Infrared sauna review: Saunas by Airwall 2-49

Sauna by Airwall is a manufacturer which builds saunas since 1987 in USA. Today I want to review their 2-person infrared sauna model 2-49.

Details about 2-49 infrared sauna model:

Wood: Cedar (other options available).

External dimensions: Width: 50 in, Depth: 49 in, Height: 77 in.

Heaters: 6 ceramic heaters, on the back, under the bench and on the front.

Outlets: 110 V, 15 Amps, 1400 Watts

Accessories: Stereo speakers.

Warranty: Lifetime (but no detailed description found).

Price: One has to contact the manufacturer for price. I found only one online shop with $3995 price on this model.

Click on the link to see the image of 2-49 sauna.

This model by Airwall has larger dimensions, similar to 2-person saunas by Sunlight Saunas or Brighton Sauna. Overall sauna design is a classic one for all 2-person infrared saunas. 2-49 model has a full-glass door and air ventilation. The heaters used are common ceramic ones, although Airwall writes on the official website that their heaters has a design which allows them to preserve constant emission of infrared rays throughout all sauna session time, while other infrared saunas have thermostat to shut heaters off from time to time to preserve constant temperature in a sauna, which leads that heaters can be off up to one-third of sauna session time. Another thing they say about heaters is that they are convex and it leads to more even distribution of heat in a sauna.

Sauna wood options have left some feeling of uncertainty to me. While the standard model comes in cedar, Airwall has some other options but from their description it is not clear what wood exactly can be used for interior/exterior and is it veneer-free or not.

Saunas by Airwall website has no link to a downloadable manual or assembly instructions, but they have an assembly video online. In conclusion I want to say that in my opinion, the main advantage that 2-49 sauna model has is the larger dimensions than most other infrared saunas so it can be more comfortable for some people. Claims about superior heaters technology should be taken with care.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Infrared sauna review: Saunas by Airwall 2-49”

  1. Don Metcalfe Says:

    Paul,
    Do you have an affiliation with an infrared sauna company? I have read your site (www.infraredsaunainfo.com) and feel it to be a bit bias. I have a hard time believing that you don’t understand how constant emission works. My suspicions are that you are posting this site to try and give an unfair advantage to a certain company rather than to try and give an accurate review.

    Constant emission is the most advanced feature in the industry, if you do some research from other companies web sites you will find that most are trying to claim they have constant emission, but when you read on you will find this to be very misleading, they tell you to turn your sauna on high and then when you get to hot to just leave the door open.

    Think of it like your home heater, if you set it for 70 degrees once it hits that set temperature the heater goes off in till the temperature drops down then it goes back on. An infrared sauna works the same way but remember infrared saunas work at a much lower temperature than a conventional sauna and it is made for indoor use. Which means it does not drop in temperature as fast, we have purchased most of the top brand name saunas and have tested them. We found that once the infrared sauna warms up that the heaters were off about a third of the time (and some even longer) since an infrared sauna only works when you are actually receiving infrared rays, in a 30-minute session your sauna could be off for up to 10 minutes or more

    You state that we use a common ceramic heater, what we use is a solid ceramic heater, most imports use a thin hollow or sand filled ceramic tube and say that they our using pure ceramic. Thin tube heaters run hotter which means that your getting near to mid infrared waves rather than far. If you do some research you will see that pure ceramic is the best way to transfer far infrared waves (the most beneficial) other companies claim it is the size of their heater that give them an advantage, we have had people tell us that they did not like the fact that it was heating their head causing them to feel very uncomfortable and in turn not allowing them to stay in the sauna longer.

    As I had said, we have purchased many of the saunas on the market today and we constantly improve ours to keep ahead of the competition. The problem now days is that it really does not matter much how good your sauna is, it’s how good your marketing is and how good you can have someone touch up your photos. Look at the Sunlight Armana sauna and then go to the manufactures manual you have on your site and compare photos.

    Airwall is one of the original sauna companies in the U S, we have private labeled saunas for Sunlight Saunas, Sundance Saunas (who is now Brighton Saunas) (Brighton is their china brand) QCA Spas (Therasauna) before they started manufacturing their own (they basically copied ours) and many others. We are about the only manufacturer remaining who will do custom designed saunas, where as most companies have now have chosen to go with the china imports because of the lower cost. (Funny thing is they are charging about the same price as a U S sauna) This is why I couldn’t believe you compared Airwall to Sunlight or Brighton (which are both now made in china)

    The problem is that the quality & craftsmanship is not comparable, with the Internet anyone can doctor their photos to look good (with enough money) and them be judged as a good sauna. Think about it, this is how you are judging the saunas on your site, by the photos and their marketing rather than by actually testing them and seeing the quality for yourself.

    We are in the process of developing a new site to help people see the advantages of the Airwall sauna, we have also added a lower end china brand SaunaZEN which is made by the same company that makes Saunagen, but we sell ours for much less, We figure that whether someone is looking for a quality sauna, like the Airwall (and they want most advanced system) or if they are looking for a china made sauna we have what there looking for, and we have a much lower price for a china sauna. One thing to note here is that we disclose where the sauna is made whereas Sunlight, Brighton, Health Mate and most others don’t disclose they are made in china

    I do hope that my suspicions are wrong and that you are not one of our competitors just doing this site as a marketing tool. In any case the more information that gets out there about infrared saunas the better. The reality is that people will benefit from using an infrared sauna regardless of whose sauna they buy, we just like to make sure they receive the proper information.

  2. Paul Mernon Says:

    In response to Don Metcalfe:

    Don,
    I don’t have any affiliate relationships with any infrared sauna company. You can read the reasons why I’ve started this website on about page if my site. In reviews I publish here I write only facts I’ve found about a sauna model in review plus a bit of my own opinion. When I express my opinion I carefully try it to be based on facts I found out about a model. I do not try to make any sauna model to look better than other.

    Since I have no physical access to sauna models I write about, most of the facts come from manufacturers/dealers pages. I pick the facts very carefully. I take into account only those that are objective, like dimensions, heater types, wood, etc. I never pay attention to words about superiority of one technology on others, since I saw no manufacturer’s website which supplied references and/or explanation why it is so. Since it is not supported, and I personally cannot compare I don’t make any judgment about it. If I compare saunas I do it only on a basis of facts I know. Note that from this follows that if a manufacturer’s website is poor with facts so a review will be.

    One can say that to review sauna models you haven’t tried is a bad thing. I still think that it is better than no reviews at all. I play from the customer’s point of view. Most customers don’t have access to a specific infrared sauna model when they consider buying one. They just search the internet for information for infrared saunas and find the same websites as I. With reviews I help my readers to save time and instead of reading a lot of websites with a high amount of promotional info they can read a short review with plain facts about each sauna model. The essential information they can get about sauna model is in the review so they can compare it to other model or get more info about it by visiting a manufacturer’s website.

    I completely agree with you that it is impossible to know which sauna model is better only by their online images and descriptions. That’s why I never intended that one should rely only on my reviews to make a choice. The purpose of reviews is to give an initial understanding on the spectrum of infrared sauna models. The next logical step is to try out infrared sauna models you are interested in. I emphasized it in many posts.

    As for constant emission, I understand what effect it is supposed to do. The effect is that heaters don’t shut off so one gets infrared rays all session long. But I haven’t seen any explanation how this effect is achieved. While you described the reason why heaters shut off in other infrared saunas in detail, you didn’t give the reason why Sauna by Airwall heaters don’t shut off in the same circumstances. There are two ways to sustain constant temperature with working heaters; first is to increase air circulation in a sauna, and second is to decrease heaters power. I suppose that in Sauna by Airwall saunas heaters infrared output is gradually decreased as temperature approaches the level set. If it is true then in result one get constant emission but with decreased infrared rays intensity, while with other saunas infrared rays have higher intensity but shut off from time to time. Again, I do not know what is better, I only note the difference.

    Thank you for your response. My reviews already got some responses from infrared sauna manufacturers. This means that this website already made some difference. I’m always open for comments and criticism and if I did some mistake in a review, I readily correct it.

  3. Lisa Hess Says:

    I have a sauna by air wall I bought in 3/2007. It is model # ES 101, style SA OA 45, floor Pine, roof Aspen, Serial #10547-1. I love my sauna and it was used until the heater in the kickplate shorted out. I can’t get hold of any phone number or the website I was told to use- all disconnected. I would love to get a new heater so I can use my sauna again, but I can’t get any response to know where to get one. It is supposed to be under lifetime warranty for the heaters, but I am willing to buy one if necessary. Can you help?