Which infrared therapy lamp is best?
When you suffer from chronic pain, you’re probably willing to try every medication and topical treatment you can find. For those who prefer natural remedies, though, the options have been pretty limited. Fortunately, recent clinical studies have suggested that infrared light therapy can help ease pain and treat wounds so that an infrared therapy lamp can be a powerful, all-natural tool for pain management.
An infrared therapy lamp emits light at wavelengths that penetrate your skin to reach the tissues, bones and other parts of the body below to help soothe the pain. It must provide the right wavelengths, though, or you won’t get any relief. The Beurer North American Infrared Heat Lamp has been a top infrared lamp for years because it offers a compact design that’s easy to use and features ceramic glass to provide even heat.
What to know before you buy an infrared therapy lamp
Before you invest in an infrared therapy lamp, you should be aware of the types of pain it can treat to not waste your money.
Infrared therapy is most effective for muscle pain, joint pain, neuropathy pain and pain related to injuries. An infrared therapy lamp can relieve fibromyalgia, arthritis, tendinitis, neck pain, back pain, knee pain and other chronic pain issues. It’s non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical, so it’s an ideal option for those who prefer natural pain management methods.
An Infrared therapy lamp can also help with skin issues, such as slow-healing wounds, scar reduction, sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles.
An infrared therapy lamp won’t provide any results if it doesn’t emit light at the correct wavelengths. Most studies suggest that light with wavelengths between 630 and 680 nanometers and 800 to 880 nm is most effective for pain management.
Home infrared therapy lamps typically provide wavelengths between 600 and 1400 nm, so make sure that any model you consider hits the wavelength range recommended by clinical studies.
Infrared therapy lamps are available in several types or styles:
- Light panel infrared therapy lamps sit on a tabletop and feature a large rectangular or square panel that produces light. These lamps work well for larger treatment areas, but you may have trouble positioning the lamp to hit your target.
- Tripod infrared therapy lamps resemble regular floor lamps, but many models have a wheeled bottom to make it easier to move them around. They’re highly adjustable, so you usually won’t have much difficulty focusing the light on a treatment area.
- Desk infrared therapy lamps are smaller tabletop lamps that are similar to tripod models. They aren’t as adjustable, though they are generally easier to position than a light panel infrared therapy lamp.
- Handheld infrared therapy lamps often resemble a flashlight, so they’re compact and extremely travel-friendly. You can easily target a specific treatment area because you hold the light in your hand. The overall treatment area that a handheld model can treat is much smaller than other types, though.
What to look for in a quality infrared therapy lamp
An infrared therapy lamp’s size doesn’t only determine how large an area it can treat. It also affects how easy it is to use and store. A tripod infrared therapy lamp is generally the largest option, coming in at about the same size as a regular floor lamp. Light panel models are fairly large, too, but they can fit on most tables.
A desk infrared therapy lamp is compact enough to fit on a desk, so it’s very easy to find a space for it in your home. However, in an extremely small home or travel regularly, a handheld lamp is usually the best option.
Most infrared therapy lamps have a cord, so they require an outlet for operation. You can find some models that feature a cordless design and run-on batteries, though. Some models use disposable batteries, but other lamps have rechargeable batteries that don’t need replacing.
A cordless infrared therapy lamp can be more versatile because you can use it anywhere in your home, even if you’re not near an outlet. It also travels extremely well.
An infrared therapy lamp’s size determines how large an area it can effectively treat by emitting the light over a specific section of your body.
If you have back pain, you’ll want a large lamp that covers that area more easily. Most infrared therapy lamps will work well for smaller areas like a knee or wrist, so size isn’t as important. However, if you have multiple areas you plan to treat, you’re better off opting for a larger lamp to ensure you can treat any area.
Light panel infrared therapy lamps typically allow for the largest treatment area, and handheld models offer the smallest. A handheld lamp can be moved over your body pretty easily, though, so the treatment area size may not be as important.
To conveniently fit infrared therapy into your schedule, it’s essential to consider how long you must use an infrared therapy lamp to see results. Treatment time varies from model to model because each lamp uses different wavelengths and intensities of light.
Some lamps only require a few minutes of treatment per area a day, while others may require up to 20 minutes per area.
You can find some infrared therapy lamps that feature a timer to count down your treatment time. Some even feature an automatic shutoff, so the lamp shuts off when the timer runs out.
How much you can expect to spend on an infrared therapy lamp
You’ll typically pay $30-$375 for an infrared therapy lamp. Handheld models can range from $30-$125, while desktop infrared therapy lamps generally cost between $35-$130. Light panel models range from $55-$360, while tripod lamps usually cost $80-$360.
Infrared therapy lamp FAQ
Are infrared therapy lamps painful to use?
A. There’s usually a warming sensation on the skin when you use an infrared therapy lamp, but it shouldn’t cause any pain if you use it correctly. However, some models aren’t for use on bare skin, so it can be uncomfortable if the light hits your skin directly.
How long do I need to use an infrared therapy lamp to get relief?
A. It depends on several factors, including your pain level. For mild pain or discomfort, you might feel your pain reduced for as much as an hour with just one treatment. For moderate, chronic pain, though, you may need to use the lamp two to three times before you feel a difference. The most severe pain can take as much as four to five months’ worth of treatment before you feel real relief.
What’s the best infrared therapy lamp to buy?
Top infrared therapy lamp
What you need to know: This compact infrared lamp offers short and mid-wavelength light with easy operation and adjustability.
What you’ll love: The compact design is ideal for use on specific areas of the body. It heats up quickly and shuts off after 15 minutes to prevent overheating. It features ceramic glass for evenly focused heat and is easy to adjust.
What you should consider: The replacement bulbs are fairly expensive, and some users complain the lamp stops working after just a few months.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top infrared therapy lamp for the money
What you need to know: This lightweight, portable infrared lamp is excellent for home and travel.
What you’ll love: The smaller size makes it easy to focus on a treatment area, it tilts up to 35 degrees for most position options, it blocks 100% of UV rays and features a 15-minute countdown timer.
What you should consider: It gets very hot during operation and requires some time to cool down.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: One of the most adjustable lamps on our list, this model works extremely well for the shoulders, back and other large areas.
What you’ll love: The standing design makes it easy to target the neck, shoulders and back. A shield covers the bulb to prevent burns and injuries. The base has casters to make it easy to move.
What you should consider: It may not prevent all UV rays from getting through. Finding replacement bulbs can be tough.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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