Updated: Jun 14
Infrared sauna blankets offer the same health benefits as a sauna - minus the visit to the spa. Read all about them in this blog.
The latest health craze has everyone sweating - but this time, it's not from exercise. The infrared sauna blanket has taken the wellness world by storm, and for good reason. Not only can using a sauna blanket provide multiple benefits, like aiding in sore joints and muscles, but it also feels incredibly relaxing and luxurious.
Although it's not going to replace your hot yoga class, using an infrared sauna blanket does offer many wellness benefits that are backed by science. Let's discuss how it works and which infrared sauna blankets are worth the investment.
What Are Infrared Sauna Blankets?
Infrared sauna blankets are portable devices that provide you with the benefits and experience of an infrared sauna - just in blanket form. You can use them just about anywhere, from your home or while traveling. Infrared sauna blankets work by delivering infrared light, creating a dry heat that makes you sweat.
It's important to understand the difference between a regular sauna that uses steam for heat and an infrared sauna. A traditional sauna provides extreme heat, with temperatures reaching up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, infrared saunas use electromagnetic radiation to provide infrared heat, operating in a temperature range between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Despite the lower temperature, the infrared sauna blanket delivers all the same benefits and a much more enjoyable experience. The blanket itself looks like a sleeping bag. It's designed specifically to make it easy to wrap around yourself, so you can get cozy no matter where you're sitting or laying.
You may be wondering - are infrared sauna blankets safe? Yes. All blankets come with controllers that allow you to adjust the temperature and even set timers so that you don't overdo it.
Exciting Benefits of Using An Infrared Sauna Blanket
Boosts Blood Flow
As the sauna blanket delivers infrared rays to your body, the heat causes your heart rate to increase, which makes your blood vessels widen and boosts blood flow. Ultimately, this practice can improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health, just like sauna bathing [*]
Infrared sauna blankets use dry heat to simulate a sweat session as you'd get through exercise. When you have such a deep sweat, you push toxins out from under the skin. You also get rid of other nasty stuff, like heavy metals. [*]
Sweating via an infrared sauna blanket also helps you get rid of all the nasty stuff that's been deposited onto your skin, like oil, dirt, and particulate matter. Of course, it also helps you shed dead skin cells which can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
There's also some evidence that infrared sauna blankets can help treat aging skin. In one study, participants reported good improvements in their skin's roughness and texture, as well as a fair improvement in skin tone. These results, as well as measurements taken as part of the study, show improvements in collagen and elastin production. [*]
Improves Sore Muscles Quickly
The heat of a sauna blanket can help relieve sore muscles due to exercise. In one small study, men reported faster recovery after endurance workouts. [*] And, in another study, results showed that heat after exercise reduced muscle soreness more than if the participants used nothing at all. [*]
So if you want to enhance your post-workout recovery, the proven benefits of using a sauna blanket regularly will certainly serve you well.
Aids in Weight Loss
An infrared sauna blanket can help you with weight loss, though in truth, it's only water weight. Once you rehydrate, you'll gain that weight back. However, this water weight loss could still be useful if you want to appear a bit slimmer for a special event.
It's worth noting that there is technology that does actually cause you to burn fat. These options typically involve lasers. So, the infrared sauna blanket doesn't burn calories like other technology, but it does provide some slimming effects.
You may have heard that infrared saunas can help you relax in several ways, providing a nice mood boost. A sauna blanket can provide the same results. First, it can loosen stiff or tight muscles and improve joint pain. As we discussed above, it also increases blood circulation which lowers blood pressure and thus promotes relaxation which can lead to better sleep at night.
Supports a Healthy Immune System
Like traditional saunas, the warm temperatures of sauna blankets raise your body temperature. With each treatment, you put yourself into a state of an artificial fever, which essentially exercises your immune system. [*]
Does Sauna Detoxification Really Work?
As we touched on above, it is possible to experience a sauna detox. It's important to note that the body has a natural detox system it uses to eliminate toxins - your liver and kidneys. However, your lymphatic system also plays a role. Lymph fluid carries protein and excess fat, as well as cellular debris, waste, viruses, and bacteria. [*] It can then remove toxins via sweat. And, as you know, a good sauna detox session forces you to sweat.
Best Infrared Sauna Blankets
Infrared sauna blankets bring all the benefits of the sauna at your local spa right to the comfort of your own home. Here are the best options on the market right now.
The Sun Home Sauna Blanket is one of the best on the market and my top choice for an at-home sauna detox. It delivers all the benefits of a hot sauna from the comfort of your home. It includes an attached remote with a long cord for easy climate and timer controls. You can set the timer for up to 60 minutes and enjoy temperatures of 35 to 75 degrees Celsius.
What really sets this blanket apart from the rest is its materials. It's made with premium non-toxic fabrics and industrial-grade velcro to lock in the heat, ensuring that you don't come into any toxic substances while you sweat out toxic elements, yourself. I personally own this sauna blanket and use it for my own at-home sauna therapy sessions.
The HigherDose Infrared Sauna Blanket is one of the most popular blankets - and for good reason. You can customize your experience by choosing from eight different adjustable temperature settings. Plus, the blanket includes an automatic timer, so you can zip yourself in and relax. No need to worry about accidentally pushing yourself - you'll get an optimal session every time.
The Higher Dose sauna blanket also heats in just 10 minutes, so you won't wait around too long to get in. It includes a remote control so you can adjust settings while inside if necessary. It also folds up into a compact size, so you can easily store it or even travel with it.
The MiHIGH blanket is best known for its construction - it folds down into a convenient shape that you can then stow in the included box or carrying bag. The MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket is also trusted by athletes around the world, who use it to improve recovery after intense training sessions.
Like the HigherDose, the MiHIGH blanket includes an automatic timer so you can set it and forget it. It's generally best for people who are 6 feet tall or shorter, as you'll need to bend your knees to fit if you're any taller.
You might be wondering what you're supposed to do while under your infrared sauna blanket. With most sauna blankets, you're expected to simply lie there - perhaps put on some music or a TV show for entertainment. However, with the SurmountWay infrared blanket, you can actually use your hands since it's designed with two slots where your hands can come out of the blanket. So, if you want to change the channel or work from your phone while getting the health benefits of a sauna, this is the best option.
If you want all the heat and health benefits of a traditional sauna and you want to invest in infrared saunas but without the high price tag, the VANELL is your best option. Coming in at $159, this sauna blanket includes 2-zone temperature control and provides body heats of up to 176 degrees. Plus, it has time settings ranging from 15 to 60 minutes. It even comes in several fun colors, so you can show a bit more personality with this infrared sauna blanket than with the others.
The REVIIV sauna blankets include five different layers to create the ultimate sauna experience, providing you with far infrared rays. It includes the option for a 30-minute timer, though you can control all the settings from a handheld controller. Though this is a corded controller, it includes an extra long cable so you can reach it from afar - plus you'll never lose it.
People who have used the REVIIV note how roomy it is. Plus, it has velcro straps so you can customize the fit of the blanket to your preference.
How to Use Infrared Sauna Blankets
Like infrared saunas, a sauna blanket is fairly easy to use. Just remove the sauna blanket from its bag and unfold it and place it on your bed, couch, or floor. If you're laying on the floor, you can put a yoga mat underneath you to add some cushion. Then, you'll attach the controller and plug it into a power source.
The biggest difference between using infrared blankets and infrared saunas, though, is that you need to wear clothes. You can either opt for cotton or moisture-wicking clothing, but be sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and socks. This ensures you protect your skin from direct infrared rays and makes it easy to clean up the sauna blanket afterward.
So - are infrared sauna blankets worth the investment? Absolutely! A sauna treatment via an at-home blanket can help you enjoy a wide range of benefits, from stress relief to improvements in skin appearance. If you're using a sauna blanket as part of your fitness journey, be sure to track your progress in a fitness journal.
Have you ever had an infrared sauna blanket session? Let us know in the comments below!
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material, is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your specific condition.