Welcome to Far Infrared Saunas
Technologies: A Far Infrared Sauna (FIR) is a sauna which is heated using infrared technology rather than a traditional sauna stove. The most popular technologies used to heat a far infrared sauna are ceramic/quartz tubes and carbon fibre panels. A far infrared sauna carbon fibre panel is very thin and flexible, electrically powered, which creates a far infrared wave that heats the body directly, while also warming the air to a lesser extent.
Surface Temperature: Surface temperatures of different infrared sauna heating technologies can vary greatly. The surface temperature of carbon panels can reaches approximately 75°C, whereas the surface temperature of ceramic/quartz tubes can reach 130°C-630°C or higher. It's a simple supposition to make, assuming the higher the surface temperature of the heater, the hotter the sauna session will be, and therefore a more beneficial and enjoyable one. This is not the case as the surface area of ceramic and quartz tubes is considerably less than a far infrared sauna carbon fibre panel.
Sufrace Area: All the infrared which the ceramic and quartz tubes are creating is concentrated in a very limited surface area which means the surface temperature becomes extremely high. This can cause discomfort for the user when sitting next to the heater or even burn the user if the heating element isn't sufficiently protected. The smaller surface area leaves parts of the far infrared sauna uncovered with the chance of cold spots. Therefore, one would generally experience a more favourable experience inside a FIR sauna that is using the carbon fibre panel technology over a ceramic/quartz tube FIR sauna.
Quartz and ceramic infrared sauna tubes do heat the sauna well, however from testing it has been shown that the carbon fibre heater heats the sauna and the person more effectively. This is because of the very large surface area of the carbon fibre panels. Generally, the higher the surface area of the infrared heater, the more potential infrared output that heater has.
Optimum Output Wavelength: Far infrared technologies from different manufacturers may emit infrared at varying wavelengths. The peak natural output wavelength for a human body is around 9.4Ám. Therefore, it is best to find a far infrared sauna with a peak output wavelength that is close to the body's natural infrared output.