An infrared sauna has become more common because of its therapeutic and health benefits. However, many people wonder whether it can work well across different floor types, including fabricated surfaces and carpets.
An infrared sauna can go on a carpet because there is little to no risk of either the sauna or carpet being damaged as long as the area is level and dry. Traditional indoor saunas can cause damage to carpeted areas because of the increased humidity and potential for leaks.
This article explains all you need to know about infrared saunas. Read on for more information about floor types suitable for it, how they warm your body without generating hot steam, how much power they consume, their health benefits, and how they compare with traditional saunas.
A Bit of History About Infrared Saunas
A Japanese doctor in 1965 was the first person to receive a patent to make a ceramic infrared sauna that used far-infrared wavelengths. The Japanese doctors were the only medical practitioners who used it to treat their patients until the mid-1970s.
However, in 1979, the first infrared sauna became available to the public in the US. Ever since, there have been significant improvements in the heating systems leading to optimal infrared wavelengths known to promote safety, comfort, and profuse perspiration.
What Is the Impact of an Infrared Sauna on a Carpet?
An infrared sauna does not generate actual heat. Instead, it produces radiation, similar to a sunny day, to warm your body. Radiation has been studied for a long time. Information about infrared radiation and other types has been collected since the late 1800s by scientists and physicists.
A traditional steam sauna may gradually damage your carpet. Its working principle involves the release of steam from hot water, which warms the air around you. Any carpet continuously exposed to moisture may be damaged.
The most suitable surfaces to use for traditional sauna would be concrete, plastic, and ceramic. These surfaces are waterproof, making them easy to clean and dry off.
On the other hand, an infrared sauna can be placed on a carpet. The working principle behind it is different from the traditional sauna. Instead of using water to generate steam, it has infrared lamps that emit light to warm opaque objects, including your body. An infrared sauna will only heat your body, but not the air around you. Therefore, you won’t feel hot air coming from the walls or surfaces.
You can use your infrared sauna with any flooring material as long as it’s dry, leveled, and clean. Most people will often go for the traditional wooden surfaces. However, if you want to explore other options to improve your experience, try a carpet out. There are also carpets primarily designed for sauna environments that are available in your favorite store.
You need to know how infrared saunas work to understand why it fits on your carpet.
How Does Infrared Sauna Work?
An infrared sauna works by releasing radiation from its panels. There are three types of infrared radiation: Near Infrared (NIR), Mid Infrared (MIR), and Far Infrared (FIR).
Infrared saunas use FIR. It is an invisible band of light that travels through the surrounding air without warming it. Once these rays come into contact with your body, they give a warming effect. FIR penetrates your skin’s tissues to generate heat and cause metabolic reactions.
An infrared sauna sends rays to your skin regardless of the environment. This effect is more comfortable than traditional saunas, which heat the room with steam. With an infrared sauna, 80% of the heat goes to heat your body and less than 20% goes to heat the air.
Infrared Sauna vs. Steam Sauna
Traditional saunas generate steam to supply the air with heat and travels to your body through air currents. These steam saunas require extensive plumbing and power. The installation, operation, and maintenance costs are relatively higher compared to IR saunas. You have to use clean water to avoid the risk of inhaling toxins and harmful chemicals.
Most people nowadays prefer infrared saunas because it’s cheaper and more comfortable. Some people are sensitive to temperature. But with infrared saunas, they don’t have to endure the struggle of breathing hot steam from long sessions. You will not sweat too much.
Considering the little amount of energy consumed while generating IR light, an infrared sauna will cost you a few cents per hour. The estimated temperatures wherein FIR sauna works are between 120˚F (48.89°C) and 140˚F (60°C).
The traditional sauna will cost much more than that. It requires a lot of power to turn water into steam, which is between 150˚F (65.56°C) and 180˚F (82.22°C), and high installation costs due to the mandatory plumbing.
The estimated cost of an infrared sauna is about 25-30 cents per hour, depending on your state or region. That’s three times cheaper than the traditional sauna.
Can Carpets in Infrared Saunas Cause Health Risks?
Carpets are delicate home items that require proper care. Whether exposed to water or dust, they need to be kept clean to prevent horrible health complications.
Unfortunately, traditional saunas do a terrible job of maintaining dry carpets. This attracts disease-causing microorganisms and growths like mold, which might cause allergic reactions to asthmatic people.
On the other hand, infrared saunas do an excellent job of keeping your carpet dry, clean, and free from contamination. You don’t have to worry about allergens or bad odors from damp carpets since they will not be exposed to too much moisture.
They pose a lesser risk than traditional saunas.
Benefits of an Infrared Sauna
It has been found that an infrared sauna has numerous benefits, such as providing energy to the body, improving the functions of the central autonomic nervous system, and restoring the purpose of the endocrine system. Infrared saunas also help in strengthening the immune system. Here are other benefits from an infrared sauna:
- Improved blood circulation. Higher temperature increases the heart rate as the body tries to cool itself. Blood vessels dilate to allow more blood to flow closer to the skin’s surface. It also helps in increasing the level of oxygen in body cells, as well as promoting regeneration of muscle cells, brain cells, and nerves.
- Relaxation and better sleep. An infrared sauna session that lasts about 30 minutes will leave you feeling relaxed and promotes better sleep.
- Pain relief. It may help in relieving joint pains and stressed muscles.
- Loss of body weight. It helps in managing body weight.
- Blood pressure. Evidence has emerged, indicating that infrared sauna may help to reduce blood pressure. A study of hypertensive people taking bi-weekly sauna sessions for three months has shown a significant drop in blood pressure, similar to those taking anti-hypertensive medication.
It is also shown by evidence that infrared sauna is beneficial in managing conditions such as:
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
There’s no limit on what type of floor material you use with an infrared sauna. It’s exterior remains cool, and there won’t be a problem with the carpet. However, home maintenance requires specifically designed sauna carpets for both steam and FIR saunas. They’re less exposed to damage.
If you’re worried about the risk of damage, there’s little to none unless you’re fond of carrying food or drinks, which could damage it. An infrared sauna can also fit on other flat surfaces. You can get a carpet if you wish to style your sauna.