We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Written By
Published May 18, 2022 3:14 PM

Few things can make you feel more luxurious than sitting in a sauna, but getting an infrared sauna treatment? That’s next level. If you’re unfamiliar, infrared saunas are saunas that use infrared light to heat your body. It’s not to be confused with other types of saunas like a steam room that produces moisture, or super hot saunas that warm the air along with the people inside.

Infrared saunas rely on infrared waves to warm your body directly, so the room itself doesn’t have to get as hot. (This is a great option if you absolutely hate sitting in a hot room but still want the benefits of a sauna.) 

You’ll still sweat, of course, and your heart rate may go up from your body trying to cool itself. Saunas can produce several health benefits. Other research has shown that infrared saunas can help with chronic pain, increase blood flow, help with muscle damage, and lower stress and fatigue. This list of the best infrared saunas will help you choose the right model for your body’s specific needs.

How we chose the best infrared saunas

When deciding which infrared saunas to suggest, we wanted to give a diverse range of recommendations that reflects the market. There are portable, compact infrared saunas and sauna blankets, as well as large customizable rooms that can take up half a backyard. 

We also looked at value for what you get. Of course, a constructed sauna room is going to cost way more than a blanket, so we measured the cost-value ratio across each product type.

Does it come with auto features in case of overheating? Are the materials used nontoxic? We got your back, team.

Finally, we scoured the internet for reviews. Seriously, we looked at Reddit … Amazon … any and all reviews for the same sauna across multiple platforms. 

The editors and writers at PopSci have combined decades of experience covering technology of all kinds, including those in the wellness arena. That experience provides the basis for our search for the best infrared saunas.

Things to consider before buying an infrared sauna

Before we dive into the final list of picks, there are some specific terms and features you should understand regarding the best infrared saunas. Here are some specs or terms you’ll see along the way. 

Type

The main types of infrared saunas are ceramic or carbon heaters. Infrared saunas also come as blankets, portable single-person units, or full-fledged wooden rooms. Also, outdoor saunas and indoor saunas have different requirements that are essential for safety and success. Identify your preferred type before moving on. 

Budget

The cost of infrared saunas varies given the type of sauna you choose. A blanket is obviously going to be much more inexpensive than a huge structure—blankets can be around $500-$800 while sauna rooms can cost between $5,000-$8,000. Settle on a budget that feels comfortable for you and then look within that range. 

Safety

Look for a few key features to ensure the highest level of safety in your infrared sauna, including: 

  • Temperature should not exceed 140 F.
  • Scratch-resistant safety glass should be thick and sturdy.
  • Be sure not to install the sauna on carpet and check for any electrical wiring issues.

Size

Can it fit two people? Four? Six? Is it only meant for solo use? Think about how you plan to use your sauna and if it’s worth investing in a larger size if several people will want to use it in the same household.

Materials

Look for saunas that use high-quality wooden paneling (these will retain heat much better), high-quality carbon heaters, and any accessories you might want (audio, ceiling vents, etc). If you’re purchasing a sauna blanket, make sure that you’re not getting a cheap, crappy plastic bag. 

The best infrared saunas: Reviews & Recommendations

With the jargon sorted, it’s time to get into our picks for the best infrared saunas. While we’ve broken down the picks by category for specific users, remember that they absolutely overlap and all of these models promise solid performance and value. 

Best overall: Sunlighten Sauna

Sunlighten

SEE IT

Why it made the cut: The grand champion of infrared saunas serves near, mid, and far infrared heaters, seven wellness programs, and everything else you could ever want.

Specs

  • Electrical: 240V 4800W 20A
  • Exterior Dimensions: 85.6” W x 70.6” D x 78.5” H
  • Heaters: 14 FIR, 12 MIR, 7 NIR 

Pros

  • High quality, top of the line
  • 7 wellness programs using the tablet
  • Chromotherapy
  • Comes in several customizable sizes

Cons

  • Expensive

This infrared sauna represents the top of the line, and for good reason. It offers a highly customizable experience depending on who’s using it: modify the ambiance, sounds, smells, and wellness programs to your specific tastes.

Inside, it offers a super-comfortable ergonomic bench, a Blaupunkt sound system that offers top-notch audio, and thick, durable, gorgeous wood with top-tier insulation. 

Assembly is super easy with their Magne-seal locking method, meaning you don’t have to use screws or nails. One of the best parts is the included Chromotherapy lighting, which uses colors from the sun’s visible light spectrum to set the mood. 

It’s big and it’s an investment but if you can swing it, this will check every box that you have.

Best sauna blanket: Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket

Heat Healer

SEE IT

Why it made the cut: If you don’t have room or cash for an install, you can still enjoy some infrared.

Specs

  • Max Temp: 80 C (176 F)
  • Blanket Dimensions: 75″ long; circumference of 69″ 
  • Type of Infrared: Far

Pros

  • Compact, portable, and convenient 
  • Certified non-toxic
  • Made with premium amide fabric
  • Less expensive than building full sauna rooms

Cons

  • The attachment can be annoying to deal with
  • Can be a pain to put away and take out for daily use

A sauna blanket is the perfect compact and portable solution to getting your infrared sauna needs in the privacy of your own home. We chose Heat Healer’s super high quality and luxurious sauna blanket because it offers a solid mix of features and price. It’s certainly not “cheap,” but compared to building an infrared sauna in your backyard, it’s decidedly more affordable.

The blanket relies on a carbon fiber heating element along with 96 jade and tourmaline stones, which offers a super evenly dispersed heat for optimal results. 

What we love most about this blanket is that it’s certified non-toxic, made with premium amide fabric (the same material used by NASA astronaut’s spacesuits), which is extremely chic. Always put a towel down when using it to keep your blanket clean and hygienic and wipe clean with a natural solution, like vinegar. 

It also claims to block EMF, but there’s no real proof that they’re harmful to you so take those claims with a grain of salt. 

Best two-person sauna: Clearlight Sanctuary 2

Infrared Sauna

SEE IT

Why it made the cut: This absolutely gorgeous smartphone-controlled sauna is made with True WaveTM carbon/ceramic far infrared heating technology, and “furniture grade” cabinetry. Stunner. 

Specs

  • Power: 120V / 2,250W / 18.75A
  • Exterior Dimensions Width: 52″, Depth: 48″, Height: 77″
  • Weight: 450 lbs

Pros

  • Gorgeous contemporary design
  • Options of 2 Eco-Certified wood choices
  • Smartphone controlled
  • 36-hour programmable timer

Cons

  • Price unlisted (must request quote) – we found it for $7,199 elsewhere
  • Large, you’ll need ample space
  • Expensive

We are in love with the gorgeous, contemporary, Italian-designed Clearlight Sanctuary Sauna. These state-of-the-art saunas feature a full-spectrum heating system that creates consistent, even heat. 

Easily control your sauna remotely with their app. It also comes with a built-in charging and audio station, a door handle/smartphone cradle, 8mm thick glass front and ceiling, and furniture-grade materials and construction. 

They also offer a slew of upgrades such as Jacuzzi LED Light Therapy, Electric Aroma Therapy, and a Bench Cushion if you so desire. This sauna is extremely luxurious, so remember that when you find out the cost. We did some digging and found it for around $7,000, but it can go up from there.

Best outdoor sauna: Enlighten SIERRA – 4 Peak

Enlighten Sauna

SEE IT

Why it made the cut: This spacious, eco-friendly outdoor sauna with nine carbon heaters and two full-spectrum heaters fits four people comfortably.

Specs

  • Power: 220/240 V / 3750 W 
  • Exterior Dimensions: 61.5” x 71.6” x 96”
  • Weight: 1,025 lbs

Pros

  • Eco-Certified Cedar Wood/Non-Toxic
  • Double Roof (Flat Roof + Outdoor Roof)
  • Bluetooth Player With Speakers
  • Lots of Indoor Features

Cons

  • Some customers had issues with long wait times/delivery

Made from gorgeous Canadian red cedar wood, this spacious Far Infrared Sauna is big enough to fit four people comfortably. It comes with nine carbon heaters and two full-spectrum heaters, Bluetooth speakers, a built-in backrest, digital controller, indoor lighting, and a wide bench. It also includes smaller touches like towel and magazine racks, cup holders, and other smart details. The cedar wood is also gorgeous, and cedar tends to be more weather-resistant than other woods.

This kind of sauna isn’t the kind of thing you can install yourself, so expect to go through a somewhat intensive ordering, delivery, and installation process to get it up and running. Once it’s in, though, it doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance and it should last for years. 

Best budget: SereneLife Portable Infrared Home Spa

SereneLife

SEE IT

Why it made the cut: Portable, convenient, and compact, this home spa comes with a foldable chair and foot heating pads for a total body spa experience at an affordable price.

Specs

  • Max Temp: 140 F
  • Product Dimensions: 31.5 x 27.56 x 37.8 inches
  • Max Time: 60 minutes

Pros

  • Inexpensive 
  • Compact and portable
  • Comes with foldable chair
  • Convenient hand access zippers
  • Foot heating mat

Cons

  • Plastic smell when new, goes away with time

This indoor sauna kit comes with everything you need for an at-home sauna spa experience and is under the $250 mark. It’s portable, convenient, and compact for apartments or small spaces, and energy and power efficient so you’re not running up those utility bills.

It comes with a foldable chair to sit on during your session (you can use this for up to 60 minutes, which is the preferred amount before you start to seriously dehydrate). We love that it comes with convenient hand access zippers so you can easily grab a book, your phone, tablets, or whatever else you need so you’re not dying of boredom. And it also has a heated mat for your feet.

The moisture-resistant fabric allows for outdoor use, as well. It also has a plastic smell when new but many customers say it will go away after first use.

FAQs

Q: How long should you sit in an infrared sauna?

How long you should sit in an infrared sauna depends on your tolerance! Our best advice is to start slowly at about 10-15 minutes and work up to 30-40 minutes. For infrared blankets, many manufacturers say you can even go up to 60 minutes if you feel up for it. 

Q: Where should I put a home sauna?

You should put a home sauna wherever you have the space, a heat source, and protection. You should never put a sauna on the carpet. Good locations include a shed, an oversized bathroom, a garage, an ADU, or outside if it’s an outdoor sauna.

Q: How do you clean a home sauna?

Since you’ll be breathing in the air in a confined space, be sure to only use a non-toxic, chemical-free, mild detergent. We love these two brands: Therapy Clean and Force of Nature

Therapy Clean is a great line of plant-based cleaners that aren’t toxic and full of chemicals. 

Force of Nature is a small cleaning appliance that uses electricity to convert tap water, plus a recyclable capsule of salt, water, and vinegar, into a powerful multipurpose cleaner and deodorizer! 

Final thoughts about the best infrared saunas

Infrared saunas aren’t for everyone, especially if you have a heart condition or other issue that will act up under the heat. For some people, however, the flood of IR waves can feel calming and soothing, especially after a workout. While most of the options on this list are rather pricey, they’re also meant to last for years once installed so you can continue your routine well into the future.