Best Infrared Sauna Buying Guide | Clearlight Saunas
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Best Infrared Sauna Buying Guide

A Few Things to Consider Before
Purchasing Your Infrared Sauna

• knowl·edge n. confident understanding of a subject, potentially with the ability to use it for a specific purpose.

• com·par·i·son n. a statement or estimate of similarities and differences.

• con·fi·dence n. a feeling of assurance

Knowledge, Comparison, Confidence:  An informed consumer is our best customer!

As a leader in the infrared sauna business for over  years, we know that purchasing an infrared sauna can sometimes be downright confusing:

  • What really makes a good infrared sauna?
  • What are the differences between infrared heaters?
  • What are the benefits of the different infrared heaters?
  • What type of wood is best?
  • Why is a lifetime warranty important?
  • How is the sauna manufactured?
  • Why is heater placement important – should there be heaters on the front walls and side walls?
  • What about floor heaters?
  • Which heaters produce dangerous levels of EMF (Electromagnetic Fields)?
  • Is a low ELF sauna important?

These are just some of the questions we have received over the last years. We’ve put together this infrared sauna buying guide to help answer these questions. Feel free to give us a call at 800.798.1779.  We are happy to help guide you through the infrared sauna buying process.

A General Historical Overview Of Infrared Saunas

For many years only high quality far infrared saunas dominated the infrared sauna market. Craftsmanship, for the most part, was very high. Woods used were Western Red Canadian Cedar and quality white woods such as Basswood and Nordic Spruce.  The majority of infrared heaters used were ceramic and metal, with ceramic being the preferred type because of higher infrared efficiency and infrared output. There were rigid quality control of woods and glues used.  Electrical safety and consistent customer care had been the hallmarks of our industry at that time.  There were less than a handful of manufacturers in the entire US. This was the state of the industry that we grew our company in.  Quality was everything.

Over the last 10 years, however, as the internet expanded, low quality overseas  manufacturing spawned numerous upstart sauna companies importing containers of infrared saunas with little to no understanding of the therapeutic benefits of infrared therapy.  They were selling a wooden box with heaters.  Also, quality and after sales service did not seem to be a big concern.  They offered low cost and low quality saunas on the internet and at big box stores… saunas as a cheap commodity.

When this started happening, we were approached by several of these overseas manufacturers to sell their saunas. We thought if we could give our customers a high quality sauna for a better price that would be great. We set about to look at and inspect the different saunas.

We ordered different models from a few of the larger manufacturers and were immediately appalled at the quality in materials and construction and lack of safety down to even the basic wiring. The controls and heaters were cheap and substandard. The aesthetics were all wrong. Some had noxious odors from toxic glues being used in the manufacturing process. Others had horrible smells from the wood itself. Some of the woods had not been finished sanded; rough to the touch as you passed your hand over it. We also found staples, mismatched veneers, dangling and bare wires… not a quality product!

What was even worse was that most of these saunas had a combination of hazards ranging from high EMF levels being emitted from the heaters to toxic fumes. It was also evident that the manufacturer didn’t understand the basics of how infrared therapy works with the human body as there were multiple design flaws.  For example, many of these companies did not know where to place the heaters for optimal effectiveness and healing, a critical mistake.  Heaters positioned above the head do no good as it is the infrared wavelengths coming off the heaters directly that do the healing in an infrared sauna. Positioning heaters above the head just wastes infrared energy that could be better used in the front of the sauna, or by the calves and sides of the body. This is a big functional mistake. The idea behind infrared therapy is to heat your body with the proper wavelengths so it is important to heat your front, back and sides. Without proper heater placement you will only receive partial benefit.

We take a different approach, with heaters kept low to keep the infrared heat aimed at your body and we totally surround you with infrared heat.  There is no wasted infrared heat up over your head.  You will get more benefit faster with the maximum amount of infrared heat being absorbed by your body. 

At Clearlight Saunas we have a philosophy. We consider that our customers are like our friends and we design and build our saunas accordingly.  As such, every single sauna design, new technology, idea or manufacturing process must pass a few critical tests: Does it make rational sense to help to heal the human body?  Will it help our customers increase their overall healing and enjoyment of their sauna?  Is it safe and does it cause no harm?  If the answer is no on any of these, then we simply do not do it.

Many years ago, we hoped that with this approach, our customers would get such good results and love their saunas so much that they would tell their friends and neighbors about it.  They have!  We think that this word of mouth, from one person to another, is one of the main reasons that our business has flourished over the last years while many other sauna companies have simply disappeared. When you make a better sauna, people take notice!

We believe purchasing a Clearlight Infrared Sauna is one of the best investments you can make for your health and longevity.  We pay close attention to every detail from start to finish to insure that your sauna is of the highest quality materials and construction.  We back these words with our True Lifetime Warranty, a Clearlight exclusive.

Questions and Answers

The challenge for the consumer today is that unless you can see it in person, you cannot tell the difference between a quality infrared sauna and a cheap knock-off as the pictures on the internet can look basically the same. The questions below are some of the more common questions we receive and will help you make an informed decision so you can purchase a high quality, therapeutic infrared sauna.
Why do so many saunas look the same from website to website?

Answer: Because they are.  Many companies are importing containers of the same saunas or saunas with only slight variations. Look at the keypad to tell which are from the same factory; it’s somewhat amusing. We’re flattered that they’ve decided to knock-off the look that Clearlight Infrared Saunas pioneered many years ago.

How does a Clearlight Infrared Saunas differ?

Answer: Quality of design and construction coupled with superior and innovative heating technology. At Clearlight Infrared Saunas we start with the highest quality woods. All saunas are built by hand to our strict 48 point Quality Control. No sauna leaves the factory without being fully tested and approved by two levels of quality control.

With the ETL and CE certification, we are bound to provide a high quality product.  We use no toxic glues.  Our saunas are hand sanded, the handles and trim are hand crafted, the tongue and groove wood is color matched to look beautiful and all Clearlight Infrared Saunas are designed to give you a lifetime of health and relaxation benefits.

 Almost every other infrared sauna company uses industrial heaters that have been adapted to be used in an infrared sauna.  Not willing to settle with industrial infrared heaters, we manufacture our own patented-pending infrared sauna heaters in our factory.  We manufacture our True Wave II combination Carbon/Ceramic far infrared heaters and our True Spectrum, full spectrum infrared heaters.

Being innovators in the infrared sauna industry, we have always set the trends that have guided the industry:
– Our True Wave II far infrared heaters are the only infrared heaters on the market that combine both the high output of ceramic with the long wavelength of carbon to produce a sauna session that is unmatched. These heaters are designed to heat the human body.

– We are the industry pioneer of low EMF carbon based infrared heaters and offer the only low EMF full spectrum infrared sauna on the market.

– We are the first company to offer a low ELF infrared sauna. All Clearlight Infrared Saunas include our ELF cancelling technology. Clearlight Saunas are the safest infrared saunas available.

How are Clearlight Infrared Saunas different from other infrared sauna companies?

Answer: Clearlight Infrared Saunas are the only infrared saunas designed by a doctor.  Dr. Raleigh Duncan has dedicated the last 20+ years to researching and developing technology to help heal the human body and he has been researching infrared therapy and its benefits for even longer.

With over years in the infrared sauna business, all we do is manufacture and sell far infrared saunas. While our sauna cabins are exceptional quality, with hand sanded panels, high quality close grain wood and attention to detail, the therapeutic benefits are our main focus.

Our R&D department is always researching and testing new components for your sauna so when you buy a Clearlight Infrared Sauna, you are buying the highest quality, most therapeutic infrared sauna available.

With our true lifetime warranty for home use, we stand behind our saunas. This warranty covers the entire sauna; the wood cabin, heaters, controls and even the audio system. We will be here next year and five years from now should you need replacement parts or have any questions about the proper use or your sauna.

We believe that by committing to a lifetime warranty for our customers, it ensures that we build a high quality infrared sauna that will last. This informs every manufacturing decision we make as we know we will have to support your sauna for many years to come.

What type of infrared heater is best?


Far Infrared Heaters

When comparing far infrared sauna heaters you need to look at the size of the heater, the material that is producing the infrared heat, the quality of the heat and the surface temperature of the heater.

The two most common materials used in far infrared heaters are ceramic and carbon. Ceramic is a very efficient, effective material when heated to produce infrared heat. Ceramic has a very high emissivity rating, meaning it produces a lot of infrared heat. The drawback to ceramic heaters is that they tend to produce a shorter infrared wavelength. Shorter infrared wavelengths are not as readily absorbed by the human body so they are less therapeutic.

Generally speaking, Carbon infrared heaters produce a longer infrared wavelength. Carbon is very light so the heaters can be bigger and can run at a lower surface temperature. These low surface temperatures produce long wave, infrared heat. Long wave far infrared heat is readily absorbed by the human body and will produce more desirable therapeutic results. The drawback of carbon heaters is that, while they produce high quality infrared heat, they do not produce a lot of infrared – they are weak. In technical terms, they have a lower emissivity rating as compared to ceramic heaters.

Most companies that use carbon heaters extend their heaters well up into the head region and almost to the ceiling in the sauna in an effort to try and get more heat into the sauna. They do this because of the low output of their heaters.  This is wasted infrared heat as it is only heating the air over your head and not your body directly. We also believe heating the head directly is not recommended in infrared therapy.

Our True Wave II far infrared heaters are the only infrared heaters that combine both carbon and ceramic into one heater for a truly exceptional infrared sauna experience. They are built by us and designed to heat the human body. True Wave II Infrared Heaters produce the long wave infrared heat of a carbon heaters with the very high infrared output of a ceramic heater combined into one heater. It really is the best of both worlds and they are fantastic infrared heaters.

Within seconds of sitting in a Clearlight Infrared Sauna you can feel the difference of the quality of the infrared heat. You will not find this heating technology anywhere else. It is exclusive to Clearlight Infrared Saunas.

Full Spectrum Infrared Heaters

A full spectrum infrared heater emits all three infrared wavelengths: near (IR-A), mid (IR-B) and far infrared (IR-C). Some infrared saunas offer a combination of heaters to produce full spectrum infrared heat. The sauna may have one heater that produces far infrared, one that produces mid infrared and one that produces near infrared.

You will also see some infrared saunas that use low wattage (10-40 watt) LED’s to produce near infrared. Our belief is that LED near infrared light therapy is very effective for topical infrared treatments however, it is not suited for the sauna environment. You want to put the LED directly on your skin. The DPL Nuve by LED Technologies is a great example of an effective FDA approved near infrared handheld device. With LED near infrared embedded in the wall of the sauna, you would have to climb up on the bench to receive effective therapy as the LED’s should be right up against the area you are treating.

Clearlight Sanctuary Saunas utilize a halogen full spectrum heater. We have the halogen bulbs built to our specific wavelengths and standards. Our True Spectrum infrared heaters emit about 1/3 near, 1./3 mid and 1/3 far infrared. They are high powered 500 watt full spectrum heaters.

By offering all three wavelengths in our True Spectrum heaters the infrared heat will penetrate deeper past the Epidermis and Dermis into the Subcutaneous layer offering maximum effectiveness.

Penetration of Infrared

Why are low EMF and low ELF levels important?


Low EMF Infrared Saunas

Our True Wave II infrared heater are the original carbon based infrared heaters with virtually no EMF (Electromagnetic Fields).  Clearlight pioneered this technology. More and more research is being conducted into the harmful effects of EMF. That is why our R&D department spent over two years developing a patent pending method to eliminate virtually all of the EMF from our heaters. Many of our competitors still have EMF levels 20 to 50 times higher than our True Wave II infrared heaters. With an average EMF level of less than 1milligauss (mg), when tested directly on the heater, it is well below the CDC’s recommendation of a maximum of 3mg.

Dr. David Carpenter, Dean at the School of Public Health, State University of New York, believes it is likely that up to 30% of all childhood cancers come from exposure to EMF’s. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns “There is reason for concern” and advises prudent avoidance”.

Martin Halper, the EPA’s Director of Analysis and Support says “I have never seen a set of epidemiological studies that remotely approached the weight of evidence that we’re seeing with EMFs. Clearly there is something here.”

Some health effects linked with EMF are:

  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Loss of Energy
  • Irritability
  • Inability To Concentrate
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Headaches

Dr. Duncan, the founder of Clearlight Infrared Saunas, has always ensured that the therapeutic results of your sauna is our number one priority. Seeing the research and information available on the harmful effects of EMF, we felt that if there was a chance that high levels of EMF can cause health issues, we needed to find a way to bring the levels down as low as possible. We were the first company to accomplish this with our True Wave II, far infrared heaters and True Spectrum, full spectrum heaters.

To find out more about EMF and its effects, please click here.

Low ELF Infrared Saunas

ELF (extremely low frequency) is also referred to as the electric fields or dirty electricity. There are some people that are very sensitive to ELF and have various reactions including sleep disruption and agitation and there is some link to cancer as discussed in this Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bulletin:

All Clearlight Infrared Saunas include our ELF canceling technology. While EMF is canceled in the heater itself, we have to go to great lengths to cancel the ELF from our saunas.
1. We run the electrical wires through metal conduit.
2. We twist the wires to cancel the ELF and EMF.
3. We protect all electronics with foil shielding.
4. We carbonize and ground the fishnet that covers our heaters to ground and cancel the ELF.

This is all very time consuming and expensive, but we believe it’s worth it to offer you the safest infrared sauna available.

What type of wood is best?

Answer: Western Red Canadian Cedar is considered by many to be the best wood to use for saunas. Other woods commonly used are spruce, basswood and redwood.

Western Red Canadian Cedar (WRCC) wood is often used for the following reasons:

1) WRCC wood is a soft wood that resists cracking and splitting caused by the heating up and cooling down in the sauna. No sauna wood lasts longer than cedar wood.

2) WRCC wood contains aromatic oils that are known for their healing and cleansing properties to aid detoxification during your sauna session.

3) WRCC wood is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial owing to the unique properties of cedar oil. This is especially important in the sauna where bodies, moisture and heat combine to make the environment perfect for molds and bacteria.

4) WRCC wood is one of the most beautiful woods available ranging from a very light honey to a deep walnut shade.

5) Cedar wood smells good and gives you a true sauna experience. WRCC is considered non-aromatic cedar and has a very subtle smell and is satisfying to the senses.

6) Cedar wood can be easily sanded inside the sauna to remove any stains caused by perspiration and to bring back the fresh cedar smell.

Sauna users who are very sensitive to smells (Multiple Chemical Sensitivies) may want to consider a sauna made of white woods like Spruce or Basswood. These woods have less of a smell than WRCC and may be more comfortable for people with MCS.

At Clearlight Infrared Saunas we use Eco Certified grade “A” clear Western Red Canadian Cedar or Spruce. Our commitment to our customers is to provide the highest quality products. Our Eco Certified woods meet three sustainability standards as part of our green initiative

What does the warranty cover and how long is the warranty?

Answer: When buying an infrared sauna it is important to understand why a “True Lifetime Warranty” on the entire sauna is important. A True Lifetime Warranty covers your sauna for manufacture defects for as long as you own it.  Any warranty issues are covered as long as you own the sauna.

A “Limited Lifetime Warranty” warrants your sauna to be free from manufacturer’s defects for the life of the sauna. This is limited to 7 years. If something goes wrong with your sauna in year 8, you are responsible for any costs getting it repaired and the manufacturer is not obligated to even provide parts for saunas older than 7 years.

All Clearlight Infrared Saunas installed for home use are covered by our True Lifetime Warranty. Your Clearlight Sauna is warranted to be free from manufacturer defects for as long as you own it. If there are warranty issues with you Clearlight Infrared Sauna, there is never a cost to you. Our warranty covers the parts, shipping and service.

Be sure to ask when researching infrared saunas if the company offers a True Lifetime Warranty.

If you are using your sauna in a commercial environment, we offer a complete 5 year warranty.

Price vs. Quality

We have looked at most of the infrared saunas on the market from the low end to the high end. There is the old saying that applies: You get what you pay for. Clearlight Infrared Saunas are the highest quality infrared sauna on the market today, second to none. Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll tell you why our saunas are superior. Buy with confidence… buy a Clearlight Infrared Sauna.

Don’t just take our word for it. Hear what our customers have to say. Click here to see almost 50 video testimonials from our customer describing the benefits they have received from their Clearlight Infrared Sauna.

An infrared sauna specialist is standing by 7 days per week.
Call Now:  800-798-1779



Call Now: 800-798-1779






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Clearlight Saunas are the only Doctor designed, low EMF/ELF, high output infrared saunas available!

Call Now - 800.798.1779
Click below for instant pricing

Clearlight Saunas are the only Doctor designed, low EMF/ELF, high output infrared saunas available!

Call Now - 800.798.1779
Click below for instant pricing