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Ah, a New Year. The post-holiday season when cheerful string lights are unplugged, dried-out Christmas trees are tossed to the side of the road, and an internal siren of panic signals it’s time to get serious about your New Year’s goals. Whether you’re the type of person who is brave enough to take a pen to paper to map out your “New Year, New me” agenda or not, you’re inevitably spammed by digital ads from fitness centers and Instagram sponsored posts for weight loss solutions that create a sense of urgency to better your body and mind (as though that shouldn’t be a goal for any other time of the year). While I can continue to “bah humbug” about this manufactured self-improvement season that provides a complimentary dose of anxiety to pair with your January blues *insert chef’s kiss*, now feels like a better time than ever (if not a tad late) to make some changes that will better both your mind and body. For my wellness journey, HigherDose’s new V4 Infrared Sauna Blanket has become essential.
Products Tested: HigherDose V4 Infrared Sauna Blanket
Period of Testing: 3 weeks
Verdict: This easy-to-use, easy-to-clean sauna blanket comes with a thorough user manual for anyone to feel comfortable and safe while using this wellness product. It delivers results in just one session for next-level relaxation, better quality of sleep, and quick relief for muscle soreness.
What Is the HigherDose Infrared Sauna Blanket?
Before the pandemic, my winter workout routine would usually conclude with some time in my gym’s traditional sauna for an added sweat session, but at times, the heat could be too overwhelming to enjoy. The beauty of a far-infrared sauna (or blanket) is that it uses light to directly heat the body instead of heating the air around you, making it a much more enjoyable experience for those who prefer to sweat at a lower temperature. With the HigherDose sauna blanket, you can enjoy the sauna experience while socially distancing at home, pandemic or no pandemic.
Like home gym equipment sales in 2020, HigherDose saw a major boom in sales for their sauna blanket that was developed over a year and a half prior to the pandemic.
“We already thought of turning more into a direct-to-consumer business before the pandemic and we were in the process of developing our second product, but we still wanted to keep our infrared sauna locations to be thought of as showrooms, which is why I think has this cult-like following,” says Lauren Berlingeri, co-founder of HigherDose.
HigherDose infrared sauna locations act as educational centers for those who wanted to learn more about the benefits of the hottest wellness trend and their quality product, but word-of-mouth recommendations from enthusiastic users also played a key role in putting the brand and their star product on the map. And as someone who recently tested the HigherDose V4 infrared sauna blanket, I can confirm that it’s almost impossible to stop gushing about the benefits of this incredible wellness device.
The Benefits of the HigherDose Infrared Sauna Blanket
As Berlingeri put it, “The pandemic has changed the way we think of our own health and wellness, as well as bringing wellness into our homes and making these important investments.” And this V4 blanket is a great investment for a number of health benefits.
Infrared sauna technology is believed to decrease muscle tension and inflammation, improve sleep and relaxation, and detoxify your body seven times more than a traditional sauna. According to Mayo Clinic, infrared saunas have been considered a potential treatment for a number of chronic health problems including high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Most health and wellness products sometimes take weeks, months, or a few sessions for someone to start to see the benefits, but with the sauna blanket you feel immediately better,” says Berlingeri. “I think we are looking for things that really work.”
Finding a wellness product that delivers on first use is something of a unicorn discovery — and the HigherDose infrared sauna blanket doesn’t disappoint. After a holiday season filled with stressful days of work, excessive drinking, and a complete lack of exercise, my sleep schedule was completely out of whack. One of the first things I noticed after my first session (45 minutes on level 6) was that I felt so relaxed, I was actually ready to fall asleep in the early evening. According to Berlingeri, deep, restful sleep is the number one benefit users experience. She recommends using the blanket after 5pm as scientific research has shown the body releases more human growth hormone and puts your body into a parasympathetic state, creating a better sleep experience.
With a little help from Apple Music’s Pure Meditation playlist and a comfy head pillow, I was able to achieve full relaxation that made the 45-minute session fly by in what felt like a few mere minutes. And as for muscle soreness, I had recently started weightlifting again and thought I would inevitably feel some aches and pains from my workout prior to using the blanket, but thanks to the V4, I felt just fine. The blanket even helped to ease my upset stomach during my sweat session. While I can’t speak to all the mentioned benefits (though HigherDose has a great section on the brand’s site to learn all the benefits), I do know that the blanket delivered on what was most important for my needs, and that makes it well-worth the high price tag when calculating cost-per-use value.
What Makes HigherDose’s V4 the Best Infrared Sauna Blanket?
Berlingeri emphasizes the brand’s mission to constantly find ways to better the user’s experience, better the technology of their products and better the materials used in its quality wellness offerings. Along with user-friendly upgrades, like the industrial-sized zipper for easy entry to the blanket, the V4 is made from VOC-tested, non-toxic materials; incorporates layers of Amethyst and Tourmaline for natural infrared that emits negative ions to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; a clay layer for balanced heat; a detoxifying charcoal layer; and a medical grade magnetic layer to increase blood circulation that helps to pull toxins out through sweat. Essentially, you’re getting a quality blanket featuring high-grade materials with added technology to compliment infrared technology.
Expert Tips to Enhance Your Infrared Sauna Blanket Experience
Berlingeri recommends dry brushing or rebounding to get your lymphatic system moving before you slip into the blanket. For inflammation or pain, apply CBD balm before to maximize the relief. To really bring on the sweat, Berlingeri says drinking a cayenne pepper and ginger shot or applying magnesium oil to your body will make you sweat like never before. As for Berlingeri’s favorite tips, she highly recommends castor oil cloth wraps that help pull toxins out of fat cells, and then jumping into a cold shower or cold plunge post-session for the best natural high and all-around recovery.
Though I might be hesitant to commit to New Year’s resolutions, using the HigherDose V4 infrared sauna blanket has become an integral part of bettering my body and mind this winter. Whether you’re ready to go down the rabbit hole of wellness or not, it’s a wonderful addition to your self-care routine that will assuredly make you want to continue to find small ways to improve your health. Guess there was no avoiding the whole “New Year, New me” after all, and I’m not mad about it.
“I feel like no matter what your health goals are, everyone always feels exponentially better after trying the sauna blanket,” says Berlingeri. “Obviously it’s different for each person based on what they are trying to achieve, whether you’re using it as a hangover cure or you just got sick or you have a lot of pain and inflammation in general, but you feel like a brand new person after using it. And you get this euphoric feeling afterwards. You feel like a happy, more positive person, so it’s kind of wild how it affects your mental state, which I also think is so important right now.”