Saunas are an excellent way to relax before or during a long day. But there are many different types of saunas, which may leave you wondering what the difference is between an infrared and a traditional sauna.
The difference between an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna comes down to the heat source and how your body is affected by it. While both can be used for therapeutic reasons, there are reasons for choosing one over the other.
Let’s discuss infrared sauna vs. traditional sauna and find out which one is best for your body.
What is a Traditional Sauna?
The traditional sauna is a heated room that uses a heating device to generate heat. In most saunas, this device is a wood-fired stove or hot stone. This heat is typically fueled by gas or electricity and reaches temperatures of 150°F-180°F.
Sometimes, traditional saunas also pour water on the rocks to create humidity. The addition of water to the heat of the sauna allows the heat to reach your body more efficiently. However, it is not required for there to be humidity to reap the benefits of a sauna.
When you have a seat in a traditional sauna, the warm air crosses into your skin, and your body begins to respond to keep your body temperature stable. This natural response often includes increased heart rate, blood flow, and reduced inflammation, all of which can help reduce pain from many diseases and improve athletic performance.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
Unlike a traditional sauna, an Infrared sauna uses a unique heating element to heat the room, typically something that looks like a lightbulb.
The 120°F-140°F heat produced from these devices is the same wavelength as the sun, giving you the same happy feelings and health benefits you get from standing in the sunlight. However, this wavelength doesn’t contain UV rays, meaning it is much safer than standing in the sun.
Because the wavelength of an infrared sauna is similar to the sun’s rays, it can penetrate your body much more profoundly than traditional sauna heat, which promotes faster healing and can help improve physical performance even more than a traditional sauna.
But the most notable difference between an infrared sauna vs. traditional sauna is that it is typically easier for an individual to sit longer in an infrared sauna. Traditional saunas can feel stuffy and quickly become too hot for some individuals. Many people who can’t handle traditional saunas have reported enjoying infrared saunas.
Which is Better: Infrared Sauna or Traditional Sauna?
The bottom line is that the best sauna for you depends on your preferences. While infrared and traditional saunas help promote healing, relaxation, and athletic performance, you may prefer an infrared sauna because it offers faster results and is less intense than a traditional sauna.