The Benefits of Saunas vs Steam Rooms – Which is Better for Your Health?

Saunas vs. Steam Rooms

Saunas and steam rooms have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. Both provide relaxation and rejuvenation, but there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the benefits of saunas vs. steam rooms to help you decide which one is better for your health.

What Is a Sauna?

A sauna is a heated room that typically uses dry heat, with temperatures ranging from 160°F to 200°F. The heat is usually provided by a stove that burns wood or uses electricity. The air inside a sauna is kept dry, with humidity levels ranging from 10% to 20%. Saunas are usually made of wood and have benches where you can sit or lie down. You can use a sauna for a few minutes to several hours, depending on your tolerance for heat.

What Is a Steam Room?

A steam room is a heated room that uses moist heat, with temperatures ranging from 110°F to 120°F. The heat is usually generated by a steam generator, which pumps steam into the room. The humidity levels in a steam room are much higher than in a sauna, usually ranging from 100% to 115%. Steam rooms are usually made of tile and have benches where you can sit or lie down. You can use a steam room for a few minutes to 20-30 minutes, depending on your tolerance for humidity.

Differences Between Saunas and Steam Rooms

  • The main differences between saunas and steam rooms are the heat source, humidity levels, and temperature. 
  • Saunas use dry heat, while steam rooms use moist heat. 
  • Saunas have lower humidity levels, while steam rooms have higher humidity levels. 
  • Saunas have higher temperatures, while steam rooms have lower temperatures. 

The choice between saunas and steam rooms ultimately comes down to personal preference and health goals.

Health Benefits of Saunas

Increased circulation: The heat from a sauna causes the blood vessels in the body to dilate, increasing blood flow and circulation. This can help with muscle soreness and promote healing.

1. Detoxification

As you sweat in a sauna, your body eliminates toxins through your skin. This can help with skin conditions like acne and eczema and may improve overall skin health.

2. Stress relief

Sitting in a sauna can be very relaxing and can help to reduce stress levels. The heat can also help to release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers and mood boosters.

3. Improved cardiovascular health

Regular sauna use has been linked to lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease.

4. Enhanced immune function

Sauna use can stimulate the immune system, which may help to ward off illness and disease.

Health Benefits of Steam Rooms

1. Improved respiratory function

Steam rooms can help to open up the airways and improve breathing, which can be especially helpful for those with respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.

2. Hydration

The steam in a steam room can help to hydrate the skin and respiratory system, which can be especially helpful in dry climates.

3. Relaxation

The warm, humid environment of a steam room can be very calming and relaxing, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

4. Pain relief

The moist heat in a steam room can help to relieve muscle tension and joint pain.

So, which is better for your health? It really depends on your personal preferences and health goals. Both saunas and steam rooms offer unique health benefits, so it's really a matter of what works best for you:

  • If you have a respiratory condition, a steam room may be more beneficial for you. 
  • If you're looking to improve cardiovascular health or detoxify your body, a sauna may be the better option. 

Ultimately, incorporating either a sauna or steam room into your self-care routine can provide numerous physical and mental health benefits.

Which Is Better for Certain Health Conditions

Both saunas and steam rooms offer similar benefits, but they have some differences when it comes to certain health conditions. Here are some examples:


Steam rooms can be beneficial for people with asthma because the moist heat can help to clear their airways. However, saunas can be too dry and may exacerbate asthma symptoms.


Steam rooms are also beneficial for people with sinusitis because the moist heat can help to loosen up mucus and relieve congestion. However, saunas may not be as effective for this condition.

Skin Conditions

Saunas are better for people with skin conditions because the dry heat can help to open up pores and promote sweating, which can help to remove toxins from the skin. Steam rooms may not be as effective for this condition. Learn more about benefits of sauna therapy for skin in our article

Safety Considerations

While both saunas and steam rooms can offer health benefits, it’s important to use them safely to avoid any potential risks.

Here are some safety tips to consider:

1. Stay Hydrated

It’s important to drink plenty of water before and after using a sauna or steam room to avoid dehydration.

2. Limit Exposure Time

It’s recommended to limit your exposure time to 15-20 minutes in a sauna and 10-15 minutes in a steam room to avoid overheating.

3. Avoid Alcohol

It’s important to avoid alcohol before and after using a sauna or steam room as it can dehydrate you and increase the risk of heat exhaustion.

Why Outdoor Sauna by Superior Sauna USA?

If you're considering adding a sauna to your property, consider an outdoor sauna from Superior Sauna USA. Here are some of the benefits of choosing Superior Sauna USA:

  • High-quality materials and construction: Superior Sauna USA uses the highest quality materials and construction techniques to ensure that your sauna lasts for years to come.
  • Customizable options: Choose from a variety of sizes and designs to create a sauna that fits your specific needs and preferences.
  • Excellent customer service: Superior Sauna USA is dedicated to providing excellent customer service, from helping you choose the perfect sauna to answering any questions you may have after installation.

If you have any further questions about saunas, our team is here to help! Just give us a call at ‭+1 (475) 253-5559‬ or send us a message if you need any assistance in creating your dream sauna experience.

Saunas and steam rooms both provide numerous health benefits and can be a great addition to your wellness routine. Consider your specific health needs and preferences when deciding which heat therapy is best for you. And if you're in the market for an outdoor sauna, consider Superior Sauna USA for high-quality materials, customizable options, and excellent customer service.

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