Saunas and Steam rooms are similar facilities; They are heated rooms with higher temperatures, inducing higher body temperatures. Steam rooms are rooms that have water-filled generators pumping steam into the room. Saunas, on the other hand, are usually wood-panelled rooms that have an electric heater used to radiate heat into the room. Sometimes heating rocks are placed on top of the stoves. 

 The difference between a sauna and steam room is the presence of steam. Saunas don’t have usually have steam, but it can be created by pouring water over the heated rocks. The temperature and moisture levels of both differ too. Steam rooms have a higher moisture level, at 100 percent, due to being steam-filled wherein saunas usually have a lower moisture level from 5 – 30 percent. For temperature it is opposite. Steam rooms have a lower temperature ranging from 110 – 120 degree while Saunas run a temperature from 160 – 200 degree. 

Steam and sauna use provide similar relief for different symptoms of medical conditions. The benefits are essentially the same. The higher temperatures induce sweat and open the pores, clearing the skin. Salts from the body are released, cleansing the body so to say. It is a relaxing experience, as the conditions of the rooms help relax muscles and joints, helping those with joint pain. Improvement in blood circulation is also an essential benefit.  

Here are a few frequently asked questions: 

Sauna or steam room first?

One of the most frequently asked questions is what to try first, and if someone plans to use both rooms, which room to go to first. Since Steam rooms have higher levels of humidity, they are much easier to withstand for more extended periods. It is advised to start with the sauna and then go onto the steam room to finish with a more relaxing experience. 

What are the necessary precautions? 

The basic precautions for sauna and steam rooms are similar. The temperature of both rooms induces sweat in high amounts, and along with other salts, you are bound to lose the moisture from your body. Drink plenty of water before going into a sauna or steam room. Carry a water bottle with you if you can to prevent dehydration. Taking a shower before use is also advised, especially if you’ve got on any lotions or makeup which might melt off. Remove all jewellery because it will heat up and cause burns. If you’re wearing a bathing suit, make sure it doesn’t have any metallic embellishments or zips that can cause burns. 

How much time to spend in a sauna or a steam room? 

The time suggested in a sauna, or a steam room is 15 – 20 minutes, but it is not a must. The time you can spend in a heated room depends solely on you, given that it doesn’t exceed the limit. Some people may feel nauseous or dizzy after a little while, and they should leave immediately. For beginners, it is advised to spend around 10 minutes in a sauna or a steam room to reap its benefits without causing stress on the body.

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Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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