One of the best ways to detoxify your body is through the use of an infrared sauna. However, most infrared saunas have high levels of EMF pollution, which can cause health problems over time and acute symptoms for sensitive populations. In this article, you will learn how to test your infrared sauna for electromagnetic fields and I share how you can have a low-EMF infrared sauna in your home.
The Sauna Basics:
Let’s begin with some of the basics about saunas. There are four general types:
- Hot Sauna (Finnish)
- Steam Sauna
- Far-Infrared Sauna
- Near-Infrared Sauna (using red bulbs)
From an EMF perspective, hot and steam saunas are typically quite good. They also are shown in studies to reduce cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of premature death. However, many people with health conditions do not tolerate the heat of hot saunas (140-210 degrees Fahrenheit). Steam saunas are easier to tolerate, but unless you know that the water is filtered (very rare), you could be exposing yourself to many toxins including fluoride and chlorine along with its derivatives. Furthermore, both hot and steam saunas primarily heat the skin by convection, so the detox effects may not be as pronounced as they are with infrared saunas.
Far-Infrared Sauna Recommendations:
Before I get into measuring your sauna for EMFs and building your own low-EMF infrared sauna, I want to discuss a few far and near-infrared sauna options that are made by established companies.
Far-infrared saunas have been around a few decades and have become quite popular with health conscious people, even though the sauna price is typically $2,000 to $4,000. The added health benefit is that far-infrared energy penetrates and heats the body from the inside (approximately 1.5 inches under the skin), which can provide better detox effects than hot and steam saunas. This is also done at a lower temperature, from 110-140 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem with this type of infrared sauna is that they almost always produce very high levels of electromagnetic fields, which can affect some people. Here is a video I made showing this phenomenon. The EMFs are produced by current flowing over numerous plates in the walls of the sauna.
There are two far-infrared sauna companies that have created truly low EMF saunas. The first one I want to mention is Radiant Health Saunas. Randy Gomm has created a very low EMF infrared sauna, which you can confirm for yourself in this video. Their two-person model E-2H is considered the best low EMF infrared sauna, which is what most clients buy. These saunas have zero VOCs and are made of Canadian hemlock wood. I can offer you a $500 discount with my code EMFA500.
The other far-infrared sauna I recommend is from High Tech Health in Boulder, CO. You can also see that the EMF exposures are also low in this video. This report also shows low-EMF levels for their far-infrared sauna panels. This sauna is also made with chemically sensitive people in mind and is made of high grade poplar wood. If you go the High Tech Health route, you get a $500 discount plus free shipping by giving them my name when you order.
Near-Infrared Sauna Recommendation:
Near-infrared saunas use reddish, 250-Watt incandescent bulbs and can be custom-made at a lower cost. The bulbs produce infrared energy in the wavelengths of 600 to 1,200 nanometers (nm). This type of sauna utilizes the lowest temperature of all saunas (95 – 110 degrees), but produces excellent detox effects because the near-infrared energy penetrates farther into the body than far-infrared (approximately 3 inches). This heats the body from within and allows you to generate a lot of sweat and tolerate the sauna for a longer period of time (typically 20-60 minute sessions). This type of sauna also has the potential to be the lowest-EMF infrared sauna. The following will help you to either build your own low-EMF near infrared sauna or purchase one from SaunaSpace. You will also get a 5% discount with SaunaSpace with my code of EMFA5. I discuss these units in more detail below.
How to Measure Your Sauna for EMFs:
There is a lot of confusing information and false claims about low-EMF infrared saunas on the internet. A primary reason for this is that most people claiming to offer low-EMF infrared saunas or that provide information on this topic simply do not have a good understanding of electromagnetic fields. Here are a few common mistakes:
- They think low frequency magnetic fields are the only man-made electromagnetic field that matters with saunas. In fact, there are four types of EMFs and each one is important to consider. These include low frequency magnetic fields, electric fields, EMI (electromagnetic interference) and microwave radiation (RF).
- When mentioning magnetic fields, many people erroneously state that 2.5 mG is the “safe” level (a number once considered for Swedish safety guidelines and just below the level that multiple studies have linked to childhood leukemia). The actual level allowed by U.S. federal regulations is 1,000 mG. However, this is obscenely high and most EMF professionals recommend magnetic field exposures below 0.1 mG. That is the level at which many electrically sensitive people can have symptoms and is the maximum level you want in your infrared sauna.
- They use inadequate EMF meters that are not accurate enough and are typically only single-axis meters that can easily miss a field if the meter is not rotated along all 3 axis. I outline the EMF meters to use below.
To help you further understand the four types of EMFs to test in your sauna, here is a video where I measure a custom-made, Low-EMF near-infrared sauna:
The following video shows how unhealthy the low-frequency EMF levels are in a typical far-infrared sauna:
Here is a video by a client of mine who was able to measure her far-infrared sauna once she had good EMF meters:
The following image has the EMF meters that will allow you to accurately test your sauna. You can see how to obtain them on this page. The measurements seen below are from a past home of mine and are ideal. They show minimal RF from the Safe and Sound Classic II and very low magnetic fields at 0.01 mG (using a sensitive, UHS2 3-axis Gauss meter). The AM radio also shows very little EMI as static interference and electric fields (at right) are well below 1.0 V/m using a grounded Gigahertz Solutions ME 3851A meter (single-axis).
How to Create a Low EMF Infrared Sauna:
The following steps will help you create a low-EMF near-infrared sauna in your home. The main purpose of this design is to reduce electric field and EMI exposure, which are the most common EMF exposures in this type of sauna. This should allow for even better detox outcomes over the years as your body will rest and relax more easily with minimal EMF in the environment.
- First measure the EMF levels (all four types) where you wish to place your sauna. Ideally, they will be similar to the readings seen in the picture above. If not, then consider a different location or have your home tested by an EMF professional to determine if there is a wiring error or RF source that can be easily fixed or shielded.
- Build the electrical apparatus of your near-infrared sauna using shielded power cords, MC Cable or, better yet, use EMT conduit with compression fittings and twisted pair wiring (I discuss this in my book). You should use the assistance of an electrician for this. Shielded wiring is the way to reduce your electric field and EMI exposure while in the sauna. If wired properly, the magnetic fields will also not increase once the sauna is turned on.
- Use industrial quality, metal clad light switches and bulb sockets. They will be incorporated with the MC Cable or EMT conduit with compression fittings and will further reduce your electric field exposure. EMF mitigation is limited by your weakest link. If you use unshielded, inexpensive, or plastic parts, there will still be high electric fields in your sauna. Poplar wood with no mold that has been treated properly is a good choice for the light panel. You can also purchase a pre-made low-EMF “Tungsten” bulb apparatus here.
- Build the enclosure for your near-infrared sauna. Teak, cedar, basswood or other natural woods as seen in the video above are excellent options for custom-built saunas. You could also create or purchase a natural covering, similar to what this company produces as seen in this informative video on near-infrared saunas. You want to avoid synthetic woods, glues or other construction materials that will off-gas chemicals. You can also build a stand and sit in front of it (5-8 min each direction). You can see my homemade near-infrared sauna here as part of my home gym:
- 250-watt incandescent red bulbs like this bulb or this bulb on Amazon are the types to use. This bulb from SaunaSpace is also excellent.
- Re-test the EMF levels in your sauna once you have built it and turned it on. If everything was done correctly, the levels of all four types of electromagnetic fields will be no different than they were before the sauna was turned on.
- Consider reading “Sauna Therapy“ by Dr. Lawrence Wilson, one of the few books on the detoxification benefits, procedures and DIY construction techniques for near-infrared, lamp-based saunas (I mention the benefits of Dr. Wilson’s Nutritional Balancing program with near-infrared saunas and coffee enemas in #1 in this article). The book covers the EMF problems associated with far-infrared saunas. However, the above steps will help you to take this a step further by minimizing all four types of electromagnetic fields in your near-infrared sauna. A truly low-EMF sauna will help to detoxify and heal your body.
- If building your own low-EMF near-infrared sauna seems too daunting, then one has already been built for you. SaunaSpace is a company that is manufacturing a low-EMF sauna similar to what I outline above. Their near-infrared “Luminati” sauna is expensive at $2,999, but it is the only product I have seen that uses quality materials along with shielded wiring to create what they call the “lowest EMF sauna on Earth.” I have not measured their infrared sauna yet, but they state that there are no magnetic or electric fields. Two electrically sensitive people I know are very happy with this sauna. SaunaSpace now also has a specific low-EMF infrared sauna. The aptly named “Faraday” sauna is more expensive at $5,500, but is likely a great product if you have the funds. Note that you will get a 5% discount with SaunaSpace using my discount code EMFA5.
I have personally experienced the benefits of a low-EMF near-infrared sauna (though not as low-EMF as what I outline above). During three consecutive weeks of nightly 30-40 minute sessions, my sleep deepened, my mind became very clear, my computer sensitivity waned and multiple long-time friends mentioned that I looked vibrant as ever. I also did not experience any of the common EMF symptoms that I had with multiple far-infrared saunas in the past. I do think that this type of detoxification therapy will help most people and that low-EMF construction practices will make this type of therapy even more beneficial.
Hopefully this article will help you to build or purchase a low-EMF infrared sauna for your family. If you do use the procedure above or you have measured other infrared saunas (far or near-infrared) with good quality EMF meters, please share your results below (ideally with a video) so that we can all learn from your experience.
You can print a PDF of this article here.
A French translation of this article can be found here.
This article was last updated November 2022. Originally published February 2018.
Disclosure: EMF Analysis is partly supported by a small commission for purchases made through some product links on this page. This income enables me to continue to research and write about this important topic.
We like this sauna design!
Julie & Nico
Bulbs for NIR are coated with toxic Teflon that off gas while heating:
I researched your blanket statement above and found that it is not always true. Here is what Brian, who founded SaunaSpace had to say:
“Incandescent heat lamps come in many varieties. In regards to coatings on the exterior of the glass, both uncoated (no teflon or other chemical coating) and coated lamps are available. Optional outer coating is intended to increase shatter-resistance. Teflon/silicone-coated bulbs are ALWAYS clearly labeled as such in the manufacturer part number and in the product description by the manufacturer, typically using the letters TS or TC (stands for Tuff-Coating or Teflon-Coating or similar) to refer to “coated.”
Here is Industrial Performance’s teflon-coated 250W heat lamp model No. 250BR40/1/TF:
Industrial Performance uses the letters TF to indicate teflon-coating. This coated bulb’s product description clearly states that the bulb model offered is “Shatter Resistant High Temperature Tough Coating”, as they should. We do not stock this bulb model.
We stock 250R40 130V TOP RED, IP’s non-coated bulbs.
SaunaSpace has always only ever supplied NON-COATED lamps with our products.
The above referenced youtube video from the commenter comes from a person promoting FAR INFRARED EMITTER sauna technology. It’s just prevarication by omission.”
Since Teflon coated bulbs do out gas and will kill chickens, infrared lamps marketed as brooder bulbs will not be coated with Teflon. One needs to be wary of any tough service light bulbs.
I went to a spa that has an infared sauna and infared wrap. The company is Dynamic. However, the owner does not know the EMF of either and gave me the website of Dynamic. There was not any information on gauss etc. Therefore, I am concerned to take advantage of doing one session of each. I am health conscious and do the best I can. The owner who is a RN and has a PhD asked me why I am questioning it. Can it hurt me? I do not have a microwave and do not have any electronics in my bedroom.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Most infrared saunas (or wraps) have current traveling across them in order to create the infrared energy. The flowing current creates very high magnetic and electric fields. They are not mentioning this on their website or in person because they either don’t realize this or don’t want to alert their customers to this.
I can only say that I would highly recommend you use a near-infrared sauna similar to what I outline above. You can build one or purchase one.
If you want to test the current sauna that you are using, here are the meters I recommend:
Keep in touch,
So then I assume that to do either one is not in my best interest. This was a promotion. I do not want to hurt myself so I guess that I will not do them. I know there are meters but this was a one time experience. I live in an apartment and do not have any room to purchase one.
With all of the EMF testing equipment you have I am guessing that sauna companies at least the reputable ones contact you to test their saunas. Are there any saunas that you would recommend that for those of us who do not have the time or talent to put a seal on it together ourselves?
A real shame that this comment has not been replied to.
I’m looking at Clearlight saunas who are used by the likes of the Hippocrates Institute, Brian Clement, Deepak Chopra, Dr Josh Axe, Mark Sission to name a few big names in the health industry. The whole far and near infra red debate is continuing…
Everyone seems to put across a great point of view but makes it very confusing with so many convincing opposing arguments.
Hi Doreen & Sarah,
My apologies for the delay. Your comments slipped by me.
Very few far-infrared sauna companies want to broach the EMF topic. I would say that 95% of far-infrared saunas have very high low-frequency electric AND magnetic fields. They will test like this:
This is simply a function of the current flowing over the panels to create the far-infrared energy/heat.
Some companies do use a double panel design (such as Clearlight) that cancel out the magnetic fields. This is a great innovation. However, the electric fields (often very high) are still present.
People I know who have these Clearlight saunas and have tested with the same meters I have and state that the electric fields are high and that they limit their time in the saunas because of this.
Although I have not yet personally tested the High Tech Health far-infrared saunas (mentioned in the article above), they have had their saunas independently tested by a third-party and the magnetic and electric fields are very low where the patient sits in the sauna. They are the only sauna company I know that has an EMF report like this:
This link talks about the heater technology they use:
So, until I can test more saunas directly myself, High Tech Health is what I am recommending if you want to go the far-infrared route.
Thanks for your writing- it is so helpful!
I cannot afford a saunapsace sauna right now – I saw the Photon Infrared Therapy Light – which seems pretty expensive for what it is. Do you think the price is worth it and that one might get some benefits from it?
Thanks for your question and the kudos on my website!
I have used the travel version of this type of therapy from Joovv:
I used it to help an infection heal. There was some value, but there is no sweating which has the detox value.
SaunaSpace also has their version: https://bit.ly/3uJqwAo
On a budget, I would get a couple of these lamps/bulbs off of Amazon and see if you feel okay with them. They will not be shielded from electric fields from the power cords though.
Light Fixture: https://amzn.to/2Rjt2im
Making your own panel as I discuss above in the article and then putting it in your bathroom or a closet for the heat enclosure is likely going to be your best bet on a budget.
Hope this helps!
Does Clearlight now have better readings?
I don’t believe so – at least on the electric field issue.
They do well with magnetic field reduction.
@ Sarah… I would say that all of those personalities have an affiliation with Clearlight (follow the money) as much as I do admire Mark Sisson. I have nothing to sell, but I do have a cedar FIR sauna that was supposed to be zero emf, and all that…until I had it tested just as shown above. Talk about feeling ripped off. I went the route of buying a 4-panel SaunaSpace and retro-fitted my existing cedar sauna into a NIR sauna. Since I can attest to using both modalities (and nothing to gain monetarily) I would have never bought a FIR sauna. It takes forever to heat up, even though mine is rated to heat above 170 F. Subsequently, it takes forever to sweat. Lots of wasted time and energy, plus the electrical field and EMF. The NIR SaunaSpace 4 panel produces a sweat like I’ve never experienced (sitting 3.5 feet away) its like sitting in a rain shower. All the other benefits of NIR put aside…its the sweat that makes the sauna session sweet.
Good idea. It is so hard to purchase a sauna for the home. Most manufacturers make you use one of their authorized dealers who are worse than the worst used car or aluminum siding salespeople. I just purchased a Dynamic 3 person sauna from Costco on sale at the cheap. I may add an NIR panel and/or a traditional heater with rocks and steam. This way, I can use any type that I want and still won’t be out of pocket much.
Excellent article. Thank you for the links to various resources and thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Can you gain benefits from just using a near infrared lamp? Would there be any ones you would recommend for use in the UK?
What do you think about this contraption?
I just bought it for my husband for Christmas and he won’t use it because he saw a user review that said the EMF’s are too high.
I agree with your husband. They are very high EMF. I would build or buy one like I outline above.
Thank you so much for this informative article!
I wondered, what are the EMFs like for FIR LED lights?
Both of these companys make LED NIR and red light devices, and both claim “EMF Emissions: 0.0uT”
Has anyone confirmed these readings?
A friend offered me her Far infrared sauna made by Dynamic. It says it’s low EMF but there is no report. We don’t have a microwave or wireless in our home. I am very sensitive to my cell phone when it’s on my body or near me. I have been dreaming about having a sauna for years now but not one that is not good for me. It is a 5 ft one with a bench. Is it possible to convert it to a hot sauna? Like one with the rocks and water? I grew up with that kind. Maybe I can take the shell of this one and make it into one with the panel and rocks. No lights and EMF’s at all. What do you think? Could that be done? Thanks for your reply.
You will only really know by measuring the sauna, as I do in the videos above. Here are the meters that measure this:
The main thing with infrared saunas is not the RF/microwave component, but the lower frequency magnetic and electric fields. These are typically high in these types of saunas, unless they are specifically designed to not be. Most sauna companies that claim to be “Low EMF” actually are not.
Hope this helps.
I was thinking about a setup where I line a steel shower curtain rod with 3 Near Infrared heat lamps attached via plastic ties. attach the rod in the shower beneath the regular curtain rod, and have the bulbs hang about 2 feet above my body.
Cords would go outside the bathtub and plug into a surge protector.
How would this be for low frequency radiation? not good? Then maybe taking a mylar plastic sheet and creating a canopy with it to keep more heat in the tub area.
Just wondering if this is a bad idea.
I have a Sunlighten Signature II sauna. I was attracted to Sunlighten because Klinghardt recommends it, and the company advertises “ultra low EMF”. They state on their website that their heaters produce “virtually NO EMF” and “cancel out EMF to levels that are virtually undetectable.”
It turns out that by “EMF”, Sunlighten means only the magnetic field. The electric field in my Signature II sauna is quite high – I’ve measured 100-150 V/m with my TriField.
I find it implausible that the company does not know that the electric field exists, and virtually impossible that Sunlighten has not received a lot of complaints from disappointed customers over the years – yet they do not acknowledge the electric field problem of their saunas. Their published writing on the subject continues to equate electromagnetic fields with magnetic fields.
I’ve been using my Sunlighten sauna a couple of times per week anyway. My feeling is that the detox benefit – it does make you sweat in streams – outweighs the negative of 20-30 minutes of high electric field exposure per session, given my personal EMF sensitivity, which is moderate. Still, the bitter taste of being the victim of deceptive marketing remains.
A second thing I wanted to mention is that unbelievably, at least one major low-EMF-advertising sauna manufacturer (name starts with C) now ships all saunas with BLUETOOTH built in. This same manufacturer still brags that EMF levels in its saunas are “virtually undetectable.”
Careful with the Tri-Field meter. That’s the model I started out with, and since getting better meters (as recommended here by Jeromy) I’ve confirmed that the Tri-Field constantly gives false readings. I don’t know what in the world it actually measures, but it’s clearly not the stated EMF’s.
Very good article and thanks for the links! I would like to build NIR infrared sauna by myself.
I wonder where could I buy this faraday cage for the bulbs… Do you have any suggestions?
Is it totaly the same if I buy Phillips bulbs or the bulbs from Saunaspace?
Is it good to wear the IR sunglasses during the session? Which ones you reccomend?
Any other suggestions where could I purchase good materials for the tent? I am from Slovenia, Europe.
I wonder if I add one or two bulbs for the legs, if it will be to hot in the tent? Or you don’t need it for the legs?
What kind of cotton should it be? I think very thick and organic?
Thank you for all your answers, very grateful I found your website and all the information on how to protect from EMFs at home.
Kind regards, Tanja
Thanks for writing. Slovenia is beautiful!
With so many questions on this, I would buy one of the saunas I list above, such as the Luminati. It will save you so much more time/hassle. Or, you can just get their light panel.
If you are on a budget, use the steps I list above to get you going on a DIY model.
Hope you find a solution that works.
Do you have any data or advice re: hot Finnish-style saunas? Ours has an electric heater.
In general, hot Finnish style saunas will be low-EMF. I am not a fan of the high heat and how I feel afterwards though.
You would have to measure your particular sauna to truly know what is going on, as I do above. Here are the meters I use:
Hope this helps.
The article states “First measure the EMF levels (all four types) where you wish to place your sauna. Ideally, they will be similar to the readings seen in the picture above. If not, then consider a different location or have your home tested by an EMF professional to determine if there is a wiring error or RF source that can be easily fixed or shielded.”
Fantastic article and the usefulness of the “Sauna Therapy” book is astonishing, thank you.
My question is what are the acceptable levels (of the 4 types of fields) where a low infrared sauna is to be placed? I now have a 5G tower 50′ from my home and I wonder since the high 5G frequencies cannot be measured if this makes my entire home unsafe for a sauna. I do not want to install a sauna if my baseline levels are too high.
Grateful the article is helpful to you.
Have you researched what specific frequencies the antenna is emitting? That is public knowledge if you go down to your city administration office and ask for the RF report for this specific wireless antenna.
Odds are that the antenna is not emitting frequencies higher than 12 GHz. Most of these small antennas are still 4G DAS (distributed antenna system), which can then be swapped out to 5G hardware in the coming years.
I have heard of only a few confirmed test areas where they are emitting the very high millimeter wave frequencies which can’t yet be measured by consumer RF meters (13 to 90 GHz). These higher frequencies can have a difficult time getting through walls, so even if that antenna is emitting them, they might not be affecting the inside of your home.
5G does encompass lower frequency bands as well. For instance, in rural areas, wireless companies are installing towers that emit at 600 MHz, which is much lower than traditional cell phone frequencies and will travel farther/penetrate more easily. They are also installing equipment that emit at around 3.5 GHz. This is all considered 5G and can be measured by RF meters like the Safe and Sound Pro (my recommended RF meter at the consumer level):
Here is a video where I show good baseline EMF readings for your home (and for sauna placement):
Hope this all helps.
From High Tech Health website:
Using near infrared saunas and “full-spectrum” saunas (which also output near infrared) cause accelerated aging of the skin. The cumulative research to date shows that near infrared causes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the skin which must be detoxified consuming the body’s usually-over-taxed antioxidant resources. That ROS also causes the activation of 599 genes, in particular one that causes production of the matrix metalloproteinase-1 enzyme, which damages the skin resulting in accelerated aging of the skin. 11 or more of those genes relate to how the body protects itself from genetic damage. Several papers show that near infrared decreases protection from genetic damage, and that all of that gene activation has the potential for promoting cancer. These risks and downsides far outweigh potential benefits.
I have a 15 yr old FIR sauna that I’m just going to assume puts out too much EMF etc. I landed here looking for ways to reduce it, if possible, without having to purchase an entire new sauna.
While the NIR sounded like an easy solution, the information I’m seeing may suggest that it’s not the best alternative. I’ve also seen information suggesting damage to eyes. I’ll keep reading : )
I saw that on their website too… wondering which is right? As I read the book recommended by Jeromy, Dr. Lawrence and it was good. But he says the NIR is the better one, yet High tech claims it causes eye issues and skin issues.
I always a bit dubious about research by one company that diminishes the credibility of a competing product/company.
I would want to see independently funded 3rd party studies of high quality that proved such claims.
Any high quality sauna that is actually low-EMF, that helps the body detox and is not used too much is a winner in my book.
I was wondering if you knew if the 250 watt incandescent red bulb you linked is effectively the same for photobiomodulation and detox as the one SaunaSpace uses in their saunas? Do you know if it also has no petrochemical outer coating/finish?
Here are the links for both:
I don’t know for sure. I would reach out to Dr. Wilson to see what his opinion on both bulbs are.
Thank you so much for the information. We are enjoying our sauna and haven’t had any issues requiring customer service. Thank you for your careful research and for providing so much valuable information that others can benefit from!
Hi! Great article! I was wondering if you have ever researched EMF for infrared mats. I have one because I couldn’t fit a sauna in my tiny apartment, (I can barely fit the mat either!), so now I’m concerned for EMFs. Thank you!
My guess is that it is quite high EMF. Most infrared technology is high-EMF because they run current across plates without cancelling it out with another set of plates. Unless the company you bought it from is aware of this issue and purposely tackles it, then an infrared sauna is high-EMF.
You will only know by measuring though. Getting the ME3830B seen here is the cheapest way to find out for sure:
In the article above, I mention two companies that are doing this right. High Tech Health (for far-infrared) and SaunaSpace (for near-infrared).
Hope this helps!
This article and all the comments was so helpful! Thanks so much!
Unfortunately, I have a Sunlighten sauna and had no idea that it is really not low EMF-so frustrating and so much money wasted. I am glad that they have come out with better options now and would love to try and make my own or get the SaunaSpace low-EMF version someday.
Summer R. Egland
You may also want to check out Radiant Health Saunas – very low EMF and VOC.
These were recommended to me by my instructor at The EMF Experts…
I would want to see actual 3rd party testing for both magnetic and electric fields. Many companies will say their saunas are low-EMF because it’s great marketing. A report like this is necessary though to confirm:
Let me just start by saying that your article contains the permanent information that I can readily apply to my own home sauna build, thank you for that, I have been researching constantly and I found my answers here.
I found a far-infrared, 100w bulb on amazon for reptile enclosures. The fir are generated with carbon coils. I would imagine this bulb to emit unhealthy levels of EMF – similar to a full size far infrared sauna, do you concur? Is there any other comment you’d like to make about a bulb like this, specifically about its therapeutic value?
Also, I have a low-watt heating blankets that converts the current from AC to DC – is this considered an infrared blanket?
Grateful the article is helpful.
I assume you mean near-infrared bulbs? The main thing will be the electric field from the wiring and bulb apparatus. If you shield these, you should be good to go.
I don’t normally recommend heating blankets of any kind. If you measure them, you will find high magnetic and electric fields. You will only know by measuring though. Most people use a hot water bottle at night for heat.
Hope this helps.
What about LED lights? Specifically are red LED lights therapeutic? I read somewhere that they put off radiation that is unhealthy.
I have not heard of the red LED’s being therapeutic. The will still emit some blue light and some will create EMI on your wiring. You just have to test the bulbs for yourself.
Great discussion here regarding EMFs in Infrared saunas. Being somebody who has worked with FIR saunas for the last 20 years, I would like to contribute this historical context. As little as 15 years ago there was almost no discussion or awareness at all regarding EMFs in the Infrared sauna industry and marketplace. Approximately 12 years ago a small handful of FIR sauna companies began using the double layer carbon panel heaters, mentioned in this thread, which greatly reduced magnetic fields. The term used in the IR sauna marketplace for these products for the last 12 years has been ‘low EMF’ sauna/ heater etc. Very few Far Infrared sauna companies have employed any form of electric field mitigation. The small handful of companies that do, have adopted the terminology of low EMF (referring to the magnetic fields) and low EF/ELF to refer to the reduced electric fields. The few companies that have reduced electric fields in their saunas have done so through the use of different blocking materials such as conductive metallic or carbonized cloth and mesh or metal grills. These blocking materials also tend to block some of the IR light and thus reduce the intensity of Infrared radiant heat in the saunas. A new technology in the market this year from Sun Stream Infrared Saunas has practically eliminated the electric field at the source of the FIR carbon panel heaters and does not reduce levels of the Infrared heat. This new heater and electrical system is available in the Sun Stream ‘Evolve EHS’ saunas. https://sunstreamsaunas.com/
Thanks for sharing this Kevin. I appreciate it.
Wondering if you can post a video like the one’s in the article above with your sauna? Something simple like this will help us:
If you don’t already have EMF meters, they can be found here:
Your product sounds promising. Can you show a link of a Youtube of the magnetic & electric emf meter testing? To prove & back up what you are advising?
So thankful I found your article before moving forward winging it with infrared unaware. I would like to try a DIY near infrared sauna, or rather an infrared light station of sorts, as it won’t be an enclosed sauna structure. I have no electrical experience and am trying to figure out if EMF levels would still be a concern for what I am considering…
My thought it to simply mount 2 or 3 standard metal heat lamps with the ceramic bulb mount (like we have on our brooder for baby chicks), to a sheet of plywood for positioning. Using typical Phillips red heat bulbs, the 3 lamp cords would then plug into a power strip and then to the wall. The board would just be propped up for use and easily put away after.
Would this setup still require the wiring protocol etc that you describe? Thanks!
Your setup should work well. Although, I find that the heat part of the near-infrared sauna is important for sweating. So not having an enclosure could be an issue.
I would use shielded power cords and a shielded power strip for this. This will reduce your electric field exposure. See this page to purchase them:
Let me know how this works for you.
Ok thank you!! I’ll check back in and let you know how it goes…
Thanks for writing this. It is the most objective piece I found about this topic.
I’m trying to buy a portable infrared sauna. I have two questions:
1. Is far infrared safe? You mention near infrared in this article. I read somewhere that far infrared is better for detox.
2. There are many portable saunas available online have you tested any for emfs? Can you recommend any?
I would love to buy these saunas you mention but I just depleted my savings on a machine (to treat cancer- that hasn’t worked) and it’s just not an option for me to buy something of this price tag.
Thanks for writing. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
To your questions:
1.) Yes, far-infrared is safe. You just want to make sure you get a model that is low-EMF. They use current to create the far-infrared waves. This current needs to be cancelled out.
2.) I have never tested or used a cheaper portable sauna. Most likely, they are very high EMF. It takes good design to make something like this low-EMF.
Hope this helps.
If you say far infra red is safe can you please link the trials & scientific studies showing its safety?
What do you know of the JOOVE product?
I have only used their handheld travel product:
I was only able to borrow it for 10 days, so not sure of the effects. Some say it does speed up the healing process.
Hi Jeromy –
I have a Linx magnetic device implanted for a hiatal hernia. I am interested in buying an infrared sauna for our home but am trying to research if this device might make usage unsafe as it relates to EMF. Any insights you might have would be helpful. Thanks!
I don’t know about this situation. My guess is that you would be fine. However, I would test this at a local place where they have an infrared sauna you can test out.
The people to ask are the High Tech Health sauna people, who have been doing this for a couple decades. They may have run into your particular issue.
Contact Tristan Summerfield: Tristans@hightechhealth.com
Hope this helps,
In terms of EMF, here at HighTechHealth.com we truly do have the lowest EMF in the sauna industry. In addition to mitigation of EMF for the heaters we even mitigate EMF on the wiring throughout the units, so as a total sauna you are getting top notch protection.
For EMF levels (proven through a third party report) the numbers are:
0.089 vM for electric fields
0.36 mG for magnetic fields
These numbers are extremely low. With other saunas we often find numbers of 10 – 50+ mG for magnetic fields and 200 – 1,000+ vM for electric fields.
Make sure whenever you are researching EMF levels for a sauna you get third party confirmation of both electric and magnetic fields. Unfortunately many companies simply give magnetic field (mG) measurements but EMF is also electric fields so you need that info as well.
To your health!
Can you send through links with trials & scientific studies showing that far infrared is indeed safe?
Thanks so much Jeromy, I appreciate your help. I have used an infrared sauna a few times with no issue but just didn’t want to continue if it wasn’t wise overall. Thanks, again!
I’m looking into the Sunlighten solo with solo pad, as the entire system is portable. Have you ever tested this system? I understand I need more data than mG, but if they state .56-1 mG is this ok? It comes with an infrared pad at the bottom with memory foam over it. So, would you think that it’s not worth buying? I’m asking because I would have to pay for shipping both ways and its heavy so if you can share your thoughts, I would so appreciate it.
The 3rd video from the top in the article above is a Sunlighten sauna. They don’t appear to be low-EMF.
For a portable, low-EMF near-infrared sauna, I think you are going to do best with the SaunaSpace Luminati. That is what quite a few of my friends/clients have purchased and they are all quite happy:
Let me know what route you go.
Just wanted to say a big thank you for such incredibly important ( and sadly rare) information! The diy info on top of the emf info is just great!
Thank you Alex!
Jeromy, thanks for your thorough information and thoughtful answers to people’s questions.
I built a 4 bulb panel and find it great. However, I am concerned about EMF and would like to, at least, shield the bulbs with Faraday cages. Do you have any leads on where to purchase something like theSaunaSpace cages. I’ve contacted them and they won’t sell me any.
Thanks again for your efforts to help folks!
Thanks for the kudos on my work. Glad to be of help.
I don’t think those are faraday cages over the bulbs. They are so people don’t accidentally touch them and burn themselves.
I wouldn’t worry about the bulbs. Just use shielded wiring for the the electrical components that go to the bulbs and place the sauna in a low-EMF place in your home. That is the best you can do.
Here are my tips on measuring EMFs:
How to Use Your EMF Meters: https://youtu.be/_aVINxa2ERA
Why inexpensive EMF meters don’t work: https://youtu.be/TFcl05hkVkE
Hope this helps,
It is my understanding that any metal surround of the bulbs creates a Faraday Cage. My Sauna is in use and I would rather not rewire it. Am I mistaken in that assumption?
For a Faraday cage to be effective, it needs to have certain shielding properties. If there are any gaps in the shielding material, the effectiveness is greatly diminished.
You can measure what the electric fields are like I do in the video above in the article. I also outline that process here:
How to Use Your EMF Meters: https://youtu.be/_aVINxa2ERA
Why inexpensive EMF meters don’t work: https://youtu.be/TFcl05hkVkE
Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about this too much at this point if you feel good in the sauna. Enjoy the healing benefits of a near-infrared sauna and do your best to reduce your EMF exposures in your life overall.
Have you tested a West Coast Malibu sauna or have any info on the EMF rating?
Thank you in advance.
You will have to measure as I show in the videos above. That is the only way to know for sure.
95% of infrared saunas (both near and far) have very high levels of EMFs.
Hope this helps,
Hi…Thank for your research….please I would like to ask about this type of beds which emit infrared rays too
Does this kind a bed cause electromagnetic contamination too?
I have never seen such a bed. If it is plugged in, it will likely have quite a field. If it is not, then it should be okay.
You will only know by measuring.
Thanks for your article and knowledge! I am building a sauna, and to reduce EMF from the infrared sauna I will wire with Metal clad cable, and am researching either faraday cages for the bulbs, or low emf carbon panels.
However to limit external EMF while detoxing, I am considering using aluminum window screen for building a faraday cage behind the walls for the sauna and either New-Daylite or Naturell for a curtain over the door.
Any suggestions or thoughts you’d care to share on this would be greatly appreciated. I am doing what I can to reduce our EMF exposure such as limiting WIFI, turning off breakers at night, shield on the WIFI electrical meter etc, but an extra step for the sauna just seems prudent since I will be building it all new and can easily do it now.
Grateful the article is of help! Great that you are taking these steps as well.
It seems you are creating your own “Faraday” sauna like the one SaunaSpace has created: http://bit.ly/33EAYvO
You can do your best for RF shielding, but that can create problems when you also have electric fields nearby (from the lights). Shielding is actually quite complicated and can easily make things worse.
My take is that you should reduce the fields as much as you can in your home. If the fields are low enough for sleeping deeply, then they are low enough for the sauna.
Place the sauna where the fields are the lowest in the home.
You will need to measure the fields to do any of this. There is just no way to eye-ball it. The meters also show you when the shielding is not working properly.
Here is what I recommend:
How to Use Your EMF Meters: https://youtu.be/_aVINxa2ERA
Why inexpensive EMF meters don’t work: https://youtu.be/TFcl05hkVkE
Watch this so that you truly understand the fields and the solutions:
Hope this helps,
Very interesting. We want to build an interior sauna for 2 persons where we can lay down
can you explain me where I must install the bulbs and how much are necessary for a sauna of 7x 7feet.
Thanks for your comment.
I provide the basics to build your own above in the article. Feel free to reach out for a Zoom consult if you have specific questions. This is how I work:
Thank you for all of this useful information.
I am trying to build an inexpensive home sauna tent for NIR sauna and am thinking of buying a grow tent made of 2000D canvas with Mylar interior, it costs about $139 and is 4 feet square and 80 inches tall. It utilizes steel poles for the frame. Do you see any problem with toxicity utilizing a grow tent as a sauna space?
You are welcome.
I don’t know if there will be much off-gassing from that material. Otherwise, it could be a good idea.
Many people use a small bathroom that is easier to heat up.
In the picture of my standing near-infrared sauna in the article above, I don’t use any structure around it. In the afternoon my home is warm enough that I get a good sweat going within 5-10 minutes when sitting 2-3 feet from the bulbs.
Hope this helps. Let me know what route you take.
From the above article:
“Near-infrared saunas use reddish, 250-Watt incandescent bulbs and can be custom-made at a lower cost. The bulbs produce infrared energy in the wavelengths of 600 to 1,200 nanometers (nm). This type of sauna utilizes the lowest temperature of all saunas (95 – 110 degrees), but produces excellent detox effects because the near-infrared energy penetrates farther into the body than far-infrared (approximately 3 inches).”
Not only is this the opposite of everything else I’ve read, it does not make sense to me. If NIR penetrates deeper than FIR, the visible light should penetrate deeper still. And that is clearly not the case. FIR is closer to microwave frequency and that is used to deeply penetrate and heat (cook) food. The below is from NASA
“”Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic.”
I must be missing something. I hope you can help me to understand this. Thank you!
Forgot to mention that I built an FIR sauna about 15 or 18 years ago using “reptile warming” FIR ceramic emitters (likely very high EMF’s). 4 of them were very warm but still not hot enough to make me sweat. I added one NIR bulb from local hardware store (the kind often found in bathroom ceiling heaters) and the perceived temperature jumped way up and sweating was near instantaneous and heavy.
Thanks for your question Geoffrey.
I remember getting the data on near-infrared penetration depth from this book on saunas by Dr. Lawrence Wilson:
It is true that near-infrared wavelengths are closer to visible light and should not penetrate as far as far-infrared. However, the wavelength size is only part of the equation. There is also the intensity (power) at which the wavelength is generated. It could be that the bulbs have more intensity that the typical far-infrared sauna and thus penetrate further into the body.
This is a decent article talking about the difference between red and near-infrared waves:
Also, this article (obviously not from an unbiased source) mentions why near-infrared goes further into the body than far-infrared (the lamps are focused vs. diffuse carbon far-infrared heaters):
This may be why you had much more success with your sauna once you installed the near-infrared bulb. I also sweat almost immediately sitting in front of my near-infrared light panel (even when the room temp is not that warm).
Hope this helps,
Thank you so much for posting all this information.
I have few questions:
– Are the bulb sockets grounded? Does grounding affects amount of EMFs?
I couldn’t find any industrial quality bulb sockets on the market. All of them have only hot and neutral.
– Can measuring body voltage near the bulbs indicate how high are EMFs?
What would be a healthy body voltage in the proximity of those bulbs?
Thanks for your questions.
This video will help quite a bit in your research:
Dear Jeromy and commenters,
Thank you so much for this discussion.
Please can you advise what can be done if someone has bought an incredibly expensive Clearlight sauna and they want to make it safer by removing the other types of EMF that are still present? Is there a switch or wiring or grounding that can be added?
Thank you so much.
I have not measured a Clearlight myself, but several EMF consultants I know have, as have readers who have contacted me. The issue appears to be the electric field coming from the electrical wiring and the IR panels. This is going to be hard to remediate or fix. The sauna would need to be designed to limit these fields and shielded wiring and connections would need to be implemented.
My advice to you would be:
1.) Determine if the electric fields are too high for your body and see if it would be okay for your use. Some people are more sensitive to low frequency magnetic and electric fields. For others, EMI or RF are a bigger problem.
2.) Sell your sauna to someone who is not as concerned about the electric fields. Pretty much every far-infrared sauna is going to have some electric fields unless it has been designed specifically to reduce/eliminate them.
3.) Purchase or build a near-infrared sauna, which is much easier to reduce the electric fields and EMI, along with having no real magnetic fields. I prefer the near-infrared sauna myself and have one that I had made. SauanaSpace, as referenced above in the article, makes the best one to purchase. I’ve actually used a 100 degree C Finnish sauna almost every evening for the past seven months as a local place has one and an actual ice bath. That has been really good for my health.
Hope this helps,
Thank you so much for the information. Great discussion here regarding EMFs in Infrared saunas. Thank you for your careful research and for providing so much valuable information that others can benefit from!
Not sure if you know but there is a guy on youtube who tests and reviews far-infrared saunas. One of the things he tests are the EMFs in the saunas. He uses a couple of the same meters that you recommend.
There is a sauna brand Radiant Health Saunas that he tested that has extremely low EMFs. He also tested the High Tech Health sauna that you talk about in this article and recommends that one as well. But according to his tests, the Radiant Health Sauna tested slightly lower than the High Tech Health sauna.
Here are the video links for the Radiant Health sauna tests:
Here is the link for the High Tech Health sauna EMF test:
I am very curious to hear your thoughts about the videos.
Thanks for everything that you do!
Thanks for writing and for sharing these videos. I had not seen them before. Very informative and he does a great job in measuring the fields.
I would only add that I like to use the ME3830B / ME3851A to measure electric fields when they are grounded. He is using a floating measurement, which I don’t find to be as accurate.
I am assuming that his body voltage meter is grounded. I am not a huge fan of the body voltage method, but it does provide some value.
Good to see that both the Radiant Health and High Tech Health saunas are both very low-EMF. They seem to be the best far-infrared sauna options for electrically sensitive people.
Thanks again for sharing,
Do you have any links to shielded wiring you would recommend ? I am based here in Europe.
Just in relation to the shielded wiring I found this cable
I’m wondering if this would be suitable for the bulb socket with the other end attached to the plug?
This wire is 22 gauge, so it’s really too small for infrared sauna wiring.
For a near-infrared sauna using the red 250W infrared heat bulbs, I suggest using 1/2″ EMT conduit with compression fittings, then the appropriate sized wire based on total current. You would then twist the wiring in the EMT conduit to greatly reduce the magnetic fields.
But because the bulb wires and filament are fairly long, you must have pretty clean AC, or convert to filtered 120VDC, which would allow for a smaller sauna and zero AC magnetic field from the bulbs no matter how close.
Hope this helps,
What do you think of the Heavenly Heat infrared saunas, built for people with chemical sensitivities (I’ve heard that the company’s owner is himself chemically sensitive)? It’s supposed to be low in EMFs, at least according to the Environmental Health Clinic in Dallas, TX, which recommends it.
Thanks for any insights you may have!
I have not heard of this sauna. The only far-infrared saunas I can recommend are Radiant Health (British Columbia) and High Tech Health (Colorado). They have both been in this field for decades and create saunas that are very low-EMF and no-VOC. I share videos and details about them at the top of this article above.
Hope this helps,
Seconding the question on Heavenly Heat. Oram Miller helped design them for low EMFs and they are used by a number of medical clinics and doctors. (Erin Brockovich endorses them as well and I assume she does her research but who knows). They’ve been around a few decades in a specialty niche for chemically sensitive people – they use screws instead of glues, among other measures. Everything I’ve read about them has been amazing but I am concerned that they aren’t on your radar. Then again, they are a very small company.
Thanks for the education you provide!
Thanks for the kudos on my work!
I have heard of Heavenly Heat, but haven’t seen any actual data or videos on the EMF side of things.
I checked out Matt Justice’s YT channel (Certified Saunas) to see if he has a video on this sauna. I only found this video where he compares them to the Clearlight. This is an answer to a viewer question, not an actual EMF test of the sauna. However, it’s a very instructive video.
It does look like the Heavenly Heat sauna is great for chemically sensitive people. My experience is that many chemically sensitive people (and the doctors that treat them) don’t pay enough attention to the EMF piece (until they have to).
For now, we are just going off of what Oram Miller said. I would want to see a video where all four types of EMFs were properly measured. We have that for Radiant Health and High Tech Health and the saunas I have on this page.
If you ever find actual EMF measurements for Heavenly Heat, please let me know.
Hope this helps,
Here is a review I did of my Heavenly Heat Sauna. Feel free to shoot me a EMF meter and I can do a real time live EMF test for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE881WcYdOI
Verizon is advertising availability of 5G Ultra Wideband internet in our area. I’m not sure what this means as far as EMFs, do you happen to know? I don’t see the small antennas outside, we are in a rural area. I called them and they said the signal is coming from the tower that’s about a mile away. I also found the following through a Google search:
“The Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service is the fastest 5G in the world. It uses the mmWave spectrum band at 28 GHz and 39 GHz.”
Do you have any suggestions on how to measure this? The Safe Sound Pro II doesn’t go up to that frequency. There is a new FM5 meter that measures 24-32 ghz and I wonder what you think of it.
Does being in this area means we get a lot of radio EMFs? If yes, does the shielding fabric you suggest offer protection?
I’ll answer in a few parts:
1.) I wouldn’t worry too much about a mmWave RF signal coming from a tower a mile away. These higher frequencies do not go through trees, walls or even air that well. My guess is that in rural areas they are actually using much lower frequencies, from 600 MHz to 5 GHz.
This why they use the term “Ultra Wideband.”
2.) I would not get the mmWave meter you reference. This article lays out some of the reasons:
3.) Instead, I would get the Safe and Sound Pro II, which measures from 600 MHz to 8 GHz and will likely capture 95% of the RF that your home is being subjected to.
Or its little brother:
You get a 10% discount at SLT with my coupon code: EMFA
4.) Then, if you still want to measure the mmWave frequencies, I would get the new mmWave RF meter that will soon be released by Safe Living Technologies. They have a good track record on EMF meters and have been developing this 5G meter for quite some time. I trust this mmWave meter much more than the one you link to. It will also be less expensive and measure a wider part of the mmWave spectrum.
5.) Finally, you ask about fabrics for RF shielding. These can be quite effective, but it depends on what the RF exposure is in places like your bedroom. You only implement shielding if you actually need it. This is why your meter choices above are so important.
If you do need RF shielding, you can see the materials I advise on this page:
I typically recommend bed canopies because RF shielding really only works when you have a full enclosure, like a cocoon.
Regarding a bed canopy, 95% of my clients get the Swiss Shield Naturell bed canopy from Safe Living Technologies. I have never had a complaint, so you should be quite happy.
You want to get the floor sheet as well for the full enclosure:
This is how they work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5OyBZzFi-Y
It’s a vital part of creating an EMF Sleep Sanctuary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9640vN8AYo
Again, you can get a 10% discount with my code: EMFA
Here are instructions to create your own inexpensive bed canopy frame if you don’t wish to hang from your ceiling:
Hope this helps,
Thank you very much for your detailed answer. I really appreciate it and will study all the links you sent.
Can I also ask you:
– We have a European washer & dryer by German company Miele. They are made to work on 220 volts but they were set up by an electrician to work for us but I don’t know how (voltage is converted?) – the wall plug is much larger than usual and has 3 prongs. Do you think this could affect the EMFs in the house?
– About the smart meter guard you mention on your website, do you think it’s possible the guard creates a block that forces the signal to turn back and go through the house?
– What do you use to protect your eyes from blue light? Do you put filters on your screen/monitor/phone or do you use glasses? Do you mind sharing the brand? the are so many!
Jeromy, if I were to make a custom twin size canopy with Naturell fabric and dowells, what is the minimum distance that should be allowed between the body and the top/ceiling part of the canopy?