Review of Infrared Sauna Fundamental Elements
Infrared saunas are found aplenty, but which ones to choose? On this page, I review the desirable features and some of the avoidable menaces of far infrared saunas in detail so that you can select the kind that best suits you. There are a number of possible sauna options, and it may prove to be of significant impact if you choose to read and understand before you commit your sauna type. There are certain things that you would be better off by following, and then there are some other aspects that you would want to earnestly avoid.
Carbon versus Ceramic
Would you want to save cost and go for a ceramic sauna? Great question. What is it that carbon based sauna manufacturers are charging the extra money for? What’s the additional benefit that carbon can bring in, and is that extra benefit worth the additional investment?
In my opinion, the answer is a summary yes. I would go as far as suggesting (purely my suggestion and you are welcome not to listen to me) that if you don’t have the money to buy a ceramic sauna then don’t buy an infrared sauna at all. Now that’s quite strong an opinion.
The problem with ceramic saunas is that the technology is dated. Once upon a time ceramic was the state of art but those days are far behind now. Ceramic heat is produced using small glass tubes and they are placed all over the sauna to distribute the heat source. However the quantity of heat produced is rather low compared to the temperature generated. In simple words, you want the high heat but at lot temperature to avoid burn, and the ceramic sauna is not good at that.
There is another problem too, and that is also a serious one. Often enough the glass tube placement is not up to the mark (and more so for many cheaper ceramic saunas). So what happens is that some spots get a lot of heat while other spots do not. Since your body will get exposed as a whole, some parts of your body will receive the higher heat and the other parts will not, because of the imbalance in heat distribution. So your body in turn will have hot spots. And the burning temperature is known to have given red hot spots on some parts of bodies of users while other parts of the body have not even received the heat from source. That’s bad. You would want to avoid that at any cost, even at the cost of not buying a sauna.
Certification Quality Including Electrical Safety
An important factor to choose your sauna model is to look carefully at the electrical safety certification, the quality of the certification and most importantly who is issuing the certification. You would not want a certificate that does not have any value. So before you commit to your sauna, take a careful look at what kinds of certifications the manufacturer has and what are the quality of standards they follow. You would want to make sure that the manufacturer has at least the following.
- An electrical safety certification of the highest standard. This is critical – you don’t want to run into electrical hazards.
- Hazardous material certification is also important. The sauna needs to be made of high quality elements and not junk.
- Optionally a overall quality certification.
If you choose an infrared sauna that are great in all the above, then you have probably chosen a great sauna.
As discussed to begin with, ceramic is one of the heaters that you would want to avoid (avoid like plague, if I may say so, in my opinion). What are the other options for choosing a heater?
One option that you would definitely want to avoid is steel rod heaters. They are worse than ceramic. They use reflector trays. The infrared rays would never penetrate inside your body.
The best heater option for a far infrared sauna is organic carbon fiber panel. I would recommend this class of heaters any day. Large, thick carbon panels with organic flexibility is the best choice that you can possibly make. The heat is distributed all over your body with the best possible body surface area coverage. This results in tremendous infrared energy absorption for your body. Carbon 360 is one of the best sauna heater technologies available today.
A cheap imitation of carbon panels has come into the market (as one could imagine!!) – they try to imitate the high-quality carbon panels using carbon fiber sprayed fiberglass panels. While these are not too bad, but they don’t come close to the real carbon panel saunas in terms of infrared heat production and penetration. The carbon here, after all, is thin.
Quality of the wood used in your sauna is critically important for its life and comfort. Good wood will not only last long, but it will also make your infrared sauna a great one. While reading this infrared sauna review please keep in mind that a good sauna should not only last long but it also needs to maintain its shape. Look at the sheer heat that the wooded walls of the infrared sauna will get exposed to. Unless the wood quality is high, will it last long and yet remain of the same high quality as it is at the time of buying? Probably not. It does not take any great research to say that low quality wood is going to lower the cost of buying your sauna and at the same time reduce its lifetime significantly.
Some of the woods used to make saunas include western pine, poplar, hemlock, red cedar and California redwood, and there are other kinds of woods. While the details of these wood and what would it mean when you choose these woods are in the CWGLive review report referred to on this page (check the left side panel on this page), I would encourage you not to go for pine or poplar. Hemlock and Red Cedar are the two best choices. California redwood is also great but probably not worth the cost (and the benefits are similar to red cedar wood based far infrared saunas in my opinion).
Assembly and Structural Integrity
Do you realize that the walls of a far infrared sauna are made of heavy wood and hence require high class assembly so that they can remain sturdy throughout their lifetime? So assembly quality including structural integrity happens to be one of the most important points to review in an infrared sauna. Exterior buckle and clip based assemblies are avoidable. So are magnet based ones. In both the cases, the infrared sauna becomes vulnerable to develop cracks and hole and even fall apart as it ages. The recommended finishing is the bolt-and-anchor based one.
Further reading material strongly before you choose your sauna
There are 9 critical mistakes that first time buyers of infrared saunas make often enough. The CWGLive report (free of any cost or obligation) given at the left sidebar would help you understand the full detail of all these mistakes, plus a lot more essential information such as cost calculations on whether you even need your own sauna (purely from a cost perspective) or are you better off without one and what are some of the situations where you must not use saunas. It is impractical to write all of that on this one page. Downloading the report and saving it on your computer so that you can keep it handy while purchasing may be a good idea.
The sauna manufacturer I recommend after my due research is this one. I recommend their saunas and I believe they produce high quality infrared saunas in light of all the review criteria I mentioned on this page, plus some further criteria you shall find on the recommended CWGLive report (check the further reading material section above).