what is the best infrared sauna for home use?

The Ultimate Guide To Buying An Infrared Sauna

How many people do you know with a personal home sauna?

Unless most of your friends are living in the lap of luxury, the answer is probably “not too many.”  But you may be surprised—infrared saunas are surprisingly affordable, and they offer tremendous benefits for your physical health and mental well-being.

So if you have ever dreamed of having your very own sauna, read on.

In this buying guide, I am going to go over some of the health benefits of infrared saunas.  I am then going to tell you about some of the most popular and highly rated infrared saunas which are on the market today so that you can make an informed decision in order to buy the best infrared sauna for your needs.

Once you have finished reading this guide, you should have a good idea what to look for in a high-quality infrared sauna.

Let’s get started with the basics…

What is an Infrared Sauna?

First of all, you may not be sure what an infrared sauna is, and what differentiates it from other types of saunas you may have used at pools, gyms, or hotels.

There are actually quite a few different types of saunas.

For example:

  • Wood burning saunas
  • Electric saunas
  • Smoke saunas
  • Steam rooms

All of these types of saunas are heated using different methods.

Infrared saunas are sometimes referred to as “heat therapy rooms.” They can also be called “far-infrared” saunas (sometimes stylized as “FAR-infrared”).

The North American Sauna Society describes them as, “based on radiant heat, where the heating elements or emitters reflect the heat directly to the person’s body—rather than heating the air, or stones.

An infrared sauna heats a person’s body rather than the air. This is done through the use of infrared light, as the name indicates.


Why Choose an Infrared Sauna?

Why go with an infrared sauna for your home instead of another type of sauna?

  • This type of sauna is energy-efficient. Since you are not heating an entire room, the demands are less than they would be for one of the other types of saunas mentioned previously.
  • There is no steam being produced. This can be a plus in terms of controlling moisture in your home (and the mildew which can result from it).
  • You can experience similar effects in an infrared sauna as you would in another type of sauna (i.e. a steam room), but at a reduced temperature. This makes an infrared sauna a good choice for someone who has a hard time with the levels of heat which are commonly used in other types of saunas.
  • Infrared saunas are very safe. In fact, beds for newborns in hospitals are heated using the same technology. In research, health benefits have been documented (see below), but adverse effects have not.


Even though research on the health benefits of saunas is still in the early stages (see the next section), infrared heating technology has been in use for quite some time. It is proven to be safe, effective, and energy-efficient, making it an excellent choice for home use.


The Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas

An infrared sauna can improve your health in multiple ways. Mayo Clinic reports:

“Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit. However, larger and more-rigorous studies are needed to confirm these results.”

Along with these benefits, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that infrared saunas may also help with:

  • Relieving stress and anxiety
  • Improving the quality of sleep
  • Detoxification
  • Muscle pain
  • Other types of joint pain
  • Skin problems
  • Disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Actually, there are even some small studies to support some of these uses as well. For example, here is a study backing up benefits for CFS, and here is another which suggests that an infrared sauna can speed recovery from athletic activity.

All in all, even though this is an emerging area of study, so far the results seem to be pretty optimistic.

Even though research on the health benefits of saunas is still not that well-developed, early studies indicate that saunas may be helpful in alleviating a broad range of health conditions. These include the symptoms of arthritis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more.


Can FAR Infrared Saunas Help You Lose Weight?

Is weight loss an anecdotal benefit of infrared saunas, or is it actually backed by science?

Here there is some contention.

Women’s Health quotes Brian Quebbemann, M.D. as saying, “There are zero studies showing long-term weight-loss benefits from using infrared saunas.”

The same article links to this small research study conducted at Binghamton University, explaining:

“One very small study out of Binghamton University in New York exposed people to an infrared sauna three times per week for 45 minutes. After four months, those who used the sauna had up to a 4 percent drop in body fat compared to the control group whose body fat did not change. However, the researchers did not control participants’ exercise or diet outside of the experiment. So it’s hard to say what really caused their weight loss.”

So this may or may not be a case of “correlation is not the same as causality.”

Ultimately, you will need to try out using an infrared sauna for yourself and evaluating the results.

Hopefully, you will see some improvements in body fat composition, just like the participants in the study.

At this point, the jury is still out regarding whether or not sitting in a sauna can help you to lose weight. Hopefully there will be some more studies in this area in the future.


Key Features to Look for when Shopping for the BestInfrared Sauna

If you are going to be purchasing an infrared sauna, it is important to know that not all saunas are equal in terms of quality.

Below is a list of important features to consider when you are choosing a sauna for your home.

  • Materials. One of the main features of the sauna which will impact what your experience is like is the type(s) of wood used in its manufacture. Choose a type of wood which you find pleasing to see, smell, and touch.
  • Construction. Shop for a sauna which features durable construction for long-lasting use.
  • Size. Home saunas may accommodate one or more persons. Decide what size is right for your household.
  • Technology. Purchase a sauna which is equipped with state-of-the-art infrared heaters which are optimally placed for efficient heating.
  • Settings and controls. Your sauna should have a control panel which offers excellent ease-of-use and timer and temperature settings that fit your needs.
  • Safety Features. Look for a sauna which has been constructed with safety in mind (i.e. the use of safety glass for the door).
  • Optional Upgrades. Some saunas may include extra features or upgrades at your request.  Our favorite upgrade is something called an “InfraSauna” which combines a traditional steam heater element with FAR infrared panels.
  • Entertainment Features. A luxury home sauna may include a Bluetooth sound system or other entertainment features.
  • Warranty. Check to see how long the manufacturer guarantees your purchase.
  • Brand / Company. Buy from a trusted company that is known for creating high-quality, reliable home infrared saunas.
  • Price. Know your budget before you shop, and look for the best value (not necessarily the lowest or highest price).


When shopping for an infrared sauna, the features and factors above are important to consider.


Tips for Getting the Most Use Out of Your New Sauna

While infrared saunas have been demonstrated to be safe and effective, following best practices is necessary if you want to enjoy the best results.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Do not forget that saunas can dehydrate you if you are not prepared. Part of the reason to sit in a sauna is to sweat out toxins. But if you do not replenish your fluids, you will experience the symptoms of dehydration. So make sure you are hydrated walking into the sauna, and consider drinking more water inside. After you step out, hydrate yourself again.
  • Get plenty of nutrition on days you are using your sauna. Remember, when you sweat, you lose more than just water. You also lose electrolytes. You need to replenish those as well.
  • Wear what you want, but avoid clothes which are likely to develop sweat stains. That means you probably do not want to wear your white clothes inside your sauna.
  • Get some rest after you finish in the sauna. It is easy to underestimate your loss of fluids as well as your fatigue levels right after you step out of your infrared sauna. So it is not a great idea to immediately head outside for a jog or do something else intensive. Give your body some time to rest, and wait until your temperature has cooled back down before you do anything particularly active.
  • If you have been lying down or sitting in your sauna, do not stand up too quickly. If you do, you could feel dizzy, or might collapse.
  • A sauna should not be used immediately after drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Never fall asleep in the sauna. While it is safe to use a sauna appropriately, it is dangerous to fall asleep in one. If you have any reason to suspect that you might, make sure that you are engaged in some sort of activity while inside to prevent that risk. If there are other people in your household, consider letting somebody know that you will be in the sauna and how long you expect to use it.
  • Be cautious with the sauna if you are sick. There’s some speculation that sitting in a sauna while you are trying to recover from a cold or another illness could speed your recovery process along. At the same time though, it may not always be wise. If you are running a temperature, you should definitely avoid it.
  • Start slow and work your way up. A range of temperatures should be available through your control panel. While you might be tempted to jump straight to the highest heat setting, resist that urge, and start with the lowest setting available. This gives you a gauge for how you handle the sauna treatment before you expose your body to higher heat levels. The same thing applies with how long you stay inside. Start with shorter sessions and work your way up to half an hour if you feel comfortable with it.
  • Take notes. Figure out which session lengths and temperatures are working best to help you treat whatever conditions you are trying to tackle.


[heading subtitle=””]Following the tips above will help you to use your sauna safely and effectively. [/heading]


What Are the Top Infrared Saunas On The Market?

Now that you have a stronger understanding of what infrared saunas are, how they work, and how they can help improve your health, let’s take a look at some of the top models available this year.

JNH Lifestyles Saunas

The largest company in the home infrared sauna sector right now is JNH Lifestyles. With the motto “Joyful Natural & Healthy Living,” this company emphasizes affordability and accessibility.

In fact, JNH not only offers a range of different sauna lines for different needs (collections include Vivo, Freedom, Joyous, Ensi, and Tosi), but is even able to manufacture custom infrared saunas to customer specifications.

Another nice thing with ordering from JNH is that you are going directly through the manufacturer to make your purchase. Since there is no middleman, sauna prices through this company are much more affordable than they are through many competitors.  You can also order directly from Amazon.com to take advantage of their cashback and points programs.

You can order from JNH if you live in the United States, United Kingdom, China, New Zealand, or Australia.

JNH Joyous vs. Freedom Home Sauna Comparison: What is the Best Infrared Sauna for Home Use?

Two of JNH’s most popular collections are Joyous and Freedom. Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more depth to help you make the right purchase decision.

JNH Joyous Infrared Saunas

This collection includes:

  • The Joyous 1 Person Infrared Sauna (2019 model)
  • The Joyous 1 Person Infrared Sauna (previous model)
  • The Joyous 2 Person Infrared Sauna (2019 model)
  • The Joyous 2 Person Infrared Sauna (previous model)
  • The Joyous 3 Person Infrared Sauna
  • The Joyous 4 Person Infrared Sauna
  • The Joyous Corner Infrared Sauna

Joyous saunas are manufactured entirely out of Canadian Hemlock Wood with no plywood or chemicals. The tongue and groove construction provides for stability and durability. A dual wall design has been utilized in order to maximize insulation while also allowing for natural expansion and contraction of the wood.

JNH states that the saunas in this series are, “Equipped with the highest number of carbon fiber heaters per unit on the market for its size.”

These heaters are arranged in such a way that they can simultaneously heat your back, sides and calves.

Other features include:

  • A glass door for safety and visibility
  • Fast and easy assembly process
  • Sound system including a Bluetooth amplifier, a remote control, and two speakers
  • A digital control panel
  • An energy-efficient LED lighting system
  • Optional features: Oxygen ionizer, chromothrapy lights, ergonomic lumbar and head support sets, infrared foot warmer, warranty upgrades.

Best For:

A Joyous Sauna from JNH is a great all-around choice if you are looking for a sauna which is safe, efficient, well-constructed, and which includes a few premium features.

It is also a good option for shoppers who are looking to save. I would not go so far as to call it a “budget” option, but it is at the lower end of the price range for quality home saunas.

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JNH Freedom Infrared Saunas

If you like the concept of the JNH Joyous collection, but you are looking for something a little more luxurious, consider the Freedom collection.

This collection includes:

  • The Freedom 1 Person Infrared Sauna (2019 model)
  • The Freedom 1 Person Infrared Sauna (previous model)
  • The Freedom 2 Person Infrared Sauna
  • The Freedom 3 Person Infrared Sauna
  • The Freedom 4 Person Infrared Sauna
  • The Freedom Corner Infrared Sauna

JNH refers to the Freedom Collection as “pure indulgence.” Crafted entirely by hand out of Canadian Western Red Cedar, these saunas are beautiful to behold and have a delightful scent, enchanting the senses.

As with the Joyous series, the Freedom saunas are able to heat the back, calves and sides simultaneously. They contain no plywood in their tongue and groove, dual-wall construction and use no chemicals.

Features include:

  • A glass door
  • Fast and easy assembly
  • LED lighting for energy efficiency
  • A digital control panel
  • A sophisticated sound system with a remote, two speakers, and a Bluetooth amplifier
  • Optional features: Oxygen ionizer, chromothrapy lights, ergonomic lumbar and head support sets, infrared foot warmer, warranty upgrades.


Best For:

If you have a bit more room in your budget to purchase the finest home infrared sauna on the market, a JNH Freedom sauna is a worthy indulgence of the senses. For those who love the smell, look and feel of cedar, the extra expense is easily justified.

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Final Thoughts: An Infrared Home Sauna Could Be Your Ticket to Better Health

While infrared saunas are still emerging in the mainstream, research points toward their health benefits for treating a wide range of conditions. They also may be helpful in losing weight.

Infrared saunas can provide you with a deeply relaxing spa experience in the comfort of your own home.

So let the warmth of the sauna melt away your stress and usher in a sense of greater well-being.