Infrared vs Steam: How to Choose a Sauna for Your Home


Infrared or steam? That’s the hot debate these days, no pun intended. If you’re planning on building a sauna in your home, you’re probably wondering which one of these two types of saunas is better? Our goal here today is to try and give you a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each of these setups and allow you to make an educated decision on your own. We’ll go over the basics, and try to disperse some of the misconceptions floating around regarding both types of saunas.

Infrared – The New Kid on the Block

Let’s start our comparison with the infrared saunas considering that they are hailed as the more advanced of the two. And they are. The sole fact that you’re using infrared radiation to cause sweating supports that claim. We know that using a sauna is healthy, but are infrared saunas healthier?

The thing about infrared saunas is that they don’t require high ambient heat in order to get the job done. Infrared radiation causes sweating by penetrating the skin and warming up the tissue directly. Because of that, the temperature within the sauna rarely goes over 140F.

This generally makes infrared saunas more comfortable in the long run. The improved comfort combined with the ease of use is exactly why more and more people are deciding to build an infrared sauna at home. It’s just more convenient all things considered, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, there’s a case to be made for traditional saunas as well.

Steam Saunas

Steam saunas are the traditional solution. Compared to an infrared one, the steam sauna uses a steam generator of some and is producing humidity alongside heat. The good thing about humidity is that it has health benefits in the shape of respiratory relief among others.

However, the issue with steam saunas is the fact that they require special considerations during the construction phase. This type of sauna needs to be airtight. That means a completely isolated room as well as adequate electric and water installations. Getting the steam sauna up to temperature takes more time and effort than an infrared one. That being said, there are users out there who insist on having that old school, steam packed experience at their disposal at any time.

Which One is Better?

The last question that many potential sauna owners have is which one is better – infrared or steam? The answer isn’t that simple. It’s not about which one is better, but rather which one is best for your specific needs. If you’re the type of person who appreciates the convenience of being able to press a button and start your session, the infrared might be the way to go.

On the other hand, if you insist on enjoying a more traditional sauna experience, the steam one is probably a better choice. The decision is yours. Once you define what you want out of your sauna, it will be much easier to make a choice. No matter which way you lean, know that any sauna is better than no sauna. It’s that simple.