Saunas have been used now for centuries for a variety of health conditions, as well as a relaxing experience. In recent times, the infrared sauna has stepped into the spotlight, boasting even more health and wellness benefits compared to its traditional counterpart.
In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about infrared saunas, including what to look for in a home infrared sauna, should you choose to invest in one. We’re also going to review two of the most popular infrared sauna brands on the market: Clearlight® and Finnleo.
Your journey to health and wellness via the infrared sauna begins here – read on to learn more!
What Is an Infrared Sauna?
So, what exactly is an infrared sauna? Simply put, this sauna is a wooden structure that emulates a small room, equipped with infrared heaters. Unlike its cousin the traditional sauna, the infrared sauna doesn’t use the combination of dry heat and steam to warm the room and your body. Instead, it uses special infrared heat lamps to raise your body temperature directly.
Infrared saunas were designed to detoxify and heal the body. The experience is meant to feel similar to lying in the sun on a warm day, which is also what makes them more comfortable than traditional saunas. Infrared saunas only heat up to an operating temperature between 100°-150°F, allowing for longer, more relaxing, and more manageable sessions.
How Do Infrared Saunas Work?
Every time we go outside, we encounter what is called an electromagnetic spectrum. This spectrum is made up of varying degrees of wavelengths of light. Infrared light is naturally found on this spectrum and can be classified into three categories of its own: Near, Middle, and Far.
Infrared saunas utilize what is known as far infrared light (FIR, for short). FIR bands of light, both natural and artificial, have the ability to warm objects without raising the temperature of the air around said object. This is also what we refer to as radiant heat.
The best way to understand this is by imaging a chilly winter’s day that’s also sunny. You can feel that the air around you is cold, but while standing directly beneath the sun, you can feel its warmth. This is the sun’s natural FIR light at work.
In essence, infrared saunas work by heating your body from the inside out, promoting a wealth of health benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Infrared Sauna?
Since infrared saunas mimic the same light frequency bands emitted by the sun, it allows for the process of resonant absorption to take place—just as it would naturally when you expose your body to the sun. Resonant absorption occurs when the frequency of water in the body’s cells match the frequency of the infrared light waves.
When this process takes place, toxins are released into the bloodstream where they can be easily excreted from the body via sweat. This provides for the following health benefits:
- Improved circulation
- Stress and fatigue reduction
- Clearer and tighter skin
- Relief for joints and sore muscles
- Weight loss
- Overall heart health
- Cellulite reduction
While long-term studies on the health benefits of infrared saunas are still underway, there have been several smaller studies that have shown them to reduce blood pressure, decrease muscle soreness, and help those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
Additionally, there have been no reports of negative side effects beyond the necessary cautions that come with using any type of sauna. Those cautions would include the possibility of overheating, dehydration, interferences with medications and potential dangers for pregnant women, use under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and for those with heart disease.
Lastly, there will always be the benefit of feeling relaxed, relieved from pain and stress, and energized post-use.
What To Look for in a Home Infrared Sauna – Buyer’s Guide
Infrared saunas may seem like a straightforward purchase, but we can assure you they’re not all created equally. There are plenty of poor-quality infrared saunas on the market, and they can unfortunately blend in seamlessly with legitimate ones.
Of course, the brands selling the poor-quality saunas don’t expect you to take a second look at the materials, specs, and other features. That’s why you need to pay close attention to the following before opening your wallet:
The first thing you want to do is make sure the sauna booth is made from natural wood—not plywood, and certainly no synthetic woods or plastics.
Infrared saunas are equipped with panels that convert electricity to infrared light. This means that non-native electromagnetic fields will be emitted along with the infrared light, which are known stressors. Therefore, you want a sauna that emits very low or better yet zero EMF levels .
The cheaper infrared sauna companies like to use cheap materials, i.e., synthetic glues that can give off toxic gases and odours when heated.
Bigger isn’t always better. The bigger the sauna, the more it may cost outright and to run. It may also take longer to heat up, depending on the brand and heating technology. Choose the one that fits your specific space and how many people will be using it at one time.
Warranty, Return Policy and Support
Never buy a sauna of any kind that doesn’t offer these key features—period!
The most important thing is ensuring that the technology—infrared radiant heaters—used to make the infrared sauna work is also safe for your health.
Ideally, the infrared heaters need to be able to target the key areas of your body. Therefore they must be the right size and positioned well so that your body is hit with the FIR light from all sides.
Clearlight® vs Finnleo Infrared Saunas – Ultimate Comparison
Clearlight® and Finnleo saunas are some of the most popular and best saunas on the market right now. However, they do have their differences. At the end of the day, it comes down to which is the better option for your lifestyle.
The Clearlight® Infrared Sauna was founded by Dr. Raleigh Duncan, and there is a range of products you can choose from to fit any home. One of the most unique things about Clearlight® Saunas is that they’re all equipped with Dr. Raleigh’s TrueWave proprietary heating system. The TrueWave is a carbon/ceramic heating system, which is said to be the safest and most energy-efficient.
There are two types of infrared saunas offered by Clearlight®, plus the option for a custom-built infrared sauna. The two types of infrared saunas offered include full spectrum and FIR technologies. When we say full spectrum, it means that the sauna comes with near, mid and far infrared light frequency bands.
Both infrared sauna lines come in the optional Western Red Canadian Cedarwood or North American Basswood, which vary in their colouring. The full spectrum infrared sauna line, otherwise known as The Sanctuary, comes in six options: Sanctuary 1, Sanctuary 2, Sanctuary 3, Sanctuary Y, Sanctuary Retreat, and Sanctuary C. Depending on the model, you can fit from one to four people.
As for Clearlight®’s far infrared sauna line, you have five options: The Premier IS-1, Premier IS-2, Premier IS-3, Premier IS-C, and Premier IS-5, which can fit from one to five people depending on which model you select.
Each line offers a range of innovative features, including Bluetooth capabilities, spot lighting, removable interior benches, reservation control mode, ergonomic backrests, eco-certified cedar, and best of all medical-grade chromotherapy.
If you don’t know what chromotherapy is, you’re in for a treat. Chromotherapy is a centuries-old concept involving light waves of specific frequencies to induce colour therapy. You can read more about chromotherapy here.
Lastly, and most importantly, all Clearlight® Infrared Saunas give off the lowest EMF within the entire industry. Not only that, but they are also independently tested. The infrared saunas in both lines were designed to mitigate both electric fields and magnetic fields, whereas most other saunas in the industry only mitigate one or the other.
These infrared saunas have also been carefully curated to ensure that no toxic glues or varnishes were used in the manufacturing process to ensure optimal levels of safety for your health.
Clearlight® Infrared Saunas are actually quite affordable, but they do range in their pricing depending on the model you choose.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $8,500 and $12,000 for the Sanctuary line and between $7,500 and $10,000 for the Premier line.
- Fair pricing
- Quick installation
- Offers chromotherapy
- They have the lowest EMF rating in the industry
- Modern features
- Uses eco-friendly materials
- Emits very low EMF
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
The Finnleo brand is part of the TyloHelo Word Group—established in Wyborg, Finland in 1919.
All of their saunas, including their infrared saunas, have been engineered based on the essential principles of their authentic Finnish roots. They also source their materials responsibly, especially the wood used to build each sauna.
Finnleo was also the first company to introduce a proprietary low EMR/EF technology, which is followed up by four patents in the US, Canada, and Europe. With this, the company boasts having the lowest EMR/EF signatures in the world, which has also been verified by Intertek.
Their saunas are also equipped with their EvenHeat system, which was designed to ensure that every part of your body is warmed evenly for optimal levels of detoxification.
Finnleo offers two lines of infrared saunas: The S-Series and the InfraSauna. They also offer custom-built infrared saunas. It must be noted that they do not offer saunas that cater to a full-spectrum experience.
The S-Series line offers four models, ranging from an individual booth to a four-person booth. Each is a pure and simple infrared sauna, offering features such as smart device control, a Bluetooth sound system with speakers, the EvenHeat system to avoid any cold spots, CarbonFlex heaters, low-voltage spotlights, and more.
The InfraSauna line is an innovative and unique combination of an infrared sauna and a traditional steam sauna. Referred to as the IS-series, there are two models within this line of 2-in-1 infrared steam saunas, and they’re designed to fit up to either two people (the IS440) or up to five people (the IS565). This line uses the same CarbonFlex heating technology for a lower than low EMR/EF signature and to avoid cold spots.
All of the Finnleo Infrared Saunas are made from sustainably and responsibly sourced materials. The company does not use any toxic glues or varnishes to manufacture their products as they believe in delivering the purest and simplest form of the traditional saunas to your home.
The pricing for Finnleo infrared saunas is so far unlisted, which means you would have to get a quote or an estimate for the model of your choosing plus installation from a certified dealer.
- The company has been around since 1919
- Their saunas remain true to essential Finnish principles
- They’re made from sustainable and responsibly sourced materials
Which Is Right for You?
Ultimately, choosing between the Clearlight® and Finnleo brands comes down to your personal needs and preferences. They’re both great options for anyone looking to add an infrared sauna to their home, but something as little as the transparency of pricing may be a deciding factor in your purchase decision.
If a full-spectrum sauna experience is important to you, you may want to consider Clearlight® Infrared Saunas over Finnleo, as the Finnleo brand does not offer full-spectrum capabilities.
If you’re unsure of which sauna is right for you, all you have to do is assess your lifestyle, needs, and budget – and even consult the experts at your local infrared sauna store.
Contact Wellness Shop Today
If you’re in the market for an infrared sauna, contact Wellness Shop today. We’ve got our team of experts ready to guide you through our selection to help you find the infrared sauna best suited for you.
Our product line-up includes the following:
To learn more about the health and lifestyle benefits of our spas, saunas and more, take a look at the other articles in our blog. For further information, the guides, resources and information in our Owner Resources section may be of help to you.