Infrared Sauna vs. Traditional Sauna

Infrared Home Health Saunas

Infrared Sauna vs. Traditional Sauna

Some manufacturers and distributers might try to convince consumers that infrared and traditional saunas are the same, but that is untrue. What people experience inside them simply is not the same. As a distributor of PerfectHeat infrared saunas, we would like lay out the differences between the two types of structures so our customers can make an educated choice.


Traditional Sauna


Infrared Sauna

  • Traditional saunas are a high heat, low humidity environment where temperatures range between 185-195°F
  • They heat the air around the person, which in turn heats the person after the air is sufficiently hot
  • Water is splashed over the heater rocks to create a blast of steam that intensifies the feeling of heat
  • Because of humidity, they must be made from a durable softwood, with cedar being the most popular material
  • Though some pre-fabs are available that take a few hours to assemble, they are most often purchased as do-it yourself kits that take days to install


  • Infrared saunas provide a much more mild environment, with  no humidity and temperatures that typically range from 100-125°F
  • Infrared’s technology uses a ceramic or carbon element that heats the person first, then the air around him or her second
  • There is no need for water, simply adjust the heat setting to experience more perspiration
  • Without the humidity, infrared saunas allow for more wood options, though most are constructed of cedar or Canadian hemlock
  • Infrared saunas come primarily as pre-fabricated panels that snap or screw together within hours



Finally, there is no difference in the amount of maintenance required, the only maintenance needed for either is to wipe the walls and benches regularly with a solution of water and dish detergent.


For purists, the essence of a sauna is the harsh heat with blasts of humidity. But for people who seek the benefits of heat therapy at home without the severe temperatures, infrared saunas are a practical and agreeable alternative. They feel different from a traditional sauna, so it would be best to try out an infrared sauna before making a decision. But after trying one and weighing the differences, we think you are probably leaning more towards infrared’s less-extreme experience.