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Last modified on November 16th, 2022
Portable saunas are a way to improve your health and turn your home into an oasis. Numerous health benefits come from sitting in a sauna regularly. Benefits include improved mental health, better circulation, reduced pain and inflammation, and increased mobility. A portable sauna offers the spa-like benefits of a traditional sauna at a lower cost and with more convenience.
- Portable steam saunas and portable infrared saunas are available
- Saunas can help with relaxation and detoxification
- Most portable saunas are designed like a collapsible tent
- Portable saunas are very affordable, particularly compared to larger in-home saunas
Top Portable Saunas
The following are our selections for the best portable saunas.
- Spacious design
- Utilizes steam up to around 212 degrees Fahrenheit
- Inside frame design for easy setup
- Can be wiped clean
- Includes foldable chair
- 60-minute timer
- Steam helps with weight loss, detox, fatigue, and stress
- May also help with circulation and skin purification
- Two zippered hand openings so you can read or use a device
- 8 L steam generator with a ceramic heating element
- Includes everything you need for an infrared sauna experience
- Since this sauna is infrared, there’s no cleaning or moisture to worry about
- Just plug the sauna in, let it heat up for 5 to 10 minutes and it’s ready to go
- Folds flat in seconds
- Three-level heated foot pad
- Foldable chair
- Integrated remote control
- One-year warranty
- Top-rated among users
- Far infrared soothing heat
- Includes three low-EMF carbon heating panels for even, steady heat
- One-minute setup
- Collapsible design for easy transport and setup
- Moisture-resistant fabric
- Includes a foldable chair and footpad
- One-year manufacturer warranty
- Bestseller among infrared saunas and steam saunas on Amazon
- Can be purchased with 0% interest using an Amazon Store Card
- Collapsible design for easy storage
- Includes seat
- Footpad heating mat
- Temperature is adjustable up to 140 degrees
- Includes remote control timer
- Walk-in sauna for full-body health and relaxation
- Can be folded up and stored away when needed
- Available in a steam sauna version as well
- Reaches a max temperature of 140 degrees
- Integrated footpad heating mat
- Very similar to more expensive infrared saunas
- Blanket sauna features a waterproof PVC and interior
- Far infrared rays penetrate the skin and subcutaneous tissue
- Helps promote metabolism and blood circulation
- May help with removing toxins and waste from the body
- Features the ability to release your hands and use devices
- Automatically disconnects and stop heating if a temperature is reached that’s considered unsafe
- Can use at home or while traveling
- One-minute setup
- Helps with pain, stress, anxiety, and weight loss
- Handheld control with six automatic timer settings
- 2L capacity steam pot with safety features such as anti-leakage and automatic power cut protection
- Foldable frame for easy storage
- Heats in just 7 to 10 minutes
- Insulated waterproof fabric prevents heat loss
The Benefits of a Portable Sauna
The idea of using a sauna isn’t new. It’s something that’s been utilized for centuries for health and wellness.
What is relatively new, however, is the trend of using portable saunas in your home. Many people also buy barrel sauna kits and full-size infrared saunas. It’s convenient to enjoy the benefits of a sauna in your home without having to go to a gym or spa.
- Saunas, including portable saunas, are also becoming increasingly affordable. For example, many of the best portable saunas we ranked above are around $100.
- Saunas for home use are usually not just convenient but energy efficient.
- There are different types of saunas. A traditional Finnish sauna is one with dry heat and relative humidity between 10 and 20%. There are also saunas with much higher humidity levels.
- Being in a sauna can raise the temperature of the skin to around 104 degrees.
- When your skin temperature goes up, sweating occurs. Your heart rate rises as your body is trying to cool down.
Specifically, types of saunas include:
- Wood-burning: This is a traditional type of sauna. Wood is used in a sauna room, and there are rocks. A wood-burning sauna will typically be high in terms of temperature with low humidity.
- Electrically heated: These saunas have an electric floor-based heater. The temperatures are high, paired with low humidity.
- Infrared saunas: Far infrared saunas are unique and one of the most popular options for home use. An infrared sauna uses lamps with light waves to heat your body rather than heating the surrounding space. Temperatures are lower than a traditional sauna, but these still lead to the same type of sweating and benefits.
Regardless of the type of sauna you use, including a portable sauna, your blood vessels widen, and your heart rate goes up. The effects are, in some ways, similar to low-to-moderate exercise.
Some of the potential benefits of using a portable sauna or a sauna of any kind include the following.
When you regularly use a sauna, including a portable sauna, it can increase your circulation. That can reduce pain from arthritis and other conditions. It can also improve joint mobility.
Many people deal with chronic pain, and they don’t want to rely on medicines for it. A sauna can be a good alternative.
Many of us don’t work up a sweat every day, or often at all. Your job may be sedentary, and you may not move your body as much as you want to.
That makes it harder for your body to remove toxins via sweat.
Sitting in a sauna regularly can help you flush some built-up toxins out of your body effectively.
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, but regular sauna use can help reduce the risk.
For example, there was a study in Finland that found people using a sauna may have a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
These benefits may be because it helps with stress management, and it can lower blood pressure and enhance the heart’s function.
When used along with regular exercise, the benefits of a sauna may be more significant.
Being in a sauna alone creates effects similar to moderate exercise.
Stress can contribute to and worsen many health conditions. With regular sauna use, you may find that you have improved feelings of relaxation and well-being.
There are direct and indirect reasons that a portable sauna or any type of sauna might help relieve stress.
First, you’re taking time away from the outside world when you’re enjoying your sauna. If you can step away from your phone at the same time, even better.
Saunas also release endorphins thanks to the increased heart rate. Endorphins help you feel happier, and they’re the brain chemicals released when you exercise.
When you get in a sauna, it improves your circulation because your heart beats faster and your blood vessels widen. Then, blood can move more freely around your body.
Improved circulation helps with pain and mobility and exercise recovery.
Some people find sauna use helps promote weight loss. It could be because of the increase in your heart rate. It can help you burn calories, similarly to what happens when you work out.
Your metabolism is boosted as well, although being in a sauna is not a replacement for exercise.
One of the more interesting benefits of a sauna is that it can help boost your immune system. Your body naturally fights infections with a fever.
High temperatures help your immune system fight viruses and bacteria.
When you’re exposed to the high temperatures of a sauna, it might help power up your immune system.
Lower Alzheimer’s Risk
There was research from Finland published in 2016. It was the findings of a 20-year study that linked sauna use with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Participants, who were healthy men between the ages of 42 and 60, were found to have a 22% lower risk of dementia if they used a sauna 2 to 3 times a week compared to those who didn’t use a sauna.
Those who used a sauna four to seven times a week were 66% less likely to get dementia and 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people who used a sauna just once a week.
Infrared vs. Steam Sauna
In our rankings of the best portable saunas listed above, we include both infrared and steam saunas on our list.
In a traditional sauna that has been used for thousands of years, you would sit in a structure with a fire pit. Rocks would be placed on top of the pit. When the rocks were warm enough, the sauna users would throw water onto them to create steam.
Many people still use traditional saunas.
You can also get the benefits of a steam sauna more conveniently. With a steam sauna room or a portable steam sauna, you’re using a steam generator rather than a fire and rocks.
An infrared sauna is a more modern option. The focus is on that element of being in a sauna rather than the steam. There is no steam. In a portable infrared sauna, there are just rays that heat your body without raising the overall temperature of the room.
There are two types of infrared saunas. There are far infrared and near-infrared. Far infrared saunas don’t penetrate as deeply as near-infrared but still work well to deliver the benefits of being in a sauna.
When you’re in an infrared sauna, a wavelength of light is emitted. Your body absorbs that without the room being heated. Then, you go through the same cooling process you would in a steam sauna, but without the actual steam.
Some people find one of the benefits of an infrared sauna over a steam sauna is that they can tolerate being in it for longer. Infrared saunas don’t get as hot because the focus is on heating the body. An infrared sauna will usually be between 120 and 150 degrees, while traditional saunas can get much hotter.
If you’re very sensitive to heat, infrared is likely the best choice for you. You still get that deep, satisfying sweat of a traditional sauna.
Generally, infrared saunas are more relaxing and comfortable, but on par as far as health benefits.
Benefits of a Portable Sauna
Having a steam sauna or an infrared sauna in your home can be a great health amenity, but they can be expensive. For that reason, you might opt for a portable infrared sauna or portable steam sauna instead.
These are an inexpensive alternative with many of the same benefits.
You might find that you like having the portable sauna so much you want to invest in a more expensive option. You may find it beneficial to fold up a portable sauna and put it away when it’s not in use, so it doesn’t take up any unnecessary space in your home. You can also travel with a portable sauna, so you never have to be without the benefits.
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Sauna
If you’re thinking about a portable steam sauna or a portable infrared sauna, remember the following:
- Look at the maximum temperature. Some portable saunas may reach a maximum temperature of up to 150 degrees, but most go to 140 degrees. For an infrared sauna, this is on the high-end, so it should work well for your needs.
- Size, while with larger saunas, it’s not as much of an issue, it is with a portable sauna. Make sure you carefully check the dimensions and choose the right size for your height and weight. You need a portable sauna that will comfortable accommodate you in terms of height and weight.
- Look for features that will make your sauna experience as comfortable and convenient as possible when choosing one. For example, heating pads at the feet can help further raise your body temperature. Remotes, holes for your arms, and washability are other good features to have. Safety features such as automatic shutoffs can also be helpful.
- You might not want the tent-style portable sauna. Instead, if you want a sauna’s benefits paired with convenience and affordability, you might also consider a sauna blanket. You wrap yourself in the blanket and it heats with you in it.
Winter is here, and many of us think about ways to help our health and immunity, especially this year. A portable sauna can be a good option that can help you with your heart health, your mental well-being, and can help your immune system stay strong.