When was the last time you thought to yourself, “I should really enjoy some time in a sauna?” What about the idea of having a sauna in your home? Unfortunately, saunas are not a big part of American culture, though they are deeply ingrained in many other societies.
For example, saunas are a huge part of the culture in Finland, where there’s an average of one sauna in every household. In fact, sometimes a steam or wet sauna is simply called a ‘Finnish sauna,’ which gets its name from the cultural influence rather than the type of sauna it is – though a true traditional Finnish sauna is a wood-burning sauna where the temperature is controlled by the fire in the stove.
In response to your requests, here is our opinion on the best infrared sauna.
Different Types of Saunas
Often overlooked, saunas are ancient and powerful tools for improving our health. The different types of saunas include:
- Finnish sauna – Wood burning and sometimes humid with water used.
- Electric sauna – This can include steam or infrared.
- Steam sauna – Due to the intensity of the steam, the temperature is lower. Also called a Turkish-style spa.
- Infrared sauna – Where special light bulbs heat a person’s body (as opposed to heated air).
All saunas offer huge health benefits and are deeply relaxing – though infrared saunas are arguably the best.
Why Infrared Saunas are Superior
Infrared refers to the wavelength of the light and energy that is emitted and it’s what allows you to stand the heat much longer.
The different types of infrared waves offer various benefits, so be sure you’re using an infrared sauna that uses all three types. Most people find they can stay in an infrared sauna much longer than other types of saunas because the air isn’t fully heated like in a steam sauna.
In every type of sauna, your body temperature rises, which causes you to sweat.
In most saunas, the air is heated, which in turn warms you. In the case of infrared saunas, the lighting causes your core temperature to rise, which makes you sweat more at a lower temperature. This allows you to reap the benefits in less time and with less equipment.
Infrared saunas are also more portable and affordable.
The Importance of the Different Infrared Waves
To get the maximum benefit from your infrared sauna, it should use the entire infrared spectrum. There are three types of infrared waves and each has its benefits:
- Near-infrared – Improves wound healing, cell health, and oxygenation of tissues.
- Mid-infrared – Improves circulation, weight loss, and pain relief.
- Far infrared – Support detoxification and blood pressure balance.
The full spectrum of infrared is ideal but not all infrared saunas use each – this is part of the reason I recommend the Sunlighten sauna.
The Difference Between Carbon and Ceramic Heaters
Another important distinction to make when shopping for an infrared sauna is to choose one with carbon heaters. The older heating technology used ceramic heaters, which aren’t as effective. They have to get really hot for them to work because they are smaller – this prevents them from emitting as much infrared light.
Carbon heaters have a lower surface temperature which allows it to emit more beneficial infrared.
11 Science-Backed Benefits of Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas are great for just about everyone but are especially beneficial for anyone working to balance their hormones or those with an autoimmune disease. Studies have found that infrared light and the sweating associated with all saunas improve your health through:
- Reducing inflammation
- Supporting detoxification through sweating
- Strengthening the immune system through sweating
- Improving wound healing
- Activating cell regeneration
- Promoting weight loss
- Increasing blood flow
- Improving athletic performance
- Reducing pain
- Fighting cognitive decline
- Lowering blood pressure
Using an infrared sauna regularly means you can speed up important healing processes and support the detoxification pathways that are critical for all of us. I recommend using an infrared sauna to all my clients, but especially to anyone with autoimmune issues (such as Hashimoto’s, Graves’ disease), hormonal imbalances and people who have a high heavy metal toxic load.
Infrared sauna and hormonal balance
How your hormones are produced, metabolized, and excreted depends on your overall wellness. What I have found is that women who regularly detox, make a clean way of living their routine rather than a one-off event, heal, and live a hormonally more balanced life.
The benefits of an infrared sauna that I’ve found to be particularly beneficial in balancing hormones is based on the fact that the IR sauna reduces inflammation, supports detoxification (key in excreting metabolized hormones), and increases blood flow (key to nourishing hormone-producing glands).
The only risks of saunas are that your body doesn’t tolerate them well or that you are using a poorly made sauna with dangerous materials. If you ever don’t feel well while in a sauna, you should stop immediately. The cheap saunas you can find on Amazon for a few hundred dollars are often made with toxic materials that off-gas (just read some of the scary reviews about the unbearable smell) and the cheap light bulbs can emit strong EMF radiation and even be dangerous.
Saunas are one of those products where it just doesn’t make sense to cut corners and go the absolute cheapest route. If you’re using a sauna, it’s to improve your health – not to add to your toxin burden and even put yourself in harm’s way.
This is why I investigated and found what I believe is the best sauna for you.
Why is Sunlighten the Best Infrared Sauna?
I first came across Sunlighten at the Bulletproof Conference in Los Angeles. I know the organizers and their scrutiny of partners who exhibit at this event – so that was a starting point.
After looking into numerous infrared saunas, I chose Sunlighten based on the following criteria:
- Highest quality materials – I investigated every detail even down to the glue they used.
- Extremely low electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation – EMF radiation is one of the downsides of electric saunas, however, Sunlighten saunas emit virtually no EMFs.
- Full spectrum infrared waves used – Sunlighten is the only sauna I found that used a 3-in-1 system to administer near, mid, and far infrared light. They developed their system so your body would be the most receptive to infrared light.
- Uses patented Solarcarbon heater technology – Their heaters have a 95 percent emissivity of infrared light. Emissivity is the ability of an object to emit energy. Meaning a Sunlighten sauna is incredibly effective at delivering a higher concentration of infrared waves.
- Enjoy vs. Endure. Other IR saunas may offer an extremely hot experience that you may want to end early and leave you feeling depleted. Sunlighten offers a comfortable, gentle heat that is enjoyable for the entire session and leaves you feeling invigorated, light, and energized.
- Price – Sunlighten saunas vary in price starting at $1899. This is a great price for the highest quality and quantity of therapeutic infrared, vs. just hot air.
Consider Getting an Infrared Sauna
The idea of getting an infrared sauna may seem novel only because it’s not as common in our culture, however in some cultures almost every family has one. Though the initial cost may cause you to hesitate, when you really break it down it’s easy to see an infrared sauna is well worth the investment. We are so quick to spend $5 or even $10 daily on a promising product that we believe will help our health in the long run – if you apply that cost to a daily sauna session, it would pay for itself in less than a year.
This is especially true if you are working on hormone balance or getting an autoimmune disease in check. They are a powerful ally in supporting detoxification, immune system health, circulation, pain relief, and beyond. I’ve even witnessed people reducing pain medication and improving their quality of life with the use of their infrared sauna.
My first experience with an infrared sauna was in California, where my landlady built her own sauna. She had stage IV throat cancer and after the diagnosis, she drastically changed her diet and lifestyle. The IR sauna was part of her protocol. I used to go in about twice per week and loved how relaxed it made me feel. I also experienced a much deeper sleep.
Many of you have asked about infrared saunas, so my team and I approached Sunlighten and asked them for a discount for the Hormones Balance community. These time-based offers happen a few times a year. Join our email list to be the first to know when the next community-based discount is available.
Infrared saunas could be the missing piece of your health puzzle. Consider getting an infrared sauna and see how it helps. Plus, saunas feel pretty amazing.
Please note that I am an affiliate for Sunlighten so I receive a small percentage of sales, but all opinions are my own.