Sauna Heaters: What Are You Getting in Your Sauna?

At Sunlighten Saunas, we’re proud to offer the only saunas on the market with Solocarbon® heating technology, clinically shown to provide the most effective infrared heat therapy. And we’re always happy to educate those who are interested in sauna technology.

With that in mind, let’s discuss sauna heaters. There are a variety of heaters available in today’s saunas – some better than others. Here’s a short primer to explain the differences between sauna heaters and their effectiveness in healing the body.

Solocarbon® Heating Technology: Proof that Cooler is Better

For optimal healing benefits, find a sauna with a heater that has a lower surface area temperature – this allows for a more precise wavelength consistently throughout your sauna session. As a result, you can make the most of your time in the sauna by giving you maximum benefits, including raised core body temperature (which has been shown to reduce body weight and waist circumference) and reduced blood pressure. These changes can lead to long-term health benefits for you.

Sunlighten’s Solocarbon heaters are the only patented and clinically proven 95-99% emissive heaters on the market today. It all began in 2000, when we developed the Solocarbon® heater by combining high far infrared emissivity with a large surface area. After much research and testing, we developed a heater that emitted nearly perfect levels of far infrared heat,* and ultimately was proven in its ability to create a statistically significant rise in core body temperature over other heaters on the market.

Other Heater Types

Sauna Heaters Solocarbon Heating TechnologyNow that you know a little more about Sunlighten Saunas Solocarbon® technology, let’s take a look at what else is out there, and how other heaters they compare.

Generic Carbon-Fiber or Generic Carbon Heaters

These carbon-fiber or carbon heaters are not clinically tested or proven effective. In fact, studies show that these low-end heaters do little more than create heat, and are less than 70% effective at delivering a therapeutic far infrared wavelength. Mass-produced in China, all carbon heaters on the market are essentially the same heaters produced in the same factory.

Ceramic Heaters

These older heater types offer an outdated form of delivering far infrared therapy. Unable to deliver a consistent temperature, ceramic heaters get very hot, very quickly, which creates an extreme surface temperature. This extreme temperature can be dangerous (especially in a small setting), as well as create hot and cold spots within the sauna, eliminating the benefits of a core warming experience. Finally, ceramic heaters are used in commercial settings to dry paint – not exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to improving your health…or your skin!

Carbon-Ceramic Blends

Once upon a time, it was thought that combining the best of both available sauna heater types would result in a more effective sauna heater. However, testing showed this was not true. Ceramic heaters get very hot in a short time span, and thus only deliver very short, ineffective far infrared wavelengths. The addition of carbon to the mix was thought to improve the quality of the far infrared wavelength. However, research showed that combining ceramic and carbon ultimately weakened the wavelength. Finally, the extreme heat means you spend less time in the sauna, further reducing the benefits you might get during your session.

In a nutshell, you DO get what you pay for when it comes to purchasing a sauna. We encourage you to read our earlier blog post, Top 5 Myths about Infrared Saunas, for more information.

We understand that there is a great deal to learn when it comes to making a sauna purchase, and we hope this information helps you pick the sauna that is right for you. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to connect with our knowledgeable sauna specialists via phone at 877-292-0020 or visit

*According to third-party tests by the Far Infrared Applied Association in Osaka, Japan.

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