Which sauna is best infrared or steam: A Comprehensive Comparison for Wellness Enthusiasts

By George From Sweat N Chill Zone •  Updated: 12/17/23 •  9 min read

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If you’ve ever wondered, “which sauna is best: infrared or steam?”, know that both offer unique benefits.

Infrared saunas operate on the principle of heat radiation, providing direct warmth to your body and potentially delivering more specific health benefits like improved circulation and skin purification.

On the other hand, steam saunas, also known as traditional or Finnish saunas, use a heater to warm rocks and then water is thrown onto these rocks to create steam, which may be beneficial for respiratory conditions and general detoxification.

The installation process also differs: infrared saunas tend to be simpler and less costly to set up compared with steam saunas which require plumbing for the steam generation.

The choice between an infrared or a steam sauna will largely depend on your personal preferences and health objectives. To make an informed decision, it’s always crucial to consult with healthcare providers before choosing a type of sauna.

which sauna is best infrared or steam


Understanding the Differences Between Infrared and Steam Saunas

Choosing the right sauna for you involves more than just jumping into the first one you see. It’s a decision shaped by personal preference, your specific health goals, and an understanding of what each type has to offer. Which sauna is best – infrared or steam?

Infrared Saunas: A Radiant Experience

Let’s shed some light on ‘infrared sauna benefits’. By using near-infrared light to penetrate your skin, these saunas take on a modern approach to age-old wellness traditions. The production of collagen is encouraged, which can potentially reduce those pesky fine lines and wrinkles.

You might find it comforting that infrared saunas operate at lower temperatures—typically around 120ºF to 140ºF—than traditional steam saunas. Now that I think about it, this makes them more tolerable for those who find high temperatures uncomfortable.

The Humid Charm of Steam Saunas

Moving onto ‘steam sauna advantages’, these tradition-steeped wellness spaces function at higher temperature ranges from 150ºF to 185ºF with high humidity levels. You see, this hot and humid environment works wonders in opening up airways—an excellent choice for those with respiratory issues. In any case, when talking about ‘steam room vs infrared for detox’, remember that steam rooms have traditionally been used due to their sweat-inducing heat therapy.

The Installation Process: A Tale of Two Saunas

When considering ‘home infrared sauna’ vs ‘portable steam sauna’ setups, one should keep in mind that infrared models are generally easier and less expensive to install. On the other hand, traditional steam saunas often require thicker insulation because of their high humidity levels. However, with the ‘best infrared sauna brands’, you can expect advanced heating technology that directly warms your body instead of just heating the air around you.

Deciding Between Infrared and Steam Saunas

All things considered, if your wellness goals include improving skin health or if you prefer a lower temperature environment, then an infrared sauna may be just what you need. Conversely, if respiratory relief or moist heat therapy appeals to you more, a steam sauna could be your best bet.

Consulting Healthcare Providers

It is crucial to consider any existing health conditions before making a final decision between ‘infrared sauna vs steam room’. Consulting healthcare providers will provide professional insights into the ‘safety of infrared saunas’ or steam ones and help align your choice with individual preferences and specific health objectives.

Last but not least; let’s say you’re looking for an ‘infrared sauna sessions near me’, it might be beneficial to try both types of saunas before making a firm decision. Your first-hand experience could solidify your choice based on personal comfort levels and effectiveness observed during use. Remember that either type provides a unique wellness experience when chosen in alignment with individual preferences and specific objectives.


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When considering a home sauna, knowing the cost of a home sauna is an important factor. Dependent upon whether you opt for an infrared or steam model, costs can vary significantly.

Infrared saunas are often more energy-efficient and can be less expensive to run, but initial costs are typically higher than those for steam saunas. Understanding which type of sauna has the best health benefits is another crucial aspect when deciding between infrared and steam options. Both types offer detoxification benefits through sweating; however, the dry heat of an infrared sauna penetrates deeper into tissues facilitating a more intense sweat and potentially providing deeper detoxification.

Should you consider creating your own relaxation space, understanding how to make a homemade sauna could save you considerable money in the long run. This could also provide you with greater flexibility regarding whether to choose a steam or infrared setup based on your personal preferences and health goals.

And if weight loss is one of your primary motivations behind adding a sauna to your wellness routine, learning which type of sauna is better for weight loss, will play an integral role in your decision-making process. Whether it’s the lower temperature but deeper heat penetration of infrared saunas or the higher temperature and humidity levels of traditional steam saunas that are better suited to meet your objectives depends on individual factors such as body composition, overall health status, and personal comfort preferences.

My Personal Take about Which sauna is best: infrared or steam?

Hello there, friends!

It’s George here, your go-to expert in all matters relating to saunas and cold plunges.

You see, I have dedicated a lifetime to mastering the art of relaxation and wellness and today I am thrilled to share my wisdom in my latest blog post: “Which sauna is best infrared or steam: A Comprehensive Comparison for Wellness Enthusiasts.”

In any case, let us dive right into this hot topic. From traditional Finnish saunas to modern infrared cabins, each has their unique healing properties. Yet the question remains: which sauna is best infrared or steam? By diving into their differences, we can determine which one suits your wellness needs best.

Words of advice, both are fantastic avenues for promoting health and vitality! Now that I think about it, why not try them both alongside a rejuvenating cold plunge?

To wrap up our friendly chat today, remember that no matter what you choose between an infrared or steam sauna, what truly matters is taking that first step towards a healthier, happier you.

Embrace the warmth; revel in the chill of a cold plunge—because this isn’t just about relaxation—it’s about revitalising your life!

Frequently Asked Questions about Which sauna is best: infrared or steam?

Before you go…


1. Choice based on personal preference and health goals: When deciding between an infrared sauna and a steam sauna, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and specific health goals. Each type of sauna offers distinct benefits, so understanding what you want to achieve will help guide your decision.

2. Infrared saunas for skin health and comfort: Infrared saunas use near-infrared light to penetrate the skin, promoting collagen production and potentially reducing fine lines and wrinkles. They operate at lower temperatures, making them more tolerable for those who find higher temperatures uncomfortable. Infrared saunas also heat up quickly and are cost-effective to run.

3. Steam saunas for respiratory relief and detoxification: Steam saunas provide a hot and humid environment that can help open up airways, making them beneficial for people with respiratory issues. They are traditionally used for detoxification through sweat-inducing heat therapy at higher temperatures. Remember, when considering installation, infrared saunas are easier and less expensive to install compared to traditional steam saunas. However, traditional steam saunas require thicker insulation due to high humidity levels. Ultimately, consult with healthcare providers about any existing health conditions before making a decision on which type of sauna is best for you.

Learn more about the best way to use sauna and steam room on our website.

George From Sweat N Chill Zone

George, the passionate founder of Sweat N Chill Zone, is an ardent advocate for holistic wellness through the healing powers of saunas and cold plunges. With a background in health sciences and a fervent dedication to sharing the benefits of thermal therapy, George curates an informative space, offering insights, tips, and expert advice to help individuals optimize their health and well-being through the transformative effects of heat and cold treatments. Through Sweat N Chill Zone, George aims to inspire and educate, fostering a community centered around rejuvenation and vitality.

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