Choosing Between Carbon vs Ceramic Infrared Sauna


When many people are debating about the pros and cons of infrared sauna, there are some people who are confused over the choice of the sauna type. Almost, all the saunas are the same in accordance with their benefits. The difference comes in the type of technologies they use for heating. By far, infrared saunas are the most modern and popular among all. They use ceramic and carbon heaters as a heating tool.

Both types of the heaters have same operating phenomena with almost the same benefits.

But what should we choose then?

Which one is better among carbon vs ceramic infrared sauna?

Let’s look at the differences of each that might help you to make a choice among carbon vs ceramic infrared sauna.

What is Ceramic Infrared Sauna?

Ceramic infrared sauna was widely used before the carbon heaters. They heat up the surroundings of the sauna first due to which it heats up the sauna at a higher temperature. These are made up of rods that contain a heating glass tube inside. These tubes emit far infrared rays to heat the sauna.

What are Carbon Heaters?

Carbon heaters are more advanced than a traditional ceramic infrared sauna and directly heats the body without heating the surroundings first. This allows it to operate at a relatively lower temperature. Carbon heaters are made of flat panels that contain the coating of carbon particles to create infrared heat.

Comparison between Carbon vs Ceramic Infrared Sauna?

Let’s look at some of the key factors of each of the heaters to decide which one is a better choice.

Energy Efficient

One of the most talked-about benefits of an infrared sauna is its energy-efficient nature. Both ceramic and carbon heaters are more energy-efficient than the traditional heating phenomena in Finnish saunas and steam rooms. However, carbon heaters are more energy-efficient than ceramic heaters as it directly heats the body through deep penetration that allows it to work at comparatively low temperatures.

On the other hand, ceramic heaters heat the surroundings first that makes it work at approx. 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a little less energy efficient.

Distribution of Heat

The heat distribution method of both heaters is entirely different. The ceramic infrared sauna has hollow rods with a heating tube that allows it to heat the part directly in front of it more than the surrounding. This is why it is recommended to be used to heal a certain part of the body.

However, Carbon heaters can heat evenly which allows them to detoxify more intensely due to the deep penetration of infrared waves into the body.

So, this heater is ideal for a particular spot treatment and carbon heaters are ideal to treat the full body.

Surface Area

It has a narrow filament with less surface area that is the reason for the uneven heat distribution. This makes a person restrict to a particular area to get maximum heat. However, carbon fiber heaters contain flat filaments with carbon particle coating that allows them to cover the maximum surface area.

Time to Warm Up

Here comes the critical point. The ceramic heaters take roughly 10 minutes to heat up. This is because ceramic can radiate infrared rays at a relatively higher rate than other materials.

However, carbon heaters usually take 20-30 minutes to heat but still, they are more efficient than ceramic heaters as their heat distribution is even and can penetrate deep into the body. However, ceramic heaters do not heat evenly due to which some cold spots are left in the room.


Carbon heaters are more durable as their heat can stay for a longer period of time. Also, it does not take long to preheat that can save a lot of money too. The average usage of carbon heaters is about 80,000 to 100,000 hours.

On the other hand, ceramic heaters are fragile and brittle and have an average usage of about 5,000 hours.


As carbon heaters have more advanced technology so they are a bit pricy. But considering their functionality, durability, and energy efficiency, this money is worth spending.

In contrast, ceramic heaters are much cheaper and budget-friendly. But this could not be a more intelligent choice as you have to replace it after a short period.

Which is Healthier Among Ceramic Infrared Sauna and Carbon Heaters?

An infrared sauna with a carbon heater can be a great choice if you want to avail some health benefits from it. It heats the room quickly and penetrates deep into the body which is great for cardiovascular activity, stiff muscles, joint pain, and stress alleviation.

In contrast, ceramic heaters can only heat a certain area which could leave cold spots in the room and body as well. So, it does not have health benefits.

So, what should you choose?

The choice among carbon and ceramic heaters is entirely an individual’s preference. But it should be decided carefully as it is a huge investment. Both can’t be compared as they have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you want to go with advanced and energy-efficient technology then you should choose carbon heaters. Ceramic heaters can be a great choice for people having a tight budget.

Why not use them together?

Yes! You heard that right. You can use both carbon and ceramic infrared sauna together to avail the benefits of both. This technique has been used in infrared saunas to increase the health benefits with maximum energy efficiency. Using them together provides a great relaxing environment that makes infrared saunas the best of all.

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