sunlighten-300x252“Sauna died after 23 months of use.” That’s the title of a review left by customer DennE on Costco’s Golden Wave infrared sauna. 

“I initially thought it was an excellent purchase. However, I don’t now. For $2,000 a product should last for more than 23 months. My next sauna will have a much longer warranty than one year. (I’m shopping for my new replacement sauna at another major online retailer and they have several models that have a five year warranty on the electronics as well as the sauna heaters.)”

With many home saunas, you don’t know exactly what you are getting. How long will it last past the warranty? Will the wood put harmful chemicals in the air you breathe while using the sauna? Do the heaters really provide the health benefits they say they will? What is the actual output rating on the heaters and how does it stack up to other saunas?

The buzz about health benefits of home saunas started from a special high quality, medical grade sauna produced by a company called Sunlighten, which subjected its product to third party testing and certification, eventually earning media attention on The Doctors, Opera Winfrey, Ricki Lake, Randy Alvarez and others. Lower priced home sauna manufacturers without the same testing and technology, adapted marketing to piggyback on the health benefits buzz created by this original infrared sauna.

While the Costco website lists a 3 year warranty, that is only for members. The actual Costco sauna warranty ( offered to the general public is good for 1 year. And if you install it on your back deck, the warranty is void. Compare that warranty to that of the Sunlighten home sauna line, which include a lifetime warranty ( Even the Sunlighten floor models come with a 5 year warranty. You don’t know what will happen over the lifetime of your sauna, and ensuring that you have an adequate warranty can help you to protect your investment. If customer DennE had purchased a model with a longer warranty, he would still be enjoying his sauna today.

Of course, a warranty is not the only indication of quality for a sauna brand. It is important that the sauna be well-constructed to reduce the risk of malfunction in the first place. For example, the Sunlighten brand uses only the highest quality wood to construct its saunas. The company employs a quality-control process that inspects each sauna for the consistency, color and quality of its wood before it is shipped out to the customer.

On the other hand, the Costco sauna makes no such guarantees about the quality of the construction of its saunas. In fact, the product details include a warning about the wood releasing gases that have caused an adverse reaction known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

A sauna is a major investment, and one that you should not take lightly. Making sure you choose a quality sauna with a sound warranty is the first step to protecting your investment so you do not waste money like Costco customer DennE. But the construction and warranty on a sauna are not its only selling points. There are many health benefits to using a sauna, especially an infrared sauna. And depending on the infrared sauna technology ( used in the model you choose, you can maximize the benefits available to you.

For example, Sunlighten uses full spectrum infrared technology, with 3rd party laboratory tested sauna heaters that can provide near, mid and far infrared rays at 99% emissivity to convey optimal health benefits. These benefits have been clinically tested and include increased immunity and wound healing, pain relief, improved circulation, weight loss, detoxification, and reduction in blood pressure, among others.