How many calories does an infrared sauna REALLY burn?

How many calories you burn in an infrared sauna (or a steam sauna or dry sauna for that matter) will depend on a few important factors, which we’ll investigate in this article. However, we are simply covering this topic to provide context as this is a hotly contested (sorry, we’re pun people) “benefit” of infrared sauna use.

And we’ve explored this before, but if your primary goal for your sauna sessions is weight loss and burning calories, then you’re saunaing wrong. And we may have just invented a word.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll take a look at how many calories you burn in a typical sauna session. But we do want to preface this by saying our views on the primary purpose of sauna is on recovery, relaxation and enjoyment rather than “burning calories”

How many calories can you burn in an infrared sauna?

The number of calories you can burn in an infrared sauna will depend on a variety of factors, including your weight, the length of time you spend in the sauna, your metabolism and the temperature of the sauna. On average, you can expect to burn around 100-300 calories in a 30-minute session at 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius), according to this study.

While 300-600 calories is significant given that it is a passive burn without intense exercise, it is important to note that we burn calories throughout our day.  So whether we’re living active, healthy lives or simply sleeping at the end of a long day, we’re burning calories all day.

We’ve also previously gone over a full list of health benefits infrared sauna has been proven to provide, which doesn’t include weight loss and calories burned.

Try our infrared sauna calories burned calculator

Curious how many calories you can actually burn in an infrared sauna? We’ve put together a calculator that takes into account your height, weight, age and sauna session length to reveal your base metabolic rate. Your base metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns at rest.

Using your base metabolic rate, the number of calories burned is calculated at 1.5-1.75 times your base rate, as sauna dilates your veins and arteries, improving circulation and increasing your metabolism.

Infrared sauna calories burned calculator:

Woman in towel sitting in a wood panel infrared sauna. Woman is smiling with hands behind head.

How infrared sauna boosts metabolism

Regular sauna sessions have been tied to an increased metabolism and decreased inflammation. When your body is exposed to the infrared heat, it causes your blood vessels to dilate, which in turn increases blood flow and oxygenation to the cells.

This increased blood flow and oxygenation can boost your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day.

The added benefit of detoxification from infrared sauna

Depending how much you believe in the practice of “detoxification”, a 30 minute sauna session can help you sweat away toxins from your body. As you sweat, your body will release toxins and impurities, which can help to improve your overall health and well-being.

We encourage you to do further research on the true benefit of detoxification as we believe there needs to be further clinical studies done to solidify the evidence for sauna detox.


Infrared saunas are a great tool for weight loss and calorie burning, thanks to their ability to boost your metabolism and increase your heart rate. On average, you can expect to burn around 300-600 calories in a 30-minute session.

In addition to burning calories and increasing your metabolism, there are numerous other health benefits associated with infrared sauna use.

A message from Sauna Squad

While you can expect to burn that many calories, we implore you to explore the other, more significant health benefits associated with sauna before committing to your next session.

As always, hit us up on Instagram or Twitter @thesaunasquad if you have any questions or comments. Or shoot us a message on our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

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