Full Spectrum Infrared Saunas: Lies Or Benefits?

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A full spectrum infrared sauna is the newest fad to hit the sauna marketing in the last few years. But when you really dive in to the wavelengths emitted by a lot of these companies, how much near and mid infrared are you really getting? In some cases, not much at all, despite attractive marketing claims by some of the largest manufacturers in the industry. It’s getting to the point where, people will say anything to sell you a sauna, and it’s hard to know who to trust anymore. I know, as I originally ordered a cheaper infrared sauna from Amazon, that specifically said multiple times in the listing, and in the reviews from customers, that it was low emf. I got it, assembled it, used it, and tested it… low and behold, it had 100 milliguass in it. How in the world did so many people get this wrong, the sauna company simply not care about the false advertising, and so many customers get duped into buying an incredibly high emf sauna? Mostly through the deceptive marketing tricks sauna companies use to sell you a few thousand dollar item, made from scrap wood, imported from China, and no one cares when the people themselves that are trying to heal suffer. Anything to make a buck right…

Update – 02/10/19 – These are the 3 best sauna brands that tested the best

Full Spectrum Infrared Saunas: All Marketing Hype, Or Legit Improvements Over NIR & FIR Only Units?

So what does the intro paragraph have to do with full spectrum saunas? Well, as you can tell already, I’ve been through the ringer with buying in to fake sauna claims more than once. Even the “zero emf” JNH Lifestyles saunas didn’t turn out to be no emf, even though that’s what they claim.

After buying more than one sauna, that ended up being good for nothing more than a good bonfire, it was clear that companies will say anything to make you think they’re saunas are good. When in reality, some of the most popular models on Amazon and Costco, aren’t good for detoxing anything more than tap water. (and even that, might be stretch for the one’s built out of cardboard like plywood scraps like the JNH Lifestyles Ensi.)

So where do we start going wrong with the near infrared component really? Well, if you look at the most popular red light therapy devices like the Joove, you’ll see that the LED’s emit near infrared wavelengths in the xxx nano-meter ranges, whereas a far infrared sauna is in the xxxx range. So how then, can a few simple near infrared emitters, produce near and mid infrared wavelengths, that will actually be absorbed by the body during a far infrared sauna session?

Well, in short, a lot of times you can’t.  But the sauna companies aren’t going to tell you that… they’re too busy trying to one up each other, so they can sell more units by the end of the year, by having a bigger, badder, “better” more sophisticated sauna for you to buy.

The reality is, that the primary benefits of today’s saunas, haven’t changed much compared to the benefits we were getting hundreds of years ago. Why do you think ancient cultures implemented saunas into their way of life, when they were nothing more than steaming hot rocks in a tent???

The only thing that’s changed really, is the delivery method. Nowadays, we don’t have to start a fire, heat our stones, smoke out the hut, and carry water from the stream to create a steamy sanctuary anymore. We simply plug our infrared sauna into a wall, wait 20 minutes, and hop in.

Far Infrared VS Near Infrared: The Great Debate (and the false marketing after commandeering infrared research with faulty interpretation)

There are so many opinions out there on which type of sauna is better, it’s like whose asshole are you willing to sniff next? We’ve got the near infrared crowd that follows the Dr. Wilson approach of heat lamp therapy, and then we’ve got the far infrared crowd that follows suit with the Finnish/Scientology detox/etc… approach.

Then in the middle, we’ve got the big sauna companies, that hop on the bandwagon and say… “we’re gonna give these customers both, so then they’ll buy our sauna, since that’s a unique marketing proposition, and people can get it all in one.”

But can you though?

In most cases, not really. Low absorption rates, ultra low emissivity per cubic foot (a calculation no one talks about in these ultra large sauna cabinets you find these days), and the wrong design for the distance you sit from the emitter, really just allows you to spend money on marketing gimmicks. Where has anyone actually shown that you can absorb near infrared, from anything other than an LED, at a distance of over 24 inches?

Full Spectrum Saunas: Conclusion (worth it, or borderline scam?)

How do I put this nicely?

If you were to get in one of these full spectrum saunas, turn everything on and use it at full blast for one hour to get a good feel for it… and then do it allover again, but before you start unplug the near infrared portion of the heaters, I would bet money that you wouldn’t feel any difference at all.

Final Thoughts On Near Infrared In Saunas

Near infrared finds it’s way in these full spectrum saunas in many ways. Some sauna companies use ceramic tube heaters, to supposedly give you a full spectrum output.

There are two problems with this. One, it DOES increase the heat in the sauna, since you’re adding several hundred watts of infrared output. However, if you just added more far infrared heaters without all this fancy marketing speak, you would achieve the same thing. And two, it still does not solve the huge distance between you and the near infrared. You have to be close to it in order to absorb it.

The second most prominent type of near infrared you see stuffed inside a sauna, in order to market it as a “full spectrum” sauna, is a small led array behind the heater guards.

The main trouble with this type, is the actual blocking of the near infrared completely. Again, the distance of your body to the source is too far, and it’s not adding any heat to the sauna. In my opinion, this type of near infrared in a full spectrum sauna, it totally useless and a waste of money.

Final Thoughts On Mid Infrared In Saunas

I haven’t see any significant proof that mid infrared even does anything monumental for people in a sauna. I would argue that the amount of mid infrared, if you’d even call it that, present in any infrared sauna, would be negligible when viewed on a spectrometer.

I don’t value mid infrared at all, and think it’s a bunch of bullshit used to sell saunas. If you were to isolate mid infrared, and build a sauna with it entirely, I don’t think you’d have much of a sauna.

Final Thoughts On Far Infrared In Saunas

Ah, now we get to the good stuff. After all my testing of several sauna brands, it is my opinion that far infrared is the true workhorse in any sauna.

This should be your number one focus when evaluating infrared saunas, as it is mine. I’ve found that far infrared coverage is what’s most important, since it’s what is heating you up, making you detox, and providing 90% of the benefits in your infrared sauna.

I went for the XX sauna, since it was the only sauna on the market that put big far infrared heaters all the way around the body, and they didn’t try to sell me on a bunch of nonsense when I called.

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2 thoughts on “Full Spectrum Infrared Saunas: Lies Or Benefits?”

  1. Better yet, what three companies provide the best far infrared saunas? I’m considering a 3 or 4 man, inside sauna. Thanks for your enlightening perspectives on full spectrum (sanuas)!


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