Traditional vs. Infrared Saunas: What’s the Difference?

Traditional vs. Infrared Saunas: What’s the Difference?

Owning a sauna offers some unbelievable benefits to your health and wellness. Saunas can help your body recover from workouts, flush out toxins, relieve stress, improve sleep, boost your immune system, and much more. When you’re choosing the right sauna for your home, you may come across a few different options, such as traditional and infrared saunas. Before you decide on a sauna for your family, here are some of the differences between traditional saunas and infrared saunas to give you a better understanding of what suits your needs:

Heat Source

While traditional saunas generally use heated rocks to warm the sauna environment, infrared saunas use infrared light to produce heat. Because of this, infrared saunas are able to offer many of the same benefits as traditional saunas at a much lower temperature. Traditional saunas typically range between 150 and 185 degrees F. This amount of heat is perfect for some people, but it can be a little overwhelming for those who are more heat-sensitive. Infrared saunas offer a milder temperature between 120 and 140 degrees F. Because the heat from infrared saunas penetrates deeper into the body, they’re able to produce as much sweat and offer many of the same benefits without reaching the higher temperatures of a traditional sauna.

Steam and Humidity

Another difference between the two styles is the amount of steam they produce. Some traditional saunas use water over heated rocks to produce steam, which promotes sweating at lower temperatures than traditional dry saunas. Infrared saunas don’t use any steam and will be less humid than traditional steam saunas. Some people may like the experience of steam in their sauna environment, while others prefer a dry sauna. For people who like a dry sauna with lower temperatures, an infrared sauna is the perfect choice.

Energy Consumption

Traditional saunas typically require more power to operate than infrared saunas, due to the higher temperature and heating method of traditional saunas. Most traditional saunas require about 4.5-6 kW of power to run, while infrared saunas generally run off about 1.5-1.7 kW. Energy savings is one thing to consider for people who plan on using their sauna frequently.

Heat-up Time

For a traditional sauna, bathers generally need to wait for 30-40 minutes for the room to preheat before entering. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, typically reach their ideal temperature in about 15 minutes. However, infrared energy is being emitted by the heaters as soon as an infrared sauna is turned on. That means that in an infrared sauna, bathers can start enjoying their sauna immediately.

Social Experience

One difference between the two types of sauna that is often overlooked is the social experience. Traditional saunas are generally large enough to fit multiple people and allow for socializing. Infrared saunas are usually smaller in size, providing more of a private escape and less of a social experience. Both kinds of saunas offer many amazing social and health benefits, so be sure to try out each style. Also, consider how many people will be using the sauna before making your decision.

Adding a sauna to your home can be one of the most exciting and rewarding decisions you’ll ever make. Regular sauna use will improve your circulation, maintain healthier skin, support kidney function, reduce blood pressure, enhance brain function, and much more. And, most importantly, saunas are the perfect way to relax and relieve stress while connecting with your loved ones. Try a sauna today and discover some of the amazing benefits for yourself!


For more information about the wonderful saunas we offer at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool, visit our website or contact us today!

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