The Hot Debate Between Steam Saunas and Infrared Saunas

Heat Bathing

If you’re a fan of heat bathing, you’ve probably already combed through countless articles on the various types of saunas and the benefits they each bring. Today we’re going to dive in and take a closer look at the difference between traditional and infrared saunas, and which is the best option for you! A rule of thumb is the sauna you will use the most is the sauna best for you. With that being said, this article won’t answer the question “Which is better?”, but we will explain the differences and why certain consumers may prefer one type of sauna over another.

Comparing Similarities of Traditional Saunas vs Infrared Saunas

The first step in figuring out which sauna is the best fit for you is looking at the similarities and shared benefits each sauna has to offer. The end goal of implementing sauna bathing into your weekly schedule varies by patient, but let’s go ahead and assume the general goal of your sauna use is to reap the benefits of what medical professionals call “heat bathing”.

Some of these benefits are relaxation as well as stress reduction, sweating (for associated detoxification). Some patients have even reported relief from chronic aches and pains. Both variations of saunas produce these benefits, despite the fact conditions in which these benefits are attained are rather different. Both sauna variants are kept relatively dry. Infrared saunas tend to be kept at humidity levels that are comparable to an average household; unless the sauna has been in use for long periods of time. Whereas a traditional sauna is kept at even lower humidity levels (from 10% or lower) until water is spritzed over the hot rocks. Something unique about traditional saunas is the fact they are the only type of heat bath in existence where the consumer has the ability to control both the temperature and levels of humidity. The humidity is able to be controlled by the consumer deciding how much water is distributed on the rocks.

Infrared saunas give you the ability to control the temperature, but not the humidity levels. While sweating it out in either sauna of your choosing, you will without a doubt experience relaxation, muscles tension being released as well as possible joint relief. While you do burn calories in the process of perspiration, the amount burned is debatable and is varied depending on the patient. A great amount of the weight lost while using a sauna is simply water weight and is likely to be re-gained upon rehydrating after your session. Even though the majority of weight loss in your session is water weight, saunas can be a vital implement of a healthy and efficient weight loss program.

Comparing Differences of Infrared Sauna vs Steam Sauna

There are a few verifiable differences between the two types of sauna. Some of them are temperature, method of heat production, the time it takes to heat up, energy consumption, and of course the social experience.

  • Temperature: Temperatures for a traditional sauna are usually between 150 and 185º F. Whereas infrared saunas come in at much cooler temperatures of 120-140º F.
  • Heat Production: When traditional saunas become heated, the walls become very warm, the air has reached the set temperature and the rocks will be extremely hot. Infrared saunas use heat waves to warm the body directly, making some professionals consider them to be more efficient.
  • Heating Time: Traditional saunas can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to even an hour to become properly heated. Whereas an infrared sauna can become fully heated in under 25 minutes.
  • Social Experience: Traditional saunas are set up to house multiple people per session. Newer infrared saunas are being built to be more intimate personal experiences.

Saunas can be a great way to sit back and relax! Here at The Salt Room Oviedo, we offer infrared therapy along with Chromotherapy (aka light therapy) which each of our saunas come equipped with. Take a look at our infrared sauna page, and give us a call with any questions or book today! We look forward to seeing you!