Which Infrared Sauna I Chose (And Why)

Heather Dessinger

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Heather sitting inside a Clearlight infrared sauna

I live at the end of a dirt road on 40 acres. My definition of luxury is the fact that Amazon Prime delivers here. So when I decided to order a sauna for myself, I seriously considered not telling you about it. It sounds too luxurious, you know?

But here’s the deal: When I first started reading about the science-backed benefits of saunas, I literally couldn’t shut up about them. Ask my husband.

Here’s how it went:

HusbandMimi has invited the kids over to play on Saturday afternoon.

Me: Did you know that saunas activate heat shock proteins that have been shown to extend the lives of C. elegans worms by 30%? Also, they stimulate the production of collagen and help the body eliminate xenobiotics and heavy metals.

Husband: . . .

The more I researched, the more benefits I discovered, which is why I decided to invest in a Clearlight Infrared Sauna from Jacuzzi®.

Now if you’re thinking, “Wait, I didn’t know Clearlight was made by Jacuzzi®,” here’s the deal:

Clearlight Infrared® was founded by Dr. Raleigh Duncan 20 years ago, and because of the company’s reputation for craftsmanship and quality, Jacuzzi® recently partnered with them to make sauna therapy available to more people. Clearlight is still owned by Dr. Duncan and Andy Kaps, and they continue to oversee manufacturing and quality, but the saunas now carry the Jacuzzi® name.

If you’ve never hear the story before, Jacuzzi® started out as a wellness company when one of the original Jacuzzi® brothers built a bathtub pump to ease his wife’s fibromyalgia symptoms. They’ve been focused on hydrotherapy ever since, but are now also focusing on infrared saunas as a natural complement to hydrotherapy.

Outside view of Clearlight infrared sauna

The Clearlight sauna won me over with its non-toxic materials and ultra low-EMF/ELF heaters, and it turned out to be a much better value than I was expecting.

Spoiler alert: At the bottom of this post you’ll find info on how to get hundreds of dollars off, plus a free backrest and aromatherapy holder. But first, here’s why I love my sauna.

Inside view of Clearlight infrared sauna

1. It Offers Full Spectrum Infrared

Infrared light, which we experience as heat, is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum. Although we can’t see it, we can feel it in the warmth of sunshine on our skin. The far infrared wavelength – which is present in all Clearlight infrared saunas – is highly beneficial, penetrating deeply into tissues to induce a detoxifying sweat.

It’s so safe it’s used to keep babies warm in the NICU, and our bodies radiate it naturally. (1) It’s the warmth you feel when you get a hug, and it’s the one I would pick if I had to choose just one resonant wavelength. 

The owners of Clearlight designed two distinct models:

  • Clearlight Premier– These models focus exclusively on far-infrared.
  • Clearlight Sanctuary – These models create far infrared also offer near and mid-infrared wavelengths, which I consider bonus wavelengths, each with their own unique benefits

Far Infrared Benefits

Have you ever seen the old Memorex commercial where Ella Fitzgerald breaks a wine glass with her voice? What you witnessed was her voice tapping into the resonant frequency of the glass – also known as the frequency at which a particular object begins to vibrate.

Our cells are mostly made up of water molecules, which have a resonant frequency of 6-14 microns. It makes sense, then, that the resonant frequency of the human body falls in the same range. (2)

Some experts believe that this connection between far infrared wavelengths and our resonant frequency is one reason this part of the spectrum has such a restorative effect on people. Commonly cited benefits include muscle relaxation, detoxification support, and a temporary increase in circulation and peripheral blood flow that is thought to have long-term benefits for the cardiovascular system. (3) (4)

Clearlight uses True Wave™ heaters that optimize the production of far infrared wavelengths within the 6-12 micron range.

Mid-Infrared Benefits

While the far wave heats up the body’s core quickly to produce a detoxifying sweat, the mid-wave penetrates the soft tissue to increase of the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Near-Infrared Benefits

Near-infrared helps raise our core body temperature and relax muscles. It also supports collagen production. However, like mid-infrared, it doesn’t have the resonant frequency that far infrared does.

2. It’s Crafted With Non-Toxic Materials

Some sauna manufacturers use toxic glues or chemically-treated boards in their saunas. As the sauna warms up these materials off-gas into the inner-cabin . . . not exactly the kind of stuff you want to breathe while you’re trying to detox.

Clearlight saunas use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Basswood or Western Red Cedar that is sourced from Vancouver, Canada, and water-based non-toxic glue. You choose which wood you prefer – both are durable and maintain structural integrity in extreme temperatures.

Their saunas are 3rd party tested both cold and hot for volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), which can be either synthetic (i.e. toxic glues) or naturally occurring (like the aromatic oils found in cedar). A VOC is simply a substance has the ability to evaporate, so lots of things are VOC’s, but there’s a HUGE difference between the evaporation of lavender essential oil (which contains therapeutic constituents like linalool) and, say, gasoline.

I love the way my cedar sauna infuses the air with a forest scent when it warms up. It’s very subtle due to the species that is used (Thuja Plicata), but it’s incredibly relaxing.

However, for people who are extremely sensitive to fragrances – or just prefer blonde wood – the basswood is considered a better option because the new wood scent is eliminated after about 2 weeks of use. There’s also a higher supply of Basswood which keeps costs lower, so you can get a little price break if you opt for it.

3. It’s Ultra Low EMF/ELF

Many infrared saunas emit high levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMF’s) along with extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation from the electrical wiring in the walls.

The True Wave™ carbon/ceramic heaters used in Clearlight saunas are designed to cancel out virtually all EMFs when they’re turned on, and special shielding is used to make the sauna low ELF as well.

Their saunas have been third-party tested and validated as very low-EMF and ELF – the full test results are available on their website. 

One thing worth mentioning, thought, is that there are Bluetooth capable speakers for people who want to play music via their phones. There is a switch to turn off the Bluetooth signal for those of us who are sensitive, and you can still use the sound system by connecting to the mp3 port (or jack).

Photo collage of Heather taken in 6 different chromotherapy light settings

4. Chromotherapy Is Included

Unlikely as it sounds, different light wavelengths effect our physiology in unique ways. As this Harvard Medical School article explains:

not all colors of light have the same effect. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown.

That’s because blue light suppresses melatonin production – a hormone needed to tell our bodies when it’s time to sleep. There is a lot more research needed on the benefits of different color wavelengths, but some, especially red light, are already used in clinical settings. (5)

Some companies only offer chromotherapy as an upgrade, but it’s always included with Clearlight saunas. (There’s a basic version in their Premier saunas and a stronger version in their Sanctuary models.)

When I sauna at night I use red light exclusively so that I’ll sleep well, but when I do it in the morning I set the chromotherapy feature on automatic so that it slowly rotates through the whole color spectrum.

5. It Feels Like A Personal Retreat

Because of the way it’s crafted, our sauna feels like a personal retreat. The heated air draws out the scent of Western Red Cedar, and the whole space feels emotionally grounding.

But unlike traditional saunas which can feel overly hot stuffy, infrared saunas are unique in a couple of ways:

  • Unlike wood-burning saunas, the temperature is easy to adjust to your comfort level
  • In addition to heating the air, infrared saunas generate wavelengths that our bodies are able to absorb directly. This allows us to get a good core sweat going without excessively hot ambient are.
Overhead view of Heather sitting in infrared sauna

6. Best Value

Jacuzzi® saunas are used exclusively in places like Beth Israel Hospital, Hippocrates Health Institute, and the Arcadia Cancer clinic – and for good reason. Their focus on craftsmanship is reflected in the 58 point inspection and 2-time testing that every sauna goes through before they get to the customer. Here’s a little about their quality standards in their own words.

Our True Wave™ infrared emitters have an estimated operational life of 30,000 hours. Using your sauna 5 times per week your True Wave­­™ heaters can last up to 125 years. All of our sauna cabins are both kiln dried and air dried to 7% moisture content then each panel is pressed to ensure a lifetime free from warping or cracking. All electrical components in your Jacuzzi® sauna are manufactured to our exacting standards and once your sauna comes out of production at our factory, it is set up, tested and run for several hours to ensure that it is in top working condition.”

That said, what makes Clearlight saunas the best value, in my opinion, is that in addition to how well made they are, each sauna comes with a lifetime warranty – not just on a specific part or two, but everything.

In the rare event that you might have an issue with your sauna, our limited lifetime warranty covers the entire sauna – heaters, controls, electrical and wood… even the included audio system. You will never have to worry if anything should go wrong with your Jacuzzi® sauna.”

Sauna box in bedroom, ready to be unpacked.
Unloading Box #1 of 3
Sauna during and after DIY construction.

How To Get Special Pricing On The Sauna I Use

Remember how I told you that you could get hundreds of dollars off your order, plus a free ergonomic backrest and aromatherapy cup? I can’t actually publish the discount because it’s so much lower than their list price, but you can get more info over here.

Also, because several of you have asked:

  • They do offer an option that allow you to spread payments over 12 months. There’s no interest, and you can pay it off early if you want with no penalty.
  • We got the Sanctuary 2. It’s perfect for two people and comes with a sound system and ergonomic bench that is super comfy.

Click here to get pricing

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have noticed that this is a different sauna company than I originally reviewed. That’s because I’ve updated my recommendation after several of you reached out to me regarding frustrating customer service issues.

I still think the old sauna is good, which is why I donated it to my family doctor so that he could make it available to the families in his practice. Because I’d paid for it out of my own pocket and didn’t have the budget to buy a new one – and yet still felt I needed to try a new sauna personally before recommending it – I gratefully accepted Jacuzzi’s® offer to give me a very good discount on this one.


  1. World Health Organization. Medical Devices: Radiant Infant Warming Unit
  2. James M. W. Brownjohn and Xiahua Zheng (2001) Discussion of human resonant frequency
  3. Richard Beever, MD (2009) Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors
  4. Tanjaniina Laukkanen, MSc et. al. (2014) Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events
  5. Alexander Wunsch and Karsten Matuschka (2014) A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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54 thoughts on “Which Infrared Sauna I Chose (And Why)”

  1. Hey, Little Cutie (& Daniel)! This is Yvonne (Ward) Gerdt, your former English teacher at Shady Grove Christian Academy! Still at (Shady Grove)/Gateway – Grand Prairie Church. But, wow! I found your blog and website a couple of years ago when I was looking for a healthy recipe. Up popped your lovely face, and I said, “Heather! It’s my Heather!”
    Just now getting time to write! So very proud of you! What an awesome website with such wonderful info. A lot of my friends read and use your info, as do I! I married late in life, at 41 yrs old, but have been happily married 20 years this Feb 14th. Have an 18 yr. old son that I’ve homeschooled his whole life. Been using YL essential oils for 14 years and been into the healthy eating scene, too! I love all that you’re doing educate wives and homemakers. Will lift you, Daniel, and babies up in prayer for protection, success, and some rest!!! You’ve gotta be going full blast. Well, I love ya, Sweet Heather! Give Daniel and all your beautiful babies a big hug from me! Yvonne Gerdt

    • Hi Karyn! According to this study, sauna bathing “is well tolerated by most healthy adults and children. Sauna bathing does not influence fertility and is safe during the uncomplicated pregnancies of healthy women.” However, many sources recommend avoiding sauna use during the first trimester, and the American College of Gynecologists recommends limiting sauna sessions to under 15 minutes. (source )

  2. You mentioned that the infrared sauna doesn’t affect fertility, but I’m wondering if that’s true for male fertility. Wouldn’t the high temps reduce sperm count? I’ve tried to research this but haven’t found much info on infrared saunas specifically. Thank you!

    • Does anyone have an answer for this? I’m a bit disappointed because we purchased one of the saunas yesterday thinking it was completely safe for us while trying to conceive, but now am reading about how any type of heat kills sperm and men should avoid all types of saunas while trying to conceive. 🙁 I’m also curious to hear from women who have been pregnant and regularly used the infrared sauna since I’ve heard conflicting research about this as well. Thanks so much.

      • Hi Tara, you’ve asked a very good question. Unfortunately I’m not sure if there is a definitive answer. As I mentioned in this post (https://mommypotamus.com/infrared-sauna-tips/), different types of saunas/sweat lodges have been used by Mayans, Russians, Finns, the Japanese and other cultures. In Finland they are often used several times per week, and there doesn’t seem to be a cultural taboo against men using them when trying to conceive. That said, I looked for the research you mentioned and it seems it was a small Finnish study which found decreased sperm count in men that used a sauna for 15 minutes 2x’s per week. If the study was well-constructed (and I don’t see any reason to believe it wasn’t), that does support the conclusion that sauna use may temporarily lower sperm count. (The counts returned to baseline after a period of abstaining from the sauna.) Is the lowered count significant enough to affect fertility? I’m not sure. Another consideration is that traditional saunas run much hotter than infrared saunas, so it’s unclear how the findings apply. Interestingly, the near IR used in the chromotherapy feature is within the spectrum that has been shown in animal studies to positively impact testosterone when shined directly on the testicles. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15838719 That doesn’t directly apply in this situation as the chromotherapy feature is installed in the ceiling, but I thought you might find it interesting.

        • Thanks for your response. I wonder if it would be ok if my husband just used it at lower temps until we conceive… wish someone would do some studies on this! 😉 Nevertheless, we are very excited to sit in our warm sauna with a foot of snow outside and negative temps!

  3. There seems to be significant disagreement on the use of saunas for women TTC. One of my doctors says absolutely no saunas and the other one says I should do saunas (infrared) as a form of detox during the preconception time. A google search turns up opposite results as well. Do you have any perspective on this?

  4. Hi Heather! First of all, I love your informative articles and how to’s , and appreciate all the research you do for all of us, Heather : ) . As I am researching sauna’s and heat/light therapy, I came across another article here: https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/infrared-sauna-review/ Sarah believes that mostly the near infrared rays are the most healthy for us, and does not recommend the far infrared. Could you look at this research as well for me and tell me what you think of it? I would love to know your opinion. Thank you so much : )

  5. I’m not finding the specific info on the link, but what model sauna did you buy? Is it full spectrum or far infrared. So many choices. We’re looking in investing to help our son with lyme.

    • Hi Bee, I have the Sanctuary 2 which is the full-spectrum. However, my personal opinion is that far-infrared (which is present in both the Premier and Sanctuary models) is the most important aspect. For me, the near and mid infrared was an awesome bonus with additional benefits, but the core benefits I focused on here were based on research on far-infrared: https://mommypotamus.com/sauna-benefits/

  6. EMF’s are a huge concern for Sperm count.
    Harvard did studies on this, so please do your own research.
    Laptops should be trashed, and your house hard wired for computers as well as phones.

    Dr Divera Davis PhD is an expert.
    May have the wrong spelling for her first name.

    Our house would never hold any thing this size.
    Cost, power usage, size are always such huge considerations.
    My fears are always, so many bells and whistles mean issues for us, as we live in the wilderness. Service and delivery are always a problem.
    Enjoy all and report back.

  7. I have a sauna like yours. My husband bought it at a Habitat Re-store thrift store for $50. No one was certain if it worked, but for $50, we took a chance. It worked and still works today! There was another higher end sauna with seating for six that was being sold at the same store for $800. It was beautiful and had been tested and we knew for sure that it worked, but that was more than we could afford. I enjoy the benefits of my sauna and my 14 year-old uses it too. One thing I don’t like about it is that I get very tired and sleepy in it and there’s no where to lean my head. A friend of mine let me use her sauna once (before I got mine) and hers was a cocoon-style type where laid down on a bed (the size of a doctor’s office exam table) and pulled a cocoon type of cover over myself. I only pulled it up to my neck, although it could go over my head as well. That was so comfortable compared to the sit-down type. I was able to nap while I used the sauna. I will continue to use mine. I have Lyme disease and it helps me with detoxing and relieving symptoms. I just wanted to put it out there for others to consider how it may be tiring for some to sit there with head slumped over in an uncomfortable position because of fatigue while using it.

    • Whoa, so awesome that you found one! Did you find a one person sauna or two? I find that I can very comfortably recline in my two person either by stretching out across the bench or leaning on my ergonomic backrest. I can see how that might be an issue with a one person sauna, though, without the backrest.

  8. Hi Heather,
    Did you personally check the EMF levels of your sauna? I’ve read several companies say low EMF, but when tested, they read differently. I’m just curious if you’ve tested, and what the number is that you’ve found. Also, what is the temperature range of this sauna? How high does it go? I was also curious if this is ok for someone with rosacea, eczema or psoriasis? My husband has psoriasis, and I want to make sure this would be beneficial for him, and not make it worse. Your skin looks great by the way…radiant! Thank you! ?

    • Hi Michelle! Yes I did and the reading was virtually zero. I used a high quality EMF/ELF meter that I rented from an electrical engineer, and at first it showed a slight EMF/ELF reading. I was puzzled by that and wondered if it could be ELF’s from the electrical wiring in the wall that the sauna backs up to. To test the theory, I unplugged the sauna and took a measurement, then plugged the sauna back in, turned it on and took another measurement. The change was virtually zero, which confirmed that it was the wiring the meter was picking up on. I have since moved the sauna out a few inches from the wall, which reduced the reading. Both readings were considered to be below the threshold of concern according to the engineer, but I like it where it is now. 🙂

      • Thanks Heather! Also, what temperature does your sauna go to, and do you know if there are any benefits for someone with psoriasis or rosacea?

        • It goes up to 158F, whereas traditional saunas are upwards of two hundred degrees. Traditional saunas use very hot ambient air to heat the core from the outside in, whereas our bodies naturally and quickly absorb infrared heat (like the heat that comes off sand at the beach) and therefore core temp rises faster. I like both but my husband likes infrared much more because traditional saunas can feel very stuffy and hard to breathe in. I know of a few biohackers that have rigged their infrared saunas to go higher, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I’ve been in quite a few different saunas and I can say for sure that I sweat more in mine than any other I’ve tried, and I know I’m activating heat shock proteins, balancing my sympathetic/parasympathetic response, et.

  9. Hi Heather! I’m having a tough time deciding between this Clearlight Sanctuary Sauna that you reviewed and the Sunlighten Mpulse sauna. It’s a huge investment and I want to make sure I’m buying what’s best for my family’s health. Did you happen to look at Sunlighten’s saunas when you were deciding on the Clearlight?

  10. Hi Heather,
    I think I see why you took my request for help with my Health Mate Enrich 2 sauna backorder and issues off the comment section and didn’t get back to me. The shelf they eventually sent cannot be put together as the holes don’t match up. So that’s another issue I have to take up with them. I still don’t have the AM radio as advertised either. I raved about this sauna to my parents who also bought the same one, but from a different seller at an even better price.

    Before purchasing the Health Mate, I did consider another maker with a lifetime warrantee, but went with your recommendation. I hope it lasts for years as my family and I enjoy it very much and I believe that it will help me recover from Hashimoto’s.

    God bless you and thanks for the update.

  11. Hi Heather, I’m a fan of your website and I value the information that you publish. I followed your recommendation this time last year and purchased a Health Mate Sauna. Imagine my confusion when you posted a nearly identical article recommending Jacuzzi instead. The photos are even nearly identical to the ones you used in the Health Mate article, only this time a Jacuzzi sauna is pictured. Can you elaborate as to why you switched?

    • Hi Amanda, thanks so much for your comment. I think the most important thing you probably want to know is whether I still think the Health Mate sauna is a good one, and the answer to that is yes. When I decided to update my recommendation – which I will explain the reasoning for in a moment – I actually donated my Health Mate sauna to my local functional medicine doctor so that it could benefit more families on their path to healing. The reason I updated this post with a new company recommendation is that several readers reached out to me after having extreme difficulty with the customer service department. I worked hard to help them get their problems resolved and tried to encourage the company to improve responsiveness to customers after their purchase, but unfortunately there are still significant issues with customer care. Because I love sauna therapy and want to be able to continue to recommend it, I decided to update my recommendation to Jacuzzi because they make an amazing quality sauna and have an excellent customer service track record. This was not a decision that I took lightly, but considered over the course of many months. I hope you continue to love and use your sauna, and if there is ever a customer service issue I am 100% here to help if you think it would be beneficial – my email is [email protected] if you ever need to reach me.

      A quick note on why the photos seem so similar – I recently re-photographed the magnesium supplements in this post (https://mommypotamus.com/magnesium-supplements/) after one of the previously recommended products was found by an independent third party not to be as pure as it claimed. The photos are almost identical, not because I intentionally made them that way, but because I’m just photographing the stuff in my house and I tend to choose the same shots/angles out of habit.

      Thank you again for your comment. I appreciate the way in which you expressed yourself and am here if you have any further questions. <3

      • Thank you so much for clarifying! We are enjoying our sauna and haven’t had any issues requiring customer service. Thank you for your careful research and for providing so much valuable information that others can benefit from!

  12. Hi Heather, I have TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) .. I suffer from fibromyalgia and severe joint pain. I am a retired, disabled professional acrobat @ Cirque du Soleil where I sustained my injuries. Do you know anyone with severe brain injuries that use this sauna? I live in Vegas and don’t go out much in the summer because I get headaches from the sun. Do you know if it is safe for me to use this sauna? Thx, Vessi

    • HI! I had TBI from a truck wreck 3 years ago. The sauna in combination with cranial sacral work and specific osteopath WITH CBD oil helped me out a lot. No more migraines and I can garden now.

  13. Hi Heather! Thank you for all of your wonderful articles! I think the sanctuary 2 would require a 20 amp outlet, and if so, is it difficult to add that, and was it terribly expensive?
    Thank you!!

  14. I have also been reviewing saunas to exhaustion. I want to know if during your research time did you review Vital Health full spectrum saunas and if so what do you think? I want to make my final decision before Christmas.

    • I’m also curious about Vital Health….bouncing between the two companies! We had a HealthMate that lasted for 18 years, so I can’t say anything at all bad about that company, but after researching we’ve decided to go with either a full spectrum Clearlight or Vital Health. We definitely want floor heaters, which you can obviously see in the Vital Health saunas, but Im confused on how there are floor heaters in the Clearlight with solid wood planks. Interested to hear your thoughts!! Thanks!!

  15. Hi Heather,
    I bought the HealthMate sauna last year when I found your post on the benefits of infra-red therapy. I really do not have any complaints about it and found the customer service to be excellent. Now that I am reading about the one you have switched to I am curious if you think it would make sense to put one or two near infra-red lamps in my sauna to expand the therapy. I would use them simultaneously or separately I suppose. It is not in the cards to change to the Jacuzzi–the HealthMate is very close to getting paid off! Thank you for you input.

  16. Hello, I just purchased a Durham portable sauna but would ultimately like to upgrade to one like yours lol. If you ever move do tou have to take apart your sauna???? Just curious.

  17. I’ve been trying to decide between the Sanctuary II and mPulse believe. Did you happen to consider Sunlighten? If so, was there a specific reason you chose Jacuzzi over them? Thank you!

  18. Can you please tell me what exactly you do for hair care/covering if that’s needed before, during, and after the sauna????

    We have one now and I’m using it daily and don’t want my hair to get dry or something!!

  19. Hi Heather, great article. For someone who isn’t too acquainted to infrared saunas, how would you recommend them to use it?