Sauna or Steam Room? What’s the Difference

Saunas and steam showers share many fundamental aspects of heat exposure to provide both health and relaxation benefits. However, they are very different on how you experience that heat. Lets take a look at the differences of saunas and steam rooms!

Sauna vs Steam Room

Both environments involve elevated temperatures. However, The main difference between saunas and steam showers/rooms is in the type of heat that they provide. A sauna uses dry heat (150°F to 195°F.), usually from hot rocks heated by gas, wood, or electric stove. 

The humidity in saunas is significantly less than that of a steam room. You can add water, with a bucket and ladle, to the saunas heater but that will not raise humidity levels higher than 10%. 

On the other hand, steam rooms operate at a lower average temperature of about 115°F to 120°F with the added element of water vapor infusion, resulting in a humid and steamy atmosphere. This Contrast in temperature and humidity levels significantly influences the overall experience and potential benefits of each treatment. 

Is a Sauna or Steam Room best for a cold?

Sauna or steam room for cold

When determining whether a sauna or steam room is more effective for alleviating cold symptoms, it’s essential to consider how each option impacts the body. Steam rooms can be particularly beneficial for colds due to their ability to reduce inflammation in the sinuses, nose, and throat. The warm water vapor produced in a steam room can help thin out mucus, making it easier to expel through blowing the nose or coughing. This can provide relief from congestion and promote better breathing.

Additionally, steam rooms are effective at soothing dry coughs and calming irritated mucus membranes which can be exacerbated by environmental factors like air conditioning or heating. The warm water vapor mixed with 100% humidity, can offer comfort and relief, especially during extreme temperatures or allergy seasons. Ultimately, when dealing with a cold, the steam room’s ability to reduce inflammation, thin mucus, and provide relief for respiratory symptoms makes it a favorable choice over a sauna.

Benefits of Dry Saunas

Dry saunas, also known as traditional saunas, provide many benefits both physical and mental. Here are a few of the many benefits. 

  • Can Improve cardiovascular
  • May help with cognitive and pulmonary health
  • Can increased endurance
  • Promote faster muscle recovery
  • Known to Improve your mood

Adding regular sessions in a dry sauna into your daily routine can offer numerous health benefits, both physically and mentally. However, it’s important to stay hydrated and pay attention to how your body reacts and notice signals to avoid overexertion or dehydration. As always, if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional before starting a sauna regimen.

Benefits of Steam Rooms

Steam rooms provide a unique and soothing environment that offers many benefits again both mentally and physically. Check out some of the key benefits: 

  • Promote Detoxification
  • Respiratory health
  • Allergy relief
  • Decreased asthma symptoms
  • Maintains lung and skin health

Incorporating regular sessions in a steam room into your wellness routine can offer a variety of health benefits, from respiratory support to stress relief and beyond.

So, which one is better for you?

It all comes down to your personal preference and how your body reacts to the thermal stress of a dry sauna or steam room. At the end of the day both options provide many benefits and can be utilized in a number of different settings.