A bit of background first - I won't discuss the health benefits or why you'd use one since I'm not a pro and some claims are not proven. I will say that saunas have been used for centuries, but infra-red saunas use a different heat - the kind used in neo-natal units. You cannot add any water - its a dry sauna so it doesn't need a drain and home plumbing. It does not get nearly as hot as a Nordic-style sauna, but it does get you to sweat significantly. I decided to get this because you can pay $10-30 per session at a health club and I felt I would really use it. I really do use it a about 2x a week - 3 seasons a year.
The Heilsa is the model which is sold at Canadian Tire. Before I bought this, I spoke to Finnish friends to find out about the traditional sauna, the benefits, the cleaning etc. I also spoke to a friend's parents who have been using infra-red saunas for years and have built their own. They actually recommended this one to me when I was skeptical about the incredibly low price point. It's about as cheap as you are going to get in the market. You can buy some high end ones with tons of gadgets and even get one built in to your home. I wasn't ready for that level of commitment and wanted to know if I would really use it.
I love this for the fact that it comes in a box and its pretty easy to assemble. Its a large and heavy box, so we had to arrange our own delivery. That part was not a good experience - so plan this out. Its great that it can be moved from one home to another, or one room to another. It doesn't have a large footprint. Super easy to use and live with.
This sauna uses hemlock (Canadian, I believe) instead of cedar... and its cheaper but a natural and good wood. It is made in China, and their version of 2-person is clearly not ours. I am not a big person and neither is my significant other, and we can't use this together. Its really fits one person comfortably, or two people very uncomfortably. It has an MP3 hookup and speakers which I have never used. There is an inside light, but I don't find it very bright. The unit plugs into a regular wall outlet (extra bonus since no electrician or special wiring is needed for the hook-up) and does not cost a lot to run.
The maximum temperature this unit reaches is 60C which is quite enough to get a good sweat. I spend about 30 minutes inside... and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the 50C's. I'd suggest a towel to sit on and a towel to wipe your damp face/arms etc. I'd also recommend putting it close to a bathroom since you go straight from the sauna to the shower. I find regular saunas uncomfortable, but this feels really good.
I love love love this... and it was worth every penny!
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.