Infrared Sauna vs Traditional Sauna: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that regular sauna use can lead to improved heart health and help you live longer?

No wonder saunas are a staple in gyms and spas across the world, and increasingly people are having them installed in their own homes.

Are you interested in the different types of saunas and the benefits they offer but aren’t sure which kind is best?

Let’s compare the infrared sauna vs traditional sauna to find out which type works best for you.


One of the big differences between the different types of saunas is the amount of heat in the room.

A traditional dry sauna ranges between 180 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit, while an infrared sauna is quite a bit cooler with a range between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam rooms have an even lower temperature, ranging between 110 and 114 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re looking for a sauna at a lower heat, you’ll want to compare steam vs infrared saunas and consider ruling out dry saunas.

The lower heat in infrared saunas, such as those found in infrared sauna Sydney, does not mean you’ll sweat less, though. This is because the method of heating the body is different, using deep penetrating infrared heat.

If you’re interested in having longer sauna sessions, an infrared sauna is a good choice because you’re able to sweat profusely at lower temperatures. This means that you’ll be able to withstand the sauna for longer periods of time.

The recommended length of a session in both kinds of saunas is about 10-15 minutes, but it isn’t unusual for people to choose to use infrared saunas for 20-30 minutes.


When looking at the difference between an infrared vs regular sauna, both have relatively low humidity levels. In a traditional dry sauna, it can be common to pour water over the hot rocks to create steam, which will raise the humidity level in the room.

Steam rooms, on the other hand, have a humidity of nearly 100% and therefore must be constructed of particular materials in order to withstand the high humidity.

If you’re comparing infrared saunas vs steam saunas, the difference in humidity is an important consideration.

Power Usage

When comparing traditional dry saunas and infrared saunas, it’s also useful to know how they might affect your electricity bill.

Traditional saunas require about four times more power overall than infrared saunas. Infrared saunas, therefore, have a lower operating cost than traditional dry saunas.

Heating Method

The way that traditional dry saunas heat your body is through the use of an electric heater that heats a compartment of stones in the sauna. Your body temperature is raised by the high room temperature.

Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use light to create heat. Rather than heating the room and then heating your body, your body is heated directly.

Heat-Up Time

If you’re using a traditional dry sauna, it can take 30-40 minutes for the room to get up to temperature. Depending on how hot you’re trying to get the sauna, it could take even longer than this.

Of course, the length of time it takes to heat up depends on the conditions of the room to begin with, including the starting temperature, ventilation, and how insulated the sauna is.

If the thought of having to plan ahead to use the sauna is unappealing to you, you might want to choose an infrared sauna. Unlike a traditional sauna, you can use it right away once you turn it on.

It’s important to note that some people do still choose to give the infrared sauna a few minutes to warm up before using it. This is a matter of personal preference, but some users prefer to wait until the sauna reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter.

Social Experience

Saunas have a long and interesting history in Finland where they originated. An integral part of Finnish culture for thousands of years, sauna sessions can be done with either family or friends.

If a part of what interests you about saunas are the potentials for social experiences, there are important differences to understand.

Traditional saunas are typically large enough for several people to use it at the same time. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, tend to be smaller. They’re usually only built to fit two people, though there are some infrared saunas that might fit three or four people.

What Are the Health Benefits of Using Saunas?

There are a number of health benefits that are linked to sauna bathing. While there is some disagreement about which is better for you when comparing infrared vs a regular sauna, they share a lot of similar health benefits.

If you’re interested in the specific health benefits of infrared saunas, check out this article to learn about infrared saunas.

Saunas are believed to help reduce the risk of vascular diseases, such as neuro-cognitive diseases, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

Regular sauna use is also associated with a lower risk of early mortality.

They’re also thought to improve your lung function, soothe chronic pain, and improve your overall heart health.

Infrared Sauna Vs Traditional Sauna: A Matter of Personal Choice

The answer to the question, “should I install a traditional sauna or an infrared sauna?” is at the end of the day a matter of personal choice.

There’s a long list of benefits to using saunas of any kind, but which kind is best for you will depend on your personal preferences and desires. If you’re sensitive to high heat, you might consider getting an infrared sauna or using a steam room. If one of the main things that draws you to having a sauna is the social aspects of sauna use, you might want to get a traditional dry sauna.

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