The BEST Portable Infrared Saunas (Buyers Guide & Health Benefits)
Sitting in sweltering heat may seem like torture, but sauna use has been a relaxing tradition for centuries. From Native American sweat lodges to the world-renowned Finnish saunas, the practice has spanned across cultural barriers. Portable infrared saunas are a spiritual successor to these cleansing and healing rituals, and modern research has begun to reveal their health benefits.
It can be tough to pick the best infrared portable sauna for your home. We’ve analyzed hundreds of reviews, specs, features, promotional materials, and more to help you find the best portable infrared sauna for your needs.
All factors considered, this is one of the best portable infrared saunas for most people. It’s packed with features and extra goodies, it’s priced competitively, and it can hit a respectable 140 degrees Fahrenheit after warming up.
The frame is quick and easy to set up, and the soft, quilted cover easily hangs over the frame. And an adjustable hole at the top allows you to keep your head cool during even the most intense sauna sessions. Similarly, two zipper-sealed holes toward the front allow you to stick your hands out and hold a device or book.
A pocket conveniently sits below the hand opening on the right. The portable infrared sauna’s remote easily sits in the pocket, and allows you to adjust the temperature from inside the tent. The remote also lets you adjust the heated foot pad with just a touch.
That’s right, this mini sauna comes with a heated foot mat! Simply place the mat below the included foldable chair, turn it on with the remote, and enjoy the full home spa experience.
Loaded with features, this is overall one of the best portable infrared saunas you can get.
This portable infrared sauna isn’t as tried and tested as our top pick, but it was a close runner-up. In fact, the two are quite similar. Kuppet’s home spa in this bronze-brown color oozes style and comes loaded with extra goodies.
The PVC frame and multi-layered tent are quick end easy to set up and take down. When not in use, all the components can fold mostly flat and easily store underneath a bed or in a closet.
Like any other infrared portable sauna, this one features an adjustable hole at the top that allows you to stick your head out while in use. Similarly, two zippers toward the front can be undone to use your hands outside the tent while basking in the heat.
Just like our top pick, the included remote can be used to adjust the temperature level and turn on the included heated foot pad. In addition to the foot pad, this portable FAR infrared sauna comes with a wooden foot massager. The ridges and knobs on the rollers can be used to help alleviate foot pain.
This portable FAR infrared sauna was a close runner-up for our top pick, and still deserves a shoutout.
This is one of the biggest truly portable infrared saunas on the market. The spacious cabin is larger than any other featured on this list, allowing taller people to enjoy that sought-after sauna experience. And a sturdier folding chair with a maximum rated weight of 220 pounds takes the place of some of smaller, lighter chairs.
The pre-attached Beech hardwood dowel frame makes it quick and easy to set up the spacious tent. In only minutes, you’ll be ready to enjoy this sauna’s 150-degree home spa experience.
As with any other personal infrared sauna, a hole at the top allows you to keep your head cool, and two zippers at the front allow you to free your hands. The remote fits conveniently in either of the two front pockets, and can be used to adjust the temperature and included heated foot pad.
As a little bonus, this mini sauna comes with ionizing pads that help clean the air and keep your sauna fresh. Whereas some saunas can start to smell a little sweaty over time, these ionizer pads help to maintain that like-new freshness.
This is one of the largest and most luxurious portable infrared saunas you can find.
If you’re hoping to go a little lighter on your wallet, this portable FAR infrared sauna is a great option. At glance, it’s obvious that this mini sauna is similar to the sauna featured directly above. One of the key differences is that it’s smaller. Not that it’s a small tent—it’s about the same size as the top two picks—but it’s not as big as the deluxe-sized sauna.
This portable sauna reaches a respectable 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which is plenty for most people. The temperature can be controlled by a remote that conveniently sits in the front right pocket, just outside one of the two zipper-sealed openings for your hands.
Like most others, this portable FAR infrared sauna comes with a folding chair and a heated foot pad. It’s a great way to get that home spa experience on a budget. It also comes with the same ionizer pads to help maintain that like-new freshness.
This portable FAR infrared sauna is a great option for anyone trying to go light on the wallet.
If you’re looking for something a little different, this portable sauna may be the one for you. It’s not a tent like the other portable infrared saunas featured in this guide. Rather, it’s a multi-layered infrared blanket that can deliver an even more intense sauna experience.
This personal infrared sauna blanket can reach temperatures of up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, higher than what you’ll find in a tent-style portable sauna. Using the control box conveniently located at the head of the blanket, you can control three different heating zones individually.
While it may seem like a portable infrared sauna blanket could easily get dingy, its maintenance is pretty easy. The inside of the blanket is made of a waterproof PVC material, so there’s no absorption. You can easily unfold the blanket wide open, clean it with a cloth, and leave it to dry.
Reaching up to 185 degrees, this sauna blanket is great for a more intense sauna experience.
A small portable tent isn’t going to work for everyone craving that home spa experience. Wooden home saunas are a great alternative, and they’re often much less expensive than most people realize.
This FAR infrared home sauna is a great option for setting up a more authentic home spa. It’s made entirely from Canadian hemlock wood, double layered to ensure maximum heat insulation. The high-heat glass panels in the front allow you to monitor the inside for safety without compromising on maximum potential heat.
All these materials are much easier to put together than you might think. This home sauna is built with a tools-free design, allowing you to simply buckle the pieces into place. This means that this actually is a portable infrared sauna, as you can break it down and move it fairly easily.
This two-person sauna has quite a few bonus features built in. Two speakers at the top of the back wall can play music via your own device plugged into the auxiliary jack inside. You can also adjust the built-in LED using the same panel, illuminating the interior or leaving it dark and moody.
As if that weren’t enough, this home sauna comes with a 2-year warranty and lifetime technical support. But based on the super high number of glowing reviews, chances are you won’t need to take advantage of the warranty at all.
With an insanely high number of glowing reviews on Amazon, this is a fantastic wooden home sauna.
Quick, tool-free setup
High max heat (140 degrees F)
Fits two people
100% Canadian hemlock wood
Need to call and register the unit for the warranty
Slower warm up time
Health Benefits of Portable Infrared Saunas
Since ancient times, various cultures have praised sauna use (and similar practices) as a means to improve health. Only more recently has research been used to verify such claims.
Here are some of the most prominent research-backed health benefits of sauna usage.
Studies have shown that sauna use may be linked to longevity. Here’s a summary of the research.
These cardiovascular changes and the resultant “workout” for the heart may be part of the reason sauna usage can help lower the risk of heart disease. Using a personal infrared sauna can be an effective way to simulate the same kind of heat exposure at home.
However, this meta-analysis was conducted in 2009. Since then, there has been plenty more research on the relationship between sauna use and heart health.
Only a year later, another study examined the effects of Waon therapy on chronic heart failure peripheral arterial disease.7Waon therapy for cardiovascular disease: innovative therapy for the 21st century. Waon therapy involves being exposed to 140-degree Fahrenheit temperatures for a period of time. The study found that this heat exposure was effective in treating both chronic heart failure and peripheral arterial disease.
Another study in 2017 further demonstrated that sauna use can reduce blood pressure.8Sauna Bathing and Incident Hypertension: A Prospective Cohort Study They found that among 1,621 subjects aged 42 to 60, those who used saunas more frequently demonstrated far fewer cases of high blood pressure. Those who used a sauna 4 to 7 times per week were 46% less likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure compared to those who used a sauna only once per week.
Further research has shown that sauna use may reduce total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol.9The effect of sauna bathing on lipid profile in young, physically active, male subjects In a 3-week trial, 16 subjects underwent 10 sauna bathing sessions every day or two. They sat in a 195-degree Fahrenheit sauna (standard heat in Finnish saunas) for two 15-minute sessions separated by a 2-minute break. At the end of the trial, they demonstrated reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Heat exposure, like what one can experience in a infrared portable sauna, can help with reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
For example, research has shown that heat exposure can help improve obesity-induced insulin resistance.10Whole body hyperthermia improves obesity-induced insulin resistance in diabetic mice Insulin resistance is when cells in the body don’t properly utilize blood glucose, leading to high levels of blood sugar. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, closely correlates with prediabetes. People with prediabetes are at risk of developing diabetes.
For example, one study examined 2,084 men with chronic or acute inflammation.13Sauna bathing and systemic inflammation The study found that the more frequently the men used a sauna (up to 7 times per week), the lower their level of inflammation. This was true even when accounting for a whole slew of other factors, including age, weight, smoking habits, physical activity, and more.
Sauna usage may also be able to improve athletic endurance and efficiency. Here’s a summary of the research.
Research has shown that sauna use may improve the body’s ability to endure heat. It may seem obvious, but it’s necessary to have the data to back it up.
In addition to withstanding heat more effectively, research suggests that sauna-like heat exposure can actually improve athletic performance.
One study examined the effects of relatively modest heat exposure in highly-trained athletes.15Effectiveness of short-term heat acclimation for highly trained athletes They underwent 5 days of 90-minute sessions in 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Comparing the performance of a rowing-based heat stress test before and after the trial, the athletes improved their time by a little more than 1%. They also demonstrated slightly lower internal body temperatures.
Muscle Glycogen Efficiency
These effects are likely related to the body’s more efficient use of muscle glycogen following heat exposure.
Another study measured the effects of heat exposure therapy in subjects with major depressive disorder.24Whole-Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder Subjects were randomized into two groups, with one undergoing heat exposure therapy for 6 weeks and the other serving as the control. At the end of the trial, the heat-exposed group showed significantly decreased depression score measurements.
Focus, Attention, and Memory
Research has also shown that sauna use may help with focus and attention. Notably, studies have shown that sauna use can significantly increase levels of norepinephrine.
Norepinephrine is a hormone and neurotransmitter best known for its role in the fight or flight response. It also plays a vital role in focus, attention, and memory.
One study examined the relationship between sauna use and norepinephrine.25Haemodynamic and hormonal responses to heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath. They tested various temperatures and levels of humidity, and noted significant increases in norepinephrine. The strongest increase was noted at 176-degrees Fahrenheit in a humid sauna, which was associated with a 310% increase in norepinephrine.
Portable infrared saunas are a great way to take advantage of all the research-backed health benefits of saunas in the comfort of your own home. They’re also much more inexpensive compared to full-size home saunas.
Equipped with the information from this buyers guide, you should be able to pick the best infrared portable sauna for your needs. If you aren’t sure you want an infrared sauna, a portable steam sauna might be for you.