The Best Infrared Sauna Blankets and Sauna Mats, According to Experts and Editors

100 percent worth the hype.

women using a sauna blanket
(Image credit: Courtesy of HigherDose)

In a dream world, I have a custom, outdoor infrared sauna with benches to boot plopped in my backyard. But, I live in a New York City apartment and that sounds just about as impractical as impractical can be. That all said, I can still reap the detoxifying, stress-reducing, sweat-inducing rewards day in and day out with one of the best infrared sauna blankets or mats. They are hundreds of thousands of dollars more affordable than a full fledged build out, can be rolled up and stored in small spaces, and work just as well—if not better. 

“Research-backed health benefits of saunas include increased cardiovascular function, relief from chronic pain, stress reduction, reduced water retention, post workout recovery, increased circulation, and reduced inflammation,” explains Lauren Dovey, Sauna Expert and Founder of Heat Healer. “With a sauna blanket you can experience the same benefits more hygienically, conveniently and in the comfort of your own home, at a fraction of the cost.” 

The benefits, in my opinion, justify the steep price tag—so long as you’re actually going to use your blanket regularly. Just make sure you’re purchasing one that’ll live up to hype, has the proper safety certifications (you want one tested by the FCC), and packs in power. To save you the internet scouring, I’ve done the hard work and firsthand testing for you. Here, you’ll find the best infrared sauna blankets and mats money can buy, along with all the info you need to know about the sweating process. 

Do Infrared Sauna Blankets Really Work?

I’m all about setting realistic expectations, so I won’t sit here and tell you that buying a sauna blanket is going to take the place of your gym routine or negate the need for cardio. But, a super-charged sweat session has undeniable mental and physical benefits, so one of these products will serve as a great addendum to a healthy lifestyle. Here’s how: “When you turn on the blanket, the heating elements emit far-infrared radiation, which is absorbed by your body and heats it from the inside out,” HigherDOSE co-founders Lauren Berlingeri and Katie Kaps tell Marie Claire. “This type of heat penetrates deeper into the body than traditional steam or dry saunas, reaching up to two inches below the skin's surface. This deep heat helps to increase blood flow and circulation, which can help improve overall health and wellness.” 

The heat is also going to trigger a process called thermoregulation. To sum it up all neat and tidy, the body gets overheated and attempts to regulate its core temperature by sweating—a lot. “This helps to remove toxins and impurities from the body and can also lead to weight loss, as the body burns calories to produce sweat and cool itself down.” As a result, you can have more restful sleep, a happier mood (endorphins!), and less anxiety. 

What to Look For

  • EMF Mitigation

“EMFs are artificial electrical frequencies and should be mitigated as much as possible, given you are immersing yourself in the sauna blanket,” says Dovey. Short term, concentrated exposure can be harmful to health, so it’s best to look for a blanket that has a low or zero EMF claim. 

  • Heat Distribution 

Different sauna blankets are going to have different heating elements (think: stones or crystals). While there’s not necessarily a “best” material per se, you do want to make sure that the blanket is equipped to evenly distribute the temperature across your entire body. Heat Healer for instance uses a layer of jade and tourmaline stones, which help radiate and absorb heat, while HigherDOSE uses charcoal and crystals to intensify your detox and push heat deeper. 

  • Certifications 

Any well-respected, highly rated sauna blanket *should* be using non toxic and high quality materials, but if you want to be extra sure everything is up to par, check the label for certain certifications. “You want to make sure your sauna blanket is test against FCC standards for radiated emissions, SGS Labs for toxins, and tested by an accredited lab against international safety standards,” says Dovey. 

  • Dimensions

This one isn’t a need, but a want. Depending on your height and your storage situation, you’re going to pay close attention to the size of your blanket. Some come equipped with travel bags, others are large enough to fit someone who is six foot six. 

The Best Sauna Blankets and Mats

How Often Should You Use a Sauna Blanket?

Recommendations will differ from device to device, but at the end of the day consistency is key if you want to see real results. "The frequency of using an infrared sauna blanket at home can depend on several factors, including your individual health needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences,” say Berlingeri and Kaps. “In general, it is recommended to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration and frequency as your body adjusts to the treatment.” Start off by using your blanket around one to two times a week and try and work up to three or four times a week. On some occasions, you may even be able to tolerate a daily sauna session. Most devices recommend 30 to 60 minute sessions. 

What Should I Wear in a Sauna Blanket?

This may not have been the first question that popped into your mind when you purchased your sauna blanket, but I promise you it’s one you’ll want to read up once you have your mat rolled out in front of you. “We recommend only natural fibre clothing and towels for inside the sauna blanket so your skin can breathe, and the fabric can absorb sweat,” advises Dovey. “As an alternative you can lay a towel over the stones and wear cotton pants, a long sleeve top, and socks to best absorb sweat.” In short: Wear clothes that you can toss right in the washing machine—they’re bound to be sweaty. 

How Do I Clean My Sauna Blanket?

Because you’re getting all sweaty inside the blanket, you’re going to want to clean it between each use. “It is a very simple process to clean your sauna blanket,” says Dovey. “Allow the blanket to fully cool down and wipe over with a damp cloth with some natural detergent or an antibacterial wipe.” Sometimes there will even be a towel or cotton insert inside that you can just toss in the wash.  

Meet the Experts

Lauren Dovey
Lauren Berlingeri

Lauren Berlingeri studied at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition where she became a certified holistic nutritionist and health coach. Lauren is a Canadian host, fitness expert and international model. She was the star of the popular web series “Woman Vs. Workout” which grossed over 15 million views. She has been featured in Women’s Health Magazine, Shape Magazine and Fitness Magazine.

Katie Kaps

Katie Kaps is a startup executive and entrepreneur.  She holds degrees in International Economics from Georgetown University and the London School of Economics, and took Tough Mudder from $10m sales to $150m sales, earning her employee of the year in 2013. She also has worked in investment banking, venture capital, and held CEO roles in startups prior to launching HigherDOSE.  

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.