Don’t sweat it: We’ve tested the best infrared sauna blankets so you don’t have to

Don’t sweat it: We’ve tested the best infrared sauna blankets so you don’t have to
Improve your sleep quality and soothe aches with the best infrared sauna blankets from MiHigh, HigherDOSE and more

The pandemic saw a boom in buying home wellness aids, with weighted blankets and acupressure mats touted as ways to better the quality of your sleep and reduce aches and pains. But for those who crave the heat and muscle-relaxing benefits of a sauna, the bath may not have been quite enough to scratch that itch. Hence the rise in the popularity of infrared sauna blankets.

You may already know about the mood-enhancing element of saunas – especially if you’re someone who’s always cold. These blankets aim to bring that feeling to your home.

Combined with infrared, the holistic effects promised are quite impressive – a session may well increase circulation, bring down inflammation and alleviate chronic pain. That said, there has been little research surrounding infrared sauna blankets, so there is no scientific evidence of these benefits.

To use these heated bags, you simply dress in some lightweight cotton (you need to wear fabric between your skin and the blanket), plug it in and switch on. Each model works differently, but most offer a choice of temperatures.

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The infrared means that the heat penetrates more deeply into muscles and fat, so you don’t need to turn the heat on as high, meaning it isn’t as intense an experience as a sauna (though temperatures on some models do go up to 80C).

Most brands recommend lying in there for 20-40 minutes, provided you are comfortable and feel fine throughout. After you’ve finished, you wipe down the inside of the blanket and let it cool before folding away.

But these blankets aren’t cheap, and buying in is an investment – though they last for a long time so if you pay for infrared sauna sessions, you’ll end up saving in the long term. That’s why we’ve tried and tested a range so you know which is best for you.

The best infrared sauna blankets for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – HigherDOSE infrared sauna blanket V3: £399, Higherdose.com
  • Best for those who are heat sensitive – MiHigh infrared sauna blanket: £399, Mihigh.com
  • Best for those who like it hot – Smomar infrared sauna blanket: £399, Smomar.co.uk
  • Best for tall people– Heat Healer sauna blanket: £398,Heathealer.com

HigherDOSE infrared sauna blanket V3

Best: Overall

This sauna blanket comes with velcro fastenings, so once you’re in you feel snug and comfortable. It offers eight different heat levels (five made us sweat a little bit, eight felt sweltering), has a hand-held controller so you can adjust the temperature without having the palaver of getting out of the blanket each time you want to adjust, and has a timer so it’ll automatically switch off after an hour if you fall asleep (which we did, every time).

MiHigh infrared sauna blanket

Best: For those who are heat sensitive

With a dial that can take the temperature from 25-80C in small increments, this one is great if you are sensitive to temperature and want to be able to change it while in there. We liked the control it offered when hitting higher temperatures, experimenting with the warmer, more sweat-inducing ones, then cooling it by five degrees when it felt a bit much. In other respects, it is similar to the HigherDOSE model (£399, Higherdose.com), in that it fastens with velcro and has an external body comprised of vegan leather.

Smomar infrared sauna blanket

Best: For those who like it hot

This Smomar version works similarly to the above two, but the lowest temperature available is 30C, so it’s the one to go for if you don’t think you’ll bother with the coolest setting (though it must be said that 30C just felt like a slightly warmer room and certainly didn’t make us sweat, so it’s still a very good entry-level temperature). This also felt a little more lightweight than the others, so is a good one to go for if you intend on using it in different rooms.

Heat Healer sauna blanket

Best: For tall people

Boasting 96 jade and tourmaline stones in the lining – which evenly distribute infrared heat – and with a Faraday shield, Heat Healer has made a blanket that is perfect for anyone after a holistic treatment that feels as close to lying in a hot sauna as possible.

This is also the longest model, so if you’re tall, we’d opt for this one. The stones are flat and run down the blanket evenly, by the way, so you don’t need to worry about them being uncomfortable to lie on.

How many times a week should you use an infrared sauna blanket?

It is generally recommended to use the sauna blanket three to four times a week. At first, start out with a low temperature for 10-15 minutes, and then work up to around 35-40 minutes each time.

The verdict: Infrared sauna blankets

We’ve named the HigherDOSE sauna blanket as our best buy as it’s a fuss-free product that emerged as the one we reached for most often among those we tested. If, like us, you like an all-round sauna session that you can just use to zone out in at the end of the day, this is the perfect solution.

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IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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