Can Sauna Or Sauna Rocks Explode? (+ Preventive Measures)

Saunas are an incredibly relaxing experience where you can escape all of your worries and clear your head. However, if you’re worried about the potential that a sauna or sauna rocks are unsafe and could potentially harm you, it’s hard to get into relaxation mode. 

Sauna rocks can explode if you’re not using the right type of rocks that can sustain the immense heat and moisture of a sauna. It’s less likely that a sauna or steam room would explode, though it has happened before. As such, it’s important that you’re careful about which rocks you bring into a sauna environment.

In the rest of the article, we are going to look into why sauna or sauna rocks explode and how to prevent it from happening.

Table of Contents

Can Sauna or Steam Rooms Explode?

It’s not very often that a sauna or steam room explodes, but it can happen and certainly has happened. When a steam room or sauna has exploded, one of the most common contributing factors is an issue with the boiler. 

It may be that a boiler is under too much pressure or has overheated, or a mechanism on the boiler is not in good condition. Unfortunately, defects can happen with boilers too, and without noticing them in time, a boiler that’s on may become a hazard quickly. 

Therefore, it’s important to maintain your boiler to ensure it’s always in proper working order. Making sure that you’re setting up your sauna appropriately with a quality boiler from a trusted company is crucial.

It’s also good to keep your eye on how heat accumulates in and around your setup to ensure there’s no risk of overheating in your sauna or steam room. 

What Are Sauna Stones Used For?

Sauna stones are used in order to help generate heat and steam within a sauna. When they are stacked properly inside a heater and hot water is carefully poured on them, they create a soothing cloud of steam that can linger in the air and add to the sauna experience.

Not all stone heating mechanisms use water, and some are heated using a stove instead of a heater. 

Additionally, they are able to maintain a steady and comfortable temperature in the sauna so that things don’t get too hot or not hot enough. This can be a fantastic way to avoid having to generate consistent artificial heat which can waste a lot of energy and doesn’t contribute to the ambiance one wants in a sauna.

Can Sauna Rocks Explode?

white stones against black background
White decorative sauna stones by Finnmark Sauna (Image source)

Proper sauna rocks are not supposed to explode. Many rocks are not appropriate for the high temperatures and moisture levels that are created in a sauna environment, and if they sustain enough pressure, it’s very likely that they’re going to explode. 

Sauna rocks are rocks that are tried and tested to withstand the very high temperatures created in a sauna. They are also able to help generate the right kind of heat throughout the sauna when they are mixed with hot water to create steam. 

You should never take rocks from around your yard or during your travels and put them into your sauna or steam room. Even if you clean these rocks, there’s a high chance that the rocks you’ve picked aren’t suitable for a sauna environment. Not only can these rocks crumble and potentially harm your sauna equipment, but they can explode. 

How to Prevent Sauna or Sauna Rocks From Exploding

In order to prevent a sauna from exploding, it’s important to schedule frequent inspections of all the elements that make up your sauna, especially your boiler. You want to make sure your boiler turns on and off properly, and all the valves are in working order. 

Be sure that you’re carefully sourcing sauna rocks and are able to learn about what kind of rocks you’re buying. Sauna rocks can either help or hinder the overall atmosphere and energy of a sauna. Poor-quality rocks can make it difficult for your sauna to reach the right temperature, and they can also muddy the air quality. 

What’s fantastic is that there is an incredible range of sauna stones available that will benefit the overall essence of your sauna experience while also fitting in with your aesthetic. The best kind of sauna stones are ones that are organic in their shape and texture, but you can find ones that are smooth and uniform. 

How Long Do Sauna Stones Last?

Using sauna stones that are too old and out of shape isn’t recommended either. They might not explode, but they could end up cracking and causing damage to your heat source. How often you need to replace stones will depend on how often you use your sauna. 

If you’re only using your sauna once or twice a week, you’ll need to replace them every six months to a year. If you use them more often, you’ll want to try to replace them every three to six months. Making sure to rotate your stones occasionally can help you get more out of your stones. 

How to Choose Proper Sauna Stones

You have to consider the following criteria when choosing sauna stones:

Sauna stones are often sourced from either granite rocks or volcanic rocks and they should be able to not only withstand heat but also absorb it. The stones should also be free of cracks or pores to avoid having water build up inside of them, which will hamper their effectiveness. 

Size also matters when it comes to sauna stones. Stones that are too small aren’t going to be very effective, and neither will stones that are too large.

Stick with sauna stones that are between five and ten centimeters and that aren’t necessarily perfectly smooth.

Your larger stones should go underneath your smaller stones to disperse heat more efficiently. 


You do not have to be super nervous about your sauna or steam room exploding should you make maintenance and inspection a priority. Choosing the right kinds of sauna rocks is also beneficial, especially since improper stones in your sauna are at risk of exploding.

As more is learned about the numerous benefits of a sauna, more ways of making saunas as safe as possible continue to be discovered. 

(Featured image by Nicollazzi Xiong from Pexels)

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