Buyer Beware


Cheap, Imported Saunas May Not Give You What You Need

Most people are unaware that 95% of all infrared saunas for sale in the U.S. are made in one of a small number of Asian factories and imported to the U.S. Websites selling these imported saunas do not identify specifically where the saunas are built. The sales companies may be domestic, but the saunas themselves are not. If you are unsure, just simply ask, “are your saunas built in the U.S., Canada or Asia?”

Once I asked a FIR sales person where his saunas were built. He promptly replied that the wood is quality CANADIAN cedar and that they had the highest quality manufacturing facility. The salesperson danced around the issue. So I had to ask him bluntly,” are your units made in China?” He said yes. His company ships wood from Canada to China. Then ships the saunas back to the U.S.! Yet they market themselves as “Green.”

For the sauna buyer, the imported saunas offer one major advantage: price. They are consistently cheaper to buy, initially. Unfortunately, they may cost you much more in the long run.

If you are attracted to the price of these units, I offer this simple advice: Caveat Emptor or Buyer Beware. Here’s why:

Some Chinese companies have a poor track record. Most Chinese goods are high quality. But, when the companies aim for rock bottom prices, they cut corners in a big way. I strongly suggest you don’t trust your health to the lowest price.

When it comes to infrared saunas, cheap products may have the following consequences:

1. They may be built with toxic materials that give off gas chemicals when heated.
2. They may contain the poorest quality heaters that produce very low total amounts of far infrared, even though the far infrared they do produce is in the target range.
3. They may emit very high EMF radiation (most do, in fact).
4. The company has little, if any, accountability for problems.
5. Saunas often have heaters at head level. In general, it is not recommended to directly heat your head in an infrared sauna.

If you are unconvinced, here is a sampling of some recent problems that occurred in “inexpensive” Chinese products:

Melamine laden pet food that killed cats and dogs
Melamine laden infant formula that poisoned babies
Toothpaste containing diethylene glycol (anti-freeze)
Ceramic space heaters that catch fire (1.2 million units recalled, June 2007)
Lead paint in children’s toys
Cadmium in girls jewelry (causes cancer)
Tires that lacked a common gum strip to prevent blowouts
Drywall contaminated with chemicals linked to respiratory system irritation, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, irritated eyes, coronary heart disease, coma, convulsions, and liver damage.
Far Infrared Sauna heaters recalled for catching fire (2006)
Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.
Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.
Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.
Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

In the case of the recalled far infrared sauna heaters the problem was a gauge of wire that was too small. The wires overheated and caught on fire. All to save a few pennies.

Infrared saunas are a health tool and are used by many people with serious health conditions. In my opinion, it is unwise to place your health in the hands of a manufacturer determined to make the cheapest product possible.

In the end, the choice is yours, but I strongly advise against buying the cheapest far infrared saunas on the market. If price is an issue, check out our eco-sauna. It’s may not be fancy, but it works incredibly well, is made of non-toxic materials, has no EMF and is very safe to use. We make them start to finish, here in Maine and can guarantee that they are non-toxic, well made and highly effective.

Our customers frequently let us know they appreciate how incredibly healing the saunas are, their quality construction and our personal service. As you read through their emails, you will truly see that there is a significant qualitative difference in them compared to ones on more generic sauna sites. That is a result of our workmanship and commitment to effective products.