What’s the Difference? Sauna Room vs Steam Room

By mohit
Feb 14, 2017

Most of us usually get confused between a sauna and a steam room. Many of us are not even aware that they are two different things. The difference between a sauna and a steam can be easily described as dry and wet. Both of them have several health benefits. They can easily open up your pores, loosen your muscles, and help you to relax. The choice then depends on you, which one you would want to opt for. 

Dry or wet

Dry heat is produced in a sauna while steam rooms produce wet heat. 

In a sauna, the heater heats up the stack of rocks, which then radiates heat into the room.  You can pour water on the rocks to produce a little humidity. In steam rooms, a steam generator boils water into the steam and then releases it. The steam generated via the steam room already wet and damp. 

Which one is hotter? 

A sauna room is generally hotter than a steam room. The temperature in a typical sauna room is 160 to 200 degree Fahrenheit while the temperature in a steam room is around 110 to 120 degrees. Also, the humidity level in a sauna room is around 5% to 30%, while that in a steam room is 100%. 

The ventilation

A sauna room is differently designed from a steam room. A sauna room has a vent near the floor by the heater, which continuously brings in the fresh air. This limits the humidity buildup. Unlike a sauna room, the steam room is airtight. There is no ventilation for steam to evaporate or fresh air to come in. 

The seats

The seats in a sauna are built up of woods. The reason behind this is that wood absorbs moisture and also helps in pulling humidity away from the air. Also, a metal or tile seat would heat up and may cause burns. However, in the steam rooms, wood would degrade more quickly, so there are tile seats or seats made up of some non-porous materials that can get wet without causing problems. 

Health Benefits 

Both the sauna room and the steam room have therapeutic benefits. They both promote relaxation and reduces muscle tension along with providing several health benefits. It is recommended that if you suffer from any kind of allergies or congestion, then you should opt for steam rooms, while saunas are a better choice for people who suffer from conditions that can be aggravated by humidity.