whenever you intend too, this prolongs the life span of the device.

Note:  Leave the ceiling and the wall of your sauna in its original condition. Though you can efface the surface with a damp cloth, while doing this, you can use a mild solution of disinfectant, which is meant for saunas.


Ensure you take proper and accurate measurements of the result. You will need to position the hygrometer +on the oven sidewall, which is 150 cm away from the floor.


Impregnating paraffin oil and spraying a bucket of water on every sauna session would help preserve the woods.


You will need to check out the box stove oven once in a year. Take off the stone away from the furnace. Vacuum all the stone particles and clean up deposits that are found underneath the compartment. Now place the stone back and take off those that are not in good condition. If needed, you can add more stones. Filling the compartment kiln with more stones will only lead to a better result.


Q. 1: Which sauna is better infrared or steam?

A. Infrared saunas are designed to produce heat with the use of rays, whereas the steam room is designed to function with moist heat. Both the steam and infrared sauna enhance healing and wellness with additional benefits like relaxation, detoxification, and weight loss. However, both device has a little difference in the measure of benefit they share.

Q. 2: Are infrared saunas healthy?

A. There are no precise timing or number of session you can observe per week. However, the sauna is very safe for everyday use. The device will only boost your health if done regularly. Normally, most people spend about 30 -55-minute session.

Q. 3: Do infrared saunas cause skin cancer?

A. IR is safe and cannot lead to skin cancer. However, an increase in body temperature can fact decrease DNA repair and promote skin cancer, which in most occasions are instigated by other agents.

Q. 4: What do you wear in an infrared sauna?

A. You can have your clothes on while spending time in an infrared. But do ensure the clothes you intend to use are loosely fit and breathable. We recommend the use of light clothes since it doesn’t block the sweat pores. We recommend loose shorts and T-shirts made of cotton fabric.

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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