The Science Behind Infrared Saunas: How They Work and Why They are Effective


If you’re looking for a way to relax and detoxify your body, an infrared sauna might be just what you need. These saunas use infrared radiation to heat your body directly, rather than heating the air around you like traditional saunas. But how do they work, and why are they effective? 

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind infrared saunas and their numerous benefits. And if you’re interested in trying one out for yourself, companies like TH7 Body Labs offer high-quality infrared sauna sessions to help you feel your best.

How Infrared Saunas Work

Infrared saunas are a form of heat therapy that has gained popularity in recent years due to their potential health benefits. Unlike traditional saunas, which use heated air or steam to warm the body, infrared saunas use light to penetrate the skin and heat the body from within. In this article, we’ll explore how infrared saunas work and why they may be effective for improving your health.

The main difference between traditional saunas and infrared saunas is the way they generate heat. Traditional saunas use a heater to warm up rocks or water, which then heats the air around you. As you sit in the sauna, your body absorbs this hot air through your skin and lungs, causing you to sweat and raising your core temperature.

In contrast, infrared saunas use special lamps or heaters that emit far-infrared (FIR) radiation. This type of radiation is similar to natural sunlight but does not contain harmful UV rays. When FIR radiation enters your body, it penetrates about 1-2 inches below the surface of your skin and starts heating up your tissues directly.

This direct heating effect makes infrared saunas more efficient at raising your core temperature compared to traditional saunas. In fact, studies have shown that infrared saunas can produce sweat that is composed of up to 20% toxins compared to only 3% from traditional sauna sweat.

There are three types of infrared wavelengths used in saunas: near-infrared (NIR), mid-infrared (MIR), and far-infrared (FIR). Each type has different effects on the body:


This wavelength penetrates only a few millimetres into the skin but can help improve circulation and boost collagen production.

Mid-infrared: This wavelength penetrates deeper into the tissues (up to several centimetres) and can help reduce pain and inflammation as well as improve circulation.


This wavelength penetrates deepest into the tissues (up to several inches) and can help with detoxification by promoting sweating as well as improving cardiovascular function.

Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their potential health benefits. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most commonly cited benefits of using an infrared sauna and examine the scientific evidence behind them.


One of the primary benefits of using an infrared sauna is that it can help your body detoxify by promoting sweating. Sweating allows your body to eliminate toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. In fact, studies have shown that sweat produced during an infrared sauna session is more concentrated with toxins than sweat produced during exercise or traditional saunas.

Pain relief

Infrared saunas may also be effective at reducing pain and inflammation in the body. This is because the heat from the sauna can increase blood flow and circulation, which can help ease sore muscles and joints. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that patients with chronic pain who used infrared sauna therapy experienced significant reductions in pain levels.

Improved Circulation

As mentioned above, infrared saunas can improve circulation by increasing blood flow throughout the body. This can lead to various health benefits, including improved cardiovascular function, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of heart disease.


Another benefit of using an infrared sauna is its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. The heat from the sauna can help relax muscles and soothe tension in the body, leading to feelings of calmness and well-being.

Skin Health

Infrared saunas may also be beneficial for improving skin health by boosting collagen production, reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and improving overall skin tone.


Infrared saunas offer a variety of potential health benefits, including detoxification, pain relief, improved circulation, relaxation, and skin health. Despite these promising benefits, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of infrared sauna therapy. By consulting with a medical professional and understanding the risks, you can decide if infrared saunas are right for your needs.