6 Infrared Sauna Benefits & Drawbacks (Myths Busted)

Infrared saunas are much like regular saunas in that they use heat to help heal the body through detoxification caused by sweating. However, unlike a regular sauna, they use light to create heat, rather than the traditional hot rocks and steam. 

Infrared saunas have many benefits, but some disadvantages too. For example, they promote healthy sleep and pain relief but because they use dry heat it can sometimes result in dehydration and dry skin, which is a problem for those with sensitive skin.

In the rest of the article, we are going to take a deeper dive into the benefits and drawbacks of using an infrared sauna.

Table of Contents

Advantages of Using Infrared Sauna

The great thing about infrared saunas is that they have extra benefits in addition to those offered by traditional saunas. So, in order to know whether a traditional or infrared sauna is best for you, consider the following pros of the infrared route.

If you would like to know more about how an infrared sauna works, follow this link.

sauna sessions leads to better sleep
Sauna sessions lead to better sleep (Image source)

Promotes Good Sleep

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep then you may have tried all possible traditional remedies. However, infrared saunas, although they are not normally people’s first choice, can significantly help with sleep issues.

The science behind this is that while you are in the sauna the infrared penetrates deep into your skin, heating you up from within, but when you exit the sauna into the cooler air, this floods your brain with melatonin, which is famously known for promoting good sleep.

So, you are essentially forcing your body to produce the sleep hormone in a natural way. Studies have shown that many people suffering from sleep disorders found infrared saunas to help with their issues.

A Lower Heat

One of the main differences between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna is that the latter can operate at a lower temperature, but still provide you with the same result. There is quite a big difference between the two: a traditional sauna runs up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas an infrared sauna only needs to run up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you struggle with the high temperature of a traditional sauna, but still want to reap the benefits then consider looking into an infrared sauna.

Pain Relief

One of the best pros of infrared saunas is the fact that they help with pain relief. For both local and chronic pain, infrared saunas have been shown to help. This is because they promote blood flow, which can help with swelling, mental stress, and physical pain.

Disadvantages of Using Infrared Sauna

Although infrared saunas can offer some great benefits, there are also some cons to consider before you use them. If you have tried an infrared sauna but are worried about the effect it had on you, see here.


One of the main differences between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna is that infrared saunas use light to create heat, which produces dry heat, rather than steam, like a traditional sauna, which produces wet heat.

One of the cons of choosing the infrared sauna is that this dry heat can cause dehydration as it will draw the moisture out of your body. You should always make sure that you are not overheating while using an infrared sauna.

dry hands caused by sauna
Dry hands caused by regular sauna sessions (Image source)

Dry Skin

Because of the dry heat used in infrared saunas, there will be negative health effects on your skin. This will include dry skin, which can cause additional problems if you suffer from skin issues such as eczema or psoriasis.

You should always consult with your doctor before using an infrared sauna if you have any skin concerns. Moisturizing your skin both before and after using an infrared sauna can help to combat this con.

Bad for Some Health Conditions

Although there are many different health benefits to infrared saunas, they do not work for everyone. Some people should avoid infrared saunas if they have certain diseases such as cardiovascular problems or hypotension.

If you have any health conditions that may be exacerbated by extreme and/or dry heat, consult with your medical professional before using an infrared sauna.

Is It Ok to Use Infrared Sauna Every Day?

Although most spas will recommend that you need three to four sessions of infrared sauna every week, it is perfectly fine to use the infrared sauna every day as long as you are in good health, has no issues that may be made worse by using the sauna and have not noticed any issues with previous sauna use.

However, there are a few instances when you should avoid using the sauna every day. These include if you have been drinking alcohol (even if you are in good health), if you have or have recently had a fever or if you are dehydrated. This is because all of these problems will be made worse by the dry heat of the infrared sauna.

How Long Should You Stay in an Infrared Sauna?

As with a traditional sauna, you should try to steadily increase the amount of time that you spend in the infrared sauna. If you have never used an infrared sauna before then you should start with just 10 to 15 minutes for one session and you can slowly increase this until you reach 30 minutes

Most saunas will have a timer that you can use to make sure that you are not spending too long in the sauna. You can also easily change the temperature in an infrared sauna. A lower temperature will mean that you can spend longer in the sauna. 


What Are the Potential Side Effects of Infrared Saunas?

Infrared saunas are generally considered safe, but some users may experience minor side effects. You might feel dehydrated or dizzy due to excessive sweating, so ensure that you drink enough water before and after the session. Some people may also experience overheating, so it’s important to listen to your body and adjust the temperature or duration if necessary. It’s also possible to experience mild headaches and nausea, especially if you’re not accustomed to the heat.

Can Infrared Saunas Cause Damage to the Eyes or Skin?

When used properly, infrared saunas pose a low risk of causing damage to your eyes or skin. The infrared wavelengths used in these saunas do not contain the harmful UV radiation found in sunlight. However, it’s essential to maintain a moderate temperature and limit the duration of your sessions to not expose your skin to excessive heat, which may cause dryness or irritation.

How Long Should One Use an Infrared Sauna to Experience Benefits?

To experience the benefits of infrared saunas, you should start with shorter sessions of around 15-20 minutes and gradually increase the duration as your body becomes accustomed to the heat. Many users find that sessions of 30-45 minutes, 3-4 times a week, provide them with the desired results. Keep in mind that the optimal duration may vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and adjust as needed.


Infrared saunas are a fantastic way to ensure that you keep your body healthy. They are a much better option for those with a low tolerance for heat but who still want to reap the benefits of using a sauna.

However, you should always make sure that it is the right option for you by making sure that you are in good enough health to use the facility and that it will not make any pre-existing health conditions worse.

To sum up, the main disadvantage of using an infrared sauna is the dryness of the heat, which can pull moisture from your body and skin. However, if this is not a concern then you can enjoy the benefits of better sleep, a more relaxed mind, and pain relief.

(Feature image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay)

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