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Sunlighten Sauna Review – Weak Warranty with a High Price

Could Choosing a Sunlighten Sauna  Be a Costly Mistake?

Purchasing a Sunlighten sauna seems as if it would be a straightforward decision. Simply look at the specifications and beautiful images and make an informed decision.  And as much as this first appeared to be a simple review to make, unfortunately we cannot recommend Sunlighten saunas.

When we began the process of creating this Information site on infrared saunas, we fully anticipated being able to give Sunlighten a positive review.  After all, health bloggers and even some others endorsed this company and I had read a few Sunlighten Sauna reviews that seemed to be positive.  However, as its history and facts surrounding these saunas are examined, it is clear there are  better options with much more security and benefits for the consumer.

While these products look great in pictures, it is the warranty, product design, customer support, infrared heater quality and possible safety that are lacking. This review will examine each of these in turn with supporting facts, giving you the information you need to make an informed decision.


Thin Warranty for a High Priced Sauna

Reading several Sunlighten sauna Reviews, I found almost no mention of the warranty.  Although the warranty may normally be the final thing to examine, this is discussed first as it clearly demonstrates a potential flaw with this brand.

The warranty states a limited lifetime warranty, which seems to imply major parts of the Sunlighten sauna will be covered for life.  However, in the fine print it states that the defined lifetime of heaters and important parts of the sauna is deemed to be a maximum of 7 years life.  So the longest any part of the sauna will be covered is 7 years as that is stated to be the expected lifetime of this sauna.  I wish it were simply stated as a partial 7 year warranty,

This 7 years covers replacement parts only.  Any cost for a technician or labor is not covered.

Shipping costs, even on covered parts, is only for 90 days.  If the unit has a defective part, the owner pays all shipping costs.

Sounds systems and chromotherapy are covered for only 1 year.

The warranty can be found here

Contrast this with the warranty offered by HealthMate Saunas, in business for 30 years, which covers most of the sauna, including the critical heaters and electrical components for a true lifetime.  Or that of the Clearlight sauna warranty, in business for over 15 years, which has an “everything but the bulbs” warranty.  They cover wood, heaters, electrical, control panels, CD player, radio – everything – for life.  In fact in most all cases, labor is even covered should the customer need that for installation.

Those are the types of warranties a consumer really wants.


Sunlighten Saunas previously called Sunlight Sauna

In 2009, Sunlight Saunas, after 10 years in business, changed its name to Sunlighten Saunas.  On both websites and also facebook page it is stated that it is the same ownership and same business.  It is not uncommon for companies to change names.  However, Sunlight formerly had a real lifetime warranty which has now been watered down.

Additionally, a Signature sauna sold as Sunlight with a lifetime warranty is now not covered by the strong warranty it was purchased under.  The company claims a 15 year history, yet dropped all former warranties and exchanged them for a much shorter, restricted one.  Many think either a short 5 year history should be claimed, or if claiming 15 years, then standing by the warranty it had on the saunas it sold as Sunlight.  Product lines and names were continued under its current company name.


Ordinary, Standard Heaters

The Signature series, which was available even while operating under the name of Sunlight Sauna, uses an acceptable heater. It is the SoloCarbon, a standard heater used in the industry.  Sunlighten has actually done a very good job at reducing the EMF levels of these to what can be considered a “low emf sauna.” There is no unsafe emf level or toxin exposure in this product line.

However, the heaters still remain in the weaker category (as carbon panels are inherently weaker than ceramic) and are lined all the way up the back and sides of the sauna cabin walls to generate the heat needed to warm the sauna.  Unfortunately a portion of the heat never directly penetrates the user so the  infrared received is less than it could be.

Other top recommended saunas have much more powerful heaters and have a comparable or lower cost.

The newer Sunlighten mpulse product line adds the full spectrum infrared feature.  I was at first impressed with these and how they looked.  However, a few things are less than they appear.  The heater directly under the bench behind the lower legs is missing, reducing the infrared reaching the body.

Most importantly the Near infrared added consists of 4 small halogen bulb groups, each a mere 10 watts.  According to a few chiropractors, to be effective, these near infrared bulbs would need to be placed immediately next to the body.  So if a user is not sitting directly  in front of one of these 4 bulb clusters, the stated near infrared benefit is not gained.

Contrast this with the new Sanctuary Sauna line of Clearlight, which has two massive, powerful full spectrum heaters added in addition to its far infrared heaters.  Each of these powerful near and far infrared heaters are 400 watts.  With Clearlight – that is a total of 800 watts in contrast to the Sunlighten mpulse having only 40 watts total.

For those wanting some near infrared in addition to the far infrared, 800 watts with a full true lifetime warranty seems to be a better choice over 40 watts with a limited warranty.


Different Levels of Safety for mpulse and Signature Products

When the Sunlighten mpulse line was introduced, the measured emf levels ranged from between 15-50 milligaus (mG) which is much higher than the accepted safe level of 3.0 mG.  The company  now claims those levels have been reduced to around 10.0 mG in parts of the cabin, 12 inches from the heaters.  mG readings for any sauna vary depending on where the reading is taken, with the levels being highest nearest the center of the heater. It is unclear what the readings are directly near these heaters.

One of the two recommended brands has readings of well below 3.0, often 0.2 directly by the heater, as verified by an independent testing lab.

A previous product offering, the Sunlighten Sunburst heater box, now discontinued, had a design which made inefficient use of infrared.  It was a stand-alone product which packed numerous carbon panels inside a box that was nearly completely covered with downward sloping wooden side slats, effectively blocking almost all of the infrared.  This also led to a situation of overheating and some very negative costumer experiences.

After a couple episodes of “unsafe experiences,” a major health institute in the US replaced all Sunlighten saunas they had for their patients with one of the top rated brands (which we also recommend).


Customer Support

In addition to warranties no longer being fully honored, many complaints have appeared alleging shipping delays of months, many months with non-functioning units, shipping costs totally several hundred dollars to return defective units.

Remembering that these are highly marketed saunas which carry a high price tag, all of this is disappointing.


Additional Considerations

It is stated that 56 clinical studies support their Signature and mpulse saunas.  But the studies cited appear to be studies of generic infrared and the standard solo carbon heaters.  Moreover it is stated that the mpulse sauna was shown to reduce blood pressure in a study conducted at the University of Missouri.  However, the mpulse was not produced until beginning in 2010 while that study cited was conducted in 2005.


Sunlighten Saunas – Not Recommended

As a result, Sunlighten saunas are not recommended.  When a review can be based on 10 consistent years of the same company producing the same saunas with an exceptional safety record and customer support, perhaps this brand can be recommended in the future.  We hope that can be the case in the future.

Instead, recommended are Clearlight saunas, which utilize carbon panels infused with ceramic for incredible detoxifying, penetrating infrared.  Also recommended are HealthMate saunas, based more on ceramic heater rods covered with incoloy providing a powerful, even heat.

These are both remarkable infrared saunas which carry strong warranties supported by many years of consistent products, powerful effective heaters and many satisfied customers.

Please see our top rated Saunas.

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An In Home Sauna is a Hot Investment in Health

Considering An In Home Sauna?

Our Infrared Sauna Review Page will guide you on better understanding what to look for and how to choose Your Infrared Sauna.  Some, however, may enjoy a little history of how the modern home sauna has evolved and benefit from a brief discussion of the various types of at home saunas.

The first indoor sauna was a simple chamber carved out of a hillside. Its purpose was equally simple – to keep the occupants warm and alive throughout a long northern winter night. After the chamber was completed, a fire was started in the center and rocks were added to the fire. Once the fire burned out, the occupants entered the chamber, sealed the door and the rocks radiated warmth all night. The people inside were healthier and happier for that warmth.

While the specifics of a modern sauna have changed greatly, the basic principle is still the same. A sauna provides a source of radiant heat that promotes good health and well-being. The good news is that the source of this health and well-being is now within the reach of any homeowner desiring to feel better, mentally and physically.

The concept of an at home sauna has come of age. It has grown from a Scandinavian and Finnish cultural curiosity to a luxury that can be enjoyed by anyone at any time – with optional types available.


Three Main Types at Home Saunas

There are three main types of modern in home saunas – steam, dry heat and infrared. When choosing the best one for your home, it’s important to understand the differences between each of these types. Therefore, let’s take a look at each different type in turn.


Indoor Steam Sauna

The first main modern type is the traditional steam sauna.  While these have historically been outdoor stand-alone cabin type structures, in recent decades they have become used more as a type of indoor sauna. These are, essentially, what the name implies – they utilize hot steam to reach and maintain the higher temperatures a sauna traditionally requires.  Although this is an established sauna type, and perhaps the first type most people think of when the word “sauna” is mentioned, they are not without drawbacks.

First, they are comparatively large and have a fairly significant “footprint”.  Second, they are almost always permanent, requires up to two days to install.  Once installed, they cannot be easily moved. Third, they take a fairly long time to heat, which reduces their convenience to use.

Finally, when fully heated, they are hot, with temperatures near or at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is not an optimal temperature, since it reduces the time that can be spent in the sauna and can often make breathing uncomfortable. This, in turn, reduces the health benefits of taking a sauna.

 Dry Heat Sauna

The next type is the dry heat sauna.  Most units that utilize dry heat share many of the same problems. They are large, permanent, take a long time to heat and reach high temperatures that tend to limit the length of time in the sauna. They are often simply steam units with the steam heater being replaced with an electric heater. In addition,  when using a standard electric heater, they offer little if any infrared, deep tissue healing and detoxification than the next modern type, the infrared.


The Modern In Home Infrared Sauna

An in home infrared sauna, as the name suggests, uses the far infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum to heat and soothe the sauna’s occupants. An infrared sauna offers significant health benefits when compared to other sauna types, as far infrared red energy has the ability to actually penetrate the first two or three inches of a user’s body. This produces a deep tissue heating that is uniquely relaxing. Deep tissue heating also allows for a greater degree of detoxification.

For example, the average user in a steam sauna produces sweat that is about 3% toxins. The average user in an infrared sauna, on the other hand, has sweat that is 20% toxins. This is a significant difference.

Additionally, infrared saunas have a smaller footprint and take up a lot less space than the other types of saunas. They are also very portable and can be moved easily. They heat up quickly and easily. As a result they are much more convenient to use.


What is the Best Type of Sauna for Your Home?

While steam is the type most people have been familiar with, the past 3 decades saunas have moved more and more each year to infrared.  As more learn about the ability to have an indoor sauna  in their own home to use at any time, Infrared has become the in home sauna of choice.

Infrared offers significantly more detoxification than the other types, which is perhaps the main feature most new buyers are looking for in a sauna.  Combined with the lower heat, it is no wonder infrared units are selling at an ever increasing rate.

All in all the clear benefits of an infrared sauna normally trump every other type of modern in home sauna on the market.  Because of this they make an excellent choice for anyone desiring to take advantage of the health benefits a sauna brings.

Our Infrared Sauna Review page discusses in more detail the features of this type and how to choose among the various brands and heaters used.  From that page, you can easily navigate to individual sauna reviews as well as the top rated brands.

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Health Mate Saunas – Strongest Ceramic Sauna Heater?

Why Choose a Health Mate Sauna?

Is your health your most treasured possession?  If you are like most people, you immediately answered yes.  And knowing quality infrared detox therapy is one of the best methods towards great health and a pathway to deep healing as well, you would do well to consider a HealthMate Infrared Sauna.

The strengths of this top-rated brand include:

  1. The Company’s Extensive 30-year History
  2. Patented Heater
  3. Strong Warranty
  4. Low EMF levels
  5. Non-toxic wood

When you choose a HealthMate sauna for your infrared therapy, you are choosing over thirty years of experience in research and production. Health Mate is in the business of producing the best you can buy.  This is not a sideline to the company. Producing the very best saunas is all they do. This dedication and focus is reflected in the rock solid A+ rating it has received from the Better Business Bureau.

Building upon these 30 years of history, these are affordable, as well as convenient to set up and use and utilize true far infrared radiant heat to provide the very best health benefits currently available.

What Kind of Warranty?

The company has five production facilities, located on three continents, which do nothing but produce the components and materials used in every HealthMate sauna.  Every aspect of sauna production is handled exclusively by these facilities.  Unlike most competitors, a Health Mate sauna has been designed and assembled, from start to finish, in a company owned factory by its own employees. This provides you, the consumer, with an unparalleled level of quality assurance.

Its mission is to strive for one hundred percent customer satisfaction.  From top notch craftsmanship, to original and fresh design, to superior customer service, everything it does is aimed towards providing their customers with the best sauna experience humanly possible.

As a result of this, they provide a lifetime warranty on the heater and electrical components in both their Full Size and Health Partner lower-body saunas.  I do wish that the lifetime part of their warranty covered the entire sauna as does the warranty on competing Clearlight Saunas. However, this warranty does cover the expensive and most critical aspects of the product- the heater and electrical components – for your lifetime (and all other components for limited numbers of years).

This is a warranty that is exceptional in the industry and is hard to beat.


What About Their Heaters?

The company claims their  heaters avoid many of the weaknesses of the standard ceramic heater rods used by other companies.

Standard ceramic heaters are known for higher heat and a quick warm up time.  However they are also known for uneven heat and cool spots on the ceramic rods.  Additionally most ceramic rods are fragile with the normal effective life of these being around 5 years, industry wide.  This fragile nature is often a result of the weaker sand filled pipes typically used in the heaters of most cheaper units.

Instead, HealthMate takes a somewhat standard ceramic heater and encases it in encoloy and adds an alloy and carbon based center to the heater rod.  This process eliminates those cool spots in both the heater rods and the cabin space, providing the user with an extremely even heat normally absent from this type of heater.  Only a HealthMate Sauna can bring you this important feature.

This is likely why there is a lifetime warranty on the heaters – which is rare in the industry, but is something to strongly consider when making your purchase decision.

So is there any evidence to back up the company’s claim of such a unique and powerful heater?

Health Mate Tecoloy® heaters are certified by Underwriters Laboratories.  This means that they have been independently proven to be more effective and efficient than any other ceramic-based sauna heater on the market. This is because the patented Tecoloy® heaters provide their heat in the far infrared spectrum.  Far infrared radiant heat is the only form of radiant heat capable of penetrating the human body to a depth of two to three inches. This penetrating heat is what provides the deep muscle relaxation and detoxifying effects which make a sauna beneficial to your health.


Low EMF Levels

While not the lowest in the industry, the EMF levels a few inches away from the heaters, where users sit, are at acceptable levels and far below the dangerous levels of most cheaper and a few expensive brands.  Keep in mind that, high price cannot always be a good indicator of a safe sauna, although a cheap price is almost certainly indicative of unsafe EMF levels. A safe EMF level is typically declared to be below 3.0 milligauss (mG).

If you are concerned about deep healing and your overall health, it is very wise to avoid cheap saunas.  They may look similar to the better ones, but by providing you with little infrared therapy while at the same time exposing you to high levels of EMF, a cheap unit is not a value or a bargain.


Non-Toxic Wood and Quality Construction?

Another plus is that every Health Mate sauna is constructed with only the finest, handpicked, materials, including the highest quality wood of Western Red Cedar and Hemlock.  This wood is sourced directly from Canadian forests and transported to the company’s three hundred thousand square foot lumber mill for processing.  Only the center cut of each long is used to produce the wood in your Health Mate sauna.

In addition, each piece of this wood is individually inspected and hand selected for quality. You will never find defective pieces or knots in your Health Mate sauna.  The wood is air dried for weeks and then kiln dried to prevent cracking and splitting when it is later exposed to all of the heat cycles you will put it through over the many years of its service.


A Top Recommendation?

As you are in the market for a sauna, a Health Mate Infrared Sauna is one of your finest choices. It is among our very top recommended brands and should be one of your top considerations. Utilizing a patented effective and safe heater in a cabin of quality selected wood, based on decades of manufacturing experience and carrying a very strong warranty, it is no wonder why it has a history of so many satisfied customers.

You consider your health to be your most important asset.  Health Mate helps you keep this asset safe, returning benefits, for years to come.


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7 Easy Tips for the Best Infrared Sauna Detox

Infrared Sauna Detox – How to Get the Most Benefit

One of the primary reasons for using a sauna and possibly the most beneficial is that of detoxification.  An infrared sauna Detox can result in elimination of heavy metals, chemicals and many other toxins which are detrimental to your health.  While any sauna time can result in some amount of benefits, following some guidelines can safely increase the benefits significantly.

Infrared saunas typically result in a much better detox than traditional steam saunas.  This is primarily due to the way they heat the body and the air, and also your skin temperature.  We want to use this to our advantage. Our Reviews page highlights the brands that provide the best proven detoxification benefits.


Lower Sauna Temperature = A Better Detox

Sweat fulfills two primary functions.  It cools the body and it removes waste products out of the body, accomplishing this through two main types of sweat glands.

The Apocrine glands, which are located in areas such as the armpits and scalp,  secrete sweat which contains higher levels of fats and organic compounds.  The second group called Eccrine glands are scattered all over the body and handle most of the sweating process, numbering more than 2 million.

These Eccrine glands, over the course of a normal day pump out nearly a quart of sweat.  However, in a high temperature steam sauna (180 degrees+), they produce this amount in only 15 minutes.  Using an infrared sauna at 130-140 degrees results in the same heavy amount of sweating. While this cleans the pores and skin, it is also excretes higher amounts of electrolytes.  Using a sauna at these temperatures requires replacing the lost fluids and electrolytes.

However, using an infrared sauna at the lower temperatures of 110-125 degrees results in a sticker, more fat-laden sweat and less electrolyte loss.  In fact at lower temperatures, the sweat from an infrared sauna session is comprised of up to 20% toxins compared to only 3% toxins in the sweat produced in a high temperature steam unit.  This is a main reason the infrared  is the better choice for detox purposes.

Some users report beginning the session at a lower temperature of 110-125 degrees for the first 20 minutes and then raising the temperature to around 135 to produce a more profuse sweat for the final 10 minutes.


Dry Brush for Increased Lymphatic Cleansing

One of the important roles your skin plays is that of supporting detoxification.  However, if the skin is saturated with dead skin cells and toxins, its ability to eliminate these wastes is reduced.

As you will be using yours for detox purposes, preparing the skin to be effective in its detox role by dry brushing can often increase the results you experience.  In fact, dry brushing not only helps by removing dead skin cells, but also aids  in waste removal through the lymph nodes.

Few activities can really activate the lymphatic system in its removal of cellular waste.  When the lymphatic system is not functioning properly, the cellular wastes build up in the hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubes.  This lymphatic congestion causes inflammation and even sickness.  As dry brushing stimulates the lymph nodes, it is a powerful detoxification protocol on its own.  But adding it prior to a session compounds these detoxification effects.

Brushing the skin also increases circulation, another benefits that makes it a great pre-sauna activity. Simply purchase a dry brush made with natural bristles and make long sweeping strokes on the skin towards the heart.  Start at the feet and move upward, always brushing towards the heart.


Pre-Session Protocol for Optimal Benefits

A proper protocol for using a sauna for detox starts with something that is obvious. Hydrate.  Drink a glass of water before beginning the session.  The higher the temperature will be, the more water should be consumed before, during and after.

Showering Before and After using a Sauna

Although not necessary, some users find showering prior to using their sauna results in a faster and heavier sweat and a more invigorating experience. It can also stimulate your body’s circulation even before entering the sauna.


Benefits of Sauna After Workout

Exercise raises the body’s temperature and increasing the oxygenation of the cells.  While this is true some people do not sweat as easily as others during exercise and others do not release the toxins as easily.  Ironically both of these often occur as a result of a toxin overload clogging up the detox process.

The benefits after a workout include the release of these toxins and a faster result as the body is already at a higher core temperature and primed for release of the toxins.  Less time is needed after a workout and it is important to monitor the time and your body’s reaction.


 Fiber for Mobilized Toxin Removal

Once the toxins are released and mobilized in the body, those that are not secreted in the sweat are released into the digestive system.  Without proper fiber in the intestines, a portion of these toxins will be reabsorbed back into the body, being again deposited into fat cells.  While eating a heavy meal prior to entering the sauna is not recommended, having fiber in the form of a smoothie, green powder, fruits or vegetables more than an hour before or after your time in the sauna use can be beneficial in aiding the removal of these toxins.


Which is the Best Detox Sauna?

When choosing for detox purposes, true infrared heaters and powerful, penetrating infrared are necessary.  Clearlight appears to be the preferred choice of many informed users and Doctors including those at The Whitaker Wellness Institute and the Hippocrates Health Institute.

The Clearlight’s heating panels, with their combination of carbon and ceramic fibers, has faster, deeper penetrating infrared than many brands.  As well, their True-Wave heater panels were designed to be as close to the optimal 9.4 microns frequencies as possible.  This results in the best cellular vibration, called resonance frequency, causing the cells to “shake off” more toxins than when using standard carbon panels.

A cheap brand with weak carbon panels may heat the body, but is a poor choice for detox.  Without producing the proper resonance frequency, it will not result in significant detoxification.

If you are serious about true cellular detoxification and greatly improving the deep health of your body, invest in a product that is built for this purpose.  Our reviews page shares information on our top recommended brands that include Clearlight, Health Mate and Therasauna.  These brands manufacture products that will provide deep detoxification and will last for decades.


Most people are laden with toxins – even those that regularly consume organic foods and actively avoid all types of chemicals and drugs.  Beginning an Infrared Detox Program may result in tremendous health benefits noticeable not only by you, but by others as well.   An infrared sauna can be one of the best health decisions you can make.