Cheap vs Expensive Saunas: Here's what you need to know

Why You Shouldn't Buy a Cheap Sauna

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In today's world, there are many different infrared sauna options out there. When it comes to saunas, however, you really do get what you pay for.

While the initial cost of a premium sauna may be higher, it is important to consider long-term savings, any additional hidden costs and also customer care for the future of your product.

There's no shortage of cheap saunas that will only last a few years, but if you can invest and wait for a high-quality sauna, it will provide you with many more years of enjoyment.

In this article, we will deep-dive into the most important aspects of buying a home sauna and compare the differences between expensive saunas and cheap saunas.

Infrared Sauna For Sale: What You Should Look For

Infrared saunas can be bought and shipped to almost anywhere in the world today.

While this allows people in remote communities to access these "fountain of youth" technologies, it also opens up the market to cheap and unethical manufacturers who capitalise on this booming health trend.

While healthy competition is crucial for a consumer to get the best deal possible, unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness of how a poor-quality sauna can be bad for your health.

Money aside, the best infrared sauna should be designed with a focus on prolonging your health and not inhibiting it.

Before we talk about the health risks a cheap sauna can have, let's first look at why investing in an expensive sauna is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

1. Expensive Sauna Brands Have Good Customer Service

When buying anything it’s important to look at the entire experience. Oftentimes your customer service interaction with a company can be just as crucial and memorable as making the main purchasing decision!

For example: when deciding on getting a sauna for home use - will there be a support team to help you if anything malfunctions or will the company seemingly be impossible to get in touch with after you've made the purchase?

Going solely based on saving money may seem like an easy way out, but in reality will cost you more in the long run, both in dollars and in time if something goes wrong.

By all means, it pays to avoid any headaches that may come from dissatisfaction over poor products and services that don't meet your needs expected or promised.

Therefore, customer service should never go unnoticed when making decisions about a company or product you want to do business with.

Always take the time to talk to the staff, look at the Google Reviews and ask about warranty details.

2. Expensive Infrared Saunas Last Longer

When it comes to choosing a sauna, quality should be your top priority. A sauna that is built to last will not only provide years of use but will also hold its value over time. The benefits of purchasing a high-quality sauna are many and include superior performances, an enjoyable experience for customers as well as service warranties.

Cheap saunas are often made with lower-quality materials, and they don't tend to last as long as their more expensive counterparts. The extra cost upfront will pay off in the long run, and you'll be able to enjoy all features without compromise. For many people, the value of an item is often judged by its price. But what would you rather have? A product with high-quality materials and design that will last for years, or, one made from lesser quality and cheaper components that are prone to breakage after just a few months in your home?

This may sound like common sense but we all know how tempting it can be to save a few dollars when it comes to buying time. While it seems logical enough - spending more upfront means fewer replacements in the future - don't let yourself get fooled. Ensure the sauna has all the correct certifications and follow up on any salesy 'one-of-a-kind' claims by asking for third-party proof. Remember, a cheap sauna has to cut costs somewhere.

3. Does the Sauna Brand Give You Confidence?

Companies that manufacture high-quality goods receive a higher degree of trust from customers as a result of their greater worth.

The mind is put at ease when picking an established brand with roots in tradition and history because it knows what to expect; there should be no surprises on this side of the transaction.

This becomes especially important for those who depend upon these certain products time after time.

Think about when you buy a car, there is nothing more important than finding a brand you trust.

The difference between an expensive and not-so-good quality vehicle can be daunting for consumers.

Having to weigh up between saving money vs. something breaking down on you soon after buying is stressful. This leads us back to the point: do you feel the cheap sauna will provide you with your needs and fulfil expected promises? If the answer is no, it's probably best to keep looking.

4. Infrared Sauna Features: Cheap Vs Expensive

When buying an infrared sauna, it's important to consider not only the quality of what is being offered but also how much you value the offering.

Features are an integral part when making the buying decision regardless if they are a need or simply a nice to have.

While some features may not be initially valued by a consumer, generally it will cost you more to add them later than to get them during the initial purchase.

Features purely for your convenience alone are usually not initially thought about by the consumer - and it is why it's important to have trust for the company you are speaking to when they are explaining their offerings.

A simple way to think about this is looking at airlines, while Jetstar may have the cheapest flights on paper, their hidden costs for baggage and snacks, combined with their reputation to cancel flights last minute can make the purchasing decision 'not worth it' for a customer.

Compared to an airline like Virgin which is more expensive, but provides transparent pricing, care and reliability. At the end of the day, it comes down to what you as an individual value - are you willing to run the risk of potentially getting caught out last minute or would you prefer the peace of mind?

When it comes to the features of an infrared sauna, as a consumer you may only be thinking about heat, and so a hot room is good enough, right?

Let's not forget that you want to be comfortable, have a relaxing experience, maybe listen to music through good quality speakers, explore coloured light therapy or chromotherapy to adjust your mood, high-quality sauna timber or even aromatherapy.

Many of these features are included as standard – digital controls, music players, built-in chromotherapy - however, more premium infrared saunas include more sauna accessories.

Such as:

5. Look Closely at the Details of the Infrared Sauna

While we've already touched on the quality of the build and the quality of the materials, it is still important to touch on the aesthetics of the sauna.

Like most things, it's in the finer details that aren't always noticeable from a small picture online.

And like any expensive product, there will always be cheap rip-offs, and while these may look similar from afar the cheap rip-offs will never achieve the same aesthetic, because, let's face it, they're cheap rip-offs.

Ideally, you want to see the sauna in person and - even better - use it. If you can't find anywhere to test, try or see the sauna in person then there is probably a good reason – it's not so good.

When in doubt, look at commercial wellness spas and clinics and see what they are using. Try it out, and see if it squeaks or feels flimsy.  

Even ask them if they are happy with the company they are doing business with. And more importantly, take a look at the finer details to see if it looks how much it costs.

6. Infrared Sauna Lifetime Warranty Information

The last point we will make about comparing expensive saunas with cheap saunas from a smart buying decision is the warranty.

A warranty will not only ensure it will be working properly for the set amount of time, but it will also indicate to you how much trust the company has in its product's ability to last.

A 1-year warranty product versus a 10-year warranty product tells the consumer that the company manufacturing it is confident that you won't have any problems in the first 10 years, and if you do, they will cover the expenses.

Comparing this to a company that only is willing to cover you for the first year after purchase really says it all.

Remember that the longer the product warranty lasts the cheaper over-time the product costs you. $10,000 over 10 years costs you $1,000 a year, whereas $5,000 over 2 years costs you $2,500 a year.

Clearlight Saunas offers a lifetime warranty, compared to other sauna brands that only offer 5 years. While the initial cost might be more upfront, over time you will save money well into the future.

But making a smarter buying decision isn't the only reason to opt for a more expensive sauna.

Choosing a sauna company that has the health and well-being of you in mind is even more important.

While a white-labelled sauna from China might save you 50% it is, without doubt, cheaper because it is cutting costs in places that you are unaware of.

Before we explore these places and how they can impact your health, below are some tips on how to choose between a cheap sauna vs an expensive sauna.

How to Choose Between a Cheap Sauna Vs an Expensive Sauna

Investing in the right products can save you money.

If your finances are tight, it might seem like a tough decision between buying something cheap - now - versus saving for the crème de la crème that will keep you smiling for years to come.

But hear us out - purchasing durable items has many benefits from retaining their worth to perhaps even increasing in value, be it monetarily or perceived value.

If saving funds seems difficult, just think about all those moments throughout life where you've compromised when you shouldn't have at it came back to bite you.

Regardless, if you're reading this article you will know all too well that there isn't such thing as a 'cheap' sauna, only 'cheaper' saunas.

While infrared saunas can be expensive wellness items for your home, so too can be their equivalents. Below are some resources you can use to decide what at-home wellness tool suite your lifestyle the best:


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Infrared Sauna Health Benefits and Risks

Infrared sauna health benefits can provide:

Just to name a few. But not all saunas are created equal.

How do infrared saunas work? By penetrating deep into your muscle tissue.

The infrared heat causes the water molecules in fat cells to vibrate, and this raises the core body temperature from the inside out.

This unique quality of infrared light is what makes the benefits of full-spectrum infrared saunas and the benefits of far infrared saunas superior at removing toxins and burning calories in the sauna, when compared to other saunas, such as steam rooms/steam sauna or a traditional sauna.

Of course, there are always risks associated with saunas, be it traditional saunas, infrared saunas, cheap saunas or expensive saunas – all of these have sauna risks of dehydration, heat exhaustion and certain people should avoid using saunas like during pregnancy.

What are Infrared Sauna VOCs?

A cheap sauna might use a reasonable quality infrared heater to produce the correct nano-metres (nm) of far infrared heat.

However, toxic glues, varnishes and the grade quality of the timber are the first corners a cheap sauna manufacturer will cut, to lower costs. So what does this mean for your health?

The VOCs stand for volatile organic compounds, and are toxic materials that causes off-gassing of harmful micro-particles when heated.

Think of paints, varnishes and glues. When they are heated they produce a smell and this smell is toxic to inhale.

While the smell of these toxins may be feint in a cheap sauna they are still harmful and so ensuring your sauna craftsmanship includes no VOCs is an important aspect of your overall health benefits and experience.

What are Low EMF Saunas?

Low EMF Infrared Saunas are a type of infrared sauna that produces almost zero EMF radiation.

Infrared heating uses electricity causes what is known as electromagnetic fields (EMF) and extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF).

Low EMF/ELF sauna levels are important because high levels can cause interference in the body's natural electrical system.

This can disrupt sleep, and cause headaches and a range of other health problems. There is a range of symptoms people can experience with high EMF exposure, including:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • sleep problems
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • heart problems
  • ringing in the ears
  • difficulty concentrating

While there is much debate on the adverse effects of EMF and ELF on the human body, a simple analogy is to think about a wifi router - as they produce high levels of EMF/ELF.

Ask yourself, would you want to sleep next to a wifi router every night? This same context applies to your infrared sauna. You probably don't want to spend up to an hour in an infrared sauna that is exposing you to high levels of EMF/ELF, three times a week.

Only the premium sauna brands will be aware of EMF and ELF exposure, and while some sauna competitors may claim to have low EMF and ELF levels, they don't always have proof, third-party testing or measurements when the infrared sauna is in use.

That's why it's always important to verify any claims or certifications a sauna brand may have as the sauna industry is still heavily unregulated.

360º Infrared Sauna Heat

A dry sauna session is an excellent way to improve one's health and well-being.

More saunas today are utilising radiant heat (infrared) over traditional steam saunas and their heat source of hot rocks.

As we talked about earlier, this is because infrared saunas heat the body directly and not the air temperature or humidity of the cabin.

This makes infrared saunas electricity costs low, easier to deliver and install.

Heater placement matters in an infrared sauna because for the infrared light to work, the wavelengths must be pointing directly at the areas of your naked body.

Most cheap infrared saunas have heaters that run up and over your head, essentially wasting electricity and energy. This drives the cost of running your infrared sauna literally to the roof!

Even infrared saunas that have panels that are behind your head are a waste, as your head is an area of the body that doesn't contribute to the raising of your core temperature.

While this wastage of infrared heaters isn't necessarily bad for your health - it is certainly not an excellent choice and shows a lack of understanding from the infrared sauna manufacturer of how infrared works.

Below are some resources to help you understand the fundamentals on how to use your sauna properly:

Are Infrared Saunas Worth It?

Are infrared saunas worth it? No matter the type of infrared sauna you want, opting for an expensive model is always going to be a smarter buying decision.

If money is tight it might be worth considering saving money on size rather than quality - to avoid any of the problems you will face with a cheap sauna purchase.

Getting clear on what you value is going to make the buying decision much easier when you begin to talk to a salesperson, and remember to follow some of the tips above to ensure you don't get caught out on empty promises.

If you're interested in the highest-quality infrared saunas on the market, take a look at our range of full spectrum infrared saunas, far-infrared saunas and outdoor saunas today!

Infrared Sauna Buying Guide

Read this before you buy an Infrared Sauna!

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