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What are Portable Saunas?

Nicole Madison
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Designed to be easy to transport, portable saunas are heat bath enclosures. Like traditional saunas, portable saunas are reputed to offer numerous health benefits, ranging from stress relief and improved circulation to skin rejuvenation and toxin cleansing. Depending on the style and unit type, a portable sauna may fit just one person or several individuals.

In the past, it was necessary to travel to a spa or health club to spend time in a sauna. Today, such travel is unnecessary. Thanks to the advent of the portable sauna, individuals are now able to enjoy sauna benefits at home, on vacation, and even at the office.

There are two basic types of portable saunas. The first type folds for storing or transporting. Structured in a box-like fashion, the folding sauna is built for just one person. This type of sauna is usually easy to set up and doesn't require special plumbing or electrical connections. It plugs into a basic wall socket.

A folding sauna allows the user to sit with his or her hands and neck protruding from the unit. Usually, the fit is quite snug around the neck and there are slits for the hands. As such, the user is able to do a number of things while enjoying the sauna, such as reading, watching television, or talking on the phone. These things cannot be accomplished while sitting in a traditional sauna.

The second type of portable sauna is a pre-built unit. Pre-built portable saunas can be purchased in sizes that fit just one person or several people. Pre-built saunas are not designed to be taken along on vacations or transported frequently. They're not easy to simply pack up and carry around. However, they're considered portable because they may be moved when necessary, much like a large piece of furniture is movable.

Pre-built portable saunas more closely resemble traditional saunas than the folding type. They even have wooden benches like those in a spa. Pre-builts are usually two- to three-piece units. Generally, assembling a pre-built portable sauna takes about 30 minutes or less. Like the folding variety, pre-built saunas can be plugged into regular wall sockets.

Far infrared (FIR) is the most common heat source for portable saunas. Unlike other heat sources, FIR heats people and objects, but not the air. FIR penetrates body tissues, promoting increased circulation and aiding in metabolism. Proponents of FIR claim it works to promote healing and destroy toxins. Whether or not such claims are true, FIR proves to be efficient as a source of heat for portable saunas.

Other portable saunas use steam heat. To use a steam-heat sauna, the user simply adds water and plugs the unit into an electrical socket. No plumbing is required. Like infrared units, portable steam saunas are said to be both relaxing and invigorating.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
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Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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