Infrared Sauna Dangers: Health Risks Explored

A woman relaxing in an infrared sauna and a cautionary radiation zone sign, highlighting EMF radiation exposure as one of the major infrared sauna dangers.

Infrared saunas are popular for their health benefits. But are you aware of the dangers of infrared saunas? Many people talk about the good parts and often miss the risks associated with infrared saunas. These risks could affect your heart or make you dehydrated.

With years of research in heat therapies, I’ve seen firsthand how Infrared sauna therapy can impact health.

From improving circulation to potentially easing symptoms of chronic diseases, the benefits are notable. Yet, concerns around exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) radiation present a less discussed aspect of these wellness tools.

This mix of good and bad makes it crucial to look closely at what infrared saunas offer. Keeping safe means understanding both sides—which is where this guide comes in handy.

Key Takeaways

  • Infrared saunas use Infrared light to heat your body directly. Staying too long in an infrared sauna can lead to dangers like dehydration, overheating, or even heat stroke.
  • Saunas emit EMF radiation, which has been linked to health issues such as heart problems and certain types of cancer.
  • Infrared saunas offer various health benefits, including detoxification, better skin, and muscle relaxation.
  • Before using an infrared sauna, talk with a doctor, especially if you have heart concerns or are on medications that affect your body’s response to heat.
  • Limit the time spent in saunas and always stay hydrated to reduce risks.

Understanding Infrared Saunas

Inside view of an infrared sauna with a visible temperature control panel on the exterior side wall.

Saunas have been a way to relax and detox for years. But now, there’s a new player in town: infrared saunas. Unlike traditional steam rooms, these use light waves to warm your body directly.

This can feel different because the air around you doesn’t get as hot. Yet, you’ll still sweat a lot!

I’ve been to an infrared sauna many times. Stepping inside always feels like basking in the sun without the burn—quite pleasant.

Infrared saunas come in two types based on the wavelengths they emit:

FIR is all about deep tissue warmth, while NIR aims at healing skin and wounds.

People love them for this gentle yet effective heat therapy method.

Infrared Sauna Dangers and Side Effects

Infrared saunas might seem like a safe path to health, but they come with their own set of risks that can’t be ignored. From the warmth that soothes your muscles right down to the very rays that penetrate your skin, every aspect needs careful consideration.

Infrared sauna dangers and side effects include:

  • Exposure to EMF (electromagnetic fields) radiation is the biggest concern for many. These saunas give off electromagnetic fields like microwaves or Wi-Fi routers do.
  • Overheating represents another significant danger in an infrared sauna session.
  • Dehydration
  • Medication Interactions

Exposure to EMF Radiation

The use of infrared saunas comes with a dose of EMF radiation, which some research links to various health hazardsincluding the risk of developing tumors. While enjoying the warmth, users also soak up EMF radiation without seeing or feeling it.

Studies have shown that this type of electromagnetic (EMF) radiation can mess with your body’s natural defenses against genetic harm.

High levels of EMF radiation have been linked to various health issues – from minor irritations like headaches or dizziness right up to more serious concerns such as heart problems and even increased risks of certain cancers.

Over time, regular sessions might increase one’s exposure levels, raising safety concerns about long-term sauna therapy dangers.

Sure, many companies claim their models are low-EMF, but it’s key to check those claims before you dive in.

Risks like EMF exposure can’t be ignored. Sauna enthusiasts should weigh these risks carefully, especially those who are frequent visitors or have health conditions that could get worse with increased EMF exposure.

Reducing EMF radiation Risks with Modern Infrared Sauna Technology

Curious about the safety of modern infrared saunas amidst the talk of EMF radiation? Here’s a breakdown of how sauna manufacturers are using the latest technology to reduce the risk of EMF radiation in modern infrared saunas:

  • Low EMF Levels: Today’s infrared saunas come with some solid tech improvements. They keep EMF and ELF radiation way down—think less than 3 milliGauss. That’s actually less than what you’d get off your laptop!1

  • Smart Heaters: Take Clearlight® saunas as an example. They use True Wave™ heaters that mix carbon and ceramic. This combo not only pumps out effective infrared heat but keeps EMF emissions on the down-low.2

  • Built-In Shields: Many infrared saunas now incorporate EMF shielding materials right into their design. This extra layer of protection helps minimize your exposure even more.3

In short, while no sauna can claim zero EMF emission, these modern setups mean you can relax a bit more about the risks. And isn’t that what a sauna is all about?

Overheating / Heat Stroke

Staying too long in an infrared sauna can lead to your body getting too hot. This is called overheating, and it can lead to a heat stroke.

Think of it like running on a very hot day without stopping; eventually, you might feel dizzy or even faint because your body can’t keep up with cooling you down.

Overheating can be serious and needs quick action to help cool the person down. In older folks, especially those over 65, it’s even more risky and has led to deaths before.

Even the healthiest individuals can suffer from heat stroke if they’re not careful. It shows that no matter how fit you are, everyone could face danger from getting too hot in these saunas.


A man leaning against a wall and sweating excessively after a long infrared sauna session, illustrating the dehydration risk associated with infrared sauna use.

Dehydration is a big worry with infrared sauna use. I experienced it myself after spending too much time alone without drinking enough water. My mouth felt like cotton, my head pounded, and I felt dizzy when I stood up.

These are classic signs of dehydration — your body’s alarm bell to drink more water. Saunas make you sweat a lot, which means you lose water fast. If you don’t replace it by drinking plenty, problems start.

People with kidney issues must be extra careful since their bodies already struggle with fluid balance. And remember, feeling sick or dizzy inside a sauna isn’t normal; it’s your cue to leave immediately and cool down.

Medication Interactions

Switching gears from the risks of dehydration, it’s crucial to discuss another critical aspect: how meds might react in the high heat. Taking certain medicines can make you more at risk when using an infrared sauna.

Drugs that mess with your body’s way of cooling down or change your sweat levels turn up these risks.

From personal experience, I learned the hard way about this danger. One day, after taking my usual medication for blood pressure and deciding to relax in an infrared sauna, I felt dizzy and much hotter than normal.

It turns out some meds can increase your chances of getting heat stroke or becoming dehydrated because they affect how your body reacts to heat. For instance, diuretics (pills that help get rid of extra water) can lower your ability to stay hydrated under such conditions.

Safety comes first. So, if you’re on any medications, talking with a doctor before stepping into a sauna is key to dodge unwanted effects like dehydration or worse. This step ensures you enjoy the benefits without putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

Potential Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas are sneaking into the wellness spotlight, with over 30% of health enthusiasts now choosing them for a quick detox fix.

Infrared saunas could boost your whole-body tune-up. They make your blood move faster, which is great for feeling more alive and kicking. This can help eliminate bad stuff in your body, ease muscle pain, give you better skin, and even do more good things for you.

Improved Circulation

Sitting in an infrared sauna makes your heart beat faster. This is good because it helps get blood around your body better. Think of it like giving your circulation a quick workout without having to move.

Doctors say this kind of heat can make you feel more relaxed and even happy because it gets more oxygen everywhere in your body.

Also, if you have hypertension or problems with how well your heart works, spending time in one of these saunas might help you feel better by making the blood move easier through your veins and arteries, much like when you do moderate exercise but without the sweat from running or lifting weights at the gym.


Detoxification means getting bad stuff out of your body. Infrared saunas help with this by making you sweat more. This is good because sweating helps remove toxins from your body.

Research shows that regular sessions in these saunas can boost blood flow and detox, which is great for your health.

Next, we’ll talk about how infrared saunas relax muscles.

Muscle Relaxation

Sitting in an infrared sauna can feel like a warm hug for your muscles. The heat goes deep, easing muscle tension and making you feel relaxed. This kind of relaxation is not just good for your body, but it also helps your mind unwind.

Because of the improved blood flow, muscles recover faster from workouts or any physical activity.

After I tried it, I noticed my muscles didn’t feel as sore after going for a run. It’s like the heat made my blood flow better and helped my muscles relax.

After spending time in an infrared sauna, many people notice they don’t hurt as much. The pain relief comes quickly because the warmth helps to calm sore areas. This makes it easier to move around without feeling stiff or uncomfortable.

study published in the Biology of Sport journal found that using an infrared sauna reduced post-workout muscle soreness.

Related: Benefits of sauna for Athletes

Now, let’s talk about the skin health benefits of infrared saunas.

Enhanced Skin Health

A woman's face with radiant skin showcasing the skin benefits of using an infrared sauna.

Moving from muscle relaxation, another big plus of infrared saunas is how they can make your skin look and feel better. These saunas boost blood flow and help your body eliminate bad stuff through sweat.

This process can give you healthier-looking skin. I’ve seen it myself after a few sessions; my skin seemed clearer and felt smoother. Infrared light plays a big role in this by encouraging the production of collagen, which helps reduce wrinkles and makes your skin more elastic.

As per a 2006 study published in the NCBI, infrared radiation benefits the skin texture and reduces wrinkles by increasing collagen.

People with acne, eczema, or psoriasis might also find some relief because better circulation means healing happens faster.

Other Benefits

Beyond just making your skin look good, spending time in an infrared sauna can do more for your well-being. Here are some other benefits of infrared saunas :

  • Stress Relief
  • Improved Sleep
  • Relief from Depression and Anxiety
  • Reduction in chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis
  • Reduced risk of Dementia & Alzheimer’s
  • Immunity Boost
  • Weight Management

Weighing Risks Against Benefits of Infrared Saunas

So, you’ve seen how infrared saunas come with their share of good and bad.

These saunas may help your heartlower blood pressure, and ease muscle pain. These perks make them a favorite for many seeking health boosts.

Yet, they’re not free from hazards. The warmth can be too much, leading to dehydration or even heat stroke if you’re not careful. A big worry is the invisible rays, known as electromagnetic fields (EMF), coming from these saunas.

Still, staying hydrated and limiting sessions helps lower these risks.

Choosing wisely involves looking at both sidesthe gains for your well-being versus potential side effects like overheating or dealing with unseen radiation dangers.

Key Points to Consider for Infrared Sauna Safety

Did you know? Most folks sweat about half a pint during a short stay in an infrared sauna. This shows how powerful the effects can be on your body. Safety is key to enjoying these benefits without risking your health.

An empty and small infrared sauna with red light emanating from the infrared light panels.

Here are vital safety tips for using infrared saunas based on personal experience and careful research.

  1. Stay Hydrated: A sauna session is like a workout. You lose water through sweat, so drinking plenty of fluids before and after is crucial. I always bring a water bottle to keep hydrated during my sessions.

  2. Limit Your Time Inside the Sauna: Too long in the heat isn’t good. Professionals suggest no more than 20 minutes at a time. Listening to your body is important; it’s time to step out if you feel light-headed or too hot.

  3. Monitoring the internal temperature: Make sure that the temperature inside the sauna should not exceed 140°F to prevent the risk of burns.

  4. Check With Your Doctor First: If you have heart problems or are pregnant, it’s wise to ask your doctor if sauna sessions are safe for you. After learning about sauna heart risks, my father made sure to get the green light from his healthcare provider before starting.

  5. Mind The Medications: Some drugs don’t mix well with high heat, affecting how they work or making side effects worse.

  6. Watch Out for EMF Radiation: Infrared saunas emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs), just like microwaves and cell phones do. Though the debate continues on how harmful these can be, choosing saunas with low EMF levels gives peace of mind.

  7. Avoid Alcohol Beforehand: Alcohol can dehydrate you and lower your body’s ability to handle the heat, raising the risk of fainting or getting overheated.

  8. Listen To Your Body: Feeling sick, dizzy, or uncomfortable? It’s better to end the session early than push through.

  9. Understand The Symptoms To Watch For: Educating yourself on signs of overheating and dehydration can prevent serious issues.

  10. Keep Sessions Moderate If New Or Sensitive: Start slow with shorter sessions and gradually increase as your tolerance grows. Jumping in too fast initially overwhelmed me until I found my comfort zone with shorter sessions.

Safety always comes first with infrared saunas, just like any therapeutic tool or treatment method involving changes to body temperature or exercise routines.

Who Should Avoid Infrared Sauna Use?

The allure of infrared saunas is very tempting in wellness circles. However, we need to talk about safety precautions for infrared sauna users. Some people, especially those with certain health conditions and infrared saunas, should be careful.

1. Pregnant WomenUnknown effects of infrared heat on fetal developmentConsult healthcare provider for guidance
2. Heart PatientsPotential aggravation of pre-existing conditionsRequire medical clearance before sauna use
3. Individuals with Silicone ImplantsHeat may affect implant integrity or cause bodily reactionsDiscuss risks with a physician
4. Individuals with electronic medical devices like pacemakersRadiation can disrupt the operation of pacemakersConsult your healthcare providers for personalized advice
4. Men Concerned with FertilityHigher temperatures can decrease sperm motilityLimited sauna use; consult with a fertility specialist

Infrared saunas mix innovation with self-care, offering benefits. However, knowing the risks for individuals with certain health conditions is key.


We’ve walked through the ins and outs of infrared saunas, touching on how they can help us but also where they might hurt.

These cozy cabins can boost our blood flow, clear out toxinsease tense muscles, make our skin glow, and offer even more goodies for our health.

Yet, we must also watch out for the less pleasant side – things like overheating, losing too much water from our bodies (dehydration), and coming into contact with invisible light rays that can be tough on our bodies (EMF exposure).

Ready to step into a warmer glow? Just ensure you’re doing so in a way that keeps you shining bright and feeling great—inside out.

FAQs About Infrared Sauna Dangers

1. What are the dangers of using an infrared sauna?

Infrared saunas can lead to exposure to EMF radiation, dehydration, overheating, and even heat stroke if you’re not careful. People with certain health conditions and pregnant ladies should also be cautious.

2. Can infrared saunas harm your heart?

Yes, there’s a risk for people with heart issues. The heat from the sauna can put extra stress on the heart, so it’s important to talk to a doctor first.

3. Do infrared saunas give off harmful radiation?

While infrared saunas do emit some electromagnetic radiation (EMF), modern ones are designed to keep levels low and safe for users.

4. How long should I stay in an infrared sauna?

To stay safe, limit your sessions to 20-30 minutes at most. Listen to your body and end your sauna session if you start feeling dizzy or if you can’t handle the heat.

5. Are there any benefits of infrared saunas despite the risks?

Absolutely! When used wisely, infrared saunas can help relax muscles, ease pain, improve circulation, and even aid in detoxification.


  1. https://wellisnewengland.com/is-an-infrared-sauna-safe/ ↩︎
  2. https://infraredsauna.com/true-wave-low-emf-infrared-heater-technology/ ↩︎
  3. https://sunhomesaunas.com/blogs/saunas/emf-levels-in-saunas-what-you-need-to-know ↩︎



Download your guide to serene living now.
Plus, stay on top of the latest sauna trends and exclusive offers!

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *