We all love to relax and one of the best ways of doing so is a good sauna session. Saunas are well known and loved around the world for their many health benefits.
In the last several years we saw the emergence of a new member on a saunas spectrum (no pun intended) ‒ Infrared saunas.
Higher Dose Infrared Sauna Blanket V3
Mood-enhancing sauna blanket
The warm and cozy blanket gets the bad mood and toxins out of your body making you happier and healthier.
Altratech Far Infrared Sauna Blanket
Most effective for cellulite treatment
Serves as additional treatment for cellulite, see the first results after a month of use.
MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket
Easy to carry everywhere
Be sure this blanket will be with you everywhere due to its compact size and carry-on bag for transportation.
Vinmax Far Infrared Sauna Blanket
Very hot and comfortable to relax in it and scroll social media or read a book.
Gizmo Supply Far Infrared Sauna Blanket
Best for use on specific body parts
Decide what part of the body you want to warm up, heal and relax with three heating zones for upper body, waist, and lower body.
TTLIFE Far Infrared Sauna Blanket
Try out when on a budget
Perfect for those who want to try sauna blanket and not to spend the fortune on additional features.
Infrared (IR) saunas became popular very fast not without a reason. There are plenty of science-backed health benefits of infrared (IR) therapy from cardiovascular system improvement and chronic pain relief to cellulite reduction and skin improvement.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit with its restrictions, people started to look for an at-home version of their favorite saunas and discovered Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Blankets or simply Infrared Sauna Blanket as they are usually called.
These sauna blankets became a huge trend in 2020 thanks to celebrities, athletes, and influencers who praised their benefits. But what about now, when we can go back to wellness centers and regular saunas? Are Infrared Sauna Blankets still worth the hype? In short, yes, if you do not mind being snuggled tightly while sweating profusely.
Now, let’s start from the beginning.
What is an infrared sauna blanket and how does it work?
Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Blanket is essentially an Infrared Sauna in the form of a blanket (or rather a sleeping bag). Unlike IR saunas that use a wider spectrum, FIR sauna blankets use only infrared radiation without actual visible light.
The reason IR is so widely popular is that IR rays can penetrate soft tissue up to an inch and a half, into muscles and fat, warming the body and opening blood vessels. Warming up your body from the inside and not the temperature around you. This also means that you don’t need to turn the heat on as high, making it less intense than a regular sauna experience.
The benefits of using the blankets
The benefits of using Infrared saunas include:
- Cardiovascular system support
- Skin improvement
- Weight loss assistance
- Any sport-related injuries and pains
- Joint stiffness
- Chronic muscle and joint pains
- Menstrual cramps
- Hamstring tears
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Injuries (shoulder, tight, knee, calf, etc.)
- Chronic fatigue
Additionally, these sauna blankets can be used to help with cellulite treatment. They are an effective method in dealing with cellulite as well as another one based on light therapy — Ultrasonic Cavitation Treatment. Many users of infrared blankets notice skin improvement as soon as one week of use.
Differences in sauna blankets
Depending on the brand, there are single, two, and three heating zones sauna blankets with a temperature range of 30-80°C (86 – 176°F). If you have two or three-zone blankets, you can adjust the temperature to each zone. For example, the sauna blanket can be 178-190 cm (70 – 75 inch) long, but if you are 165 cm (5’4’’) tall, you will not need the lower part of the blanket to be as hot as the rest of it, with separate heating zones it is easy to achieve.
All FIR sauna blankets use the same principle for producing the heat (infrared heating element), however different brands use different materials in their products. Top-of-the-line models such as HigherDOSE sauna blankets have incorporated the use of Tourmaline stones in their design.
Tourmaline stones are great heat conductors and they emit negative ions when heated. This makes the stones a perfect companion to infrared heat as they increase the intensity of the healing capacity of infrared rays . Additionally, Tourmaline has been proven to help kidneys and liver, organs responsible for ridding our bodies of toxins.
When choosing a sauna blanket you should pay attention to the materials it is made of. The materials should be heat-resistant, EMF (harmful electro-magnetic fields) blocking, waterproof and non-toxic. As sauna blankets are heating devices that use electricity, they can emit electromagnetic waves, however, if designed properly the infrared sauna blankets have low-to-zero EMF and are completely safe to use.
How to use Infrared Sauna Blankets
To start using an Infrared sauna blanket, place the blanket on a flat surface (your bed, couch, massage table, floor), put the towel in, plug it and set the temperature. Usually, it takes around 10 minutes for the blanket to heat up.
✔ It is recommended to wear cotton clothes from neck to toe, including socks. However, it is not necessary and will not affect the intensity of sweating.
📌 Make sure you are well hydrated. It is essential to be hydrated before and after using FIR sauna blankets, especially if used daily because you will be sweating a lot. Try drinking a gallon of water every day if you are using a sauna blanket daily.
✔ Prepare a pillow, face towel, and water. You can pull your hands out during the session to use your phone or read an e-book.
✔ Once your blanket is heated, slip inside, put a towel over your shoulders (it will collect sweat from your neck and you can wipe your face with it), and close the blanket.
Enjoy your sweating session!
When not to use infrared sauna blanket
Infrared sauna blankets can be used by virtually any adult, however, there are several precautions where you should avoid or limit using them.
❌ If you are pregnant, do not use the sauna blanket as it is a risk same as any other type of sauna.
❗ Avoid using the sauna blanket if you have a high fever. It is best to wait for your body to fight off the fever and then resume your sauna sessions.
❌ Avoid using sauna blankets under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such substances in your system disrupt the ability of blood vessels to expand, so they will not be able to accommodate increased blood flow. As a result, pressure can get critically high and lead to rupture of the vessel, resulting in bleeding (at best, nasal) and hemorrhages, including in the brain.
❗ Do not use a sauna blanket if you are dehydrated or feel lightheaded. Give yourself time, hydrate, and only after feeling better go in and use lower temperature settings.
Best Infrared Sauna Blankets
Very popular among celebrities and influencers, HigherDOSE was the best-selling infrared sauna blanket in 2020. Lauren Berlingeri, a co-founder of the brand, is a certified holistic nutritionist and health coach and was first introduced to infrared technology while working for a health and wellness startup. She tried an infrared sauna and was instantly hooked. Berlingeri then researched everything surrounding infrared technology from its benefits to safeness and concluded that infrared saunas were going to be the next hottest trend.
HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 is a low EMF (electromagnetic fields) one heating zone Far Infrared (FIR) sauna blanket with a hand-held controller with 8 levels of heat intensity that goes from 20°C (68°F) up to 70°C (158°F).
The sauna blanket is designed to comfortably fit a 190 cm (6’3’’) tall person and is made of high-quality waterproof Polyurethane (PU) and fireproof cotton with a layer of Amethyst Tourmaline crystals and medical-grade magnetic strips for best performance.
The company offers a 1-year limited warranty and 14 days return of an unopened product.
For a budget-friendly infrared sauna blanket, Altratech Far Infrared Sauna Blanket is a good choice. This well-designed sauna blanket is made of high-grade Oxford Fabric that is skin-friendly and durable at the same time. The use of this fabric makes the Altratech FIR sauna blanket 40% more durable than other sauna blankets in this price category.
The size of this sauna blanket is 178 by 80 cm (70 by 31.5 inches) when closed and it has two heating zones.
When heating up sauna blankets of such design, make sure to open them fully so the inner sides of the blanket are not in contact with each other. Also, use body wraps that come with the purchase.
This upgraded model has an overheating protection design that will automatically stop heating and disconnect the power when the maximum safe temperature of 85°C (185°F) is reached, and the alarm will go off for one minute.
Although infrared sauna blankets of this grade will not last as long as previous models we looked at in this article, it is definitely worth the try. With good care, the blanket can easily be used for 100+ sessions.
The brand was launched last year, in the middle of the pandemic lockdowns, by two best mates from Australia and was able to ride the wave of demand for at-home wellness equipment.
MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket is not the only product in its particular niche, but it is perhaps the most refined with its smallest controller that is easy to operate while inside the blanket.
This blanket operates at 25 – 75°C (77 – 177°F) temperature and has a low EMF (electromagnetic fields) infrared heating element. MiHIGH sauna blanket made with high-quality non-toxic materials, easily foldable, compact and comes with a carry-on bag for transportation.
The company also offers a 30-day risk-free trial, international shipping, and 1-year warranty.
Vinmax Far Infrared Sauna Blanket is a new product that looks very budding.
This blanket promises to be one step closer to the infrared sauna experience with its special coating that reflects 97% of the body’s infrared rays into you. That way, it can warm up your body from head to toe at a lower temperature (25-80°C) than an actual sauna (80-110°C). People who cannot be in rooms with high temperatures due to certain diseases (hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc) will definitely benefit from this sauna blanket.
The owners note an improvement in a strengthening of the immune system which helped them overcome the flu and colds. In addition, after using Vinmax, many detect an enhancement in complexion and overall skin condition. It is also a great way to reduce weight and eliminate toxins from the body as well as reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
This device is identical in size to the TTLIFE Far Infrared Sauna Blanket and also has a similar auto-off function to avoid scalding your skin.Also, this blanket has 2 zippers so that you can free your hands and enjoy the warmth while scrolling social networks or reading a book.
Gizmo Supply Far Infrared Sauna Blanket
Gizmo Supply Far Infrared Sauna Blanket is a product that is used as a wrap to help with detoxification, promotes healing and skin regeneration as well as relaxation. And these are just some of the benefits.
The blanket is made of waterproof material with flexible stretchability even in different positions. It helps you maximize the whole-body heating effect of your sauna.
It has three independent heating zones: upper body, waist, and lower body. This makes it easier to use on certain parts of the body. The temperature is adjustable from 30 to 80 Celsius (86 to 176 Fahrenheit). In addition, this device, like the Altratech Infrared Sauna Blanket, has an overheating protection design as well as a timer for up to 60 minutes to help you record the time spent in this blanket.
Another affordable option, the TTLIFE FIR sauna blanket offers two heating zones with a temperature range of 35 – 75°C (95 – 176°F) and is made with waterproof PVC.
It is slightly bigger than the previous model with 180 by 80 cm (70.8 by 31.5 inch) dimensions in closed form and has zippers on both sides of the blanket.
The blanket also has an overheating protection design that will automatically stop heating and disconnect the power when the maximum safe temperature of 85°C (185°F) is reached.
The science behind Infrared Sauna Blankets
As of now, there’s little to no research on infrared sauna blankets in particular, just on infrared saunas in general, so we will focus on relevant research studies in this article.
First of all, infrared rays and infrared therapy have been researched and studied for decades, IR is so safe it is regularly used in hospitals for newborn babies to keep them warm.
The use of far-infrared saunas for medical treatment is based on deep skin-penetration of the radiation to restore homeostasis of thermal regulation.
In sedentary patients suffering from osteoarthritis or cardiovascular respiratory problems, far-infrared saunas could be applied as an alternative to moderate exercise. They produce therapeutic effects without any adverse effects on congestive heart failure, premature ventricular contractions, brain natriuretic peptide levels, vascular endothelial function, weight loss, oxidative stress, or chronic fatigue .
It has been known for decades that sweating is a wonderful way to get rid of stored chemicals. Daily sauna sessions can help detoxify the body from heavy metals (lead, mercury, nickel, and cadmium)  as well as alcohol, nicotine, sulfuric acid, and other organic and inorganic compounds.
Dr. Richard Beever published a review of available data in the literature about the health benefits of far-infrared saunas for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. Although the research data is limited, in the key points he notes that due to lower temperatures in infrared saunas (FIRs) compared to regular saunas, FIRs are preferable for people who suffer from various medical conditions like cardiovascular problems, osteoarthritis, or respiratory problems [1, 3, 4].
Chronic heart failure induces vascular endothelial dysfunction. It has been demonstrated that IR sauna therapy improves vascular endothelial dysfunction  and improves cardiac and vascular function in patients with chronic heart failure [1, 4, 6]. The results of the clinical trials show that the use of Far-infrared saunas decreases oxidative stress (helps to detoxify the blood) in patients with these conditions.
A group of doctors in North York, Ontario conducted a study on IR therapy for chronic low back pain and found IR therapy to be effective in reducing chronic low back pain, with no adverse effects .
For their study, doctors conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients suffering from chronic low back pain. The results are shown in ‘Figure 1’ where the infrared wrap treatment group ‒ is ‘group 0’ and the placebo group ‒ is ‘group 1’.
In one study , the researchers tested whether the use of infrared sauna benefits patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. The results showed that fatigue levels significantly decreased, anxiety and depression improved, and no patients felt any adverse effects during and after the therapy .
Researchers from the Saxion University of Applied Science in the Netherlands showed that infrared sauna treatment healed chronic pain and fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis .
Other studies have shown that time spent in an infrared sauna can bring relief from different forms of arthritis. Much of the normal stiffness, aches, and pains that come with aging can be lessened with regular sauna usage [9, 10–13, 18].
The controlled clinical trial was conducted for cellulite treatment. Twenty women of different ages (25-57 years) and skin phototypes (I-V) with moderate bilateral cellulite were treated biweekly and received eight treatments total to a randomly selected side. Results were evaluated using photography and circumferential leg measurements. Final post-treatment body weight and patients’ subjective evaluations were also recorded.
The results have shown that 90% (18/20) of patients noticed overall clinical improvement and effects of treatment appear to be prolonged .
Several studies have reported that IR can improve the healing of skin wounds, photo-aging prevention, pigmentation, and collagen production [1, 16, 17].
A single infrared full-body session helps individuals lose as many calories as they would in a 30-minute cardio workout. This is achieved due to an increment in your heart rate to ‘cardio zone’ (120–140bpm).
When used regularly, at least three times per week for a 45-minute session, it is possible to lose up to 4% in body fat in 16 weeks . In the conducted study participants did not change their exercise or diet patterns during the study, and showed, on average, a loss of around 0.5% per week of body fat.
Researchers found that infrared saunas were preferable for exercise recovery. In a conducted study on 10 healthy physically active male volunteers who had on various days either a 60 min hypertrophic strength training session (STS) or a 34–40 min maximal endurance training session (ETS). The study compared recovery using FIRS (Far Infrared Sauna) and TRAD (Finnish Sauna) and found FIRS to be more favorable due to mild temperature and IR heat ability to penetrate deep into fat tissue and neuromuscular system .
Infrared sauna blankets have proved themselves to be a worthy competitor to regular IR saunas and keep getting more popular in people’s households and wellness centers.
The benefits are hard to ignore and include improvement in physical, emotional, and mental state. Doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists use infrared every day in clinics and hospitals around the world to ameliorate pain, heal skin conditions, increase flexibility and generally help heal the body.
True, the idea of sweating in a sleeping bag may not sound so appealing, but with high-quality products available now on the market, the experience is nothing more but pleasurable.
💯Do sauna blankets really work?
Yes. You will get a good sweat session in the infrared sauna blanket. The process differs from a regular sauna and it will take a little longer to break the sweat. Allow the first 20 minutes to be a ‘warm up’ for your body and then enjoy your sweat session.
⚠Are infrared sauna blankets safe?
Infrared sauna blankets use infrared rays to warm the body, raise the core temperature and make you sweat. Infrared rays directly heat the surface of the skin and penetrate much deeper, heating the tissues and joints. By producing only the infrared rays and not the whole spectrum, infrared sauna blankets make the treatment completely safe.
❗What are the dangers of infrared sauna blankets?
Infrared sauna blankets are completely safe to use, however, if you do not drink water during the day and before going into the blanket you might get lightheaded because of dehydration. So make sure to hydrate your body. Drink at least half a gallon of water during the day before going into the blanket. If you are using the blanket in the morning make sure to drink at least a full glass of water before your session. You should not make your sessions more than 50 minutes long for the same reasons.
‼Can I lose weight using a sauna blanket?
At the time of writing this article, there are no studies on long-term weight-loss effects from using infrared sauna blankets. It is definitely possible that using an infrared sauna blanket will aid in your weight loss program.
⚕Does infrared sauna blanket help with chronic pain?
The studies have shown that time spent in an infrared sauna can bring relief from different forms of arthritis. Much of the normal stiffness, aches, and pains that come with aging can be lessened with regular sauna usage.
🧦Do I need to wear clothes when using a sauna blanket?
It is not necessary to wear clothes when using a sauna blanket. You can use a towel or single-use sauna bags to help with the sweat collection and cleaning process. It is, however, recommended to wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants with socks of natural materials for the best experience.
✨How to clean a sauna blanket?
After use, allow your blanket to cool down and simply wipe it with a cloth. The best option is to use an antibacterial wipe or a homemade solution of vinegar with tea tree, lavender, or thyme essential oil.
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