The FIR Sauna (Far Infrared Sauna)

A far infrared sauna ( fir sauna ), just like a traditional sauna, is a small room which is heated. The user, who sits inside the sauna room on a bench, enjoys the benefits of this heat which warms the body and produces a good sweat.

The big difference between how a far infrared sauna and a traditional sauna work is the heat source -- but that one difference makes all the difference. FIR heat reaches deeper into the tissues than the heat from a traditional sauna, and causes more toxins to be released with the sweat. See benefits of the infrared sauna

A far infra red sauna uses a special type of heater – called an infrared radiant heater – to promote body heating and sweating instead of a regular electrical heater or heated stones.

If you’re completely new to saunas, start with our introduction to the sauna.

To answer the question, “Why would want to heat up my body and sweat in the first place?,” check out sauna benefits and benefits of the infrared sauna.

FIR saunas can be moved – they are portable

Because infrared radiant heaters are smaller and heat the sauna user in different way than an electric heater does, an fir sauna’s walls and ceiling don’t have to be as insulated as in a traditional sauna. This means fir saunas are lighter in construction…and therefore offer the advantage of portability!

In fact, portable ir saunas (also known as modular sauna rooms) come disassembled but snap together easily (see sauna installation ). They are the most popular in home sauna or commercial fir sauna type sold.

Far infrared saunas do come in other types, though. Some are designed for outside use.And if you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can buy an infrared sauna kit and build it yourself. You can also have an fir sauna custom-designed for you and professionally built into your home.

There are many sizes of pre-built infrared saunas available, including one- through six-person saunas. The most popular sizes are the 2-person sauna and 4-person sauna models. The two person sauna is regularly used by couples for company and single participants for roominess. The four person sauna is ideal as a family sauna.

We keep ours in the den, where we can look out through the sauna and den windows into the garden. Better yet, our far infrared sauna is easy to take apart and can come with us if we move!

Far Infrared heat is something your own body gives off

Although “far infrared heat” may sound a little intimidating, it’s really nothing new to you -- your own palms give off this type of heat!

In fact, far infrared heat is used in the incubators that keep premature babies warm. It’s also the heat energy you feel coming off a large rock that’s been heated by the sun when you sit down on it.

Many people have far infrared lights in their bathrooms -- you know these as heat lamps! All they really are, is a heat source that reproduces the warmth of the sun’s far infrared rays.

So what is a far infrared heater?

Far infrared heaters

are made of conductive materials – in the form of rods - that radiate far infrared energy into the sauna cabinet when a current is applied to the heater.

Any material that, when heated, will send off heat waves in the far infrared wavelength will do – so far coils coated in ceramic, carbon and a material called oncoloy have been developed.

These heaters are recessed into the sauna room’s wall and covered with a protective grate so you can’t accidentally touch one and burn yourself. Burns are mostly a problem of traditional saunas, anyway, where the heat source stands more-or-less exposed in the sauna room. There are few dangers associated with fir saunas and they are preventable.

The effect of far infrared heaters on you…

The heaters in a traditional sauna heat up the air in the sauna room, which then makes the surface of your skin hot. When your skin gets hot enough, your body begins to work on cooling you down by producing sweat.

In an infrared sauna, the heaters emit heat energy in the far infrared wavelength range. (This has nothing to do with ultraviolet rays, some of which are known to be damaging to the skin.) These infrared heat waves travel through the air until they meet an object – you! – where they penetrate the tissues and warm them.

Again, infrared heat doesn’t heat the air much -- and explains why you can get the benefits of the infrared sauna at a much lower sauna temperature -- it heats objects (yes, I know – very cool!)…

Conventional saunas are generally heated to 160-180 deg F (or higher) to get the desired body heating and sweating effect. FIR saunas, though, will get you sweating at a sauna room temperature that’s much lower -- 100-140 deg F! That’s a lot more comfortable (and safer) for a lot people.

Why the air doesn’t get as hot in an fir sauna

The infrared heat coming off the heaters in an fir sauna doesn’t heat the air as much as a conventional heater does.

Only 20% of the energy of the far infrared rays heats up the air they pass through in the sauna room. The rest of the energy carried by these waves travels through the air until they meet an object, then penetrate and heat the object. In this case, the object is you, if you’re the one sitting in the sauna!

What this all means is that you get a great sweat in an infrared sauna without needing to endure such a high temperature! Continue from fir saunas to benefits of the infrared sauna.