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 laminates, hardwood, or tile. Perhaps most important of all, can you put an infrared sauna on carpet?
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 where to put a sauna in your house, regardless of your flooring type. 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.
How Does an 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.
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 happens if you put an Infrared Sauna on Carpet?
An indoor home sauna is awesome but won’t do you any good if you don’t have a great place to put it.
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, try a carpet out if you want to explore other options to improve your experience. 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.
Buying an infrared sauna for your home – what to consider
If you haven’t already purchased an infrared sauna for your home, there are a few things to consider.
Since we’ve already established that you can put your infrared sauna on the carpet, that means you can place it almost anywhere in your home. As a result, the most important considerations for your infrared sauna are:
- Shape – While most saunas have a rectangular shape, other options might fit your floorplan better, such as an L-shape.
- Size – After you have the footprint figured out, consider the overall dimensions of the sauna to ensure that it fits in the space you have planned. Don’t forget about the height, especially if you plan to install it in a second floor, basement, or anywhere with an irregular ceiling height.
- Total Cost – Once you’ve purchased and installed an infrared sauna in your home, you will be reluctant to go through the process of replacing it if you find that you would enjoy certain features. Plan to future-proof your sauna before you purchase it.
- Ease of installation – Do you have to put the sauna together? Will it fit through your doors or up your stairs? Take note of important measurements throughout your home and double-check these before purchase!
- Features – Do you just want a basic stand-up infrared sauna? Do you want a bench, seat, music, TV, or other options? Shop around to make sure that you find the features you want.
As with most home projects, it is essential to plan out how and where you plan to use your infrared sauna at home for maximum effectiveness.
Here is a video that explains the basic process of putting your average infrared sauna together so that you can get a sense of the space and time required.
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 and these saunas need to be vented to avoid issues with humidity or condensation inside the home.
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.
In fact, many people consider infrared saunas to be the best home sauna option.
Infrared sauna vs an infrared sauna blanket
Infrared saunas and infrared sauna blankets are very similar because they use the same basic technology to heat your body and produce the desired results.
The main differences between infrared saunas and infrared sauna blankets are the total cost, size and features that you’ll get.
In general, infrared saunas are:
- More expensive
- Offer more features
Meanwhile, infrared sauna blankets are:
- A small and portable sauna
- Less expensive
Head over to my article on sauna blankets vs infrared saunas if you want to learn more about these differences!
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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 you put an infrared sauna on carpet without risks?
Carpets are delicate home items that require proper care. They must be kept clean to prevent horrible health complications, whether exposed to water or dust.
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 in 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 strengthen 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 increase the level of oxygen in body cells and promotes the 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 an 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
Using the sauna on carpet – Conclusion
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.
Plus, you can always choose an outdoor sauna to give you more flexibility!
What do you put under a sauna?
You can sit an infrared sauna on any type of flooring material but you might want to place a rubber mat, foam pad, or other padded material underneath the sauna to avoid scratching your floor.
Where should you put a sauna in your house?
You can place an infrared sauna in your house anywhere that you have space but keep in mind that you will need access to electricity to plug in the unit. We recommend an area where you can have peace and quiet while you relax during your sauna session!
Do you need ventilation for an infrared sauna?
Because infrared saunas use infrared light to as a heat source, they do not require ventilation to the outside of your home. However, most infrared saunas will include some type of vent or opening to allow fresh air inside the unit during operation.
Is it OK to sit in an infrared sauna every day?
As long as you don’t have any health issues, it should be fine to sit in an infrared sauna every day. Be sure to ask your doctor about any specific recommendations that he or she might have based on your personal health profile.