Infrared Vs Traditional Saunas

Comparison Item Infrared Traditional
Temperature 90-135 F
Dry Radiant
180-233 F
Moist or Dry
Sweat Sweat up to 3 times as much.
80% Water, 20% Toxins, Heavy Metals etc.
97% Water, 3% Toxins, Heavy Metals etc.
Air Fresh, No Steam and Comfortable High Humidity, Very Hot
Health Benefits Pain Relief, Detoxification, Increased Circulation, Weight Loss, Lowered Blood Pressure Cholesterol, Cellulite Removal Moderate Detoxification, Pain Relief and Weight Loss. Restricted by limited time users can stay in.
Plumbing Required No Yes
Electrical Required Depends from Model Yes
Mold and Mildew No Yes
Portability Yes No
Stereo and Electronics Yes No
Warm up Time 10-15 minutes 30+ minutes
Set up Time 45-60 minutes Several Days
Electrical Costs $0.11/hour Can be expensive depending on unit size.


Traditional Saunas
If you are looking for a typical sauna experience in which you relax in a room with higher temperatures, this is the sauna for you.

With this type of sauna, you are seated in a wood-lined room that is heated by an electric sauna heater filled with rocks. When the rocks are heated it’s a delight to pour water over them and create steam.

Water can be ladled over the rocks to enhance the steam experience. In a traditional sauna, you sweat more and may feel more heat in comparison to an infrared sauna.

Traditional of saunas actually heat up to temperatures of 150 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the major benefits of traditional saunas is that users can control the temperature and humidity of the sauna during their heat bath while infrared sauna users can only control the temperature.

Users can also control how much water is thrown over the rocks, thus affecting the level of dryness or level of moisture depending on your preference. Adding water can also create a more comfortable experience for sauna bathing.

We recommend incorporating aromatherapy into traditional sauna bathing by mixing in essential oils with the water during a sauna bath.

Traditional saunas take between 40-45 minutes to reach the desired temperature for sauna bathing to properly heat the rocks in the sauna. Sauna bathers are recommended to spend between 10-15 minutes in the sauna to maximize the benefits, and many sauna enthusiasts enjoy multiple rounds. Sauna bathers using either a traditional or infrared sauna should always make sure they are drinking enough water before and after using a sauna to stay hydrated.

Traditional saunas have always been located outside the home and hosting an outdoor traditional sauna party is a fun way to use your new sauna suit. When planning an outdoor sauna you need to consider the connection to utilities such as water and electricity supply. However, few people see this as a hurdle to installing an outdoor sauna cabin as making these utility connections can be easily done. Look closely at the infrared sauna plans that come with the infrared sauna DIY kits and you can get an idea of how easy this can be to achieve.

Infrared Saunas
An infrared sauna features a similar design to a traditional sauna. You are also seated in a room lined with wood, such Canadian Hemlock. However, one of the biggest differences of infrared saunas is that these wood-lined rooms are heated using infrared technology rather than a heater covered with rocks.

In an infrared sauna, an emitter produces infrared waves provide the heat in the sauna. In an infrared sauna, you can use the room sooner, as the infrared heats the body directly as opposed to heating the space. The temperatures are not quite as hot as a traditional sauna, measuring at an average range of 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though infrared saunas have lower temperatures, users will still feel heat as the method of heating the body is different than with traditional saunas. 

Infrared saunas aren't as hot as traditional saunas and many people find this moderate heat much more comfortable for relaxation. Infrared sauna heaters come in three panels. This ensures you sauna cabin remains at optimum temperature and that the other benefits of the sauna such as detoxification and weight loss are maximized.

Infrared sauna bathers can begin bathing as soon as the sauna is turned on. Similar to traditional saunas, recommended length in the sauna is 10-15 per session. However, because the temperature is much lower in infrared saunas, users will sometimes opt for longer sessions.

Since the essentials such as power and water are readily available, an indoor infrared sauna should be easier to build. You can start you planning by looking at indoor infrared sauna plans and infrared sauna DIY kits to decide which size, shape and colour would suit your house rather than having to start by planning outdoor utilities.