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Best Infrared Saunas 2018: Reviews and Buying Guide

Clearlight Corner Sauna

These days, the sauna is seeing a bit of a renaissance with public saunas popping up in gyms and strip malls across the country. While the practice is well-known to be a healthy way to spend a few hours, and is widely endorsed by celebrities and athletes worldwide, the fact of the matter is that many people have yet to experience the many benefits of regular sauna use for themselves. Unfortunately, it is easy to see why as public saunas might be healthy, but they are oftentimes far from hygienic.

Luckily, in addition to advances in heating, modern saunas are much smaller than the average person might expect which means they can easily be installed practically anywhere. What’s more, the reduced size comes with the benefits of increased mobility, and more importantly, a price that means it is within reach of practically anyone. As such, those who are curious about the benefits of regular sauna use, but are not about to trust a public sauna, can now realistically consider purchasing their very own instead.

Sauna Basics

While the traditional sauna has been around for centuries, the past 50 years has seen major improvements in how saunas are heated. Specifically, far-infrared heating technology is now used to set the temperature inside the cabin of the sauna as opposed to the traditional heated rocks method. In addition to offering a more precise way to control the temperature in the sauna, far-infrared technology allows for a much more compact sauna experience which means that a far-infrared sauna can easily be installed in just about any space either via a prefabricated unit or one that is specially made to fit a specific space.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

Infrared heat is the same type of heat that is produced naturally by the sun and, as such, is the result of the heat you feel every time you step outside on a sunny day. In the sauna, the far-infrared rays enter the skin and the heat they produce causes the user to sweat. This has the beneficial effect of allowing the body to sweat out minor toxins and, as an added bonus, it is known to be an effective treatment for numerous different health conditions.

In the sauna world, there are two main types that you’ll see: traditional steam saunas and infrared saunas. Infrared saunas utilized technology that harnesses far infrared waves to heat your body directly. This offers you better efficiency and effectiveness as compared to steam saunas.

Infrared saunas are available for inside and outside use. This article will cover indoor infrared saunas, including the bestselling and highest rated brands, as well as a buying guide to help you know what to look for and how to order saunas online.

Best Infrared Saunas

Clearlight Corner Sauna

Clearlight Sanctuary -- Our #1 Recommendation

Sanctuary is a premium line of saunas from Clearlight, the industry leader in sauna technology. Created by a doctor who understands the value of therapeutic services, Clearlight has led the way in construction, health, and innovation for more than 21 years. Sanctuary saunas come in grade “A” clear western red Canadian Cedar or Basswood wood and use high output, low-EMF True Wave II infrared heaters. Heaters in the Sanctuary line are carbon and ceramic, making them efficient and effective.

The Sanctuary line utilizes True Wave full spectrum infrared (near, mid, and far) which provides added benefits beyond those that just use far infrared. This is particularly helpful for those with severe and specific health concerns. The thoughtful design ensures that you get the absolute best experience during every sauna session.

A Clearlight Sanctuary sauna includes smartphone control, built-in audio station, and medical grade chromotherapy. This line is beautifully designed and Additionally, Clearlight offers an incredible lifetime warranty and is easy to install.

Available options

1-Person: Interior dimensions – 38” W x 45” D x 74” H

2-Person: Interior dimensions – 47” W x 45” D x 74” H

3-Person: Interior dimensions – 66” W x 45” D x 74” H

4-Person: Interior dimensions – 66” W x 68” D x 74” H

Hot Yoga: Interior dimensions – 76” W x 55.5” D x 74” H

Clearlight Premier 2 Person

Clearlight Premier

For a less expensive option from Clearlight, consider the Premier line. There are a few differences from the Sanctuary saunas that make up the price difference, including size, design, and features. The Premier sauna line uses far infrared heaters (rather than the full spectrum, as in the Sanctuary) and is a bit smaller than the Sanctuary line. It also lacks the built-in chromotherapy that the premium line carries, but it can be added in.

Though it may not boast the same features as the Sanctuary line, Clearlight Premier is still an excellent luxury line that offers the best in sauna technology. Available in red Canadian cedar or basswood, these saunas include carbon/ceramic low-EMF heating. The location of the heaters means that you are totally surrounded by infrared heat, making each sauna session consistently well-heated.

With a Premier sauna from Clearlight, you get the comprehensive lifetime warranty and easy-install design. Additionally, this line includes digital controls, stereo speakers, and inputs for all your audio needs.

Available options

1-Person: Interior dimensions –  35” W x 40” D x 71” H

2-Person: Interior dimensions – 45” W x 40” D x 71” H

3-Person: Interior dimensions – 56” W x 40” D x 71” H

3-4 Person: Interior dimensions – 60” D x 71” H

4-5 Person: Interior dimensions – 78” W x 42” D x 71” H

JNH Joyous 2 Person Sauna


JNH Lifestyles Joyous – Budget Pick

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, and you’re on a bit of a budget, the JNH Joyous is worth a look. JNH Lifestyles Saunas offers some of the finest far-infrared saunas available on the market today. Regardless of which model you choose you can rest easy knowing it will be crafted from the finest materials available including all natural Canadian wood of either western hemlock or red cedar. 

The Joyous Collection offers saunas that are great for any space, regardless of how big or small that space may be. This includes a 1 person, 2 person, 3 person and 4 person unit as well as a corner unit that can seat up to 5 people. Regardless of which unit you choose, each comes with a five-year warranty when it comes to their heaters, their wood structure and their electrical as well as their control components. This warranty does not include commercial use, but does include a lifetime technical warranty.

A sauna from the Joyous collection includes carbon fiber far infrared heaters, tongue and groove construction, and premium sound system.

Available Options

1-Person: Exterior dimensions – 35.5" (w) x 35.5" (d) x 75" (h)

2-Person: Exterior dimensions – 47.3" (w) x 39.5" (d) x 75" (h)

3-Person: Exterior dimensions – 59.1" (w) x 39.4" (d) x 75" (h)

4-Person: Exterior dimensions – 70.9"(w) x 47.3"(d) x 75"(h)

2-3 Person Corner: Exterior dimensions – 47.2" (backwall) x 27.5" (side) x 75" (h)

4-Person Corner: Exterior dimensions – 59.1 (back) x 25.6" (side) x 47.3" (front) x 75" (h)

JNH Ensi 3 Person

JNH Ensi Zero-EMF

Another great option from JNH is the Ensi collection, a virtually zero-EMF sauna line known for both the industry-best EMF reading and a stylish look and feel. The EMF readings come from Intertek, a multinational inspection, product testing. and certification company. The testing indicates that JNH’s carbon heaters test at 0-0.6 mg at zero distance. The low EMF doesn’t come with a sacrifice of efficiency, either – the Ensi line is 80% more efficient than many other brands.

Zero-EMF and great efficiency are just a few of the perks of this particular line. Ensi saunas are constructed with dual-wall insulation and are made from FSC Certified Canadian hemlock. JNH’s “tools-free design” promises quick and easy assembly, and LED lighting and a premium sound system make this a sauna collection not to be missed.

Available options

1-Person: Exterior dimensions – 35.5" (w) x 35.5" (d) x 75" (h)

2-Person: Exterior dimensions – 47.3" (w) x 39.5" (d) x 75" (h)

3-Person: Exterior dimensions – 59.1" (w) x 39.5" (d) x 75" (h)

4-Person: Exterior dimensions – 70.9"(w) x 47.3"(d) x 75"(h)

Corner: Exterior dimensions – 47.2" (backwall) x 27.5" (side) x 75" (h)

See all JNH Lifestyle saunas here

Golden Designs 6 person

Golden Designs

Golden Designs saunas come in a number of different size and design options. Known for low EMF readings, roomy saunas, and affordable pricing, Golden Designs saunas are made of natural hemlock and offer some of the largest size options available. With stylish looks and efficient heating, these saunas are easy to assemble and can be installed on carpet.

Here are a few of the Golden Designs saunas we recommend:

Golden Designs 1-2 Person Infrared Sauna Dynamic Cindy Edition – Economical and spacious

Golden Designs 1-2 Person Near Zero EMF Far IR Sauna – Chromotherapy and low EMF

Golden Designs 6 Person Near Zero EMF Far IR Sauna – Best available large-capacity

See all Golden Designs saunas here

Sunray

Sunray carries several models of highly-rated traditional steam saunas, but their infrared saunas are spacious and affordable. Various models are available in Canadian hemlock or solid Canadian red cedar. Sunray uses carbon-nano heaters for smooth, evenly distributed heat for maximum comfort and efficiency. An air filtration system and chromotherapy lighting ensures you have the best possible experience in your sauna.

Here are some notable Sunray saunas:

Sunray 3 Person Cedar Savannah Infrared – Spacious and luxurious

Sunray 2 Person Heathrow Infrared Sauna – Lovely glass design

See all Sunray saunas here

Infrared vs. Traditional Steam Saunas

While most shoppers today ultimately choose infrared saunas, it’s worth understanding the key differences between these two types in case a traditional steam sauna is a more appropriate choice for you.

The two main differences between these two sauna types are:

  • Temperature: A traditional sauna gets much hotter than an infrared sauna, but the results and benefits are the same. This makes an infrared sauna preferable for those who have heat sensitivity.
  • Humidity: In a traditional sauna, water poured over hot rocks increases humidity, while infrared sauna will always be dry.

In addition to these key differences, there are also a few others, including design differences, power requirements (infrared saunas require less power to run), and the way it impacts users.

Benefits of Infrared Saunas

There are plenty of benefits of saunas in general, and that includes infrared styles. Here are some of the primary benefits sauna shoppers are after when they buy:

  • Relaxation: While there might be plenty of health benefits, this is arguably the biggest reason people purchase an in-home sauna.
  • Arthritis & Chronic Pain Relief: For those with rheumatoid arthritis or other chronic pain, saunas can be incredibly soothing and provide temporary relief.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Similarly, saunas help reduce inflammation, which helps alleviate not only joint pain but also with a number of other health issues.
  • Sleep Quality: Those who suffer from insomnia or other sleep issues often find that saunas help them sleep better, as long as sauna use is a few hours before bedtime.
  • Better Skin: Saunas can help eliminate toxins and provide other benefits that lead to clearer skin and skin purification.
  • Weight Loss: While a sauna isn’t going to help you shed pounds on its own, it can help you work towards your weight loss goals.
  • Detox: Your body naturally rids itself of toxins through sweat, but many of us don’t sweat enough to get rid of everything. Saunas are great for helping you detox.
  • Mental Wellness: There are a number of studies that suggest that saunas can help boost your mood, fight depression, and enhance cognitive ability.

This list isn’t exhaustive by any means – there are previous and ongoing studies as well as medical professionals who believe saunas have additional benefits as well. Even those who are cautious in making claims regarding the benefits of infrared saunas agree that there are no negative side effects to sauna use (permitting you don’t overdo it or get overheated), and the potential benefits are worth exploring. Of course, always consult with your doctor before beginning a new regimen or if you have questions about saunas and your health.

Features to Look for in an Infrared Sauna

While it’s important to find the right size of sauna and a style that matches your own, there are actually quite a few other features and specs to know and understand before you commit to a purchase. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Size

Most manufacturers refer to sauna sizes by the number of people it can hold, but many customers find that buying a larger size is better. A two-person sauna, for example, will probably hold two small adults, but it’s often a tight fit. If you have the room, we recommend going a size bigger than the number of people who will use it (ex. A 3-person sauna for 2 people.) Pay close attention to dimensions (particularly interior dimensions when available) to ensure you purchase a sauna that will comfortably accommodate you.

Warranty

If you’re spending your hard-earned money on an addition to your home, you want to make sure you have some sort of guarantee on it. That’s why it’s important to check not just the length of the manufacturer’s warranty, but what it covers as well. Clearlight, for example, has one of the best warranties in the industry: a limited lifetime warranty that covers the entire sauna.

EMF

Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure is an area that many are concerned about, and that includes sauna shoppers. If you want to be sure you limit your exposure to EMF, you’ll want to seek out low-EMF saunas. While researching, look for information regarding how they conduct EMF testing, including which testing company they use and how far from the source they hold the tester.

Wood

The wood used to construct the sauna you choose should be more than just a pretty face. Soft woods, like cedar, basswood, and hemlock are most common. Basswood is best for those who need a hypoallergenic (and less expensive) option. Most of the time, a cedar sauna will be nonaromatic because of the treatment and build. For those interested in sustainability, many manufacturers have certifications from environmental organizations, but it’s a good idea to read up on what the certifications actually mean.

Add-Ons

Depending on the manufacturer, you may have some different add-ons to consider. Chromotherapy lights are common extras. There are also options for vibration resonance therapy on Clearlight models, as well as full spectrum heaters. Some offer backrests or headrests as add-ons. Most saunas will come with everything you need to get started right away, but add-ons are often nice additions to your order.  

What to Know About Buying Saunas Online

Buying a sauna online is much easier than you might expect. However, it is important to choose a reputable company and gather information about how the product is shipped. At BathVault, we work directly with manufacturers, and your product is shipped straight from those manufacturers. Your order is shipped within 1-3 business days and the shipping company works with you to set up a delivery time. Learn more about BathVault’s shipping, delivery, and product guarantee here.