Why Carbon Heater Can’t Give You the Best Sauna Experience

When infrared saunas were initially introduced, they used ceramic infrared heaters and lamps. At the time, these were the best heat sources available, but they had numerous drawbacks. It took a long time for them to heat up a sauna and they used energy inefficiently, giving off most of their radiation as light and not as infrared radiation. They also had high EMF readings.

Luckily, innovation happened: Health Mate was among the first to switch to carbon flat-panel heaters to power infrared saunas. These heaters were superior to ceramic heaters in many ways: they don’t emit light, so they are much more efficient at warming the body through mid and far-infrared radiation. They are smaller and take up less space in the sauna unit, allowing for larger interiors with more heaters. They can heat a space much more quickly than the old ceramic heaters ever could. And nowadays they are very cheap to produce and use since they have become the baseline for infrared sauna heating.

However, innovation continues and carbon heaters are no longer the cutting edge of infrared heating technology. Here are some of the drawbacks of carbon heaters and why Health Mate is transitioning to our patented Tecoloy Heaters, the next generation in sauna power:

  1. Carbon heaters are low density

    Carbon panels emit radiation from their face, pointing in a single direction. While this makes them very good for heating whatever they’re pointing at, it means they are less than ideal for heating an open space. Part of the reason competitors need so many flat panels is that they need infrared heat pointing at every surface a sauna user could be in front of. Otherwise, people can easily be heated unevenly.

    That’s why we say our Tecoloy heaters provide 360° of heat: because they are shaped to redirect and reflect infrared radiation, it hits the interior of the sauna from multiple angles, heating you more evenly.health mate infrared sauna tecoloy heater bestx

  2. Carbon heaters are inefficient

    Another reason brands need so many heaters to warm their saunas is that carbon heaters take a while to heat up and need a lot of energy to be effective. While carbon heaters are better than the old ceramic models, they are still less emissive and penetrate less than modern alternatives. We’ve found that our Tecoloy heaters penetrate tissues up to 40% deeper than carbon heaters, leading to increased benefits.

    carbon fiber heaters are less efficient
    Every black panel in this photo is a carbon heater. Seems excessive, right?
  3. Carbon fiber heaters are higher EMF.

    When a sauna company calls their carbon heated saunas “low-EMF” what they are saying is “low EMF when compared to ceramic heaters” which almost no reputable brand uses anymore. It is a relative term that is meaningless in the modern marketplace. Carbon heaters do produce EMFs and there are alternative heaters—like the Tecoloy—that produce fewer EMFs than carbon.

Why haven’t more brands switched from carbon heaters?

The reason brands haven’t switched over completely to lower EMF heaters is this: cost. These new heaters are still more expensive and difficult to produce than carbon heaters. But at Health Mate we own our own patents and production, so we can keep our prices lower than competitors while still providing lower-than-average EMF saunas.

Most other brands have yet to upgrade their saunas to the next generation of low-EMF tech, but their prices continue to rise even as models have remained the same.

At Health Mate, we’ve phased out carbon heaters in all our models except the new Renew series—our most affordable series—and our single person Essential saunas, which are unfortunately too small to allow for Tecoloy heaters to be used. It’s about providing the best quality product at the best price point and continuing our tradition of staying on the cutting edge of sauna tech.