Last updated on January 16th, 2020
This detailed SaunaSpace Luminati Sauna Review (formerly called Pocket Sauna) comes from years of personal experience.
Near infrared (NIR) is a powerful therapy for detoxification, immune boosting, rejuvenating and relaxing as well as just feeling great. On a cold winters day it is like basking in the hot sunshine. As well as being very relaxing, it really elevates your mood.
I have had a SaunaSpace Luminati Sauna for 5 years now (about 18 months when I first wrote this review) and I absolutely love it! Of all the healing technology that I’ve owned and tried, this is right up there with my top favourites.
Actually, the Luminati was formerly known as the Pocket Sauna when I bought it. Since then it has undergone many improvements in design and aesthetics as well as a couple of name changes.
However, the sauna is essentially unchanged in its primary function, although the new artisan ThermaLight bulbs are designed to output a light spectrum completely tailored for health.
The Luminati Sauna only takes 10–15 minutes to assemble and less time to take down. It packs down small and easily fits into my car with all my other stuff for my constant travels around the country. I use the sauna several times a week, or daily when I have time.
Continue reading to find out why the Luminati Sauna is the Best Portable Infrared Sauna on the market at an affordable price (the SaunaSpace Faraday is almost double the price!).
Also learn how Near Infrared (NIR) Sauna Therapy has many added benefits compared with Far Infrared (FIR). It is also generally safer and more mood-elevating.
Near Infrared vs Far Infrared Sauna
Far Infrared (FIR) saunas are all the rage these days, but few people have heard of near infrared (NIR) saunas. It is time they did, because when comparing near infrared vs far infrared sauna NIR saunas have many advantages and added benefits.
NIR lamp sauna therapy is more effective, less risky and without the potential side effects of conventional medical treatments (consult with your doctor before replacing these with sauna therapy).
Only red light and near infrared light stimulates the mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of the all the body’s cells.
NIR sauna provides both the regenerative and anti-aging benefits of mitochondrial stimulation, and traditional sauna heat therapy benefits together, as a whole-body solution.
Far Infrared Saunas Have Several Disadvantages compared to Near Infrared :
- Far-infrared wavelengths do not provide any light therapy at all
- FIR wavelengths do not activate mitochondrial functioning
- Most FIR saunas utilize high-EMF ceramic and carbon-based heat emitters, which can be harmful with prolonged exposure
- Most are not beautifully hand-made of hypoallergenic materials
- Cheap models have toxic material issues
- They are heavy, not portable, require two people to set up and take much longer to set up
- They have digital electronic components like touch screen control panels and LEDs that decay and fail over time, with high replacement costs.
- Many so-called “full-spectrum” FIR saunas include a small bank of LEDs in the ceiling that provide a miniscule dose of red or other coloured light to the head, not the whole body. This is not sufficient to achieve the full benefits of light therapy.
SaunaSpace Premium Quality and Design.
SaunaSpace design and manufacture products to last forever. Their engineered versatility, safe-design and accessibility by almost all body types and needs are unmatched. Every aspect of the design and material has been developed for the ultimate NIR lamp sauna experience, handmade at a level of craftsmanship that guarantees peace of mind throughout a lifetime of use.
SaunaSpace General Sauna Features
- Uniquely designed and tailored to offer the optimal NIR lamp sauna therapy experience
- Beautiful, minimalist aesthetic product
- Hypoallergenic, natural material construction with zero exposure to off-gassing of toxic, synthetic materials while detoxing
- Easy, quick setup and convenient portability when needed
- Zero EMF stress
- No UV or blue light, no flicker stress
- Safe, user-friendly design
- Wheelchair accessibility
- !00% GOTS certified, hypoallergenic double-layered cotton canvas fabric, machine washable
- Sustainably harvested, untreated, zero VOC, Hypoallergenic North American Basswood
- Untreated, natural bamboo floor mat
- All hardware is double-chrome plated steel, manufactured in USA
- Ethical company with a strong focus on customer-satisfaction
- Carefully handmade in limited quantity by craftsmen/women in the USA
- 9+ years of product development driven by constant customer feedback
- Free Ground Shipping in USA, Canada and Mexico
- Phone support from people who have experience with the product and NIR sauna therapy
- Lifetime Warranty
- 100 Day Product Trial With Free Return Shipping in USA, Canada and Mexico
Expect to see benefits and improvements during the 100 Day Trial, if the recommended protocol is followed. If you don’t see or feel any benefit, you can return the product for a 100% refund, no questions asked.
The SaunaSpace Product Range
There are five options to suit a wide range of budgets and requirements:
Luminati Sauna (formerly known as the Pocket Sauna)
This Luminati is a premium portable near infrared sauna. Beautifully handcrafted from hypoallergenic materials.
Ultra-low EMF incandescent (tungsten) heat lamps, each emitting red and near infrared wavelengths for natural, effective mitochondrial stimulation. Longer wavelength thermal infrared gives the most gentle, therapeutic sauna sweat therapy. The Luminati Sauna includes:
- Tungsten Light Panel with 4 ThermaLight 250W NIR bulbs
- Double-layered Organic Canvas Sauna Enclosure with Wooden Structural Supports
- Basswood Stool, which is easily assembled and disassembled into three pieces
- Travel Bags for Canvas Enclosure, Support Polls and Stool
- Bamboo slat floor
Note: Remember to select the correct plug type/voltage for your country.
The Faraday Sauna is essentially the same as the Luminati Sauna in all respects except for the addition of a special stainless-steel-cotton matrix shielding and grounding fabric.
SaunaSpace’s shielding design ensures that there is no magnetic field and no EMF stress on your body.
So while you are inside the Faraday, you are completely protected from all outside radiation sources including WiFi, smartmeters, radiowaves, electric and magnetic fields.
I think this is a great idea if you live in a high EMF environment like in a city appartment. However, considering the small amount of time you spend inside the sauna relative to your life outside the sauna, it hardly seems worth it for the cost.
By all means, if you want the very best and you can afford it, then buy the Faraday Sauna, which is almost double the price of the Luminati Sauna!
Tungsten (formerly called the 4 Light Panel)
The beautifully handcrafted, hypoallergenic Tungsten Near Infrared 4 Light Panel with four, each ultra-low-EMF incandescent (tungsten) ThermaLight lamp emits red and near infrared light for effective, natural mitochondrial stimulation plus plenty of longer wavelength thermal infrared for powerful sweat therapy.
This is the best option to save money if you want to make your own DIY enclosure or if you already have a traditional cabinet sauna or Far Infrared Sauna that you want to convert to Near Infrared.
Sauna Shower Converter
Convert your standard shower stall into a SaunaSpace sauna. This is a great solution if you don’t have room for the Luminati Sauna or Faraday Sauna, or if you want to save money.
It’s less convenient than the Luminati or Faraday as it requires some minimal setup before and after each use. It also takes longer to pre-heat than the Luminati Sauna and it can’t be used in all showers.
The Sauna Shower Converter includes:
- Tungsten (NIR 4 Light Panel)
- Basewood Stool
- Light Panel Support Pedestal
- Hypoallergenic, machine-washable organic cotton canvas curtain
- Two Stainless Steel Curtain Rods
Photon (formerly called Single Light Panel)
Ultra-portable single lamp to take anywhere to use in a targeted fashion for localized issues:
- at the office desk to reverse the damaging effects of the blue-only light from the LEDs of computer monitors.
- sinus infections
- belly aches
- wound healing
- sore joints/muscles
DESIGN FEATURES: Stands up on it’s own, tilts at a 45°, can be mounted to a VESA monitor arm, comes with a solid basswood base for use on synthetic surfaces, fits in a standard carry-on luggage.
One nice, excellent use for the Photon is to put it on the floor inside your Luminati Sauna or Faraday, so you can get heat and healing light for your legs at the same time as for your upper body.
The Science behind NIR Sauna Therapy — Links to Research Articles and Book
If you would like to read more about the science behind near infrared sauna therapy and its benefits, SaunaSpace have an excellent online resource describing the science and giving links to many research articles. There are also answers to commonly-asked questions there. Go to the SaunaSpace Near Infrared Light Therapy Science references page and read to your heart’s content.
Also, Dr Lawrence Wilson has a very informative page on the benefits of NIR sauna therapy and complete protocols for how to do it properly. He recommends avoiding Far Infrared Saunas altogether. Note that Dr Wilson does have strong views on some things and I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says.
Finally, for a more technical scientific summary of IR therapy in general, you can read the review paper entitled “Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation” published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology in 2017.
Some Tips For Using the Luminati Sauna
Hydration and Minerals
Make sure that you drink plenty of water before and after the sauna and have a good intake of minerals in your diet.
A carefully-selected high quality kelp supplement is one option and eating lots of vegetables also helps.
I don’t recommend putting Himalayan salt in your water. There may be 84 trace minerals in it, but they are only trace amounts, whereas it is predominately sodium. Our diets already tend to be much too high in sodium with not enough potassium.
One option is to use CMD (concentrated mineral drops) solution in your water, which is high in magnesium (nearly everyone is deficient in this very important mineral) and sulphate but low in sodium. Magnesium chloride is a good, relatively well-absorbed form of magnesium.
However, I recommend taking a mineral supplement — I recommend Healthy Origins Chelated Multi Mineral (Iron Free) along with Healthy Origins Fully Reacted Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate for extra magnesium. As most people are iodine deficient (and I don’t recommend highly-processed iodized salt), I also recommend taking Lugols iodine drops in water.
How to Have a Luminati Sauna Therapy Session
It helps to turn the lights on and let the sauna enclosure heat up for 5–10 minutes (depending on how cold the room is) before you get in, especially if you are only having a short sauna, though in summer this isn’t necessary. Often though I just get straight in as my saunas are usually 30 minutes or more.
Start with 20 minute saunas and gradually work up to 45 minutes; but you must be well hydrated and have a good intake of minerals to stay in this long.
I use an App called “Seconds” to set a timer. It makes a Thai Gong or Tibetan bell sound every three minutes so I know it is time to rotate 90 degrees, and when time is up the gong or bell sounds twice.
Some people stay longer, like 5 minutes in each position, but I prefer to rotate more often as the skin starts to get pretty hot on the side facing the lamps. I find two or three minutes about right, depending also on how close you sit to the lamps.
You will probably sweat bucket loads too if you are well hydrated and stay in for more than 20 minutes. I use a folded towel on the stool, one on the floor underneath, and if I’m in for a long sauna I have another small towel to wipe the running sweat off my face and body. I normally sweat very little, even in hot weather, but the sweat is usually pouring off me in the sauna, even after 15 minutes.
Stay at least 18 inches away from the lamps as the heat is very intense on the skin if you get too close. The safety grill protects you from actually touching the lamps, and although the grill gets quite hot you won’t burn yourself on it if you accidentally touch it.
It is important that your skin doesn’t get burning hot as that could be damaging for the skin. The new ThermaLight bulbs produce 2-4 times more NIR than standard infrared heat lamps, so this means you should either sit slightly further away or rotate more frequently, like every two minutes. The new ThermaLight lamps also mean, that you’ll probably need to spend less time in the sauna.
There is one precaution you should take when using the sauna, which is common sense, but I just want to emphasize it. DO NOT stare at the lamps. I tilt my head up slightly when facing the lamps and usually I close my eyes, because I like to meditate during my saunas. With eyes closed you automatically relax more.
In any case, don’t situate the Tungsten panel any higher than shoulder level – if you keep a cooler head you will be able to safely stay in the sauna for longer too. If you start feeling dizzy or light-headed get out straight away.
You could also wear infra-red blocking glasses (normal sunglasses don’t block infrared light) if you are concerned about damaging your eyes, but it is fine if you don’t look into the lamps. Some people say the infrared is fine for the eyes, but there are other wavelengths also and it is better to take no risk of harming your eyes.
I have had my SaunaSpace Near Infrared Luminati Sauna for five years and I use it several times per week. It feels incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time.
I consider Near Infrared Sauna Therapy as one of the main pillars of my healing lifestyle regime.
The great thing is that the Luminati Sauna (or the Faraday) is so quick to put together and to pack up, especially since I am constantly on the move around the country.
And, after all the assembling, disassembling, transporting around in my car and reassembling, it still shows no signs of wear and tear. Even the original lamps are still working.
These Saunaspace Luminati Saunas are a premium quality, beautifully hand-crafted product and you pay for that quality, but if you can afford it I think it is totally worth it.
Sure, you could make your own DIY sauna at home on a relatively low budget, especially if you have some woodwork skills, but the cost for hypoallergenic materials, organic cotton and labour add up. You could get a company with an industrial sewing machine to sew up the covers for you, if you come up with a design. Just make sure you get the right near infrared lamps, use hypoallergenic, non-toxic materials and take all safety precautions.
If you already have a normal Far Infrared Sauna cabinet, you could purchase the Tungsten near infrared four light panel from SaunaSpace or make your own near infrared light panel to install inside.
Personally, I love the aesthetic design, simplicity, beauty, portability and functionality of my SaunaSpace Luminati Sauna. There is no other sauna that I have found out there that compares in all these respects.
Visit SaunaSpace for more information and make a great investment for your health and well-being.
Remember, Saunaspace have a 100-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL to ensure your complete satisfaction and FREE SHIPPING BOTH WAYS for all orders over $248 to locations in the USA.
Thank you for reading my review of the SaunaSpace Luminati Sauna, in my opinion the best portable infrared sauna on the market.
I hope that you get to enjoy the bliss of soaking in the healing rays of a SaunaSpace Luminati or Faraday Near Infrared Sauna. Feel free to write any comments or questions into the box below.