Sauna and infrared cabin: understanding the differences and advantages

Heat has been used for thousands of years to alleviate numerous physical and psychological ailments. Saunas and infrared cabins are popular wellness offers that are known for their therapeutic and relaxing effects. However, there are significant differences between the two. Here is a compact comparison to help you decide which heat application is best for you.
Sauna and infrared cabin - Physiotherm

Differences between saunas and infrared cabins

Application informationPhysiotherm infrared
with low-temperature infrared technology
Sauna
Temperature range27°C to maximum 40°C50°C to 100°C
Preheating time approx.none, immediately ready for useup to 1 hour
Duration of application20-40 minutes10-15 minutes
2-3 repetitions
Frequency of usedaily possiblemaximum 2 times per week recommended
Health aspects - effect
  • Deep heat effect (= direct heat input via the spine) Heat transfer through electromagn. radiation = heated fluids, blood and lymph
  • No circulatory strain, sweating at temperatures close to body temperature
  • Sweating from the inside out
  • Can be used from infancy to old age. Also suitable for people with restricted mobility.
  • Heat transfer through heated air - convection heat through hot air circulation and the direct effect of very hot air on the outer skin layer.
  • Circulation compatibility required, as very high temperatures
  • Not suitable for children under 6 years of age
Operating costsExamples of electricity consumption
for an application of 45 minutes at an electricity price of 15 cents/kWh or 22 cents/kWh.
1-person cabin: approx. 1,400 watts - 1.050 kWh - €0.16 per application (or €0.23)
2-person cabin: approx. 1,500 watts - 1.125 kWh - €0.17 per application (or €0.25)
10 times higher operating costs compared to the Physiotherm cabin

Sauna - stimulation and thermoregulation of the body:

Sauna treatments generally take place between around 50°C and 90°C, i.e. always above the thermoneutral zone. The goal of the correct use of sauna & Co. is not to warm up the body, but to trigger more or less strong stimuli on the vegetative system and the skin.

In the sauna, for example, the body absorbs more heat over its entire surface via conduction, convection (hot air) and infrared C radiation than it can emit. The air is dry, but its temperature is very high. The steam pressure is therefore higher than that which the skin can build. The sweat formed cannot evaporate, drips off and does not produce evaporative cooling. More and more blood is sent into the skin for cooling and less and less blood is available to the central circulation.

The cardiovascular load increases massively. If the sauna is left in time, the blood in the skin cools down and is gradually made available to the circulation again. Whether a whole-body heat application is carried out at 50°C or 100°C makes no difference in terms of the thermoregulation principle, gradually, of course. An air temperature of over 50°C can be endured for up to an hour.

Infrared cabin - thermoneutral zone:

Sauna and infrared cabin - Physiotherm
In low-temperature infrared technology, the body is in a thermoneutral zone (at approx. 30°C) – which alone is not a heat application. The actual supply of heat takes place via only about 10 to 12% of the skin. In the thermoneutral zone, the body can release more heat to the environment via convection and radiation than it receives. If this is not enough, sweating begins.

However, the sweat can evaporate and cool the skin - this is shown by the fact that the humidity in the cabin increases. If heat is further supplied, then over time more sweat is formed than can evaporate. Even in low-temperature infrared technology, sweat drips off as a result.

This type of infrared application is gentle on the cardiovascular system and can, among other things, contribute significantly to pain relief, muscle relaxation and mental well-being.

Sweating is one of the "draining" procedures (detoxification, purification) of naturopathy. Sweat is formed from the blood plasma and the body is tempted to use it to get rid of potential pollutants. It is logical that heating applications are to be preferred from this point of view, as the flushing of the intercellular spaces (matrix) in the tissue of the body shell (muscles, connective tissue, joints, adipose tissue) is significantly improved.

In addition to the beneficial physical effects of an infrared application, relaxation and calming of the autonomic nervous system through a complementary light bath, sound and pleasant sitting or lying on ergonomically shaped surfaces play a major role in supporting mental balance and mental recovery.

Summarizing:

Although both saunas and infrared cabins offer significant health benefits, the choice depends on personal preference, space and cost considerations, and health goals.

Physiotherm advice

We will help you choose the right infrared heat - because it's all about your HEALTH!

We will answer all your questions. Find out more about the model selection, mode of action and options in a short, non-binding consultation with our experts.

Tip for existing saunas:

If you have a traditional sauna and would also like to enjoy the benefits of infrared applications, or if you cannot decide between a sauna and an infrared cabin, we recommend the Physiotherm sauna upgrade - the retrofittable infrared element for your sauna.

Sauna and infrared cabin - Physiotherm

Want to find out more?
Contact us and we will be happy to provide you with detailed information on the best heat for your health.