Infrared Sauna vs. Red Light Therapy

Infrared Sauna vs. Red Light Therapy

Ever wondered how you could give your wellness routine a boost? Today we’re talking about red light therapy and infrared saunas — two beneficial options in the realm of modern health interventions. 

At Mito Red Light, we're all about diving deep into how these technologies can transform your health and well-being. But what sets them apart, and which might be the best fit for your lifestyle? Let's explore the cutting-edge science and practical benefits behind these two popular therapies.

What Is an Infrared Sauna?

Imagine a sauna that heats you directly using light, rather than just warming the air around you. That’s what an infrared sauna does — using infrared light to penetrate your skin and heat your body from the inside out. 

This method provides a deep, penetrating warmth that can help soothe and relax your muscles more effectively than the ambient heat of traditional saunas. Infrared saunas dial into the far infrared spectrum, which targets deeper layers of tissue for a thorough heat without the sweltering air, making it a more comfortable experience for many.

What Is Red Light Therapy?

On the flip side, red light therapy — aka low-level laser therapy— is all about the power of low-level wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. Red light therapy shines directly onto your body, where the light dives deep into cells to support internal processes. 

The light targets mitochondria, potentially supporting them in their ability to repair, rejuvenate, and restore cells. Red light therapy is precise, targeting only the areas you want to improve, making it a focused player in the field of therapeutic light.

What Are the Key Health Benefits of Each?

When it comes to optimizing your health with either infrared saunas or red light therapy, the benefits are substantial yet distinct. Understanding the specific advantages each provides can help you tailor your wellness approach to your personal health goals.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas excel in promoting detoxification. The deep penetration of far infrared wavelengths encourages a profound sweating process, which helps to flush out toxins and heavy metals from the body. This process not only cleanses the skin but also invigorates the entire body by potentially helping to support lymphatic flow and ease the load on your kidneys.

Moreover, regular sauna sessions are linked to weight loss and improved metabolic rate. The heat stress induced by an infrared sauna increases heart rate and metabolic rate, similar to the effects of a moderate workout, which can aid in weight loss and boost overall metabolic health. 

Additionally, exposure to heat can activate heat shock proteins, which play a role in longevity and help maintain muscle integrity, supporting overall muscular health.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, on the other hand, may help target specific biological processes at the cellular level. Its potential ability to help support healthy collagen production makes it a powerful tool for anti-aging and skin health. 

Proper collagen levels can contribute to healthy, elastic skin, minimizing the look of wrinkles and signs of aging and improving the overall appearance and health of the skin.

Red light therapy may also play a significant role in supporting wound healing and tissue repair. The specific wavelengths used in red light therapy help support the overall healing process by maintaining healthy blood circulation and cell growth. This can make it particularly valuable for athletes or anyone looking to support their recovery and general wellness following injuries. 

How Do Infrared Saunas and Red Light Therapy Impact Your Well-Being?

While both methods may offer significant benefits, their approaches to enhancing well-being are quite different. Infrared saunas work by inducing a beneficial heat stress that mimics the effects of exercise, improving cardiovascular health and aiding detoxification. 

Red light therapy, with its targeted photobiomodulation, focuses more on cellular health and localized benefits like skin rejuvenation, help with overall cellular function, circulation and support for proper recovery.

Choosing between infrared saunas and red light therapy — or integrating both into your wellness routine — depends largely on your specific health objectives. Whether it’s the deep detoxification and relaxation offered by infrared saunas or the precise, rejuvenating benefits of red light therapy, both modalities offer valuable paths to enhanced health and well-being.

How Do You Use an Infrared Sauna Effectively?

Stepping into an infrared sauna is like entering a personal retreat designed to rejuvenate your body and mind. To make the most of this experience, it’s not just about turning on the heat and sweating it out; there’s a bit more nuance to really leveraging its full potential. Here’s how to dial in your session for maximum benefit.


Hydration is the foundation of a positive infrared sauna experience. 

Since you’re going to sweat out a lot of fluids, starting well-hydrated is key to avoiding dehydration. Drink water prior to your session, and keep a bottle of water handy to sip during your sauna time if you feel the need.

Finding the Right Temperature

Infrared saunas don’t require as high temperatures as traditional saunas to achieve profound effects, thanks to the direct action of the infrared waves on your body. Begin at a lower temperature to see how your body reacts, especially if you're new to this. 

Typically, anywhere from 100°F to 130°F is a good starting point. As you get used to the experience, feel free to adjust the heat up or down based on your comfort and the goals of your session.

Session Duration

If you’re just beginning, it may be best to start with shorter sessions of about 15 to 20 minutes. As you become more accustomed to the heat and your body’s response, you may want to extend your sessions up to 30 or 40 minutes. Listen to your body — if you feel dizzy or uncomfortable, it’s time to step out.


While the heat does its work, use this time to relax or meditate. This isn’t just about physical health — it’s a fantastic opportunity to clear your mind, too. Some people like to listen to calm music, others might prefer complete silence. Find what helps you achieve a state of relaxation and make your sauna session a holistic experience.

Cool Down

After you exit the sauna, your body will continue to sweat for a bit. Allow yourself a cool-down period by sitting or lying down in a cooler environment. This helps your body gradually return to its normal temperature. 

Follow up with another round of hydration to replenish any additional fluids lost and help flush out the toxins.

What’s the Best Way To Use Red Light Therapy?

With red light therapy, here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sessions.

Establish a Routine

Consistency is the cornerstone of success with red light therapy. Incorporating regular sessions into your daily routine is essential to achieving noticeable results. 

Ideally, you should aim for daily sessions, especially when targeting issues like skin rejuvenation or muscle recovery. Our MitoPRO X Series is designed for ease of use in the comfort of your home, making it convenient to maintain consistent therapy sessions.

Optimize Your Setup

Effective red light therapy depends heavily on the setup. Ensure the device is positioned correctly to directly illuminate the targeted area of your body. The skin should be clean, dry, and free of any barriers that might block the light. 

For optimal energy absorption, maintain a proper distance as recommended by your device's guidelines — usually a few inches away. 

Time It Right

The duration of each therapy session can impact its effectiveness. Typically, sessions should last between 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the strength of the light and the distance from the skin. With any red light therapy device, it’s important to follow the instructions.

It may be best to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts to the red light. This method may help your body gradually get accustomed to the therapy, maximizing the cellular response.

Focus on Stillness and Coverage

To maximize the therapeutic effects, remain still during your session to ensure consistent light exposure. The more accurately the light covers the target area, the more effective the session will be. 

Our Red Light Therapy Panels can cover significant portions of your body, ensuring that a broad area receives the benefits of red and near-infrared light.

Post-Session Care

After each session, it's important to monitor how your skin and body respond. While there's typically no recovery time needed, listening to your body is key. If any unusual reactions occur, adjust your session length and frequency accordingly. 

Additionally, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet can complement the cellular benefits of red light therapy, enhancing overall results.

What To Keep in Mind Before Choosing Infrared Saunas or Red Light Therapy

Deciding between an infrared sauna and red light therapy — or potentially combining them — requires careful consideration of several factors. Each therapy offers unique benefits, but they also come with specific considerations that could sway your decision depending on your personal health goals, lifestyle, and even space at home. 

Here’s what you should keep in mind to make an informed choice.

Assess Your Health Goals

Start by clearly defining what you hope to achieve with your therapy. Are you looking for relief from discomfort, support for overall skin health, or perhaps a boost in overall well-being? Infrared saunas are excellent for systemic detoxification and can help with weight loss and cardiovascular health due to their deep heating effects. 

On the other hand, red light therapy is stellar for targeted issues like enhancing skin quality, supporting muscle recovery, and potentially aiding with inflammation. Matching your goals to the strengths of each therapy ensures you get the most out of your investment.

Space and Accessibility

Consider the practical aspects of installing an infrared sauna or a red light therapy setup at home. Infrared saunas require more space and can be a significant investment, so you’ll need to ensure you have both the room and the budget. 

Red light therapy devices are generally more compact and can be easier to integrate into your daily routine without requiring a dedicated space.

Sensitivity and Medical Conditions

If you have specific medical conditions or skin sensitivities, consult with a healthcare provider before beginning new treatments. 

While both methods are generally safe, your current health and any medications you're taking could influence your suitability for one or both of these options. For example, if you have a condition that makes you sensitive to heat, an infrared sauna might not be the best choice. 

Your doctor can give you personalized advice regarding the best ways to incorporate these methods into your daily routine if they align with your overall health goals and plan. 

Time Commitment

Think about how much time you can realistically dedicate to your wellness routine. Infrared sauna sessions can last longer and might require a significant chunk of your day, especially when you include the time needed to heat up the sauna and cool down afterward. 

Red light therapy sessions are typically shorter and can be more easily squeezed into a busy schedule.

Long-Term Sustainability

Consider which method you are more likely to stick with over the long term. Consistency is key to achieving significant health benefits from any wellness routine. 

Choose the option that you find most enjoyable and manageable — this will help ensure that you remain committed to your therapy routine.

The Final Word

Choosing the right wellness technology can be a pivotal decision in enhancing your health and quality of life. Whether you choose the deep warmth of an infrared sauna or the targeted cellular stimulation of red light therapy, both options offer unique benefits designed to improve your well-being. 

At Mito Red Light, we're committed to giving you the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about your health. Explore our range of red light therapy devices, each designed to seamlessly integrate into your lifestyle, offering you flexibility and effectiveness right in the comfort of your home. 


Do infrared saunas have any health benefits? | Mayo Clinic

Red Light Therapy: Benefits, Side Effects & Uses | Cleveland Clinic

What is red light therapy for skin? Experts explain the anti-aging benefits | CNN

Infrared Saunas: 6 Health Benefits | Cleveland Clinic


DISCLAIMERMito Red Light devices are not clinically proven to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical conditions. Mito Red Light devices are Class II general wellness devices aimed at affecting the body through topical heating and supporting cellular function. The scientific studies referenced in this article are for informational purposes only. To see a list of precautionary warnings and contraindications, click here.