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Steam Room VS Sauna: Which One?

what is the best sauna heat

Are a steam room and sauna the same? How is steam room vs sauna? These are questions that a lot of people ask themselves, considering both of these units give excellent results to the body.

Well, the steam room is similar to a sauna only that they differ in terms of their functionality and the kind of heating material they use. Saunas use dry rocks that are heated at high temperatures to produce high heats while the steam rooms have hot water generators that produce hot moist in the room.

Both of these units function better in an enclosed unit because you have to prevent the hot wet or dry heat from escaping to get the right treatment.

steam room vs sauna


What is Steam Room?

Steam room dated back during the Roman Empire time and was referred to as a steam bath. The steam baths were set up and used during the social functions among the Roman communities, and everyone was allowed to use them.

The steam rooms are built with nonporous materials such as tiles and plastics to prevent moisture absorption. They often come with a generator filled with water. The generator heats the water to a boiling point; hence, facilitating the production of super-hot moist air in the room. Steam rooms have lower heating levels than the sauna as the heating levels range from 100-120 degrees F.

Steam rooms heat up pretty fast since ones the water in the generator reaches the boiling point, the hot moist evaporation in the room increases.

steam room


What is Sauna?

Saunas are classified into two categories, which are the dry and wet sauna. A dry sauna utilizes either hot rocks or heating panels, such as stoves, which are heated at high levels to radiate high heats levels in an enclosed room.

On the other hand, the wet saunas are equipped with sauna rock, whereby water is poured over the stones to facilitate the production of hot humid. Saunas are mainly built up with quality wood material such as hemlock and Cedar. They come in different sizes ranging from a single person to a four-person fit. They have high heating levels, which vary from 160 to 200 or more degrees F. Note that although the saunas produce hot moisture through the wet sauna, the humidity levels are a bit lower.

sauna stone


How is Sauna VS Steam Room?

There’re many differences between the sauna and steam room. Let’s see how sauna is different from the steam room.

  • The materials

The first difference between saunas and steam rooms is seen in the material used to craft both the units. Steam rooms are made of plastic and tile materials, which are also nonporous to prevent the moist from evaporating outside and absorbing on the walls. On the other hand, saunas are made of hardwood material from hemlock and Cedar, which are tightly and double sealed to prevent the produced heat and moisture from escaping from the inside. The wood materials absorb the moist and heat to keep the unit dry as opposed to the steam room.

  • The air inlet

Saunas are designed with a vent that allows a flow of air inside the room for great breathability purposes. The air inlet is usually located on the floor near the heater. But, steam rooms are tightly and wholly closed with no vent. This is one of the reasons that cause the moist air in the steam room to spread faster and condense on the walls. The saunas are well lit on the inside to provide excellent visibility, but steam rooms do not have lighting panels. The moisture spread at a 100 percent level, forming fog in the room.

  • The heat level

Saunas are hotter than the steam rooms. This is because saunas utilize dry stoves and rocks, which are dry heated at high levels of heat to facilitate the production and disperse of heat in the room. The steam rooms utilize lower heating levels to fasten the spread of hot moisture in the unit. The moist air also cools on the body, reducing the amount of heat penetrating the body. With a sauna having a heating level range of 160 to 200 as opposed to the steam room that has 100 to 120, the sauna is expected to be hotter.

  • The seat

Saunas are designed with a bench where the occupant can sit, and they offer tremendous and dry comfort to the user. This is because, as seen earlier, the wood material absorbs the heat and moist to keep the interior dry so one can be comfortable while seated.

Steam rooms are made of purely nonporous material, and thus, the humid air condenses on the room leading to the formation of water. It may be a bit uncomfortable to sit down in a steam room, especially for long hours since the high built-up water in the room causes one to get wet. The roofs of the steam rooms are slanted to prevent the water from dripping to the occupant. So, when it comes to comfort while seated, saunas are perfect.

  • Moisture formation

The steam rooms build- up 100 percent moisture levels in the unit because it is completely nonporous. The saunas have lower levels of moisture build-up (when using the wet sauna) because the units have an inbuilt vent that allows the flow of air to the interior.

sauna vs steam room


Which One Should I Choose?

Choosing between a sauna and steam room can be a bit overwhelming, considering both items give great results to the body. They may differ in terms of how they function, but when it comes to the benefits, steam room and saunas give excellent results. Therefore, the choice between the two will be determined by the user needs.

a steam room vs sauna

  • Health issues (choose steam room)

If you have health issues such as respiratory diseases like asthma or allergy, steam rooms are the perfect choice for you. Dry saunas are quite dry, and the dry heat circulation causes dehydration, which may end up blocking your air inlet and outlet systems. Steam rooms produce wet moist, which causes the formation of cool damp on the surrounding to cool your body.

The cooling effect on the body reduces the chances of dehydration and helps you enjoy the steaming sessions for a longer time. Considering both units have the same benefits, steam rooms favor all people, including those with health issues, unlike saunas. This is why people are advised to visit a doctor before visiting a sauna or steam room because the doctor can advise you whether the units are safe for your health or not.

  • Weight loss effects (choose sauna)

Both units cause a person to sweat a process referred to perspiration. Saunas cause a person to lose weight since the high heat levels penetrate the body resulting in increased metabolism and burning of fats in the body. This, in return, makes a person shed off the fat through sweating.

Research shows that staying in a dry sauna for 30 minutes is like running on a treadmill for an hour, and one can lose up to 7 pounds or more depending on one’s body. Although steam rooms facilitate the process of sweating, they do not give the same weight results as opposed to saunas.

This is because the steam rooms have fewer levels of heating, and it takes more time before the heat reaches the body. The moisture formation also cools the body, thus reducing the effect significantly.

  • For improved blood circulation, and low risks of cardio diseases (choose sauna)

Saunas are highly recommended for helping to improve the flow of blood and oxygen in the body apart from other benefits. The high heats from the units penetrate the body causing the blood arteries to expand and ensure proper flow in the body.

The increased metabolism, weight loss, plus a good flow in the body, causes the heart to function better and avoid some deadly cardiovascular diseases like hypertension. Research shows that people who go for sauna treatment maybe four times a week have high chances of preventing cardiovascular diseases.

  • The power consumption (choose steam room)

Some people focus on how much power the unit will consume when installing in the house. Therefore, if you are looking forward to saving on power usage in your home, consider buying the steam room.

This is because the steam rooms utilize less heat as compared to saunas that require a high heating level to facilitate the production of hot air in the unit. A high heating level means that you will have high power consumption in the house.

1 person far infrared sauna



When it comes to health benefits, both saunas and steam rooms provide remarkable benefits to the body. They help cleanse the skin, detoxify, and even improve good circulation in the body. They come in different sizes where some are ideal for single-use, while others are good for multiple people.

When choosing either of the units, figure out first the results you want to achieve from either and its uses as well. For example, if you have respiratory issues, getting a steam room would be great because it is safer. Always make sure to hydrate yourself first before going into the sauna and after using it.