How do Carbon and Ceramic Heaters compare?

There are extreme differences between traditional ceramic heaters in older saunas and the carbon heaters used in infrared saunas. Here’s a little more insight into how they each affect your health, wallet, and overall results.

Healthier Heating Technique

Health risks associated with high heat are much lower in an infrared sauna that uses carbon heaters. The longer wavelengths and lower temperatures get the room up to temperature faster and more efficiently. On the contrary, old-style ceramic heaters will create hotspots inside the sauna, working harder and hotter to heat the space. Carbon distributes heat evenly on its long wavelengths. This process of warming penetrates the skin deeper than the forced heat in traditional ceramic. This results in higher detoxification and a cleaner sweat.

Healthiest Infrared Heating: Carbon vs Ceramic

One of the common misconceptions about modern infrared saunas (especially low-EMF saunas) is that they can cause health problems if you stay in them for too long. Many people attribute this to extended exposure to high temperatures. These days, “too long” is a very long time.

Carbon infrared sauna heaters reduce the risk of heat-associated health problems even further. Lower temperatures due to longer infrared wavelengths from carbon heating elements allow your body to safely tolerate longer sessions inside your infrared sauna. Traditional ceramic heaters, on the other hand, need to reach well over 150 degrees to heat the entire sauna – this is why it is not recommended to sit inside a ceramic-heated infrared sauna for very long.

Also, infrared heat from carbon heaters penetrates deeper into your skin than infrared heat from a ceramic heater, allowing for more effective therapy and better results. If you are shopping for an infrared sauna with your health as the primary concern, carbon heaters are the best choice.

Learn more about Good Health Saunas’ Hybrid Heat technology.

Energy Efficiency

Carbon heaters are newer than ceramic heaters and use more modern technology. Being the “new-and-improved” tech means carbon heaters have an advantage over ceramic heaters when it comes to energy efficiency.

Carbon heating generally uses less energy, because lower surface temperatures are required to achieve necessary results. Carbon heaters also provide better heat distribution and do not have to overcompensate for cold spots, therefore they do not need to run as hot as ceramic heaters. This means carbon heaters reach necessary temperatures a bit faster, allowing a person to sit up to 15 minutes earlier. Over time, this saved time from startup saves a lot of money. Then, on top of all those efficiency advantages, carbon heaters also tend to last longer than ceramic heaters, providing better efficiency over a longer period.

Reliability & Durability

A well-known drawback of ceramic heaters is their fragility. Over long periods of repeated use, ceramic material tends to crack and start to fall apart. Carbon heaters are exceptionally durable in comparison. Carbon sheet (what carbon heaters are made of) performs much better at high temperatures for extended periods.

The carbon heaters have an average usage life of around 50,000-100,000 hours depending on carbon fiber or pure carbon filters. Traditional ceramic has a shelf life of around 5,000 hours before it becomes brittle from high heat.

Ceramic Infrared Heater Pros

Are there any advantages to ceramic infrared heaters?

It’s pretty clear that carbon heaters are the better choice overall. But ceramic heaters offer their advantages over carbon heaters – which is why we use both in our infrared saunas. 

Ceramic Heater Pros:

  • Lower initial cost. Ceramic heaters have a much lower initial cost than carbon heaters (15-20% less), making saunas that use them more affordable.
  • More concentrated heat. Though even heat distribution is a major pro of carbon heaters, more concentrated heat distribution from ceramic heaters makes them the better choice for spot-treating areas of the body.

Using Carbon and High-End Ceramic Together

Many infrared saunas use carbon heaters alongside newer high-end ceramic heaters. These new specialty ceramic heaters coupled with the carbon heaters provide a relaxing environment while remaining safe and energy efficient. High-end ceramic heaters combined with carbon heaters are a technique used in infrared saunas to provide all the health benefits and muscle relaxation expected of the best infrared saunas.

Contact Good Health Saunas for more info, or schedule your free consultation.