Near vs. Far Infrared Sauna: Which Is Better for You?

Near vs. Far Infrared Sauna: Which Is Better for You?

Saunas are like cozy retreats that do more than just warm you up—they help you relax, ease stress, and boost your well-being. But did you know that there are different types of saunas that offer unique benefits?

Let’s explore the differences between near vs. far infrared saunas based on the infrared spectrum to figure out which is best for you.

Understanding Infrared Therapy

Infrared therapy stands out as a holistic and natural wellness solution for its many benefits. But how does this therapy work?


In contrast to traditional saunas, this innovative therapy uses light in the infrared spectrum, which has specific wavelengths. Infrared therapy directs it to areas of the body that need treatment. Infrared light penetrates the inner layers of the skin, reaching approximately 2 to 7 centimeters. This means it can access muscles, nerves, and even bones. With infrared light therapy technology, individuals can enjoy the advantages of sunlight without the risk of harmful ultraviolet rays.

Infrared light therapy is a safe, drug-free method for long-lasting pain relief and healing injuries. It effectively addresses various conditions, including joint and muscle pain, inflammation, spine injuries, nerve pain, and sports injuries.

In infrared sauna therapy, it's also important to be aware of the presence of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electric fields (ELF) originating from the sauna's electrical components. Prioritize saunas with low EMF and ELF levels for a safer experience while maximizing health benefits.

Comparing Near vs. Far Infrared Saunas

There are many ways infrared sauna therapy can help boost your health, but it’s important to weigh whether near vs. far infrared sauna best suits your preferences and health goals.

Here’s everything you need to know about near infrared and far infrared saunas:

Near Infrared Sauna

A near infrared sauna uses near infrared light with shorter infrared wavelengths that range from approximately 700 nm to 1400 nm. In a near infrared sauna, the infrared rays penetrate about three centimeters deep into your body, reaching cells, tissues, and organs, thereby offering diverse health benefits.

Near Infrared Sauna Benefits

To determine if this sauna type suits your needs best, let's explore the numerous advantages of near infrared sauna therapy.

Chronic Pain Relief

Near infrared saunas may offer relief for those who experience chronic back pain and stiff joints. In fact, there was a pilot study in 2006 involving patients with chronic low back pain, treated with infrared therapy at a wavelength of 800 nm to 1200 nm over seven weekly sessions. This demonstrated the effectiveness of the infrared therapy unit in reducing chronic low back pain, with no observed adverse effects.

Skin Rejuvenation

The heat from a near infrared sauna can penetrate skin layers, triggering collagen and elastin production and facilitating healing. Research suggests that near infrared irradiation enhances elastin in the dermis, leading to skin rejuvenation. The findings indicate that near infrared irradiation offers a safe and effective long-term stimulation of elastin, contributing to improvements in dilated pores, skin texture, and wrinkles.

Improved Eye Health

Near infrared saunas with chromotherapy features have the potential to improve eye health. Studies indicate that photons from near infrared light can penetrate diseased retinas and help the energy-producing parts of cells in the eyes. This may improve eye health by supporting cell protection and preventing cell damage.

Reduced Abnormal Cell Growth

Infrared sauna therapy may help eliminate weaker mutated cells, gradually improving the balance of healthy to damaged cells. A 2015 study found that near infrared radiation encourages programmed cell death in pancreatic cancer cells.


Recently, Near Infrared Photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) is being explored as a targeted treatment for various cancers. NIR-PIT specifically targets cancer cells and enhances the immune response with minimal side effects. The development of new light delivery systems and monitoring methods makes NIR-PIT a potential treatment for a wide range of cancers.

Far Infrared Sauna

A far infrared sauna uses far infrared light wavelengths ranging from approximately 3,000 nm to 0.1 mm. Despite having the longest wavelength, it is milder in heating power, ensuring a soothing experience. The far infrared rays’ unique ability for deep tissue penetration, which is up to four centimeters within the body, fully activates sweat glands. This serves as the foundation for the various health benefits associated with sauna use.

Far Infrared Sauna Benefits

To find out if the far infrared sauna is the right choice for you, let's explore its numerous benefits.

Improved Blood Circulation

Far infrared waves enhance blood circulation in arteries and peripheral circulation, leading to improved endothelial function. This effect helps alleviate fatigue and pain while also contributing to a reduction in blood pressure.

Stress Relief

A far infrared sauna promotes relaxation and lowers stress levels. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, it induces a state of relaxation and restoration, helping alleviate stress-related issues.

Better Immunity

Studies suggest that far infrared treatments not only improve vascular endothelial function but also exert protective effects on cardiovascular diseases. It has also demonstrated effectiveness in addressing vascular restenosis progression in patients with End-stage renal disease, a stage 5 of Chronic kidney disease.


Moreover, since far infrared therapy contributes to enhancing capillary dilation and blood flow, it potentially promotes stroke recovery by inhibiting pericyte death. This suggests that the therapy may play a role in alleviating the impact of strokes.


Additionally, far infrared therapy has shown effectiveness in addressing various chronic health problems, making it a versatile and effective therapeutic option for individuals seeking improved overall well-being.

Muscle Damage Recovery

A comprehensive study has highlighted far infrared therapy’s impact on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. Notably, after a simulated 48-minute trail run inducing comparable muscle damage, maximal muscle strength and perceived sensations showed recovery after 24 hours with far infrared therapy. This proves far infrared's effectiveness in enhancing muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.

Things to Know Before Using Infrared Saunas

Before you step into the rejuvenating warmth of infrared saunas, there are a few crucial things you should know to make the most of your experience and ensure your safety. Let's delve into these essential insights to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of infrared saunas.

Staying Hydrated Is A Must

To avoid dehydration during your infrared sauna session, you must start hydrating well in advance, especially if you've been physically active. Aim to consume at least 32 ounces or one liter of water before entering the sauna.

After your sauna time, continue hydrating, and pay attention to replenishing essential minerals and electrolytes such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium to restore balance to your body.

Avoid Big Meals and Alcohol

Having a light snack before your sauna session is fine, but large meals can be problematic. Digestion diverts blood flow to your digestive system, conflicting with the increased blood flow to your skin during the sauna. So if you've consumed a substantial meal, wait at least two hours before entering the sauna to prevent discomfort, especially for the elderly.

Additionally, drinking alcohol before or during sauna therapy is strongly discouraged due to its adverse effects on blood pressure, heart rate, and circulation. The combination of alcohol and the sauna's infrared heat can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, headaches, nausea, and, in severe cases, heart failure. Moreover, having alcohol in your system can contribute to dehydration, amplifying the risks associated with sauna use.

Wear the Right Clothing

Ideally, going au naturel is the most effective way to reap all the benefits of infrared therapy. But if that's not feasible, choose clothing that's safe, comfy, and won't compromise your health.


If you prefer being naked in the sauna, use a soft cotton towel on the bench for hygiene. If you wear something, skip PVC or spandex swimsuits, as they may make you uncomfortable and dehydrated. Also, avoid swimsuits with metal decorations to prevent burns.


Instead, choose loose-fitting swimsuits made of natural fabrics for better airflow.

You can also opt for loose cotton clothing, like an oversized t-shirt or comfy shorts, for good air circulation. Cotton is great for the sauna as it absorbs infrared heat and lets your skin breathe, making you more comfortable and maximizing the sauna's benefits.

Keep Your Posture In Check

Maintaining the right posture is key for a comfortable sauna experience. If you prefer sitting, it’s suggested to place your legs on the bench to ensure an even temperature distribution. Sitting stimulates blood circulation, but individuals with certain health conditions may find lying down more suitable.


For those with vein problems or varicose veins, lying down is ideal as it relieves pressure on veins and allows better blood circulation. The lying position is more relaxing and is suitable for a brief meditation.


However, if you've been lying down, it's advised to sit upright a couple of minutes before leaving the sauna to prevent dizziness or fainting. Alternatively, you can sit with your knees bent at chest level. Two minutes before exiting the sauna, sit vertically with your feet on the floor to promote blood circulation and readjust the body to an upright position.

Session Duration Matters

So how long should you sit in a sauna? The recommended length is 15-20 minutes, with first-timers starting at 5-10 minutes. While you'll still gain benefits in shorter sessions, experts often recommend spending at least 20 to 30 minutes per session to make the most of your experience.

Unlike traditional saunas, you can progressively increase the duration up to 45 minutes based on your comfort level. Remember, finding the right balance ensures you enjoy the therapeutic effects without overexertion.

Make an After-Session Routine

After your sauna session, make sure you allocate time for a proper cool-down. Experts advise a cooldown of 5 to 15 minutes, followed by a refreshing cold shower, the duration of which depends on your session length. Taking a cold shower is important to cleanse your skin of the toxins released through sweating. Moreover, it aids in a smoother transition back to your daily routine, extending the relaxation you just enjoyed in the sauna.

Understand When to Avoid Infrared Saunas

In certain conditions, the heating and dryness of infrared saunas can potentially do more harm than good. 

For instance, pregnant women and individuals with heart-related issues should exercise caution, consulting their doctors before using infrared saunas. Individuals with weak immunity also need to be mindful, especially in public infrared saunas, where inadequate cleanliness may pose health risks due to the potential presence of viruses and pathogens.

Age constraints should be taken into account, especially for older individuals who may prefer the health benefits of traditional steam saunas over the dehydration risk associated with infrared saunas. If recovering from wounds, whether from surgery or accidents, obtaining permission from a doctor is essential before engaging in sauna sessions.

These considerations ensure a safe and personalized sauna experience aligned with individual health conditions.

Ready to Choose the Best Infrared Sauna for You?

When deciding between near vs. far infrared saunas, it’s important to do your research and consider your individual health goals. Both types of saunas offer unique benefits, so understanding your specific needs will guide you towards the most suitable choice.

Start your wellness journey by selecting the perfect infrared sauna that aligns with your unique goals. Explore CalmSpas best infrared saunas, compare features, and find exclusive deals to make your purchase a step towards a healthier, more relaxed you.

Discover the pinnacle of home sauna luxury with CalmSpas, where affordability meets quality, and customer satisfaction takes precedence. Reach out to us today!