If you’re a sauna fanatic and enjoy the fresh feeling after leaving one, you probably try to go as often as possible. However, it’s not always easy to carve out time in your schedule to hang out in the sauna. If you have a full-time job, a family, and other obligations, time for a sauna visit may only come once in a blue moon. But did you know you can get the effects of a sauna at home using an infrared sauna blanket?
Infrared sauna blankets are a way to get all the benefits of saunas at home without needing the space or the capital to build a full sauna. Their lower cost and portability make sauna blankets a valuable health tool.
Infrared sauna blankets use infrared heat to warm your body. Since it is infrared or far-infrared radiation that is warming you, it does not warm the air around you. If you’d like to release your aches and pains in the comfort of your home, an infrared sauna blanket might be a great choice for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about infrared sauna blankets.
The Benefits of Infrared Sauna Blankets
As the technology behind infrared (IR) sauna blankets continues to improve, they’re only becoming more popular. Pictured above, HigherDose’s Sauna Blanket V3 and other heating equipment are some of the most popular consumer sauna blankets on the market.
Infrared sauna blankets are sought after by a growing number of people who want saunas’ mental and physical health benefits in their own homes without all of the problems of cumbersome and expensive installations of a traditional sauna. Here are the top excellent benefits of sauna blankets:
- Low-cost compared to a full sauna — Sauna blankets cost significantly less than their full room-style saunas.
- Space-saving — A full sauna takes up a decent chunk of square footage in your home. For most, a full sauna installation is likely not an option. A sauna blanket, however, can be easily folded up and stored in a dresser, under a bed, or in a closet.
- Energy cost savings — Infrared sauna blankets use up less energy than regular saunas, which have to heat up an entire room.
- Portability — Sauna blankets are a decent size. However, they are lightweight and fit easily in all vehicles which will allow you to take your sauna experience with you while traveling.
- Quarantine friendly — With contagious diseases still in our midst, you may not feel comfortable visiting a public sauna. With an infrared sauna blanket, you no longer have to!
There are many benefits of infrared sauna blankets. They’re a great choice for those on a budget and with home space constraints. However, there are some downsides to sauna blankets as well. For instance, you may miss out on the social aspects of a full sauna which often includes other people, and your mobility is limited within the sauna blanket. However, the advantages of infrared sauna blankets far outweigh these small drawbacks for some.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Sauna Blankets
Besides the cost savings, space savings, and portability, sauna blankets offer the same health benefits as their full-size relatives. They promote weight loss and fat-burning, boost cell growth and replication, unclog pores, improve your blood circulation, and bolster your energy throughout the day.
The heat of infrared sauna blankets improves your blood circulation, which will lower your blood pressure and the overall inflammation in your body if done regularly. IR sauna blankets can also relieve chronic pain even from serious rheumatoid arthritis. Besides the improvements in health, many athletes also noted post-workout benefits in improving their recovery time.
IR sauna blankets also stimulate the production of endorphins, a stress-relieving hormone. A stint in a sauna blanket has been shown to produce similar endorphin production as a strenuous workout. Additionally, all of these health benefits are available at your leisure, from the comfort of your home, based around your schedule.
What to Wear in a Sauna Blanket
In terms of the clothing that you wear while using a sauna blanket, you may be surprised to find out it’s the complete opposite idea compared to regular room saunas. You would usually wear minimal clothing like a swimsuit, a towel, or a cotton robe in sauna rooms. In contrast, when you go into a sauna blanket, you want to go in fully clothed.
The reason why you want to use a sauna blanket while fully clothed is that they tend to get pretty hot, and since it’s a blanket that will be in direct physical contact with your body, the surface temperature does get hot to the touch. Additionally, like regular saunas, you will get sweaty. Your clothes will act as a sponge to help soak up your sweat, allowing for an easier cleanup of the sauna blanket.
Loose-fitting and breathable garments are recommended by most; just be sure to wear long socks and sleeves to cover up most of your skin. Avoid tight-fitting clothing like leggings and compression shirts as they will become very uncomfortable as you start sweating.
If you plan to use a sauna blanket, you should avoid wearing metal jewelry and synthetic workout attire. The metal jewelry can reach temperatures hot enough to burn your skin, and the synthetic clothing could be damaged from the high heat. Before jumping into a sauna blanket, you should also remove any lotions from your skin. Lotions clog your pores and will prevent beneficial sweat production, which IR sauna blankets provide.
How Long Should You Use an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
If you are a brand new sauna user, you should start out at a lower temperature and for a short amount of time. It’s recommended to do your first sauna blanket experience at the lowest temperature setting for 10-15 minutes, a few times a week. You can then slowly work your way up in temperature and time.
Over the course of multiple weeks, you can increase the temperature of the sauna blanket a few degrees and increase your time too. You can eventually reach the maximum temperature and stay in for up to an hour at a time. Although it is unnecessary to use a sauna blanket every day of the week, there is no problem doing so as long as you listen to your body.
Whether you’re a sauna pro or novice, keep a close eye on your hydration. Dehydration can sneak up on you. If you notice that you have stopped sweating, get out of the sauna blanket immediately and drink plenty of water. Also, consider spending a few days out of the sauna blanket to ensure you’re fully recovered.
What are Infrared Rays?
Sauna blankets use far-infrared rays (FIR) to heat your body. Far-infrared is part of the light spectrum, which includes visible and ultraviolet (UV) light as well (all of which are natural and produced by the sun). Infrared rays are used as the heat source for sauna blankets, namely because you cannot fit the large hardware, like a wood-burner or steam-generating elements, into the compact size of a blanket.
If you’re interested in learning more about how infrared saunas compare to traditional saunas, be sure to check out our full write-up comparing the two.
Are Sauna Blankets Worth It?
If you don’t the large upfront capital and the space to install a full-sized sauna in your home, sauna blankets are totally worth it. Their portability is a fantastic benefit, plus you can avoid crowded public saunas if you’re worried about the spread of contagious illnesses.
Even if you visit public saunas, sauna blankets are a great at-home supplement. There are many options and types of sauna blankets on the market. Most are a sleeping-bag style that heats your body from all sides. Here are a few options you can review:
- SurmountWay Far Infrared Suana Blanket (also on Amazon) — This is the “regular” style of what someone would call a sauna blanket. It is in the shape of a sleeping bag and has zippers pockets to pass your arms through. This is a bare-bones sauna blanket that will warm you fast.
- Gizmo Supply 3 Zone Digital Far-Infrared Hea Sauna Blanket v3 (on Amazon as well) — This is a higher-end infrared sauna blanket with three infrared elements, high-grade PU materials, with temperatures up to 194°F. Each of the three heat zones has independent temperature control, providing the best experience for your body.
- HigherDose Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 (link to HigherDose site) — Version 3 of HigherDose’s sauna blanket incorporates low EMF heating, detox charcoal layers, and premium fabrics to give you a great, at-home sauna experience.
Are these sauna blankets “worth it?” If you want to bring the sauna experience home, they absolutely are. Even the most advanced sauna blankets are many times less expensive than buying a full sauna for your home, plus you don’t have to worry about making space in your home for one. And sauna blankets add unique features like portability to your sauna experience.