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What's the difference with Finnish Sauna and Infrared Sauna?

Hello there! Isn’t it interesting how many people are raving about the health benefits of saunas? It’s been a long-standing practice for people to use saunas as a way to relax, detox and rejuvenate themselves. Currently, we seem to have two main options when it comes to saunas – the classic Finnish sauna or the newer infrared one. Health enthusiasts tend to lean towards the infrared sauna as the better choice. If you’re curious as to why, and whether or not it would be a good fit for you, let’s take a closer look together!

Traditional Finnish Steam Saunas Vs. Infrared Saunas

If you’re searching for the perfect at-home sauna, look no further than infrared models! Not only do they come in a range of sizes that can fit anywhere from one person to an entire hot yoga class, but they also take up less space than traditional Finnish saunas. Infrared saunas require virtually no maintenance, while Finnish saunas are often bulky and time-consuming to heat up. Besides, with their low energy-consumption and fast warm-up time, infrared saunas are a more efficient and time-saving option. With hygiene becoming a growing concern, infrared saunas also offer a cleaner, germ-free experience that can improve overall skin health. So why settle for a traditional sauna when you can have an infrared sauna right at home?

Temperature Tolerance

If you’ve ever used a Finnish sauna, you’re well aware of the intense heat. Most experts recommend a temperature setting between 180 degrees and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw in a serious dose of humidity and this environment can be quite unmanageable for many of us.

A dry infrared sauna operates differently, producing a therapeutic effect via the infrared waves generated from the heating element, all without the heat and humidity of a Finnish unit. Infrared sauna temperatures usually range from 110 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, much lower than a traditional Finnish unit. You’ll still produce plenty of cleansing perspiration, but without the discomfort of the oppressive heat of the Finnish design.

Heating Action

Traditional Finnish saunas, like those that have been in use for hundreds of years, incorporate a basic heating design that is simple, yet not as efficient as infrared sauna design. A Finnish design will often draw about 6 kw to maintain its high temperatures, while an infrared sauna draws roughly 1-2 kw of power.

When you consider how long you must pre-heat the Finnish sauna, which also draws about three times as much energy, it’s obvious the infrared design has won the war on efficiency. The most compelling difference between the two heater designs is the temperature at which they operate. Infrared saunas, as stated earlier, don’t subject the individual to as much heat as the Finnish sauna, therefore enhancing the overall experience.

Health Benefits

The excessive heat and humidity of a Finnish sauna triggers profound perspiration, which further triggers detoxification and weight loss (though often temporary). An infrared sauna works in a similar fashion, but instead, incorporates IR waves that penetrate the body to raise the core temperature from within. These waves are totally safe, and measure from 6 to 12 microns in wavelength, ideal for absorption by the body. Additionally, infrared units are more efficient at warming the muscles and joints of the body.

From a scientific standpoint, it has been proven that an infrared sauna produces sweat comprised of 80% water and 20% toxins, while the traditional Finnish sauna produces sweat consisting of 97% water and just 3% toxins. When weighing the detoxifying benefits, there is no comparison. The infrared unit wins every time.

Convenience Factor

Undoubtedly, many are fans of the more social aspect of Finnish saunas, as they can sometimes accommodate as many as 10 – 15 people. But there is no denying the convenience of an infrared sauna. You simply turn on the heater and step inside, and there is no need to preheat the sauna. Infrared saunas warm the body from within, therefore, splashing water on heated rocks or managing steam levels is a thing of the past. From a maintenance standpoint, Finnish saunas require preventative measures and vigilant cleaning to keep mold and bacteria at bay. This is not required with an infrared unit.

When shopping for a sauna, for home or light commercial use, definitely consider all the practical applications of the infrared sauna. While the iconic Finnish sauna has greater social potential due to its larger sizes, the infrared sauna outranks all other models when it comes to efficiency, affordability, performance, and comfort.

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