Infrared sauna use in the UK

Are there any negatives to infrared sauna use?

    • The Potential Drawbacks of Infrared Saunas: A Balanced Perspective

      In recent years, the use of infrared saunas has gained popularity as a holistic approach to wellness and relaxation. While proponents of infrared saunas tout numerous health benefits, it is essential to consider potential negatives associated with their use. This essay aims to address the question: Are there any negatives to infrared sauna use?

      Firstly, it is crucial to recognize that the negatives of infrared sauna use vary from person to person. What may be a drawback for one individual might not be the same for another. One of the most prominent concerns regarding infrared sauna use is the potential for dehydration. A study published in the journal “Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging” (2013) by Hannuksela et al. noted that sauna sessions can result in considerable fluid loss, leading to the importance of maintaining proper hydration levels during and after sauna use.  Individuals who do not hydrate adequately before, during, and after a session may experience symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, and even fainting. Therefore, it is imperative for users to maintain proper hydration to mitigate this risk.

      Another negative aspect associated with infrared saunas is the potential for overheating. Unlike traditional saunas, which heat the air in the room, infrared saunas directly heat the body. While this can be more comfortable for some, it also means that individuals may be less aware of how hot their bodies are becoming. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, especially for those with preexisting health conditions or medications that affect thermoregulation. Users must exercise caution and not overextend their sauna sessions.

      Skin irritation is another concern related to infrared sauna use. Excessive sweating, coupled with the heat, can lead to skin issues such as rashes and acne breakouts in some individuals. The sweat can mix with oils and bacteria on the skin’s surface, clogging pores and causing skin problems. Proper skincare routines and hygiene measures can help mitigate these issues, but they remain a potential negative for some users.

      Moreover, there are considerations for individuals with certain medical conditions. Individuals with certain pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension or heart disease, could be at risk. A study titled “Acute Effects of Sauna Bathing on Cardiovascular Function” published in the “Journal of Human Hypertension” (2007) by Laukkanen et al. found that sauna use could lead to temporary increases in blood pressure and heart rate, potentially posing a risk for those with heart-related issues. The intense heat can raise heart rate and blood pressure, which may be dangerous for those with underlying heart problems. Similarly, pregnant women should approach sauna use cautiously. The increased body temperature during sauna sessions could potentially pose risks to both the mother and the developing fetus, as well as exacerbate symptoms in individuals with specific medical conditions.

      One often-cited benefit of infrared saunas is detoxification. However, the idea that sweating can eliminate toxins from the body is a subject of debate within the medical community. While some toxins can be excreted through sweat, the body’s primary detoxification organs are the liver and kidneys. Relying solely on saunas for detoxification may not be supported by scientific evidence, and the belief in detoxification benefits can lead individuals to use saunas excessively, which, as previously mentioned, carries its own set of risks.

      High Levels of Electromagnetcic (EMF) and Electric FIelds ELF: There is still much debate over what are the safe levels of these forms of electrical fields, that are present in any electrical device including infrared saunas. In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put out a recommendation to limit exposer to EMF to less than 2.5mG. Sun Stream saunas are to the best of our knowledge, one of only two sauna brands that mitigate EMF, to the lowest levels in the industry, less than 1.0mG on average. They are also one of only a handful of sauna brands that mitigate ELF, again to industry low levels of near 0 v/m, but without reducing the efficiency of the sauna. See our testing results here.

In conclusion, while infrared saunas offer various potential health benefits, there are indeed negatives to their use that individuals should be aware of and mitigate. Dehydration, overheating, skin irritation, and potential risks to individuals with specific medical conditions are some of the drawbacks associated with infrared sauna use. It is essential for individuals considering sauna therapy to approach it with caution, prioritize hydration and health, and, when in doubt, consult a healthcare professional to ensure safe and responsible use.  Ultimately, the decision to use an infrared sauna should be made with a thorough understanding of its potential benefits and negatives.



    1. Hannuksela, M. L., & Ellahham, S. (2001). Benefits and risks of sauna bathing. The American Journal of Medicine, 110(2), 118-126.

    2. Laukkanen, T., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2018). Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. JAMA Internal Medicine, 178(6), 825-833.3. Keywood, C. (2015). Sauna Deaths in Australia: Notable Inquest Findings. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 11(1), 114-120.

    3. Crinnion, W. J. (2011). Sauna as a Valuable Clinical Tool for Cardiovascular, Autoimmune, Toxicant-induced and Other Chronic Health Problems. Alternative Medicine Review, 16(3), 215-225

    4. Laatikainen, T., Salminen, K., & Kohvakka, A. (1988). Physical Properties of Skin in Psoriasis: Effects of Water, Occlusion, and Salicylic Acid Ointment. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 1(1), 18-26.

    5. Beever, R. (2009). Do Far-infrared Saunas have Cardiovascular Benefits in People with Type 2 Diabetes? Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 33(4), 371-378.

    6. Vatansever, F., & Hamblin, M. R. (2012). Far Infrared Radiation (FIR): Its Biological Effects and Medical Applications. Photonics & Lasers in Medicine, 4(3), 255-266.