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The health and wellness industry has exploded in recent years, with near countless ways to take care of yourself emerging and more coming out with every passing month. Surely you’ve heard of more conventional ways to boost your vitality, including massage guns, working out at home and taking daily multivitamins. Then there are less conventional methods, like oil pulling, plunging in an ice bath and meditation using adult coloring books.
All of these methods come with a proverbial, and legal, grain of salt — the more “alternative” the method, the higher the likelihood that the evidence backing its credibility will be anecdotal rather than concrete. However, it doesn’t mean a method doesn’t actually help people or isn’t worth trying in your own life.
One of our favorite recent additions to the library of new-age wellness techniques? Sweating your face off in an infrared blanket.
What Are Infrared Blankets?
Infrared blankets are essentially infrared saunas in blanket form. Instead of a room where infrared lights heat the space, and your body, through infrared rays, the blanket wraps around your body like a sleeping bag and hits you with heat from every angle.
There are a variety of infrared blankets available on the market, but they all offer essentially the same thing — a wide temperature range with many degrees to choose from. For most, the range sits at 60-160 degrees Fahrenheit, making them not as hot as regular saunas can get and great for beginners.
Dr. Brent A. Bauer, M.D. with the Mayo Clinic, explains that “A traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air, which in turn warms your body. An infrared sauna heats your body directly without warming the air around you.”
“The appeal of saunas in general is that they cause reactions similar to those elicited by moderate exercise, such as vigorous sweating and increased heart rate.”
“An infrared sauna produces these results at lower temperatures than does a regular sauna, which makes it accessible to people who can’t tolerate the heat of a conventional sauna.”
What Are The Benefits of Infrared Blankets?
Since there’s very little written about infrared blankets specifically, for the purposes of this article we’re going to list some proposed benefits of infrared saunas, which have a very similar design and goal.
Some supposed benefits of infrared saunas include detoxing your body, improving your mood, stimulating blood flow and soothing body aches. Almost none of these claims are backed up by evidence, so they can’t be touted as a guarantee effect when purchasing one of these machines.
Dr. Bauer notes that “Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit. However, larger and more-rigorous studies are needed to confirm these results.”
We’ve rounded up our favorite infrared blankets in 2021, a convenient, compact, portable way to receive similar benefits to a an infrared sauna at home.
1. HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket V3
This Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 is designed to detoxify the body, boost mood, relax the mind and promote glowing skin through sweating. It’s got eight different heat levels to choose from and heats up in about 10 minutes flat. It’s made to be used every day, if that works for your individual body, and the water-resistant polyurethane it’s made of is easy to clean. The blanket can easily be folded to fit under a bed, in a closet or even in a suitcase, and the time and temperature of your session can easily be augmented on the controller.
2. VANELL Infrared Sauna Blanket
This more affordable infrared sauna blanket is available on Amazon and comes with 75 inches of length that can accomodate differently sized individuals. The temperature range is 86-176 degrees Fahrenheit, you can set timed sessions between 15-60 minutes and there are two different temperature control zones you can program. The outside is made of a durable oxford material that’s designed to be lighter, softer and anti-odor, while the inside is made of waterproof PVC.
3. Cocoarm Portable Infrared Blanket
This infrared blanket is made of high-grade PU and waterproof PVC material, and can be easily zipped up, folded and placed in a suitcase when you’re on-the-go. It’s got a flexible interior design so you can stretch, move around and choose a comfortable position easily, and it’s made with easy-to-use controls.
4. SILKFUN Infrared Personal Sauna Blanket
This infrared sauna blanket is designed to be just like a cozy sleeping bag, but warmer. It uses far-infrared heating therapy to heat your body’s internal temperature as well as waterproof PVC material to keep you safe during your session. It’s got two heating zones you can adjust the temperature of via the control box, and it’ll automatically turn off if the temperature gets too high.
5. Fencia Digital Heat Sauna Blanket
This sauna blanket also uses multiple layers of infrared and warming technology to heat your body and activate your sweat glands for therapeutic effects. It has a waterproof layer for keeping you safe and the blanket as clean as possible, as well as two openings for your hands so you can read or watch videos during your sauna session. It has an easy-to-use control box as well as a remote control for simple operation, and there’s a temperature control layer for monitoring heat in case the temperature reaches dangerous levels.
6. Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket
BUILT FOR MEDITATION
This infrared sauna blanket from the brand Heat Healer is made for mindful rest and rejuvenation with maximum infrared emissivity, EMF-blocking technology and all non-toxic materials. It’s designed to comfortably fit someone up to 6’6″ tall with a total of 75 inches in length, and comes with a convenient travel bag for easy transport. It’s made with a combination of medical-grade PVC, faraday shielding for blocking out harmful rays and premium amide fabric that’s lightweight and durable. It’s made for 60-minute sessions and making the benefits of a sauna accessible at home.