Far Infrared Sauna vs Traditional Steam Sauna: Which Is Best For You?
Saunas have different connotations for different people. There are some that see these units as the perfect place to unwind after a long day and escape from the world. Many that use saunas for relaxation often have happy memories of the “real” thing from a holiday abroad or a spa retreat. Then there are those that use saunas for their medical benefits.
The effects of the heat can aid with all sorts of chronic illnesses and disabilities. Therefore – for some people at least – these spaces are more of a necessity than a luxury. This range of viewpoints means it is important to choose the right sauna for the job.
The most important question to ask here is quite simple. Which is better far infrared sauna vs steam sauna?
There are a few basic needs in any good home sauna.
Before we go deeper into the debate of far infrared sauna vs steam sauna, it is important to remember that any good sauna should cover the same basic needs. This is true regardless of the style and process involved. We need to walk into an inviting space where we can sit, or lie down and chill out for a while.
This means something that is comfortable and spacious enough. Then it needs to generate enough heat, and maintain that temperature, for therapeutic detoxification. It doesn’t matter if it is a steam sauna or infra-red sauna if the temperature is too low and heat escapes through the door. From there, users can choose from other features and creature comforts for the best experience.
There are pros and cons to both types of sauna, so it helps to figure exactly what you want from the experience.
The benefits of opting for a steam sauna rather than a far-infrared one:
- the authenticity of the process
- the relaxing, natural experience
- the space and interior
Authenticity is important for that Scandinavian approach that so many people love. This attitude to steam could be more psychological than anything else, but there is that sense that a sauna should be a steam room. There is more of a sensory experience and connection with the heat via this steam.
These steam saunas also feel more natural and relaxing with the materials and processes. This isn’t a room turned on with a fancy digital panel. This is a wooden room with rocks, water and old fashioned principles. There is also something therapeutic and meditative about the motion of filling the ladle, pouring the water onto the rocks and watching the steam rise.
These authentic spaces are a nice retreat from the modern world of electronics and screens. Those that really want to splash out can enjoy a large outdoor area. There are big units with decking areas where users can sit, drink and socialise before or after a session. This is great for all those in colder climates with snow on the doorstep.
The key drawbacks of this traditional steam sauna.
This option is the ultimate choice for many people that want their very own sauna. It brings memories and experiences of Scandinavian travel to life. The problem is that it just isn’t obtainable or realistic for many people. There are other at-home sauna that provide a quick, convenient way to detox without steam, this is where those far-infrared saunas show their worth.
Why choose far-infrared instead?
The benefits of opting for a far-infrared sauna rather than a steam one:
- a more convenient approach
- a more technological design with different features for relaxation
- the ability to enjoy detoxification indoors
These far infrared saunas are a more convenient option for many users because they generally consist of a flat-pack build for a spare room. They slot together and wire up to provide a mini sauna in the home, without all the water and steam to worry about. The best still provide a great heat source with the optimal placement of numerous panels across the unit. This is a great way to bring the sauna experience into the comfort of the home.
There are also plenty of high tech systems with different feature to enhance the experience. Those that feel they will get bored in a sparse wooden lodge with nothing but water to play with can enjoy much more here.
Most of these home saunas have built in magazine racks (no steam to crinkle the pages), as well as music systems. Some also have chromotherapy lighting.
The key drawbacks of this far-infrared sauna.
This approach wont suit everyone, as it is a little artificial in its approach for those used to the steam and rocks. There are also some issues with capacity on many models.
Be careful with space-saving corner units for the home, as they could get a little cramped with less room to stretch out. A good rule here is to reduce the stated capacity by one. Therefore, a four-person unit can seat four people, but comfortably handle three.
Far infrared sauna vs steam sauna – which will it be?
The final choice here will come down to personal preferences over the style, the space available and perhaps the budget. There are some great therapeutic benefits to choosing the steam sauna with the steam from the water and rocks. They are a calming place to unwind and some of the best wooden structures are especially inviting.
Even so, there are still plenty of people that experience health benefits from the far-infrared heaters, even if there isn’t that authentic feel. These indoors units also provide a little more convenience and modern conveniences for those that desire them.
It is important that you take the time to find the best model of sauna for your needs, whichever type that you choose. Once you are sure on the choice between those far-infrared heaters or the steam, spend some time researching the best models to be sure of a good choice.
Look at the materials, features and temperature settings of each model. Also take the time to read user reviews to see if it really holds its heat and provide the experience users were after. There is no right or wrong answer in the battle of far infrared sauna vs steam sauna – just find the one that is best for you.