Infrared Saunas 101: Myths, Facts & What You Need To Know

With the recent growth in popularity, there are plenty of misconceptions about infrared saunas.

People have a hard time distinguishing myths from facts, making it difficult to make the most of what the infrared sauna has to offer.

Here are some of the most common myths debunked to provide you with well-rounded knowledge.

Myth: Infrared Saunas Are Expensive to Purchase and Own

Thanks to celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, and Gwyneth Paltrow, infrared saunas quickly turned into the number one trend for a wellness accessory. The easy access and practical design made them popular among a huge portion of the population.

However, many look at the infrared sauna as a luxury. Something that not everyone can afford.

Although the prices will vary based on the quality, equipment, size, and type of sauna you intend to purchase, they are often more affordable than many initially assumed.

For an entry-level unit, the cost starts at $4,000 and can reach $7,000 to $10,000 on average for a high-quality unit.

But, what if we told you infrared saunas are much cheaper than you think?

Even if you still buy an actual infrared sauna, you can save on costs. Here is why.

Fact: Infrared Saunas Are Affordable for Many Homeowners

Compared to a traditional sauna, an infrared sauna can be an affordable home investment. If you are using an infrared sauna on an average about three times a week, your costs may be about $10 a month.

A traditional sauna, on the other hand, will cost somewhere from $20 to $30 to run a month.

To get a more accurate estimate, multiply the local cost per kilowatt an hour (this can be found in the electric bill) by the heater’s kilowatt rating. The final number will give you an exact figure of how much the infrared sauna will cost you to run.

When it comes to the product cost, a traditional steam sauna will cost you from $10,000 to $30,000.

That’s three times the amount you would invest in an infrared unit. In other words, infrared saunas are cheaper to both buy and manage.

Myth: Saunas Are Difficult to Install and Maintain

False. In fact, many infrared saunas can be built and installed by as little as two people. Crafted with high-quality wood materials, the infrared saunas for sale at Imagine Backyard Living are surprisingly easy to maintain. We suggest the following cleaning procedures:

  • Basic Cleaning: Mix vinegar with water in a 1 to 3 ratio and gently clean the interior with a sponge. To clean the floor, we suggest using a vacuum or brush and then using the same solution used on the rest of your sauna.
  • Stains: scrub the surface with a stiff brush or use light-grain sandpaper.
  • Exterior: A hose or pressure washer can help to keep the exterior of your outdoor sauna clean.

Fact: Infrared Sauna Offers Plenty of Health Benefits

Infrared saunas have more to offer than people realize. Based on a 2018 study, repeated or long-term exposure to sauna bathing was linked with decreased risk of heart complications, like stroke, hypertension, and overall cardiovascular mortality. (1)

According to experts, this heat therapy can provide protective effects and cause a beneficial impact on blood pressure, microvascular function, endothelial function, arterial stiffness, and more. As a result, it can help with:

  • Sleep
  • Relaxation
  • Better circulation
  • Muscle soreness
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Skin complexions
  • Stress and anxiety

A controlled clinical trial found that individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome benefited from an infrared sauna by adding it to their overall treatment.

The heat helped with the soreness and muscle recovery. But, it also proved useful for blood pressure management. (2)

Myth: Every Sauna On The Market Is Equally Effective

False, not all saunas are equally effective. To find out which brand or sauna is the right choice for you, we always encourage consumers to do their research. Explore the various brands available to you, look for customer testimonials, and chat with sauna experts from a variety of dealerships.

As a general rule of thumb, you should always ensure that the sauna you choose comes with a strong warranty.

The right warranty can help you tell a good brand from an unfit counterpart. Other things to look for are the sauna features, years of experience, and cost.

While it’s always nice to get a deal, cheaper units may be an indicator of a poor-quality product.

Fact: Each Infrared Sauna Creates a Different Impact

Infrared saunas might look similar, but they are not just some simple boxes that generate heat.

Before you can know its detoxification ability, you need to confirm its emissivity and core temperature increase. Instead of just heating the ambient air, infrared saunas increase the core temperature and expel the toxins.

For example:

  • If you like lower temperatures but high body-penetrating heat, a far-infrared sauna might be a good choice for you. This is popular for reducing pain, fatigue, stiffness, and boosting the quality of life.
  • If you prefer a greater effect that stimulates cellular ATP production, then the near-infrared sauna might be a better choice. This is popular for stimulating circulation, collagen production, rebuilding the cartilage, and improving skin’s appearance.

Basically, these saunas are designed to create productive sweat at a cellular level.

The idea is to remove as many of the toxins as possible through sweat to give the body a healthy boost. The heat emitted comprises 50% hot air and 50% infrared.

The quality and impact of the sauna will vary based on the product you selected. That’s why for many people, an infrared sauna is believed to create the perfect environment for the body to detoxify.

With a high-quality infrared light therapy sauna, you can get a solid investment.

Myth: Infrared Saunas Drastically Improve Muscle Recovery

An infrared sauna has a range of different sauna benefits. But, only limited studies have shown that they can improve muscle recovery after endurance and strength training. By improving neural recovery, scientists believe that infrared sauna can have an impact on muscle recovery. (3)

According to small-scale research, heat therapy can improve the production of “heat shock proteins.” This effect is known to repair damaged proteins in the human body and shield the system from oxidative damage.

Therefore, it could come in handy for muscle growth and muscle building. Another research found that sauna affects the endocrine system. It can promote antidiuretic hormone growth and prolactin secretion.

This is very important for better blood circulation. However, more research is necessary to evaluate its full impact and effect on post-workout recovery. (4)

Fact: Infrared Sauna Helps With Pain

Infrared saunas have proven beneficial effects on joint pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It helped them enhance their daily activities, ease the discomfort and pain. When the body is in the sauna, the blood vessels dilate and relax.

This increases blood flow and reduces the tension in the joints and soreness in the muscles. (5)

Because of this effect, experts believe that infrared sauna can be useful for patients with chronic arthritis and pain. These effects can also prove useful for easing chronic headaches and fibromyalgia. Based on a 2011 clinical trial, experts analyzed the effects of thermal therapy in patients with fibromyalgia. (6)

They combined sauna with underwater exercise to assess the patient’s quality of life, pain, and discomfort symptoms. After the treatment, all the patients experienced a reduction in pain symptoms from 31% to 77%.

The sauna therapy managed to improve their quality of life, as well as manage the pain from the illness.

The same effect was noticed in patients with chronic headaches. A 2015 trial found that volunteers who tried sauna managed to alleviate the intensity of the headache. Sauna provided a regular, self-directed treatment with effective results.

So, not only can infrared sauna be useful for joint pain, but it can ease different kinds of pain as well. This makes it a versatile, efficient, and viable home treatment. (7)

Myth: The Longer You Stay In the Sauna, the Better the Results

For countless individuals, saunas are a way of life. After a long day at work or at the gym, people need a place to unwind and relax. Due to its many health benefits, infrared saunas have become the go-to choice.

Those who’ve recently invested in one think that the longer they stay inside, the better the results. Some even believe that with long exposure to heat, they can quickly lose excess weight. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

For an effective sauna session, we recommend spending anywhere from five to 15 minutes inside the sauna, based on your health, age, and personal preference.

If you’re unsure how long to stay inside a sauna, consult your doctor.

Fact: There Is a Recommended Guideline to How Long You Should Stay in the Infrared Sauna

Anywhere from five to 15 minutes is more than enough to get the desired effect. But, to really make the most of it, it is important to take it slow and let your body adapt.

According to experts, beginners should start slowly and carefully increase their exposure to heat from there. The idea is to give the body enough time to get accustomed to the heat so that it will reap the benefits. (8)

For instance, if you are a beginner, it is a good idea to start for only a few minutes at a time at first. After an exercise, about five minutes in the sauna will be enough. But, once you know what you are doing and the body can handle the heat, then a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes can help you achieve the desired result.

The whole idea behind infrared saunas is not to overdo it. But to let the body benefit from that heat. When done right, it can help you relax, soothe the muscles, and prevent dehydration.

Shop For Infrared Saunas Today

Infrared saunas can come in handy for multiple health problems. Since they target key underlying factors, they can contribute to the body in different ways.

From offering cardiovascular benefits to joint pain reduction, they have a lot to offer. But, just because there is a lot of misguided information online, it is easy to get confused.

With all the myths debunked, you can get a better perspective of what to expect from infrared sauna therapy.

If you want to know more about saunas and other health and lifestyle tips, check out our blog and online resource center. Our experts at Imagine Backyard Living are always at your disposal.

We also prepared a complete wealth of information section on our website that will answer all your queries. Check out our frequently asked questions for more details.

Feel free to browse our collection of hot tubs for sale and share with us your outstanding ideas to implement them in your backyard living space.

To top it off, our team will gladly help you figure out the budget and ensure that the product you get is a comfortable and worthy investment.


  • Setor K. Kunutsor. (2018). Short-term effects of Finnish sauna bathing on blood-based markers of cardiovascular function in non-naive sauna users. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from:
  • Yuji Soejima. (2015). Effects of Waon therapy on chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from:
  • Perttu VA Noponen. (2015). Research Article, J Athl Enhancement Vol: 4 Issue: 4. Retrieved from:
  • K Kukkonen-Harjula. (1988). How the sauna affects the endocrine system. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from:
  • Fredrikus G J Oosterveld. (2009). Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showing good tolerance, short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from:
  • Shuji Matsumoto. (2010). Effects of thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise in patients with fibromyalgia. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from:
  • Giresh Kanji. (2015). Efficacy of regular sauna bathing for chronic tension-type headache: a randomized controlled study. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from:
  • Sara Lindberg. (2018). Is an Infrared Sauna Better Than a Traditional Sauna. Retrieved from:

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