The ONLY sauna company developed by 48 doctors.

For Sales (818) 805-0026

Customer Support (818) 962-0774

infrared sauna vs traditional sauna

Peter Kim | Aug 14, 2023

As we strive to enhance our wellness journey, embracing diverse healing modalities plays a vital role. The field of heat therapies has notably seen an escalating level of interest. Among these, indoor infrared (IR) saunas and traditional saunas stand as time-tested options, each offering a unique sensory experience.

An understanding of these two forms of heat therapy can help us navigate the path to optimal well-being more effectively. In this brief overview, we unravel the distinctive features of these two types of saunas. We'll explore their unique heating mechanisms, physiological effects, and health benefits, providing a comparative perspective of the indoor infrared sauna vs. traditional sauna.

Indoor Infrared Sauna vs. Traditional Sauna: A Comparison

Before we examine the specific differences between indoor infrared saunas and traditional saunas, let's briefly capture the essence of each sauna type.

Indoor infrared saunas employ radiant heat, penetrating deeply into muscles for relaxation and rejuvenation. They use specialized infrared heaters to warm your body directly, leading to a detoxifying sweat session.

In contrast, traditional saunas generate an atmosphere of aromatic steam and warmth using heated rocks or stoves. The surrounding heat promotes relaxation, eases muscle tension, and facilitates body detoxification through sweating.

With their key characteristics now laid out, let's further explore to find out what distinguishes these two sauna types.

  • Temperature and Heat Distribution

An indoor infrared sauna operates at lower, comfortable temperatures of 120°F to 140°F, providing direct, soothing heat. Conversely, a traditional sauna can reach or exceed 190°F, creating an intense warmth that initially heats the air before gradually penetrating your skin.

  • Warm-up Duration

The swift warm-up time of infrared saunas, which is a mere 10-15 minutes, is ideal for those who prefer brief sessions. In contrast, classic saunas need approximately 30-40 minutes to reach the optimal heat level.

  • Energy Efficiency

Indoor infrared heat cabins are energy efficient, consuming less electricity. This usage contributes to cost savings and sustainable living. Conversely, traditional steam baths require a higher energy consumption because of the intense temperatures required to heat the air and stones.

  • Installation and Space Requirements

Indoor infrared saunas are portable and easily assembled. Their sleek, compact design is perfectly suited for limited spaces. Old-styled saunas, however, necessitate a dedicated installation space, making them more suitable for larger homes or establishments.

Indoor Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas: Health Benefits

The comparison of indoor infrared sauna benefits to those of traditional saunas aims to provide insights into the unique aspects of each sauna type. This exploration of their advantages equips you to make an informed choice tailored to your wellness needs and preferences.

  • Detoxification: Indoor IR saunas deeply penetrate the body, promoting the elimination of accumulated toxins and impurities, offering a thorough detox.
  • Cardiovascular Health: The radiant heat from both types of saunas stimulates blood flow and vasodilation, contributing to improved circulation and potential blood pressure reduction.
  • Deep Heat Penetration: Infrared heat cabins offer deep tissue heat penetration, promoting improved blood circulation, muscle recovery, and relief for conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. In contrast, standard saunas provide a more gradual body-warming experience.
  • Therapeutic Uses: IR saunas have potential health benefits such as easing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and mitigating inflammation. Traditional saunas are more renowned for soothing muscle aches and offering relaxation.
  • Relaxation: Amid daily life's hustle, both types of saunas provide an escape for relaxation and stress reduction, creating a serene environment enhanced by soft lighting and soothing music.

Choosing Between an Indoor Infrared Sauna and a Traditional Sauna

Having now acquired an understanding of the contrasting characteristics and advantages of each sauna type, the next step is to navigate the decision-making process. Here are some pivotal factors to aid in selecting a sauna experience that closely aligns with your unique preferences and requirements:

  • Individual Preferences: Consider your personal inclination towards the sauna experience. Do you prefer the specific warmth of infrared or the intense heat of traditional heat chambers?
  • Cost Considerations: Consider your budget. Indoor infrared saunas usually offer cost-effectiveness both in initial and operational expenses, while classic saunas can require a higher upfront investment.
  • Space and Installation: Assess your available space and installation needs. IR sweat lodges are ideal for limited spaces and convenience, while traditional saunas are suited for larger spaces and dedicated sauna rooms.

Pros and Cons of an Indoor Infrared Sauna and Traditional Sauna

It's time to weigh the pros and cons to gain a comprehensive understanding of each sauna type:

a) Indoor Infrared Saunas:


  • Energy-efficient and cost-effective
  • Quick heat-up time for spontaneous sauna sessions
  • Portable and versatile, suitable for various living situations
  • Deep penetrating heat for enhanced therapeutic benefits


  • Lower maximum temperature compared to traditional saunas
  • Minimal steam and humidity

b) Traditional Saunas


  • Higher maximum temperature and greater humidity for a more intense sauna experience
  • Time-honored tradition and authentic sauna ambiance
  • Ability to accommodate larger groups and socialize


  • Longer heat-up time compared to infrared saunas
  • Higher energy consumption because of the need to heat the air and rocks
  • Requires dedicated space and installation considerations


Well done! You've explored the worlds of indoor infrared saunas and traditional saunas, understanding their unique characteristics, benefits, and factors to consider. The decision between these two sauna types hinges on your individual preferences, budget, space, and the kind of sweat lodge atmosphere you seek.

Whether you're attracted to the specific warmth of an indoor infrared sauna or the all-encompassing heat of a traditional sauna, each offers a route toward relaxation, rejuvenation, and enhanced well-being.

More Articles Like This

Top 10 Sauna Health Benefits

Jhone Mark | Aug 08, 2023