So, for all those who are “sauna curious” out there, let’s talk about two types of saunas often used for relaxation and health benefits – the infrared sauna and the traditional dry sauna. If you’re new to the sauna game, you might wonder what sets these two apart. Well, fear not! We’re here to break it down for you.
Infrared Sauna vs. Dry Sauna – The Basic Concepts to Grasp
Let’s start with the traditional dry sauna; this type of sauna uses heated rocks to create a high-temperature, low-humidity environment. The rocks are heated with an electric or wood-burning stove, and water can be added to them to create steam. Dry sauna enclosures are typically made of wood and can accommodate multiple people. The practice of dry sauna has been happening in cultures worldwide for thousands of years.
In contrast, the infrared sauna, a much newer technology, uses infrared heaters to emit light rays absorbed by the skin, causing a rise in body temperature, on average, 1-3 degrees. This type of sauna has a lower temperature than a dry sauna and operates at higher humidity, meaning you won’t feel like your eyes are drying up and dying inside your head, and you can also breathe normally, as it isn’t as humid as a steam sauna.
Infrared Sauna vs. Dry Sauna – What Are the Unique Benefits of Each?
The dry sauna’s high heat and low humidity environment can help relax muscles and relieve stress. The heat also causes sweating (of course!), which can help to flush out toxins from the body. Dry saunas can help promote healthy blood flow and even aid with respiratory issues and recovery.
Infrared saunas (we use Sunlighten infrared saunas) have many potential benefits for the body, to list a few: they increase immune system functioning, reduce inflammation, increase muscle repair, boost metabolism, and are great for your heart! Infrared light waves penetrate deep into the skin; the sauna we have at Elevation incorporates all three wavelengths of infrared light; far, mid, and near. This deep penetration helps to activate dormant cells; this can help with many things, from pain relief to skin rejuvenation and collagen production.
Because Infrared saunas operate at a lower temperature, they tend to be more comfortable for those who don’t enjoy the extreme heat of a classic dry sauna; this lower temp also allows you to spend more time in the sauna. The recommended time for an infrared sauna session is 30-45 minutes, while classic dry saunas time out around 15 minutes, thus allowing you to maximize your health benefits and enjoy a longer relaxation and better sweating session. The operational temperature of a classic dry sauna will average between 150-195 degrees, while an infrared light sauna typically operates between 125-175 degrees.
Infrared Sauna vs. Dry Sauna – What Does This Mean for Me?
Beyond the relaxation, rejuvenation, and health benefits, infrared saunas are a new technology creating new potential for what it means to go to the spa. As more spas adopt this type of sauna and the word gets out, we anticipate that more technological innovations will arise and the list of benefits will increase exponentially.
But wait, there’s more! (can you tell we’re into this?) Infrared saunas can also operate more efficiently than dry saunas. Because they function at a lower temperature, they require less energy to heat up, which can eventually help reduce spa energy consumption globally. The Sunlighten infrared sauna also has one of the lowest EMF ratings among saunas, meaning less electro-frequency being absorbed into the body, thus, a healthier body.
We Love All Saunas
Of course, both types of saunas have their place in the world of relaxation and wellness. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and what benefits you’re looking for.
Now, let’s talk about some practical considerations. If you plan on using a sauna regularly, it’s important to ensure that you stay hydrated and take breaks as needed. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions.
Lastly, we want to stress the importance of choosing a safe, well-maintained, licensed spa for sauna use. At our beautiful Houston spa, we provide clients with a completely relaxing and results-based experience.
To book your sauna appointment with us, please click the link.