Sauna vs. steam room

People love taking hot baths in steam rooms and saunas. It appears both the heat chambers come with some outstanding advantages and health benefits. But most of us do not know the exact difference between a steam room and a sauna. You will get different types of saunas and steam rooms in many gyms. Wellness and fitness enthusiasts and athletes love to relax and rejuvenate with the heat sessions. But you should know that the steam room and sauna offer two completely different experiences to the users. In this article, we will check out the primary differences between the two and which one you should select.

What do you mean by sauna?

Saunas usually implement dry heat with temperatures from 180 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. It gets heated by gas, infrared technology, or wood with lower humidity. People also pour water on the hot rocks inside the sauna room to create immense steam with humidity. The process of the sauna has been prevalent since the Neolithic Age, and people are getting benefits from it. Experts recommend using the sauna room for not more than 20 minutes.

Infrared saunas are the modern up-gradation of conventional saunas where the heating element is the infrared rays and not any stove or wood. The steam will get deep inside the muscles, skin, and cells, which will enhance your core temperature to create sweat for cooling the body. Inside this type of sauna, the temperature ranges between 135 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It will allow the user to spend more time in this room with no threat of any cardiovascular concern and dehydration. The user can have a steam bath session inside an infrared sauna for more than 45 minutes based on their physical condition and tolerance level.

What Do You Mean By Steam Room?

Steam rooms do not contain so much heat like the sauna but include higher humidity. Steam rooms come with a temperature range from 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit with 100% humidity presence. You will feel more heat inside a steam room due to the higher humidity, although the temperature is much lower than the saunas. A steam room or bath consists of steam created by a generator full of boiling water. It is always advised not to spend more than 15 minutes inside the steam room.

Healthy Advantages of Using the Sauna

Below are some of the key benefits of using a sauna.

Improves Blood Circulation

The high body temperature will enhance your heartbeat, which will also improve your blood circulation. Using a sauna for more than 20 minutes is similar to the calories burnt while walking at a regular pace on a treadmill. Due to the high heat, the heart will pump the blood harder to flow rapidly inside the body. It means the sauna helps the user to acquire some cardio benefits just by sitting inside a hot room.

Great stress Reliever

Steam bathing inside the sauna is one of the best ways to relax and distress. According to studies, people with a regular habit of sauna bathing include lower stress levels in comparison to others. Sauna allows the body of the user to experience a detoxifying and deep sweaty experience. You can stay inside the saunas for more time compared to steam rooms and the traditional saunas. It means the skin, muscles, and joints will receive more time to relax inside the sauna. Some sauna owners also offer tablets with loaded meditation applications which assist you to relax.

Reduces the Blood Pressure

Spending regular sessions inside the sauna reduce blood pressure. But doctors advise the user to restrict their visit to the sauna with uncontrollable pressure. Initially, the blood pressure will go up, but in the long term, it will help you in better blood pressure management. Users can also have enhanced cardiovascular health from the frequent usage of the sauna. It is applicable only if they visit the sauna room for at least 3 to 4 days and enjoy at least 20 minutes of the session there. Sauna baths also help to reduce the threat of stroke, dementia, and heart attack.

Gives Glowy Skin

Visiting a sauna can also improve your overall skin health. It brings the flow of blood to the skin surface before the users begin sweating. Regular baths in the sauna will make the skin sturdy and elastic, perfect for athletes. Pending 30 minutes inside a sauna after training or a workout helps the neuromuscular system recover well from the maximum enduring performance.

Also read: Sauna water

It gives relief from Sore Muscle and stiff Joints

Sauna baths also help the user to recover the tensed muscles by loosening up after the recovery. Since heat makes the muscles elastic and pliable, a steam bath after the workout helps you get well soon with the soreness. People with body aches and stiff joints also use saunas to ease up the pain.

Delivers strong Immunity System

Utilizing the sauna is not directly related to enhancing immunity but will reduce stress and help you relax. It can also repair the function of the immune system. Sauna also reduces the inflammatory marker circulation level, which messes with your response to the immune system too. According to some research, the sauna can also reduce the common cold and fight off the various viruses and bacteria within the body.

Improves the mood

Studies also show that a sauna can relax your mood and enhance your meditation factors. Thus users who frequently take a tour of the sauna include a lower threat of psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. In other words, sauna use has some positive mental benefits on the user’s brain.

Also read: Are infrared saunas good for arthritis?

Healthy Advantages of Using the Steam Room

Steam rooms also include most similar benefits like a sauna as the heat effects are the same whether you are inside a wet or dry heat. It will help you to get cardiovascular advantages with lower stiffness and pain. But you should never expect to lose a higher amount of weight by using a steam room. If you have respiratory problems like breathing, allergies, or asthma, a steam room is the best place for you to be. Steam will help to open the lungs and moisturize them more. It will also assist them in hydrating the respiratory tract while the user is struggling with congestion. The steam might also act as a humidifier to clear up the nasal passages, which will help the user for easy breathing.

Which one is better: Sauna or Steam Room?

If your primary purpose in using a steam room or a sauna after a workout session is to get relaxed, then the sauna is the better choice among the two. The overall health benefit that comes from using both is more or less the same. The excessive warmth will enhance the blood circulation to the muscles with an improved oxygen level. The high heat temperature also enhances the metabolic rate temporarily and helps in hyperthermic levels. But if you have any respiratory problems, it is better to use the steam rooms to keep the respiratory passage well hydrated. A sauna bath, on the contrary, will dry it out even more. Also read: sauna vs steam room.


In the end, it is all about the personal choice of the person. Some people cannot handle the humidity pressure of the steam room, while others might find it too hot to handle. Regardless of whichever you select, be it a sauna or a steam room, you will get the most benefit for your health from both of them. In other words, saunas and steam rooms are the best ways to soothe and unwind your aching and tired muscles after the workout sessions.

Issac Maxfield sauna hacks

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Issac Maxfield

I used to be a marketing guy working for technology companies. After 15 years of corporate life, I burnt out. Severely. I turned my focus on my health and made drastic changes in my life. Today I’m the happiest person I know.

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