Infrared light therapy devices have been gaining significant popularity as a non-invasive approach to pain relief, and it’s not difficult to see why.
Unlike invasive procedures or surgeries, which often come with risks and recovery time, infrared therapy offers a safe, pleasant, and low-cost alternative.
Athletes, for instance, often turn to infrared therapy to accelerate muscle recovery and relieve post-workout soreness.
By harnessing the power of infrared light, they can experience faster healing and get back to their training in no time.
Chronic pain sufferers also find huge relief through infrared therapy devices.
Whether it’s joint pain, backaches, or inflammation, infrared therapy provides a non-addictive and drug-free option for consistent pain relief – in the comfort of their own homes.
There are so many infrared machines out there. How do you choose the right one for you?
This infrared light therapy comparison will help you choose the best one for you, and save you hours of tedious research.
In a Hurry? see our short comparison table. Below it, you’ll find our full reviews.
|Infrared Therapy Machine||Bottom Line||Treatment Time||Price|
|Serfory Infrared Lamp||Best for Muscle Pain||5-20 minutes||✅ $80 on Amazon|
|iReliev Infrared Heating Pad ||Best for Back Pain||30-60 minutes||✅ $80 with code meital20 at iReliev|
|Snailax Infrared Massager||Best Handheld Infrared Massager||3 minutes per area||✅ $41 with code labor30 at Snailax|
|DPL IIa LED Panels||Best Infrared LED panels||3 minutes per area||✅ $399 at Revive Light Therapy|
|Far Infrared TDP Lamp||Best for Full Body||Up to 40 minutes||✅ $170 on Amazon|
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- How Do Infrared Light Therapy Devices Relieve Pain?
- What Types of Pain Can Be Treated with Infrared Light Therapy?
- The 7 Best Infrared Light Therapy Devices
- 1. Serfory Infrared Lamp – Best for Muscle Pain
- 2. iReliev Infrared Heating Pad – Best for Back Pain
- 3. Snailax Infrared Massager – Best Handheld
- 4. TDP Infrared Mineral Heat Lamp – Best for Fibromyalgia
- 5. dpl Flex Pad – Best Small LED Wrap
- 6. Revive dpl IIa – Best Value LED Panels
- 7. Snailax Infrared Foot Massager– Best for Foot Pain
- Can Infrared Light Therapy Help with Nerve Pain?
- Infrared Therapy Devices Side Effects
- You’ve Endured Enough – It’s Time for a Change
How Do Infrared Light Therapy Devices Relieve Pain?
Infrared therapy is scientifically proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce pain and treat a wide range of conditions, including injuries.
The deep penetrating infrared rays are experienced as heat, which increases heart rate and boosts blood circulation. This results in faster pain relief, regeneration, and healing.
What Types of Pain Can Be Treated with Infrared Light Therapy?
According to studies and personal experience, infrared light therapy can be used to treat many different types of pain, such as pain from surgery, joint pain, muscle pain, and more:
The 7 Best Infrared Light Therapy Devices
Through our extensive research, these are the highest quality infrared light therapy devices (and lamps) for natural and quick pain relief at home:
1. Serfory Infrared Lamp – Best for Muscle Pain
The Serfory near-infrared heat lamp has a powerful 150W near-infrared bulb, covered with an improved wire net to protect the bulb and you – from touching this hot lamp.
It is the best infrared lamp for targeted muscle pain relief, and all you have to do is point it to the aching area and enjoy the soothing infrared rays for 5-20 minutes a day (but do not overuse it).
The warmth from the lamp goes deep into your muscles, similar to how sunlight warms your body on a sunny day.
This deep heat helps to increase blood flow to the muscle and relaxes it, just like a nice, warm bath relaxes your body after a long day.
The increased blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle, helping it to heal faster.
The base of the Serfory lamp is sturdy and prevents it from tipping over.
However, please be careful! keep a safe distance from this lamp while using it – at least 24 inches and go even further if you feel it is too hot. It should feel nice and warm, not burning hot.
(Pre-heating for 5 minutes is necessary)
Serfory Infrared Lamp Pros
- Sturdy, well-built
- Powerful and gets very hot
- Adjustable tilt
- Not expensive
- Easy installation
- Danger of skin burning if you don’t keep a safe distance
✅ Available on Amazon ($80)
👉 See how to use an infrared heat lamp for pain relief and healing.
2. iReliev Infrared Heating Pad – Best for Back Pain
The iReliev infrared heating pad emits healing infrared radiation via semi-precious natural Jade and Tourmaline stones that also release negative ions when heated.
(Negative ions promote endorphin release and pain-relieving blood components in your body)
The infrared rays are naturally emitted from the stones when they are electrically heated.
When electricity is passed through a tourmaline gemstone, it excites the ions inside, causing them to vibrate and emit infrared rays. It’s similar to heating up soup on a stove, where the heat makes the water molecules move faster and create steam.
The iReliev FIR pad is big enough to cover most of your back or any other part of your body (it is flexible) and can be placed on a bed, sofa, recliner, or chair.
The reflective cover maximizes treatment effectiveness, and there is a 55-160 F temperature setting you can choose from.
Also, it has Velcro stitching and a strap – which allows you to also use it while sitting on a chair – and it comes with handy carrying bag.
I absolutely love infrared heating pads and use them for years – for any pain or discomfort, and even when I have a cold. It is basically our family doctor except it is always available. 😉
- EMF Free (like most jade heating pads)
- A long power cord helps place it wherever you want
- Comes with a travel bag
- Can not be used directly on the skin at a high temperature
✅ Available at iReliev ($80 with my coupon code meital20)
👉 If you have elbow pain – see the best elbow heating wraps!
3. Snailax Infrared Massager – Best Handheld
An infrared massager is one of the most effective and quickest infrared pain relief devices you can use at home.
As you run the massager over a sore muscle, the heat from the small infrared bulbs penetrates deep into your muscles, and increases blood circulation – similar to how a flowing river brings fresh water to nourish plants.
With increased blood flow, more oxygen and nutrients reach the muscle, promoting healing and reducing pain.
The massage aspect of the handheld massager adds an extra layer of relief. As the massager vibrates or kneads the muscles, it helps to relax and loosen any tension or knots, just like a skilled masseuse would do with their hands.
The Snailax infrared massager has variable massage settings (from low to deep tissue), infrared heat, and acupressure massage attachment, and the design is comfortable and easy to use.
It’s completely portable with its rechargeable battery, that lasts up to 80 minutes on full charge.
Snailax Infrared Massager Pros
- Infrared heat – reaches deep into your tissues to boost the massage benefits
- Highly adjustable – speed control and attachments
- 2-year warranty, 30-day free returns
- Reasonable price
- Some users think it’s a bit too heavy
👉 We’ve compared the Snaialx with more infrared massagers, including a heated massage gun – take a look!
4. TDP Infrared Mineral Heat Lamp – Best for Fibromyalgia
A far-infrared TDP lamp emits the far-infrared wavelength through a mineral plate that is heated with coil heat, so no light bulb is needed.
While there is limited research on the use of TDP lamps specifically for fibromyalgia, some studies have suggested that infrared therapy in general may be beneficial for people with this condition.
The TDP lamp emits far infrared therapy (thermal therapy) also used inside home infrared saunas.
Infrared saunas are the best and most holistic full-body treatments for chronic conditions such as FM.
The mineral plate’s lifetime is between 1000 to 1500 hours, and no replacement parts will be needed for the 5 years of daily use you can get out of it.
Treatment time can be up to 40 minutes daily (it takes 10 minutes to heat up).
Do not use it on bare skin, keep away from the heat source to a point you feel comfortable, and use safety goggles for your eyes.
- Powerful far infrared lamp – covers a large treatment area (7.8 inches wide head)
- 360 degrees adjustable head and body & bendable neck
- Comes with a stand, easy to use when lying down or sitting
- Lasts for 5 years of daily use, no replacement parts are necessary
- Comes with a controller with a timer
- Good customer service
- Takes about 15 minutes to heat up fully
✅ Available on Amazon ($170)
5. dpl Flex Pad – Best Small LED Wrap
The dpl red & infrared LED therapy pad (FDA-cleared) covers a relatively large treatment area (9.75″ x 5″) and contains 40 infrared (880 nm) and 20 red (660nm) LEDs.
LED light therapy is a painless and non-invasive light therapy treatment. This near-infrared wrap will not get hot, so there is no danger of skin burning, and it is flexible and can be used anywhere on your body.
Treatment time is 14 minutes per area. Note that the infrared bulbs will not light up when you use the pad, since infrared rays are invisible.
dpl Flex Pad Pros
- Flexible – can be wrapped around different areas
- Hands-free operation
- 2 Velcro straps, stays put
- Perfect for knees and elbows
- Automatic 40-minute shut-off
- Corded, limits movement
✅ Available at Revive Light Therapy ($159 with free shipping)
👉 See the Top 5 LED Light Therapy Wraps of 2023!
6. Revive dpl IIa – Best Value LED Panels
The dpl IIa red & infrared LED light therapy system covers a large treatment area and contains 292 infrared bulbs, dark red bulbs, red bulbs (630 nm), and amber bulbs (best for hyperpigmentation!).
It is advertised for skin anti-aging, but it can also be used for pain relief!
It is a great pain relief tool for arthritis because it is large enough to cover the painful joints along with the surrounding muscles.
dpl Panel System pros
- Large treatment area
- 2-panels – can be attached to any area with the Velcro strap
- Hands-free operation – comes with a stand
- Timer and auto shut-off
- Easy to use
- Not a great fit for travel due to size
- May not feel comfortable directly on the skin
✅ Available at Revive Light Therapy ($399 with free shipping)
👉 See our Revive Light Therapy Reviews to help you choose the best one for your needs!
7. Snailax Infrared Foot Massager– Best for Foot Pain
An infrared foot massager combines massage therapy (Shiatsu/Air Compression/Vibration) with infrared therapy to loosen your achy feet (up to men size 12) and relieve them from pain caused by working on your feet, Neuropathy, Plantar Fasciitis, and more.
The Snailax infrared foot massager has 3 programs to choose from – Shiatsu, rolling, and airbag massage – and 3 intensities, that fit even the most sensitive feet.
It’s quiet and durable, and the customer service is excellent.
Snailax Foot Massager Pros
- Combined massage and infrared heat
- Relaxing and stress-relieving
- Beneficial for all foot conditions causing pain
- Doesn’t fit large feet, and mostly benefits average to small feet
Can Infrared Light Therapy Help with Nerve Pain?
Studies have confirmed that infrared light therapy is effective in helping to regenerate or restore a normal sensory threshold back to the feet of neuropathy patients within 30 days to 60 days or more, depending upon the severity.
Infrared rays penetrate deep to reach muscles and nerves.
The nerve cells absorb energy from the light, which supports cellular regrowth and regeneration, reduces inflammation, and repairs wounds or injuries.
👉 See exactly how to use Red/Infrared Light for Neuropathy at Home!
Infrared Therapy Devices Side Effects
Infrared therapy devices are generally considered safe and have minimal side effects.
However, some people may experience mild adverse effects in the short term, such as skin irritation (from overuse), and dehydration (from sweating too much without drinking water).
If you are using a combined red & infrared light device, it’s important to use safety goggles or at least to not look directly at the light – to prevent possible eye damage.
Pregnant women are advised to check with a physician before using infrared light therapy.
You’ve Endured Enough – It’s Time for a Change
The growing popularity of infrared therapy as a non-invasive approach to pain relief signifies a shift towards holistic and natural methods of healing.
With its simplicity, effectiveness, and accessibility, infrared therapy is empowering people all around the world to take control of their pain management and live life to the fullest.
With infrared therapy devices, you have the opportunity to regain control over your life.
Use this guide to find the best device for your needs, and consider full-body infrared treatments, through infrared saunas.
To your health and happiness,
Jean Stelian MD, Israel Gil MD, et al. Improvement of Pain and Disability in Elderly Patients with Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Knee Treated with Narrow‐Band Light Therapy
Dong Huang, Yong-Hong Gu, Qin Liao, Xue-Bin Yan, Shai-Hong Zhu, Chang-Qing Gao, “Effects of Linear-Polarized Near-Infrared Light Irradiation on Chronic Pain“, The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2012, Article ID 567496, 4 pages, 2012.
Vinck, E., Cagnie, B., Coorevits, P. et al. Pain reduction by infrared light-emitting diode irradiation: a pilot study on experimentally induced delayed-onset muscle soreness in humans. Lasers Med Sci 21, 11 (2006).
Ishiguro M, Ikeda K, Tomita K. Effect of near-infrared light-emitting diodes on nerve regeneration. J Orthop Sci. 2010 Mar;15(2):233-9.