Our goal is to make your sauna purchase as easy and enjoyable as possible, and that starts with being well informed on the products you’re considering.

Whether you’ve been looking around for a while or are just getting started, you will no doubt discover the mass amounts of contradictory information out there. We know that buying a sauna is an important investment for you and your family and that you want to make the best decision possible; that’s why we’re here to help. Our goal is to make your sauna purchase as easy and enjoyable as possible, and that starts with being well informed on the products you’re considering.
First, let’s talk about the heaters. There are two major types of infrared heaters – ceramic rods and carbon fibre panels. Both styles are great and offer exceptional benefits, but which one is best for you?
Ceramic heaters were one of the first styles of infrared heaters, and for that alone they have gained unwavering support from some sauna users. Electric current is cycled through a ceramic filament to produce infrared waves. The waves are projected 360 degrees from the heater which is why there are metal shields behind them that reflect the waves back on to the sauna user. Due to the small surface area of ceramic heaters, you will experience more of a spotlight or pinpointed heat as well as hot spots directly in front of the heaters– great for those who suffer from back or neck injuries or chronic joint pain, or if you enjoy intense heat on any of your sore areas.

What to look for: make sure the heater is double-layered (or double-walled). This promotes a more effective infrared wave in the 7-13 micron range. With single-layered ceramic heaters, the micron range becomes much larger and you end up not getting the most effective heat.

Carbon fibre is still relatively new in the world of infrared, but its popularity is climbing rapidly. Carbon fibre is made through a chemical and physical process with a raw material called polyacrylonitrile (PAN). The manufacturing process consists of taking PAN, spinning it into long strands or fibres that are then heated (heating breaks the Hydrogen bond releasing the Carbon ions), reheated, oxidized, sized, and then woven into the panel. (Black, 2010)

With carbon fibre heaters you will feel more even heat across your entire body (like when you get in your car on a hot day). Carbon fibre is a great choice for those with total body pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or those who simply want to enjoy a good sweat in a relaxing environment.

What to look for: carbon fibre heaters do not need to be extended all the way to the top of your sauna. Instead, the top should be just over the crown of your head. This is for two reasons: 1) heat rises and having heat produced at the sauna’s ceiling is just wasting energy; 2) carbon fibre heaters are an efficient source of infrared heat and do not need to be any higher than the top of the user’s head in order to have the user receive the full benefits available.

The important thing to remember is that both styles of heaters (if good quality) will emit the same level of infrared. You will likely discover that some companies push for only one type of heater, but that is usually the result of a good deal they got from a manufacturer.

Take a look at the company you are purchasing from. It is important to choose a company that specializes in saunas and health products for several reasons. First, you can rest easy knowing the company is looking after your needs. Buying an infrared sauna from an everything-and-more company can land you in trouble if you ever need more information about your product or if a part malfunctions and you need it replaced. Second, you are more likely to receive a better warranty from a sauna-specific company because we have researched and can stand behind our products. A company with you in mind will have a warranty that reflects that.
Another thing to look for when choosing your sauna: where is the company’s closest showroom? Established companies will have showrooms and warehouses – beware of buying a sauna from someone without a storefront! It’s important to be able to go talk to someone about the sauna you are looking to purchase (and see the unit in person if possible).
  • Look for solid glass doors (wood frame doors are prone to warping)
  • Wood thickness and time spent in the Kiln (wood should be a minimum of 7mm thick and kiln dried for at least 45 days)
  • Look for a company that can manufacture saunas in house. This will mean they completely understand saunas and can offer much better services from sales to warranties
  • Look for Japanese produced infrared heaters. Most companies don’t know who actually manufactures their heaters. They claim a trademark name and that they are Japanese. Blackstone Saunas can pinpoint exactly where every material is produced that is used in our heaters
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to go over the aspects to avoid in a potential sauna purchase. The first thing to be careful of is any veneers or plastic backing on the sauna. While easy for lowering overall sauna cost, these are known for emitting harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and can be dangerous to your health. The other two big red flags to watch for are any finishes/stains on the interior of the sauna, as well as wood composites that have plastic fillers. These also pose potential health risks when the sauna is heated due to off-gassing. There is also the case of making sure you’re getting the space you’re paying for. A basic guideline for sizing is a minimum of 3 feet wide for one person, with at least an extra foot added for every additional person intended to sit in the sauna.
Price almost never dictates the quality of an infrared sauna. Many companies purchase from manufacturers overseas, then sell to retailers who then in turn sell to the public. This means every sauna is marked up at least 3 times before it reaches the consumer. If a company refuses to post their prices online they are most likely trying to get your information first so they can then try to pressure you into buying using intense marketing strategies. The quality of the saunas should speak for themselves.

Like we said at the beginning, buying a sauna should be an enjoyable experience. At Blackstone Saunas we proudly display our prices every day without making our customers jump through hoops to see them, and we are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Now that you are more knowledgeable about infrared saunas, we are confident you will recognize the superior quality of a Blackstone Sauna when making your decision.

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