How To Choose an Infrared Sauna

/ posted in: Fitness

For a while the husband and I have been talking about getting an infrared sauna.  He was interested in the supposed health benefits.  I just want to be warm.  I’m a cold person who takes hot baths every night to warm up so I’m not freezing in bed.  Anything else that makes me warm sounds good to me.  If there are any health benefits, I’ll count that as a bonus.

Here’s what infrared saunas supposedly do:

  • burn up to 600 calories per 30-60 minute session
  • sweat out toxins
  • clear skin
  • enhance immune response

The science behind any of this is sketchy at best.

There are also different types of infrared saunas.  I think of them as the expensive ones and the cheap ones.  I had a hard time deciding what to get.  If you look for info on the internet you find out that the expensive ones have less radiation given off, are made of better materials, don’t get hot to the touch on the backrests, etc.  But guess what?  All of that is written by the manufacturers of the expensive saunas.  Is it real?  I can’t tell.  What settled it for me was that if I got an expensive one, I would need to rewire my sewing room to put in a new type of plug.  A cheap one would plug into my existing wiring.  It was also cheaper so if I ended up not using it, it wasn’t as big of a financial loss.

I ended up getting this one.  It is a Dynamic 2 person sauna.  It will only hold 2 people if you really, really like each other.  I really, really like the husband but I don’t plan on being in this at the same time as him because I don’t want to be that up close and personal to a nasty sweaty person.

That brings me to another of my concerns.  I don’t sweat in saunas.

I use the sauna in the gym after swimming and showering to dry off.  The husband thinks it is gross because he sweats in saunas.  I don’t.  Never have.  Apparently, this is a thing.

The sauna came in a big box.  I was able to put it all together myself.  There was a lot of cussing about how much easier this would have been if it came with directions.  I had watched a video about putting together a sauna before I bought one so I had a general idea.  I got it together in about an hour.  I don’t think the panels are completely square because I can’t latch all the latches on it at the same time.  (I was warned about this on the Why to Choose an Expensive Sauna websites.)  I did work up a sweat kicking and cussing out this aspect of sauna building.  After I got all the panels out and together I found some directions at the bottom of the box.  They came in handy to getting the wiring all together.  I basically got the whole thing together on my own and only forgot one piece of the floor that I had to go back and add after I thought I had it all together.

I made sure I got one with an mp3 adapter.  I can listen to audiobooks while I’m in the sauna!  I also bought optional backrests.  The back of the sauna does get hot to the touch so the backrests help avoid touching it.

I plug it in and turn it on about 20 minutes before I want to use it.  It seems to heat up quickly from room temperature to 115 degrees.  Then it has a really hard time going higher.  It is supposed to go to 140 but I’ve never seen it get over 130.

It does feel strange to sit in this box and look out a big glass window.  It confused Freckles.  She followed me downstairs because I was eating left over pizza for breakfast.  First, I wouldn’t let her in the box with me.  Then I sat there and ate pizza in front of her while she stood and stared at me through the window.

So how is the sweating going?

The first time I was in for 30 minutes.  I got a little damp on my hairline.  The second time my hair was slightly damp too.  That night I woke up in bed dripping sweat.  I was quite annoyed that I could sweat in my own bed but not in a sauna. On my third time I took some advice from a website on this issue and rubbed my arms and legs while in the sauna.  I got a little bit damp on my shoulders and arms.  You can’t see any sweat but if you touch my skin you can feel a little.  I guess I’m making progress.

I do enjoy it.  I wish I had a bigger one so I could lie down but that’s just me being lazy.