What infrared heat is best? Near, mid, far or full-spectrum?

Infrared heaters can deliver near, mid, far and full spectrum infrared heat. Near and far infrared heating elements are the most common.

Infrared sauna benefits

Deciding which infrared heat is best for you depends on what you need. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of infrared heat waves.

What is infrared?

Infrared is a safe wavelength of light (or energy) which we feel as heat. The largest source of infrared heat is the Sun.

Infrared heat is all around us. You can feel it from sources like fire, heated sand on the beach, and the sun (without the harmful ultraviolet waves that the sun gives off).

What are the infrared waves?

Just as visible light has a range of wavelengths (running from red to violet), so does infrared light.

The infrared spectrum consists of near (NIR), mid (MIR), and far (FIR) infrared waves, each with distinct characteristics and frequency ranges.

Longer wavelengths (or far infrared waves) are thermal, while short or near-infrared waves are not hot at all, in fact, you cannot even feel them.

What type of infrared heat is best in a sauna?

Infrared sauna heaters can deliver near, mid, far and full spectrum infrared heat.

Near and far infrared heating elements are the most common. Full-spectrum infrared heaters, as the name suggests, offer a combination of all three.

The three types of infrared sauna heat:

  • Near-infrared. Near-infrared (NIR) is the shortest wavelength, but it penetrates the deepest. The sun emits nearly half of its total energy in the near-infrared spectrum.
  • Mid-infrared. A longer wavelength can penetrate deeper into the body’s soft tissue, increasing circulation and releasing oxygen to reach injured areas.
  • Far infrared. Far-infrared (FIR) is the closest of the wavelengths to the infrared heat given off by our own body. Far infrared waves penetrate into our body and activate the sweat glands. FIR resonates with your own body’s heat generation, allowing for deep heat and raising your core body temperature.

While near- and mid-infrared saunas tend to promote topical healing and mild pain relief quite effectively – far-infrared saunas are incredibly effective at removing toxins, improving circulation, and relaxing the muscles.

It’s up to you which heat source you feel will serve you best.

Top tip: For optimal healing benefits, choose a sauna with a heater that has a lower surface area temperature – this allows for a more precise wavelength consistently throughout your sauna session. As a result, you can make the most of your time in the sauna by giving you maximum benefits, including raised core body temperature.

In summary

We hope this article has helped answer your questions about the different types of infrared heat.

If you have any more questions about anything to do with infrared saunas please get in touch.

Visit your local Spa World showroom, view the full range of saunas on our website or schedule a virtual consultation with one of our sauna experts. We are here to help you make the best decision for you.

You can also download a copy of our comprehensive Sauna Buyer’s Guide below. It has everything you need to know when shopping for saunas.

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