Far Infrared vs Near Infrared Saunas: What's the Difference?

Far Infrared vs Near Infrared Saunas: What's the Difference?

Posted by Eileen Durfee on 22nd May 2021

If you're tired from relentless political debates and unfortunate world news, that's okay! Everyone needs time to escape somewhere and relax. The question is, how will you do that?

The quick answer is with a sauna! Saunas have been around for over 2000 years and are a great way to relax and improve your body.

Even when you get down to picking a good sauna, you have to jump into one more debate. Far infrared vs. near infrared. Which sauna is better?

Lucky for you, we're here to tell you all about it.

How a Sauna Works

Aside from relaxation, a sauna's main goal is to detox your body.

There are two main types of saunas: traditional and infrared. Traditional saunas are generally heated with wood, electricity, or even water poured over hot rocks, where as infrared saunas use infrared light.

The key difference between the two, however, is how they go about heating you. Traditional saunas heat the air around and sweat you out the old-fashioned way. This results in the detoxification mentioned earlier, as well as some other health benefits we'll discuss later.

Infrared saunas use infrared light therapy. This method heats you from the inside as opposed to heating you from the outside, while still detoxing your body. There are two different types of infrared saunas: far and near infrared.

Far Infrared vs. Near Infrared

Near infrared saunas use infrared light that is closer to the visible spectrum. Far infrared saunas use infrared light that is further down the spectrum and not very visible to the human eye. Because of this, far infrared saunas can only reach about 5mm under your skin.

This depth of reach from a far infrared sauna isn't effective enough to get the most out of your sauna experience. However, near infrared light can reach up to 9 inches beneath the skin. This is one reason why near infrared saunas are considered the best out there.

Even so, both types of sauna have their benefits.

Far Infrared Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of far infrared saunas is the overall improvement of cardiovascular health. This includes a decrease in arrhythmias and improved circulation if you have high blood pressure. Another benefit is some temporary relief to pain and stiffness caused by arthritis.

These benefits are nice, but there are some unfortunate downsides to far infrared saunas. The first is that they can give off harmful electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Second, some far infrared saunas now come equipped with a few small LED lights to provide near infrared light, which are not as intense as heat lamp bulbs used with an incandescent bulb sauna. The difference in the lights also makes a difference when it comes to the benefits of the therapy, and why we recommend near infrared sauna therapy above all else.

Near Infrared Benefits

Knee joint pain

One reason near infrared saunas are considered the best is that they do the exact opposite of far infrared saunas. They give off very low amounts of EMFs.

Not only that, but near infrared light can treat damaged joints and cartilage, quickly heal small wounds, and help heal eye damage. This is because near infrared light has exclusive regenerative properties.

Near infrared light pushes the production of ATP, your cells' main source of energy, into overdrive. Everything you do, from sleeping for hours to running a marathon, requires ATP. The stimulated production of ATP allows for different body processes to speed up.

If you're looking for more general health benefits that saunas have, this article has a good list.

Which Sauna Should I Get?

When you get to the nitty-gritty of it all, far infrared saunas are more for detoxing your body, heat therapy, and general relaxation. The near infrared saunas carry those same benefits, as well as the regenerative ones discussed above, with more intense and effective healing light bulbs.

Let's also take a look at each type of sauna's practicality.


Far infrared saunas require professional installation in your home, while near infrared saunas require little to no effort to install. You can set up a sauna tent and place the infrared lamps inside, then you screw in the bulbs and plug it in. Voila, you have a sauna!

This also means that near infrared sauna tents are portable. As long as you have somewhere to plug it in, you can take your sauna with you wherever you go!


Because far infrared saunas require professional installation, they also require professional maintenance.

Near infrared saunas require little to no effort. The most you'll have to do is replace the bulbs in the lamps. Another plus of near infrared saunas is that they use less energy than far infrared saunas.


Saving money

Generally speaking, far infrared saunas cost less than near infrared saunas. This is partially due to it being one unit to purchase and install where as, with the near infrared sauna, you may purchase the tent and the lamp. However, depending on the brand of far infrared or multi-spectrum sauna you choose, and the size of the fixture, it could be more expensive compared to the Sauna Fix near infrared sauna we offer.

Near infrared saunas just require the changing of a bulb, which comes with the lamp. Even if you run out of bulbs eventually, it's cheaper maintenance.

You may or may not end up paying more upfront for a near infrared sauna, but with any extra costs on the Sauna Fix, you will find quality with the cost of materials and peace of mind with the third-party testing done to assure the unit's safety. The bamboo mats included with the sauna tent have webbing bound edges and stitch blocks that are made from organic cotton. The entire system has been RoHS certified, and time and money has gone into product development and the utility patent to create this one-of-a-kind, safe, efficient sauna system.

On top of everything else, near infrared saunas are more optimal than far infrared saunas. Far infrared saunas will cost more down the line in terms of maintenance fees. The purchase of the Sauna Fix lamp comes with a life-time warranty, so the upfront charge is extra beneficial should something go wrong with the unit.

It's Sauna Time!

In the far infrared vs. near infrared debate, near infrared saunas are the best saunas out there. With all the benefits of general saunas as well as the special regenerative properties of near-infrared light, the NIR sauna is the one for you.

Wellness Shopping Online carries all of your sauna needs, including the sauna itself as well as accessories. Even if you're still on the fence about buying a sauna of your own, we encourage you to come and check out the website. You can browse our products and read all of the positive reviews.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us here. We hope to do business with you!