Claiming that infrared is a sauna is like claiming that a bathtub is a pool

Imagine a recently published study preaching health benefits of swimming, something along the lines of: “participants who swam half a mile in a pool, 3-4 times per week, had a 30% decrease in heart related illnesses.”

Then imagine a company that sells large bathtubs and hot tubs, but calls them pools.

Then, imagine that same company laying claim to the health benefits of pools to their products.

Now we understand why we need to be careful with marketing hucksters hawking infrared light bulb closets.

infrared hucksters at a trade show in Las Vegas

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5 thoughts on “Claiming that infrared is a sauna is like claiming that a bathtub is a pool”

  1. The analogy holds, as regarding health studies from Finland: “The results were culled from more than 70 sauna studies published up through February 2018” https://www.saunatimes.com/articles/news/what-does-mayo-clinics-recent-report-on-sauna-bathing-mean-for-authentic-sauna/

    As a regular sauna bather for over 30 years, I recognize that the primary benefits to authentic sauna are achieved through experiencing multiple rounds with:
    1. Loyly (steam from water being tossed on sauna rocks).
    2. Cold plunges (cold shower, lake plunge, cold plunge feed trough).
    3. Full body cool downs between rounds (optimally whilst in the garden all misty wet with rain).

  2. Do you have any info on low EMF traditional sauna heaters? I’d like to stay away from infrared but also only have a small space and don’t want to blast my family with harmful rays.

  3. Hi Vaidila. I believe the Sauna Research Center is studying and analyzing EMF radiation relative to electric sauna stoves, yet there is no information available at this time, per my knowledge.

    Most of the noise regarding EMF has been surfaced in the area of infrared light bulb closets, and because infrared hucksters hitch their wagons to the health benefits of traditional, authentic sauna, unfortunately, the traditional, authentic sauna folks are getting roped into this EMF noise.

  4. Hi Vaidila – I’m an electrical engineer and wrote a series of posts on electrical heaters for Glenn previously that you might have seen. I’ll echo Glenn’s comments in that I think the EMF stuff is overblown and part of the marketing hype of infrared saunas. If you want to see how out of control it is, check out this infrared tent that not only claims that it doesn’t emit EMF but also supposedly protects you from outside EMFs getting in.


    So you get a tent and light bulbs all for the low price of only $5500 (sarcasm). Of course people spend at most an hour a day in a sauna so unless you sleep and work in the tent you’ll get exposed to outside EMF’s anyways. This is pretty typical of the nonsense claims made for these things.

    Any electric heater will produce EMFs when on but the levels should be low due to the shielding from the metal case and the rocks. It’s comparable to sitting next a washing machine or dishwasher. Plus the heating elements are fully enclosed within metal. On top of that, a heater is only running continuously during warm up. My sauna is really well insulated and once it’s up to temp the heater is on around 20% of the time. This really surprised me but in a good way, I was concerned about how much our electric bill might go up and it’s been hardly noticeable.

    So 80% of the time there is zero EMFs and the other 20% it’s pretty low. Compare this to a light bulb closet when the lights are on 100% of the time with virtually no shielding.

    I wouldn’t be concerned about provided you buy a good quality heater that is appropriately sized for the room (so it isn’t running continuously)

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