When it comes to buying infrared saunas, there are many factors to consider. What type of sauna is right for you? How much space do you have in your home? What features are important to you? And what does your typical sauna session look like? This guide will help answer all of those questions and more so that you can buy the perfect infrared sauna for your needs.
An overview of the infrared sauna brands in the UK
For many years only high-quality far infrared saunas dominated the infrared sauna market. Craftsmanship, for the most part, was very high. Woods used were exclusively Western Red Canadian Cedar or quality white woods such as Basswood, Spruce and Aspen.
The majority of infrared heaters used were ceramic and metal, with ceramic being the preferred type because of its higher efficiency and output.
There was rigid quality-control of woods and glues used. Electrical safety and consistent customer care had been the hallmarks of our industry at that time. There were less than a handful of manufacturers in the entirety of the UK. This was the state of the industry when we grew our company.
Not all saunas are equal
Over the last 10 years, however, as the internet expanded, low-quality overseas manufacturing spawned numerous upstart sauna companies. Importing containers of infrared saunas with little to no understanding of the therapeutic benefits of infrared heating.
They were selling a wooden box with heaters. Quality and after-sales service did not seem to be a big concern, nor did health benefits. They offered low-cost and low-quality saunas on the internet, and at big box stores. And thus, the perception that saunas were a low-cost, low-quality commodity had bolstered.
We ordered different models from a few of the larger manufacturers to compare, and were immediately appalled at the quality of materials, construction, and lack of safety, even down to the electrical parts. What we found was:
• The controls and heaters were cheap and substandard. • The aesthetics were all wrong. • Heater placement left for much-wasted energy. • Some had noxious odours from toxic glues being used in the manufacturing process, terrible for your health. • The wood itself had horrible smells. • Some woods had not been sanded and were rough to the touch. • We found staples, mismatched veneers, and even dangling bare wires.
These were not quality infrared saunas fit for a house, let alone the outdoors, and these companies were far from UK-owned. What was even worse was that most of these saunas had a combination of hazards, ranging from high EMF levels (electromagnetic frequencies) to off-gassing of toxins, glues and varnishes. It was also evident that the manufacturer didn’t understand the basics of radiant heat therapy for the human body as there were multiple design flaws.
For example, many of these companies did not know where to place the heaters for optimal efficiency and better health. A critical mistake. Heaters positioned above the head do no good as it is the infrared wavelengths directly facing the body that heals with infrared saunas. Positioning heaters above the head is just a waste of radiant heat that would be better used in the front of the sauna, or by the calves and sides of the body.
These were big functional mistakes as the purpose of infrared therapy is to heat the body with the proper infrared wavelengths. Therefore it is important to heat your front, back and sides. Without heaters placed carefully, you will barely receive even partial health benefits.
At Clearlight® we take a different approach - because we've been at the top of the industry for over 25 years and still running.
Our far infrared heaters are kept low to keep the infrared heat aimed at your body. We totally surround you with infrared heat with heaters on the back and side walls, the floor, and at the front beside the sauna door.
We do not waste infrared heat up and over your head so that our saunas deliver more benefits, faster, and with the maximum amount of infrared heat being absorbed by your body.
When designing a Clearlight® Sauna, the sauna design, new technology, idea or manufacturing process must pass multiple critical tests to meet the standards in the UK:
• Does it make rational sense to help to heal the human body? • Will it help our customers increase their overall wellness and enjoyment of their sauna? • Is it safe and will it cause no harm?
If the answer is no on any of these, then we simply do not do it.
Purchasing a Clearlight® Infrared Sauna is one of the best investments you can make for your health, wellness and longevity. We pay close attention to every detail from start to finish to ensure that your sauna is of the highest quality, from the materials to construction, and we back these words with our Limited Lifetime Warranty.
What questions should I ask?
Does the sauna have exposure to harmful frequencies such as EMF and ELF?
Do they have local customer service teams to be able to fix, repair or help you if something goes wrong?
Does the company give back to the world and align with your values?
Can you add-on to your sauna with more therapeutic technologies and continue your wellness journey?
What really makes a good infrared sauna?
The challenge for the consumer today is that unless you can see it in person, you cannot tell the difference between a quality infrared sauna. Even a cheap knock-off in the pictures on the internet can look basically the same.
The questions below are some of the more common questions we receive and knowing these may help you make an informed decision. Not only do we want you to feel comfortable and confident in your decision to buy an infrared sauna, but we also want you to purchase a high-quality, therapeutic infrared sauna for your home.
When it comes to buying an infrared sauna, there are a few key features you should look for:
What is the aesthetic and construction quality?
Clearlight® has been in the industry long before all of our closest competitors, let alone the saturated market of cheap knock-offs. Many companies are importing containers of the same saunas or saunas with only slight variations - sometimes from the same warehouse overseas. You can look at the keypad to tell which are from the same factory; it’s somewhat amusing.
We’re flattered that most decided to knock off the style that we pioneered many years ago. Our pioneered, Italian-inspired designs are the full glass front, glass ceiling, heaters shoulder height down, chromotherapy lights in the ceiling, exterior accent lights, full-spectrum heaters on the front and our digital keypad.
All Clearlight® Saunas are built by hand to our strict 48-point Quality Control. No sauna leaves our factory without being fully tested and approved by two levels of quality control. This grants Clearlight® ETL and CE certifications, that we choose to bind us in providing a high-quality product.
What is the buying price?
You get what you pay for, and how much the cost is an indicator of either high or low-quality materials. Clearlight® Saunas are the premium wellness sauna currently on the market today. We're endorsed by some of the biggest names in the world, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Deepak Chopra.
They choose Clearlight® Saunas because we go the extra mile in ensuring the highest-quality, sustainably sourced materials, that we have tested and approved by third-party certifiers. We've pioneered our own wellness technology, such as our patented True Wave™ heaters and ultra-low EMF and ELF technology.
We ensure a low carbon footprint and support charities we feel are important, for each sauna purchase. And we offer a lifetime warranty so that when you buy an infrared sauna, you only buy the best, once.
What type of heater is the best?
There are two types of infrared heaters that are used in an infrared sauna. Far-infrared heater panels and full-spectrum infrared heater bulbs. These two types of infrared heaters have different therapeutic properties, and at Clearlight™ Saunas, we have developed, patented and pioneered both of these technologies in the industry. These heaters are called True Wave™ and are the best in the market.
Your health and wellbeing are what we are passionate about, and just what that looks like is offering a product and service that is safe for you and your family. Because of this, our range of infrared heaters is purpose-driven.
Clearlight® True Wave™ far-infrared heaters are most beneficial for removing toxins from the body through sweat, promoting healthy skin, help to reduce stress, help you to relax, and relieving aches and pains in muscles and joints.
Clearlight® True Wave™ full-spectrum heaters are extremely efficient and effective at raising your core body temperature. Compare this heater to any other on the market and it will run circles around them in performance. The raising of your temperature does the same benefits as a traditional sauna, spas and even steam saunas. This increases blood circulation and lowers blood pressure.
When comparing far infrared sauna heaters you need to look at the size, the material, and the surface temperature of the heater.
The two most common materials used in far infrared heaters are ceramic and carbon. Ceramic is a very efficient, effective material when heated to produce infrared heat. Ceramic has a very high emissivity rating, meaning it produces a lot of infrared heat.
The drawback to ceramic heaters is that they tend to produce a shorter infrared wavelength. Shorter infrared wavelengths are not as readily absorbed by the human body so they are less therapeutic.
Generally speaking, carbon infrared heaters produce a longer infrared wavelength. Carbon is very light so the heaters can be bigger and can run at a lower surface temperature. These low surface temperatures produce long wave infrared heat. Long wave far infrared heat is readily absorbed by the human body and will produce more desirable therapeutic results.
The drawback of carbon heaters is that, while they produce high-quality infrared heat, they do not produce a lot of infrared – they are weak.
In technical terms, they have a lower emissivity rating as compared to ceramic heaters.
Most companies that use carbon heaters extend their heaters well up into the head region and almost to the ceiling in the sauna in an effort to try and get more heat into the sauna. They do this because of the low output of their heaters.
This is wasted infrared heat as it is only heating the air over your head and not your body directly. We also believe heating the head directly is not recommended in infrared therapy.
Technology in a Clearlight® Infrared Sauna
Our True Wave™ far infrared heaters are the only infrared heaters that combine both carbon and ceramic into one heater for a truly exceptional infrared sauna experience. They are built by us and designed to heat the human body. True Wave™ Infrared Heaters produce the long wave infrared heat of carbon heaters with the very high infrared output of a ceramic heater combined into one heater.
It really is the best of both worlds and they are fantastic infrared heaters. You can feel the difference in the quality of the infrared heat and you will not find this heating technology anywhere else, it is an exclusive Clearlight® Infrared Sauna feature.
The True Wave™ heaters are the only infrared heater on the market to combine both the high output of ceramic with the long wavelength of carbon. This produces a sauna that is unmatched by emitting all three infrared wavelengths: near (NIR), mid (MIR) and far infrared (FIR).
These True Wave™ full spectrum infrared heaters deliver more near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared than any other infrared sauna on the market, and were specifically designed to dramatically heat the core body temperature while in your sauna. This is achieved by having halogen bulbs that emit 1/3 near-infrared, 1/3 mid-infrared and 1/3 far infrared at a full 500 watts of power.
Does the position of the heaters matter?
Infrared wavelengths only work by having contact with your skin and body. Naturally, they are an inefficient way to heat up a room, which is why you see the temperatures of infrared saunas to be lower than steam saunas. Why the position of your heaters matter is because, without the correct contact with the body, it is essentially wasting electricity.
Which style of wood is best?
Western Red Canadian Cedar (WRCC) is considered to be the best wood to use for saunas. WRCC is often used for the following reasons: • WRCC contains aromatic oils that are known for their healing and cleansing properties to aid detoxification during your sauna session. • WRCC is naturally antifungal and antibacterial owing to the unique properties of cedar oil. This is especially important in the sauna where bodies, moisture and heat combine to make the environment perfect for mold and bacteria. • WRCC is one of the most beautiful woods available ranging from a very light honey to a deep walnut shade. • WRCC smells good and gives you a true sauna experience. WRCC is considered non-aromatic cedar and has a very subtle smell and is satisfying to the senses. • WRCC can be easily sanded inside the sauna to remove any stains caused by perspiration and to bring back the fresh cedar smell.
People who are very sensitive to smells (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) may want to consider a sauna made of white woods like Basswood.
We use Eco Certified grade “A” clear Western Red Canadian Cedar or Basswood. All of our Clearlight® Saunas are available in both Cedar and Basswood and are eco-certified to meet three sustainability standards as part of our green initiative.
Do they use non-toxic materials?
Varnishes and glues come with chemical compounds that must be considered in buying an infrared sauna. Why this is important because the toxins that are emitted by these compounds can be harmful if inhaled or exposed to. In a sauna room, these compounds begin to off-gas and become airborne.
All Clearlight® Saunas go through strict VOC testing to ensure no off-gassing of these chemicals occurs. We use eco-varnishes and non-toxic glues during the construction of our saunas and we encourage potential buyers to seek certification from the market for this to ensure safety.
Why is a lifetime warranty important?
When buying an infrared sauna it is important to understand why a Limited Lifetime Warranty on the entire sauna is important. Our Limited Lifetime Warranty covers all of the parts of your sauna for manufacture defects for as long as you own it.
Almost every other infrared sauna is only covered under a 7-year warranty or less. If something goes wrong with your sauna in year 8 the manufacturer is not obligated to provide parts for saunas older than 7 years.
All Clearlight® Saunas for home use are covered by our Limited Lifetime Warranty. Your sauna is warranted to be free from manufacturer defects for as long as you own it. Be sure to ask when researching infrared saunas if the company offers a True Limited Lifetime Warranty. If you are using your sauna in a commercial environment, we offer a complete 5 year warranty.