Do Portable Saunas Help You Lose Weight? (Reasonable Expectations)

A portable sauna is a small, travel-friendly tent that heats your body to sweat out toxins (just like a traditional sauna!). If you’re looking for a cost-effective option to cutting calories, portable saunas could be the answer to helping you lose weight.

Portable saunas are not a highly effective tool for weight loss, but they can support weight loss by raising your heart and metabolic rate to cool yourself down. The average person burns about 40 calories during a 30-minute portable sauna session. To maximize weight loss, you’ll want to use your portable sauna three times per week for 8-12 weeks.

Keep reading to determine if a portable sauna helps you burn calories, how much weight you can lose, how long you should stay inside, and how often you use a portable sauna for maximum weight loss.

How does a portable sauna help you burn calories?

There are a few main reasons why a portable sauna is helpful for weight loss, the main one being its ability to require your body to work harder while inside. Let’s start with the science behind how they work.

Portable saunas heat up to a maximum of 140° F, thus increasing your body temperature. This drives up your heart rate and increases your metabolism and energy output resulting in about 40% more calories burned than baseline. To cool yourself back down, your body must work even harder to produce sweat.

However, do portable saunas burn as many calories as a traditional sauna?

Portable traditional sauna

Traditional saunas typically sit at 177°F (about 37 degrees hotter than a portable version max). Although portable saunas work similarly and provide similar benefits, they are about 80% as effective at calorie burning as a traditional sauna. Expect to burn around 40 calories during a 30-minute session.

The total number of calories burned will depend on a person’s specific body composition and measurements.

Portable infrared sauna

A portable infrared sauna utilizes dry heat and embedded infrared heaters to raise your temperature from the inside out.

While an average portable infrared sauna heats up to about 140°F, a typical infrared sauna can reach 155°F making portable versions 90% as effective at calorie burning as a standard infrared sauna. You can expect to burn 45+ calories in 30 minutes.

Because a portable infrared sauna heats our body from the core, it can raise our heart and metabolic rate much more quickly. This makes it the most efficient calorie-burning portable sauna of the bunch!

Portable steam sauna

A portable steam sauna can reach 140°F with 100% humidity.

Unlike the portable traditional and portable infrared saunas, a portable steam sauna has the ability to reach the same temperature as a standard steam room (112°F to be exact). Because of this, they can be just as effective at calorie burning. Expect to shed around 30 calories every 30 minutes.

It’s also important to consider that steam rooms operate at high humidity levels, requiring your body to do less work to cool off. The lower temperature and greater moisture levels result in less calorie-burning than the other types of portable saunas.

How much weight can you lose in a portable sauna?

If you’re looking to sweat it out on the go, a portable sauna is a great option. This begs the question: how much weight can you lose in a portable sauna?

The average person burns around 50 calories in 30 minutes of sitting in a standard sauna. A portable sauna is typically 90% as effective as its parent sauna, so you can expect to burn roughly 40 calories per 30-minute session (if you average the capabilities of each type).

Like I mentioned above, height, weight, age, and gender will all factor in determining the exact amount. Generally speaking, the higher a person’s BMI (body mass index), the more calories burned in a given amount of time.

How long should you stay in the portable sauna for weight loss?

Although most might be tempted to maximize their weight loss by staying in the sauna for as long as possible, it’s essential not to overdo it. Like a workout routine, consistency is key.

It is recommended to stay in a portable sauna for 35-55 minutes for optimal weight loss. Keep in mind that most portable saunas don’t get as hot as traditional versions; because of that, you can stay inside for 10 minutes or so longer than you usually would.

For beginners, take it slow. Try 5 or 10-minute intervals before going the full 35 minutes. After vigorous exercise, please wait at least 10 minutes before doing a sauna session to allow for your body to readjust to its baseline. Otherwise, you could risk overheating and becoming dehydrated.

As always, continue to hydrate both before and after use, and opt for multiple sessions if you feel hydrated and healthy enough to do so. Always consult your physician before pushing yourself beyond industry recommendations.

How often should you use a portable sauna for weight loss?

You should note that any immediate change to the scale post portable sauna is likely water weight. To see real fat-burning results, you should stick to a routine.

Ideally, you’ll want to use your portable sauna three times per week for 8-12 weeks for weight loss. If medically possible, work yourself up to 30-minute sessions for the most efficient results.

If medically possible, work yourself up to 30-minute sessions. Each session should be coupled with a healthy diet and exercise routine, and preexisting conditions should be considered.

If you’re able to stick to this plan, you can expect to see changes in your body composition after about twelve weeks.

Quick Tip: Put ankle weights on and lift your knees for a few seconds at a time for a low impact, quick ab-burner!

You know what they say, a sauna a day keeps the doctor away. And now we have science to back it up! Portable saunas are not just for those who love being hot and sweaty – these little beauties can help you lose weight too. To truly find out if portable saunas help you lose weight, consult your physician and give them a go.