HEATING ELEMENTS: the difference between ceramic and carbon fiber

One of the most important parameters when choosing an infrared sauna is the heating element. Heating elements are of several types: ceramic or carbon fiber.

Everyone has their pros and cons, so here are the key differences and principles of operation:

 CeramicsCarbon fiber
Operating time5 000 hours20 000 hours
Cold spotsYESNO
Heat distributionThe highest heat is concentrated near the heatersThe heat is evenly distributed over the entire side
How to heatThe closer the heating elements are, the more concentrated the heat. Heats evenly, perfect for treating the necessary areas of the bodyThe heat is evenly distributed throughout the sauna, so the whole body is heated evenly. Perfect for full body treatment
Emission85-94% (parameters drop with heat)94%
Wave length3-18 microns4-22 microns
Warm-up time15 minutes20 minutes
LongevityDurable, ceramic rods are quite brittleEven more durable heating elements, flexible and harder to break than ceramic
SizeLower than carbon fiberLarger than ceramics

Here is a visual illustration of how both heaters work:

Advantages of Carbon Fiber Heating Elements over Ceramic:

  • Even heat distribution: Carbon fiber heaters are made of thin carbon fiber plates and have an even heat distribution area, thus eliminating hotspots that are usually unavoidable in ceramic heating elements;
  • Lower surface temperature: The surface temperature of a carbon fiber heater is much lower than that of ceramic heaters, making them safer and allowing a person to stay comfortably for longer therapy sessions;
  • Better heat coverage: The heat recovery of carbon fiber heaters is much better, while the maximum heat of ceramic heaters is right next to the heating elements and the farther away from them, the less infrared is absorbed;
  • Therapeutic Infrared Rays: Carbon fiber heaters emit rays that are closer to the far infrared rays (FIR) that are most beneficial to health and healing;
  • Penetration into deep tissues: The infrared heat of carbon fiber heating elements penetrates deeper into the skin tissue than that of ceramic heaters;
  • Lower energy consumption: Carbon fiber heaters use less electricity than ceramic ones;
  • Longer service life: The service life of carbon fiber heating elements is incomparably longer than that of ceramic.
  • Concentrated heat: Ceramic heaters do not distribute heat evenly throughout the sauna and the maximum infrared concentration is right next to the heater. Thus, if it is more necessary to heat not the whole body but specific parts of it, a ceramic heater is more convenient;
  • Higher temperatures: Ceramic heaters heat the air more than carbon fiber;
  • Price: Ceramic heating element costs less than Carbon fiber.

Ceramic heaters heat up more than carbon fiber, thus achieving higher air temperatures in the sauna itself, but it should be noted that doctors do not recommend saunas with temperatures above 55 degrees. This is not even necessary, as sweating starts as early as 45 degrees, as it is not the air that is heated, but the body itself.