Far infrared saunas are becoming more and more popular and popping up everywhere. They can now be commonly seen in spas, and gyms, and various types of wellness centers all over the world. Their rise to popularity is due to the actual technology that it bears its name from – Infrared light and numerous health benefits people claim it provides.
Compared to a steam sauna and other traditional forms of saunas, far infrared saunas provide a more comfortable experience. Traditional saunas use steam that can reach very uncomfortable temperatures and may require you to immerse your whole body, but with the rise of portable infrared saunas, people can enjoy the benefits of sauna therapy in the comfort of their own homes.
Although there is much research that needs to be done to substantiate anecdotal claims of people who swear on the health benefits of infrared sauna therapy, there’s no harm in indulging in a little bit of relaxation and self-care from time to time.
What Actually Is Infrared Light?
Before going out and getting yourself a portable infrared sauna, you should at least understand how it works and what the technology behind it actually is. If you have ever gone outside, then you have already felt what infrared light feels like on your skin. The sun is our daily natural resource of infrared light. Although we humans cannot see this spectrum of light, we sure know that we can feel it.
This is exactly how infrared light works on portable infrared saunas. Like the sun, it directly heats any object it comes across compared to heating up the surrounding air around it. Portable infrared saunas reach high temperatures quickly, evenly, and more consistently.
What Can Be Considered A Portable Infrared Sauna?
Infrared saunas can range from the luxurious to the everyday therapy model. To rooms that can fit a group of people, to a portable foldable single-person sized one. These saunas can be considered portable if they can be:
- Easy to assemble
- Can be easily moved around
- Easily packed away
- 1-2 person use
- Made from light materials
Types Of Infrared Saunas
Far infrared saunas are the most common type of infrared sauna. The word “far” in far infrared sauna refers to where it lies on the light spectrum – in this case, the farthest. Far infrared saunas directly heat the body of the person rather than the surrounding air.
Traditional saunas use steam to generate high temperatures, far infrared saunas use light as heating elements to heat the body directly. Because infrared saunas do not heat the air around a room, the experience is much more pleasurable, not to mention more tolerable.
Other types of infrared saunas available are described as full-spectrum, near, mid, and of course far wavelengths in the light spectrum. They have similar effects, but the difference in wavelengths means varying degrees of intensity in energy.
- Far infrared. Having the longest wavelength among all the types of infrared, health claims range from flushing toxins out, aids in metabolism, and improving heart functions.
- Mid-infrared. A shorter wavelength, it is said that it is effective in penetrating deeper into the tissue. Claims include muscle relaxant, better circulation, promotes healing, eases injuries, and oxygen release.
- Near-infrared. Sometimes also referred to as phototherapy. Near-infrared combines light and heat as therapy. It is often associated with promoting immune functions, revitalization, and healing.
Health Benefits Of Far Infrared Saunas
Throughout history, there have been a lot of studies and research made on the health benefits of saunas. While many claims are yet to be proven and scientific studies are continuously being conducted to this day, there are some health benefits that you can really feel after a session on your portable sauna.
- Blood circulation, blood pressure, and improved blood flow. Research has been done on patients with hypertension and the effects of sauna therapy on their blood pressure. Some participants showed a decrease in blood pressure and signs of improved blood flow.
- To flush out toxins in the body. It is a common belief that sweating flushes out all the bad stuff in the body. But science and biology state that these toxins are usually processed and flushed out through our intestines, kidneys, and livers. In a research published in 2012, they found cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat. This discovery lends credence to the health claims of sweating, which means every session in your portable infrared sauna encourages the removal of toxins.
- Cardiovascular Health. Researchers have looked into the links between sauna use heart health and blood circulation, blood flow, and blood pressure. They found that people, mostly men who frequently use saunas showed a lower risk of heart disease.
- Fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome can be debilitating. In a study that used a far-infrared sauna, women in the study showed improvements in anxiety level, depression, fatigue, and mood.
- Relief from pain. Infrared saunas are often used after rigorous activities like working out. People claim that muscle pain and recovery are sped up if followed by a sauna session. In a study of male participants involved in endurance training, infrared sauna sped their recovery up.
- Respiratory conditions. In a large study involving middle-aged men, regular sauna use showed a lowered risk of chronic respiratory ailments like pneumonia or asthma.
- Weight loss. Sweating has been always linked to losing weight. In a way, weight loss actually happens but don’t expect anything dramatic. You may only feel a bit lighter after an infrared sauna session, similar to the effects of detox, but don’t buy portable saunas if your main goal is to lose weight.
- Arthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis. Infrared saunas have been used to provide short-term relief to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, especially those suffering from inflammation.
If you have any serious health issues, it is always best to consult your doctor first before bringing the sauna experience into your home.
Things to Look for When Searching for Portable Infrared Saunas
There is a wide range of portable infrared saunas available in the market today, each with its own special feature or features to separate it from the pack.
If you are in the market for a portable infrared sauna, here are a few things to check and look out for:
- Type of Controls on the unit. All portable infrared saunas come with a remote controller of some sort. It is what you use to set the temperature inside the sauna. The ease of use and the design of the interface should always be considered when you are searching for that perfect infrared sauna for yourself.
- Size. This is totally up to you and your purposes. Sizes of portable saunas range from fitting groups of people to single occupancy ones.
- Efficiency. Make sure the unit heats the room evenly and consistently. it should not have any cold spots at this might render your portable infrared sauna inefficient and will not produce the best results.
- Durability. Ask about the materials used in its manufacturing. Make sure that you are getting a product that utilized quality materials that will last a long time. Pay special attention to the heating elements as these are the first ones that usually give out and will render your unit useless.
- Safety. The biggest safety concern on infrared saunas is the amount of EMF emitted. All electrical appliances emit a low level of EMF, however, these can layer on top of each other resulting in low-level radiation. Some brands incorporate low EMF carbon panel heating emitters. The lower the EMF rating, the better the product is in terms of EMF emissions.
- Warranty. Shy away from products that do not offer any warranty. A quality product will always be backed up by its manufacturer.
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for saunas on the market, read on for my handpicked portable sauna models…
12 Best Portable Infrared Sauna
There are a lot of options out in the market for a portable infrared sauna but I’ve searched and compared dozens of units to give you this list of the 12 best portable infrared sauna models:
- 3 carbon heating panels
- Foot heater
- Canvas seat
- Tubular steel construction
- Moisture-resistant fabric
- 1 minute set up and fold up
Radiant Saunas is a favorite brand by owners of residential portable saunas, so I was 100% sure to include one or two Radiant saunas on this list.
The 1-person Salem unit flaunts a sleek design that ensures quick setup to get you faster to that relaxation mode. It was designed to evenly distribute heat by using 3 carbon heating panels. The included foot pad heater works wonders and adds another level of soothing warmth and relaxation.
Like other portable Radiant Saunas, the Salem comes with a foldable canvas chair. It’s not as exquisite-looking as the built-in wooden chairs on box-type saunas, but you’d definitely feel like a director sitting on this comfortably-designed, snug-fitting canvas chair.
Quick and no fuss to set up, you will be ready to enjoy premium relaxation in minutes. The robust fabric material used can resist moisture and humidity which makes it very dependable and durable.
Even if I consider this one of the best of the best portable infrared saunas, there’s no denying that the big and tall crowd may find this unit small (check the Oversized Radiant Sauna BSA6315 which is a portable indoor sauna designed for a single person but with a larger space).
- Quick to Set up
- Quality materials.
- 1-year Radiant Saunas warranty
- Low EMF negative ion
- Fits only 1 person
- Not for claustrophobic people
- Compact size
- Indoor/outdoor sauna
- Power-efficient design
- Hand access zippers
- Wired controller
- Foot pad heating mat
Available in sleek black or shiny silver, this SerenLife portable infrared home sauna is definitely a welcome addition to anyone’s home. It comes with a heated foot pad, perfect for detoxing, deep relaxation, and soothing your aches and pains while reading a book, watching a movie, or catching up with your friends through easy zipped-up hand access.
This SereneLife portable infrared sauna looks sturdier and more compact than other portable saunas, probably because of the material used that’s resistant to rot, mildew, rust, corrosion, and UV.
You can easily set the temperature and timer for accurate sessions – heat up time is impressive. This sauna comes blazing from 74° to 140° in just 5 minutes. As a result of the quick heat-up, you bet this Serenelife portable infrared home model is power-efficient and will eventually save you money in the long run.
Maintenance is as easy as its installation: just wipe inside and outside after every use to remove bacteria.
- Robust construction
- Includes foot heating mat
- Easy to assemble and dismantle
- Portable and easy to store
- Heats up quickly
- Could be a bit small for big or tall users
- 149-degree maximum temperature
- 200-pound weight limit
- Auto power-cut protection
- Folding chair included
- Quick set-up, fold up, and storage
- Quality fabric
Modern Luxe Furniture’s 1-person FAR infrared sauna comes in two colors: black with a bright blue accent, and silver with a pink accent. Like most of the portable saunas on this list, you can bring this sauna everywhere you go.
Design-wise, this portable sauna has four heating panels – two on the sides, one at the back, and a heated footpad perfect if you want to melt away the stress your feet and body faced from the day. Although it could reach maximum temperatures of 149 degrees, you never have to worry about unwanted accidents, since this portable sauna has anti-leakage, anti-explosion, and anti-leakage protection.
The “body” of this portable sauna comes with two holes for easy access to the sauna’s timer/controller in one hand, and for your book-reading, remote-surfing in another.
- Includes a foot heating pad
- Energy Efficient
- Automatic timer and temperature adjustments
- Very portable
- Made from moisture-resistant fabrics
- Durable comfortable chair included
- Covered by warranty
- Only for personal use (Fits only 1 person)
- Indoor use only
- Indoor and outdoor sauna
- Compact size
- Includes foldable chair
- Wired controller
- Footpad heating mat
If you checked out the portable infrared sauna from Modern Luxe Furniture above, you might think we doubled-down on posting the same model. But look closely and you’ll see that this next one comes from the brand “Classic” and is designed eerily similar with its black/blue and gray/pink models.
This rectangular-shaped, 1-person infrared sauna by Classic was designed as an on-the-go sauna. However, this particular sauna model has five medical microcrystalline heating panels – 2 on the back, 2 on the sides, and one in the foot pad. And because the heat source is far infrared, you can guarantee that the infrared heat you are exposed to remain even and consistent at all times.
The Classic has a wired timer located just outside one side of the tent, which can be controlled via one of the pairs of vents located in front of the portable sauna. The timer/controller lets you adjust the temperature, and set your preferred time.
- 550-pound weight capacity means even big and tall users can fit comfortably
- Adjustable temperature
- Covered by a one-year limited warranty
- Maximum temperature is just 65 Fahrenheit
- FAR infrared heating source
- Multi-level temperature adjustment
- Intelligent setting
- Hand access zipper
Made with black polyester and neon blue lining (so you won’t ever need to have a hard time finding those zippers), the BSC 1-persona infrared sauna is pretty durably made. It is antimicrobial, UV-resistant, and can withstand warping, corrosion, rust, rot, mildew, and some weather changes.
Designed as a residential and portable infrared home spa, this rectangular-shaped sauna is perfect to address your aches and pains in the comforts of your own home. You can bring this outdoors, but probably not under extreme weather.
The 1-person infrared portable sauna can go as high as 65 degrees Fahrenheit maximum temperature, which seems like in the lowest emf range but is actually more than enough to experience a full spa-like sauna.
- Can be used both indoor and outdoor
- Super quick to set-up and store
- Includes a bright blue, easy-to-clean folding chair
- Equipped with a wired remote control (with its own front pocket holder at the front of the tent)
- Designed with two zippered vents
- No warranty included
- Use as an indoor and outdoor portable sauna
- Fold and store
- Removable and washable fabric cover
- Non-slip handbag for devices
- Intelligent timer and temperature control
Hoace’s foldable infrared sauna may look like other portable saunas I’ve featured above, but this one stands unique for its sturdy PVC hollow board construction topped with polyester in clean gray and dainty pink accent.
This portable infrared sauna is shipped with a seating canvas bench included and a foot pad as part of its 5-spot heating panels. It can heat up from 25 degrees Fahrenheit to its maximum heat of 65 in just minutes.
Perfect for people with limited space, this low-emf portable sauna is easy to set up and pack away quickly as well. The entire thing weighs only 18 pounds and can be assembled by a single person.
- With one year limited warranty
- Sturdy-looking tent thanks to board material used
- Comes with a lightweight folding chair
- Only one color available (two-toned pink and silver)
- Convenient zipper hand access
- Dual pockets for remote controller and devices
- High-quality fabrics
- Multi-level temperature adjustment
I wouldn’t consider this brand and model as one of the best portable infrared saunas, but if you’re coming from a portable steam sauna experience, or is afraid to use infrared heating for your sauna, the BOMEI 1-person infrared sauna is your best choice. It was designed for beginners who want their own sauna at home.
Compared to many FAR infrared saunas on the market, this BOMEI sauna has a super-low EMF rating and just a single heater. It does have all the other design features of a typical sauna box – pockets for devices, zippered front, enough space for 1 person, and the ability to assemble/disassemble the entire unit within minutes.
- Lowest EMF in an infrared sauna
- Used sturdy manufactured wood
- Easy to clean
- Weighs only 15 pounds for quick transport
- No commercial warranty
- Indoor use only
- No seating bench included
- Available in black and silver
- Super stable construction
- 3 low EMF carbon heating panels
The Panjome FAR infrared sauna was designed for people who want their saunas on-the-go. It weighs just 16 pounds and can easily be carried, assembled, and folded back for storage very quickly – no tools necessary.
What’s distinct with Panjome’s sauna is that it comes with a PVC stent, which improves the stability of the entire tent. There are zippers both inside and outside, but with two vents: one that allows you to access the remote controller to adjust power and time and another for a free hand for your reading or other activities.
This portable sauna is equipped with three (3) low EMF ratings carbon fiber heating panels, which provide even heat on the user’s sides, back, and feet. It takes only an average of 5 minutes to heat up, but you can set its timer to an hour (60 minutes) at a time per session.
- Folding chair included
- Low-rated EMF carbon fiber heat panels
- Easy assemble and storage
- Only 6-month limited warranty
- Best for indoor/outdoor sauna use
- Carbon fiber heating elements
- Requires no special plumbing to set-up
Magic Home’s 1-person FAR infrared sauna may look like any other portable indoor personal sauna like the rest of the saunas from this list, but its energy efficiency makes it to this list. It runs at 120-volts and heats up within minutes.
Made of polyester, these rectangular-shaped units (in either black/blue or gray/pink) use infrared heat consistently in areas best needed, such as back and foot. There’s a vent in the standard location at the front, so you can access the remote and adjust time or temperature if needed.
- Low EMF sauna
- Multi-level temperature adjustment
- Wired remote control for temp control
- Zipper hand access
- Comes with a foldable chair
- Full 1-year warranty
- No bench included
- Collapsible design
- Heat adjustment via remote
- Washable high-quality polyester cover
- Indoor and outdoor use
This foldable sauna uses infrared for heating the user’s back, sides, and feet (via its dedicated foot pad) evenly and consistently.
It’s a 1-person portable sauna, but compared to its alternatives, this Sunway infrared portable sauna is bigger (measuring 3′ 3 3/8” height x 5 1/2” width x 2′ 7 1/2” depth) and heavier (it’s a 20-pounder).
- Low EMF levels
- Negative ion infrared heating elements
- Equipped with only 1 heater
- Fits FOUR people
- Lightweight but durable build
- Wired remote for timer and temperature setting
Out of the sea of 1-person saunas come Durasage’s 4-person portable sauna, for those who want to turn their sauna experience into a family thing or “me time” with the friends.
This barrel-shaped sauna is designed with 3 heaters, made of superconductive and ultra-thin carbon fiber heating elements that can heat up in less than 5 minutes. And even if this sauna weighs only 11 pounds, it is extra durable and solidly built.
- Low EMF levels carbon fiber heating elements
- 240 degrees maximum temperature (set between 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, increments of 9 degrees)
- Time setting flexible (set from 5 to 30 minutes, increments of 5 minutes)
- 1-year warranty
- Gets sold out quickly
- Luxurious black and gold color indoor home spa
- Adjustable temperature
- FAR Infrared technology
Crew & Axel’s infrared sauna is eye-catchy, but it impresses even beyond style. It is equipped with 4 FAR infrared heaters, which start-up just within 5 minutes.
Standard sauna features are available, from the remote-controlled settings to the zippered vents that free both the user’s hands during the session. The brain of the unit is located at the back of the tent, while a pocket at the front allows you to keep the remote nearby.
This rectangular, 1-person sauna is crafted with black polyester that’s resistant to rot, rust, mildew, and corrosion. Even the included chair and footpad are UV-resistant and antimicrobial.
- Comes with separate feet heating pad
- Easy-to-clean white foldable chair included
- Low EMF levels
- 1-year warranty
- Indoor use only
What Can you Expect when You Use a Portable Infrared Sauna?
- Sessions can last 45 minutes to an hour. Although this is totally up to your tolerance, it is advisable that beginners start at 15-20m minutes per session.
- For beginners, the frequency of use should be limited to once a week. As you gain more experience, you can use your portable infrared sauna more often.
Although the designs of a portable infrared sauna vary by brand or model, there’s a good chance that you’ll be sitting down on a folding chair throughout an entire session. As such, wear comfortable sweat clothes as you will be sweating a lot.
Can you bring your phone into an infrared sauna?
Even if they are far safer than old-school steam saunas, a portable infrared sauna is still not a place where you could use your cellphones or any other devices willingly. Most modern electronic devices have temperature tolerances, and cannot withstand temperatures higher than 110 degrees and could potentially cause them to explode.
Most portable infrared saunas offer zip-up access holes to free up your arms and hands and get them out of the enclosure so you can use your cellphone or gadget.
Is it OK to sit in a portable far infrared sauna every day?
This is a matter of heat tolerance. There is no exact number for the correct amount of sessions one can have per week. It is best to start with short sessions of 5 minutes, gradually going higher to 15 minutes and as you acclimate your body and get used to the high temperatures, you can work your way up to longer sessions of 30 minutes or a max of 45 minutes.
Most people have reported that they use their portable saunas on average, 3 times a week with an average of 30 minutes per session.
Wrap Up: Are Portable Infrared Saunas Worth it?
While ongoing research is still being done to determine the long-term effects, as of now portable infrared saunas seem to be a safe, inexpensive, and powerful way of bringing the benefits of infrared heat wherever we go. These portable devices are proving to help many people suffering from pain feeling better, and it’s very relaxing.
Historically, heat treatments have been used to help heal the body for thousands of years. “Hot air baths,” steam sauna, and sweat lodges were used to relieving stress, increasing relaxation, and detoxifying among Native Americans, Eastern Europeans, and Ancient Chinese.
About 100 years ago, advancements in sauna therapies were made when “light-near infrared lamp saunas” were first created by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Since this time, they have come along way, and today they are used by holistic practitioners, healers, and hospitals around the world.
Some of the best portable infrared saunas serve as neonatal units to warm up prematurely-born babies. Many of the world’s best athletes rely on a high-end infrared sauna as a form of therapy for strength, endurance training, and recovery. So if you could afford a portable sauna, don’t let anything stop you from taking advantage of the technologies that bring this safe sauna experience to your home or wherever place you want to bring your personal sauna.