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Buyer's Guide: The 7 Best Infrared Saunas for 2021

Buyer's Guide: The 7 Best Infrared Saunas for 2021

LET ME GUESS... Every sauna company you talk to says their sauna is the best, right?

 

WOW, AM I SURPRISED........

 

Below you'll find our key takeaways from some of the top sauna brands across the industry. We'll try to keep the reviews short, sweet and to the point. We urge you to fill out the quiz as well, which gives us the information we need in order to recommend the perfect sauna for you. Trust us when I say, we know it isn't easy making a decision when thousands of dollars are involved. Please consider us nothingmore than a resource and an expert in the sauna space. We want to EDUCATE you and deliver the knowledge you need in order to make the right decision for you and your family.

 

EMF Levels (Electromagnetic Fields)

 

 

Let us start by saying, any company that swears to have a sauna with zero EMF is blowing smoke. If you tested the sidewalk outside, it would test positive for EMF. The cell phone you use all day, gives off more EMF than you should ever encounter in a lifetime. People tend to be very focused on this aspect of their decision process and for good reason. However, unless you plan on throwing away your cell phone and living in a bubble, there are more important areas to research. Now, it is still a concern, and like I said earlier, it’s a concern for good reason. You’re buying a sauna most likely for the health benefits, so of course you want the healthiest option and the lowest EMF possible. Generally ceramic heaters made of a high glass content will give off the lowest amount of EMF. Moreover, look for companies that strategically manufacture their heaters with a design specifically engineered to limit EMF. As you read about some of the brands below you'll see the results of EMF tests we performed on some of the different saunas. Be very cautious of the the cheap Chinese made saunas as the EMF levels are absurd! We have tested every brand below in a live setting so you can get some straight answers. Now, It is safe to say that not every unit built by the manufacturer will always be exactly the same, however it does give us a solid rule of thumb to assume this is the ballpark.

 

Ceramic Heaters vs. Carbon Heaters

 

Ceramic vs. Carbon has been a debate in the sauna industry for as long as they’ve been around. I’ll be fairly straight forward with his one. Carbon heaters will definitely deliver a softer type of heat than ceramic. So, in that regard it can be a preference situation. The problem with Carbon Fiber heaters is the longevity has been proven to not really be there. They tend to diminish in efficiency over time, whereas ceramic heaters don’t show as much decline in efficiency. With that said, Carbon heaters have a wider wavelength that covers more area in width but doesn't penetrate as deep, and Ceramic has a more narrow wavelength that penetrates much deeper. Now there are some carbon heaters that have been proven to last for a long period of time; that example being Clearlight which has True Wave technology that we can talk about more later.

 

Wood Type

 

 

Below you'll find our key takeaways from some of the top sauna brands across the industry. We'll try to keep the reviews short, sweet and to the point. We urge you to fill out the quiz as well, which gives us the information we need in order to recommend the perfect sauna for you. Trust us when I say, we know it isn't easy making a decision when thousands of dollars are involved. Please consider us nothingmore than a resource and an expert in the sauna space. We want to EDUCATE you and deliver the knowledge you need in order to make the right decision for you and your family.

 

 

Ceramic Heaters vs. Carbon Heaters

 

Ceramic vs. Carbon has been a debate in the sauna industry for as long as they’ve been around. I’ll be fairly straight forward with his one. Carbon heaters will definitely deliver a softer type of heat than ceramic. So, in that regard it can be a preference situation. The problem with Carbon Fiber heaters is the longevity has been proven to not really be there. They tend to diminish in efficiency over time, whereas ceramic heaters don’t show as much decline in efficiency. With that said, Carbon heaters have a wider wavelength that covers more area in width but doesn't penetrate as deep, and Ceramic has a more narrow wavelength that penetrates much deeper. Now there are some carbon heaters that have been proven to last for a long period of time; that example being Clearlight which has True Wave technology that we can talk about more later.

 

 

Full Spectrum

 

Have you heard this term yet? You most likely have, but if you haven't I'll explain. Some saunas are standard Far Infrared, and some are Full Spectrum. Full Spectrum means the sauna is equipped with heaters that produce all three infrared types which are Near, Mid, and Far infrared. Each form of infrared delivers different health benefits. Let's start with the health benefits of Near infrared: 
Boosts metabolism, Recharges mitochondria, Stimulates white blood cell production, Reduces body fat, Promotes cell regeneration, Increases energy, Reduces inflammation within the body, Improves circulation within the body, Heals wounds faster, Faster recovery time after working out, Provides pain relief, Rejuvenates the skin, Lessens joint and muscle pain, Improves flexibility and Provides anti-aging benefits to your body. Mid infrared is a longer wavelength that can penetrate deeper into the body’s soft tissue where inflammation occurs. MIR helps expand blood vessels and increases circulation, so more oxygen can reach injured areas of the body. This reduces pain and speeds the healing process. Far Infrared, the longest wavelength, far infrared, reaches deepest into the body, where toxins are stored. By raising your core body temperature, far infrared stimulates the sweat glands, resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat that leaves you feeling revitalized. Also, since sweating increases your heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate, you’re also burning calories. Now, in order to receive all of these amazing health benefits, you would need to get a sauna that is Full Spectrum.

 

TheraSauna

 

Pros
- 100% USA Manufactured
- 5 Exclusive Patents
- Most Intense-  Ceramic Heaters creating deep penetrating infrared detoxing from inside out.
- Non Allergenic Aspen Hardwood- TheraSauna's own tree farm in Wisconsin.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Full Spectrum- Near, mid and far infrared
- Extremely low EMF levels from our testing. Well under 3mg 
Cons
- Above Average Price Point
- Bluetooth Stereo Sold Separately 
Exclusive Patents
StableHeat- Helps create the most constant and beneficial levels of far infrared throughout entire session. Maintains desired 9.4 micron range.
TheraMitters- High Glass Solid Ceramic heaters which deliver the lowest levels of EMF and the highest penetrating infrared. 
Micron Power Select- Gives you the ability to customize your experience. You can vary the infrared output from each individual TheraMitter. 
7 Day Programmable Control- Allows you to set a desired time for your sauna to turn on and pre-heat. Monday— Sunday (dual users)
SpectraWave- Onboard computer system allowing you to produce near, mid and far infrared to any heater you want. Completely full spectrum and customizable.
TheraSauna is the only USA manufactured infrared sauna in the marketplace. They use the highest quality of all woods, Aspen Hardwood, and have developed a great reputation in the industry. In business under the QCA spas umbrella since 1966. Although TheraSauna has several unique patents, the price point sits on the higher end. Overall, one of the highest saunas in quality and safest saunas you can get.
Heater Type- Ceramic


  • Quality: USA made with high quality Aspen Hardwood, efficient TheraMitters, and built for longevity.
  • Feature: Several exclusive patents- StavleHeat, TheraMitters, Micron Power Select, 7 Day Programmable Control, SpectraWave.
  • Health Benefits: Deep penetrating far infrared heat, reaching fat and muscle tissues for maximum detoxification, fat loss and muscle recovery.
  • EMF: High glass, ceramic heaters testing below 3 on MG test.
  • ​Longevity: The manufacturer, QCA Spas has been in business since 1966 and has an incredible reputation as one of the industry leaders.
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty on patented TheraMitters and limited lifetime on everything else.
  • Heaters: The patented ceramic TheraMitter heaters from TheraSauna are deep penetrating for a very deep sweat.
  • Price Point: For being the only 100% USA made infrared sauna, the price is the same, if not a little less than most Asian imported saunas.
  • Reviews: Undoubtedly the most positively reviewed sauna brand from our customers
  • ​Inventory: Due to being the only American Made sauna and not needing to import goods from China, Saunas are on hand and ready to ship

SaunaCore

Pros
- 100% Manufactured in North America (Ontario, Canada)
- The most sensational craftsmanship and detail we have ever seen in the sauna industry.
- SaunaCore saunas are ONLY hand crafted with absolutely no toxic glues and chemicals.
- 100% grade A materials including multiple wood types; including Western Red Cedar, Poplar and more.
- Lifetime Warranty.
- Full Spectrum- Near, mid and far infrared as well as just far infrared options.
- Lowest EMF out of all saunas we tested- Below 1 MilliGaus. 
- Innovative technology exclusively to SaunaCore.
- SaunaCore saunas have a ton of add ons and they are fully customizable to you.
- Concave Infra-core heaters built for the deepest penetrating and widest spread body coverage available.
Cons
- Expensive saunas but after seeing the quality first hand, we understand why. 
SaunaCore is very literally the nicest sauna you probably haven't heard of yet. SaunaCore has been around longer than most brands and unfortunately for them, do not spend much in advertising. 
SaunaCore heaters are not comparable to any other heater on the market today. EMF levels are extremely low, the surface temperature is extremely low, yet the infrared penetration is extremely high.
Heater Type- Ceramic


  •  Quality: Easily the best quality sauna on the market overall as these do NOT come from China and are handcrafted right here in North America. Unfortunately you also have to pay for that.
  •  Features: Several exclusive patents- Infra-Core technology, Opti-Cool system, Medical Grade heaters and stainless steel bracings, Medical Grade Chromotherapy and more.
  •  Health Benefits: Deepest penetrating far infrared heat, reaching fat and muscle tissues for maximum detoxification, fat loss and muscle recovery.
  • EMF: Medical Grade ceramic heaters testing below 1 on MG test. (The lowest we tested).
  • Longevity: Possibly the oldest sauna and steam bath manufacturer starting in the early 1980's.
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
  •  Price Point: Above average cost but if you can budget for it, you will be blown away with the health benefits and quality.

Health Mate

Pros 
- High quality Western Red Canadian Cedar Wood, 100% toxic free
- Full Spectrum options (near, mid far infrared)
- Innovative Tecoloy technology. 360 degrees of dual wave infrared heat.
- Several sauna styles including an empty cabinet style for hot yoga needs.
- Low EMF
- Lower back and floor heaters
- Ergonomic bench design
- Stable 40 years in business 
- Large catalog offering several styles for all your needs
- Easy assembly, clip together design
- Lifetime warranty on Tecoloy heaters
Cons
- Non to list as of yet
Overall, Health Mate is often a common recommendation from us at USA Health and Wellness as a great option for your new home sauna. With 40 years of excellent business, it is one of the sauna brands we have found to deliver consistently good feedback on from our customers.
Heater Type- Tecoloy


  • Heaters: Unique and innovative Tecoloy heaters which deliver 360 degree infrared heat
  •  Features: Full spectrum options 
  • Quality: High quality wood and design made of Western Red Canadian Cedar
  • Price Point: For the quality level, very fair price point
  •  Warranty: Lifetime Warranty on Teceloy Heaters
  • EMF: Low EMF
  •  Longevity: Excellent business rating for over 40 years
  •  Features: Exclusive True Wave and True Wave II patent. Combines carbon and ceramic heaters together.
  • EMF: Low EMF rating, Less than 3 MG on average. 
  •  Longevity: Solid 20+ year history.

Sunlighten

Pros 
- Full Spectrum- ability to deliver near, mid and far infrared
- Patented Solar Carbon Technology- really innovative, 3 heaters in one.
- Recliner Style Benches- customizable in larger models
- Your Choice of Wood- cedar, eucalyptus, basswood
- Magnetic Locking System- for easy assembly
Cons
- Terrible Return Policy- (straight from website) All returns have a 3% fee, + up to $500 restocking fee + all to and from shipping costs (almost the price of the sauna). 
- 240v Electricity Needs (most likely will need an electrician)
- Decently High EMF- Average MilliGaus test of over 3. (The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you limit your exposure to 0.5 mG to 2.5 mG)

Sunlighten, similar to Clearlight and TheraSauna is one of the highest quality sauna brands on the market. They are an established brand which has proven themselves in the industry. The non-toxic basswood seems to be customers top pick between the 3 wood type options Sunlighten offers. The top value Sunlighten brings to market is their very innovative 3 in1 patented Solar Carbon Technology. Overall a very intuitive company but the return policy similar to Clearlight would make me lose sleep. Deciding on a sauna is a very complex decision, so just make sure you know 100% this is the best one before you pull the trigger. Otherwise you will be paying almost the same as if you were to buy it, just to send it back to the manufacturer.
Heater Type- Carbon
  • Quality: Good quality unique wood types of eucalyptus and basswood. Well made and built for longevity.
  •  Features: Patented Solar Carbon heaters. Innovative 3 heaters in one.
  • Design: Larger models are very unique with recliner style benches.
  • EMF: Higher than average EMF levels testing over 3 MG on average.
  • Price Point: Relatively high price point. Limited discount flexibility 
  • Return Policy: Terribly return policy with potential cost to return almost as much as sauna itself.
  • Power Source Needs: Needs 240v.
  • Poor Customer Service: We often get complaints from past Sunlighten customers regarding very poor customer service.

Vital Health

Pros 
- Great Customer Service- owner often times calls with customers personally from his cell phone.
- Innovative Magnetic Therapy- Embeded bipolar magnets in the bench.
- High Quality Hypoallergenic Wood- choices between Canadian 
Red Cedar and Canadian Hemlock.
- Full Spectrum- Option
- Affordable- highest quality in relation to comparable price point
- Limited Lifetime Warranty 
Cons
- Terrible Return Policy- Please read carefully (according to Vital Health Saunas website) Within 30 days buyer must provide Vital Health with a WRITTEN notice that customer does not wish to accept or keep product. Buyer must then obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. Without an RMA number Vital Saunas will not accept merchandise back. Product must be returned in UN-OPENED and original packaging to be accepted as returned. Additionally, customer is responsible for all “costs and fees” associated with return (shipping, handling, restocking and “other fees, costs and expenses”) 
- Average EMF
- One man operation a lot of the time- can be very hard to get ahold of.
Vital Health Saunas are a great option if you are trying to keep price point low. For the low cost of these saunas, they do bring a high amount of value. 
Heater Type- Carbon


  • Price Point: Given the high quality of Vital Health saunas, the price point is very affordable.
  • Customer Service: Customers speak very highly of the customer service they receive after purchasing a Vital Health sauna. 
  • Quality: Wood type of Canadian Red Cedar and Canadian Hemlock combined with overall structure of their units is very high quality.
  • Features: Full spectrum options, and bipolar magnetic therapy makes for a unique value of features.
  • Heaters: Out of all the carbon heaters on the market, Vital Health was very careful selecting this Japanese style heater which is as intense in heat as most ceramic heaters on the market.
  • Return Policy: Poor return policy. Just make sure you have selected the right option.
  • Service: Although customer service is great, often times due to a smaller operation, it can tend to be a one man operation. Service calls can sometimes become backed up.

Medical Sauna

Pros
Non at this time
Cons
- Very dishonest with claims and procedures.
- Several customers we spoke to experienced purchasing a sauna and not actually receiving a sauna.
- Claims of being the "only doctor recommended" sauna is a whole separate conversation.
- Extremely high levels of EMF from this sauna company manufactured in China.
Please use caution when considering a sauna from this company. We advise to always do your own research, and dig a little deeper when something seems too good to be true.
Another thing to mention. If sauna companies have to deliver a long winded explanation about where the sauna comes from, and how "assembly" is done in the United States, that should draw some red flags.
  • Credibility: Concerns of dishonest claims and content.
  • Longevity: After research, no sign of longevity of the company. Contradictory dates and claims.
  • ​Reviews: We receive many customer calls that they either didn't receive a sauna from the manufacturer or they want to return

JNH

Pros 
- Inexpensive 
Cons
- Cheap Wood From China
- Known for Off-Gassing- toxic glues, chemicals to get through customs.
- Low Efficiency Carbon Heaters
- Poor Warranty 
- EMF Tested Between 30-70 MilliGaus on Average.
A very popular sauna brand because of the low price point. If you are considering a sauna from JNH or even other cheap brands like Celebration Saunas, Sun-Ray saunas and others within the same $900-$1,500 price point, we urge you to do your full due diligence prior to just making a decision. If price is your main concern, we highly recommend not putting yourself at risk and simply wait until you can afford to spend more.
Heater Type- Carbon

  • Price Point: Inexpensive 
  • Quality: Very poor quality wood from China, low efficiency carbon heaters.
  •  Health Benefits: Off-gassing, toxic glues, and other chemicals.
  • Warranty: Limited.
  • EMF: Absurdly high MG tests often times showing up to 200 MG.
We will continue to add more saunas to the list such as: Rocky Mountain Saunas, Celebration Saunas, Sauna Core, Medical Saunas, Harvia, Alta, Finlandia, Monaco, and more.

Health Benefits

If you're this far along in your research process you've probably already been informed what infrared sauna therapy can do for your health. People have been using saunas for ages to treat health conditions, and they are quickly gaining in popularity. Below are a few basic health benefits that you may already be familiar with associated to infrared sauna use:
  • Better Sleep
  • Relaxation
  • Detoxification
  • ​Weight Loss
  • ​Relief from sore muscles
  • ​Improved heart health
  • ​Relief from joint pain such as Arthritis 
  • ​Clear and tighter skin
  • ​improved circulation
  • ​help for people with chronic fatigue syndrome
  • ​and much more
We hope you were able to learn a little about some of the top brands in the industry. As you've just learned, each brand is a bit unique. No saunas are perfect, and all saunas have pros and cons. Now, as your next step, it's time to figure out which one is right for you! Depending on several variables including your health condition, we want to help recommend the right sauna for you. Whether you want a sauna for detox, muscle recover, joint relief, pain relief, stress therapy, better skin complexion, heart health, lower blood pressure, lose weight or anything else, we want to make it as easy as possible.
Have a question? Call us toll free or just text us at (207) 619-4291
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