This Sauna Blanket Is My Cure-all Travel Secret — and Now You Can Try It for Free

Get ready to sweat — a lot.

Infrared mask and PEMF mat by High Dose
Photo: Courtesy of Higher Dose

Feeling overworked, tense, and in need of some deep rest and relaxation? HigherDose, the New York City wellness darling, has teamed up with 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge to debut a limited-edition spa offering that will help you sweat out all of your troubles.

Debuting on Wednesday, March 9, HigherDose products, including its famed Infrared Sauna Blanket, PEMF Mat, and Red Light Face Mask, will be offered free with any service through the Bamford Wellness Spa.

Spa at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Courtesy of 1 Hotels

If you're not familiar with any of the words we said above, that's OK. We're here to help introduce you to your new favorite at-home spa accessory, which could also seriously improve your pre- and post-travel routines.

"HigherDose began as a physical Infrared sauna spa in New York City that offered a never-before-seen experience," the company's founders, Katie Kaps and Lauren Berlingeri, told Travel + Leisure via email. "When we launched HigherDose, we wanted to bring the benefits of Infrared to the masses, and while this was a step in the right direction, it still wasn't as accessible as we set out to be. With Infrared saunas installed in our customers' homes, we began thinking of more ways people could get their sweat on at home — this led us to the creation of the Sauna Blanket. By creating a physical sauna blanket, we could introduce the benefits of Infrared to people all around the world, giving them access to enjoy the experience from the comfort of their own homes."

Infrared saunas differ slightly from traditional saunas as, rather than heat the air around you, infrared heats the body from within. The Mayo Clinic explains, this can induce the same effects of a cardio workout, including an increased heart rate that may result in a small caloric burn.

But, perhaps more important than the potential of getting to skip your run for a day is what infrared saunas can do for your overall health. This includes the potential of improving heart health, reducing headache pain, improving quality of sleep, and could even help alleviate chronic inflammation. One small study out of Finland even found "moderate to high frequency of sauna bathing was associated with lowered risks of dementia and Alzheimer's disease."

It's important to note, none of these studies are conclusive, and many were performed on small groups or on those accustomed to using saunas regularly. However, they do still show promising results for both future research and your overall health. And, like all things, you should speak with your doctor about any personal risks before hopping into a sauna, infrared or otherwise.

One more thing an infrared sauna can most certainly deliver on? A seriously relaxing experience.

HigherDose sent over a blanket for me to try, which I excitedly unpacked and unrolled immediately upon arrival. Setup was rather easy, you just need to find a comfortable spot to lie down for about 45 minutes. I placed mine on my living room floor so I could watch a show while relaxing and propped a pillow under my head for support.

Next, you plug in the blanket and set it to your desired level between one and eight. The company suggests starting at a five, but I went for a six as someone who saunas regularly. Then, you let it heat up for a few minutes before sliding in.

Infrared mask and PEMF mat by High Dose
Courtesy of Higher Dose

I had every intention of watching an episode or two of a show, however, within mere minutes I was out like a light, only to wake up from my alarm telling me it was time to get out. When I scooched my way out of the sauna blanket I found myself drenched — I'm talking post-shower drenched — in sweat from head to toe. And let me tell you, it felt spectacular.

As for what makes the portable blankets so great for travelers, Kaps and Berlingeri note, the blanket can help with pre-trip anxiety by helping users sweat out the stress and relax their minds, and post-trip it could be just the thing to shake off jet lag or stiff muscles from a car ride.

"When your body feels sore and achy after being in the car for hours or a cramped airplane seat, the Sauna Blanket can aid in boosting circulation and soothing tired muscles," the founders said. "It can also help give you a refresh after a long travel day, giving you a boost of energy."

This makes sense when you also couple it with one study that found infrared saunas can help with muscle recovery post-workout. And if you've ever traveled long distances in a car or a plane, you know that can be just as painful as leg day at the gym.

The blanket, the founders add, is designed for daily use. However, it can take time for the body to grow a tolerance to the high heat.

"If you're just starting out, we recommend sticking to shorter sessions and lower heat levels once or twice a week," Kaps and Berlingeri said. "Over time, you can start to increase the heat and number of sessions to work up to that daily sweat session. Once there, we recommend a 45-minute sweat."

Spa at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Courtesy of 1 Hotels

If you want to give it a try before purchasing one for yourself, you can visit a HigherDose store in New York, or book the aforementioned spa treatment at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. For that experience, the HigherDose team recommends you book a back, neck, and shoulder massage with HigherDose Sauna Blanket, a massage with HigherDose PEMF Mat and Red Light Face Mask, or get the Bamford Bespoke Facial with HigherDose PEMF Mat and Red Light Face Mask. See the spa menu for full details and head to the HigherDose website to learn more.

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