How would you feel about having a personal sauna at your home? Well, if your answer is a big yes, you’re at the right place!
Sauna blankets are in hype these days, and rightfully so. After all, who wouldn’t want to cozy up in their personal sauna?
However, before investing in sauna blankets, the primary question should be – do sauna blankets really work? And do they offer similar health benefits that a traditional sauna is found to grant its users?
Well, if you’re planning to buy a sauna blanket and are looking for answers to these questions, read on to find out!
What Is an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
If you are a sauna fanatic, you might have wished for a cozy and portable version of saunas at least once. And the good news is, an infrared sauna blanket just serves the purpose.
But why are these mini-saunas called infrared sauna blankets? These blankets, in fact, use far-infrared rays to heat up your body. Your body will heat but not the air around you. So, while you’ll be feeling tropical inside, the blanket will not feel hot to touch on the outside.
Sauna blankets range from around 80 °F to 160 °F and target every nooks and cranny of your body. There is no steam production, and the temperature is quite below that of traditional saunas, making this version of sauna a perfect choice for people who cannot tolerate higher temperatures of saunas.
You can also adjust the temperature manually in sauna blankets such that you can slowly make your way towards a higher temperature.
You can also choose to spend more time sweating in relatively lower temperatures. In short, you can truly reap the benefits and enjoy the experience while using sauna blankets, as the choices are all up to you.
What Are the Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna Blankets? Do They Really Work?
From boosting immunity to managing stress to even detoxifying your body, infrared sauna blankets are praised for offering plenty of health benefits.
However, not all of these alleged benefits are facts. For instance, while sweating can eliminate skin toxins, it cannot truly ‘detoxify’ your body. The detoxification process is the department of our two major organs; kidney and liver.
So, while sauna blankets do give us a cleansed and detoxified feeling, which might be minimally true, it cannot be considered a major health benefit offered by infrared sauna blankets.
A dermatology professor at St. Louis University, Dee Anna Glasser, further mentions that infrared saunas do not trigger fat burning despite the fact that you sweat. So, while we can get rid of harmful toxins from our bodies by burning fat and sweating, infrared sauna blankets aren’t quite capable of doing so.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of health benefits, backed by scientific studies, that these personal-saunas offers. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Infrared sauna blankets help improve your skin
Sweating is believed to help your skin mainly by removing the oils, deposits, and toxins out of the pores, preventing common problems such as acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Infrared sauna heals your skin by making it sweat and are also believed to reduce wrinkles, pigmentations, and fine lines.
Infrared saunas are also considered a ‘low-level light therapy’, which is often used in treating skin problems such as acne and eczema.
2. Infrared sauna blankets help reduce joint pains
A study has found infrared sauna to be beneficial among patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A short-term improvement of pain and stiffness was observed amongst patients without any noticeable adverse effects.
3. Infrared sauna blankets help with relaxation and chronic fatigue syndrome
It is indeed true that infrared sauna blankets help us relax. After all, we’ll be lying peaceful and calm in a warm environment, getting rid of all body dirt and toxins along with sweat. The experience is truly rejuvenating.
On top of that, infrared sauna blankets are also proved to be beneficial for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
In a small study performed, the infrared sauna was found to be helpful in significantly reducing fatigue. Also, it was found efficient in elevating the mood of the patients by reducing the signs of anxiety and depression.
4. Infrared sauna blanks help decrease muscle soreness and aid the recovery process
In a small study performed on ten physically active male volunteers, deep penetration of infrared saunas into fat tissues was found to provide a relaxing experience to the volunteers, aiding in the neuromuscular system recovery process from rigorous strength and endurance training.
5. Infrared sauna blankets improve circulation and benefit cardiovascular health
The possibility of far-infrared therapy to be beneficial for different chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, is mentioned in a review article.
While the scientists aren’t clear of the exact mechanism, this complementary effect of far-infrared therapy to the treatments of chronic diseases are believed to be associated with increased nitric oxide production.
Moreover, the relaxation, the thermal effect, and the sweating associated with infrared sauna blankets are also believed to improve circulation in the body.
6. Infrared sauna blankets help manage blood pressure
Sauna blankets are claimed to burn around 600 calories in 40 minutes. Likewise, infrared sauna blankets are also associated with positive feelings and reduction of stress.
It might be due to such factors or a completely new underlying mechanism unknown to the scientific community; sauna blankets are found to help manage blood pressure.
According to a Harvard Professor, Dr Adolph Hutter, the warmth during the sauna dilate blood vessels, thus helping lower blood pressure.
However, in a study conducted in 2019, scientists have found saunas to increase blood pressure during the session instead. However, after the session, the BP started to drop below the volunteers’ baseline levels.
Are Infrared Sauna Blankets Safe?
To a healthy human body, infrared sauna blankets are considered completely safe. However, if you’re a patient of chronic disease, a heart patient, or if you’re under medication, it is a must to consult your doctor beforehand you use a sauna blanket.
The same is the case for pregnant ladies; a detailed discussion with your doctor is a must. Likewise, low blood pressure patients and patients with kidney diseases are also advised to not use infrared sauna blankets without informing their doctors.
One very important thing one must remember is that, while sauna blankets are safe to use, overdoing it might cause some complications.
One major such issue is dehydration. Intense sweating during the sauna might cause your body to lose plenty of water in the form of sweat, and if the water content is not replenished, you might experience serious dehydration problems.
How To Use An Infrared Sauna Blanket?
Using an infrared sauna blanket shouldn’t be a tricky task to do. First of all, it is imperative you read the complete manual that comes with the sauna blanket.
Before using a sauna blanket, you must make sure that you are properly hydrated. Drink a glass of water before the session, and it is always a good idea to keep a bottle of water on the side in case you’re thirsty during the session.
Now, it’s time to choose the appropriate temperature. Everyone’s body has a different tolerance level to heat. So, instead of listening to others’ advice, find the temperature that works for you. It’s a great idea to start with a lower temperature and increase the temperature slowly as you like.
Similarly, set the time as per your preference. If you are using an infrared sauna blanket for the first time, starting with a lower time limit 10 to 15 minutes is probably a good idea. You can then increase the time limit with every session and pamper yourself as much as you like.
However, when setting temperature and time, remember not to overdo as there are chances that you might end up feeling dehydrated.
Once the session is over, let your body cool down for a few minutes and take a quick shower. Clean your sauna blanket gently for your next use with an antibacterial wipe and fold it back.
Sauna blankets are often used 2 to 3 times a week. However, if you can tolerate the heat, you can use it daily for 5 to 10 minutes. However, remember not to overdo it.
So, Should You Buy an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
So, in the end, the decision comes down to you. If you are convinced by minimal research backing the health benefits provided by a sauna, you might want to give it a try. Or, if you’re a sauna enthusiast and visit a sauna studio frequently, having your own mini sauna at home certainly helps.
However, not buying a sauna blanket is not the end of the world, and you think that it’s not a good investment or you simply don’t enjoy the sauna experience at all; we don’t think sauna blankets are a good fit for you.
One of the best traits of sauna blankets is that they heat the body from within without heating the surrounding air makes it even more appealing to those who find traditional saunas too hot and unbreathable due to steam.
So, what’s your say? Are sauna blankets just another trend, or are they here to stay for a long time? And would you invest in one? We’d love to hear your opinions.