What to Expect at an Infrared Sauna?

Whether you're a first-time infrared user or a seasoned veteran, expect to sweat like crazy and feel amazing after. “Though it’s one of the most relaxing ways you can break a sweat and burn calories, the heat can be particularly intense for newbies,” Ramirez says. “Also, keep in mind that the purpose of this service is to sweat out toxins, and it’s not uncommon to sweat for up to 30 minutes following your session.”

In terms of the treatment itself, most studios offer 30- and 60-minute sessions (Chillhouse offers 60- and 75-minute sessions) so that sweaters will have plenty of time to rinse off after. As with most wellness treatments, many people think that infrared sauna seshes come with a pretty price tag. However, they're more approachable than you might think. A 30-minute session at HigherDOSE costs $45 and a 60-minute session rings up at $65; you can add a person to your pod for an additional $15 if you're cool with sharing a small space. And, if you live in New York City, a 60-minute Chill Heat sesh costs $60 and a 75-minute treatment rings up at $75; again, you can pay $15 extra for a two-person treatment.

Following 45 minutes spent in an infrared sauna, I felt refreshed, revived, and better than ever (unlike when I'm dizzy and wheezing after a mere 15-minutes in a steam sauna)—just as I do post mermaid, wheelbarrow, and plank. For that reason, I like to weave regular infrared treatments into my monthly routine (though I'd happily oblige to weekly if my schedule and wallet permitted) to supplement my megaformer workouts, calm my nerves, stabilize my immune system, and keep my mood in check.


It's worth noting that it takes some getting used to in order to feel completely comfortable in an infrared sauna. During my first-ever infrared session, while not unbearably hot, I needed to open the door a few times to let a cool breeze in. From then on, I chose to bring an ice-cold insulated water bottle with me to stay cool without taking away from the heated space.

After your session, it's important to continue to hydrate throughout the day, as you're likely to keep sweating for hours after. You may burn calories from sitting in a sauna—you might even lose a little bit of water weight, though it will likely come back— and this is all the more reason to stay hydrated in the hours after.

The Final Takeaway

Infrared saunas offer one of the most relaxing ways to break a sweat. Unlike traditional steam or stone saunas or even sauna blankets for that matter, infrared treatments are comfortable from start to finish and are less likely to make you feel faint or short of breath. What's more, they lend you that flushed, fresh-from-the-steam-room glow that we all strive for.

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