If you’re thinking about attending a sauna, you may have discovered that there’s a
difference between regular steam saunas and infrared saunas.
Perhaps you’ve read or heard a little about them, but you’re not entirely sure what the real
distinction is. Perhaps you’re wondering which treatment is better for you.
You’re not alone in asking these questions. Saunas have been used for hundreds of years for
health, relaxation and therapy purposes. The heat is widely believed to provide a whole
range of benefits to your body, ranging from detoxification and stress relief to boosting your
It is thought that saunas were first used in the north of Europe around 2,000 BC. Some trace
the “first” ever sauna back to nomadic peoples of Finland – when health benefits were first
experienced by these ancient civilisations.
But there are unique differences between regular and infrared sauna treatments, which
we’ll outline in detail below.
4 main differences between traditional saunas and infrared saunas
At a first glance, both saunas look more or a less the same. However, while they both have
positive effects on your body, there are 4 critical differences to take into account before
deciding which sauna treatment to receive.
You should understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one – and make the most
appropriate decision based on your own health goals, and what is ultimately best for your
The primary difference between the two saunas is the method of heating.
Regular saunas typically use an electric heater, designed to simply heat the air. It is
the hot air that warms you up. You enter into a wooden room, where you’ll see a
heater full of rocks warming the room. Pouring water over those rocks creates
steam, hence why traditional saunas are referred to as steam saunas.
Infrared saunas are heated by infrared lamps designed to emit radiation, designed
to actually heat your body before heating up the room. The majority of the heat
enters your body, producing a relaxing and deep sweat.
Temperature is significantly different when it comes to infrared and regular saunas.
Regular saunas will escalate to between 80 to 100 degrees Celsius. That’s fairly hot –
as they are designed to make you sweat. As a result, you can’t really stand in it for
Infrared saunas are designed to be a little cooler. They’ll typically reach between 48
and 70 degrees and are heated by light. The saunas are designed to heat your body
moreso than the air. A typical session will last between 30 to 45 minutes.
Both saunas are known to produce a range of benefits to both physical and mental health.
Traditional and infrared saunas are designed to help you relax, reduce stress and detoxify
your system by encouraging sweat.
Similarly, both can help relax your muscles, relieve joint pain and produce a deep sense of
relaxation making you feel great. Either sauna will likely have this effect on you.
However, infrared saunas are not designed to heat the air around you. They are made to
heat your body directly, and actually raise your body’s core temperature. There are a range
of reported associated health benefits, including:
The release of toxins in your body such as nicotine and heavy metals
Relief of the muscles from stiffness, soreness and inflammation by improving rates of
blood circulation (this article recorded the benefits of infrared saunas for people
suffering from rheumatoid arthritis)
Helps with weight loss by boosting your metabolism. The muscle relief caused by
infrared treatment may also encourage you to exercise more.
Improvement in colour tone and skin texture, with the reduction of wrinkles (in one
study, 51-75% of patients reported improvements in their skin texture and
Easing the effects of depression and anxiety, with some studies showing the positive
effects of infrared saunas on mental health.
The actual experience of an infrared sauna is an important point of difference.
Traditional saunas are hot and steamy. Temperatures can get close to boiling so you
won’t generally be in there for longer than 20 minutes. Afterwards, you’ll likely want
to jump into cold pool before jumping in the sauna again.
Infrared saunas are typically more comfortable, and you can sit in one for longer
than 40 minutes if you want to. They’re quite dry, lower in temperature and the
result is you can maximise the benefits of a sweat session.
Infrared sauna vs regular sauna: what is better?
The sauna that is ‘better’ will depend on your own personal preferences, and what you are
specifically looking for when considering a sauna treatment.
The advantages of an infrared sauna treatment versus a regular sauna include:
More comfort. You’ll generally a be a lot more comfortable in an infrared sauna
because it is cooler than a steam sauna.
Longer sessions. Because it’s more comfortable to stay in an infrared sauna, you’ll be
more likely to stay in there for a longer period of time – and so have a longer sweat
Health benefits. Not only do you reap benefits to your body for saying in infrared
saunas for longer. Because infrared technology is designed to heat your body, rather
than heat the air, you’ll enjoy a much deeper sweat and a more intense detox. You
may also experience greater pain and muscle relief.
Interested in infrared sauna treatment?
If you’re looking for infrared sauna treatment in Sydney, look no further than Cryospa
Our saunas can fit 3 to 4 people, and there’s plenty of room to lay down and stretch if you
just want to bring yourself.
We use the Clearlight Sauna here at our clinic, as they emit lowest electromagnetic fields
compared to any other infrared sauna on the market.
If you’ve never tried this treatment before, our team are incredibly friendly and
knowledgeable. They’ll help you understand how infrared technology works, and what
temperature is most appropriate for you. You’ll get your own private room, where you can
listen to music, meditate or watch movies or TV shows on an iPad.
Get in touch with our team today and enjoy Cryospa’s infrared sauna experience!