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Since infrared saunas heat the body directly rather than heating the air, many proponents of infrared saunas claim that the heat penetrates the body deeper than the heat of traditional saunas, which use steam. This penetration leads to more sweat, which leads to a greater detoxification experience. It also can promote tissue stimulation, which can aid with problems like arthritis pain and tissue damage.
From a practical standpoint, some brands of infrared saunas can be portable, easier to clean, and quicker to use than traditional saunas. Some benefits of infrared saunas:
• Whereas traditional saunas are installed in a permanent location, infrared saunas can be set up in less than an hour, and then broken down and moved elsewhere.
• Infrared saunas don't mildew, since they don't use steam like traditional saunas
• Some brands of traditional saunas heat up faster (in 15 or so minutes) than traditional saunas (which can take 45 minutes or more)
• Infrared saunas operate at a lower heat than traditional saunas, which can be safer for people with cardiovascular problems – and more comfortable
• Infrared saunas usually use less electricity to heat than traditional saunas, making them cheaper to operate
It's just not fair that people selling these so-called infrared saunas can make up falsehoods about the traditional Scandinavian style saunas to hide the fact that the latter are superior!
You can buy a portable prebuilt traditional sauna that sets up in an hour just like these infrared saunas.
Traditional saunas don't mildew either. That's a bold faced lie. They never have. That's the because they get so much hotter than these infrared saunas. In fact, the biggest complaint that we hear about the infrared saunas is that they just don't get got enough.
If you get a traditional sauna heater of proper design (like the Swedish Tylo brand), they heat the sauna in the same 15 minutes, and they even do so to a higher, more therapeutic temperature.
Traditional saunas may use a bit more electricity, but it's still only pennies per day.
Again, the biggest complaint we hear about the infrared saunas is that they are woefully underpowered, and that they don't allow for the addition of any moisture to the environment. With the Chinese infrared sauna, it's dry heat only.
There's no reason why you would have to use moisture in the traditional sauna, but at least you have the choice of wet or dry. What's more, most people enjoy starting with a dry sauna and finishing by sprinkling water on the heater's stones - something that's just not possible with the infrared saunas.
Almost all the infrared saunas are made in the People's Republic of China from clearly inferior materials.
Most Scandinavian style heaters are made (where else?) in Finland or Sweden. We all know about the quality of PRC goods, from pet food to childrens' toys. I personally know of a case where an importer discovered flimsy wiring in a shipment of these PRC infrared saunas and had to rewire them all!
Do yourself a favor before you buy a sauna. Check out what people are saying about both types of saunas, and then check the sauna's country of origin.