Picking the Right Infrared Sauna for Your Home

Written by: the Editors of goop


Updated: July 29, 2021

GP using her sauna

In partnership with our friends at Clearlight Saunas

We’ll take an infrared heat fix anywhere we can get it: at a yoga class, at our local infrared sauna studio, or wrapped up in an infrared sauna blanket. But having a sauna right at home is the real dream.

A few of us at goop who have taken the plunge like Clearlight Saunas, including GP: “I do an infrared sauna as often as I can,” she says. “I walk out feeling so much more relaxed—and glowy, too.” Clearlight Saunas use True Wave heaters, which blend ceramic and carbon infrared heaters for the best of both worlds. (Ceramic heaters produce hotter heat, and carbon ones produce infrared waves that penetrate deeper. Together, they’re calibrated to a specific level of heat that’s intended to optimize how the body heats up and sweats.) The furniture-grade Canadian cedar and basswood exteriors are treated with non-VOC finish. And the saunas are fully tricked out—Bluetooth and AUX inputs mean you can safely play music or your favorite guided meditations from inside the cabin. You can even turn on your sauna from your phone so that it preheats while you’re coming home from work or set it to be ready to go by the time you wake up in the morning. Each sauna comes with a lifetime warranty. They’re beautiful to sit in, too.

If you’re lucky enough to be in the market, the challenge becomes choosing the exact right model for your space and your needs.

  1. The Compact Infrared Sauna

    The Clearlight Sanctuary 1 plugs into a standard wall outlet, and because it measures less than four feet by four feet, you can make room for it even in tighter spaces. Despite its smaller size, it feels very open; you can thank the glass front wall and the skylight for that. It features two types of heaters pumping out far and full-spectrum infrared heat, which can get intensely hot if you’re into that. (Far infrared covers a narrow range of longer infrared wavelengths that penetrate deeply into the body and aren’t crazy-hot. Full-spectrum infrared includes a wider range of wavelengths that includes far infrared as well as mid and near infrared, and it may provide a wider range of benefits than far infrared alone.) You can customize your experience with color therapy: Every Sanctuary model includes ninety-six LED lights with twelve color options.

    Sanctuary 1
    Clearlight Saunas Sanctuary 1 Clearlight Saunas, price upon request
  1. The Infrared Sauna for Movement

    The Sanctuary Y is made for those who want to move. (The “Y” stands for “yoga.”) Sure, you can hang out on the two benches with some pals. Or you can remove the benches entirely—they’re lightweight enough that it’s easy to move them around—roll out a mat and stretch, foam roll, or down dog to your heart’s content. Which we highly recommend: The heat has a way of breaking up stiffness and getting you out of your head and into your body. This model includes both far and full-spectrum infrared and the full suite of color-therapy lights.

  1. The Lower-Intensity
    Infrared Sauna

    The Clearlight Premier models use only far infrared heat, which is a gentler experience than full-spectrum infrared heat. The three-seat design of the Premier IS-3 is clutch if you like to sauna with a buddy or two—or if you prefer to sprawl out a bit. Imagine lounging lengthwise on the bench as you take in the heat, with your back against the wall and your legs propping up a well-loved paperback.

    Premier IS-3
    Clearlight Saunas Premier IS-3 Clearlight Saunas, price upon request
  1. The Backyard Infrared Sauna

    If you don’t have room to work with in the house but you do have a place in your yard where you could imagine yourself sweating it out (with a view, perhaps?), the Sanctuary Outdoor 5 could be a great fit. It’s built into a wooden cabin designed to hold up to the elements, and the floor-to-ceiling dual-paned glass windows help lock in heat without obstructing your line of sight. There’s plenty of room to lie flat in this one—it seats up to five people—and the bench transitions into a recliner, too. (This one has a limited warranty on the exterior cabin, but all the interior parts are under lifetime warranty.)

We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.