Infrared saunas have been around for centuries and offer a wide range of health benefits. But now a new device is gaining popularity on the market — infrared sauna blankets. Do they offer the same benefits as traditional saunas? And are there any risks associated with using it?
Below we will consider information about infrared sauna blankets, as well as the scientifically proven benefits of using them. In addition, we will look at fact vs fiction for these devices, so you can be 100% sure of your choice.
How do infrared sauna blankets work?
Infrared blankets are a compact and easy-to-use version of a classic infrared sauna.
These devices work by emitting infrared light that penetrates deeply into the body. Light waves increase the temperature of the tissue and cells found within your body, approximately 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) beneath the skin’s surface, by converting that light into cellular energy. It means that the light goes through your skin, fat tissue, and all membranes causing beneficial changes within the body.
Infrared sauna blankets are very efficient in that they emit over 95% of their radiation within the infrared (IR) range, unlike traditional saunas which can radiate up to 50% above the skin’s surface.
This means your body receives more energy and benefits from it. This type of system is perfect for weight loss, muscle relaxation, increasing blood circulation, improving skin health, pain relief, and promoting a healthy immune system.
Proven benefits of infrared sauna blankets
Infrared sauna blankets are the latest innovation in saunas. The benefits of infrared sauna blankets can help you live a healthier life without ever leaving home or breaking your budget.
Below are some of the proven benefits of infrared sauna blankets.
Infrared sauna blankets increase blood flow dramatically reducing wrinkles and sagging skin by increasing collagen production.
In a study , 20 patients with mild to moderate facial wrinkles were treated with far-infrared radiation (900 to 1000 μm) daily for six months. It was found that the content of collagen and elastin increased after infrared irradiation. After 6 months of treatment, all patients reported a good (51-75%) improvement in skin texture and roughness. Additionally, patients note a moderate (25-50%) improvement in skin tone.
Infrared sauna blankets emit far infrared rays which penetrate deep inside the body restoring balance and relieving pain.
In a study  17 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated over 4 weeks with a series of eight infrared sauna treatments. As a result, the pain and stiffness were relieved. Patients felt comfortable during and especially after treatment.
Sauna induces perspiration which eliminates toxins from the body. Infrared sauna blankets produce dry heat which tells your body to sweat more resulting in weight loss.
The study  involved 45 overweight men. They underwent four sessions of infrared saunas of 10 minutes each. As a result, it was noted that this treatment led to a significant decrease in body weight (0.65 kg per session).
Improving mental health
Infrared sauna blankets produce relaxing heat, relieving stress and rejuvenating the body. They are also known to increase serotonin, a feel-good hormone.
A study  examined a group of 28 mildly depressed patients with appetite loss and subjective symptoms. Half of the patients were treated with infrared sauna therapy once a day for four weeks, while the other half were given bed rest for four weeks. The group that received infrared sauna therapy for depression showed statistically significant improvements in somatic complaints, hunger, and relaxation in comparison to the control group.
Improvement of the cardiovascular system
Sauna encourages blood flow which reduces pressure on the heart.
In a study , 30 patients with congestive heart failure were divided into two groups. 20 people were treated with an infrared sauna, while the remaining 10 were treated with a placebo. The groups were given ten 15-minute sessions over 2 weeks. There were no side effects or changes in liver or kidney function. As a result, clinical symptoms improved in 17 out of 20 patients in the group. A decrease in cholesterol has been noted, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The general condition of the patients also improved.
Boosting the immune system
Sauna increases blood flow, enhances oxygen intake, and removes toxins that boost your immune system.
The study  included two groups. The first group (25 people) used the sauna, the other group (25) abstained from this or similar procedures. Both groups recorded the frequency, duration, and severity of colds for six months. In the infrared sauna group, there were 2 times fewer cold episodes.
Fact vs. fiction of infrared sauna blankets
Infrared sauna blankets are the most recent and convenient gadgets that promote health and wellness. But how true are the claims that these blankets make?
Let’s take a closer look at them to sort out the facts from fiction.
✔ Fact: Infrared sauna blankets reduce pain
Infrared sauna therapy has been shown to ease various types of pain, including muscle tension, chronic neck and back pain. Scientific research has demonstrated infrared therapy’s benefits for pain reduction.
❌ Fiction: Infrared sauna blankets can replace exercise
Sauna blankets are not a substitute for physical activity. Infrared light interacts with the natural metabolic process of the body, accelerating the regeneration and removal of excess water from the body, thereby losing kilograms. However, to keep fit, you still need to exercise.
✔ Fact: Infrared sauna blankets improve circulation
Infrared therapy increases blood flow, which helps oxygenate the skin and muscles. Increased skin temperature also boosts the immune system and acts as a detoxifier by opening up the pores and allowing toxins to escape.
❌ Fiction: Infrared sauna blankets fight cancer
No scientific research has shown a direct correlation between infrared sauna therapy and cancer treatment. However, the American Cancer Society states that infrared light may be beneficial for symptoms associated with cancer treatments such as fatigue or pain.
✔ Fact: Infrared sauna blankets boost energy levels
Infrared sauna therapy may feel invigorating because of the release of toxins after sessions. Improved circulation can lead to better oxygenation of cells, which often leaves users feeling revitalized and energized.
❌ Fiction: Infrared sauna blankets cure insomnia
Although infrared sauna therapy is known to ease stress, there are no studies that show this particular therapy alleviates insomnia. However, some experts do say that relaxation infrared therapy can be beneficial for those with sleep problems.
Are there risks with using infrared sauna blankets?
Infrared sauna blankets are safe for most people and work well to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain, detoxify your body and boost energy. However, you should know about a couple of risks involved with using infrared sauna blankets.
- Wounds or open sores: Sitting in an infrared sauna blanket for too long may cause your skin to burn. This is especially true with people who have thin skin and/or sunburn, diabetes, fragile veins, and cancer.
- Reactions: Some people might experience allergic reactions from using the blanket. If you start to feel itchy or get a rash, redness, or swelling around the area where the blanket is pressing against your body, get out of the sauna immediately.
- Flammability: The infrared sauna blankets can heat up to temperatures of about 140°F. Wearing anything flammable (like nylon, acetate, or rayon) may cause burns or a fire. To avoid this risk, wear loose-fitting clothes made of natural materials like cotton.
- Other risks: There are also other risks related to using an infrared sauna blanket that isn’t as common, such as hyperthermia and dehydration. To keep this from happening, drink plenty of water while you are in the sauna blanket and get out if you feel dizzy or sick.
Also, be sure to follow the guidelines for use as stated in the instruction manual. Doing it will help keep you safe and allow enjoy all of the benefits of using an infrared sauna blanket.
How to prepare for an infrared sauna session
Infrared sauna blankets become more and more popular among those who want to have a healthy lifestyle.
But sometimes people don’t know where to start using an infrared blanket. What should they do before entering an infrared sauna blanket? Is it better to drink water or not? How long can they stay inside?
Below is a checklist that will help you to prepare for your infrared sauna blanket session.
- Drink a glass of water for 30 min. before your session
It will help you to stay hydrated and also help your body to eliminate wastes through urine and sweat after the session.
- It is recommended to take a shower before an infrared sauna session
You will feel refreshed and clean if you do it, but make sure that your skin doesn’t get wet when the blanket is turned on. The temperature inside can reach 140°F, so if you wet your hair or any other part of your body water will evaporate and you can get burned.
- If possible, wear light clothing (for example, cotton)
That will allow the infrared waves to penetrate your body easier and you will feel more comfortable during a session. It is not recommended to wear anything synthetic due to this material the heat will be trapped between your skin and clothes and it can cause irritation.
- It is best to put off all of your jewelry
Especially metal things such as earrings, chains, and bracelets because they can heat up during a sauna session and burn you or cause damage.
- The first infrared sauna session should not last longer than 20 minutes
You can extend your session time after you become more experienced with this method of relaxation, but it is recommended to start with shorter sessions to allow your body to adjust better. It can take 10 minutes for the body to heat up and release heat, so count from that point.
📌 If you have any medical conditions or you are not sure whether an infrared sauna blanket is good for your health, talk to your doctor before using it.
Infrared sauna blankets become a new growing section of heat therapy. They can produce deep penetrating heat that has many similarities with the traditional sauna. However, the infrared sauna blanket can be used any time, especially when there is no access to a traditional sauna or the conditions for their use are difficult.
The use of infrared is the latest advancement in the treatment of various medical conditions through exposure to heat therapy. The infrared sauna blanket has been clinically tested for many benefits, such as providing relief from pain and inflammation. Also, the infrared sauna blanket has been experienced to positively affect patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and many more.
Infrared heat therapy is considered to be a safe and effective treatment for various conditions. But make sure to consult with your health care provider before you start any heat therapy.
🧐 What is an infrared sauna blanket?
The infrared sauna blanket is a heating device that emits near-infrared rays to promote healing benefits for the body.
❓ What is the difference between an infrared sauna and a traditional one?
The heating process of an infrared sauna is based on near-ultraviolet light, while a traditional one uses heat that spreads throughout the area. This makes it much more efficient in terms of relieving pain and improving blood circulation.
🔍 What are infrared sauna blankets good for?
Infrared sauna blankets expose you to near-infrared rays, which can promote anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects. At the same time, they improve circulation and detoxification.
📌 Which risks are associated with infrared sauna blankets?
Infrared sauna blankets emit near-infrared rays. Near-infrared irradiation can cause burning of the skin if used at high power for a long time. To avoid this, users should always start with low power.
- Ju Hee Lee, Mi Ryung Roh, and Kwang Hoon Lee. Effects of Infrared Radiation on Skin Photo-Aging and Pigmentation. – Yonsei Med J. 2006 Aug 31; 47(4): 485–490. Published online 2006 Aug 31. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2006.47.4.485.
- Fredrikus G. J. Oosterveld, Johannes J Rasker, Mark Floors, Robert Landkroon, Bob van Rennes, Jan Zwijnenberg, Mart A. F. J. van de Laar, Gerard J. Koel. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. – Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Jan;28(1):29-34. DOI: 10.1007/s10067-008-0977-y. E-pub 2008 Aug 7.
- Robert Podstawski, Krzysztof Borysławski, Cain C. T. Clark, Dariusz Choszcz, Kevin J. Finn, and Piotr Gronek. Correlations between Repeated Use of Dry Sauna for 4 x 10 Minutes, Physiological Parameters, Anthropometric Features, and Body Composition in Young Sedentary and Overweight Men: Health Implications. – Biomed Res Int. 2019; 2019: 753514.
- Richard Beever. Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. – Can Fam Physician. 2009 Jul; 55(7): 691–696.
- E. Ernst, E. Pecho, P. Wirz, T. Saradeth. Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds. – Ann Med. 1990;22(4):225-7. doi: 10.3109/07853899009148930.