Sauna Or Steam Bath-Which Is Better?

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Sauna Or Steam Bath-Which Is Better?

Hello All!!!

Do you know the difference between a sauna or a steam bath? You would if you have tried a sauna bath or steam bath. In a nutshell, the difference between sauna and steam bath is just dry vs wet 😛 Yes, it is that simple! Saunas offer dry heat whereas steam rooms offer moist heat. Both steam bath and sauna bath can help in opening your body’s pores, loosen up your muscles and make you feel relaxed. Now the question is- Sauna Or Steam Bath-Which Is Better? Well, it is usually a matter of personal preference. Have a look at both sauna and steam baths.

How does a sauna work?

Sauna Or Steam Bath-Which Is Better

A traditional sauna has a heater that heats up rocks. The rocks radiate heat into the room. In most saunas, water can be poured over the heated rocks in order to generate some steam and also boost humidity a little. However, it is nowhere closer to the level of humidity of a steam room. Saunas have a vent that brings in fresh air and limits the buildup of humidity. Some saunas use infrared light instead of radiant heat.

How does a steam room work?

steam bath

In a steam room, a steam generator boils water and converts it into steam. It is then released into the air. Unlike a sauna, there is no vent in asteam room. It is airtight and this makes the humidity build up to a 100 percent. The air becomes so damp that the water condenses on the walls.

Saunas are hotter when compared to steam rooms

Saunas are hotter when compared to steam rooms. But you may not sense the difference because of the variance n humidity. A sauna is set between 160 and 200 degrees Farenheit and the humidity level varies between 5 to 30 percent. Steam rooms have temperature set between 110 to 120 degrees, but the humidity is 100 percent and this prevents your sweat from evaporating and makes you feel hotter. Hot air always rises up even if it is wet. So in both saunas and steam rooms, the higher you sit, the hotter you will get.

Interiors of Sauna and steam rooms

Saunas have wooden interiors and this has a reason as metal benches or tiles inside the heat of the sauna will burn you :P. Also, wood absorbs moisture that not only keeps the surfaces cooler but also helps in pulling humidity out of the air. In a steam room, the humidity is high and the constant condensation will cause wood to degrade faster. Steam rooms are built with non-porous materials such as tiles that can get wet without getting affected. The ceilings of steam rooms are slopped in order to let the water run down the walls and drip on the occupants.

Benefits of sauna and steam baths

Sauna and steam rooms share therapeutic benefits.

  • They both help in reducing muscle tension and promote relaxation and general well being.
  • The heat is helpful in improving circulation, promotes sweating and opens up the pores of the skin and cleanses it.

Those with allergies, congestion or sinusitis will find steam rooms more comfortable. Saunas are better for those who have medical conditions that can be triggered by humidity such as rheumatoid arthritis. So, it is up to you to choose the one which is better for you!

No weight loss or detoxification

There are no evidence to back up claims that sauna and steam baths help in detoxifying the body or help in weight loss. The heat opens up the pores and that does help the skin but this doesn’t mean that it draws toxins out of the organs through the skin :P. Similarly, there is no proof that heat baths (sauna and steam baths) help one lose weight. You will just sweat more during both sauna and steam baths and you will find a difference in your body weight but that will be just water weight that you have lost and not fat! 😛 After drinking water and rehydrating yourself, you will be back to square one, i.e. will weigh the same as you did before the heat bath!!

So, which one will go ahead for? Sauna or steam bath?

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2 COMMENTS

    • Hi Swati, those who have allergies, congestion or sinusitis will find steam rooms better and those with arthritis will find sauna better. It is about personal preference of dry vs wet!

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