The Best Infrared Sauna for Health + How to Use

Best infrared sauna by The Healthy RD

Saunas can have tremendous health benefits, so finding a sauna that will last you for years to come is the best return on your investment, both for your health and your pocketbook. 

The best-infrared sauna is going to be one that has low EMF, safe materials, is durable, will have clinical evidence of benefits, and will have good ratings by healthcare professionals. 

Using a sauna can help change your life, so this post will help you get the best options. 

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Why use an infrared sauna at home?

Sauna use is healthy, especially when you use one at least 4 times a week.

Many cultures across the world have long known about heat therapy and have used it to improve all sorts of ailments.

For example, the use of a sauna can be helpful, from pain relief to enhanced state of mental well-being and reducing the risk of some types of cancers.

While other healthy lifestyle habits like a nutritious diet and exercise go a long way, using a sauna can dampen down inflammation even further.

Related post: Music Health Benefits

Cost-effective and time-effective

In order to get to the spa or gym 4-6 times a week, you will have to shell out a lot of cash over time.

For example, the average spa visit is going to be at least $10 each visit.

If you take that times 4-6 times a week for each week of the year, you are looking at a minimum of $6,000 dollars in just a few years.

Some gym memberships have the perk of a sauna, but these are often dry saunas.

Dry saunas require a lot more time of sitting and waiting for the core temperature to increase to reap the same benefits of much shorter times in an infrared sauna.  Time is precious.

Home infrared sauna perks

From a health clinician’s perspective, these are the biggest reasons to have a sauna at home:

  • You will be more likely to use it on a regular basis
    • Regular use is critical to reap the health benefits
  • Over the course of the year, it can easily pay for itself
  • More than one family member can reap the benefits at no extra cost
  • It is exceedingly difficult to get to the gym during current times
  • No sharing of tight spaces with other people so less risk of catching a virus or bacteria
  • Infrared saunas are readily available for home use

Don’t get me wrong, if you have a gym that has a sauna and you feel good about going there, keep doing that.  Be aware, though, that you won’t probably know the EMF of these saunas.

So, you really are better off getting your own if you can.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind for a great home sauna purchase.

What does a good sauna feature?

Here are the big criteria for quality infrared saunas to look for:

  • Infrared saunas-better for your health and your power bill than dry saunas
  • Low EMF-saunas should always be low EMF for the best health
  • Clinical research to back its claims
  • Full-spectrum infrared– will contain Near Infrared, Far Infrared Sauna, and Middle Infrared
  • Efficient– a high-quality sauna will avoid old-generation carbon-based heaters due to better efficiency with newer and patented designs like Solocarbon®
  • Easy to install-saunas are large and heavy, so realistically, some work and help will be needed. But they shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to assemble.
  • Good heat distribution-often cheaply-designed saunas will lack good heat distribution, meaning that you won’t reap the health benefits as quickly or easily. Go for quality when you can. 
  • Long warranty– look for a good warranty, which is a sign that the product is high-quality
  • Meets electrical specifications-you want to make sure your house can meet the requirements of your sauna, but also make sure that your sauna isn’t going to require that your whole house is rewired either
  • Positive reviews-the consumer is powerful in this regard.  Anything less than 4.5-star reviews on a sauna investment like this is probably something you should skip. 
  • Physician recommended-some saunas are recommended by doctors because they are more safe and effective for health benefits. 

Related post: The Hypnotherapy Experience from a Patient Perspective

Where to Buy?

Many infrared sauna reviews today link back to Amazon products, which is handy, but I’ve unfortunately been struggling to see saunas in stock, such as for JNH Lifestyles Joyous and Serenelife portable infrared models. 

I truly believe that when it comes to buying a sauna, direct purchase from the company will provide better customer service and quality at this time.

If you are going to the expense of investing in a sauna, a reputable company from the United States is the way to go too.  

Do saunas seem cost-prohibitive? 

The price can seem daunting.

Yet you still need or desire the best-infrared sauna for your health (rightfully so). 

What is a person on a budget to do?

A glimmer of positive is that some financing options are available for higher-end saunas. 

Important point: even the most expensive saunas are going to be less than going to the spa or gym long-term.

You will get more health benefits if you are likely to use it.  Proximity helps.

Let’s pencil it out:  a high-quality sauna will pay for itself within a year.  You could even get the best sauna brand out there for less.  My calculations show that:

  • $15 per spa visit (it’s going to probably be more than this)
  • 5 times a week
  • 52 weeks a year

Totals up to $3900 a year.  Your best-infrared sauna could be purchased for less.

Best Infrared Sauna Brand

You can find many high-quality saunas on the market.  I’ve spent countless hours researching this topic and the Sunlighten® infrared saunas stand out for being the best out there.

While the initial Sunlighten sauna prices aren’t low, this quality sauna will be less expensive in the long run because of its quality and durability. 

Trusted by doctors and healthcare institutions

Many reputable health experts recommend this brand, including Amy Myers, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Isabella Wentz, PharmD.

Solocarbon® in Sunlighten saunas is a type of heater that gives a more consistent and even source of heat, which means better pain relief, detoxification, and more. 

According to Healing Heat Therapy, most saunas today are made in 1 of 4 assembly lines in China, using an old style of carbon fiber infrared panels that are very inefficient. Inefficient saunas mean fewer health benefits. 

In addition, over 2000 commercial businesses have Sunlighten saunas, including medical practices.

The Sunlighten Infrared Sauna advantages

Sunlighten uses patented and medical-grade Solocarbon® Heaters which are the only clinically researched infrared sauna to help with weight loss, blood pressure, and more.  The best sauna brand will be free of the old generation carbon heaters. 

This is because carbon-based heaters are old technology, are inefficient, and require more electricity than Solocarbon® Heaters. 

More power means higher EMF exposure

Carbon-based heaters are more inefficient than Sunlighten saunas, which results in higher EMF exposure.

Most infrared saunas on the market today are made of old-generation carbon fibers and they aren’t very efficient. 

Also, dry saunas are made of ceramic heaters, which are quite inefficient, releasing a lot more EMF and using a lot more electricity. 

Have full spectrum infrared heat

Sunlighten® has 3-in-1 patented near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared.  This is important because full-spectrum heat has many clinical studies to show its benefits.

Even if other saunas have full spectrum heat, there is less ability to tailor the therapy to your individual needs in other brands. 

More intense infrared energy

You can heat your body with other saunas, but it is less healing without high-quality infrared therapy, such as with Sunlighten® saunas.  

Infrared heat is a deeper kind of heat, which delivers health benefits much more quickly than dry saunas.

Safest because of ultra-low EMF technology

With no EMF detected, Sunlighten is the safest sauna out there. 

EMFs are electromagnetic fields that even the EPA warns against exposure.  They claim that  “There is reason for concern” and advise “prudent avoidance.”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)  categorizes EMF as possibly carcinogenic to humans].

Some health effects linked with EMF are:

  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Loss of Energy
  • Irritability
  • Inability To Concentrate
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Headaches

Use of non-toxic material

To me, this is where Sunlighten saunas are way ahead of others: they use safe materials that ensure no release of unhealthy gases in the air as the saunas heat up. 

They have third-party testing to guarantee this safety.

Many sauna brands use toxic glues in their production and cheap materials that can result in the release of harmful fumes when heated.

Sunlighten is the only brand that is heat-sealed so that toxins can be entirely avoided.

Eco-friendly materials and hypoallergenic options

Sunlighten meets eco-friendly materials criteria, which include  PEFC-certified and FSC-certified woods.

The high-quality Sunlighten infrared saunas use hypoallergenic basswood, and fragrance-free eucalyptus, and also are available in Western Canadian cedar. For a review of common wood sensitivities, visit Wood Database

Most higher-end sauna brands don’t have quality wood options like Sunlighten does and only use Canadian hemlock wood.

Not that hemlock materials are bad, it just doesn’t allow for any room for tailored wood options. 

For Sunlighten, the trees used are not listed as threatened species, which is also a great feature.  

Option of Acoustic Resonance Therapy

Sound and vibration help the body relax and may have synergistic effects when combined with infrared heat. 

With both sound waves and vibration waves that can be adjusted, this system in Sunlighten is a cut above other infrared saunas. 

Acoustic Resonance Therapy is an optional add-on to any of the Sunlighten saunas.

Safety Measures for Electrical Work

Sunlighten saunas have electrical certification, which means it is safe and performs well. 

Each sauna displays a safe agency listing as proof of this.

Still, you still will want to have a dedicated outlet for your sauna.

If you are unsure about your electrical status, make sure to call an electrician first. 

Long Warranty

Sunlighten sauna warranty is longer than most with a 7-year limited warranty on the cabinet and infrared heaters, 3 years on the controls, and 1 year on the stereo. 

Warranties like this are a sign of quality because the manufacturer can back up its product.  Prior to buying any personal sauna, it is very important to make sure that your choice is backed up with an excellent warranty policy.

Easy setup

Compared to many saunas, Sunlighten saunas are fairly easy to install and set up, just make sure to follow instructions. 

Because the wood saunas are made out of high-quality wood, they are going to have some weight to them. 

You will likely need a set of extra hands to help assemble.  As long as you follow the instructions, the assembly should go well. 

Space Efficient

You will want to have an ideal space for your sauna.  Corner infrared saunas are an efficient use of space, but the drawbacks right now are that most of the companies manufacturing these models have poor reviews. 

You can easily place any Sunlighten sauna that is square or rectangular in the corner and maximize your space too. 

Sunlighten Infrared Sauna Options

There are many types of Sunlighten saunas so you can find one that meets your needs in the best way.

The Signature series are indoor models while the mPulse is suited for both indoor and outdoor use and have larger occupancy.

The Sunlighten Solo is also available, which is the best portable sauna option.

Sunlighten mPulse Infrared Sauna Features

Aspire sauna in basswood by The Healthy RD

mPulse series saunas from Sunlighten all are designed to be safely used indoors and outdoors.  The mPulse Aspire is a solo sauna while the Empower mPulse is a five-person sauna.

  • Contains chromotherapy, which is a variety of lights and colors.
  • Smart features and is Android-powered for sound.
  • The largest of the mPulse series weighs over 1000 lbs, so it is extremely durable and long-lasting.

In addition, it has all of the features of the Signature series, including:

  • Full-spectrum Solocarbon® heaters for the healthiest and most efficient infrared heat
  • Programmable for 36 hours
  • The most far-infrared of all-Sunlighten Solocarbon® heaters are of the highest concentration of all infrared saunas
  • Ultra-low EMF technology which means zero detectable EMF. 
  • Available in basswood, cedar, eucalyptus woods
  • Each Sunlighten mPulse sauna is made to order with ecological materials
  • Sunlighten mPulse saunas are heat-sealed with all non-toxic materials

Sunlighten’s Signature I and Signature II Infrared Home Sauna

Best infrared sauna as the Signature 4 basswood option by The Healthy RD

Sunlighten’s Signature I home sauna is the best quality solo sauna on the market today.  The Signature II sauna is a two-person infrared sauna with the same features but is larger to accommodate two people. This series features a four-person sauna as well that is made to order like all the other Signature lines. 

Signature sauna features are: 

  • Full-spectrum Solocarbon® heaters for the best heat and most efficiency
  • Set ahead if desired-36-hour programmable time with a digital control panel so that it is ready when you are.
  • High-quality sound system-Premium Blaupunkt sound system with AM/FM, CD, and MP3 for music therapy
  • The most far-infrared of all-Sunlighten Solocarbon® heaters are of the highest concentration of all infrared saunas
  • Ultra-low EMF technology with zero detectible EMF. 
  • Easy set up-but you will want a dedicated circuit and outlet. 
  • Magneseal process, which makes the setup fairly easy. 
  • Available in basswood, cedarwood
  • Each Sunlighten sauna is made to order and ecologically sourced. 
  • Sunlighten Signature I through IV are also made of all non-toxic materials

For a Sunlighten Signature, quote call phone number 913-890-2866 and mention The Healthy RD for a discount price. 

My Sunlighten Sauna Review

I’ve used a lot of saunas before in health clubs or various resorts, but I have to be honest; I had never used an infrared sauna before I got my Sunlighten sauna.  I purchased the Signature II sauna, the two-person sauna, and installed it in a quiet room in my basement.

Installation truly is a breeze. You do need an extra set of hands, but no tools are really necessary. You will end up with a couple of very large boxes that are delivered to your door at a specified time.  Installation takes about one and a half hours-not bad for how big this sauna is.

I got the basswood version because I didn’t want to risk any sensitivity to wood.  It is a light-colored wood and it’s gorgeous.

My Sunlighten Experience

The reviews are right: infrared is truly a lot more comfortable than a dry sauna because you don’t have the intensely high heat in infrared as you do in a dry sauna.

Even my husband, who dislikes saunas, really does enjoy and uses this sauna.  He was even able to sit in it up to 130 degrees without discomfort. My teenagers really like it too.

In just two weeks of infrared sauna use, my skin is softer and more glowing. My joints feel like they have a better range of motion, I’m more relaxed, and I have something I can look forward to every day in these crazy days of the pandemic. My waistline is trimming up too, without any extra effort.

Typically, I sit in my sauna for about 30 to 40 minutes a day.  It’s the most relaxing time I have in a day, hands down.

I can turn my sauna room into a hot yoga room too. Since I put my sauna in a smaller room, I open it up when I’m done with my sauna time and then heat the room up to stretch and do some Bikram yoga.

Related: Sauna Stress Relief +Gut Benefits

Features I Love

The Wood: The basswood is beautiful and doesn’t have any weird fumes, varnishes, or glues.  This means there are no toxins being emitted while I use my sauna, which I feel good about.

The Lighting: I never thought I would enjoy the chromotherapy, but I really do.  Every day, I pick a different color setting (which is a lot!).  There are at least 15 different color settings that I can figure out and my kids have figured out more than me because they are smarter at technology.

Speakers: Let me tell you about music therapy too.  The Blaupunkt speakers are very high quality and connect to my iPhone easily.  I play anything from relaxing Tibetan singing bowls for relaxation to Radiohead or even make it more of fun setting with pop music when one of my kids joins me. 

My Tips for Using the Sunlighten Sauna

I use the sauna every day and I sweat a lot.

Because of this, I recommend drinking an extra 32 ounces of water a day at a minimum if you are a person who sweats a lot.  Drink up before you get in the sauna.

And really, that is the whole point sweat and get rid of toxins in the body.

When you sweat, you lose minerals, including sodium, and sometimes a lot.  A study of steelworkers who intensely sweat from their jobs found that they can lose up to 9 grams of salt a day.

Keep up on your minerals when needed; on sauna days, you probably don’t want to restrict sodium at all and you may need more. There is no exact way to figure out how much salt you are losing. After all, people are different, even in how they lose sweat.  For some great tips about how to determine salt losses, read more at Precision Hydration.

A good rule of thumb: if your sweat tastes salty, you are losing a fair bit of salt in your sauna session.  Sodium is an essential nutrient, contrary to all the negative press about it.  You will feel bad if you are low in salt; cramping, memory issues, heart rate abnormalities, and more.

Know your limits

By the second week of daily sauna use, I was experiencing some muscle cramping-not good.  I eat a lot of salt too.  So, I took a break for a day, took some Oxy Powder magnesium for two days, and all is well now and I’m back to using my sauna every day.

You do lose magnesium when you sweat too, although research suggests it is not as much as potassium or sodium [R]. It’s probably quite different from person to person.

In addition, sauna use may increase your potassium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C needs [R].

My suggestion is this: listen to your body and take breaks from the sauna if you need to.  Overall, though, the benefits far outweigh any risks if you use some common sense.

Take a healthy vitamin and mineral supplement daily too.  I like this one, a Men’s Formula (I take a Men’s vitamin because they are often more complete in minerals):

By knowing your thresholds, you will get the most out of your sauna and enjoy the long-term health benefits, such as reduced heart disease and cancer risk.

You also might benefit from supplementing with trace minerals by taking fulvic acid.  Learn more about fulvic acid benefits.

The Solo Sauna by Sunlighten

The Solo Infrared Sauna by The Healthy RD

The Solo Sauna by Sunlighten is a medical sauna with clinical results showing the possibility of lower blood pressure, increased core temperature, and aid in weight loss. This portable infrared home sauna is for indoor use. 

  • Personal infrared sauna- Ultra Low EMF infrared sauna. Has no electromagnetic fields. 
  • The best portable infrared market by far.
  • More affordable than Sunlighten I or II and mPulse saunas. 
  • Solocarbon heaters with Sunlighten are the safest out there. They are also the only ones with clinical tests to back up their health claims. 
  • Quality- Solocarbon® panels are 100% quality controlled with third-party testing and research.  Sunlighten™, are the safest and most effective saunas
  • Transparency-EMF testing data is available for all
  • Heat-sealed which means no unhealthy glues and toxin-free

Call Sunlighten at 913-890-2866 for a price and mention The Healthy RD for a discount price.

Indoor or Outdoor Sauna?

Truly this is a matter of preference but you shouldn’t choose a cheap sauna for outdoor use due to electrical considerations and durability. 

The health benefits of all infrared saunas are the same, so the choice is a matter of space and preference.  An outdoor infrared sauna might be nice if you have a pool or spa area outdoors.  

In contrast, if you prefer to step into a sauna from the warmth of your home and have privacy, an indoor infrared sauna is for you. 

Outdoor models will need to be kept safe from harsh weather, and special coverings are available if you decide to go this route. A great outdoor sauna series is the mPulse series

Sunlighten sauna prices

Prices of Sunlighten saunas can vary due to the market costs of materials. Infrared sauna cost is about many things but is generally a factor of the quality of the materials and the technology involved in the design. 

With the best quality, you won’t be paying less than $1000, but the long-term cost can be much less expensive than inexpensive materials that ultimately aren’t safe for people’s health. 

For a quote on a Sunlighten sauna, call 913-890-2866. 

Dynamic Saunas

If you desire to buy a sauna from Amazon, a pretty decent one is the Dynamic Infrared Sauna. It contains natural reforested Canadian Hemlock wood.  The carbon heaters are located in 4 areas of the sauna. 

  • Far infrared heat from 6 carbon PureTech™ Ultra Low EMF heat panels
  • Financing is available if you use the Amazon Store Card
  • By doing this option, keep in mind that there is No Warranty and there is no statement of the safety of the materials used. 

This model is the highest-rated sauna I could find retail from a wholesaler like this. The Sunlighten still beats the Dynamic in terms of quality and testing, so only go this route if you don’t care about a warranty and guaranteed quality of heat source.

Buy on Amazon

Benefits of Infrared Sauna

Many people find that sitting in a dry sauna can feel suffocating due to the high heat. 

One big benefit of using an infrared sauna is that they are much more effective than dry saunas at lower temperatures because the heat penetrates deeper. 

Research shows that using a sauna helps with almost every aspect of health.  We know that saunas can increase healthspan, but who stands to benefit?  According to research, almost everyone does. 

The health benefits of infrared sauna include skin health, reduced inflammation, hormone balance, pain relief, detoxification, and immunity benefits. 

For a great overview of sauna health benefits visit Thyroid Nutrition Educators

Sauna Benefits Overview

Health experts across the world are recommending saunas for health.  Some of the biggest role models in health such as Dr. Rhonda Patrick with Found My Fitness give us some solid science to back up the benefits too.

Here is an overview:

  • Use of a sauna 4-7 times a week is good for your heart. 
  • Sauna reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, reduces blood pressure, and may even help lower cholesterol.
  • Thyroid disease results in heart rate abnormalities. 
    • Sauna use may benefit the thyroid by stabilizing the heart rate.
  • Burns calories and helps with weight loss.
  • By triggering heat shock proteins, the body has the ability to dampen down inflammation.  In a large study, people using saunas frequently had less inflammatory compounds in their bodies, such as C-reactive protein.
  • Reduces pain symptoms; saunas reduce pain naturally in several scenarios, including rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylosis.
  • Better sleep and better functioning as well as fewer sick days
  • Reduces toxins by sweating out toxic heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, and mercury.
    • When combined with heavy metal cleansing foods, a sauna can be very therapeutic in our very polluted world. You can combine it with cilantro oil and chlorella for added benefits too.
  • Better immunity with less cold symptoms and reduced risk of colds.
  • Saunas reduce stress by helping you relax and reduce stress.


According to the Thyroid Nutrition Educators, here is some data about the safety and infrared sauna use. Are saunas safe?

 “The short answer is yes.  There are some mild side effects and caution should be used in people who have orthostatic hypotension. Studies have demonstrated the safety of sauna use even in very sick populations, such as those with congestive heart failure.”

Just be careful and stay hydrated, don’t go in the sauna if you are feeling sick, and gradually increase your sessions to your body’s tolerance. 

DIY infrared sauna

If you want to avoid the costs of saunas you can build your own. 

Keep in mind, that you will want to avoid toxic glues and flammable materials, so there is some homework you will need to do. 

You will also need a dedicated space that can handle high temperatures. For more information, visit Infrared Light Therapy. 


Sunlighten saunas are by far the best-infrared sauna brands for quality, health, benefits, and durability.

Make sure to combine sauna use with other healthy lifestyle habits.  Healthy foods and kidney cleanse diets can help support our body’s natural processes too.

Your upfront investment may save you a lot of money in the long run and may even reduce your healthcare issues.

Spending a little time researching how to install the Sunlighten saunas is worth your time. You can also hire someone to install one for you if you have the means, but this really isn’t necessary for novices like me.

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