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.