The Essential line of infrared saunas by Sauna Works, the maker of Clearlight saunas, is the entry level line designed for affordability. It is named Essential as it has all the essential, critical features that are needed to provide true healing and detoxification. What is omitted from this line is Cedar wood and other aesthetics features found in the Premiere and Sanctuary Lines.
The wood used in this line is Nordic Spruce purchased from PLP Products, the parent company of Health Mate saunas, another really great brand, which supplies wood to many of the industry's brands.
What is included in the Essential Line is all of the high quality features Clearlight is known for in the industry.
True Wave heaters, the strongest, best penetrating carbon heaters of any brands. These are unique in the industry, combining both ceramic and carbon fibers in the panels.
Low EMF as in all the product lines.
Exterior Accent lighting as in all of its products.
Chromotherapy color lights are standard even in this affordable lower line. Many brands have these as add on options but they come with every one of these saunas.
As well moveable backrests come standard not as an option. The backrest is also made of narrower slats than most allowing more of the infrared to reach the user and penetrate the skin.
Each Essential model also comes with reservation mode, which allows a user to program the unit to turn itself on up to 36 hours in the future. This setting a reservation time is rarely found in even quality brands.
As I researched infrared months ago for personal use, I was impressed with all the benefits that could be gained from this line and and Essential from Clearlight Saunas is what we purchased for my home.
CE-1 is the 1-person Essential sauna. This model is targeted to those people who will not sacrifice owning true infrared heaters but need it to be affordable.
Like all the Essential models, the CE-2, the 2-person unit, carries all the same features.
The 99% hypoallergenic Nordic spruce wood has virtually no odor, is the wood used historically in European saunas and, while lacking the beauty of elegantly finished models, has a bright look to it. Our family's Essential unit has a slightly darker honey look to it than the models pictured here but is still bright colored. We felt this CE-2 was still a bit too cosy for 2 people on a regular basis and we opted for the corner unit that had more floor space.
We strongly considered the CE-3 as it felt very roomy and even with a young child occasionally would have adequate room for us. We looked at this on in the display room and the second window let in what seemed like 3x as much light as the CE-2 2-person.
This line does have ceiling air vents and halogen reading lights. These just seemed to really fit in this 3-person unit. For anyone wanting one for a couple or even with a child, this unit felt so much larger inside than the other smaller ones. The reading lights seemed like they would be a benefit for readers. We find we don't read while using ours.
This 3 person corner Clearlight Essential Sauna is the Unit we purchased and own. The three windows provided a lot of extra light which we really wanted and due to where we placed it, allow us to look out on the hillside while using it.
To me, this corner unit adds a bit more of an elegant look to it, ,which the other 3 units in this affordable line lack a bit of. Again, we were told by the company people we talked with that essential really means just that. Give the customer everything that is really needed, with the same heaters, controls and other features the top lines have, but with none of the extras that are not needed for deep detoxification.
On a personal note, the sauna we purchased has only one bench in the corner unit, which provides us with 3x as much floor space as this redesigned corner unit. The newer models have benches on both sides as seen in this picture. Personally I think it looks cramped from this picture, compared to the corner unit we have that was from 2013. I think now the CE-3 3 person unit would be a better option, except for the extra window this corner one has.
I really wanted to highlight this line as it was out best option. Clearly it lacks the furniture polished look of some others and the other top lines this company offers, but from 2 months of research we found it still had the most advanced carbon heaters of any company and due to our budget this fit us the best.
We did also learn that if we had tried to save a few hundred dollars more and dropped to a lower quality brand, we would likely have had just a fraction of the benefits we receive from ours. Overall, the Clearlight Infrared Sauna Essential Line would be the absolute best option available for those needing a more budget focused sauna but still only wanting a top performing brand.
The Clearlight Infrared Sauna Premiere Line models have all the same features as the Essential Line but are made from beautiful Western Red Canadian Cedar. Many saunas are made from cedar so it is also important to determine what quality of cedar is used. This is Eco Certified Cedar purchased again from PLP Products in Canada.
With the Premiere line, the units start to move into the category of beautiful furniture and have that traditional feel of many European Finnish Saunas that many think of. As they are made of cedar, anyone with an allergy to cedar smell or that 1% of the population that reacts to heated cedar should be careful when choosing a model from this line.
The IS-1 model is obviously made for 1 person. The partial corner look to this unit with the cedar gives it an elegant look even for a small unit. Like all Premiere units, the cedar boards are built using tongue and groove construction, not with staples and lots of glue as are many lower end brands.
When we looked at these in the showroom, they looked a lighter color than is pictured here. This is likely partly due to the overall alighting in the showroom.
As with all Clearlight saunas, the control panels are located both on the outside and inside, allowing you to turn it on without having to enter the sauna first. You would be surprised how many brands only have one control panel on either the outside or inside, making it necessary to enter the sauna to turn it on, or lean out to add time or change settings.
It is partly these little things that can affect how many times you use the sauna or how much benefit you gain from it.
Although the company informed us that this unit is one of its top 2 selling maodels, I thought this IS-2 model looked a little bit like a "box." This one was avaialbe for us to look at in the showroom and it looked better in person than in this picture which appears to be taken from almost floor level. The overhead lights in this image make it look a bit odd to me but in person it was much more appealing. And it is the #2 top selling unit.
This also has the furniture grade cedar, interior chromotherapy lights and reading lights as well as the same 36 hour reservation timer to set for the unit to turn itself on at a designated time.
As with the 3 person Essential unit, this IS-3 has a second window which allows much more light inside. The design of this model allows a lot of heating panels to surround the user including larger amounts of heaters in front of the seated occupants.
This compete line also has a flat or ergonomic bench if preferred, designed by the doctor who founded the company.
This particular model has much more of the look and feel of a traditional sauna that many people picture when thinking of a sauna.
As can be seen in the picture, the IS-5 has a bench that can be ergonomically moved to allow lying down lengthwise in comfort with a customized feel to it. This is a large piece of furniture and it will take over a small room quickly. So be careful where you plan to place this one. We did not see this one in the showroom but from the image it has a massive feel.
As with all Models, these use minimal glue and utilize tongue and groove construction. Assembly time is about 45 minutes with two people. Most of the time is spent connecting the wires on the roof piece to the wall units as the walls go together very quickly and secure with buckles.
The heaters, as well, only go up to below the shoulders when sitting as they are more powerful than standard carbons heaters and are designed specifically for sauna use.
This is a view inside the IS-5 showing the movable bench.
Below are also pictured the wood lamp covers, optional medical grade chromo-therapy light upgrade and a side view of the reversible ergonomically designed bench seat.
As with all Clearlight Saunas, the Premiere has a lifetime warranty on all parts. This is very rare in this industry with most omitting heaters or radios or lights or something from its warranty.