Thinking of visiting the sauna at your gym for the first time and worried about what to wear?
You should wear something light and comfortable at a public or gym sauna. You could wear a cotton t-shirt and shorts or swimwear or just a towel if you are comfortable with it. Most gym saunas have dress codes so try asking at your gym before showing up in a towel!
That said, in the rest of the article, we are going to take a deep dive into the kind of clothes that are both comfortable and acceptable in public saunas. We will also talk about what kind of clothes you should avoid wearing in a public sauna at all costs.
But first, let’s take a quick look at whether you should visit the sauna before or after the gym.
Sauna Before or After Workout
When you decide to start using the sauna at your gym, some of you are probably conflicted about whether you should use the sauna before or after working out.
Truth is you can reap the benefits of a sauna session anytime you want. Some people prefer going before hitting the gym as a way to warm up and loosen up their muscles. Others like to use the sauna after a grueling workout to help relax the body.
We have covered this topic in more detail in a separate article. Take a look: should you sauna before or after a workout?
How to Choose a Sauna Outfit
Whether you are visiting the home sauna or the public sauna, you will need to keep these in mind when choosing a sauna outfit:
You will sweat a lot inside the sauna. Sweating helps remove dirt from your skin.
Wearing light clothes will allow you to sweat profusely. Even if the cloth stick to your body, if you choose the right clothes it won’t hinder the sweating process.
Some of you are probably thinking that heavy clothes can push your body to sweat more. But heavy clothes are not ideal for sauna sessions. They stick to your skin and clog your pores which means dirt and debris in your skin remain inside. Moreover, heavy clothes make you feel claustrophobic and you might feel sick or even faint. Bottom line is, to avoid wearing heavy clothes.
Also, avoid wearing tightly stitched clothes because they prevent hot air from passing through your clothes and reaching your skin. Your clothes must be loosely stitched so that your skin feels the hot sauna air and sweat well.
No matter what clothes you wear inside the sauna, they will stick to your skin but still, you need to avoid tight-fitting clothes as they are likely to block the pore of your skin and they can make you feel sick. Opt for loose clothes as they’ll allow hot air to reach your skin.
Ease of Removal
The temperature inside a public or gym sauna is usually comfortable. But, speaking from personal experience, on certain days, you’d wish you could reduce the temperature. In a public setting, the temperature is outside your control. Therefore, if you were wearing clothes that you could shed off when you need to, then you wouldn’t have to leave the sauna due to the temperature being uncomfortably high.
Clothes You Can Wear in the Sauna
These are the best clothing options in a public sauna:
Inside the sauna, you will need to shed all your clothes, including the undergarment. Use a towel to cover your chest and waist. It will help you to not just cover your private parts but protect your skin from the heat of the seat. We recommend using a cotton towel because it’s comfortable and absorbs sweat quickly.
While towels are a great option, towels can feel heavy, even if you choose the lightest one in the market. So if you want to go for something lighter, wear a swimsuit. A swimsuit gives you appropriate coverage and it’s light on the skin. Get a one-piece. If you prefer more exposure, choose a bikini-style swimsuit. Just make sure that the swimsuit is made of natural fiber. Avoid using synthetics or PVC fabrics because they block your skin pores. And there’s a good chance that the PVC fabric will melt at a high temperature.
Loose Cotton Clothes
If you are not comfortable wearing towels and swimsuits and want to go for something that covers your body, then go for some loose-fitting light cotton clothes like an oversized T-shirt and shorts. Avoid wearing undergarments underneath.
Going barefoot inside a sauna is normal. But since it’s a public sauna which can be full of bacteria and other dangerous organisms, wear sandals and shower slippers. It’ll prevent you from slipping in a gym sauna.
Clothes You Shouldn’t Wear in the Sauna
There are certain things that you shouldn’t wear in the sauna-like your undergarments, tight-fitting clothes, and your dirty clothes which include your sweaty workout clothes. These clothes will make you very uncomfortable and would hinder the process of relaxation.
Avoid wearing socks. Avoid using creams, lotions, makeup, and body oils. These will block your skin pores and cause breakouts. If you do have to make up when you visit the gym sauna, take a shower before stepping into the sauna.
You should also avoid wearing any kind of jewelry like necklaces, earrings, rings, etc because the heat inside the sauna will damage them. Moreover, jewelry items can become hot and burn your skin.
When you are visiting a public or gym sauna, wear something light and comfortable like a towel, swimsuit, or a loose-fitting cotton t-shirt and shorts. Avoid wearing gym clothes and wear sandals or shower slippers. You might also want to check with your gym to see if they have a dress code.
That said, you should avoid applying any cream, oil, or makeup on your skin. And if you are wearing any jewelry, open them before you enter the sauna.