Should You Wear Underwear in the Sauna? (Find Out)

When it comes to enjoying the various health benefits of the sauna, you might be wondering if you should wear underwear to preserve modesty or leave it behind for a more authentic experience. Luckily, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it greatly depends on your own personal preferences, the specific sauna etiquette, and the type of sauna you will be using.

You may opt for wearing underwear or a swimsuit in certain situations such as in a public gym or spa, while in some European countries and traditional sauna settings, going without underwear and using a towel to cover up may be the norm. Ultimately, it is important to consider both the etiquette of the facility you are visiting and your own comfort levels when deciding whether to wear underwear in the sauna.

Regardless of your choice, make sure to avoid tight, synthetic materials that can restrict blood flow and potentially release toxic chemicals as they get heated. Instead, aim for loose, breathable clothing or choose to go nude, covered with a towel, to fully embrace the sauna’s benefits without compromising your health or the experience of fellow sauna-goers.

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Why Comfort Matters

When it comes to spending time in a sauna, your comfort is crucial. You may wonder if wearing underwear or other clothing can affect your experience. Understanding the role of comfort in a sauna session will help you make the right choice for your personal well-being.

Feeling comfortable allows you to focus on relaxation and fully enjoy the benefits of heat therapy. The sauna environment promotes mental and emotional balance, which can only be achieved when you release tension and allow your body to unwind. Ensuring that what you wear (or don’t wear) helps you feel at ease is essential to maximizing the positive effects of a sauna session on your emotional state and physical well-being.

Moreover, wearing tight or restrictive clothing like underwear might hinder your body’s ability to breathe and sweat properly during the session. This could not only decrease the effectiveness of the sauna experience but also make it less enjoyable overall. Since the primary purpose of a sauna is to promote relaxation, your attire choices should support this goal by providing the highest level of comfort possible.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to wear underwear in the sauna depends on your personal preferences and comfort. As long as you feel at ease and can focus on relaxation, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in the sauna and enjoy its many health benefits.

The Debate on Underwear

underwear hanging under clear blue sky
Whether you should wear underwear in sauna depends on many factors (Image source)

As you step into the sauna, you may wonder if wearing underwear is appropriate or not. There seems to be a divide on this topic, with some insisting on going au naturel while others prefer some coverage. So, let’s explore the options to better understand this debate.

Wearing cotton clothing, like an oversized T-shirt or shorts, is a common choice for the sauna. Cotton, being a natural fiber, allows your skin to breathe and absorbs excess heat. This ensures that your body can effectively perspire and expel toxins. However, underwear made of cotton or other natural fibers might be preferable if you’re not keen on bearing it all.

Some people choose to avoid underwear altogether in the sauna due to hygiene concerns. Sweaty clothing, including underwear, can harbor bacteria, which can multiply in a moist, warm environment. Plus, the material of the underwear also plays a role; it’s best to avoid synthetic or PVC fabrics that might trap sweat and prevent your skin from breathing properly.

The choice of wearing underwear in a sauna ultimately depends on your comfort level and personal preference. Ensure that you select clean and breathable garments made from natural fibers, such as cotton, to have a pleasant sauna experience. Always remember to bring a towel, regardless of your attire, to sit or lie down on, as it helps maintain hygiene and cleanliness.

Going Nude

Going nude in a sauna can be a liberating experience, allowing your body to be fully receptive to the heat and steam. However, there are specific sauna etiquette guidelines that you should be aware of when deciding to go naked.

First and foremost, you should be comfortable with your own decision to go nude. If you prefer to wear a towel or other form of covering, such as a swimsuit or underwear, that’s perfectly fine.

In public saunas, always check the venue’s policies before shedding your clothes. Some saunas encourage nudity, while others may require a certain level of coverage. Be mindful of the cultural expectations of the location and the other patrons around you.

When you’re going nude in a sauna, don’t forget about hygiene. A towel can serve as a barrier between your bare skin and the sauna bench. This will not only protect you from the hot surface but also minimize the risk of spreading germs.

In case you decide to use an infrared sauna blanket at home, it’s still essential to wear the recommended clothing to protect your skin from heat. Going nude with a sauna blanket may not be ideal, as your skin will be in direct contact with the heated fabric.

In summary, going nude in a sauna can provide a range of benefits, but be sure to respect the sauna’s etiquette, use a towel for hygiene purposes, and protect your skin when using a sauna blanket.

What Not to Wear

When heading into the sauna, resist the temptation to accessorize or wear restrictive clothing. Jewelry, including metal or wooden pieces, should be left outside the sauna, as it can heat up and potentially burn your skin. The same goes for piercings, as high temperatures can cause discomfort or even injure your skin.

Avoid wearing tight clothing, such as underwear or bras with underwire, which can become uncomfortable due to the heat and moisture inside the sauna. Stick to loose, breathable garments, or simply wrap yourself in a towel.

Your skin should be free of lotions, creams, and makeup before entering the sauna. These products can clog your pores, interfere with sweating, and may cause skin irritation in a hot environment. Moreover, some oils and lotions can emit fumes when heated, affecting the air quality inside the sauna. It’s best to enjoy the sauna with clean, product-free skin.

Lastly, remember that shoes and certain support garments, like braces or wraps, are a no-go in the sauna. This is due to the fact that they can release fumes when exposed to high temperatures, making it important to stick to proper sauna attire.

Personal Preferences and Cultural Differences

man wearing sauna hat with a woman by his side
You need to take cultural differences and sauna etiquette into account (Image source)

When it comes to sauna attire, your personal preferences play a significant role in determining what you should wear. Consider what makes you feel comfortable and allows you to unwind during your wellness session. Some people may prefer wearing something made of cotton, like a loose T-shirt and shorts, while others may opt for complete nudity or just a towel.

It’s also essential to take cultural differences and sauna etiquette into account. In some countries, like Finland, it’s common for people to be in the sauna without clothing, especially in private saunas. The Finns, for example, see nudity as a natural part of the sauna experience. However, in other regions, wearing a swimsuit or towel is more acceptable.

Additionally, keep in mind that lotions and creams can negatively impact your sauna experience. The heat in the sauna can cause these products to be absorbed more quickly by your skin, potentially leading to irritation. Ensure that you’re not wearing any products that could interfere with the effectiveness of the sauna or make you feel uncomfortable during your session.

In conclusion, when deciding on what to wear in a sauna, take both your personal preferences and cultural differences into account. Ultimately, the goal is to feel relaxed and benefit from the well-being a sauna can provide. So choose an attire that aligns with your comfort level and any local etiquette, and enjoy your sauna experience.


It is important to consider both the potential benefits and drawbacks of wearing underwear in a sauna. As a knowledgeable and confident person, you may weigh the factors such as hygiene, comfort, and cultural norms before making your decision.

In terms of hygiene, wearing underwear may provide a barrier between your skin and the seating surface in the sauna, reducing the chances of bacterial transmission. On the other hand, wearing wet or sweaty underwear for extended periods can cause skin irritation and other issues.

Comfort is another factor to consider. Some individuals may feel more at ease wearing underwear, while others may prefer the freedom of not wearing it. Be mindful of the sauna’s specific dress policy and cultural norms to ensure that you are adhering to the shared expectations and etiquette.

In conclusion, the choice of whether or not to wear underwear in a sauna largely depends on your personal preferences, the facility’s policies, and cultural norms. Ultimately, it is essential to prioritize hygiene, comfort, and adherence to shared values, ensuring a pleasant and beneficial sauna experience for both yourself and others.

(Featured image by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels)

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