Far-Infrared vs Near-Infrared

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By Admin3

Published: May 27, 2022


Dry saunas are some of the most popular relaxation and detoxification tools around the world.

Dry saunas used to be heated by wood fires or electric ovens. But, as with everything around the world that has become technologically advanced, so have dry saunas.

Dry saunas can now be heated with infrared electromagnetic radiation. To make it a little bit more complicated, the infrared electromagnetic radiation that is used can either be far-infrared or near-infrared.

So, which is better?

In this article, we will be discussing far-infrared vs near-infrared, and what the similarities and differences between the two are. This will hopefully allow you to decide which method is better for you. Related: Types of Saunas

Far-Infrared Versus Near-Infrared

Far-InfraredNear-Infrared
Light Penetrates The BodyNot very wellYes, up to 5 mm
Emits EMFsYes, harmful levelsVery low levels
Method Of HeatingInfrared light further down the visible spectrumInfrared light closer to the visible spectrum
Light AbsorptionWater in your bodySkin
Temperature110 – 130 ºF110 – 130 ºF
Health BenefitsYesYes

Light Penetration

Both types of infrared saunas work by heating your body from the inside out.

Near-infrared light is able to penetrate your skin up to about 5 mm deep. If the light spectrum is lower (closer to 700 nm) then it is able to penetrate the skin deeper.

Far-infrared light, on the other hand, is only able to penetrate your skin at about 0.1 mm. This is because of the difference in wavelengths between the two, and as a result, far infrared light is mainly absorbed by the water in your body.

EMFs Emitted

EMFs (electromagnetic fields) are invisible fields of energy that flow out of all matter. Not all EMFs are a health risk, though. The ones that are, are EMFs that flow out of electronic devices.

Studies have shown that too much EMF exposure at harmful levels can be dangerous for humans, and can even have carcinogenic effects.

For this reason, we want to limit high EMF exposure as much as possible.

Unfortunately, far infrared saunas emit quite a high amount of EMFs. This can become quite dangerous if you use a far infrared sauna frequently.

Fortunately, on the other hand, near-infrared saunas emit much lower levels of EMFs, which make them safer for you in the long run.

Method Of Heating

Both infrared saunas use infrared light to heat your body from the inside out, unlike traditional dry and wet saunas that heat your body from the outside in.

Because of this, the sauna room is free of moisture and humidity, and not as hot, making it a much more pleasurable experience than a dry or wet sauna for some people.

Health Benefits

Both far and near-infrared saunas come with a plethora of health benefits. The health benefits that they have are pretty similar, but a far infrared sauna is better known for its detoxification properties, and a near-infrared sauna has the ability to rejuvenate and heal cells.

The other health benefits that they both contain are the ability to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, enhance athletic recovery, reduce joint pain, increase relaxation, improve sleep, and enhance your mood and energy.

Far-Infrared Or Near-Infrared

Far-Infrared

Far-infrared saunas have been around for many years since the first one was patented in 1965. Far-infrared saunas use infrared light to heat your body from the inside out.

Due to this, they are able to operate at 110 – 130 ºF, which makes them much cooler than traditional saunas.

As we mentioned earlier, far-infrared lights can only penetrate your skin up to about 0.1 mm, which isn’t very deep. Because of this, there might be a few benefits that you miss out on.

Another aspect of far infrared saunas that stands out to us, and not in a good way, is the high and harmful levels of EMFs that they emit.

Nowadays, we are constantly surrounded by EMFs, which isn’t a good thing. So, we should be trying to limit our exposure to EMFs, not enhancing it through the use of far-infrared light.

Regardless, far infrared saunas do still have numerous health benefits. The most notable ones are improvements to cardiovascular health, improved circulation, relief of joint pain, detoxification, weight loss, and lowered blood pressure.

While these benefits are great, you need to take into account whether they are enough to outweigh the downside of the harmful EMF exposure you will be getting in a far infrared sauna.

Additionally, it is also much more costly to have a far infrared sauna. Their setup, maintenance, and energy consumption are much higher than that of a near-infrared sauna.

Pros

Cons

Comfortable environment to sit-in

High and harmful EMF exposure

Not too hot

Little skin penetration

Excessive thirst is not usually an issue as with traditional saunas

Might not be as effective as near-infrared light

Health benefits

More expensive than a near-infrared sauna

If you have low blood pressure, hypotension might be a concern

Some people may find dry heat uncomfortable

Near-Infrared

Near-infrared saunas are a bit newer to the scene but are definitely taking it by storm.

Similar to far-infrared saunas, near-infrared saunas heat your body from the inside out by using near-infrared light. Because it is your body that is being heated, and not so much the air around you, these types of saunas make for a much more comfortable and pleasant experience.

One of the best things about near-infrared saunas, besides all the health benefits that they induce, is that they emit very low levels of EMFs, unlike their counterparts.

This is a huge bonus, as it can be quite dangerous to willfully expose yourself to harmful levels of EMFs, and something that you want to avoid if you can.

The most notable health benefits that come with using a near-infrared sauna are its regenerative properties that help them to heal wounds and eye damage and has improved eyesight for older than 40. Near-infrared light also helps to stimulate ATP production which leaves you with heightened energy and moods.

Near-infrared saunas also help with pain relief, cellular health, lowered blood pressure, improved sleep, and cardiovascular health.

It is also important to note that it is much cheaper and easier, in terms of setup and maintenance, to own a near-infrared sauna.

Pros

Cons

Less EMF emission

If you have low blood pressure, hypotension might be a concern

Cheaper to buy and run

Some people may find dry heat uncomfortable

Comfortable environment to sit in

Very low risks

Plethra of health benefits

Rejuvenation properties

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Stay In An Infrared Sauna For Longer Than A Traditional Dry Or Wet Sauna?

Yes, you can.

If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start with 10 minutes, and work your way up. If you are a regular infrared sauna, regardless of it being a near or far sauna, you can stay in it for as long as 40 – 50 minutes.

This is a huge difference from traditional saunas that recommend 10 – 15 minutes, and no longer than 30 minutes.

Are Far And Near Infrared Saunas Safe?

Yes, they are. Besides far infrared saunas emitting quite a high amount of EMFs, they are generally safe to use.

As long as you make sure you stay hydrated, that your body temperature doesn’t soar too high, and don’t have any medical conditions or implants, then there are no direct dangers of infrared saunas.

Is A Near Infrared Sauna Better Than A Far Infrared Sauna?

Although this does come down to your preference, we generally would recommend a near-infrared sauna above a far infrared sauna.

This is because there are fewer EMFs emitted in a near-infrared sauna, and a near-infrared sauna also has pretty much all the benefits that a far infrared sauna has, but it also has healing and rejuvenating properties.

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