Infrared Sauna vs Steam Sauna

An infrared sauna works in a different way to the more traditional type of steam sauna, which can make it useful to understand these differences. Whether you intend to install one in your home or you use one at a separate location, being aware of the qualities both possess will allow you to determine which is more suitable for your purposes.

Heat Source

The main difference between an infrared sauna and a steam sauna is the manner in which the heat is produced. Infrared heaters are used to provide the heat in an infrared type, which only need to be switched on to provide the required heat. Steam saunas use heated rocks, which need to have water poured onto them to produce heat and steam. This creates a difference in relation to the level of humidity.  


At first glance, the purpose of an infrared sauna seems exactly the same as that of a steam sauna, however, a difference arises from what they actually do. While steam saunas produce heat and steam to fill the entire enclosed space, infrared saunas concentrate on heating the bodies within the sauna before the air that surrounds them.


The type of sauna that you choose can depend on the temperature level that you are comfortable with. An infrared sauna can reach a temperature of up to 150 degrees F, while that of the steam variety reaches up to 195 degrees F. You must determine whether you want to simply be heated by the sauna or whether you want it to make you perspire.


If it is important for you to have a sauna that heats up quickly, then the infrared variety will be the best option. Depending on its size, a steam sauna can take up to 30 minutes to reach its optimum temperature. The automatic nature of an infrared sauna means that it works more quickly and will only take around 10 minutes to heat up.   


Due to the fact that infrared saunas are modern compared to the steam variety, they tend to be easier to install as they are created in this way. Prefabricated panels can simply be clipped or screwed together, while a steam sauna requires some more assembly.   


The amount of energy required by each type of sauna will be a consideration to help you determine how much they will use and the cost involved. The number of kilowatts required by the sauna will vary by manufacturer and you will find that those with the lowest number of kilowatts are the cheapest to run. As a rule, the infrared variety tend to be more energy efficient.


If you intend to buy your own sauna, you will find that the cost of the structure varies greatly depending on the style and size that you obtain. However, the larger amount of technology incorporated into the infrared type will often lead them to be more expensive than steam saunas. In addition to the cost of the sauna structure, you must also think about the cost that will be incurred in running the saunas from the energy that they need.