Why Wear a Sauna Hat? (+ What Type Do You Need)

Sauna has a lot of therapeutic benefits to offer that have been clinically proven, such as stress relief, detoxification, weight loss, and so on. If you’re new to the sauna experience, you might be wondering, why do you wear a sauna hat? Can’t you go without it?

A sauna hat protects your head from overheating, as it is the most sensitive part of your body while you’re having a sauna bath. Without a sauna hat, you might not last long in the sauna as you’ll experience extreme headaches and dizziness due to your head being exposed to high levels of heat. Wearing a sauna hat allows you to enjoy a sauna session for longer.

Read below to know the detailed health benefits of wearing a sauna hat, the different kinds of sauna hats available in the market, and the best option out of them all that allows you to make the best out of your sauna experience.

Table of Contents

What is a Sauna Hat?

women wearing sauna hat
Women wearing a sauna hat
(Image source: Estonian Saunas on Unsplash)

A sauna hat is a headpiece usually made out of felt or wool, that is to be worn during a sauna bath. Its main purpose regulating your body temperature and protect your head from getting too hot.

The reason behind this is that the head heats up the fastest out of all the other body parts. By ensuring there is a layer of protection between your head and the intense heat, you’re able to last longer in a sauna session.

Sauna hats usually come in conical shapes and are aesthetically plain and white, though there are some decorative versions in the market as well with embroidered text and logos for people who want a bit of personality while wearing them.

Given the conical shape which leaves a lot of extra space inside your head, some people like to store small objects inside their sauna hat, using it as a secret storage space.

Benefits Of Using a Hat in a Sauna

There are numerous benefits of wearing a hat in a sauna, which is mentioned below:

1. Preventing You from Getting Dizzy

Wearing a sauna hat prevents dizziness that can occur as a result of intense heat in a sauna. The sauna hat acts as a layer of insulation to protect your head from extreme levels of heat, without which you would have to constantly get in and out of the sauna to cool off. 

2. Preventing Your Skin from Bleeding

Without a sauna hat, you may not just find yourself experiencing uncomfortable levels of heat, you may even start bleeding because the head has more capillaries than the rest of the body. When these capillaries are overheated, they open up, causing the skin to bleed.

A sauna hat helps in this regard as it keeps your head safe and cool.

3. Protecting Your Hair from Dryness

Hair can become dry and frizzy when exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time. Without a sauna hat, you may have to spend some extra time treating your hair with oils and conditioners to repair the lost moisture.

Wearing a sauna hat is a wise choice here as it prevents your hair from getting dry or brittle.

4. It Can Bring a Cooling Effect

In many parts of Finland, people soak their hats in water before wearing them in the sauna. Soaking a sauna hat adds a relaxing cooling effect to it.

As water from the hat evaporates, it causes a cooling sensation in your head, much similar to how the human body uses sweating as a mechanism to cool the body down while dealing with extreme heat.

What Kind of Hats Are Best for The Sauna?

sauna hat sizes
Sauna hat sizes (Image sources)

Sauna hats mostly come in two materials: felt and wool. Out of these, felt is the better option as it proves excellent insulation.

Felt basically comes from wool that undergoes a surface treatment of pressing and rolling to create a thickly layered surface that is durable and highly resistant to heat.

There are woolen hats available in the market as well, which come from animal fleece. You may find hats made of a variety of wool types such as Merino wool, New Zealand wool, and so on. They too provide thermoregulatory properties but felt last longer because of the durability it attains by having lots of layers sandwiched against each other.

Some people think wearing a baseball cap or wrapping any kind of cloth around their head would serve the same purpose, but this is a misconception as a sauna hat is designed with the exact materials in mind that would protect your head from overheating. 

If you’re wearing something of cotton or any fabric that doesn’t have enough insulation properties, you’re not providing your head adequate protection against the sauna heat.

How to Wash & Maintain a Sauna Hat?

It’s important to maintain your sauna hat and wash it after usage so that it lasts a long time. Otherwise, you would find yourself having to buy a new hat every time you go for a sauna bath.

Washing a sauna hat is easy – for the most part, you can do well by simply handwashing it using lukewarm water. You can use a mild soap or detergent if it needs some extra cleanliness.

Once it dries, make sure you mold it back to its original shape, otherwise, it might get deformed permanently since wool is a delicate material. 

If the hat has any pinned ornaments or accessories over it, make sure to remove them before washing. 


Sauna hats are excellently designed sauna accessories that ensure you’re able to enjoy a therapeutic sauna session for as long as possible. It may not look the most aesthetic, but you can always personalize your sauna hat by getting it embroidered (or embroidering it yourself) or pinning ornaments to it if you want a bit of character.

The main thing is that they protect your sensitive head from dangerous levels of heat, which makes them a must-have accessory for every sauna bath session.

(Feature image from Estonian Saunas on Unsplash)

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