Few things offer respite from cold, harsh winters quite like a sauna. But while you might have to drive to a spa or gym to step into one of these warm wooden boxes, you could get a similar experience at home with an infrared sauna blanket. Once you try one, it’ll soon become an all-season essential.
Think of a sauna blanket as a high-tech sleeping bag that uses infrared light to heat up. And no—you won’t be blasted with a bright red light. Infrared light isn’t visible to the human eye, but a session in one of these blankets will leave you drenched in sweat and deeply relaxed. Early research suggests regular use may be a tool for weight loss and improved heart health.
Most infrared blankets look nearly identical (think: a heavy black sack that zips up or closes with Velcro and plugs into a handheld controller and a wall outlet). So I tested five of the most popular ones out there to figure out the subtle ways in which they differ.
Ness Card Pick
HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket
- Zip-up infrared sauna blanket made with high temperature-resistant polyurethane
- Contains layers of charcoal, clay, medical-grade magnets, amethyst, and tourmaline
- Temperature ranges from 67°F-158°F
- 71-inch length, 65-inch circumference
- Feels cozy
- Contains crystals
- Provides low EMF certification
- Doesn’t get as hot as other sauna blankets
- Carrying case costs extra
- Difficult to put away
Our parent company, Ness Well, Inc., has partnered with HigherDOSE to provide an exclusive benefit to users of the Ness Card1.
After trying the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket myself, I can see why it’s popular. Its biggest strength is that it’s the only sauna blanket that provides third-party certification on its low EMF— National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences “Electric & Magnetic Fields” View Source a type of radiation produced by electricity that may be National Cancer Institute “Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer” View Source with cancer (although the research isn’t conclusive). claims. You can email the brand to get the certificate, and the fact that you can actually see the certification, which other brands don’t provide, is a big plus. (The exact numbers, if you’re curious, come out to less than .03 Miliagaus, which is very close to zero.) It’s also ETL Listed by Intertek, which means it complies with North American safety standards. Its non-toxic polyurethane material passes non-VOC standards, which means it contains only a minimal amount of (potentially harmful) volatile organic compounds. Other brands that don’t have this certification may contain more.
The blanket has a decently strong zipper and two shoulder flaps, which help contain heat. It also contains a layer of amethyst and tourmaline crystals, which, according to HigherDOSE, help deepen the infrared wavelength.
HigherDOSE charges an additional $99 for its storage bag—other brands send theirs along with the blanket—making the combo the most expensive option of the bunch. Initially, I didn’t receive the bag, which made testing difficult.
To be as thorough as possible, we ordered the storage bag for an extra round of testing. It’s styled like a backpack and has tons of supportive padding on the back plus shoulder straps, making the sauna blanket feel lightweight and easy to take on the go. And unlike some complimentary sauna blanket bags, this one offers plenty of extra space for accessories, like a towel insert or small pillow, as well as a handy zippered pocket on the front—it’s the perfect spot to stash a cleaning spray. If you don’t mind paying up, the cost is justified.
The blanket has a few other functional quirks. Its remote control doesn’t let you set a specific temperature (just opaque levels 1 through 8), nor does it have an adjustable timer (although it automatically turns the heat off after an hour). Its maximum temperature is lower than all the other sauna blankets I tested (though, for what it’s worth, I never felt the need to exceed its top number).
Ultimately, I appreciate that HigherDOSE provides its low EMF certification. This, plus the fact that it seeks out extra certifications on its materials and design, helps it earn my trust. If you’re invested in using a blanket with the best brand transparency we found, it’s the one to go for. Just remember to set a timer on your phone or an old-fashioned alarm clock if you want a shorter session than the fixed hour-long duration.
Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket
- Infrared sauna blanket made with heat-resistant amide fabric and waterproof PVC
- Contains a layer of flat jade and tourmaline stones
- Temperature ranges from 104°F-176°F
- 75-inch length, 69-inch circumference
- Highest maximum temperature
- Includes sweatproof pillow and carrying case
- 3-year warranty
- Doesn’t give precise temperature selection or live reading
- Leaks some heat from top
- Doesn’t provide as much transparency as it could
The Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket deserves a spot on this list based solely on its specs. It claims to use materials that block its EMF. Per the brand’s website, the blanket has been tested by a third-party organization to ensure it aligns with the FCC’s rules on electronic emissions and radiation. (However, Heat Healer was unable to provide us with this information, so we’d take this with a grain of salt.)
One of the key decisions you’ll have to make when you buy an infrared sauna blanket is whether to go with a zipper or velcro enclosure. But Heat Healer’s Infrared Sauna Blanket gives you the best of both worlds. It has a heavy-duty zipper that runs up the long side, making it easy to slip inside. It also has a Velcro flap at the bottom. I didn’t need to touch that part during my session, but it’s nice to have the option to open up the area by your feet to let in cooler air if you’re feeling too hot.
That’s not the only reason this infrared sauna blanket shines, though. It’s thoughtfully made with polyamide fabric. That’s the same stuff used in firefighters’ uniforms and astronauts’ spacesuits, and, in my experience, it felt durable and insulated well. It has a built-in timer adjustable in one-minute increments from as little as one minute to as long as an hour and comes with a waterproof head pillow for extra comfort.
It also has 96 stones made of jade and tourmaline sewn into a mesh layer on the base, where your back lies during a session. According to Heat Healer, these smooth, flat stones emit negative ions, a type of molecule that’s been charged with electricity and floats in the air. They’re typically found around International Journal of Molecular Sciences “Negative Air Ions and Their Effects on Human Health and Air Quality Improvement” View Source and may provide some mental health benefits (although more research is needed).
One hour-long session in the Heat Healer infrared sauna blanket proved as restorative as a spa treatment. I felt so calm, I even fell into a light sleep for about 15 minutes. I emerged drenched in sweat, free of all tension, and completely invigorated. My skin felt like it was buzzing. The blanket was easy to fold up and put away in the bag, so I was able to maintain my relaxed vibe during clean-up.
When it comes to infrared sauna blankets, this one from Heat Healer was near perfect, but it has some downsides. It does not offer a live temperature reading or the ability to set a specific temperature. You have to choose from one of nine levels on the controller that attaches to the side of the blanket, although Heat Healer provides a handy chart of its corresponding temperatures. The opening at the top also wouldn’t stay flush with my body, so it let some heat out. You can solve this by draping a towel over the blanket and your shoulders, though.
Despite some minor flaws, the Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket checks a lot of boxes with its high maximum temperature, quality materials, lengthy warranty, and added bonuses, like the layer of stones and the accompanying pillow. Reviews on the brand’s site have given this blanket just under a five-star rating. Even though its full price is more expensive than some other options, the Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket delivers a relaxing experience that’s worth every penny.
Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket
- Low EMF infrared sauna blanket made of waterproof polyurethane
- Temperature ranges from 95°F-167°F
- 71-inch length, 65-inch circumference
- Strong zip enclosure
- Gives live temperature reading
- Comes with bag
- No EMF certification
- Can be difficult to reconnect zipper slider
It doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles as our top picks, nor is it zero EMF. Still, the Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket makes for a decent sauna blanket. It offers a live temperature reading, heats up to a maximum of 167°F, and feels strong and sturdy. It’s also low EMF, and the company told me it pays extra for “advanced EMF shielding and testing.” (But, like Heat Healer, did not provide us with exact numbers or certification.)
The moment I pulled the blanket from Sun Home out of the box, I was impressed by its quality. The leatherlike polyurethane exterior felt supple yet strong, and the zipper, which runs from the lower right corner to the top left corner, closed smoothly. It also has two hidden flaps inside the front panel, which can be draped over your shoulders to help reduce heat loss. The controller gives you the option to set any temperature between 95°F and 167°F. This is displayed in Celsius, which is common in infrared sauna blankets, but might force you to make some conversions on your phone if you usually use Fahrenheit. You can also set a timer in five-minute increments between 30 and 60 minutes. Three beeps means your time is up, then the device automatically powers down.
Using this infrared sauna blanket was deeply relaxing. Like others I tested, it made me sweat… a lot. I was easily able to take my arms in and out of the blanket when I felt a little too hot. I was also able to monitor the heat level using the live temperature reading and adjust it as needed (for example, taking an arm out usually caused the temperature to drop by a few degrees temporarily). Folding it up and slipping it into the drawstring bag was also fairly easy, thanks to the blanket’s narrower-than-average design.
However, the Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket didn’t quite stand up to Heat Healer’s. It’s about four inches shorter, so tall people may not be able to fit inside as easily. Its warranty is just one year, as opposed to three. The shoulder flaps, while innovative, didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped. I couldn’t get them to stay down and I felt myself fidgeting to fix them often. I found it difficult to reconnect the zipper slider when it was undone, given that it was right next to the plug input. It also didn’t have any extras other than a carry bag, whereas Heat Healer tossed a pillow into its core product package.
If you’re looking for an infrared sauna blanket that’s less expensive than others—and you’re willing to sacrifice a few of the perks, like the pillow—this could be a great option for you.
Other Infrared Sauna Blankets To Consider
Nushape Sauna Wrap
- Strong velcro enclosure and “heat-balancing fabric”
- Temperature ranges from 95°F-167°F
- 71-inch length, 83-inch width (when unfolded)
- Velcro enclosure traps heat
- Gives live temperature reading
- Bulky and heavy
- Noisy to open and close
- No EMF certification
The Nushape Sauna Blanket stands out from the competition in a few key areas. It’s one of the only blankets I tested that claims to be zero in EMF, although it doesn’t use a third party to verify this. This sauna blanket is fitted with super strong Velcro strips on the bottom and side, giving you way more flexibility than a zipper if you’re looking for a tighter fit, more wiggle room, or the option to let a little airflow in near your feet. Its thickness and weight induce a soothing sensation. Its controller also allows you to set a timer (30 to 75 minutes), choose a specific temperature, and see a live reading of the current heat level at any point during your session. I appreciated the data and customization capabilities when I was snuggled inside the Nushape Sauna Wrap.
But while this infrared sauna blanket’s velcro enclosure gives it some advantages, it’s also the main reason it didn’t land as my top pick. The Velcro made a loud, obnoxious ripping sound every time I opened and closed it. This might not sound like a huge deal, but the noise interrupted that sense of deep relaxation the sauna blanket gave me during my session. It was also difficult to line up the velcro straps perfectly, which made it uneven and difficult to fold up into its bag, although I was ultimately able to tuck it inside after a few minutes of trial and error.
If you’re looking for an infrared sauna blanket that can accommodate a wide range of body sizes and you don’t mind the brief (yet intense) sound of industrial-grade Velcro ripping apart, the Nushape Sauna Wrap could be a worthwhile pick. Its unique enclosure feels durable and has more sizing flexibility than any other option on the list.
MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket
- Zip-up infrared sauna blanket with polyurethane exterior, waterproof interior, and non-toxic fabrics
- Temperature ranges from 77°F-167°F
- 71-inch length, 35-inch width (when folded)
- More compact than other sauna blankets
- Stays flat against the body
- No EMF certification
- Doesn’t offer precise temperature settings
- Zipper snags on blanket creases
MiHIGH’s infrared sauna blanket’s biggest perk—its portability—was noticeable right off the bat. It’s decidedly lighter and slimmer than other sauna blankets, which made it a breeze to set up and pack away in the included carry bag at the end of my session. Its lean design also helped the blanket stay flat against my body and keep heat contained.
MiHIGH’s infrared sauna blanket also offers a very wide temperature range, a relatively high maximum heat (167°F), and an audible alarm that’s adjustable in five-minute increments, so you can personalize your sauna session to your preferred climate and duration using the handheld remote.
But despite its streamlined design, this infrared sauna blanket has some downsides. Its zipper tended to snag when I tried to open and close it near parts of the blanket that are creased from being folded up. It’s low in EMF, but not zero, and the brand doesn’t provide third-party certification to back up this claim. You also can’t set a specific temperature. Instead, you have to choose from one of nine temperature settings, so it’s hard to tell exactly how hot it’s going to get. I liked that the controller displays the current temperature level the blanket’s at during preheating, but it stops providing a real-time reading once it gets up to your selected level. And I missed the coziness of some of the heavier options, which give you the soothing feeling of lying beneath a weighted blanket.
The MiHIGH infrared sauna blanket is undoubtedly the top choice if you want something you can use on the go. Even though it won’t fit in your suitcase, it’s definitely more travel friendly than other infrared sauna blankets, and it comes with a carrying case. But if you plan to use it exclusively at home, our runner-up pick from Sun Home comes at the same price and offers advantages over this one.
Are Infrared Sauna Blankets Actually Healthy?
The Nessie Rating: Healthy-ish
Based on our research and review, we believe that infrared sauna blankets can be healthy-ish for most people. With that said, there’s limited research on these products—and the brands that make them often tout a variety of potential health benefits from infrared sauna blankets that just aren’t backed up by science at this point. Saunas—both infrared and the more traditional wood-burning or electric kind—have been more thoroughly studied, though, and may provide insight into ways the infrared sauna blankets could also help our well-being.
A Infrared Physics & Technology “Use of infrared-based devices in aesthetic medicine and for beauty and wellness treatments” View Source provides the bulk of what scientists know about infrared sauna blankets for beauty and wellness. It found that infrared light can stimulate living tissues and cause biological reactions. Blankets that deliver this type of electromagnetic radiation have been shown to improve blood circulation, boost metabolism, and help the body burn calories and fat. The paper concluded that more research is needed to explain how infrared light causes these reactions.
There’s a bit more research on infrared saunas, though. According to a European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education “Infrared Radiation in the Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions and Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review” View Source , infrared saunas seemed to help reduce insomnia, pain, and fatigue in people with certain health conditions (like chronic low back pain and ankylosing spondylitis). The review found that infrared light in general had significant potential to reduce musculoskeletal pain and appeared to be a “safe and effective complementary therapy.” Plus, a International Journal of Hyperthermia “Feasibility and acceptability of a Whole-Body hyperthermia (WBH) protocol” View Source found that infrared saunas hold promise at reducing depression and anxiety. Whether or not these benefits hold true for infrared sauna blankets is unclear, though. The infrared sauna blankets emit far infrared light, whereas their sauna counterparts often use full-spectrum infrared light (including middle and near), so that could make a difference in their potential health effects.
It’s also worth considering the health benefits of traditional saunas, too, which have been used for pleasure and relaxation in Finland for thousands of years. The benefits of sauna bathing go beyond feeling good, though. Per a Mayo Clinic Proceedings “Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence” View Source , emerging evidence suggests that this practice can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and neurocognitive disease. It may also alleviate symptoms of arthritis, headaches, and the flu, and potentially benefit the immune system and heart.
It’s too early to say whether an infrared sauna blanket can provide the same health benefits. But for many people, taking some time out of your day to rest quietly in a warm, cozy cocoon can be a deeply relaxing experience—and that benefit alone may be worth investing in an infrared sauna blanket.
Listen to your body and if anything feels off, stop using the infrared sauna blanket and check in with a doctor. Don’t use a sauna blanket if you’re pregnant. You should also Harvard Health Publishing “Sauna Health Benefits: Are saunas healthy or harmful?” View Source before using one if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, or take medication that could interfere with sweating.
How Do Sauna Blankets Work?
Infrared sauna blankets deliver electromagnetic radiation through infrared heating elements to warm up. This allows them to Cleveland Clinic “Infrared Saunas: What They Do and 6 Health Benefits” View Source than conventional saunas but still help the body heat up and get sweaty. Most infrared sauna blankets allow you to set a temperature between roughly 80°F and 170°F, though the exact range varies from blanket to blanket. Consider starting on the lower end (perhaps around 120°F), then increasing the heat as necessary. They usually come with a handheld controller that allows you to adjust the temperature and set a timer.
Does a Sauna Blanket Burn Calories?
The Infrared Physics & Technology “Use of infrared-based devices in aesthetic medicine and for beauty and wellness treatments” View Source used in sauna blankets can stimulate tissues and cause biological reactions—one of which may be burning calories and fat. However, more research is needed to determine how this works, who it works for, and how to best use it.
If your main goal is weight loss, a sauna blanket shouldn’t be the only thing you use. If your main goal is relaxation—with a few other bonus health perks, depending on how research pans out—a sauna blanket will serve you well.
Does a Sauna Blanket Help with Detox?
Sauna blankets cause sweating, which some brands claim help rid the body of toxins. But this claim is more complicated than it seems. Sweat is almost entirely water, but it can sometimes contain Environment International “Can POPs be substantially popped out through sweat?” View Source of pollutants and heavy metals. In one Journal of Environmental and Public Health “Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review” View Source , regular sauna use was associated with otherwise high mercury levels “normalizing.”
However, a sauna sesh isn’t one-stop detox shop. Common consensus among experts seems to be that, while sweating has many health benefits, sweating more isn’t a proven way to get rid of bodily impurities. Your liver and kidneys are your main toxin eliminators—anything that’s secreted from your skin is pretty negligible.
How Can You Tell if an Infrared Sauna Blanket Is Actually Low or No EMF?
Some infrared sauna blankets send their products to third-party organizations to test their EMF levels, which can help support their claims of being low or zero EMF. You often need to dig deep into a company’s website or Amazon product page, or email them directly, to find out if its sauna blanket has been tested. HigherDOSE is the only brand on this list that provided a certificate to back up its low EMF claims.
If you want to test the EMF levels for yourself, you’ll need to buy an EMF reader. Another potential option is searching on YouTube, where you might be able to find videos of other users testing the EMF levels of sauna blankets, although keep in mind that an independent lab is much more authoritative than a YouTuber.
How We Found The Best Infrared Sauna Blankets
Our Testing Process
We started this review by researching which infrared sauna blankets have been rated highly in other major publications. We also researched potential budget picks on Amazon. After eliminating options that weren’t low or zero EMF, didn’t have many reviews, and were quite a bit more expensive than other contenders, five potential options remained: Sun Home, HigherDOSE, and Nushape sent samples for testing and The Nessie purchased Heat Healer and MiHIGH. (HigherDOSE is also a Ness Card partner.) Nushape also sent me its sauna insert (basically a body-size pouch made from a towel-like material that you can slip into like a sleeping bag and place inside your sauna blanket to absorb sweat), which I used throughout the testing process of all blankets.
Testing each blanket took about an hour and a half, totaling 7.5 hours of hands-on research. I read through each product’s instruction manual and online information. Then, I set up the blanket by laying it flat on a heat-proof surface (in my case, I used the floor) and plugging in the controller to both the wall outlet and the blanket itself. I opened it, tucked in my sauna insert, closed it up, and let it preheat for the recommended amount of time (typically five to 10 minutes). Then, I’d take a 60-minute session, occasionally grabbing my phone to take notes throughout the experience.
After my session, I opened the infrared sauna blanket to release the heat while I rinsed off in the shower. Once each blanket was completely cool (which usually took about 10 minutes), I folded it up the same way I received it and tucked it inside its accompanying bag, noting how big of a hassle this was.
I also took a close look at information on each brand’s website, such as whether the product was low or zero in EMF, what it was made from, its temperature range, and other key details to compare one infrared sauna blanket to another. After the initial round of testing was completed, we consulted Ness team members who have the HigherDOSE blanket to get their opinions .
Which features matter most when buying an infrared sauna blanket?
- Low or zero EMFs: EMFs are a form of radiation that can be harmful at World Health Organization “Radiation: Electromagnetic fields” View Source . If you’re concerned about this, look for a low or zero EMF infrared sauna blanket.
- Temperature range: If you want to sweat, you’ll need a sauna blanket that gets fairly hot. The blanket should provide a wide range of temperatures and the ability to set it at a specific heat level.
- Auto shut-off: A sauna blanket should come with a timer that automatically turns the heat off after a certain point for safety reasons.
- Easy to clean: You’ll be sweating in this, so you’ll want to be able to wipe it down easily. It’s also worth investing in a towel-like sauna blanket insert, which can absorb sweat and minimize how much moisture gets on your blanket.
- Size: If you’re very tall or have a large body, you’ll need to look at the dimensions of an infrared sauna blanket to make sure it can accommodate you.
- Packable: Nothing throws off the post-sauna session relaxation like struggling to put the blanket away. The best infrared sauna blankets fold up easily and pack away into an accompanying bag.
How to Use an Infrared Sauna Blanket
An infrared sauna blanket opens and closes with a zipper or velcro straps, allowing you to get in and out fairly easily. You should also wear clothing to protect your skin. Throughout your session, pay attention to how your body feels and stay hydrated. You can take your arms out of the blanket if you need a break from the heat.
If you start to feel overheated—this could mean feeling dizzy, confused, or nauseous—that’s a sign you might have stayed in the blanket a little too long. Infrared sauna blanket makers typically suggest rinsing off in a cool shower after your session.
Can You Use an Infrared Sauna Blanket Every Day?
Guidelines around saunas—let alone infrared sauna blankets—are few and far between. Most brands recommend using the infrared sauna blanket a few times a week.
How Long Should You Stay in an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
There are no agreed-upon guidelines for how long your infrared sauna blanket sessions should last. Most brands recommend starting at about 30 minutes at a low-to-medium heat level, then slowly increasing the duration in line with your comfort level (up to an hour or so) in future sessions. Pay attention to your body. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, or anything else that isn’t quite right, get out of the sauna blanket, sip some water, and consider talking with a medical professional—or at the very least, sticking with shorter sessions in the future.
- 1The Ness Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri, pursuant to a license from Mastercard, and serviced by Ness Well Financial, LLC.