Infrared Sauna experience

I did a search and there hasnt been much discussion of Infrared sauna’s. Has anyone had experience with one? how did you think it compared to a traditional Sauna

I was actually fortunate to have access to a traditional (finnish) sauna at work (on a ship) for 4 weeks late last year. I was so convinced that I gifted myself an infrared sauna for Christmas. So I have a bit of experience with both.

  • Cost: infrared is clearly cheaper in operating costs operating
  • Heat: my infrared goes up to 50 degrees Celcius, which is borderline. I feel it takes me 10 minutes to start really heating up vs. 2-3 minutes with Finnish sauna. That is with turning off my fan for 10 minutes st the end of my workout, and aiming to be in the sauna within 2 minutes of stepping off the bike. I’d recommend a 70C infrared for that reason. When I am warmed up I sweat a similar amount in both and feel similarly hot
  • The finnish sauna clearly has a much higher air temperature (I used it at 92C). It made it feel difficult to breathe, and I had to restricted my breathing way below what I would normally chose to avois scorching my lungs. This is actually positive I think, because it felt very much like VO2max work: “I want to breathemore, but I can’t and know I don’t need to”. Very beneficial to disconnect that feeling from the general VO2max panic, so I could work on this part separetely
  • I have used saunas +/- 5 times a weeks since then. I believe it’s been hugely positive for my fitness, as I have reached early summer fitness levels in the heart of winter already :grinning: The general feeling is that all the sustained stuff is much easier, which coulb be increased blood volume or placebo :man_shrugging:t4: Whatever the cause, I’ll take it :grin:
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so, you clearly like the effect, but if you had to do it again, would you save up and get the finnish or are you satisfied with IR?

Speaking of, is EMF any sort of concern? I did some light searching on these when the podcast talked about saunas a while back, and the recurring theme of comments online was the warning of EMF from some IR saunas. I did some quick searching and didn’t find anything directly conclusive (that wasn’t paid for by sauna brands or didn’t seem bro-science.) So, is it a concern, or?

i’m paying a bit more for mine to get a company that has third party testing to show low EMF. i think it varies by manufacturer

Difficult to say really, @Jkauffman. One the one hand the Finnish sauna has the higher air temperature that is great, on the other hand it’s subjectively a harsher environment to stay in so I might have ended up using less often down the road because I am a softie…

Can I have both? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Probably a bit biased as a Finn but I’d say an infrared “sauna” is not a sauna at all, its a warm room.
When it comes to using a Finnish sauna correctly the air is also not supposed to be so dry and hot that its unbearable to breath, you’re doing it wrong if thats the case. The stove is there, or should be anyway, with plenty of stones to constantly keep throwing water on them, to create humidity and “soft” hot air. Running it e.g. at 92 degrees C is too hot for my liking, especially with no water thrown at the stove. Thats what people get wrong in many countries that puts me off going in them, like here in Germany the “Finnish” saunas are so hot and dry as you are not even allowed to throw water it just burns you, has nothing to do with the original Finnish way of using one.

Haha, agreed. Tried one myself (in Finland even) and it was NOT great. Barely even warm, not nice in any way. Maybe it has some other “features” that might be good for you, but it’s not a sauna.
Real saunas start at 100C, correct? :smile: