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Traditional vs. Infrared Sauna: What’s the difference?

Are you interested in having a home sauna? From relieving stress to detoxing, the health benefits of saunas are amazing. It’s no wonder you want one! But which kind is right for you? Traditional or infrared? As Finnleo® says, “The sauna you will use the most is the best sauna!” 

Really, there is no better or best when debating between traditional and infrared saunas. Both types will give you that deep sweat you’re after and all the benefits like stress and pain relief, relaxation, and skin detoxification. It’s just a matter of which sauna style works best for you. Here are the main differences between them, so you can decide what fits your lifestyle best.

Traditional Saunas

When you think of a traditional sauna, you may picture a room with loads of steam. But actually, that’s not a requirement. The heat in a traditional sauna is dry until you sprinkle water over the rocks. As the bather, you determine how humid you want the room. However, the air temperature in a traditional sauna is quite a bit higher than in an infrared sauna. Typically the air temperature in a traditional sauna ranges between 150℉ and 185℉. And it’s that air temperature that heats your body and produces a deep sweat. Because you have to wait for the air to warm up to your desired temperature before sauna bathing, you can plan on a 30-40 minute warm-up time before entering the sauna. 

Infrared Saunas

The first thing you’ll notice with an infrared sauna is that the air temperature is cooler. That’s because infrared heat warms your body, not the air (although, the air temperature will still rise). As the infrared heat warms the walls, this in turn raises the temperature in the room. But, you’ll notice the air temperature is much cooler than a traditional sauna, usually between 120℉ and 140℉. Even though infrared energy penetrates deeply and produces a deep sweat, the lower ambient temperature makes the heat feel more gentle to most sauna users. When it comes to heat-up time, that’s up to the bather. Technically, since infrared energy heats your body directly, there’s no need for any warm-up time. But many people do like to wait about 15 minutes until the walls have warmed and the temperature has risen to over 100℉. It helps to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere. 

So which sauna is right for you? If you enjoy a steamy sauna experience (a helpful perk when you’re dealing with a cold or congestion), opt for a traditional sauna. Choose the same if you like the idea of sprinkling natural oils over the rocks and making aromatherapy part of your ritual. 

If you’re after a lower, more gentle heat experience, you’re looking for an infrared sauna

With Finnleo there is one other choice, and it’s like having both a traditional and an infrared sauna. Called an Infra-Sauna, or I/S sauna, it makes your sauna experience completely customizable. You can choose a traditional, steamy sauna when you need congestion relief. Or, use it when you’re socializing and want to provide your friends with a classic Finnish experience. And then opt for mild-soothing infrared heat therapy when you’re looking for a little less heat. 

Now that you know the differences, what type of sauna is right for you? Whichever type you choose, we’ve got a Finnleo sauna that fits the bill. Give us a call and you’ll be enjoying your new sauna in no time!