Benefits of Infrared Sauna vs Traditional Saunas

Uses, Setup And Benefits Of Infrared Sauna Vs Steam Saunas

Whilst there are varying interpretations, a traditional steam sauna entails a small room heated to high temperatures, which can be controlled. The steam component comes from the rocks that can often be found in saunas, which help regulate the temperature and humidity in the room. Water is often poured onto the sauna stones to create steam.

In contrast, the benefits of  infrared sauna use don’t utilise steam to heat the surrounding air, but instead use infrared lamps to directly heat the body. The infrared panels are able to heat a user’s body instead of the air through penetrating human tissue. It is estimated that of the heat that comes out of the panels, only 20% goes to heat the air, whilst 80% of the heat is focused on the user’s body.



While the benefits of infrared sauna usage and the more traditional steam sauna function on the same basis of body temperature, the mechanisms they use to achieve this effect work on different dynamics. While traditional saunas elevate the surrounding air temperature so as to environmentally influence body temperature, in this case, infrared saunas directly target the subcutaneous tissue of the body to stimulate molecular activity, raising temperature via light radiation.  

Operationally, this makes the infrared sauna more convenient for those looking for home installations, or a practice that’s less physically intensive that continues to provide the same effects. As an emerging field that continues to garner interest in the prospects of its yet unexplored benefits, the improvements to lifestyle brought forth from regular infrared sauna use have ranged quite broadly from physical to mental effects.

Some benefits include:

  • Relief from chronic pain
  • Relief from muscle soreness
  • Improved circulation
  • Better sleep
  • Relaxation

How to Use 

Infrared Sauna 

First select the desired temperature, ranging from 46 to 57 degrees Celsius. It is recommended to begin on the lower end of the specified range for beginner sauna users. 

Next, select the desired amount of time spent in the sauna itself. For convenience, most saunas come with a built-in timer that notify a user when the session is over. 

Post session, it is recommended to first let the body cool down before showering. Ensuring you remain hydrated is also a crucial step at the conclusion of an infrared sauna session.

Steam Sauna 

In contrast, a steam sauna functions best in temperatures 70 to 85 degrees Celsius. When using traditional hot rock saunas, the rocks must first be heated to the desired temperature. It is recommended to spend no longer than 20 minutes in a steam sauna. Unlike infrared saunas, steam saunas do not have timers so it is up to the user to ensure they exit in a timely fashion, to reduce the likelihood of dehydration.


Cost and Setup

Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas have a much easier setup for at home use, given that they either come as fully or at a minimum, partially built. It is also common to find completely portable infrared saunas, which requires minimal setup.

Relative to other types of saunas, an infrared sauna has low operation and maintenance costs. Heating the sauna takes up to 15 minutes, with the ideal temperature being much lower than required in steam saunas. Thus, less thermal energy is ultimately used when operating an infrared sauna.

Steam Sauna

Comparatively, a steam sauna has a long setup process, with multiple parts needing to be professionally installed. This includes plumbing and ventilation parts.

Heating the sauna to a desired temperature can take up to 45 minutes, with higher operation costs given that a greater amount of heat is being used for a relatively longer period of time.


How We Can Help 

Sun Stream infrared saunas offer safe, high quality saunas with 360 degree body coverage, and industry low electromagnetic field (EMF) and electric field (EF) heaters. Our Sun Stream range comes with a lifetime warranty, with free delivery offered to most metropolitan regions. Whether you’re after pricing enquiries, or an infrared sauna for your business, contact us today.