Comparing types of saunas

FDLmold

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I love love love traditional saunas. One of my top three all time ways to relax.

I am thinking of putting a sauna in my house, one because I like them, two because it will help my wife long term with her ankle injury, and three I will not have to do all the maintenance and upkeep on a hot tub.

I see that infrared saunas are a big thing now. I understand the electrical requirements for each type of sauna, and installing the wiring necessary for a 6kW traditional sauna will not be a problem.

My problem is I have never sat in an IR sauna. Somebody who has, compare and contrast the two types for me please. I am insanely curious.
 

Lemonzest

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My wife has an IR sauna and I have never used it. I like the idea of a sauna but sitting in a small enclosure with my head sticking out doesn't seem very fun. I like the social aspect. If you end up getting a multi person one setup I would be interested in hearing how it goes.

I also want a hot tub but I am put off by the ongoing maintenance.
 

JeepologyOffroad

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I love saunas too. Need to do the same. Been putting it off for too long
 

TKEUofM

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I built one into my basement last year when I finished it. Found a do it yourself kit and was a lot of fun to put together. It's about 5x8 with a 7.5kw heater. Gets up to 165 degrees in about 25 minutes.

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Copper44

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Just got a IR one for my wife, I will say the assembly was so easy, which i was thankful for. I’ll ask her for her comparison tonight.
 

FDLmold

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As a Finn, I'm ridiculously biased. But don't settle for infra-red, and go for the authentic experience. HARVIA is the brand you want to be looking for, it's the Paulson of saunas.

https://almostheaven.com/harvia-authentic-finnish-saunas/
Yes, you are biased. I think I read somewhere that your government doesn’t even consider infrared to be a sauna. But you are a biased EXPERT, and that makes all the difference. Of course I am leaning toward traditional, but I can be swayed either way. There is appeal to calling Costco, getting it delivered, building it on my 3/4 season porch, plugging it into the wall, and calling it done. But if it is inferior enough, I will bypass the convenience factor and man up and get the real thing.
 

FDLmold

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I built one into my basement last year when I finished it. Found a do it yourself kit and was a lot of fun to put together. It's about 5x8 with a 7.5kw heater. Gets up to 165 degrees in about 25 minutes.

Is that cedar or hemlock? It’s freaking beautiful. Did you run 220V?
 

davislane

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If you do go down the IR path just be mindful the amount of EMF that is emitted. Not all IR saunas are created equally. Clearlight saunas seem to be one of the leaders in this space. You have more options in the US than we do in Australia so Id imagine there would be other brands available to that would be equivalent. DYOR.
 
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TKEUofM

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Is that cedar or hemlock? It’s freaking beautiful. Did you run 220V?
Canadian Red Cedar. Ordered it from a website called Home Saunas Since 1974. They are in Ontario and I’m in Detroit so it was super close for shipping. Just had to deal with a little import documentation but it went smooth.

Yes on the 220 line with a dual 40 amp at the breaker box. Definitely need a master electrician for the wiring.

Love the smell of the red cedar and went with the traditional so I could pour water on the rocks to create a little steam.

The kit was really well done and perfectly labeled for every group of parts that went together.
 

TKEUofM

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This sounds awesome to me.

My wife also put a little essential oil holder above the heater so mixing a little lavender or eucalyptus will dissolve it into the air.

I just like having the whole room heat up including the boards with the traditional heater. From what I’ve heard the infrared only heats you as an object. But I’ve also heard that infrared is supposed to be a “deeper” heat. There are a lot of sites out there comparing the benefits of both.
 

Lemonzest

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My wife also put a little essential oil holder above the heater so mixing a little lavender or eucalyptus will dissolve it into the air.

Goo Goo Ga Ga. Again sounds so amazing. I would probably go the traditional route. It seems hard to believe IR could compare.

I don't know much about either though.
 

FDLmold

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The thread was helpful. Infrared does NOT warm up the seat, or the air, just you. I'd never thought about that before. And that isn't going to cut it. I want the smells, and to breathe hot air. My wife agrees.

Traditional it is. I don't even need to sit in the infrared now.

Time to budget and find options. And call the electrician. We got some wires to run, and a sub panel to install as well. My electrical skills are decent, but not good enough to install a sub panel for 220V double 40A circuits with what I am guessing is 8 gauge wire. That's a hum dinger.
 

FDLmold

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For those interested, my house was built in 1967, and in the mid 1980s, a slab was poured and a 14'x16' (about 4.5 metre by 5 metre for you metric folks) cedar four seasons porch was installed off the back door, lined with windows, with a couple skylights as was the trend 35 years ago. It was made for a hot tub, there is even a dedicated circuit for it (it takes a lot of juice to run a hot tub motor and heater at the same time), but the hot tub is long gone, though the fart fan remains. I have a 4' by 7' area picked out in one corner for the sauna. Ceiling is 9' so height is no issue. I just need big daddy Biden to send me some of them Corona Bucks and I'm all set.
 

One Eyed Dollar

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The thread was helpful. Infrared does NOT warm up the seat, or the air, just you. I'd never thought about that before. And that isn't going to cut it. I want the smells, and to breathe hot air. My wife agrees.

Traditional it is. I don't even need to sit in the infrared now.

Time to budget and find options. And call the electrician. We got some wires to run, and a sub panel to install as well. My electrical skills are decent, but not good enough to install a sub panel for 220V double 40A circuits with what I am guessing is 8 gauge wire. That's a hum dinger.
 

allforcharity

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I have an infrared, it's a fully enclosed model, not a fabric frame where your head sticks out. Got it a long time ago, almost 20 years. Prefer them over a traditional wet sauna, because it heats you up and likely increases your metabolism.
 

vanislander

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I'm in the middle of installing a traditional one right now. 6x8x8' in a detached shop/hopeful poker room. Some friends (a Scotsman and a Finn) have a detached barrel sauna and it got us hooked. So much better (cleaner and hotter) than what you'll come across in a public setting. DO IT.
Cedar and heater arrived about 2 weeks ago, its been taunting me every since. Homecraft Saunas based in Vancouver BC, easy decision for me as I'm nearby. Products aren't completely unboxed yet so I can't review their quality but they have great reviews and were great to deal with. They sell Harvia heaters, but they also manufacture their own heaters that have a solid reputation. Call it the CPC of heaters? Regardless, pick your heater size before you hire an electrician. 220V is ouchy and you want to be sure you put the right gauge wire in the wall, don't ask.
 

FDLmold

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Keaton is awesome at those lines. He is a master actor. Especially loved him in Cars.
 
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