The Pack Report

Comparing The Benefits and Differences Between the Ancient Art of Finnish Sauna vs. the Modern Comfort of Infrared Saunas

Saunas have been an integral part of various cultures for centuries, offering relaxation, rejuvenation, and various health benefits. Two popular sauna types that have gained prominence over the years are the traditional Finnish sauna and the more modern infrared sauna. While both offer unique advantages, they also have key differences that suit different preferences and needs. This blog post will delve into the benefits and key distinctions between these two sauna experiences.

Finnish Sauna: A Time-Honored Tradition

  1. History and Tradition:

The Finnish sauna is deeply rooted in Finnish culture and dates back thousands of years. It is a place for communal gatherings, relaxation, and even spiritual rituals. The traditional Finnish sauna experience involves a wood-burning or electric stove that heats a pile of rocks, creating a dry heat sauna environment.

  1. Heat Source:

Finnish saunas rely on indirect heating methods. Water is poured over the heated rocks, creating steam and increasing humidity, resulting in a hot and humid environment.

  1. Health Benefits:
  1. Detoxification: Sweating in a Finnish sauna helps eliminate toxins from the body through the pores.
  1. Cardiovascular Health: Regular sauna use can improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving circulation.
  1. Pain Relief: Heat therapy in Finnish saunas can alleviate muscle and joint pain.
  1. Stress Reduction: Saunas offer relaxation, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being.
  1. Social Interaction: Finnish saunas are often communal, fostering social bonds and promoting a sense of community.

We highly recommend learning more about our friends at Cedar + Stone Nordic Saunas in this blog post. 

Infrared Sauna: A Modern Approach

  1. Technology and Operation:

Infrared saunas use advanced technology to emit infrared radiation directly onto the body. This type of sauna heats the body rather than the air, allowing for a lower ambient temperature compared to Finnish saunas.

  1. Heat Source:

Infrared saunas utilize infrared heaters or emitters, which emit infrared light that penetrates the skin and heats the body directly.

  1. Health Benefits:
  1. Deep Tissue Penetration: Infrared heat penetrates deeper into the skin, promoting better circulation and providing relief for muscle and joint pain.
  1. Detoxification: Similar to Finnish saunas, infrared saunas induce sweating and help eliminate toxins.
  1. Weight Loss: Increased heart rate and calorie burn in infrared saunas may aid in weight management.
  1. Skin Health: The radiant heat can improve skin clarity and tone.
  2. Gentle on the Body: Infrared saunas are often considered more comfortable for those who find high temperatures of traditional saunas challenging.

Key Differences

  1. Temperature and Humidity:

Finnish saunas are hotter and more humid due to water being poured on hot stones. In contrast, infrared saunas operate at lower temperatures with lower humidity levels, making them more tolerable for some individuals.

  1. Heating Method:

Finnish saunas heat the air, while infrared saunas directly heat the body through infrared light.

  1. Installation and Space:

Finnish saunas require a dedicated space, proper ventilation, and a suitable heating unit. Infrared saunas are often more compact, easily installed, and can be portable.

  1. Health Conditions:

People with certain health conditions may find infrared saunas more comfortable and less taxing on the cardiovascular system due to lower temperatures.

In the debate between Finnish saunas and infrared saunas, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Both offer unique benefits and cater to different preferences. Finnish saunas appeal to those who appreciate tradition, communal experiences, and higher heat and humidity levels. In contrast, infrared saunas are a modern solution for those seeking more targeted health benefits, lower temperatures, and a more accessible installation process. Ultimately, the choice between these two sauna types should depend on individual preferences and health considerations, as both can contribute to improved well-being and relaxation.

Happy sauna-ing, friends!

Happy Adventures - Duluth Pack

Disclaimer: Consult you physician before using any type of sauna.