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Do you love the health benefits of the sauna but balk at spending money on a spa trip? Allow us to introduce you to the infrared heated blanket, a product that purportedly mimics the effects of the sauna, allowing you to sweat out toxins, burn calories and more.
So how is this heated blanket different from the other ones you’ve seen and snuggled with? According to the product description on Amazon, this blanket is more of a beauty product than a blanket. It uses infrared rays to heat up in three different sections, targeting your upper body, your waist and your lower body with an adjustable temperature ranging from 77 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
This source of “sweat therapy” is allegedly supposed to carry a number of health benefits, including those mentioned above. In addition, those selling this particular blanket claim that it can help the body fight infections, open up the nasal passages, increase metabolism, help clear your skin, promote healing, improve blood circulation, provide pain relief — and, well, the list goes on. You may even notice a difference the next time you step on your bathroom scale.
As far as the science behind infrared heat and its health benefits, sweat therapy is nothing new.
“Sweat therapy goes back thousands of years to the Greek and Egyptian cultures,” Joseph Harounian, founder of Firm Body Evolution, told Well + Good. “When someone was really sick, they’d put them in a heated room and just make them sweat like crazy. They understood that they needed to get out whatever was in the body making that person ill.”
But thanks to infrared technology, sweating it out in a lodge isn’t the only way to do it.
“Proponents of infrared saunas often turn to this type of holistic treatment in hopes that sessions can provide joint and muscle support, speed up the metabolism, promote weight loss, help rejuvenate the skin, improve circulation, promote cardiovascular healing, and help with sleep quality,” Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C. told Business Insider.
But he also pointed out that research in this area is limited.
Mayo Clinic supports that statement, noting, “Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit. However, larger and more-rigorous studies are needed to confirm these results.”
They also point out, however, that no adverse effects have been reported.
One writer who tested out this infrared heated blanket for Business Insider swears by it as a cure-all for everything from bloating to feeling hungover.
“It’s become my life’s cure-all,” she wrote. “Feeling bloated and gross? Time for a sweat sesh. Skin dull and dry? Sweat sesh. Hungover? Puffy eyes? Stressed? I just sweat, sweat, sweat it out.”
Others who have tested the product and taken to Amazon to leave reviews have mostly high praise for this sweat-inducing experience, especially since they’ve really noticed a difference in their bodies after trying this out. One reviewer noticed joint pain relief after just three sessions.
“So far, I have used it three times and always sweat profusely,” wrote the reviewer. “Areas that I don’t seem to really break a sweat are my feet and lower legs/calves but this may come after a few sessions … I have also noticed my joints feel like someone sprayed WD40 on them.”
Those who are less taken with the product seem to be frustrated by how heavy it is, which makes it difficult to maneuver. Others have had faulty equipment arrive on their doorsteps.
Thankfully, Gizmo Supply’s customer service seems to be able to help with most issues.
Intrigued? It is a bit pricey to own one of these. This particular version is available for $399.99. It’s a chunk of change up-front, but the product has received mostly five-star reviews, and investing in it could save you quite a bit in the long run. Just think — you won’t have to splurge on a fancy hotel ever again just to have access to a sauna experience. That alone could make this purchase worth it.
Are you willing to try it out and see if it’s worth the hype? If you’re the type of person who exercises and takes a multivitamin daily, this may be in your wheelhouse.