Near Infrared vs. Far Infrared: 5 Main Differences You Need To Know


The time has come for you to get your very first personal sauna, and the only thing left to do before the purchase is to decide which one to get. OK, let’s say you don’t want to use wood or any other traditional type of sauna, so you’ve narrowed your choice down to infrared sauna, but it still isn’t over, because you’ll have to decide which one you’d love more – near-infrared sauna or far infrared sauna.

Near-infrared vs far infrared is one of the main points of argument between sauna users all around the world, and this article will try to answer the question of which one is better for you.

What Is Infrared Heating System?

Unlike other, traditional saunas that heat the air, the infrared sauna is centered on the idea of heating the body itself by using the best-infrared heaters. It doesn’t use water, so there is no wet and steamy air inside the infrared sauna rooms. It is also known as a “heat therapy” room and serves the best for relaxation after big efforts or for simply toning the muscles.

Near VS Far Infrared Sauna

Although the principle is the same, there are some big differences between these two types of an infrared sauna. But before we switch to comparison, we’ll go through the idea behind the younger “relative”, near-infrared sauna.

What Is A Near Infrared Sauna System?

This system is becoming more and more popular around the globe, especially in the last few years. It is contained within the spectrum of natural light, and because of the human ability to absorb and use that near-infrared energy, it offers a really big spectrum of positive effects on the human body. To simplify, it recreates the energy of the sun our skin requires to survive, and by this it helps to raise core body temperature, refreshing the skin by sweating, removing toxins gathered under our skin, while it also improves circulation and, last but not the least, it serves as great pain relief.

Near-Infrared VS Far Infrared – How They Compare?

Now when we know what the near-infrared sauna is, it is time to compare it with the far infrared sauna in the five biggest differences and find out which one is the better choice for you.

1. Electromagnetic Field Or EMF

To power an infrared sauna on, you’ll have to use electricity, so there will be some electromagnetic radiation. This is the first and probably the most important difference. The far infrared sauna has wires that reflect radiation distributed all around the sauna walls, making it impossible to distance yourself away from the radiation. Unlike them, a near-infrared sauna has all of its wires on one wall, so there is a space to move away from it.

But, that is not all. The far bigger problem for a far infrared sauna is the fact that the electromagnetic fields it provides are way more harmful because of the frequency used to emit the heat. The problem lies in its inability to put out far-infrared without spreading out radiation along with it.  Many companies are trying to shield it, but it is impossible removing it completely.

2. Deeper Skin Penetration

The second big plus for the near-infrared sauna is the fact that its energy will penetrate the body deeper than the far-infrared one, and it may go deep as three to four inches.

They have this ability because of their bigger wattage. Lamps used in near-infrared saunas are 250 watts, while the far-infrared uses lower ones to emit the energy. Although, it is worth mentioning that this may not work if the design is not right and if the heat lamps are scattered all around the room. By concentrating them at one place, on the same side, the heat source will be stronger and the penetration will be deeper. The possible downside is the fact that the user will have to rotate to cover their whole body, but it is most definitely worth the effort. This is not possible with the far infrared sauna, because their energy is scattered all around the room, making it weaker.

3. Benefits Of Rotation


As mentioned above, the user of a near-infrared sauna will most likely have to rotate his or her body every few minutes, but it has its own perks and benefits that are not to be ignored:

  • It is way safer. The atmosphere inside the sauna and the relaxing effect it has may cause someone to fall asleep, so moving should help to stay awake, and this way prevent it from doing anything harmful.
  • Heating and sweating will be spread better. If the user sits in one place or lies down, the effect will not be equal for the whole body. If that happens, instead of help, it is possibly causing serious stress and damage to the body, not to mention the possibility of causing a shock to organs, if one side of the body becomes too hot, while the other stays cold. Even heating means better sweating and more thorough removal of the harmful stuff away from the skin, also.
  • Circulation is improved by rotating the body, because it will move the blood from one side of the body to the other one, making circulation better.

4. More Mobility

If designed so the energy is concentrated at one place, the near-infrared sauna offers another great benefit by providing you the option to concentrate solely on a specific part or area of the body. For example, if the user wants to expose, let’s say, a painful ear, it could be done by sitting and placing that ear near the heat source. The same goes with all other parts of the body, but also with internal organs. It is especially useful in case of an injury, where there is a need to focus the energy, especially on one point. The fact that the energy is spread all along the far infrared sauna room makes it way less effective when using this type of sauna.

But it is also important to learn that the most sensitive part of our bodies when it comes to infrared is the head, so if there is a need to focus on some part of the head, it is not recommended moving it too close to an energy source, and don’t spend more than five minutes. Then, after an hour, repeat the session. This way you’ll be safe, and also gain the full effect of a near-infrared sauna.

5. Electricity Is Used Way Less

In modern times, it is not possible to enjoy something if it costs way more than we’d like. The heat lamps near-infrared sauna uses are more than efficient in terms of energy usage, and the fact they operate at a lower temperature compared to FIR sauna makes them a better choice, wallet-wise. Don’t forget, to get the most out of the sauna, you’ll have to use it daily, sometimes even longer than an hour, you’ll see the difference.

A Few Far Infrared Sauna Pros

For a complete picture, we’ll turn to some plus sides of the far infrared sauna:

  • There’s no need to rotate the body.
  • They can be way smaller
  • They relax muscles a bit better

You might also like: Top Infrared Sauna Blankets

How Safe Are Near And Far Infrared Sauna?

This shouldn’t be one of your worries, because as long as you’re responsible and listen to your body signs, there won’t be any problems. For example, infrared heat is used in hospitals to warm up anyone in need and it is a widely used thing when it comes to keeping newborns warm.

But, if you see any sign that suggests something isn’t right, stop the session and visit the doctor. This is also recommended action before your first visit to the sauna; just to be sure you’re medically cleared before you expose your body to bigger heat.

Globo Surf Overview

If the choice is between a far infrared sauna and no sauna at all, it is recommended to choose the first. But if there is an option to get a near-infrared sauna, or to add near infrared sauna lamps to the far infrared sauna setup, then don’t think about it. Many physicians don’t even recommend the far infrared sauna now when the NIR is becoming more and more spread and available all around the world.

In the end, the question about the best-infrared saunas completely relies on you and your preference, so choose the one that fits you the most and you won’t regret it.

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