Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was something available that could actually build your muscle mass, reduce your risk of disease, boost your immune system, provide pain relief, and actually make you smarter all at once? I’ve got really good news. There is. And guess what? It’s not a pill, requires no doctor’s visit, it’s cheap and has no negative side effects.
Sauna detox is a technique that has been around since before the meridian of time. Sweating is the body’s natural way of releasing toxins, so the deeply concentrated sweat you get from the sauna can quickly force toxins, heavy metals, pollution, and chemicals in refined foods to the surface. While the physical benefits of sauna detox are scientifically proven, the mental effects of reducing stress and calming the mind are also clearly evident.
What Is A Sauna?
A sauna is typically a room heated to between 70° to 100° Celsius or 158° to 212° Fahrenheit. Because of their intense heat, they are usually constructed of unpainted, wood interiors. They also generally include rocks, which is part of the heating element. Sometimes water is poured on the rocks to create steam. While you can install a sauna in your own home, they are often found in gyms, spas, rec centers, and community centers.
Using a sauna is fairly simple, you enter the room, shut the door, sit down, and breathe deeply. Most experts recommend using a sauna 3-4 times a week for two 15-20 minute sessions with a 15-30 min cooling period in between.
Is Using a Sauna Good for Me?
Saunas have long been used by athletes to relieve tight and sore muscles during and after a workout. By using a sauna to loosen up the muscles, athletes are able to train longer and harder without muscle pain. However, the benefits of sauna use go far beyond athletic training.
For the body: Most people are working 9-5 in a sedentary desk job. We aren’t out plowing our own fields with sweat on the brow after a long day’s work. Because of this, when we are exposed to the steam of a sauna, our body naturally creates more white blood cells because we aren’t used to the heat. These blood cells can be used to protect the body against future illness. Harmful substances are drawn out, healthy blood cells are created within, creating a strong immune system overall. Because of the relaxation of muscles and improved circulation, sauna detox also greatly improves cardiovascular function and can reduce blood pressure.
For the skin: The skin is the body’s largest organ, and most of us aren’t using it as effectively as we could. For most people, the skin is inactive, congested, and toxic. Through sweating, our blood circulation is increased and the metabolism of our skin works twice as fast to brighten your complexion by reducing bacteria, oils, and removing dead skin cells.
The pores of the skin open naturally from the heat, which makes it perfect for absorbing healthy skin care products (like this variety pack) after your sauna visit. It’s the world’s best facial and full body detox all in one.
For the brain: Of all the benefits researchers have studied, stress relief is number one. When your body heat is raised, your body naturally produces endorphins, which are the “feel good drug” naturally produced by your own central nervous system. As the muscles relax, tension is released naturally and easily. This does more than increase your mood, it also has been proven to reduce heart disease, high blood pressure, and increase your artery health. In one Finnish study, regular sauna detox was also shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia and actually rebuild brain cells.
Detoxification in a Sauna
Deep sweating is the best way to use the body’s natural systems to release the toxins we absorb from the environment around us. The benefits of detoxifying our bodies regularly are some of the biggest reasons for the surge in sauna popularity.
“The therapeutic property of the sauna is attributed to the following facts: overheating stimulates the metabolic processes and inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria; all vital organs are stimulated to increased activity; the body’s healing forces are aided and assisted; and the eliminative, detoxifying, and cleansing capacity of the skin is dramatically increased by profuse sweating.”
The natural process of sweating has always been a “cleansing” process. However, a recent study in 2012 showed that sweating from sauna use was more than just cleansing. It was actually the most effective way to remove Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury from the body.
Don’t think you have these metals in your body? Think again.
We inadvertently consume these harsh metals through everyday activities like playing with toys on the floor with your kids. Taking a receipt from the cashier at the store, handling plastic containers, enjoying a cold can of soda on a hot day. Even a tall glass of water from the sink.
There’s simply no way to avoid the toxins and chemicals that enter our bodies short of living in a bubble. However, the natural effects of sauna use can combat these toxins and give our bodies the benefits they crave.
How to Use A Sauna for Detox
Before embarking on a regular sauna detox routine, check with your doctor if you may be pregnant or if you have uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm, or angina. If you have any of these conditions, saunas can still be beneficial, but your usage should be limited to five-minute increments with a slow cooldown.
- Step 1: Before your sauna session, drink 1-2 glasses of water, and rinse off in the shower. This is for your own benefit to stay hydrated, but also for the benefit of other sauna users. A quick shower before entering is just good sauna etiquette. No one wants to share a sauna with someone who just came off a sweaty workout. While some saunas accept nudity, a towel or bathing suit is generally preferred especially if you’re using a sauna in the United States.
- Step 2: Enter the sauna, using a towel to sit on. The sauna benches can be hot, so it’s important to have a towel for comfort. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth so your lungs can work harder to begin expelling toxins.
- Step 3: Set your timer. It’s important to time your sauna sessions and not let yourself fall asleep in the sauna. Start with 10-15 minutes, and you can gradually increase to 20 minutes as you feel comfortable.
- Step 4: After your session, exit the sauna and close the door quickly to reduce the heat escaping. If you have your own sauna, you don’t have to worry about this but if you’re using a public sauna, be courteous to those who are still bathing.
- Step 5: Give your body a quick rinse in cool water. This improves circulation and removes the salty components of sweat. Drink something to rehydrate your body. Allow your body to completely cool down for about 20 minutes before entering the sauna for your second session. You lose a lot of electrolytes when you sweat. This is the drink I personally use before and after every session and you only need a tablespoon to replenish your body of the lost minerals.
- Step 6: Repeat Steps 2-5.
Tip: If you own your own sauna, you can also use essential oils to help with meditation, stress, high blood pressure, immunity, etc. If you’re using a public sauna, do not use essential oils as they may irritate other patrons.
- Step 7: When you’re done with your sauna sessions, rinse off, rehydrate and apply any lotion or skincare products you’d like. Do not use a moisturizer that contains mineral oil, petroleum, or glycerin because these will trap moisture. Body oils tend to work best for post-sauna moisturizing. Honestly, a simple argan oil like this one is clean and hydrating for even sensitive skin.
If you have the ability, sauna detox 3-5 times a week is shown to be the most effective regiment. This is why serious sauna detox-ers often will install a sauna in their homes for convenient and frequent use. However, this is certainly not necessary. You can find a sauna near your office or home that you can visit on your way home from work or in the evenings.
Who Should NOT Use a Sauna?
While the physical and mental benefits of sauna detox are clear, there are some people who may want to limit their sauna exposure or talk to a doctor before using a sauna on a regular basis. These groups of people include:
- People with vascular disease, varicose veins, blood pressure problems, or inflammation.
- Those who have trouble regulating body temperature
- Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant.
- Anyone who has had a recent surgery
- If you have a new tattoo or other open wounds, wait until the skin has healed completely before going into a sauna.
It is important to avoid all use of alcohol or mind-altering substances before, during, and after a sauna detox.
Infrared, Dry, Wet, and Steam, Oh My!
Saunas can all provide the benefits of a deep sweat, but not all saunas are created equal. There are wood-burning, electric, steam, and infrared saunas available today, but which one is best?
Detox therapy is not a place to cut corners. If you’re considering purchasing your own sauna for your home or office, it’s important to understand the differences and benefits of each.
- Dry: A dry sauna is also known as a Finnish sauna and looks like the typical wood sauna most of us have seen before. There are different types of wood that can be used in a sauna such as spruce, aspen, oak, and hemlock. You can also combine woods together for aesthetics or style. Dry saunas create heat by burning wood or sauna rocks. It produces very little humidity and lots of dry heat.
- Steam: Steam saunas are also known as Turkish style saunas and they use boiling water to generate a wet heat and high humidity. These are also referred to as steam rooms. It holds the same benefits and detoxifying properties as dry saunas but they feel much hotter than a dry sauna.
- Electric: An electric sauna is pretty easy to find, and they are popular in health clubs and gyms. They simply use an electrical heater to heat sauna rocks to a high temperature which gives a similar effect to a wood-burning dry sauna.
- Infrared: Rather than heating the air in the sauna room itself, infrared saunas actually use light to penetrate the skin to heat individuals from the inside out. This provides a milder experience without the extreme heat of walking into a room that is nearly 200 degrees. Additionally, the light can travel deeper into the body, which means they work faster and more effectively.
- Near vs. far: In the family of infrared saunas, there are two main players – near and far. Near-infrared light penetrates the body up to 9 inches, while far-infrared bulbs don’t reach quite that depth. Near-infrared lamps are shown to be safer and more effective, but they are more expensive than far bulbs.
Recent technology has shown that infrared saunas may be the most effective and most comfortable way of reaping the detoxing benefits. However, these units are more expensive to purchase and may be difficult to find in your area. You can still enjoy the detox benefits regardless of the type of sauna you have available.
Top Rated Products
#1: JNH Lifestyles MG117HB Joyous 1 Person Far Infrared Sauna
JNH stands for joyful, natural, and healthy living. With an award-winning and highly-acclaimed reputation in-home infrared saunas around the world, they know a thing or two about providing affordable and accessible saunas to any household. The infrared light used in JNH saunas not only provides a milder experience but allows the heat to work more effectively so you can get better and faster results. Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com.
Here’s why we love this one:
- Constructed with 100% top quality Canadian Hemlock Wood with no chemicals or plywood – only FSC Certified Hemlock.
- The carbon heaters are strategically situated at the back, side and calf areas to maximize the heating area.
- Quality tongue and groove construction for a stronger structure that is made to last.
- Dual wall construction gives better heat insulation and reduced head expansion.
- The see-through door is constructed with special safety glass gives better visibility from within the sauna.
- Complete interior audio system with aux control LED lighting, and 2 premium speakers included.
- Digital temperature control is easy to use and allows you to control the temperature and time use of your sauna.
With a 4.5 star rating and over 60 reviews, there is no shortage of happy customers. Mongo said, “I’m 6’3″ 210 pounds and I fit quite comfortably. Definitely worth the money in my opinion.” While other saunas may be a tight squeeze, this one is perfect for even tall users.
Eric bought the sauna to take action to reduce his blood pressure, which was at 171 – near heart attack levels. “I feel this is a natural way to reduce blood pressure in a society where doctors main concern seem to be prescribing medicine instead of recommending things like this, a natural solution. To me $1000 is well worth adding years to my life.” His blood pressure went down from 171 to 127 with just the use of the sauna, less alcohol, and eating out less.
A sauna is not an impulse buy, and the JNH brand is over $1000. While there are cheaper options, but you won’t find the same quality product that will last for years.
JNH also provides a 2-year warranty and a lifetime of free technical support. This makes it easy to recommend this sauna with confidence. Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com
#2: Radiant Saunas 2-Person Hemlock Infrared Sauna with 6 Carbon Heaters
Radiant Health Sauna has provided saunas for over 1,000 practitioners including medical doctors, naturopaths, physiotherapists, herbalists, chiropractors, and other specialists who use the sauna therapy for their patients. Now, they offer these same benefits in a home sauna that is small enough to use anywhere, but equally as effective. Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com.
Here’s why we love this one:
- Provides added benefits with chromotherapy and oxygen ionizer included
- Larger panels emanate wall-to-wall evenly disbursed stream of heat with no “cold spots” or “hot spots”.
- Third-party testing showing very low EMF and zero VOC’s.
- Includes a bronze-tinted, 8mm glass door that is tempered for safety, reliability, and longevity.
- All Radiant saunas come with a seven-year manufacturer warranty.
- Includes music play with Aux inputs, CD, and Radio with EZ-Touch controls to make it easy to adjust heat, light, and music.
- Solid tongue and groove wood construction with Canadian hemlock wood.
- Extra convenient features like a towel hook, magazine rack, and backrests included creating a more comfortable experience.
This sauna includes several features that are typically only offered as add-ons. Judy said, “The unit is a perfect size and provides the added “bells and whistles” – inside and outside lighting, colored mood lighting, controls on the inside and outside, AM/FM/auxiliary sound system and backrests. We couldn’t be more pleased with our purchase.”
However, the Radiant saunas are a higher price than other competitive models. This may be due to the extras included, but you definitely get what you pay for. A review by Rumblebox agrees, “Awesome deal. Easy to assemble! I assembled mine in about an hour. Shipping was solid no dings. For the money, this sauna can’t be beaten. Reaches 140 degrees in around 20 minutes.”
Amazon gives this product a 4.6 out of five stars at the time of writing with 133 customer reviews, and 90 percent of those are 4 or 5 stars. That makes it very easy for me to recommend the Radiant Saunas 2-Person Hemlock Infrared Sauna. Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com.
#3: Gizmo Supply 3 Zone Digital Far-Infrared (FIR) Heat Sauna Blanket
If you want the benefits of the sauna without the cost or space that a home sauna requires, this might be your answer. A sauna blanket is a soft and flexible material that delivers many of the same benefits of a typical sauna session. It’s perfect for home use, heats up to 185 degrees in less than five minutes and delivers the same infrared heat to benefit your body. Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com.
Here’s why we love this one:
- Easy to use controller to create a comfortable and personalized experience.
- Three independent heating zones for the upper body, waist section, and lower body.
- Soft and flexible material with a heating wire that easily stretches and bends.
- The interior is completely waterproof to allow for maximum perspiration.
- Easy to fold and put away for convenient storage.
- Safe for users without any risk of burning or electric shock.
- You can put it anywhere you’d like whether on a bed, floor, couch, or even laying in a recliner.
- Easy to clean up with a towel and light soap and water.
Not only does the product receive many five-star reviews, but the Gizmo customer services seems to be getting attention as well. Dorinda said, “This blanket has helped me so much with muscle tightness and pain in my legs and feet. It feels amazing all over, but the proof of how good it is has been that I don’t wake up every night with my calves in knots or with both of my legs aching. I recommend this blanket AND it’s customer service with 5 stars!”
It does take a little bit of time to pull it out and heat it up, and put it away as opposed to a typical sauna that is always just ready to go. However, it takes up less room and is easy to use if you’re away from home or move frequently and don’t want the hassle of setting up and having space for a full-size home sauna.
With 121 reviews at 4-stars, I feel confident in recommending the Gizmo blanket for anyone who is looking to reap the benefits of a home sauna without the cost, space, or setup of a full-size unit. Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com.
#4: SereneLife Portable Infrared Home Spa with Heating Foot Pad and Portable Chair
When you can’t get to the spa and you don’t have the space or budget for an at-home sauna, this indoor kit comes with everything you need to get the same experience and benefits. This is basically a portable beauty spa that is easy to pick up and pack up whenever you need to. Unlike other sauna options, this one comes with a sauna chair and footpad to use while using your mini sauna. The bells and whistles make this option a top pick. Get more information and buy now on Amazon.
Here’s why we love this one.
- Remote for time and temperature controls to keep things safe and comfortable while in use.
- Compact size is perfect for at-home used.
- Hand access zipper allows you to hold a book, magazine, or iPad while you’re using it for added convenience.
- Includes a chair that is lightweight and foldable, so it’s easy to pack everything up and store when you’re not using it.
- Even heating elements allows your entire body to heat up evenly.
Lenny said, “We purchased this item after I had a treatment at the Holistic Dr.’s office. My severe pain has ruled my life for over six years. The is only my third treatment and I cannot believe how different I feel when I get out of the Infrared Home Spa. I would recommend it to anyone with chronic pain. Thank you so much!”
Some owners have complained that the sauna may collect and hold odors over time. Using towels on the chair and footpads as well as wiping down the sauna after each use should take care of this and leave you with a fresh experience every time.
As of writing, this is the Amazon’s Choice item for all saunas sold and it’s easy to see why. Vanessa said, “I also have a steam sauna that does not compare to the versatility and quality of this sauna. This sauna heats up faster, is built of higher quality material, gives you control over the temperature to heat to and is able to fold for transportation and storage. DEFINITELY RECOMMEND!!”
There are over 500 reviews just like these that give this product high ratings. This makes it easy to recommend as one of the best choices for an at-home sauna experience. Get further details and buy now on Amazon.
#5: Hoplynn Sweat Vest for Women
This sweat vest is great for women who are looking to use their sauna for weight loss. The neoprene fabric gives you extra compression, which raises your core body temperature and increases your sweat potential. This allows you to speed up the calorie-burning process and keep your muscles warm and supported to avoid fatigue and injuries so you can get back at it tomorrow. Get more information and buy now at Amazon.
Why we love this one:
- It has a new, beautiful, feminine design that makes the vest flexible and the waist belt a perfect fit.
- The material is lightweight and comfortable, not thick and stiff like other waist trainers.
- Can also be worn to the gym to increase your sweat potential during any type of workout.
- It fits any woman of every size including both plus size and petite.
This vest works for a woman of any size, Marguaux said, “It definitely works!!! I was sweating just from trying it on lol… I can imagine how it will work during an actual workout. I’m 6’0 and 200 pounds and I ordered a 3XL based off of the reviews… I definitely recommend ordering a size up. I’m pleased with my order!!!”
It’s important to keep in mind that this product is not recommended for machine wash, it might be washed by hand. However, it’s easy to rinse off and hang up to dry so it’s ready to use tomorrow.
With over 1,300 positive reviews on Amazon, this product earned a spot in the top products for women’s shapewear. It’s easy to recommend this shaper for women using a home sauna, getting a better sweat at the gym, or just burning calories around the house. Get more information and buy now at Amazon.
#6: Men Waist Trainer Vest by Wonderience
A sauna vest enhances your sauna experience by producing more heat. The neoprene material produces a higher compression resulting in more sweating and helps your body to sweat out harmful fats. This waist trainer may help you burn more calories both inside and outside of the sauna environment. You can use it during a typical workout and can be worn under or over regular clothing. Get more information and buy now on Amazon.
Why we love this one:
- The zipper vest is easy to use and simple to put on over, under, or instead of regular gym clothing.
- Wearing the vest on a regular basis also support firmer posture, lower back pain, and ab strength.
- Enhances the weight loss capabilities of using the sauna by increasing your core body temperature.
- It gives men a great option to get to a good sweat faster and easier.
Men across the country can attribute losing those last few pounds to sweating it out. Tony said, WOW, what an amazing product….Trying to get rid of that last 10-20 lbs, what a great product, well made,…this thing really gets rid of those extra pounds of fat and water weight…..getting shredded is the goal and this product will help, now seeing veins that were lost for a couple of years…”
As of writing, this is the number one bestseller on Amazon in the category of sauna suits. Over 3,300 product reviews with an average rating of 4.4 stars make it easy to see how many men are benefiting from this product. This makes it easy to recommend with confidence for yourself or the man in your life. Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com.
FAQ’s on Saunas
What is the best temperature for a sauna?
The appropriate temperature is a matter of personal preference, but most enjoy a dry or steam sauna between 150-175 degrees and 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit for infrared saunas.
How long should I stay inside a sauna?
Start with one 10 minute session and see how you feel. Longer isn’t always better. Instead, do multiple 10-15 minute sessions with a cooling period in between. Always leave and cool off if you begin to feel dizzy or uncomfortable.
Does using a sauna burn calories?
Yes, but using a sauna is not a weight loss plan. The loss of weight during a sauna detox is usually water weight. Generally, the body burns only 50-100 calories per session. However, it can stimulate your metabolism, reduces stress, and purifies the body, which all aid in weight loss.
What should I do after sauna heat bathing?
Take a quick, cool shower and then hydrate your skin with a high-quality moisturizer and drink plenty of water or electrolyte drink like this one.
What if I get a headache?
This is usually a sign of dehydration, be sure you are drinking plenty of fluids before you enter the sauna, and take a break every 10 minutes to rehydrate your body.
How often can I use the sauna?
A daily sauna detox is not harmful. How often you use it depends on your own personal preference. As long as you are feeling good after each session, you can use the sauna every day.
How much water do you lose in the sauna?
This also depends on how much you sweat, but the average is between 1-2 liters of fluid. You can weigh yourself before and after using the sauna to see the difference in weight. Again, this is water weight and not a permanent weight loss solution.
Is it okay to pour water on the rocks of traditional heaters?
Yes! Pouring water on the rocks is part of the experience and creates a bit of humidity in the room.
Are there any health problems that I should be concerned about?
If you have any history of heart problems, high blood pressure or any other health problems it is always a good idea to check with your doctor.
Should I eat before or after using the sauna?
Don’t eat a big meal before going into the sauna, doing so forces your body to work overtime and isn’t as beneficial. Fresh fruits or a light meal is a great option before your sauna session.
What are some of the most notable benefits of using a sauna?
Relaxation is the most cited benefit from regular sauna bathers, followed closely by detoxification.
Regular sauna detox is good for the body, mind, and soul – but it also feels really good. The time spent in the calming, quiet atmosphere while your skin is bathed in heat feels wonderful. It can be a beautiful time to connect with your inner self, your spouse or friends, it is a pampering experience to give yourself a retreat from the hustle and bustle of busy lives. Giving yourself the gift of a daily retreat truly can help you feel better, look better, and sleep better than ever before.