Sauna vs Steam Room – Differences & Benefits (A Steamy Debate)

Sauna vs Steam Room – Differences & Benefits (A Steamy Debate)

Saunas have become a hot topic of debate in the health and wellness world, and these conversations often come down to two main elements:

Sauna vs steam room.

Heat therapy has been widely studied and totes a wide range of therapeutic benefits that have left people stepping into the warm embrace of saunas and steam rooms again and again.

Have you been considering investing in a sauna for your home and been wondering if you should opt for a sauna or a steam room?

If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to explore these two topics in depth, from the different types of saunas, what makes a steam room different, and what you can expect to experience from each.

Ready to turn up the heat? Keep reading!

Sauna vs Steam Room – Key Differences

The sauna vs steam room debate is more complex than you may realize since we’re not simply talking about two different products but, in fact, a range of products that fit within the two categories.

Let us explain.

Saunas themselves come in different styles, such as dry saunas and infrared saunas, which both provide a different experience and require a different temperature.

Steam rooms and traditional steam saunas, however, stand apart by their steamy, humid interior.

How Your Experience Varies

So, how does this change your experience? To best understand this, you can think of them like a hot summer day.

How do you feel on days when the humidex is sky-high? How about on those dry days when the temperature outside is exactly as stated, and no humidity is in the air to drive it upward?

Steam Rooms & Steam Saunas

That humid day is like a steam room or steam sauna.

With the excess moisture from the steam, you’ll discover a humid interior that quickly warms your skin, resulting in droplets of sweat forming on the surface of your skin.

Traditional Dry Saunas

Dry saunas, on the other hand, offer a cozy heat that slowly warms your body, often creating a more comfortable environment to be in for a longer period of time.

Infrared Saunas

Then, we have infrared saunas, which offer a completely different experience, using specific wavelengths of light to deeply penetrate your skin and warm you from the inside out.

How Their Temperature Varies

The temperature inside also changes based on which type of sauna you’re settling into for a sweat sesh.

Steam Saunas & Steam Rooms

Steam saunas and steam rooms generally have a lower temperature but a much higher humidity to make them feel hotter.

These saunas typically sit around 120-150 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity between 40-75% (or even upwards of 100% in some cases!).

However, the level of humidity you add to the air is completely up to you. Simply add more, or less water to achieve your desired experience!

Traditional Dry Saunas

Because dry saunas don’t have the added humidity to raise their temperature, they generally have a much higher base temperature.

These saunas typically hover around 160 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring the air around you gets hot enough to induce the therapeutic benefits you desire.

Infrared Saunas

Lastly, infrared saunas have the lowest temperature range of them all, since they use light waves to heat your body directly and not the air around you.

This allows for an ultra-comfortable experience, ensuring even the most heat-sensitive people can enjoy the benefits saunas offer.

Infrared saunas are typically set between 115 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sauna Vs Steam Room - Woman Enjoying A Steam Sauna

Benefits of Saunas and Steam Rooms

All saunas provide a range of highly coveted health and wellness benefits, so it’s no surprise people have come to crave their time in the heat however they can get it.

However, because of the distinctly different heating methods between different types of saunas and steam rooms, there are some variances between what you can expect.

Here are some of the shared benefits you can experience from all types of saunas:

  • Increased circulation
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Better skin quality
  • Supports pain relief
  • Changes in energy levels
  • Stress relief

Because of their humidity and ample moisture, steam rooms, and steam saunas boast one unique benefit you won’t find in drier environments–reduced sinus congestion!

The steam in these rooms helps ease sinus congestion, especially when infused with eucalyptus!

Infrared saunas also harbor a unique benefit that their sauna counterparts simply don’t, and that’s improved muscle recovery.

In fact, one study found that due to the deep penetration of infrared light, athletes experienced improved neuromuscular recovery.

Sauna vs Steam Room – Which One is Better?

With each one offering many of the same wellness benefits, this ultimately comes down to your personal preference when it comes to heat.

If you’re someone who enjoys a dryer heat and wants to be able to spend longer periods of time in your sauna, a dry sauna or infrared sauna may be your best bet.

However, if you want to sweat more quickly and struggle with persistent sinus issues, a steam room or steam sauna would be your perfect fit!

Sauna Vs Steam Room - Woman Drinking Water In A Sauna

Safety Tips When Using a Sauna or Steam Room

While saunas have plenty to offer, they can only do so if used safely.

Each time you step into a sauna, you’re exposing your body to an extreme environment, which demands a high level of responsibility and body awareness.

If you’re just starting out, it’s crucial to take it slow, giving your body time to adjust to this new environment.

Start by stepping into your sauna and allowing your body temperature to rise alongside your sauna, resulting in a more gradual experience.

Furthermore, for your first few sessions, stick to a shorter time in the sauna, aiming for five to ten minutes.

Once you’re more experienced and ready to take it further, follow these steps to enjoy a safe, therapeutic experience each time you step inside your sauna.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Before, during, and after, hydrating your body is key! As you sweat, your body loses water, and without replenishing it (or without enough in the first place), you risk dehydration.

Signs of dehydration include nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme thirst, and fatigue.

If you begin experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately leave your sauna, sit somewhere cool, and rehydrate.

Following any session, you’ll want to ensure you drink plenty of water to replace the water you lost during your session.

2. Remove Your Jewelry & Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing

Before stepping into your sauna, do a quick check to make sure you’ve removed any jewelry like bracelets, dangling earrings, or necklaces.

This will ensure you’re not wearing anything that can get hot and burn your skin while you’re enjoying the luxurious heat of your sauna.

When it comes to your clothes, you’ll want to ensure your skin has room to breathe, so it’s best to wear loose, light clothing.

This will ensure your body is easily able to sweat, and you’re not left feeling constricted and uncomfortable as the temperature rises.

3. Enjoy a Refreshing Cooldown

While it may be tempting to jump into the shower immediately following your session, take a moment to pause, settle down somewhere comfortable, and give your body time to naturally bring its temperature back down to normal.

This will help transform your sauna sessions into a therapeutic, stress-relieving activity while reducing the risk of over-exertion or dehydration occurring afterward.

4. Wrap Up Your Session With a Cool Shower

Once your body temperature has returned to normal, it’s time to enjoy that refreshing shower and wash off the remnants of sweat lacing your skin.

Not only will this ensure you don’t experience any discomfort, such as acne, from sweat remaining on your skin, but it’ll ensure you don’t reabsorb any toxins you may have sweat out.

To make this process more enjoyable, start with lukewarm water and slowly turn it down until you reach a cool, refreshing temperature that leaves you feeling completely rejuvenated!

Sauna Vs Steam Room - Woman In An Infrared Sauna

How To Enhance Your Sessions – Tips and Accessories

If you’re looking to take your wellness journey even further, there are plenty of ways you can enhance your time in the sauna or steam room, maximizing the therapeutic benefits.

Here are some top tips and accessories.

Soft Robes and Towels For The Ultimate Comfort

With a home sauna, you’re not restrained in how you can enjoy your sauna sessions, gaining much more flexibility.

Investing in plush, cozy towels and robes can be a game-changer in your sessions, allowing you to wrap yourself in soft materials, and allowing your skin ample room to breathe as you relax in the heat.

Better yet, by wearing a robe, you can bring the heat with you even after you exit the sauna!

Sauna Seat Cover for Added Protection

As you sweat away in your sauna, the wood from the backrests and seats absorbs that moisture, requiring routine cleaning to maintain their luxurious appearance.

To reduce these cleaning demands and keep your sauna looking bright and welcoming, invest in some seat covers!

Not only will they keep sweat from dirtying your benches, but they’ll make your sessions even more comfortable.

LED Lights For Chromotherapy

Have you heard of chromotherapy? This therapeutic technique uses light to support your emotional well-being, with certain colors promoting different emotional responses.

LED lighting allows you to bring the power of light therapy to your sessions, effortlessly amplifying the therapeutic benefits of your sauna.

Try turning them to yellow for a boost in mood, or find a reprieve from daily stress as you bask in a blue hue during your session.

Essential Oils for Aromatherapy

Another easy way to give the therapeutic benefits of your sauna a boost is by incorporating aromatherapy into your sessions as well!

This can be done in a variety of ways. Try adding a drop to the inside of your wrists before stepping into your sauna or dabbing some on the collar of your robe, basking in its scent as the warmth from the sauna sends it floating into the air.

If you have a steam sauna or steam room, you can add a drop of your preferred scent to your water bucket for subtly scented steam!

Here are some of our favorite essential oils and their key benefits:

  • Lavender to improve relaxation and sleep
  • Eucalyptus to relieve congestion
  • Sandalwood to ease anxiety
  • Bergamot to combat stress
  • Peppermint for a boost of energy

With various scents to choose from, you’re sure to love this new addition to your sauna.

Indoor and Outdoor Saunas For Sale at Take a Break Spas & Billiards

At Take a Break Spas & Billiards, we’re passionate about bringing health and wellness right to your front door.

With our wide selection of saunas, featuring models suited for both outdoor and indoor use, reimaging your new self-care routine just got a whole lot simpler!

Our team of experts is here to help you find everything you need to create the relaxation haven of your dreams, and with their in-depth knowledge, you can depend on us to guide you through the process from start to finish (and even beyond!)

From hot tubs and swim spas for a backyard oasis to saunas, cold plunges, and massage chairs, we’ve got you covered, no matter how you envision relaxing after a long day!

We even carry a range of home leisure accessories to bring your game room to life and foster family memories that’ll last a lifetime!

Whatever you dream of for your home, the answer is sure to be through our front doors.

Visit one of our four convenient showrooms in West Jordan, American Fork, Springville, and Spanish Fork, or contact your local team today to learn more about our various products and services.

Let’s make 2024 the most relaxing one yet!

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