What's the difference between these types of saunas? And why do we prefer  infrared sauna therapy?

Infrared Sauna Vs Traditional Sauna

Bathing in heat is an ancient practice, dating back thousands of years across many cultures. Most often, when people think of a sauna, they imagine an extremely hot room where they pour water over hot rocks to produce steam. These features describe a traditional sauna. With the newer technology of an infrared sauna, there's now a much more comfortable, effective way to enjoy the incredible benefits of sauna therapy. At Flow Method Wellness, we use state-of-the-art FAR infrared saunas, and they differ to traditional saunas on many levels. We'll explain the differences below.


The biggest and most noticeable difference between the two types of sauna is heat. A traditional sauna sits around 80-90°C, and an infrared sauna sits at a lower heat of 45-60°C. The lower, more bearable heat in an infrared sauna allows you to spend longer experiencing the therapeutic benefits from your session. 

Heating method

Heating a traditional sauna most often involves an electric heater that heats a compartment of stones, which then radiate the heat throughout the room. This traditional method of sauna bathing heats your body from the outside because it needs to heat the air in the sauna before it can actually heat you. In an infrared sauna, infrared thermal light is emitted through panels that penetrate the body to raise its core temperature, heating you from the inside. To achieve an increased body temperature, infrared emitters create infrared wavelengths which are close to the same wavelength that the body naturally emits—often referred to as the "Vital Range” of 7 to 14 microns, so the energy is well received by the body.


Image of hot rocks in a traditional sauna - Image: Wolszczak - Fotolia

Image: At Flow Method Wellness, our saunas use 8 carbon fibre panels that surround the sauna cabin for an even distribution of heat.


A traditional sauna heats the surface of your skin. Whereas, infrared has the ability to penetrate below the skin layers. Infrared light penetrates the body up to 4cm deep; reaching muscles, nerves and even the bones.


Infrared light is safe. It's even for infants in neonatal intensive care. Unlike ultraviolet light - which has damaging effects upon the tissues and cells of the body - infrared light helps cells regenerate or repair themselves.

In summary, infrared saunas use a lower temperature, allowing you to more comfortably enjoy your sweat session for longer periods of time. It's a much more relaxed session, where you can more comfortably release physical and mental tension. Infrared penetrates your body more deeply than a traditional sauna, allowing it's healing heat to reach your muscles, nerves and bones. 

If you haven't yet experienced the incredible difference of an infrared sauna, click here to book in a session with us.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.