What Should I Look For When Buying A Sauna?

What Should I Look For When Buying A Sauna

Just the word “sauna” makes me go limp; never mind all the purported health benefits; the sauna experience is so relaxing. That marvellous heat that makes your bones and muscles melt into a pile of fabulous, ready-for-a-nap mush is like nothing else.

The earliest saunas were holes in the ground; they have become much more sophisticated and a little more complicated since then. So where do you start on your quest for your perfect sauna? With everything on the market from “wellness pods” to sumptuous glass front saunas with mood-lights to an outdoor sauna with a metal roof, it can be hard to figure out the sauna that is best for you.

Spend time in the sauna on a consistent basis, and you’ll experience a multitude of health benefits. Both an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna can help with everything from reducing stress, removing toxins, and increasing your blood circulation. However, there are differences in these types of saunas that you will want to consider when choosing a sauna for your home.

We want you to make the right decision when considering a sauna. In this post, we’ll break down the top considerations buyers should take into account when considering the purchase of a sauna. Learn how to select the right sauna and optimize your purchase for the best experience. Check out our range of Portable Sauna Melbourne to help with your problem.

This guide is designed to provide a potential infrared sauna buyer with a comprehensive understanding of far infrared sauna safety, far infrared sauna technology, far infrared sauna therapy, far infrared sauna design, component comparison and far-infrared technological evaluation. If you are reading this guide, you are probably considering purchasing an Infrared Sauna and want to make certain your investment is the best choice possible.

Shopping for a Far Infrared Sauna is no easy task. At first glance, many infrared sauna brands look very similar to each other. During the past year, more than 40 new vendors have entered the infrared sauna marketplace, and most claim to sell the best sauna. After a few days of checking out websites and different sauna retailers, you may be more confused about far infrared saunas than when you started searching!

We created this guide to provide straightforward, accurate information regarding the features, components, safety and materials of far infrared home saunas. Your investment in a far infrared sauna is a decision you want to make the first time correctly, so understanding what to look for and what to avoid is essential.

Traditional Saunas

A traditional sauna is also referred to as a Finnish sauna. If you are looking for a typical sauna experience in which you relax in a room with higher temperatures, this is the sauna for you.

With this type of sauna, you are seated in a wood-lined room that is heated by an electric sauna heater filled with rocks. When the rocks are heated, it’s a delight to pour water over them and create steam.

Water can be ladled over the rocks to enhance the steam experience. In a traditional Finnish sauna, you sweat more and may feel more heat in comparison to an infrared sauna.

Traditional of saunas heat up to temperatures of 150 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the major benefits of traditional saunas is that users can control the temperature and humidity of the sauna during their heat bath. In contrast, infrared sauna users can only control the temperature.

Users can also control how much water is thrown over the rocks, thus affecting the level of dryness or level of moisture depending on your preference. Adding water can also create a more comfortable experience for sauna bathing.

We recommend incorporating aromatherapy into traditional sauna bathing by mixing in essential oils with the water during a sauna bath.

Traditional saunas take between 40-45 minutes to reach the desired temperature for sauna bathing to heat the rocks in the sauna properly. Sauna bathers are recommended to spend between 10-15 minutes in the sauna to maximize the benefits, and many sauna enthusiasts enjoy multiple rounds. Sauna bathers using either a traditional or infrared sauna should always make sure they are drinking enough water before and after using a sauna to stay hydrated.

Infrared Saunas

An infrared sauna features a similar design to a traditional sauna. You are also seated in a room lined with wood, such as Canadian Hemlock. However, one of the biggest differences of infrared saunas is that these wood-lined rooms are heated using infrared technology rather than a heater covered with rocks.

In an infrared sauna, an emitter produces infrared waves provide the heat in the sauna. In an infrared sauna, you can use the room sooner, as the infrared heats the body directly as opposed to heating the space. The temperatures are not quite as hot as a traditional sauna, measuring at an average range of 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though infrared saunas have lower temperatures, users will still feel the heat as the method of heating the body is different than with traditional saunas. Rather than heating the air, infrared energy will directly heat your body. Infrared sauna users will still sweat profusely from the infrared energy that penetrates the body and raises the body core temperature. Looking for Sauna Melbourne? Look no further, Portable Sauna has you covered.

Infrared sauna bathers can begin bathing as soon as the sauna is turned on. Similar to traditional saunas, recommended length in the sauna is 10-15 per session. However, because the temperature is much lower in infrared saunas, users will sometimes opt for longer sessions.

Sauna Buying Guide

“Test drive” to get the comfort – and the look – you want.

Taking a sauna is the only way you’ll be able to judge whether it’s right for you. Would you buy a car without taking a test drive? Of course not. Find a local dealer who has saunas you can try out before you buy.

Design is the most obvious reason to choose a particular sauna. But design is more than skin deep. There must be no visible external buckles. Look for furniture quality detailing including fine-grained wood throughout (not coarse grain which will peel over time). Look for custom-made moulding, comfortable seating, and doors and windows that are thoughtfully designed to complement the sauna.

Wood choices. Which is best?

Make sure the sauna you select is constructed from smooth, hand-selected tongue-and-groove, vertical grain hemlock or western red cedar. For lasting beauty, hemlock and cedar are best.

Make sure the wood is certified from a sustainable forest, meaning that the forest is planted, harvested correctly and replanted after harvesting for the least environmental impact. The wood for cheaper models sold on the Internet comes from Burma (now called Myanmar) and is not so certified. Cutting down the rain forest to make saunas is just plain wrong.

Looking for optimum health benefits? Construction matters.

Tightly fitted joints and screws rather than glue construction mark a sauna that’s built to last. Cheaper saunas rely on glue to keep the joints sealed rather than detailed craftsmanship. Breathing heated glue that emits gasses in the sauna is not healthy. You want pure air in your sauna!

Get delivery, installation AND warranty protection!

Peace of mind is everything! You’re buying a sauna for relaxation, so why tackle the delivery, set-up and installation when you don’t have to? Select a local company that will deliver, set up and install your sauna in a few hours. You won’t regret it. You’ll save time and hassle, and your sauna will be put together the right way! The company you select should be able to handle any warranty issues, too. You don’t want to have to hire an electrician to troubleshoot the wiring if something goes wrong, then send parts to a factory, wait for their return and re-install. Installation and warranty are, of course, yet another reason to avoid buying a sauna on the Internet. Be smart – buy local from a company that will be there to help you! 

Some warranties are straightforward; some warranties will be hidden from being easily viewed. Some warranties say lifetime warranty then define the lifetime of the sauna as five years and can be a little more difficult to follow, and in some cases, not even providing much of a warranty at all. This is where reading the warranty comes in handy. At Celebration Saunas, we warranty your sauna for as long as you own it. We warranty all your heaters, electronic components including control panels, thermostat, power supply box, and light bulbs for as long as you own the sauna. You will never have to pay for replacement parts or shipping or return shipping for anything you need, for as long as you own your sauna. An investment in a Sauna is a one-time investment for life. You will never have to pay to keep your sauna running. 

Ceramic vs carbon heat panels? Carbon wins.

There are two different types of infrared heat emitters: ceramic and carbon. Many cheaper saunas – especially those sold on the Internet – use ceramic rods or coils in their panels. But carbon panels are far superior to ceramic. Here’s why:

Top-quality carbon panels provide the softest, most enjoyable far-infrared heat available. They heat up faster and give a much broader distribution of heat, so you don’t get ‘hot spots’ or ‘cold spots’ in your sauna as you do with ceramic heaters. Yet the room itself doesn’t get hot like traditional steam saunas do (provided you have enough heating panels – see point #6 below). You can also lean up against carbon panels, unlike ceramic, which can get too hot to touch. Ceramic panels make the sauna room too hot and don’t give an optimal far-infrared penetration for the best therapy. Just because the ceramic makes, the room hot doesn’t mean it’s giving you the most effective therapy.

Carbon emitters give you greater heat absorption and cover more surface area, so you get a better sweat (and therefore a more effective sauna session). Look for carbon panels imported from Japan, which operate at safer and more comfortable sauna temperatures – the room will be warm, not hot. Japanese technology produces panels that emit radiant heat, which penetrates deeply and produces more sweat than ceramic panels.

Carbon-heated infrared saunas also tend to heat faster (10 – 15 minutes) than ceramic-heated saunas (30 – 45 minutes), which can save on electricity cost. The typical carbon infrared sauna costs only 10 – 15 cents a session!

Don’t skimp on the number of carbon panels. The number of carbon panels and their placement is IMPORTANT.

Most Infrared saunas will have heaters on the back panel, under the seat and in front of you on either side of the door. The best models will have carbon panels on the sides of the sauna as well. The more square inches of heater coverage, the better!

Although not as important as the type of heater emitter (see point #5 above), the number of panel heaters a sauna has can influence the time it takes for a sauna to heat up as well as how much and how fast you start to sweat. Having more heaters means you sweat faster and experience more benefit.

Look for the maximum number of heat panels and the highest total square inches of heater coverage in the size unit you’re considering. Fewer panels mean your sauna will take more time to heat up – which can cost you in electricity bills. It can also be a pain to have to wait 45 minutes for your sauna to heat up!

A wall-to-wall heating system ensures a complete enveloping heat with no cold spots or hot spots. Without this wall-to-wall heating system, you’ll have to turn yourself into a human pretzel, turning your body this way and that to get in front of a panel, to experience maximum sweat. Too few carbon panels in your sauna will never give you the relaxation you’re looking for.

Control panels – inside AND out – are a must.

Most saunas have a control panel on the outside of the unit where you can set the heat, time, turn on lights, etc. But that’s not all you should look for. It’s important to have a control panel inside the sauna, so you don’t have to leave the sauna to make changes.

Then look beyond location – not all controls are created equal! Look for easy-to-use digital controls that have set temperature, actual temperature, set time and time remaining. Controls should also include light switches for internal and external lights and colour light therapy system.

Size matters. Smaller is NOT better.

Infrared saunas range in size from 1-person up to 6-person units and price varies accordingly. Consider the space you have available in your home as well as where the sauna will be placed. A popular option is a corner unit that saves floor space yet still has a roomy interior.

Make no mistake: a 1-personal sauna is ONLY a 1-person sauna – there’s no room to move around. Do not purchase a 1-person sauna unless you live alone and don’t plan to share your sauna experience, or have the smallest of apartments. The most popular saunas are models that give you enough room to lie down on a bench for maximum relaxation. No one has ever returned to one of our stores saying they were sorry they bought a big sauna. But we have had buyers buy a 1-person and come back to exchange it for a larger one. Also Portable Sauna Melbourne page which has everything Portable Sauna related that you might need

Look for inner and outer lighting and light therapy.

Most infrared saunas do come with interior lights, but it’s always important to check. Interior lights are a must if you want to read during your sauna sessions.

Some models also come with exterior lights, which can turn your sauna into a furniture showpiece that your houseguests will admire. Other saunas offer a variety of coloured lights so you can use your sauna for colour light therapy, which is recommended for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that’s so common in our overcast Northwest winters.

Better-made saunas include the lighting as standard. Don’t omit these lighting features that will make each sauna use a pure pleasure.

Easily bored? Choose entertainment options.

If you don’t plan to read or meditate, what will you do in the sauna?

Answer: have entertainment at your fingertips by adding a high-quality radio and DVD player at the time you purchase. Having your entertainment centre can help you enjoy a longer, more luxurious sauna session without getting bored. Playing relaxing videos or classical music on the radio will help pass the time and deepen your sense of calm and well-being. Some saunas come with TVs so you can watch your favourite program while you sweat and lose weight!

Many of you who are reading this sauna buying guide at this very moment, is getting ready to pull the trigger on a sauna company somewhere. As you do your research, you will receive impressions about which sauna company, manufacturer, etc. to chose. These feelings should not be ignored. This is not exactly the most scientific approach to buying a sauna, but there are tremendous differences in companies and manufacturers. If problems arise with your sauna which they can, you have to rely on the integrity of the company to fix your sauna and support you long after your purchase. Do your best to ensure they are worthy of that trust, and you’ll likely be fine.

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