Combination saunas use infrared heaters, the two most common materials used are ceramic and carbon. Choosing the best combination sauna can partially depend on which material you go for. Ceramics produce an extreme amount of infrared heat however they are thought to be less therapeutic because they produce shorter infrared rays, and these are not so easily absorbed into the body. Generally speaking, carbon heaters produce a longer infrared wave which has more beneficial significances for the human body. As carbon is much lighter than ceramic the heaters can also be much larger. There is however a downside with carbon and that is that they do not produce as much infrared rays. This means that they must be extremely large to create the same number of rays as a much smaller ceramic device.
You should also be aware of health consequences of saunas, it is wise to choose a product with low Electromagnetic Field (EMF) and Extremely low frequency (ELF). Medical research is finding that high levels of EMF can cause extremely serious illnesses such as cancers in children and adults. They have also linked them to memory loss, depression, lack in concentration, irritability and a lack of energy, such as chronic fatigue and a weakened immune system. ELF has been linked to sleep agitation and some cancers.
Another very important consideration is what wood to use for your sauna. For thousands of years the traditional saunas has been made from close grain cedar wood. This has been the most suitable material as it is very soft and malleable but does not easily crack or split, which happens to other woods as it expands and contracts as the sauna heats up and cools down again. It is definitely the most long-lasting material used for saunas.
Cedar wood also contains aromatic oils that are thought to have healing and cleansing properties which aid the detoxification process as you rest in the sauna. It is also thought to help your body get rid of fluids
With all of the moisture, warm bodies which sweat profusely, and immense amounts of heat in the sauna you need a wood which doesn’t grow bacteria or fungi, the unique properties of a cedar wood and its natural oils mean that it is naturally anti-bacterial and will not become infected by bacteria or fungus.
Cedar wood is very naturally beautiful and is even naturally available in many different shades from a beige honey colour to a rather deep walnut and is thus very aesthetically pleasing, and you also have a choice of which you prefer. Cedar wood even smells good, this natural warm smell adds to the whole sauna experience. If anything marks the walls of the sauna it is easy to mend, with a little sanding down it is as good as new, this also enhances the beautiful cedar smell. It would therefore appear that there is little or no reason to change to any other wood, just keep using the cedar, and there are now sustainable cedar forests all over the USA.