Everything You Need to Know About a Portable Infrared Sauna
While it may seem like saunas are having a moment, they’ve actually been around forever. Saunas are an ancient invention, that has been around way before celebrities were raving about them on Instagram.
The portable infrared sauna, however, is relatively new. Now you no longer need to go to a spa to enjoy the benefits of sauna therapy.
Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the portable infrared sauna.
What Is a Portable Infrared Sauna?
But first, the basics.
A portable infrared sauna is a device that uses light to make heat that can be used anywhere you can transport it to. Saunas are used for a number of reasons, but mainly to reap the benefits of sweating.
Standard saunas need to hit incredibly high temperatures to make your body sweat. These saunas use heat to warm your body which increases your internal temperature.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, result in the same reaction at lower temperatures by heating your body directly. So a portable infrared sauna works the same way a regular infrared sauna works and can give you the same detoxifying benefits you’d get from any type of sauna.
What Do Infrared Saunas Do for You?
The benefits of infrared saunas are very similar to what you would experience from a traditional sauna. Benefits like better sleep, relaxation, detoxification, weight loss, relief from sore muscles and joint pain like arthritis, tighter skin, better circulation and has even been shown to help people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
People have been using saunas for centuries for all sorts of health conditions. While there are several studies and research on traditional saunas, there aren’t as many studies that look specifically at infrared saunas.
There are also no reports of any negative effects from infrared saunas, besides the cautions of any sauna experience. It’s important to watch out for overheating, dehydration, and to use infrared or any saunas cautiously if you are pregnant, have heart disease or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
And the best part about infrared saunas, even if a session doesn’t produce all of the benefits you hoped for, at the very least it’s relaxing and feels good. Infrared saunas help your overall health and well-being by encouraging you to relax by loosening up your muscles and giving you some much needed me time.
Other Benefits of Infrared Saunas
There’s been a couple of other reported benefits from infrared saunas. Let’s break them down.
Some people have seen a decrease in acne, with regular sauna use. People really do swear by the skin benefits of saunas, because saunas clear out your clogged pores that are filled with dirt and chemicals from everyday life. The heat also helps increase blood flow to the surface of your skin, giving you younger looking skin.
Stronger Immune System
Saunas can also strengthen your immune system which can help fight off infections. A stronger immune system means not getting sick during flu season, or even healing and clearing up infections at a faster rate. If you feel a cold coming on, a sauna might help you fight it before it gets worse.
Better Blood Flow
Basically, saunas give you the same benefits of exercise without actually having to exercise. Benefits like increased heart rate, better blood flow, and obviously sweat that release toxins out of your body. You also can burn calories in saunas, which can help you lose weight.
Spending time in an infrared sauna can also encourage vasodilation. Vasodilation is caused when smooth muscle cells in arteries relax which increases blood flow. This increased blood flow leads to the dilation of arteries and arterioles which can decrease blood pressure and make you look and feel relaxed. And who doesn’t want to look and feel relaxed?
Helps Treat Other Chronic Health Problems
There have also been studies that show infrared saunas treating chronic health problems like high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies reveal sauna treatments helped with headaches, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s important to note, these were just surface studies, there has yet to be a more rigorous study to confirm these results. It’s also important to recognize that these patients used a traditional, not portable sauna.
Benefits of Using a Portable Infrared Sauna vs. A Traditional Sauna
In addition to the health benefits of portable infrared saunas, there are also some practical benefits that are worth mentioning.
You may have found yourself being incredibly uncomfortable in a traditional steam sauna. This is probably because you were sensitive to the high level of heat. Portable infrared saunas tend to be more comfortable because they give you the same results as you would get from a traditional sauna, but with a lower level of heat.
Traditional steam saunas also emit a high level of humidity. Infrared saunas do not use steam, so you don’t have to worry about any negative effects from humidity.
You can also rest easy knowing that portable saunas take up much less power and energy than a traditional, non-portable steam sauna. Infrared saunas use less power, and portable infrared saunas are specifically designed so you don’t have to worry about eating up power.
Not only can you take your portable infrared sauna with your everywhere, you also pay much less than you would if you had a traditional sauna installed.
What Is a Portable Far Infrared Sauna?
Far infrared saunas use “Far-infrared” (or FIR) Technology. FIR happens at the far end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Also known as heating rays we can feel the warmth of but can’t see, like the heat from the sun.
Far infrared saunas use heating elements that emit light in the far-infrared range, which offers some light therapy but won’t penetrate the body like near-infrared light does. Far-infrared saunas can let out harmful levels of EMFs, but some manufacturers are working to prevent this.
Far infrared will heat objects more than air. Since your body is an object, when you get into a portable infrared sauna, your body will be warmed as much as a traditional sauna, just without that stifling heat.
Portable infrared saunas will only heat the air around you to 110 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, while a conventional sauna will go up to at least 175 degrees and can go up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is an incredible comfort difference, but since your body is still being directly heated, you will sweat as much as you do in a portable infrared sauna as you would in a standard one.
This is because far infrared is radiant heat, meaning your body is being warmed below the surface. This also means that toxins have a better chance of being knocked loose from your body’s fat cells then they would in a traditional sauna.
What Is a Portable Near Infrared Sauna?
Near-infrared lamp saunas have both heat and light therapy. The night from near-infrared saunas can penetrate the body up to nine inches.
These saunas also tend to emit very low levels of Electromagnetic fields or EMFs. This is because of the spectrum of light that allows near-infrared saunas to stay cooler while still heating the body.
Can Portable Infrared Saunas Cause Skin Cancer?
Infrared saunas will not spread or cause skin cancer. There are three types of infrared wavelengths; near, mid and far-infrared.
In 2006, these wavelengths were studied by the International Commission on Nonionizing Radiation Protection. It was determined that skin cancer will not come from the exposure of infrared heat.
Actually, infrared saunas might even help fight skin cancer cells with extreme heat. Cancer cells have been shown to die at temperatures over 113 degrees. Far infrared heat can penetrate deep into the skin tissue to target and destroy cancer cells.
It’s probably not the infrared rays that you should worry about with a portable sauna, but rather the potential levels of EMF (electromagnetic fields) that are inside the sauna.
There’s debate about the levels of harmful EMF inside an in an infrared sauna, in terms of is it dangerous. So do note that some manufacturers take this into account, and make saunas with low levels of EMF.
You might want to get an EMF meter, which you can get on Amazon, to measure the levels of EMF in your portable sauna. You also should read reviews and do research on any model you’re considering. Here you will likely find how much EMF it has.
Also, make sure that your portable sauna has a fair return policy, so you can get your money back if you learn the EMF levels are too high.
What Are the Benefits of a Far Infrared Portable Sauna?
One of the biggest benefits of far-infrared saunas tends to be for detoxification reasons. The best part is with this portable sauna you can take it with you and set it up virtually anywhere. You can even fold it up and easily store it when you’re not using it.
Another benefit is since these devices don’t enclose your head, you can breathe in the room air, which is much more comfortable than a traditional immersive sauna experience. The best part is these saunas are obviously much less expensive than the traditional sauna room.
Will a Portable Sauna Keep Your Hair Dry?
Unfortunately not, your body will respond to the rise of its internal temperature by sending more blood to the surfaces of the skin, where sweat is produced and heat will escape in the surrounding air.
So even though your head might not be in your portable sauna, since your body is being heated, sweat can and will escape from the scalp of your head which will make your hair damp.
Are Portable Saunas Ok for Infrared Sauna Detoxification Programs?
It’s actually not recommended to use a portable sauna for infrared sauna detoxification programs. This is because a serious sauna detox program requires a lot of wiping down with towels, and when your head is outside of the sauna, you can’t really towel down your body in the sauna.
Also, the out-gassing that happens from the fabric works against detoxification and that fabric can absorb and then put back chemicals into your body form the detox.
There are also sauna domes, which are a tube-shaped device that is lined with fabric or a heavier material, that you lie in. Similar to sauna cabinets, sauna domes also do not enclose your head.
Sauna domes are lined with fabric are portable, because they weigh only 30 pounds. If the domes are made with more durable materials like mahogany, they can weigh more like 60 to 80 pounds, making them bulky and harder to transport.
Sauna domes are great because they tend to be the least expensive personal saunas on the market. The disadvantage is out-gassing the fabric and it’s also difficult to wipe off sweat when you lie down in the dome.
You’re going to want to consider if you will be able to easily get in and out of the tube, if you will be comfortable lying down in one and if you can easily clean the dome in between sessions.
How Much do Portable Saunas Cost?
The best part about portable saunas is how it’s affordable and convenient. Now you don’t have to join a fancy spa or gym to reap the benefits of saunas, you can have one the privacy and convenience of your own home.
Infrared technology allows you to have an effective sauna at an affordable price.
Portable infrared saunas can cause around $500 plus shipping. Sauna domes tend to be a little less expensive at $300, and the heavier but less portable sauna domes can be priced over $1700.
Wood framed portable saunas start at several hundred dollars for a one person sauna.
Get Your Portable Infrared Sauna Today
Now that you know everything you ever wanted to know about buying a portable infrared sauna, isn’t it time you finally got one? Not only are portable infrared saunas benefits countless and convenient, they’re also incredibly affordable.
Where to Buy A Portable Infrared Sauna
If you don’t have a local pool supplies shop, it is a great idea to check out the major online retailers, who generally stock a wide range of models and have streamlined delivery services.
For example, Amazon stock a good range. You can also have a look at the user reviews to see just what real buyers think of their infrared saunas.
And for more information on at home hot tubs, pools, or saunas check out our blog.