Traditional vs Infrared Saunas

Infrared Sauna cabins are becoming an increasingly popular choice of sauna bathing. Though appearing similar to Traditional Sauna cabins they operate in a completely different way and provide an alternative user experience.

There are two questions that we are regularly asked and they are; "which is better a traditional sauna or an infrared sauna", or "which would you choose".  Some customers choose infrared saunas because they plug into a 13amp socket so can be installed easily almost anywhere, others choose a traditional cabin because they operate at much higher temperatures. Below is a table of comparisons which demonstrates the differeces between the two types of sauna:  



Traditional Finnish Saunas

Infrared Saunas

Operating Temperature

60 - 110 degrees celsius

40 - 60 degrees celsius*

Electrical Requirements

Hard wiring

13amp Socket

Bathing Times

Up to three 15 minute sessions

Up to two 15 minute sessions

Sitting up and lying down

Both sitting and lying

Sitting up only

Running costs** (Example)

3kw = 36p per hour

1.5kw = 18p per hour

Heating Period

30-60 minutes in order for the air to reach temperature and the benches to become warm

0-20 mins instantaneous heating. Benches may take 20mins to become warm


Strong convection heated air heats the body, the walls once heated emit long wave infrared

Infrared waves warm the skin directly, ambient air is only heated insignificantly

Required Time

2 hrs with 3 bathing rounds

60 mins

Speakers Included

No - 120 degree speakers with Bluetooth available as an optional extra


Mp3 Player Supported



* Infrared saunas do not require the air temperature to rise in order to use them, this is why infrared cabins operate at much lower temperatures
** Based on 12p per unit of electricity, please check your unit costs for accurate costing.

What is Infrared? 

Infrared radiation is the band of light we perceive as heat. We cannot see this band of light with the naked eye, but rather we can feel this light in the form of heat. Our sun produces most of its energy output in the infrared segment of the spectrum.
Infrared rays heat your body without having to heat the air in-between, through a process called conversion, to put it simply when we stand in the sun we can feel the warmth, however if we stand in the shade we instantly feel cooler even though the air temperature stays the same.
The infrared spectrum is divided into 3 segments by wavelengths, measured in microns; 0.7~1.4 µm -near; 1.4 ~ 3.0 µm -middle; >3.0 µm-far infrared.
Most Infrared sauna cabins make use of far and middle infrared heat waves as these only penetrate the dermis and epidermis (top layers) of the skin and cause a warming sensation. Short wave radiation contains more energy and penetrate the subcutis (hypodermis) causing a more intensive sweating effect however radiators which solely emit intensive short wave radiation should only be used by qualified health care providers as the waves penetrate deep enough to cause an increase in core temperature (hyperthermia).

Deep warming via short wave infrared increases the body temperature from inside also known as the training effect, this causes a more intensive sweating and a more efficient purification. The long wave and medium wave infrared rays only warm the upper layer of the skin.

infrared skin penetration of IRA IRB IRC Oceanic infrared sauna

Oceanic Infrared Sauna Heater Distribution of Infrared: 

Short Wave Medium Wave Long Wave
0.7~1.4 µm 1.4 ~ 3.0 µm >3.0 µm

Deep warming 
of hypodermis 

Warming of 
dermis and 

Warming of 




Irradiance agaist wavelength for Oceanic Saunas Infrared Heater

Oceanic Infrared Emitters

All of our infrared sauna heaters are equipped with new generation incandescent Infrared heat lamps which have an IR output that resembles the effect of natural sunlight. These are designed for instantaneous heating as soon as they are switched on the elements begin to glow red and start emitting heat across the full infrared spectrum giving instant direct warmth so now you can enjoy a more natural infrared sauna bath. Oceanic IR emitters produce almost no EMF (<2mG). Contact sales team for more details.

Infrared Sauna Applications

Sauna bathing has been used as a method of relaxation, stress relief, and increased  sense of wellbeing for many many years, it is also used by athletes to aid in the rehabilitation of some sporting injuries.

  • The warming process dilates the lymph channels and activates perspiration.
  • Relaxed tissue improves blood supply causing a more effective degeneration of scars, sprains, contusions, wounds and inflammations.
  • For the after-treatment of sports injuries or muscle pains after the workout 
  • IR radiation is beneficial.
  • In the case of rheumatism or lumbago positive effects can be achieved.
  • Improved blood circulation can optimise the transport of oxygen in the body.
  • Metabolism and circulation will be activated.
  • IR rays can be beneficial for the prevention of heart and circulation diseases.
  • IR radiation causes processes that will purify the body and reduce acidic levels.

Common Misconceptions

Infrared sauna bathing does not burn fat, weight may be lost in a sauna session through perspiration, however this is replaced by drinking. Infrared sauna bathing is not dangerous, however those users who suffer from any medical conditions should consult their doctor before using any form of sauna or steam bathing.
It is not necessary to select between either infrared or traditional sauna treatment as both compliment each other. Whilst there is some overlap in the each fulfils different needs and requirements for target user.

EMF testing of Oceanic Infrared Sauna Heaters

Infrared vs Traditional Sauna Heating Oceanic Saunas

Infra Saunarium Combined Infrared Sauna and Steam

Our unique new range combines an infrared sauna with a steam bath for the increased pleasure and relaxation, the ability to add SaunAroma milks containing essential oils to the steam will add yet another dimension to the experience. Infrared Saunariums are available for selected models only. 
Infrared saunas are normally dry saunas, but many users enjoy the sensuality of steam and increased humidity of the more traditional sauna. Now thanks to the introduction of a small steam generator into the cabin our range of Infrared Saunariums provide this facility. The Oceanic mini steamer which has been designed for use with our hermetically sealed infra red emitters, it is wall mounted has 3 heat settings and is equipped with boil dry protection, indicator lights to show the water levels and power settings. A splash guard also provides a space to place drops of SaunAroma sauna milks so as to infuse the steam with their fragrance and elevate the experience to another level.