Is EMF Dangerous in Saunas – How Important?

Electromagnetic Fields, called EMF, are now the most asked question when the topic of infrared saunas is discussed. We encourage you to read carefully and not be misled by poorly done test results that don’t include readings of the dangerous levels from the wiring connectors.  That is the most misleading thing related to third party testing.

In the past several decades, these levels from human-made sources have increased as new technologies and new uses of electricity have increased.  Research into the dangers of increased exposure has also increased in recent years.

According to many experts including The World Health Organization (WHO) it is becoming more important every year.

We can see that it is definitely important.  But is it important when selecting a lowest emf infrared sauna and what are your potential risks if you select one with high levels? Let’s first examine that question and conclude with whether or not the infrared sauna industry has been unfairly targeted as many other devices have much higher levels.

Is EMF Harmful to You?

It has been suggested that nearly a third of the population has sensitivity to emf levels and approximately 3% can have severe reactions to exposure.  Studies have shown that people using a cell phone before the age of 20 have a five times greater risk of brain cancer.

Jacuzzi Clearlight Sanctuary 2 Infrared Sauna Low EMF

Is Everyone Susceptible to EMF?

The good news is that not everyone is susceptible to higher levels of Electromagnetic fields. Over 25% of the population does has sensitivity to EMFs and a portion can experience severe reactions. If you are known to have sensitivities to electronic devices or several sensitivities, it is advisable to reduce exposure and select a sauna that has ultra low EMF levels.

Heavenly Heat and Clearlight are two brands that are confirmed by accurate testing to have ultra low levels. They are very transparent about how they reduce the levels and do not depend on unreliable third party testing in a lab.  As a consumer you also should not trust those results.  We discuss many times why we give no credence to those third party tests performed in a lab.

Innovations for Reducing Sauna EMF

Advances in Low EMF Sauna Technologies

In 2024 some new carbon heaters have become available that even further reduce levels.  However they are expensive and need to be installed correctly.  Even these ultra low carbon panels when installed incorrectly, we have seen to emit levels above 5.0mG but far below 0.2 when installed correctly.

EMF Shielding Materials and Techniques

Clearlight pioneered methods 15 years ago that dramatically cut readings.  There are many shielding options now available for brands to use in their products.  Clearlight even twists its wiring in a manner that eliminates much of the wavelengths similar to how noise-reducing headphones cut sound by emitting an opposing sound wave.

Are EMF Saunas Dangerous?

Yes, they can be.  So what is a safe EMF level for a sauna?

While there is no standard for EMF safety levels in saunas, the readings should absolutely be below 3.0. Levels below 0.5 are much preferred.  Below 0.2 is available from a couple brands.

How can I reduce EMF exposure in a sauna?

Heavenly Heat Combo Sauna 2024

Your best way to reduce exposure is to select an infrared sauna proven to have ultra low EMF levels. Once you have a sauna with high levels, there is no effective way to reduce it while you are using it.

Do all infrared saunas have high EMF levels?

Not all have high levels.  Companies that see this as important and aggressively shield and counteract it are recommended.  Please see our reviews of Heavenly Heat and Clearlight and our page discussing the best brands with low readings.

Are there proven dangers of EMF?

The dangers of electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been a topic of debate among scientists.  Studies consistently provide mixed results without a clear consensus.  However, some are clear that there is a significant risk. The fact that organizations such as the WHO and CDC continue to conduct research continues especially regarding potential neurological effects, it is advisable to reduce exposure when you have a choice.

It is widely known by almost everyone that the high-frequency EMFs like X-rays have potential to damage DNA and lead to cancer.

However, the low to mid-frequency EMFs that are emitted from everyday devices like appliances are currently not proven by organizations like the WHO and CDC to cause significant health problems.

Some precautionary measures you can take are reducing exposure when you can including not sleeping near electrical devices.

Can EMF in saunas cause health issues?

Are electromagnetic fields dangerous?  They can be. During 1989 and 1990, research gained more exposure when Paul Brodeur wrote a group of articles in the New Yorker Magazine which raised awareness to many scientists.  Even stronger articles were written in Time magazine,  the Wall Street Journal and  Business Week.  Soon after specials on the topic aired with Ted Koppel at ABC and on CBS’s Dan Rather reports.

Is emf harmful? The health effects reported to be linked to high levels vary but include memory loss, headaches, a weaker immune system, depression and energy loss.

Later in 2002 the California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program published its risk and analysis report.  This program was based on education, assistance and research in regards to the potential health risks and dangers of Electric and Magnetic Fields.  It focused not only on large power lines, but also small electrical products.  The conclusion was that exposure does increase the risk of infant health issues and brain cancer.

We can see that it is a big area of concern.  However, we think it does not need to be an area of anxiety.

What is the safe level of EMF?

The accepted safe level are levels below 3.0mG. You are often exposed to these levels even at home surrounded by electronics. However, when infrared sauna options area available that are ultra low at 0.2 – 0.0, it makes sense to select those options.

Is EMF bad for the body? Medical devices including X-ray imaging machines do subject the human body to low levels of this type of radiation.  Whereas tanning beds and also the sun produce UV rays.

Is EMF a concern for saunas?

If a sauna has not been wired and shield correctly then there is reason to have concern about the EMF levels.   Magnetic fields are present when an appliance is using an electrical current and you are sitting next to a lot of wires and heater panels.  However, fortunately at least two brands have aggressively mitigated these risks. to you.

What are the common sources of EMF in saunas?

Sauna EMF dangers include the following potential areas:

Heating Elements

Infrared Heaters, Electric Heaters, carbon and ceramic can all produce dangerous amounts if care is not taken by the companies to prevent this.

Electrical Wiring and Connectors

Shielding EMF in Infrared Sauna with conduit wiring

The internal wiring and connectors are massive sources.  Even if a carbon panel is tested in isolation in a lab with low readings, you may still receive large amounts of electric fields.  We have taken readings that have spiked when the tester is moved near the wire connectors.  Even the external power supply  can be a culprit.

Other Potential Sources

Digital Control Panels, lighting, entertainment systems, audio systems,  video systems, WiFi and bluetooth devices can all add to your exposure if they are overdone. There is at least one excellent brand that we even rate very well that unfortunately has higher levels than we like due to all the technology they add in one of their product lines.

Have Infrared Saunas been Unfairly Targeted Regarding EMF?

We think they have to some degree.  Using a high quality infrared sauna typically will have less exposure than using a lot of other devices.  The important thing to remember is that levels below 2.0 mG should be your target.  However, we still think Ultra low is the absolute best recommendation for most people.  Perhaps the best reason is that if they have accomplished that, then other hidden quality standards are also followed resulting in your safety.

However, when you have the choice, choose devices including infrared with much lower levels.

]Remember that some cheap infrared saunas you can find at large chain stores often have levels of 30 mG – 170 mG.  We strongly advise against any of those cheap mass produced names.

We applaud companies like Heavenly Heat that has had low readings on their heaters for years and companies like Vital Health and others that continue to upgrade their heaters.  Clearlight and other names helped pioneer low EMF.  Sunlighten has reduced level below 3.0 in their Signature line.

But while we really like seeing Clearlight’s levels being tested at 0.05 mG, the difference between even 2.0 mG and 1.0 mG may not be nearly as important as a few other factors.  What is more important is having heaters that have high emissivity so that you are actually getting a tremendous amount of healing infrared.  The second factor is simply using your sauna regularly.

Brands such as Clearlight, Heavenly Heat and Sunlighten (for one of their models) and others are now posting the third part testing results on their websites.  This is great to see.  However tests such as the ones posted by brands such as Health Mate are taken in a vacuum and the results are not the same as you would receive in a nit that is fully connected with all heaters turned on.  The only way to get an accurate reading is with then entire array of heaters turned on and the readings taken inside on all heaters with the meter held within an inch of all portions of all carbon panels or ceramic cores.

Specifically, Electromagnetic Fields are electric energy waves at frequencies below 300 cycles per second. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Sweden Agencies consider levels below 3.0 milligauss to be safe.  The important point is to limit the amount of time exposed to higher levels.

The fields are the combination of magnetic and electrical energies that accompany and surround any electrical device.  The amount is measured in milligauss (mG).


We support the companies that have truly lowered their product levels.  They are to be commended.  The units we recommend have models with low levels.  But there is no need to be afraid of the levels in a top rated brand.  The stress of worrying about it while in the sauna may do as much harm as the actual electromagnetic fields.

Buy one of the brands that we have rated high based on evidence and research.  Then use it regularly and know you have avoided any potential dangerous levels of magnetic fields.