Are Infrared Sauna Blankets Worth It?

With fewer options for getting a sweat going these days, many have opted for at-home heat treatments such as infrared saunas or red light therapy. In response to the demand, some companies have released more compact versions of their beloved infrared saunas — in blanket form. Often costing around $400, your deluxe heated blanket deserves some research before you spring for one. 

Since Instagram trends often tout countless benefits that come along with a hefty price tag, it's worth taking your time to find the right product for you. Shape explains that the main difference between the sauna and its blanket counterpart is that the latter obviously doesn't have four walls, but instead wraps your body in heat waves. Infrared light helps heat the "container," no matter which you're in, and offers light rays that are said to produce various health benefits. The outlet suggests starting at a low temperature such as 60 degrees and making your way up to the max to fully reap the benefits. While you'll certainly sweat, you likely won't feel the overwhelming heat of a dry sauna. 

The main difference lies in the spectrum of the infrared lights, since the blanket offers a lower spectrum. "It's very similar to the sauna, but it's an infrared wrap; it's not a full-spectrum infrared," Lauren Berlingeri, co-founder of HigherDOSE tells Well+Good. "It's still going to boost immunity, boost blood flow and circulation, and boost mood, because it does increase your endorphins and it does increase your serotonin by virtue of upping the heat."

Infrared sauna blankets come with advantages and disadvantages

Your infrared sauna blanket will likely produce the same results as your infrared sauna session — just horizontally. The same claimed benefits like reduced inflammation, detoxification, and improved circulation still apply to the blanket version of your infrared sauna, Shape contends. The outlet notes that a study found that frequent use contributed to a healthier heart, along with all of the benefits that help offset oxidative stress. However, you'll need to hop in the blanket at least five times a week to fully reap these benefits.

If you suffer from chronic pain due to issues like arthritis, an infrared sauna blanket may be the perfect addition to your recovery routine. Aiding in reducing inflammation, the technology can be incredibly helpful; plus, the blanket version makes it that much more convenient. An unlikely draw back though? Wearing clothes.

Goop reports that many opt into wearing loose-fitting pants and shirts inside the blanket, making cleanup much easier and protecting your body from the interior panels that heat up. So, if you're looking for your usual naked sauna session, the blanket doesn't offer the same experience. But, with the cold winter weather just getting started, having a portable sauna on hand may not be a bad idea. Helping loosen your muscles and get your blood moving, the infrared sauna blanket may be a worthy investment if you already love your studio sessions.