Nothing can compare to the traditional sauna heated with a wood stove and site next to a cold water lake or deep snow. If you live in an urban location, you most likely will not have the opportunity to build a traditional sauna in your backyard. The cost of buying firewood and silly environmental regulations preventing wood stoves are just some reasons for not enjoying a conventional sauna.
New technology in the form of infrared sauna heaters now makes it possible to enjoy some of the benefits of a traditional sauna. Many sauna manufacturers now produce saunas that can be installed in just about any location with electricity access. Infrared sauna heaters have the same radiant heat that a wood stove produces without all the mess of cutting and burning wood.
Typically infrared radiant heat is very similar to the sun without the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays. Infrared sauna heaters come in basically two forms ceramic and carbon fiber. Ceramic heaters can emit far infrared heat energy (electromagnetic waves) efficiently. They are the most common type of infrared sauna heaters on the market. Ceramic heaters are more durable but are also more fragile.
This can be a concern if you move your sauna to a different location. Carbon fiber infrared sauna heaters are much less common and are generally found in better-infrared saunas. Carbon fiber infrared sauna heaters are thinner, weigh less, and are less fragile than ceramic sauna heaters.
Carbon infrared sauna heaters can heat faster but stay cooler, saving energy over ceramic heaters. The surface of a ceramic heater may exceed 350f degrees to achieve a sauna temperature of 140f degrees, while a carbon fiber infrared sauna heater will only have a surface temperature of 150f degrees to accomplish the same sauna temperature.
Engineers will tell you that shape is far more critical than the type of infrared sauna heater. Flat panels provide more efficient heat and a better radiant heat feel than other designs. Some experts will point out that since you are generating infrared radiant heat from carbon fiber, you will feel more heat since the human body is also made of carbon. The theory is that the frequency of electromagnetic waves from carbon fiber will penetrate your carbon body better. No matter what type of infrared sauna heater you use to heat your sauna, you can be assured that your sauna will be hot enough to give you a good sweat.