Infrared Sauna Heater Types: Ceramic Heaters vs Carbon Fiber Heaters

Infrared Sauna Heater Types: Ceramic Heaters vs Carbon Fiber Heaters

As you browse various infrared sauna brands, you’ll notice that some companies use ceramic heaters and others use carbon fiber heaters, while several use a combination of both. During our earlier stages of development, we used ceramic heaters but eventually switched to carbon fiber technology in order to provide you with the best infrared sauna experience. Continue reading to understand the differences of the sauna heating elements.

Ceramic Heaters: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Ceramic heaters operate by heating a ceramic rod until it’s red-hot. The heat given off the ceramic rod is what warms the cabin air, creating a sauna environment. These heaters are great when it comes to pre-heating your sauna, since they output so much heat in a short span of time. However, a common/frequent concern is that they get too hot, forcing sauna users to cut their sessions short. And because of their high heat output, the heaters themselves reach dangerous temperatures, making them hot to the touch and a possible burn hazard.

Ceramic Rod Heaters Emit "Hot Spots"

Since their heat is concentrated into a thin ceramic rod, you’ll experience what’s known as “hot spots” due to the small surface area of heat emittance. As the name implies, hot spots are areas within your sauna cabin that are hotter than others, meaning you’re receiving an unbalanced distribution of heat. Most users find this to be an irritating occurrence since one area of their body will be extremely hot while another may be insufficiently warm.

Prone to Breakage

Ceramic heaters are also known to have a shorter lifespan and a reputation of being fragile. With frequent usage, ceramic material (under heat stress) is notorious for cracking or even shattering all together. Considering that most customers would like to use their saunas on a day-to-day basis, this can be the Achilles Heel of ceramic heaters.

Less Energy Efficient

When it comes to energy-efficiency, ceramic heaters are actually quite good at conserving energy when compared to other traditional heating methods. However, when stacked-up against carbon fiber heaters, there’s no competition: carbon fiber heater panels are significantly better at energy-efficiency than their ceramic counterparts. That means a smaller electric bill when using an infrared sauna that utilizes carbon fiber panels as their heating source.

For all the reasons mentioned, JNH Lifestyles has opted out of ceramic and now exclusively incorporates carbon fiber heaters.

Carbon Fiber Heaters: The Good, The Great and The Grand

Every single one of our collections uses uniquely engineered carbon fiber heater panels. What makes them “unique” you ask? Unlike other generic carbon fiber heaters, which contain hot spots due to their poor construction, our panels heat evenly throughout (see right image). This gives you a large, flat surface area that’s outputting infrared waves through your entire sauna cabin, providing evenly distributed heat.

Benefits of Carbon Fiber Heaters in Infrared Saunas

  • Efficient: Carbon fibers heaters have also been shown to be 40% more efficient at heating than ceramic options [1]. 
  • Sustainable: They are also much more durable and have a significantly lower risk of breaking. Carbon fiber panels are not constructed of fragile material like ceramic, enabling them to effectively endure high-heat environments, thus giving you a longer lifespan.
  • Safe: Carbon fiber panels emit a much gentler heat yet are equally as powerful as ceramic heaters. Contrary to ceramic heaters, carbon fiber panels will not burn the skin if they are accidentally touched. Because of this, you can sit closer to the panels without worry.

All JNH Lifestyles Infrared Saunas come with Carbon Fiber Heating Panels

Instead of focusing on putting out as much heat as possible, our heater panels emphasize on emitting what they're advertised as, infrared. This concentration on infrared is what enables JNH sauna users to enjoy prolonged sessions that would otherwise be unbearable with ceramic heaters.

Granted, ceramic heaters are an older technology than carbon fiber heaters. So naturally, the newer heating method outperforms the older one. With technological advancements, this is almost always the case, which is why we choose to equip our infrared sauna with the latest and greatest proven equipment. Our customers deserve nothing but the best, they deserve JNH Lifestyles. 


[1] “Infrared Versus Ceramic Heaters; The Bottom Line.”,HomeTechLAB,

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