Saunas have been used for centuries as a form of relaxation and therapy, but with advances in technology, there are now two main types of saunas available: Traditional saunas and Infrared saunas. So whats the difference?
While both types offer benefits for overall health and wellbeing, there are some key differences to consider when choosing which one to use. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two types of saunas, and help you decide which one is right for you.
Temperature and Humidity
One of the most noticeable differences between traditional and infrared saunas is the temperature and humidity levels.
Traditional saunas typically have higher temperatures of around 70-90°C, with humidity levels ranging from 10-20%.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, have a lower temperature of around 50-65°C, with humidity levels around 30-40%. The lower temperature of infrared saunas can make them more comfortable for some users, particularly those who find traditional saunas too hot to bear.
Additionally, the increased humidity levels in infrared saunas can help to reduce the risk of dehydration and make it easier to breathe.
This can be especially beneficial for people with respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies.
Both traditional and infrared saunas offer a wide range of health benefits, but the way they achieve these benefits differs slightly.
Traditional saunas work by heating the air around you, which in turn heats your body. This causes you to sweat, which helps to flush toxins from your body and improve circulation.
Infrared saunas have been shown to improve blood flow and circulation, which can be beneficial for people with cardiovascular issues.
They can also help to alleviate joint pain and stiffness, reduce inflammation, and improve skin health.
Traditional saunas are also believed to help with stress relief, pain relief, and skin health.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, work by using infrared radiation to heat your body directly, rather than heating the air around you. This allows you to sweat at lower temperatures, which can be more comfortable for some people.
In addition to the benefits of traditional saunas, infrared saunas are believed to help with weight loss, detoxification, and wound healing.
One potential downside of infrared saunas is that they can emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
EMFs are a type of radiation that can be harmful in high doses, and some people are concerned that the EMFs emitted by infrared saunas could be harmful to their health. To address this concern, many manufacturers now offer low EMF infrared saunas, which use carbon fiber heating elements to reduce the level of EMFs emitted. If you are concerned about the potential health effects of EMFs, it's important to choose a low EMF infrared sauna.
Ease of Use
Both traditional and infrared saunas are relatively easy to use, but there are some differences to consider.
Traditional saunas require a longer warm-up time, typically around 30-45 minutes, whereas infrared saunas can be ready to use in as little as 10-25 minutes.
Additionally, traditional saunas require water to be poured over hot rocks to increase the humidity levels, while infrared saunas have built-in humidifiers.
When it comes to maintenance, traditional saunas require a bit more work than infrared saunas.
Traditional saunas need to be cleaned regularly to prevent mould and bacteria growth, and the rocks need to be replaced periodically.
Infrared saunas on the other hand, require less cleaning and maintenance as they do not produce steam or moisture.
The cost of traditional and infrared saunas can vary greatly, depending on the size, quality, and features.
Traditional saunas tend to be more expensive than infrared saunas, due to the higher cost of materials and installation.
Infrared saunas are typically less expensive.
Another advantage of infrared saunas is that they can be more energy-efficient than traditional saunas. This is because traditional saunas need to heat the entire room, while infrared saunas only need to heat the person inside the sauna.
Heat is not just Heat
Another major difference between infrared saunas and traditional saunas is the type of heat they produce.
Traditional saunas heat the air directly, while infrared saunas use infrared radiation to heat the body directly. This means that traditional saunas can take longer to heat up and can have higher temperatures than infrared saunas.
In a traditional sauna, the temperature can range from 70°C to 100°C. In contrast, the temperature in an infrared sauna typically ranges from 40°C to 60°C.
Because of the lower temperatures in infrared saunas, some people may find them more comfortable to use for longer periods of time. Additionally, the lower temperatures can make infrared saunas more accessible to people with health conditions that may be aggravated by high temperatures.
The type of sauna you choose may depend on your personal preferences, health needs, and budget. However, one thing is clear: whether you choose a traditional sauna or an infrared sauna, incorporating sauna use into your wellness routine can have numerous health benefits for both your body and mind.
In terms of cost, traditional saunas can be more expensive to run because they require higher temperatures to achieve the same level of therapeutic benefits as an infrared sauna. The higher temperatures also make traditional saunas less energy efficient, as more energy is required to heat the air to the necessary temperature.
In contrast, infrared saunas can operate at lower temperatures while still providing the same level of therapeutic benefits, making them more energy efficient and cost-effective.
In terms of safety, infrared saunas are generally considered to be safer than traditional saunas. This is because traditional saunas operate at very high temperatures and can cause burns or dehydration if not used properly.
Infrared do not emit steam, making them less likely to cause burns or dehydration although it is still highly recommended to drink water before using any sauna.
Additionally, infrared saunas do not require water to be poured over the heating elements, which can pose a safety hazard in traditional saunas.
When it comes to overall health benefits, both infrared and traditional saunas have been shown to provide a wide range of benefits. Both types of saunas can help to improve circulation, promote relaxation, reduce stress, and alleviate pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. However, infrared saunas are often touted for their ability to penetrate deeper into the skin and tissue, which may provide greater benefits for detoxification, weight loss, and cardiovascular health.
Infrared saunas have also been shown to have specific health benefits that are not as well-documented with traditional saunas.
Studies have shown that regular use of an infrared sauna can improve skin health, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Infrared saunas have also been shown to help with conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic pain.
In addition to the health benefits, infrared saunas also offer several conveniences that traditional saunas do not. For example, they are much easier to install and maintain.
They do not require a large amount of space, infrared saunas can be easily installed in any home, even in small apartments.
They also require less maintenance, as there is no need to continually add water to a steam generator or worry about the potential hazards of high-heat steam.
Another advantage of infrared saunas is that they can be used at a lower temperature than traditional saunas, which makes them more comfortable for some people.
Infrared saunas typically operate at a temperature range of 40-65°C, whereas traditional saunas typically operate at 70-90°C. This means that infrared saunas are more accessible to people who may not tolerate the high temperatures of traditional saunas due to factors such as age, health conditions, or personal preference. Infrared saunas are more energy-efficient than traditional saunas, which means that they use less power to achieve the same temperature.
Infrared saunas heat objects directly, while traditional saunas heat the air around the user. This means that infrared saunas require less energy to achieve the same heat output, resulting in lower electricity bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
Cultural significance of Traditional Saunas
SAUNA, correctly pronounced "souw nah," is the only Finnish word in the English dictionary."
Sauna has been a way of life in Finland, where it was invented over two thousand years ago.
Most homes you enter in Finland has a sauna and visiting a friend for a sauna is a very common tradition.
One of the major advantages of traditional saunas is their long-standing popularity and cultural significance. For centuries, saunas have been an important part of many cultures around the world, including those in Finland, Russia, and Turkey.
They are often used as a social gathering place where people can relax and socialise with friends and family. Traditional saunas also offer a unique sensory experience that many people find enjoyable. The intense heat and humidity can create a feeling of detoxification and relaxation that is difficult to replicate with other types of heat therapy.
Traditional saunas can offer the benefits of hydrotherapy if they are equipped with a cold water shower or pool, which can help improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
Ultimately, the choice between an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna comes down to personal preference and specific health goals.
Both types of saunas offer unique benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice will depend on the individual's needs, budget, and available space.
In conclusion, both infrared and traditional saunas have their advantages and disadvantages.
Infrared saunas offer the convenience of easy installation and low maintenance, as well as the ability to operate at a lower temperature and use less energy.
Traditional saunas offer a rich cultural history, a unique sensory experience, and the potential benefits of hydrotherapy.
Ultimately, the decision between an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna will depend on individual preferences and health goals.
Regardless of which type of sauna is chosen, incorporating sauna use into a healthy lifestyle can provide numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being.