Sauna vs Steam Rooms: Benefits & Risks (Which One is Better?)

If you are into sauna bathing, there are high chances you get them confused with steam rooms. You won’t, after reading this piece. 

The difference between the two is subtle and they both have their distinct advantages. 

In a sauna vs steam room choice, the decision should be taken in light of the specific needs. But before you decide, let’s take a moment to brush up our basics. 

What Is a Steam Room? 

Steam rooms are commonly known as Turkish baths. 

They are characterized by the temperature level usually between  110°F and 120°F and humidity level near to 100%. 

As the humidity level in the steam room is very high, you won’t sweat profusely in it even though you feel like it. 

The droplets on your body are more likely to be condensed water from the humid air than perspiration.

What Is a Sauna? 

The standard definition of a sauna may vary from place to place. 

According to the North American Sauna Society, a traditional Finish Sauna is a specific room that is heated to about 150 to 195 (F) degrees to stimulate sweating. 

The humidity of the sauna is lower than the steam bath. Both the temperature and humidity are controlled by sprinkling water on the rocks in the heater or stove.

inside a sauna room

Benefits of Saunas

Several authentic studies have linked sauna bathing with the wellbeing of the users. 

  • The key fitness and health benefits include improved cardiovascular health, lower stroke risk, a boost in the immune system, optimum blood pressure, help in weight loss and relaxation. 
  • Sauna sessions can also help you to fight off depression and alleviate lower back pain
  • Also, it is believed to reduce the risk of dementia
  • Moreover, one of the most perceptible benefits of sauna bathing is skin improvement. The moisture in the infrared sauna makes the skin look refreshed and dewy. 
  • An inadvertent sauna benefit is an opportunity for socialization, provided that you prefer a public sauna bath over a home sauna. 

steam coming out of heater inside a steam room

Benefits of Steam Rooms

Many of the benefits of steam rooms are identical to that of saunas. 

  • Both of them increase skin and core body temperature that relates to many physiological changes. The difference lies in the intensity. In the steam room, the changes are faster and more intense
  • A  typical room can improve blood circulation, clear congestion, promote skincare, aid in workout recovery, and boost the immune system

As you might notice, saunas provide the same benefits but in a very safe environment. 

Risks of Steam Room

You must not use the steam room if you are pregnant, immune-compromised, or recovering from surgery. 

Also, be wary of the hygienic condition as the public steam rooms are usually not clean enough to kill bacteria, and might host other people’s germs. 

You must not spend more than 15 minutes in the steam room as it would dehydrate your body. 

Sauna vs Steam Room: Should You Choose a Sauna or a Steam Room? 

To decide which is a better steam room or sauna is a not hard choice to make. 

It boils down to user preferences

The health benefits of both are almost alike, but the heat in a steam room is more intense and therefore a little unsafe. 

The sauna, on the other hand, allows you to change the humidity and temperature to your liking. You can switch between dry heat and humid temperature. 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for the best of both worlds (saunas and steams), consider getting a steam sauna. We have compiled a handy list of the best portable steam saunas

Have queries? Thoughts? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap