We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

By C. Ausbrooks
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An infrared sauna heats by using infrared radiant heat, or electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than visible light. It differs from a traditional steam sauna because it heats the user directly, while a steam sauna heats indirectly by first warming the air. An infrared sauna penetrates the body’s tissue, and causes a deep heating, which is reportedly responsible for its associated health benefits.

Although it’s only been sold in the United States since 1981, the infrared sauna technology has been in use since the early 1900s. German physicians first used it as a whole body therapy. In Japan, the first infrared heaters were patented in the late 1960s, and used exclusively by medical practitioners. Later, they were released to the public for personal use. Today, infrared heating is gaining popularity around the world for its supposed therapeutic benefits.

The claims of health benefits of infrared sauna use are vast, but most have not been proven by medical or scientific evidence. However, many alternative health practitioners advocate the use of infrared saunas for these purposes. Some of the suggested benefits include detoxification, enhancement of the immune system, stress reduction, weight loss or control, cellulite reduction, pain relief or control, and even skin cleansing.

Some scientific studies have been performed on the infrared sauna treatments, and the results were positive. A study appearing in the Journal of Cardiac Failure reported that the treatment may be an effective adjunctive treatment in patients with congestive heart failure. Another study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology improves the risk for heart disease in some patients who undergo regular sauna treatments.

Other studies, such as one published in Psychosomatic Medicine, found that mildly depressed patients with appetite loss exhibited a marked improvement in mood and appetite levels after four weeks of treatments. Another study, appearing in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, reported that patients experiencing chronic pain showed a drop in pain score, pain behavior, anger, and depression after infrared sauna treatments. However, more research is needed to examine the long term effects of these treatments.

Although an infrared sauna may be helpful for some people, it is not recommended that you try to self-treat any disease or disorder without speaking to a qualified medical professional first. Persons suffering from adrenal suppression, multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, or hemophilia should not enter an infrared sauna. Also, women who are pregnant or nursing, children under the age of five, people with artificial joints or silicone implants, women on their menstrual cycle, and anyone on prescription medication should never undergo infrared therapy.

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.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.