The health benefits of saunas have been well documented. They improve circulation, keep the skin soft and supple, and promote relaxation: all key to a healthy lifestyle.
Are there any drawbacks? Yes — they aren’t accessible enough! Until recently, you either had to go to a spa or health club to use a sauna, or have 1 installed in your home.
Now there’s an alternative. You can take a portable sauna almost anywhere you go: home, business trips, vacations, even to your office.
Portable saunas come in 2 basic styles. The first, which is truly portable, is a folding box-like structure that 1 person can sit in. The second type is the pre-built, which is portable only in the sense that your desk is portable — you can take it when you move, but you wouldn’t take it for a weekend trip.
The Folding Sauna
The folding sauna is both economical and practical. It collapses quickly into a compact package that can be carried anywhere. It sets up easily, and doesn’t need any special plumbing or electrical connections. Just plug it into a normal wall socket.
You sit in the sauna with your head and hands protruding from the unit. It fits snugly around your neck and has slits for your hands. You can sit in the sauna and read, watch TV, or talk on the phone: all things you couldn’t do with a regular sauna.
Heated by Invisible Light
This sauna uses Far Infrared (FIR) as its heat source. FIR is different from other heat sources because it heats people and objects without warming the air in between. Infrared is part of the natural spectrum of light, but it’s outside the visible range. This is the type of radiation that provides most of the warmth from the sun.
FIR heat passes deep into the body tissues where it can promote increased blood circulation and metabolism. Many proponents of FIR claim that it allows the body to break down toxins and promote healing. Whether or not this is true, FIR offers an efficient heat source that is ideal for portable saunas.
There’s no doubt about the convenience of portable saunas. But if you want a “real” sauna experience, you don’t have to go through the hassle of permanently installing a spa-grade sauna in your home. Pre-built saunas are 2- or 3-piece units that can be assembled in less than half an hour, and can fit almost anywhere. They have the look and feel of a traditional sauna, right down to the wooden benches. They simply plug into a regular wall outlet to supply electricity for the heaters and the lights.
Like portable saunas, these pre-builts usually use Far Infrared (FIR) heaters as their heat source. Pre-builts are available in sizes for 1 person or up to 5 people.
Have Sauna, Will Travel
The advantages of portable saunas are obvious — you can take a sauna wherever you go. When used at home, a portable sauna is a big space-saver because you can fold it up and store it under the bed.
Pre-built saunas also have their advantages. Even though they are less portable than true portable saunas, they still offer the possibility to take the sauna with you if you move.
Disadvantages? The portable sauna can’t approach the heat level of a regular sauna. The thin walls don’t provide the insulation to support this level of heat build-up. Pre-built saunas provide heat build-up similar to regular saunas, but the box-like structure, particularly the 1-person units, make some people feel claustrophobic.
Still, if you don’t want the expense and hassle of installing a permanent sauna in your home, portables and pre-built saunas allow you to get all the sauna benefits with very few drawbacks.