If you spent the past year dreaming about returning to your favorite spa, you certainly weren't alone. During the pandemic, countless spa-goers have turned to home sauna products to mimic the weight loss and health benefits, detox their systems, and enjoy that invigorating post-sauna high.
So why not join in the relaxation and create your own sauna at home using a sauna blanket (and perhaps some candles and calming music)! In this guide to infrared blankets, we're highlighting everything you need to know about the self-care tool and offering our recommendations for the best sauna blankets on the market.
What is a sauna blanket?
As the name suggests, an infrared sauna blanket utilizes the same infrared heat technology as an infrared sauna in the form of a compact blanket. Most look similar to a giant hot pocket or sleeping bag and plug into the wall just like an electric blanket.
Like a traditional sauna, the infrared blanket uses infrared light to heat your entire body directly and increase the body's thermal energy instead of just warming up the area around you. While you'll get nice and sweaty inside, the blanket won't feel hot to the touch or burn your skin.
What are the health and wellness benefits of an infrared technology sauna blanket?
A sauna blanket offers numerous potential benefits similar to those of traditional infrared saunas:
- Supports weight loss— A sweaty sauna session boosts your metabolism and speeds up the rate at which your body burns fat.
- Reduces water weight and bloat— Sweating also helps to reduce bloating and get rid of excess water weight.
- Relieves sore muscles— The warm temperature inside the blanket helps to soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation, making them a great choice for athletes and people who suffer from body aches, severe menstrual cramps, or chronic pain. For maximum relief, stretch or foam roll immediately after using your sauna blanket.
- Detoxify your system— Sweat is your body's natural way of detoxifying itself. As you sweat inside the blanket, your body will start to release built-up toxins, leaving you feeling rejuvenated with glowing skin and less acne.
- Boost immunity— Additionally, a sweat-induced detox helps support a healthy immune system by getting rid of unwanted toxins and heavy metals.
- Relaxation and improved mood— These days, it can be hard to unwind and de-stress. Many sauna blanket users like to meditate during use for ultimate relaxation.
- Improved blood circulation— The high temperature inside the blanket increases your entire body's core temperature, causing a temporary increase in your heart rate and blood flow.
What are the health risks of infrared technology sauna blankets?
Just like types of sauna, the dangers of infrared sauna blankets include the risk of becoming overheated, dehydration, and dizziness.
Men should avoid using it too frequently as it can temporarily lower sperm counts. Some individuals should consult with a doctor before using, such as pregnant women or individuals with health conditions.
How to use a sauna blanket
Sauna blankets are relatively straightforward to use, but misusing them can eliminate many of the benefits. So here are a few helpful tips on how to use a sauna blanket safely.
What to wear in a sauna blanket
One of the most common questions first-time users have is what to wear while using an infrared sauna blanket. But what you choose to wear is mostly based on your personal preference.
Most people wear simple cotton undergarments to prevent themselves from overheating or getting too sweaty while using the blanket. Some prefer to wear loose clothing like a long sleeve tee and sweats or long pants that assist in getting as sweaty as possible. Socks are entirely optional too.
Regardless of what sauna clothes you prefer, it's best to stick to 100% cotton fabrics that are breathable, sweat-wicking, and won't irritate your skin. Avoid workout clothes made from synthetic polyester fabrics that trap sweat in your pores and lead to body acne breakouts.
How long to stay in a sauna blanket
If you're new to the world of infrared saunas, it's best to start with shorter sessions and work your way up to longer durations. Over time, your body will acclimate to the higher temperatures, and you'll be able to stay inside the infrared blanket for longer.
Health experts recommend beginners start with 10 to 15 minute-long sessions and work their way up to 20 to 30 minutes. After building up their tolerance and endurance, experienced users can stay in for up to an hour.
Staying in for longer than an hour can cause you to become overheated, possibly leading to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after you soak in some infrared rays to avoid getting overheated or dehydrated.
How often to use a sauna blanket
While most health experts recommend against using your sauna blanket every day, it's safe to get a good sweat two to three times per week. If you choose to use the blanket daily, stick to short sessions to avoid overdoing it.
If you have never done sauna before or new to the blanket, you should start with a lower heat level and ease your way until you can achieve sweating.
How to clean a sauna blanket
Without proper cleaning, your hot, sweaty sauna blanket can harbor dirt, bacteria, and sweat odors. You'll want to clean your blanket immediately after every session, especially if multiple people will be using it. To avoid bacteria and mildew growth, be sure to let the blanket fully dry before storing it away between uses.
It's important to read the directions and the care label on your infrared blanket to ensure you use the proper cleaning method for that specific product. With that being said, here are the two most common clean methods for infrared blankets:
- Antibacterial wipes or spray
- Water, vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil
To clean your sauna blanket, you'll first want to unplug it from the wall and open it up, so the inside is exposed and easy to clean. Spray or wipe the entire surface using a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Leave the blanket to dry completely before folding it back up.
What To Consider Before Purchasing And How To Find The Best Sauna Blanket
Not all sauna blankets are created equal, so you'll want to ensure you get a high-quality product that can operate safely for countless sauna sessions to come:
- Non-toxic material— Look for products made with waterproof polyurethane (PU), a durable material that can withstand high temperatures and constant moisture.
- Adjustable heat setting— The best products on the market come equipped with adjustable time and temperature settings that allow you to customize your spa experience so you can maximize its benefits.
- Stones and crystals— Some sauna blankets contain additional materials inside the blanket, such as jade stones or other holistic healing crystals that are said to boost the benefits of infrared saunas.
- Good reviews— Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to determine if a sauna blanket is worth purchasing is to read the customer reviews. Poor ratings are a red flag that the product isn't the safest or won't last long.
- Storage space- Sauna blankets can be quite large and heavy. Determine where you will store it.
- Low EMF (Electric and magnetic fields)- High electric and magnetic fields can make your infrared sauna blanket less effective by increasing the harm than good. When searching for infrared blankets, look for ones with low EMF.
The Best Infrared Sauna Blankets
This HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket V3 is undoubtedly one of the best-infrared sauna blankets on the market in 2021. The portable blanket allows you to create a spa-like sauna experience at home, in your hotel room, or anywhere else you'd like! It's a favorite amongst countless celebrities, health gurus, and personal trainers on social media.
The HigherDOSE Infrared Blanket V3 helps your body to sweat, detoxify, and release chemicals and heavy metals left behind from beauty products, deodorants, and pollution. Its made from waterproof polyurethane (PU) fireproof cotton that can be wiped clean with a simple antibacterial wipe or vinegar spray. Thanks to the adjustable time and heat settings, you can just set it and forget it while you sweat!
With the Carejoy Sauna Blanket, you can soak in all the benefits of a traditional infrared sauna from the comfort of your very own home. In addition to infrared technology, it's equipped with 32 jade stones and 64 germanium stones, which are known to help transmit the right infrared wavelengths for optimal relaxation and invigoration. Plus, the negative ions of the stones help to soothe your nervous system so you can relax and unwind as you sweat.
The Carejoy Sauna Blanket is made from waterproof oxford cloth that won't irritate sensitive skin and can easily be wiped clean after each use. Its carbon-fiber heating wire has a high safety factor, supporting the safe operation and long product life. The blanket's three adjustable heating zones can be tailored to the time and heat settings of your choosing to create your perfect home sauna.
This best-selling MiHigh Infrared Sauna Blanket can help you calm your mind, alleviate sore muscles and joint pains, and speed up your body's natural detoxification process. Plus, a single 20- 30 minute session can burn between 300- 600 calories. And with MiHigh's 30-day risk-free trial, you can test out the sauna blanket and send it back for a full refund if you don't love it.
The portable blanket uses the same heating technology as traditional saunas, emitting FAR infrared rays that are easily absorbed. It's made with a PU leather exterior and a non-toxic, waterproof interior that easily wipes clean between uses. The convenient remote control allows for total control of both time and temperature for a customizable spa experience.