The Difference between a Sauna and a Steam Room

If you are thinking about installing either a sauna or a steam room, it is best to know the differences between the two, and which one will best suit your personal needs. Both share similarities: they are effectively rooms which fill with heat while you sit in them. However, the key difference here is the heat in sauna rooms is dry, and the heat in steam rooms is moist.

The difference in the type of heat makes a great difference to the temperature. Saunas are the hotter of the two because dry heat does not scald or burn in the same way moist heat does. The typical sauna temperature sits at around 90°C, but can be hotter for those looking for a more extreme sauna experience. Saunas will have a heater on which stones are placed. These stones heat up to incredibly high temperatures, and quick bursts of steam will be given off when water is poured over them. The steam will encourage sweating, but will quickly dissipate.

Steam rooms, on the other hand, rarely get any hotter than 40°C, as the moisture would cause scalding at higher temperatures. Steam rooms are airtight and feature a steam generator which fills the room with steam. It will continue to do so until the humidity levels are 100%. Because of the humidity, steam rooms cannot be made from the same materials that saunas are made from. While saunas generally feature wooden benches, such material would quickly warp in the humid environment of a steam room. Materials such as ceramic are more common in steam rooms.

As both saunas and steam rooms are very similar, so are the health benefits they offer. Both provide relaxing places to unwind and both improve blood circulation. If, however, you are looking for a deep skin cleanse, the moisture of the steam room will be far more effective than the dry heat of a sauna, but if you are looking for the benefits of extreme heat then a sauna is the best choice for you.

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