Traditional Saunas vs Infrared Saunas | Sun Home Saunas

Traditional Saunas vs Infrared Saunas

Are you in the mood for some heat bathing? Then a sauna will do the trick. Bathers use both infrared and traditional sauna. Although infrared use is in much higher demand in the United States and Australia, both 30% as opposed to just 2% in Finland.

Most people are eager for a sauna bathing session to relieve their aches and pains. Others use it for detoxification and better blood circulation. But, heat bathing can also make a fine option for anyone looking to socialize with friends or colleagues.

Given the current infrared craze, does it mean its better than a typical sauna? What kind of sauna would suit your needs? We at Sunhome Saunas decided to delve a little deeper into the facts that distinguish traditional sauna vs infrared sauna so that you will find it easier to make that choice.

A Quick Jump Back in Time

The practice of relaxing in the heat goes back centuries. Sauna bathing is a type of whole-body thermotherapy that's been used for thousands of years. Many parts of the world use sauna for spiritual, social, medicinal, and hygienic purposes. In its primitive form, a sauna was a pit dug into slopes.

Rocks were then used to heat the space. People would cover the entrance to trap the heat, allowing everyone to bathe in the middle of winter. Although saunas are used across various cultures and countries, Finland was the one that put that notion on the map.

The Perks of Visiting a Traditional Finnish-Style Sauna

The modern-day sauna features a traditional Finnish-style sauna, alongside Hammam, Turkish, Russian Banya, and many more. Finish sauna is the most studied to date. It involves a short 5-to-20-minute exposure to temperatures ranging from 80°C to 100°C.

Including dry air with 10% to 20% relative humidity. The plethora of traditional sauna benefits include:

  • Better circulation
  • Improved heart health
  • Enhanced immune function
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Reduced arterial stiffness

Plus, every sauna features a unique design. Some have a decorative appeal, while others are more tailored towards practicality. Whatever sauna you prefer, there is one rule of thumb, that is the wood used. Finnish sauna uses wood that doesnt overheat or secrete resin.

Most saunas nowadays are made with Poplar wood, Basswood, Cedar Wood, pine, eucalyptus, spruce, and hemlock. Red cedar is by far a go-to choice when it comes to sauna construction. Mainly for its durability, aesthetics, heat absorption, and self-sterilizing effect.

Cedarwood is also popular for outdoor venues. But, for someone with allergies, Basswood makes for a practical choice. It is a hypoallergenic material thats temperature resistant and maintains its color with time.

What Makes the Finish Experience Unique Compared to Other Saunas?

Due to their shared history, the traditional Finish sauna is quite like that found in Russia, Latvia, and Estonia. However, they differ in the architecture, level of steam, humidity, and etiquette. A Finnish sauna is completely different from a Turkish hammam, which incorporates a bath and scrub model.

It also differs from an "onsen" a Japanese model involving long soaks in natural hot springs. A contemporary Finnish model uses a wood house with a stove known as "Kiuas". Paired with stones called "kiuaskivet." Wood heats the room, and bathers throw water on the stones to boost humidity and steam. The better the steam, the better the sauna.

Traditional Sauna vs Infrared Sauna – How They Compare?

In the last decade, the infrared sauna has gained quite the momentum. Despite their similar appearance, the infrared sauna operates in different manners and offers an alternate user experience. The table below features their unique differences.

 

Traditional Sauna

Infrared Sauna

Operating temperature

80°C–100°C

45–60°C

Requirement

Hard wiring plus a stove to produce humidity or water.

Infrared emitters at various wavelengths without additional humidity or water.

Bathing time

About 15 min

About 15 min

Functionality

Lying and sitting

Only sitting

Heating period

30 min to 1 hour for the air to reach proper temperature and warm the benches.

20 minutes or instant heating. The benches can take 20 min to heat up.

Running cost

3kw per hour

1.5kw per hour

 

 

As you can see, the major differences are in the heating methods and temperatures. Including the cost it takes to run one. The infrared model is a lot cheaper to run compared to its traditional counterpart. The infrared model emits light/infrared radiation to create heat.

The heat directly goes for the skin. It heats the body without drastically raising the air temperature. If you prefer the heat without the rising humidity, then the infrared light can be more comfortable. There is zero steam, just rays of heat.

The infrared model relies on a sweating mechanism to shed the excess pounds. Whereas the conventional option heats the air first, then the skin, and eventually the entire body. It features higher humidity levels. The steam is meant to open up the pores and re-hydrate the skin.

Which Type of Sauna Is Best Suited for Me?

Pick the option that works best for you. If you want sauna bathing with cheaper running costs, then make the most of the infrared sauna benefits. But, if you are looking for an option more tailored towards a public setting, group, or family use, then the Finnish sauna makes for a solid pick. Infrared saunas are ideal for individual use. Then again, it comes down to personal taste.

The goal is to select a product that would best fit your budget and needs. Both sauna bathing options have physiological benefits. They can help with skin rejuvenation, relaxation, and stress management. They are also used for their anti-aging, circulation, and pain reduction properties.

Final Thoughts

If your body loves the heat then, regular sauna sessions can make a world of difference. Whether you should choose a traditional sauna vs infrared sauna, is completely up to you. The conventional model is best meant for groups, while the infrared cabin is ideal for personal use. Nevertheless, their therapeutic effects remain indisputable. Those who've tried a single sauna session immediately notice some positive changes. With enough hydration, it's easy to get through a sweating session.