Infrared Sauna FAQs
If you have questions about infrared saunas, you’ve come to the best place! Below are the top 50 most asked questions about infrared saunas on Google today.
We’re always ready to answer more questions as new products and ideas arise. Send them and we’ll answer.
Not everybody enjoys the experience of infrared sauna, we must admit! But it is generally safe to try and use to see if it works for you.
Common sense should always prevail. We always recommend the advice of a doctor before putting your body to the test in any cold or hot extreme, especially for the first time. Talk to them about your sensitivity to heat, any aversions or previous bad experiences, etc.
At minimum, most users report that they sweated and felt hot. That can be a very unpleasant experience for some, and we understand. We can guarantee you’ll be hot.
Heat exhaustion and dehydration are the biggest risks for you when using an infrared sauna. You can get quite overheated in the dry heat as your body pushes out moisture with all the dirt and oils and toxins released by your pores. Heat stroke is no joke. Be sure to drink lots of plain, room temperature water before, during and after your session.
In the interest of complete disclosure, here’s a list of great reasons why you might NOT want to try infrared sauna blankets or experiences:
- I’m dehydrated or have no access to water now or later
- I’m high, drunk or have consumed a lot of caffeine
- I have a heart condition like cardiovascular disease, underlying heart arrhythmia, and/oratrial fibrillation
- I have sensitive skin
- I’m sensitive to heat
- I’m claustrophobic and don’t like tight spaces
- I have wounds that haven’t healed yet
- I have issues with touching wet surfaces
- I get light headed easily and/or am prone to dizziness
- I have nerve and motor function conditions – especially neurological issues that affect your ability to sense heat intensity and respond to it
- I’m pregnant (unless cleared by doctor, and be aware of heat level restrictions)
- I’m trying to get someone pregnant
- I’m allergic to plastic
- I’m on medications, especially diuretic medication and/or other drugs for lowering blood pressure
- I have an underlying health condition, and/or have an implanted medical device
- I have low blood pressure
- I have kidney disease or there is a history of kidney disease in my family
- I’m older and have balance issues
- I’m under 18
- My immune system is compromised or weakened
Sure. There really is no correct answer other than, the more you use it, generally, the more you feel results.
Note to read your sauna manufacturer’s instructions closely and follow them. There’s a few extra things to note:
- Once per day is a great rhythm but may be too much for people at first (or ever!)
- Try working up from a short session each day of 10-15 minutes, to a few days at 30 minutes, and then see how your body reacts. 60 minutes is usually the limit where most blankets will auto-shutoff, and that’s a great time to end your session too.
Keep a close eye on your hydration and how you feel in the day(s) after your session. Make sure you are replacing the water you lose from sweat, and eat a well rounded diet so you replace the electrolytes you lose without having to resort to sugary sports drinks (yuck!)
Yes, oh yes they do. A big part of the appeal of infrared sauna is how it helps stimulate your metabolism while you are literally laying down resting.
Of course, you should actually do real physical exercise too as part of a well-rounded life. But it is amazing that you can supplement that exercise with infrared blanket sessions and burn calories that way too.
The actual burn rate has a lot to do with your own body and varies quite widely. Some studies show IR saunas and blankets can even burn in the neighborhood of 600 calories per hour. A session can even keep your heart rate elevated for as much as half an hour after your session.
This is what we call “the stoke” of infrared sauna. A metabolism that feel charged up and ready to go!
Stress has a huge role in weight gain and weight loss. One of the largest comments about IR therapy is that it helps people feel more relaxed and less stressed. According to Womens Health Magazine, IR saunas (and therapy in total) “might make some people feel better—and therefore lead to weight loss.“
Additionally, in one study published in Springerplus, researchers found that infrared saunas (which emit IR light waves for heat) improved exercise recovery.
If your workout leaves you with two days of limp-inducing soreness, sitting in a sauna might help you get back to the gym sooner!
The straight answer is, yes, but not directly.
Infrared sauna stimulates the metabolism and raises the heart rate, similar to exercise. This demand for more energy eats calories at a faster rate, helping you maintain a healthy body-mass index.
Remember, a calorie is not an actual thing but a unit of heat energy. It is the same amount of energy that would be needed to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
If you’re curious about how many calories you’re burning in a typical day, check out our Daily Calorie Burn Calculator.
The most common way used to calculate the number of calories burned each day is something called the Harris-Benedict Formula. This method dates back to the early 20th century, but it is occasionally revised in keeping with the latest scientific standards to ensure maximum accuracy.
To use the Harris-Benedict formula, you multiply your basal metabolic rate (BMR) by your average daily activity level. If you are alive, your BMR determines how many calories you burn just sitting around inactive.
• For men: 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)
• For women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)
Divide that by 24 and that will give you your rough average calories burned per hour for doing absolutely nothing.
Activity level then plays a big part in your caloric burn rate. When you exercise lightly, you might burn 20% more calories than normal. Heavy exercisers might burn 50-100% more calories.
For infrared sauna, a typical estimate would be about 50% more calories burned than usual during the time you are sitting in the sauna. In an hour, that could easily burn up 100-250 calories alone!
The big benefit is to your overall metabolism during everyday life. Using an infrared sauna 3-4 times a week can help keep your metabolism stoked all the time. Your engine running hotter means you could be burning an extra 200-400 calories a day just leading a normal active life, in between spa sessions.
Listen to your body and make sure to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of water in your system, get your sleep, moderate exercise and you will be living like the best!
Infrared saunas have a ton of health benefits, but they can’t increase your vitamin D levels for one simple reason. They do not produce ultraviolet light. The only type of light that can activate your receptor cells to start the cholesterol reaction on your skin to stimulate vitamin D production is UV light. The same principle holds for red light therapy, no UV rays.
The likely best way to answer this question is to work backwards from what you determine is your primary objective. If you are exposed to a lot of toxins, have a problem with high blood pressure, have Lyme disease, experience your general variety of aches and pains or you just want to regularly detox all of the environmental pollutants and heavy metals we so frequently come in contact with, then it’s safe to say Infrared Sauna is most definitely for you.
Lifestyle is a big factor as well in determining frequency needed per week. Do you move around regularly? How good is your diet? Do you have any kind of chronic lymphatic condition? Do you stay hydrated enough on a regular basis?
Here are some general guidelines by protocols:
General Detox: 2-3x/week for 4 weeks
Skin rejuvenation: 3x/week for 12 weeks
Pain and Inflammation: 2x/week for 6 weeks, then maintain weekly as needed
Weight loss: 3x/week for 8-12 weeks
Blood Pressure or heart: 2-3/week for 4 weeks
Cellular Health: 3x/week for 4-6 weeks
In general, maintenance protocols with infrared sauna therapy can be as little as once a week to even monthly, depending on your individual needs and general wellness preferences. With IR sauna therapy however, it is usually best to take a day between each session so you can give your body time to process the treatments. As with all recommendations health related, remember that we are all unique and different with respect to our health profiles.
On average, 3 to 4 times a week is a good strategy. Each session should be around 30-45 min.
Every person is different, though, so listen to your body. Many manufacturers recommend that you begin with short 10-20 minute sessions at lower heat. This acclimates you to the idea, helps you get familiar with the effects, and see if you are ready for more.
In our own testing, we found some people just blew through straight to 45 minutes on the first session with no problem. Others preferred to take it slower, and that’s a great way to do it too.
One major key to success is staying on top of your hydration. You’ll need to consume 2-3 more glasses of water a day to keep yourself well hydrated, if you are also doing a sauna session. Not really hard to accomplish, and tastes great too.
Yes, and yes absolutely yes!
You will sweat your booty off in your infrared sauna session and lose a lot of moisture as you do. We suggest a nice glass of water just before, sipping gently during and having another glass after. In the hours after, we suggest keeping an eye on your hydration to be sure you replace what you lost.
Be sure to check out our Daily Water Intake Calculator so you’ll know how much water to drink, both in and out of the sauna.
Some people like sports drinks for adding back electrolytes they may lose. Not everybody loves to drink water straight, we get it. We suggest that you pick drinks that are low in sugar – bad for your teeth and bad for your system. Don’t add back all those toxins you just sweated out!
If you ask your doctor, he or she will tell you that dehydration is one of the most common risks and side effects of using any type of sauna. Be smart and safe and drink plenty of water!
Essentially, this comes down to your own individual preference and sense of modesty.
In conventional sauna rooms, you have to expose as much skin as you can! This is because the steam needs to reach your skin to heat you up. Besides, wearing much of anything in a traditional sauna will start to feel claustrophobic, soggy and kinda gross really fast.
However, while using an infrared sauna blanket, things are different. We recommend you wear a set of loose, breathable cotton clothes. Sauna blankets surround you at a lower overall temperature, so clothing feels ok. Doing so is also best for hygiene issues and helps keep the blanket clean. Cotton fabrics are known to absorb sweat fairly well.
Some users like to wrap themselves gently in a light large bath towel, but otherwise be naked.
You are welcome to try the full nude approach, but we personally find that we prefer feeling cotton right against the skin vs the material of the blanket. After all, these are blankets made of PVC plastic material – durable and strong but not something you’d want against your skin for hours.
After each session, just shuck that outer cotton layer and hang up in the bathroom rail to dry before tossing in the laundry pile.
Infrared sauna blankets supply a deep, penetrating heat that is also deeply relaxing. Imagine being wrapped, warm and comfortable.
The heat comes from electromagnetic radiation known as infrared waves, rather than from steam like a traditional sauna. This means you get all the same benefits. However, you don’t have to bake in the super hot temps that regular steam saunas generate.
Infrared sauna is great for stimulating your blood circulation and inducing a healthy sweat. By doing so, infrared sauna blankets help expel metabolic waste and unwanted toxins. Muscles relax gently and you feel great. Most users report positive results like relief from inflammation. They also seem to enjoy a release from stiffness of muscles and joints and more.
Benefits of infrared sauna can include:
- Lovely, clear, tight skin tone
- Weight loss
- Increased blood circulation
- Detoxifying and expeling metabolic waste
- Relaxing and reducing stress
- Deeper, more productive sleep
- Sore muscle relief
- Joint pain relief: arthritis in particular
Depending on the size of your blanket, you can find tons of places for storage in your own home. Most importantly, just make sure the blanket is HANDY so you’ll be sure to use it every week.
When you are ready to use your infrared blanket, you can use it almost anywhere. Just make sure you are on a level, flat surface like a rug, sofa or bed with some room around the sides. Basically, you want to just make sure to leave some room at the back and the sides of your blanket for ventilation. 3 feet all around at least.
Make sure you leave enough access room for your power cord too. Just in case you need to get at it. Be sure there is no water on the floor under you or around the power cord to avoid electrocution.
As far as storage, every blanket is a little different in how well it folds and the final size it stays in. Always fold up the sauna blanket just like you unfolded, using the same creases, etc. This is very important to avoid damage to the internal workings.
We like to stash an infrared blanket in places like this:
- Guest room closet, on a shelf or under the bed
- Bathroom closet
- Under the vanity in a cupboard
- In the attic (wrapped in plastic to keep out dust and vermin)
- Under the bed in the bedroom
- Bedroom closet
- Linen closet
Remember to let your blanket cool down and completely air dry before storing. If you don’t, you could be in for a very unpleasant smell when you pull the blanket out for your next sauna session. However, a quick sponge and/or a wipe will cure your blanket of its smelly ills so you can get back to sweating!