There are 3 types of full spectrum Infrared saunas brands on the market and each has their own pros and cons.
The new Therasauna brand models can be very effective at cooler settings, while the Vital sauna creates more tissue radiance nearer to the surface of the skin. Their competitor has a similar effect, but simply takes twice as long to get to that point because of lower fluency from the emitters (what produces the infrared waves).
It’s not as simple as just saying oh this brand is the one to buy as it’s better because everyone has different preferences and also unique health conditions and goals. Some people prefer lower temperatures with anything above 100 degrees making them feel like they are suffocating. So it is actually normal for Therasauna users to go in at a thermostat setting under 100 degrees to detox and I know many folks who even leave the doors open so they can stay in their longer comfortably! Keeping that door open sometimes gives them an extra 10 to 15 minutes before those sat in a sauna too long symptoms get too pronounced. That is one trick also for getting that extra calorie expenditure boost in the last few minutes with the core of the body is the most raised metabolically.
Last year and going into this one I finally had the chance to review all of the latest full spectrum saunas side by side. In general the whole full spectrum thing became popular just a couple years back. The fluence is off the chart in the 2 person Vital model I reviewed it. I noticed the heat more so as the surface of my body became warmer much faster. Actually I had my trust laser thermometer with me and kept log of the temperature increases of my abdomen throughout the whole 45 minute session set on the variable spectrum/temp mode (full spectrum). Compared to the other saunas I recorded hotter temperatures early on and that increased and dropped three times. To me this is a clear indicator of two things, the spectrum of infrared rays when they were in the lower micron range versus higher, and also how many cycles it went through during the session. Also, interesting to note that the temperature in the sauna I also recorded and it changed up and down in cycles as well…I recorded this same effect in the competitor brand and what this tells me is that they must be controlling the wave output of the emitters by controlling the thermostat. If that is the case then this is a much more limited way of offering multiple micron ranges as not everyone will want the sauna to go up and down in temperature and may prefer picking a comfortable temperature and keeping it at that setting throughout the session.
Therasauna’s emitters in full spectrum mode I noticed are more intense but in their wave mode it felt kind of like a light bulb going from dim to bright every 2 minutes. What surprised me is that this was distinctly noticeable the fluctuations. What I noticed in the other two brands was more the fluctuation in temperature. In the Therasauna as the emitters get dialed up it almost feels like uh oh I don’t think I could handle this if it was in that mode the whole time but then it moves back down.
What I thought was pretty unique about the Therasauna is that there is also a setting that only puts the heaters at around 9.4 microns (far infrared isolate). So there is no near or mid infrared at all, the heat is super cool. I’ve never experienced this before and it is the weirdest thing. You don't really sweat for a while and the heat stays under 100 degrees but then at some point I reached this threshold and the sweat started pouring down. I really did feel like I was cooking from the inside out as the surface temperature I took with the laser thermometer showed me that it was 15 degrees cooler than while I was in the Vital and their main competitor.
With the Therasauna at this setting, a person theoretically doesn’t need to close the door to detox. I guess that is the ultimate test for a sauna brand and I have actually done this…keep the door open for an hour while in the sauna and see if you can break a sweat. See most brands out there cheat by cranking up the ambient temperature in the sauna to cover for their weak emitters so the person doesn’t really raise their core temperature because of the infrared but just because it’s hot in the cabin.
I think what shocked me the most was that regardless of if it’s a true infrared isolate or not, I had never experienced this effect in another sauna. I’m also smart enough to know that an isolate of an infrared spectrum should move through surface tissue more readily and not create as much surface heat versus something producing a mix of mid and near range.
The Vital and their competitor do not have this wave isolate mode. The Vital heaters do stay on the entire time and you don't hear the clicking of the heaters going on and off like the older models.
I do not recommend leaving the doors open on the Vital or the competitor. It does not have the 9.4 micron far infrared isolation mode so you will probably need a little extra heat in the cabin to work up a good sweat. The Therasauna is the only sauna I've found that has this mode. So far, no one has tried to copy them or maybe they have but I have never seen it advertised.
With the Therasauna, with the door open, I can stay in for 2 hours, do some work in there, read a book an chill out as long as I want without getting that groggy feeling. Sometimes I want all of the many infrared health benefits but don't want to burn 500 calories. I also many times do a session and then go workout afterwards and I don't want to be fatigued from all the heat. But at night time, I can turn the full spectrum mode on and sweat like a pig. The Vital full spectrum and the Therasauna are the highest fluence saunas from both extremes I have reviewed and I tracked this with the laser thermometer on my chest. The temperature on my chest stays about the same in the Vital and in the Therasauna it goes up and down a bit as the emitters crank up and cool down.
With the isolate mode on the Therasauna, I can always tell if someone is a smoker. Even though they don't sweat, the freaking sauna smells like a smoke filled nightclub after their session. I have about 7 saunas at one of my facilities and so I let people try them out and I for sure have to run my ozone machine and air ionizer in the Therasauna after some people use it.
Same goes for regular swimmers. Their skin reeks of chlorine and I usually ask people if they swim often because if they do I lay down extra towels to protect the wood. For detoxing it does NOT matter if the sauna is hot or ice cold leaving it outdoors. If the temperature is 73 degrees in the house, the Therasauna will usually be at about 80 degrees. Although if the body is sweating when the sauna is set to over 100 degrees, the body can get rid of more toxins even without sweating. People get so hyper focused with believing that the body eliminates so many toxins in the sweat when in reality it only eliminates around 2-3%. So people fundamentally don’t understand that the Infrared is actually assisting the body to release its gunk from storage and also strengthening the immune system and improving circulation so that their liver and kidneys and lymphatic system can process everything for excretion.
Sometimes it is ideal to do some lymphatic exercise after the sauna session if using the pure isolate setting. This can stir up so many toxins that peoples digestive systems are so backed up along with their lymphatic system and need the extra support from certain kinds of movement. Ideal lymphatic exercise would be using a whole body vibration machine or rebounder. Only a few specific brands of this type of equipment really work well.
Many people are so relaxed after burning 500 calories in 30 minutes they don't want to do anything but fall asleep after the session. Actually its common for a lot of sleep disturbances (falling asleep and staying asleep without positional intolerance) to be related to having a very backed up lymphatic system. When the body senses all the cellular sewage backing up it releases adrenal hormones to keep the person alert and awake so that they keep the body moving to facilitate the lymphatic system to do its job!!
For those after weightloss, hardly any calories are burned and no energy reserves are lost when using at a lower temperature in the sauna. If you are already under slept or chronically fatigued and not drinking enough water, keeping a sauna cooler would be advised until weeks or months later after regular infrared sauna usage and of course consumption of pure spring water regularly along with supplementing with adequate electrolyte trace minerals. Some people have circulation or cardiovascular health conditions or those who are 80+ years old and can't handle intense sweating for 45 minutes it’s advise to keep the sauna cooler or use something with pure wave isolate mode. For these people I would recommend the newer models of the Therasauna.
For weight loss, probably the Vital Full spectrum sauna. The older Vital saunas are good but have a little less far infrared as the heaters have to do all 3 jobs in one, which is creating all wavelengths. Now they updated the heaters in this one so the free standing heaters take off some of the load so the heaters can produce more far infrared unlike before. That’s a pretty innovative simple solution. Vital's main competitor's approach is a little bit different.
The Therasauna produces most of that feel good far infrared I’ve been in, but you can't stay in one position too long. You know one thing I have always found surprising about this company is that even in the regular wave mode on the original Therasauna models (last 25 years), their emitters constantly fluctuated through various temperatures and micron ranges while maintaining a 9.4 throughout. No other emitter constantly fluctuated across the whole emitter like that and yet this company never advertised the fact that so many micron ranges were being produced! In an industry where companies are hyper excited to promote themselves with the latest little doodad or feature, this company didn’t make a big fuss that they actually had more full spectrum heaters than anyone’s (25 years) before full spectrum even became a thin. In fact they only recently added the words full spectrum to their website when they came out with their newer models that are even more full spectrum versatile than their previous. You could say that they actually are into their second generation of full spectrum technology while most companies are either in their first generation or not offering anything.
The full spectrum Vital sauna seems to have the most fluence (subjective feedback as well as laser thermometer tests), while the Therasauna has a more concentrated fluence that is distinctly noticeable as it cycles. I can feel the Vital all over the surface of my body while the Therasauna I feel more focused on specific regions of my body. I tend to move and shift around a bit in that sauna to get more coverage elsewhere. It’s kind of similar to dry skin brushing (excellent for lymphatic system), I don't keep doing the same spot the entire time in the same place.
To get greater intensity of the infrared feel into the surface of the body like with the other two sauna brands, one has to set the Therasauna to the near and mid range setting. There is no such thing as the term medical grade Infrared, but the general health benefits seems to come back to that 9.4 range. The near and mid infrared ranges are easy to produce for most saunas. If I can spend my dollars on a brand that can do that along with Far range isolate then that is the best of both worlds. At the end of the day it’s choosing a brand that does full spectrum with more convection heat versus less.
Another factor is convenience. If a sauna is running more with convection heat effect from the full spectrum and the cabin temp is set higher then it can take a while to warm up to that temperature. Being able to achieve therapeutic infrared at lower temperatures could be desirable if someone doesn’t want to wait 40 minutes for a sauna warmup versus 5-10 minutes.
Many of the saunas I have been in only produce mid infrared (4 to 6 microns..this is also common for older generation carbon panels). It's easy to tell when inside a full spectrum sauna because my outer core is not as effected while it takes much longer before I notice that the core of my body is being heated. Going in a Therasauna or Vital right after being in a sauna that doesn't have as much far infrared I can feel the difference instantly. On the isolation mode on the Therasauna, I can go in another sauna right before and that’s the easiest way to know what 9.4 selectively really feels like. After going in the Vital full spectrum sauna and then going in a regular infrared sauna, I just feel like the sauna is missing something. Full spectrum seems to supply more of that feel good heat.
Regular infrared saunas still have the same micron ranges although if consistency is what I am looking for, they just don't have it. They click on and off so it can give that feel good heat but when the heaters are off, the micron range changes and just get spurts of the 9.4 micron range. The truth is that most saunas produce around 9.4 microns during the first 2 minutes the sauna warms up and the last 2 minutes when the sauna is almost finished cooling down!! The industry joke is that most people are not even in the saunas during those times! I would say the most value in these and why someone would want to pay nearly more for one of these saunas is for have consistent micron ranges throughout the whole entire session. A more therapeutic effect basically. Like I said, if detox is not the main concern, then there is probably no reason to spend more to get that consistent 9.4 micron production. For detox, with the Therasauna 30 minutes with 100% of this isolate range, it would probably take two one hour sessions per day with a traditional infrared sauna using second or third generation carbon or infrared emitters. For those that don't sweat a lot I’d suggest an aggressive probiotic, hydrating supplement, and liver support before doing this total health program. If not coming out of the skin the toxins go to the gut and through elimination channels and organs.
People inquire a lot about how long the sessions are in full spectrum saunas
Usually the longer the better but with higher far infrared being on the entire time, there is more cellular bio-stimulation, so the sessions can be shorter. The sweating is just a side effect or body adaptation from the heat, as many people feel once they heavily sweated they have detoxed. Not so much with a full spectrum and especially an isolate spectrum. If doing it for detox and not sweating, by mobilizing the toxins with lymphatic exercise right before the session is highly recommended, but never after. It can be done after but mobilizing the toxins before helps a person release more effectively. For the isolate type sessions, if someone is doing it 5 to 6 times a week, then 3 times in an isolate can probably be just as efficient as a less intense sauna.
Note for Weight Loss: The Vital is my recommendation as the sauna has a hotter convection effect. With the isolate sessions in the Therasauna or the full spectrum modes (mostly applies to isolate), I do not recommend showering afterwards as the toxins are still off gassing through the pores (not dripping sweat) of the skin. With the full spectrum mode I recommend waiting an hour and the isolate spectrum about an hour and a half. Most people’s underarms wreak after the isolate sessions so I advise using a bit of baking soda under each armpit. Detox symptoms usually are the biggest complaint if a person is not used to a full spectrum sauna, but with the right preparation and taking it slowly a person can feasibly avoid these side effects.
These two brands that I sell are totally different and should be well researched before buying because you can't return them once you use them. Both are good and when I let people try them, certain people with low energy and very toxic always like one sauna over the other. In fact I can predict this to 90% accuracy. Some people need more convection rays and heat to relieve chronic pain when in reality depending on what is causing the pain, they really might be better suited to more far isolate paired with a thorough lymphatic optimization protocol to pull the toxins that are causing the stagnant acidity in their body and raise the zeta potential in the blood and extra cellular fluids. Session times will definitely be different in each brand. Some people will want it more intense and can handle more intensity in a 30 minutes session and others will want to do it in an hour as they have more time.
The isolate mode raises the body’s core temperature more slowly and this has a different overall effect, while other brands raise it through more convection effect of mid and near micron range that a lot of people in pain prefer.
The real goal for some people is to raise their core temperature over 3 degrees and this can be a form of an at home Hyperthermia program (like the Mayo Clinic does) for destroying pathogens and disease in the body..Cancers etc. Since usually this includes much longer session times this can start to get uncomfortable in most saunas and some full spectrum when the ambient cabin temperature is high.
My sauna quiz questions are designed to help you pick out the sauna based on the answers you choose. My goal is to pick out a sauna I think you would like best as if you had the chance to try each and every sauna before you bought. There is no hidden agenda built into the questions. It is only based on the answers you select.
I am in contact with many of the sauna manufactures in the USA and Canada and will recommend a sauna brand and also tell you why I recommended that one based on your answers. Feel free to take the quiz twice if 2 or more people will be using it. I will contact you back personally and give you the results from your quiz.
How many times a week do you deliberately try to sweat?
Is your sweat odorless?
Do you wear deodorant to suppress sweat?
Do you sweat when their is no heat?
Do you have chronic pain that restricts you in any way?
Do you get bitten a lot from mosquitos in the summer heat?
Are you going in the sauna sedentary or after exercising?
Do you have a lot of fat under your skin?
What color is your urine?
Where do you sweat the most during working out?
Do you sweat heavily during normal exercise?
Sweat times- Do you get long dampening before you sweat or do you just start sweating?
How is the air circulation in your house?
Is the sauna the only thing you are using?
How long or short do you want your sessions?
What is the main reason you want an infrared sauna?
What type of sauna are you comparing?
Do you have concerns over EMF output?
Have you ever been in an infrared sauna?
How long have you been trying to compare saunas?
Do you have interest in SWAT Saunas (Sauna With Oxygen Therapy?
Which type of price range do you need to stay in?
Are you a health professional?
I usually will respond to your email within 45 minutes during my break. I will review your answers and email you back. I will try to call people back if requested or if I need more information than the quiz to recommend the right sauna.
When do you need a sauna?
If you are someone trying to sell me something, do not contact me.
If you are sincerely looking for help choosing an infrared sauna and there is a question you have that I have not answered on my website, please ask me below and I will try to answer it. I will call you if my answer requires me calling you, I will.
I can only help you pick out a sauna based on the answers you choose. It is not my job to recommend a sauna just because its the one I use or that I like it.
What else should I know about you in order to give you the most accurate recommendation
Get discounts for taking the quiz before you call. Please call after 15 minutes after you take the quiz. Please refer to my rules of my site on my home page before you call and I will offer my standard discounted pricing. I will not discount saunas for those that do not follow my rules. My discounts that I have the privilege to offer are only available for those that take my quiz first and call 15 minutes afterwards.
Therasage Tent - The most intense tent sauna - highest FIR emmissive carbon heaters we tested.
This is the best full spectrum sauna I have even been in. Under the mattress there is vibration and it feels like all my lymph capillaries are draining all the lymph (lipolysis) from the fat as the far infrared heats it up.