PLH Products, Inc / Health Mate Sauna is the ONLY manufacturer of far infrared saunas who cares enough about the environment and you to makesure their products meet the highest standards of sustaining the earth’s resources. Find out why on our Green Cedar page!
Safe and Non-toxic materials
We promise the Health Mate sauna is made from safe, non-toxic materials, the only one on the market who can make that statement. We only use non-toxic glue in our products.
Why is wood important?
A sauna is a heat-generating product, and because of such nature, wood selection is extremely important in sauna building. Health Mate Sauna features:
- The highest quality Canadian Western Red Cedar which is considered the best wood to build a sauna- inside and outside the unit.
- Directly control the entire process from raw material to the finished sauna in our own lumber mill.
- Only the finest center-cut wood is used for beauty and durability.
Due to these big differences in wood, even though our Health Mate Saunas and others' look similar at first, they could become dramatically different after years of use.
Health Mate Lumber Manufacturing Process
Great sauna building starts from selecting the great raw material.
- Our Canadian office directly purchases the best quality raw Western red cedar wood in Canada.
- The wood is then transported to our 300,000 square-feet factory in Yantai, China.
- Only the best center-cut parts are selected, then fresh-air dried for 3 weeks to preserve the wood's natural state.
- We visually inspect and handpick all clear & vertical grain (No flat grain) cedar.
No one else in the industry has the capability to choose the finest cedar wood like we do. That's why no one can come close to the quality of Health Mate Saunas.
Health Mate Saunas Lumber Drying
Initial Dry at Sort Yard
- When the green raw materials first arrive at the factory, the lumber is first sorted by length, size, grade, & grain.
- Initial drying is then started at the sort yard before the lumber is processed.
- Typically, the lumber sits out in the yard for minimum two weeks to avoid any collapsing of wood.
- Collapsing causes defects in the surface which may distort the appearance of lumber.
- Health Mate Saunas use the best selected grade & grain for sauna panels.
Air Dry Blank Size Lumber
- After initial drying, the lumber is then chopped and ripped to blank sizes for sauna panels.
- These blank sizes are then Air Dried piece by piece with sticking between each piece.
- Typically, the blanks are air dried for minimum two weeks to avoid any shrinkage.
- Shrinkage causes variances to the lumber size as this will ultimately result in inconsistent sauna panels.
- Health Mate Saunas eliminate any poorly dried lumber by sorting the best air dried blanks to be used for sauna production.
Kiln Dry Before Molding
- After air dry, the blanks are then placed in our highly innovative German Gann kilns.
- Kiln dry is the most important step before molding to reach the optimum moisture content needed for sauna use of minimum 12%.
- The lowest moisture content level that can
be reached by air dry is no less than 20%.
- Wet lumber will cause mold, rot, & essentially will have
a shorter life span.
- Health Mate Saunas dries our lumber to 6-8% to avoid any problems and thus provides the best equilibrium moisture content for use in sauna.
History of Cedar wood
Cedarwood has been used throughout the ages by numerous races. The early Europeans used cedarwood oil to help heal the sick and to prevent outbreaks of disease. Europeans used cedarwood oil to cure indigestion, flatulence, leprosy, bubonic plague, smallpox and fever. In the 17th century, English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, had observed that cedarwood oil was a remedy for heart failure, coughs, shortness of breath, tuberculosis and menstruation. The American Indians seemed to have used cedarwood oil for almost any health condition.
Thus, through out history, cedarwood oil has been used by a variety of cultures, in different ways to prevent or cure illnesses. This was all done without the scientific knowledge to understand the theory and chemical composition of cedarwood. Therefore, trial and error must have been used to determine the effect the oil would have on an individual illness.
*Source: School of Resources, Environment & Society, Australian National University
Tree of Exceptional Beauty
Western Red Cedar has a uniform and fine-grained texture combined with a palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from light amber to deep honey brown. Its rich color is beautifully complemented by a natural satin luster no man-made material can duplicate. Adding another dimension to its beauty is its unique fragrance. Its subtle aroma and genuine beauty give Western Red Cedar a universal appeal unsurpassed by other softwoods.
Tree of Durability
Western Red Cedar produces natural oil and extractives that act as preservatives to protect the wood from insect attacks and decay-causing fungi. Its ability to produce such preservatives increases with age, allowing the wood to withstand years of usage in sound condition. In addition, Western Red Cedar is a dimensionally stable wood that lies flat and stays straight. Compared to other common woods, it boasts very low shrinkage value, which makes it suitable for a variety of uses in high-moisture areas such as saunas.
Tree of Practicality
Beauty aside, the Western Red Cedar's cellular structure creates interior air spaces that give it an insulation value higher than most woods. Buildings, which feature cedar paneling, ceiling, or siding, tend to stay warmer in the winter. Therefore, the cedar interior and exterior of our Health Mate Infrared Sauna provide an additional level of natural thermal insulation for the pre-insulated panels. Western Red Cedar also has excellent sound suppression and absorption qualities, creating a very comfortable and private ambience for Health Mate Infrared Sauna users.
Safety of Cedar wood
Cedar wood has been used from 3000~4000 years ago to prevent or cure illnesses. Any kind of wood including cedar wood might be harmful if its wood dust is inhaled by an enormous amount in a closed space such as a saw mill or a wood factory. But the normal use of a sauna made with cedar wood is safe to the human body. No case has been reported to any government agencies or research institutions throughout the world regarding the health problems related to using a cedar wood sauna.