Infrared sauna blankets have become really popular in the last few years. As the CEO of Clearlight Saunas International, I’m often asked about my perspective on cheaper alternatives such as “but what about infrared sauna blanket benefits” or “do infrared sauna blankets even work in the first place?”.
The answer is that these products certainly do have benefits. What I will say, however, is that there are better options available and in this blog post you’ll learn what options.
What is an infrared sauna blanket?
An infrared sauna blanket is a product that you can wrap around your body while laying down to receive infrared heat. Somewhat like a sleeping bag, the user will lay wrapped in the infrared sauna blanket while they sweat, with their head out of the blanket and usually on a bed. Frequently made from synthetic materials, like aramid or polyurethane. Aramides are used in kevlar and many other products to give it toughness, and polyurethane is used in insulation, furniture, electronics, and much more. A control unit is attached to the infrared sauna blanket to regulate the temperature.
How to use infrared sauna blankets at home
Infrared sauna blankets are made for home use. You use the product by unwrapping the blanket so that it’s ready for use, plugin in the control unit in the power supply. You then put a towel into the infrared sauna blanket and start laying down on the blanket for an average of 10-40 minutes.
The blanket will then reach temperatures of a maximum of 50-60 degrees Celsius. Your head will not be immersed within the blanket as you can usually wrap pads around your shoulders with most models to keep your head from overheating.
After your session, you clean the insides of the infrared sauna blanket with another towel and natural antibacterial soap - for hygiene purposes. Cleaning the blanket takes several minutes and is quite easy to do because you can completely unfold the sauna blanket and then scrub all the hard-to-pinpoint spots.
The average price of an infrared sauna blanket runs around $900-1100, excluding shipping. For that reason, this option is more affordable if you’ve got fewer financial means, but, there are some downsides too.
Are infrared sauna blankets safe?
The natural question emerging right now is “are infrared sauna blankets safe”?
Most of the time, these products aren’t made from 100% safe materials. Also, because it’s a blanket, it touches your skin, and some of the materials will interact with your skin and therefore your body.
Because they are made from polyurethane, the polyurethane is heated, meaning that theoretically it can be emitted into the air. (1; 2) That risk becomes greater simply because without heating up the material around the blanket, the sauna blanket wouldn’t work in the first place.
There’s also an issue of Electro-Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs). The blanket is placed against your body, with the heater panels located almost directly against your skin. EMFs are always more dangerous the more directly they’re placed against your body. For that reason, you might get exposed to higher levels of EMFs with a blanket than with other sauna options.
Some companies like Heat Healer do claim that their sauna blankets don’t emit any EMFs.
The infrared sauna blankets are inherently riskier than other products because if anything goes wrong in the wiring, the product is placed very close to your body. With any Clearlight Infrared® Sauna, that risk is non-existent.
Infrared sauna blanket treatment experiences
So how do people generally experience an infrared sauna blanket treatment?
Many people enjoy the experience but also find that it’s not as relaxing as a normal sauna because you can't stretch or read a book inside. Some people also don't appreciate being wrapped up in a sweaty towel for 25-45 mins.
Having said that, because the blankets are foldable, the option is very much appreciated by people who want infrared therapy but cannot afford to visit a sauna spa.
Lastly, the infrared sauna blankets generally have a 1-2 year warranty period. That warranty period is very different from the lifetime warranty we offer on our infrared saunas for residential use.
What is the infrared sauna blanket health benefits?
Infrared sauna blankets expose your body to far-infrared wavelengths, created through the tourmaline integrated into the blanket. For this reason, the health benefits are the same as any other far-infrared heat therapy.
- Pain relief
- Improved sleep
- Immune system boost
- Skin appearance
Infrared Sauna Vs Infrared Sauna Blanket: What's Better?
I’ve argued that the downsides of infrared sauna blankets include higher EMF exposure, the heating of toxic materials such as polyurethane, the physical feeling of being wrapped up while sweating, and that the electronics are located almost directly against the human body, so dangers can appear over time if the product is broken.
So what's better for the size?
We have developed a portable infrared sauna model, the Dome Sauna, which deals with all the counterarguments I made against the infrared sauna blanket.
The outside of this Dome is made from 100% organic hemp. Hemp can be made into very fire-resistant and heat-resistant materials. Hemp is also very sustainable, doesn’t rely on oil, and is biodegradable. The frame is made from sustainable wood, which can easily sustain temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius.
And because it’s a dome, the heaters are always placed at a distance from the human body. For the mattress that heats your underside, we’ve reduced the EMF exposure very close to zero.
There’s more though: the Aurora Dome Sauna™ has been officially chosen in current research on “whole-body hyperthermia” (WBH) for depression. With WBH, your core body temperature rises to very high levels that must be maintained over a longer period of time - such as an hour - to have a therapeutic effect above and beyond what you would normally get from a gentle sauna session.
The case can be made that the Dome Sauna is more comfortable because your entire body isn’t wrapped into a blanket but you’re surrounded by a dome that doesn’t touch your body.
Lastly, the Aurora Dome Sauna™ can easily be stored in a closet or against a wall. Even a tiny house has plenty of room to store the dome because all the elements can be taken apart and be stored separately.
Is an infrared sauna blanket worth it?
I wouldn’t recommend an infrared sauna blanket for most people, simply because you’ve got much better options.
I consider the Dome Sauna a far superior option to the infrared sauna blankets that are on the market today. However, my opinion is biased and I implore you to conduct the research needed to make the decision yourself.
The benefits of a far-infrared sauna blanket are nice but imperfect.
For the best infrared sauna benefits try to minimise toxin exposures during your sessions as much as possible, and opt for True Wave full-spectrum heaters, such as our Sanctuary Sauna models.
If you're interested in an infrared sauna cabin for home, click here to view our range of full spectrum infrared saunas, far-infrared saunas, and outdoor saunas.
Here are some resources that can help you make the right buying decision when looking at the ultimate home wellness tool: