Red light therapy vs. Infrared Saunas

in Nov 19, 2023

Today we are going to share with you the differences between red light therapy devices vs. infrared saunas, and their main benefits.

  • RLT vs Infrared Saunas
  • Differences
  • Benefits of RLT
  • Benefits of Infrared Saunas
  • Conclusion


RLT vs Infrared Saunas

Both red light therapy and infrared saunas are great options, they just have different purposes.

If you are struggling trying to decide if you want to buy a red light therapy device or an infrared sauna, the first question you should ask yourself is: What is my goal?

Once you know your goal, then it will be much easier to decide which one is best for you.



Let’s take a look at the type of light each of these products uses.

The full spectrum of light has different wavelengths, different colors and different benefits for the human body. 

red and near infrared light

 Let’s dive into the different wavelengths used by red light therapy and infrared saunas. 

  • Red light therapy uses very specific wavelengths of light, the most therapeutic range, which includes 660nm and 850nm. As you can see in the graphic above, 660nm is found in the red part of the light spectrum while 850 is infrared light.
  • Infrared saunas, in most of the cases emit wavelengths of 1,000nm, and up to 1 million.

This means they emit NIR light (Near-Infrared), MIR (Mid-Infrared) light, and FIR light (Far-infrared light).

When it comes to studies and benefits, there are several studies that show great results within the therapeutic range that red light therapy uses, especially NIR light.

Types of infrared light:

  • Near- Infrared light (NIR): has benefits for circulation, energy, skin health, physical performance, inflammation, brain health just to mention a few.
  • Mid- Infrared light (MID): these wavelengths of light have a few anecdotal studies that show benefits in blood circulation and healing. There is an absence of studies so we do not know if it really benefits the body in any other areas.
  • Far- Infrared light (FIR): FIR wavelengths of light are considered to have benefits for circulation, sleep quality, pain reduction, wound healing and a few more. Unfortunately, most studies are carried out on animals so we cannot extrapolate. Lastly, but most importantly, FIR also supports body detoxification, which is the main reason why people apply FIR light.


Your body is primarily made up with water and it heats up with the infrared light, especially infrared light between 1,000 and 100,000 nanometers.

In other words, infrared light above 1,000+ nanometers directly heats up your body from the inside because of its effect on water inside you. This causes detoxification benefits and heavy sweating.

On the other hand, red light therapy uses wavelengths <1,000 nm (660nm – 850nm) which, by contrast, energizes the body, specifically the mitochondria of the cells. It provides a warm sensation, but never to the point of sweating.

As you can see, the wavelengths used in these two devices are very different and have different effects on the body as well.

Let’s dive into the benefits of each.


Benefits of Red light therapy 


Red light therapy devices have a great advantage when it comes to size. We cannot place a sauna in any room… they take up a lot of space.

Instead, red light therapy devices come in different sizes and shapes which makes them easy to store and move around.

IMPORTANT: it is true that the bigger the light, the heavier and harder to move around it is going to be, but that is why at Red Light Rising we also offers stands, to make things easier.


If you want to purchase a sauna, we are talking about spending at least $1,000 excluding shipping costs and you are most likely to use it once a week in the best cases.

Red light therapy has a wider range of possibilities and budgets plus you can easily add it to your daily routine.

Ease of use:

Saunas require a lot more time and maintenance than red light devices.

A sauna requires some time to heat up before use, and it also requires a good cleaning afterwards to avoid mold and bacteria from growing.

Red light therapy devices are ready to use, and you can wipe some dust or any dirt easily and quickly.


Red light therapy devices can have specific wavelengths for different purposes and they can also shine the light on the specific part of the body that needs treatment for different periods of time.

This great precision is something that saunas can’t match.

You are forced to go inside the sauna and your whole body will be exposed to the same temperature for the exact same amount of time. 

red light therapy vs infrared sauna

Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Full infrared spectrum

As we have mentioned before, saunas use red lights from 1,000nm to up to 1,000,000nm. This means you’ll be exposing your body to a wide array of wavelengths.

Red light therapy doesn’t give you any of the MIR and FIR benefits. Infrared saunas generally don’t give you sufficient intensity of the highly-healing wavelengths in the red and NIR spectrum of RLT does, although some NIR is included.

Heavy sweating

Saunas use MIR and FIR wavelengths which means the water of your body heats up producing heavy sweating as a consequence.

This level of heat, and thus of detoxification,  is not something that you can achieve with a red light therapy device.

If sweating and detoxification is the benefit you are after, you will not get it with a red light therapy device.


Saunas are big enough to fit between 3 to 5 people, and even more, which makes them great to socialize with friends and have a good time while giving a nice detoxification process to your body. 

Red light panels, on the other hand, are for a single person to use at the time. Yes, you could share it with more people, but you would need to take turns and it would not be that much fun.



Both RLT devices and Infrared saunas are great products if you are looking to improve your health.

Red light therapy has more advantages when it comes to price, size, use, and ability to target specific conditions.

Infrared saunas have advantages in terms of temperature, detoxification and socialization.

If you are new into the light therapy world, we highly recommend getting a red light therapy device.

They are much easier to use, cheaper and you can use them every day for as little as 5 minutes without any preparation or big cleaning afterwards.


If you want to get your first device, check out our range of devices here.

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