7 Questions About Infrared Saunas

Saunas are elevating how we invest in our everyday well-being. Finding the right sauna for your health needs and lifestyle can be challenging, though. At Health Mate Sauna, we use infrared technology that offers a rejuvenating and revitalizing sauna experience, providing plenty of mental and physical benefits along the way. To help you navigate the research process in choosing a home infrared sauna, we’ve answered the 7 most common questions about infrared saunas so you can make an informed decision.

1) How much does a sauna cost?

When you invest in an infrared sauna you are investing in so much more than just a piece of equipment. A sauna is also an investment in your health and well-being. Health Mate saunas can range in price from $2k to $10k+ with many options available among the models. Our premium, handcrafted saunas are designed to fit a variety of budgets. Plus, you have the option of financing, so you can own the sauna that’s right for you and pay it off over time.

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2) What are the health benefits?

From relaxation and pain relief to immune support and weight loss, the multitude of benefits a sauna provides is extensive. Saunas are most commonly known to help relieve tired, aching muscles after a long day, in addition to easing stress and tension. They can also help rid your body of toxins, ease joint pain, and aid in optimal blood circulation.

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3) Is it safe to use?

Yes! Infrared saunas naturally warm the body from within, penetrating your muscles and nerves. Our saunas have all been tested for ultra-low EMF, which means your radiation exposure is at a safe level. Since infrared saunas heat the body instead of just heating the air in the room, it’s a more relaxing experience. Follow directions, along with any recommended medical advice, to ensure the best outcome.

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4) How much electricity does it use?

Infrared saunas do not warm the air or generate steam as a traditional sauna does. In that way, infrared heat emits at a lower temperature and requires less electricity. Health Mate saunas typically require 120V and can use a standard outlet in any room. However, larger saunas sometimes require additional voltage. See our models for more details and specifications. 

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5) How much space is required?

Health Mate saunas are designed as small as a portable dome sauna and as large as a therapy lounge. They don’t require additional plumbing or refurbishing. Also, saunas can be placed on wood, tile, concrete, or carpet, basically, anywhere you have a corner or free spot in your living area. Even better, they are simple to assemble!

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6) Does an infrared sauna help you detox?

Your infrared sauna will inevitably cause your body to sweat. Sweating is the body’s natural process for regulating temperature and allows for a level of detox which takes some load off your liver function. Infrared sauna technology heats the body directly by using infrared heat and light. This raises the body’s temperature deep inside the tissues and organs and promotes a deeper level of detox, while also boosting your immune levels.

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7) Can I use essential oils in the sauna?

Absolutely! We encourage you to incorporate essential oils into your sauna sessions to enhance the normal infrared sauna experience. With accessories like the Aroma Mate aromatherapy cup you can transform your sauna into a spa-like, calming oasis.

 

When you choose to elevate your health and well-being with a home sauna, you want to choose the best sauna possible. Now that you have some answers to the most common infrared questions about owning a personal sauna, choose to invest in yourself. Read up on the selection of our award-winning Health Mate saunas or check out our FAQ for more info on our saunas and care.

Infrared Sauna Wood: Which Is Best?

Wood is the second most important factor to consider when choosing an infrared sauna, after heaters. Not only do wood appearances differ, but each has different properties that make it a better or worse choice for in-home saunas 

When looking at sauna woods, important factors to consider include: 

  • Durability 
  • Water resistance  
  • Bacterial resistance 
  • Toxicity/allergens 
  • Odor 
  • Heat Conduction
  • Sustainability/Eco-Friendly 

Below are some of the most popular sauna woods and their pros and cons. 

red cedar planks

Western Red Cedar 

Cedar has long been the standard for infrared sauna wood. Not only does it have a pleasant scent and attractive red color, but it is naturally mold and insect resistant.  

It is a low-density softwood, meaning that while it insulates heat it also doesn’t absorb too much of the heat or become overly hot to the touch. That can be an issue for higher-density hardwoods. 

However, that low density comes with a price: Cedar is actually easy to dent and scratch. While cedar saunas typically last a long time, they can get dinged fairly easily. Protecting your sauna is key, especially if it’s kept outside or used in a gym.  

Cedar is also a known allergen, so the smell of cedar can be irritating to those with certain sensitivities.

Additionally, Western Red Cedar is difficult to grow and harvest sustainably and safely, which gives it a much higher price tag than other woods. Recently, it’s become less available and difficult to procure. 

basswood tree

Basswood 

Basswood is the basic, no-frills choice for infrared sauna woods. It’s inexpensive, relatively durable, and has the advantage of being hypoallergenic (if properly prepared and treated). It has a neutral, pale brown color that blends well with light-colored furnishings and decor. 

As a hypoallergenic wood, it has no distinctive scent, which can be positive or negative depending on what you find desirable in a sauna.  

One downside to basswood is its longevity. It is not as water or bacteria-resistant as other woods. This means that as an infrared sauna wood, it may have a limited lifespan.

american poplar

Poplar 

Poplar is another hypoallergenic alternative wood for saunas. This pale yellow color wood has an even grain that’s free of knots.  

Unlike basswood, which needs to be treated to be hypoallergenic, poplar has no natural phenols, making it a “natural” hypoallergenic choice. And like basswood, it has no scent. 

Poplar and basswood surfaces get much hotter in saunas than softwoods like cedar and hemlock. However, since infrared saunas run at lower temperatures than traditional saunas, it’s less of an issue.

Despite being abundant, poplar is a surprisingly expensive sauna wood, sometimes more so than cedar. And unlike cedar, it has limited natural defenses against rot and bugs.  

Hemlock 

Hemlock is similar to cedar in that it has a distinct scent and is a softwood. It’s also one of the cheapest sauna woods available, far less expensive than cedar. And again, softwoods are more comfortable to the touch since the surface doesn’t get as hot as hardwoods.

Hemlock also produces a pleasant odor. While it isn’t hypoallergenic, many people find the woody scent enjoyable during their sauna experience.  

However, hemlock deteriorates very easily. It should not be used outdoors, and like cedar, it’s susceptible to dents and scratches but has none of the rot resistance.  

Pine 

Pine is the most easily sourced, least expensive sauna wood. It’s a knotty, pale wood that is commonly used in all sorts of construction because it’s affordable and easy to work with.  

Like cedar and hemlock, pine is notable for its scent, which is usually more noticeable as it heats up. Depending on a person’s preference, that can be positive or negative.  

Unfortunately, pine does not hold up well to the elements. In addition, heat fluctuations inherent in infrared saunas can lead to a shorter lifespan of a pine wood unit.  

eucalyptus branches

Eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus is one of the few kinds of wood used for saunas, aside from cedar, that boasts natural insect and rot resistance. It’s a durable and long-lasting hardwood: in fact, it’s often used as an alternative to teak for outdoor furniture.  

Eucalyptus can have great variations in color and grain. It sometimes changes color as it ages. It’s considered sustainable and eco-friendly because it grows quickly in a variety of environments without needing lots of space.  

Though eucalyptus is a popular scent, eucalyptus wood saunas have no noticeable scent, which is good for people sensitive to smell. Also, since it has phenols that repel insects and bacteria, it can contain potential allergens.  

While eucalyptus stands up well to high heat and moisture, it can be susceptible to extreme cold if left unprotected. If using your sauna outside, it’s a good idea to seal and protect the wood. 

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to each wood option for infrared saunas. When selecting your sauna, think about your personal needs and preferences, as well as how you’ll be using and storing it.

Besides the wood, it’s also important to consider heating, warranty, value, and size when considering a sauna.  Get in touch with our Health Mate sauna specialists to learn more.