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If you’ve never heard of the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket V4 or you have and you’re wondering if you should try it, this in-depth review is for you.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the many advantages of sweating it out in a hot sauna, especially for workoutaholics (that’s a word, right?), but I don’t have access to one locally. That and frankly, I’m pretty busy so the idea of having to go somewhere to experience an infrared sauna has been a bit of a setback for me.
That’s why when I got word of the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket and that I could reap the same benefits at home, I was all in. For someone like me that is chronically sore from overdoing it in the gym, I knew I had to try it.
So is the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket worth it and does it live up to the hype? Here’s what I think.
What is an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
Before diving too deep into my experience with the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket, I should first tell you what it is and why you might care.
Resembling an oversized sleeping bag, the far infrared blanket from HigherDOSE is a portable take anywhere, use (most) anywhere device that can be folded up and stored away. It’s seriously the perfect alternative for anyone that loves an infrared sauna, but hates leaving the house only to spend $60-70 per sitting at their local spa.
The exterior of the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna blanket V4 is specially designed with a non-toxic PU leather body with interlined layers of infrared heat, charcoal, clay, magnets, and free radical fighting crystals. Together, these elements have been shown to increase the body’s thermal energy, induce relaxation, help detoxify the body, increase circulation, reduce pain, and potentially facilitate weight loss.
This is all accomplished within a 50 minute sweat session simply by lying inside the heated blanket.
Do Far Infrared Sauna Blankets Actually Work?
The salesmanesque pros to using a sauna blanket almost sound too good to be true, am I right? The fact is, far infrared technology and its perceived benefits have actually been widely studied.
One comprehensive review in the National Library of Medicine concludes:
“Regular infrared sauna bathing has the potential to provide many beneficial health effects, especially for those with cardiovascular-related and rheumatological disease, as well as athletes seeking improved exercise performance.”
The studies not only show remarkable improvements on the cellular level, but also substantiate the far infrared claims of dramatically reducing feelings of depression, immune disease symptoms, overall pain levels, lung capacity, etc, etc. There’s a lot to read, but WOW! It all sounds very promising indeed.
How To Use
Now that we’ve gotten some of the fine details of infrared ironed out, let me tell you about the basics of using the blanket.
To get started, take the blanket out of the box, unfold it, and find a flat spot to lay the blanket down on. This thing gets plenty HOT, so a suitable surface that’s heat tolerant is advised.
In most cases, on top of your bed is fine, a firm couch, massage table or even on a Yoga mat on the floor is acceptable. Just keep in mind, you’re going to be lying there for almost an hour. Keep it comfy, yeah?
What do I wear in an infrared sauna blanket?
After you’ve plugged the sauna blanket in, the last thing you need is proper attire. That’s right, you must wear clothing. Sorry, no going in the buff.
HigherDOSE recommends you wear a loose fitting long sleeve shirt, long pants, and socks. Yep, the socks are non-negotiable. 100% cotton is the preferred material, but I imagine any moisture wicking material will do.
It sounds a little extreme to be fully clothed given you’ll be drenched in sweat by the end, but the clothing will help absorb some of that sweat and also protect your sensitive skin from the intense heat given off by the bag.
From there, simply select the heat level (1-8), allow it to preheat for 10 minutes, then jump in the blanket, and zip it up all the way. After 60 minutes, the unit will automatically shut off in case you’re wondering if you will need to set a timer.
Want to amplify your sauna experience? Try using an eye massager along with it!
What to expect using the Infrared Sauna Blanket
I’ll be totally honest and candid, I was a bit freaked to try the HigherDOSE sauna blanket for the first time. I didn’t know what to expect or how my body would react and that left my mind spinning a little out of control. That and I do suffer with a tiny bit of anxiety from claustrophobia. Tight spaces aren’t my thing, ya’ll.
Fortunately, I tend to overthink things and I did just fine the first time around. Yes, the blanket is snug and it does get very warm inside, but having my head and neck completely exposed minimized any sense of impending doom.
Per the instructions, I initially set the heat to a 5 (out of 8) to get a better sense of what I was about to endure. As it got up to temperature, I gradually increased the setting and finally landed on 7 about 20 minutes before it shut off. I was hot and sweating, so I didn’t feel the need to turn it up any higher.
Why Am I Not Sweating In The HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket?
YMMV, but in most cases, turning the dial to 8 is not necessary. The manual does indicate that turning it up all the way to the highest setting (8) is only advisable if you’ve used the blanket before or you’re simply not sweating.
I would wager that most people will end up soaked in sweat, but if you’re not, here are a few suggestions:
- Be sure to preheat the sauna blanket for 10 minutes before getting in.
- Check the ambient temperature. If you have a fan running and it’s pointed at the blanket, it could be affecting the internal temperature
- Make sure you zip the bag up all the way. I know you wanna breath, but not doing so may be letting too much heat out.
- Check your hydration. If you’re not sweating at all or very little, you could be dehydrated. If you suspect you might be, DO NOT continue using the sauna blanket. That’s what I call a quick trip to the ER and no one wants that, right?
What To Expect
There are a lot of reasons for one to buy an infrared sauna blanket. Mine was because I wanted to see if it would help with my chronic soreness. Yes, I’m one of those dummies that loves to workout too much.
For me, there’s nothing more gratifying than pushing myself physically to the limits. One more rep? Yes! Beat my last time? Absolutely. 5 more pounds? Why not!
It’s a never ending grind and I suffer for it because recovery just isn’t as fun as the pursuit.
That said, using the HigherDOSE sauna blanket, for me, is euphoric. The results I feel are both unexpected and pleasant all at the same time.
Unzipping the blanket after my first session, I felt astonishingly calm and relaxed. Almost as though I had just had the most incredible full body massage. Overall, my muscles felt loose and the nagging soreness I generally feel was dramatically reduced.
With each subsequent use, I experience the same “high” that I did the first time. If there were ever something to look forward to after a brutal workout, it’s this and that’s saying a lot. I’ve used almost every recovery product imaginable, such as a massage gun, TENS unit, and foam roller, and nothing has helped me as much as the HigherDOSE sauna blanket.
How Do You Clean A Sauna Blanket?
As I said, after using an the HigherDOSE infrared sauna blanket, you’re going to be soaking in a sea of sweat. While the act of sweating is incredibly good for you, it’s a little disgusting if you leave it to dry all over the inside of your blanket.
The good news, it’s actually very easy to clean. The HigherDOSE V4 (version 4) blanket now comes equipped with a zipper as opposed to the HigherDOSE V3 which was held together with Velcro to keep in shut.
To clean the inside, HigherDOSE recommends a plant based, non-abrasive cleaning solution to wipe it down. The products from Method or Mrs. Meyer’s do a fantastic job and they smell really great too. All in all, it shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds to wipe it all down and have it ready for next time.
Are Infrared Sauna Blankets Safe?
By and large, using an infrared blanket is generally considered safe to use if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
My safest advice is that if you have any questions or doubts about using one, consult with your physician BEFORE trying one out for the first time. There’s no doubt, the potential benefits are great, but only if you’re healthy enough to experience them.
People that should consult with their doctor include, but not all-inclusive, are those that:
- Are sensitive to heat
- Get frequent migraines
- Have a history of heart conditions of any sort
- Have high blood pressure
What’s The Difference Between A Sauna And Sauna Blanket?
If you’re unaware, infrared is electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to the human eye, but we can feel as heat. The technology is actually widely used in a lot of technological applications, like electrical heaters, cooking devices, cameras, and in this case, sauna blankets!
Unlike traditional saunas that use heat and moisture to warm the air, infrared saunas are capable of heating your body without heating up the ambient temperature around you. If the idea of suffocating from thick clouds of humid air while sitting in a tiny wooden box repulses you, an infrared sauna blanket is the alternative you’re looking for.
Can It Help You Lose Weight?
As much as I’d love to tell you that using a sauna blanket will melt away the pounds, I unfortunately cannot say definitively.
While there are some small studies that indicate that they do (to a small degree), not enough studies have been performed to be conclusive. That’s a bit of a bummer, but all is not lost.
You see, because you sweat a ridiculous amount while using one, dropping water weight is a guarantee. So there’s that.
The other proven factor is that using a sauna blanket does in fact increase your thermogenic energy expenditure. Meaning, as it increases your body’s temperature, your body actively tries to cool itself, thus expending energy (burning calories).
Is it enough to make a difference in your weight loss journey? Perhaps. It’s not scientific by no means, but thousands of online reviewers and advocates swear by and accredit their fat loss to their infrared sauna blanket.
Editor-In-Chief at Recovatech. Dr. Ben has been a Doctor of Chiropractic for over 10 years, specializing in structural and neurological imbalances with an emphasis in functional movement patterns, exercise performance, and muscle recovery. He has been the team chiropractor for professional baseball and soccer organizations, as well as collegiate athletes. In his personal life, he’s always been driven when it comes to athletics and personal performance. His mornings start by lifting something heavy and end spending time with family.