Portable Infrared Sauna Buying Guide
Everything you need to know about Saunas

Check our detailed buying guide about portable infrared saunas. Find the best portable FIR sauna to improve your health at the comfort of your home, relax, detox, or lose weight.

Find out what to look for, about advantages and health benefits, and see our recommendation of the best selling models.

In this article

  1. What is a sauna and how does it work?
  2. Types of saunas
  3. What are the portable infrared saunas?
  4. Top sellers
  5. Health benefits
  6. Things to look for

What is a sauna and how does it work?

A sauna is a space heated to temperatures of up to 200 F, making your body sweat and improve your well-being. Saunas can use wood or electricity for heating.

When you sweat due to the higher temperature, toxins are removed from your body, muscles are relaxed, circulation is improved, and the stress level is reduced, so as the stress-related symptoms.

Types of saunas

There are two main types of saunas that can be used indoors and outdoors, both available in different sizes:

  • Wet saunas
  • Dry saunas

Then we have:

  • Steam saunas
  • Far infrared saunas (FIR)
  • Wood-burning saunas
  • Electric saunas
  • Portable saunas

Steam saunas

Steam saunas are designed to use rocks heated by electricity (or wood) and water that you put on the rocks to create a steam effect. Generated temperature is the highest of all types. The steam makes the sauna humid and hot, which enhances sweating.

Fair infrared saunas (FIR)

Fair infrared saunas (FIR) use carbon and ceramic panels to generate infrared heat. Heat panels made of carbon are better because they heat faster and provide uniform heat distribution.

Infrared-induced perspiration is more beneficial than steam saunas because generated heat and light waves can penetrate body tissue much deeper while using less energy.

FIR saunas use less energy since the operating temperatures are lower than in the case of wet saunas. While a “traditional” sauna heats the surrounding air, the FIR type heats your body directly.

Wood-burning saunas

Wood-burning and electric saunas are also designed as dry saunas where the woodstove or electric heater heats the air. Dry saunas generate less heat and therefore use less energy.

Saunas using wood-burning stoves, heated rocks, and water to control humidity are known as “traditional” Finnish saunas. Wood-burning heaters are recommended for large outdoor saunas, while the electric type where convenience is important.

What are the portable infrared saunas?

Portable saunas are available as foldable, made of special fabric, and cabin-type saunas made of wood. Both types have portable construction, which allows you to move the sauna around, easy to assemble and take apart. Either type you buy, you will have an opportunity to enjoy all the benefits sauna provides at the convenience of your home. Both types have very low operating costs.

When talking about cabin-style saunas, a recommendation is to buy a solid wood construction model. Some companies use Cedar, for example, as it is durable and resistant to moisture.

Some sauna manufacturers recommend Hemlock for cabin saunas since it is not a toxic-irritant, and it is much safer in sauna applications than other woods.

Cabin FIR wood saunas should have a strong and sturdy wood construction with a small percent of moisture content, with thick double walls to hold the heat longer while keeping the cold out.

Standard components of portable infrared saunas are the bench for seating, lighting, adjustable temperature and time controller, ceramic or carbon heaters, durable tempered glass windows and doors, vents, CD player, and speakers as an option. They operate on 110 V and utilize ceramic heaters as the preferred type due to their higher efficiency and no plumbing required.

The sauna’s floor should be a removable duckboard for easy maintenance, but not a built-in wooden floor as it is hard to keep sanitary when it accumulates dirt and bacteria.

Wooden cabin saunas are recommended if the space inside your home is not an issue. Otherwise, buy a budget-friendly foldable sauna and receive the same infrared benefits found in the cabin portable infrared sauna. Cabin types are built to accommodate one or more people, while foldable are mainly for a single user.

A great advantage of one-person foldable saunas small and lightweight saunas is their collapsible design that can fold away and out of the site when not in use. Foldable saunas can also include some features found in more expensive saunas. They also provide health benefits, much greater convenience, and lower prices.

These are truly portable home saunas with a body made of collapsible silvery and reflective material with a zippered front. At the top of the sauna, the body is the round opening and slits at the front, so the head and arms can remain outside the sauna. This is what makes this foldable sauna great for those people who would normally find the sauna experience too intense for their health.

Inside the sauna, there is a foldable chair so you can sit comfortably at the correct height. The sauna has far infrared carbon fiber heating panels while the fan circulates the air and, together with the reflective material, distributes the heat evenly. The automatic control is used to provide time and heat control with various levels of heating.

Top sellers

Health benefits of FIR saunas

Far infrared portable saunas (FIR saunas) are the perfect solution for health improvement, to reduce fatigue and everyday stress, as it offers therapy and relaxation for the whole body. The radiant heat from the far-infrared portable sauna penetrates deeply into the body producing a warming, relaxing, and detoxifying effect.

With its gentle FIR waves, Far infrared heat increases the body temperature directly and makes you sweat while soothing the muscles and sore joints and helping the body skin to cleanse from toxins within minutes. It works the same way as the sunlight but without sunburns.

When searching online for health benefits when using FIR saunas, you will find many positive reviews from sauna users. This is the ultimate tool for advanced health benefits that offers a much more comfortable temperature than a conventional hot sauna. Many experts also say that the far infrared sauna is a very safe and economical way to eliminate stored toxins through sweat.

Here is why you should use the far infrared sauna and what it does to your body and health:

  • Increases metabolism.
  • Relieves nervous tension.
  • It rejuvenates and beautifies the skin.
  • It helps in losing and controlling weight as it burns more calories. Improves and clears cellulite.
  • Relieves pain and aches such as chronic pain, arthritis, rheumatism.
  • It helps to improve sports injuries.
  • Eases joint stiffness, soreness, and muscle spasms.
  • Gives a positive result for sufferers of Fibromyalgia.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • Increases cardiac output without extra stress on the heart.
  • Improves the immune system.
  • Reduces the number of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

Words of caution

If you have health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or any other health issues, you should avoid using saunas or at least consult your MD.

Whenever using a portable far infrared sauna, limit your time, drink plenty of water, and always use directions from the manual.

What to look for

  • Electromagnetic field (EMF) – check the rating of your FIR sauna; it should not exceed the recommended number (0.3mG).
  • Wood type. For wood saunas, check the wood type. Cedarwood is the most popular.
  • Location where to install your sauna. Choose an indoor location for regions with a colder climate and an outdoor location for a mild climate.
  • Voltage. Make sure to use a dedicated outlet with the recommended voltage.
  • Size. When buying a sauna, you have to take into account how many people will be using it. Small, portable models are usually made for one or two people.
  • Accessories. You can get a sauna with many accessories, including the lighting, thermometer, hygrometer, glass doors, timer, entertainment features, seat cushion, towel bars, headrest, backrest, water bucket, essential oils, and others. Most of the functions are conveniently available at the control panel.


Portable infrared saunas come with many benefits. It beautifies and revitalizes your body, improves your health condition so you will sleep and work better... actually you will feel better all day long.

Should you buy a portable infrared sauna that is foldable or a cabin type that is much stronger and durable?

Depends on your budget. Cabin types are over $1000, but they last longer, look nicer, provide better comfort, while foldable are around $200 have a truly portable design and can be installed anywhere – fast and easy. Affordability and ease of use make them a good choice for homeowners.

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