When it comes to at-home saunas, two types dominate the market: infrared saunas and their somewhat mysterious sibling, FAR infrared saunas. Both are celebrated for beaming gentle, soothing heat straight to your body, but what really differentiates one from the other? And more importantly, which would suit your needs best? Tag along as we get to the bottom of these questions, with a little assistance from the world of scientific research.
Are FAR infrared saunas and infrared saunas identical?
If you've been looking into infrared saunas, you probably know that FAR infrared isn't the only type in town. Think of infrared saunas as a large umbrella term under which hides three unique types, each differentiated by their emitted wavelengths: near, middle, and FAR infrared.
The most common among these are the FAR infrared saunas, known to radiate the longest wavelengths that range between 5.6 and 1000 µm, making them efficient for deep tissue penetration. This is based on a well-researched review published in the Journal of Lasers in Medical Sciences (2013). But is FAR infrared the best pick for you?
Sorting the saunas – which is the superior choice?
Choosing between near, middle, and FAR infrared saunas isn't a game of "one-upmanship" but rather about aligning with your personal health objectives. The shortest wavelengths come from near-infrared saunas, which, while they have less penetration power, can provide exceptional surface-level heating and skin rejuvenation.
On the other hand, middle-infrared saunas, with slightly longer wavelengths, delve a bit deeper and can enhance circulation. Consequently, they can be super beneficial for healing wounds or injuries. Leaving no stones unturned, FAR infrared saunas, hailed for their long wavelengths, penetrate the deepest and are perfect for detoxification and reducing blood pressure. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2001) supports this with its pivotal study.
Individual needs - does the difference really matter?
Choosing between infrared and FAR infrared saunas ultimately boils down to your individual health requirements and anticipated benefits. A study in the PLOS ONE Journal (2015) found consistent far-infrared sauna use led to significant decreases in body mass and waist circumference. Alternatively, the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy (2006) indicated that near-infrared light could positively stimulate skin rejuvenation.
Hence, it's clear that each type of infrared sauna possesses its unique superpowers and can confer a multitude of health benefits depending on your individual needs.
In conclusion, comprehending the varying types of infrared saunas and their unique benefits is crucial in enhancing your sauna experiences. Match these perks with your health ambitions, and you'll be well equipped to choose the perfect sauna for your home.
 Vatansever, F., & Hamblin, M. R. (2013). Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications. Journal of Lasers in Medical Sciences, 4(4), 255–266.
 Kihara, T., Biro, S., Imamura, M., Yoshifuku, S., Takasaki, K., Ikeda, Y., ... & Tei, C. (2001). Effects of repeated sauna treatment on ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure. Circulation Journal, 65(6), 434-439.
 Beever, R. (2015). The effects of repeated thermal therapy on quality of life in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. PLOS ONE, 10(6), e0127119.
 Lee, S. Y., You, C. E., & Park, M. Y. (2006). Blue and red light combination LED phototherapy for acne vulgaris in patients with skin phototype IV. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 38(2), 180-188.