Infrared Sauna Buying Guide
Buying an infrared sauna is a serious investment that should not be taken lightly. You want to ensure that you are receiving value for money and purchasing a high-quality sauna. Here are some things to look for while you are searching for that perfect unit to suit your needs.
Far Infrared vs Near Infrared
Most of the infrared saunas today utilize far infrared technology, where the light’s wavelength is longer than the light wavelength in the near infrared type heaters. Near infrared technology heaters are said to not get as hot as the far infrared type. You should do some research on this relative to your particular needs before you decide what type of infrared unit to purchase.
Type of Heating Element
The two most popular types of heating elements used for infrared saunas are carbon heaters and ceramic heaters. Carbon heaters are the newer type of heaters on the market and have a larger heating surface and a more even heat when compared to ceramic heaters. They are also said to emit rays that are closer to far infrared rays, and penetrate deeper into the skin.
Low EMF Levels
Also of importance is the EMF level emitted by an infrared sauna. An EMF (electromagnetic field) is generated by any electrically-charged object, so common items such as your computer and cellphone emit electromagnetic radiation. With saunas, where the aim is to detoxify and promote general health and well-being, a high EMF level would be counterproductive to these goals and could be potentially harmful after consistent exposure. Look for saunas with heating elements with low EMF levels, to a maximum of 3 Milli-Gauss.
The type of wood used in making the sauna very important. Quality units are made with woods that will not crack or split when exposed to the fluctuating temperatures that the unit is exposed to. Woods that are resistant to bacterial and fungal growth are also recommended. As well, you need to ensure that the wood can withstand the pressure of the average person’s standing, sitting, and leaning in the surfaces without having the unit sag or buckle under the weight. Common wood types to look for in saunas are cedar and Canadian hemlock.
Some units are constructed with a single wall in the unit. However, you should look for a unit that is built with planks that are between 7 and 9 mm thick, or else built with double wall construction. This provides better insulation for the unit so it will heat quickly and maintain the heat – this way you will use less energy for each sauna session.
An often-overlooked aspect of saunas is the quality of the electrical components used to wire the unit. Make sure that for any unit you purchase the relevant electrical components have been certified by the appropriate agency. This goes for the heating element as well as any other component that may be of a safety concern.