a man and a woman are having a rest after taking a sauna shower

An Ultimate Guide On Dry Sauna Vs. Wet Sauna

Dry Sauna Vs. Wet Sauna


Saunas are heated, wood-lined,  therapeutic,  enclosed rooms that may have a lot of options for seating, design, benches, size, and capacity. During the therapy session, intense heat is generated within it that encourages relief from pains and aches, detoxifying sweat, and deep relaxation. But these are only some of the health benefits that it provides. Different types of saunas offer respective benefits to the people.


If you have been searching for a detailed guide about sauna, its type, and health benefits, you have landed on the right spot. Here, we have elaborated on every possible aspect to make the exploration process convenient. So please continue reading to get more information about it.


Dry Vs. Wet Sauna: What’s The Difference?


A critical difference between a dry and wet sauna is the water that is poured over rocks that makes a sauna wet. As the stones are heated to a high temperature, water vapors form quickly, resulting in steam. On the other hand, in the case of a dry sauna, there is no use for water; bare rocks are heated.


While sitting in a wet sauna, you sweat that causes toxins to leave your body to eliminate its harm. To add more, it is believed that using this type of sauna can help decrease the chances of various illnesses as various viruses can not live in these high temperatures.


On the contrary, dry saunas are known to relieve stress and tension, assist in rejuvenating the skin, and stimulate blood circulation with the help of sweat. Like a wet sauna, a dry sauna can cause sweating to invoke various health benefits like a wet type sauna.


What’s In A Name?


“Sauna” is the only commonly used Finnish word in the English language. But unfortunately, most English speakers mispronounce it. In Finnish, every single syllable is pronounced. And the first takes emphasis. The word sauna refers to a Finnish steam bath that uses the steam produced with water poured over hot stones.



What is Dry Sauna?


The dry sauna is derived from those built-in in Finland hundreds of years ago. It is based on heating a room to high temperatures to induce copious sweating. The standard version makes use of stones heated over a wood fire. Water is then thrown over them to create steam to increase the ambient temperature.


However, electric stoves can also be used instead of the traditional hot stones. They incorporate vents to permit steam to escape. This means humidity is typically in the 5-30% range; although they are “dry” saunas, the air retains moisture.


The walls are made of wood, with cedar, pine, and spruce being the most common choices. Temperatures in saunas can reach around 160-200°F.


What Are The Benefits Of A Dry Sauna?


Finnish saunas were developed as a way of being warm in winter. But over time, sitting in a sauna became an enjoyable and healthful social activity. Saunas are nowadays known to provide a wide range of additional health benefits. As mentioned below are some of the most important benefits of a dry sauna:


  • Improved blood Circulation levels


Sitting in a hot sauna can cause the heartbeat to increase, which, finally, improves blood circulation level. This indicates many of the similar benefits to the heart as a gentle cardio workout, and you will require to do some actual exercise for that! To add more, saunas can help improve blood flow to hands, arms, legs, and feet.


  • Relief from various Rheumatic Diseases


Some researchers investigating the health advantages of sauna use found that patients who suffer from conditions like ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis reported an apparent pain reduction after regular sauna treatments.


  • Skin “Glow” And Improvements To Skin


The heat of a sauna causes perspiration that also opens up your skin pores. This thing can cleanse your skin by elevating the flow of blood beneath the skin. This is why many people report getting healthier skin with an enhanced glow after a sauna session. Some evidence is also helpful in treating some skin conditions like psoriasis and dry skin.


  • Reduced risks of Dementia


It is widely considered that regular sauna can reduce dementia risks. But the same thing can be confirmed by doing some more research work. It can be helpful to establish why it can be true.


  • Relief From  Pains and Aches


Although this fact is not that supported by some scientific studies, its regular users can tell that having a session in a sauna can be an excellent treatment for pain and general aches.


  • LowersBlood Pressure


Having a sauna regularly helps lower blood pressure. However, if you are a beginner using a sauna, you can notice a slight increase in blood pressure. But, these conditions last for a few sauna sessions; later, your body can adjust accordingly.


  • EnhancedRecovery And Sporting Performance


In general, the sauna is used regularly by athletes to boost their recovery after competition and training. This activity can make them more pliable and elastic and easily loosen up tense muscles.


  • Improved Mood And Stress Relief


Apart from the different physical benefits, one of the most positive uses of the sauna is that it can help you relieve stress in many ways. Sitting in a sauna is enjoyable and relaxing. To add more, it can also have some social aspects depending on whom you are going with and where you go.


Little research in Finland declares the declined incidents of psychotic disorders in males who regularly visited saunas. This research proves the mental health benefits of sauna.


Besides such studies, we all know how important it is to get some free time and relax. In this case, sitting in a sauna room is a perfect way to do it. Hence, this indicates that regular users can feel happier after having a sauna session.


  • Lower Risk Of Heart Attack And Heart Conditions


A correlation between regular sauna session use and lower heart-related issues such as coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest, and cardiovascular disease is observed. This means that sitting in a sauna can help you live longer!


  • ImprovesRespiratory Conditions


Saunas can be helpful for people who suffer from any respiratory conditions like asthma and can help reduce wheezing.


  • Immune System Boost


There are various suggestions that saunas sessions can help boost immune systems. This is because it is a prime factor in keeping the body’s immune system in proper shape. For instance, a study in Austria declares that sauna users are comparatively less susceptible to common colds.


What’s A Wet Sauna?


Sitting in a “dry” sauna has many health benefits, but what do you think about “wet” saunas? Hold on, and we are going to elaborate on that as well.


A wet sauna is heated by pumping steam from an external steam generator. This room is almost airtight to prevent the steam from escaping, and there is no vent. This results in humidity that can approach 100%.


Steam rooms are not as hot as traditional saunas, generally only reaching around 100-120°F. But, because of high humidity, sweat becomes less effective at cooling your body so that you may feel hotter than in a dry sauna. Also, due to high humidity levels, steam rooms are made of ceramic, plastic, or glass.


What Are The Benefits Of A Wet Sauna?


As dry saunas raise body temperature and make you sweat, they can promise various health benefits to you. In comparison to public saunas, steam rooms offer an extra advantage over traditional saunas because of excess humidity and steam. Some of the most important benefits are:


  • Good For Respiratory Conditions


Extra steam and humidity make the steam room suitable for people who have asthma or other allergic conditions.


Furthermore, medication for different conditions like these can cause dryness of your respiratory tract. So, steam rooms can assist by moisturizing airways and opening your lungs. As a result, if you are suffering from excess mucous or congestion, a cough or a steam room can provide some temporary relief by assisting in clearing out your passages.


  • Skin Conditions


Although a dry sauna can help with dry skin, in the same way, wet saunas can even do better. They can help moisten your skin and leave it to look and feel better after a treatment.




Similarities between wet

and dry saunas


Apart from the differences, they share many similarities regarding effects on the body. The most critical similarities include:


  • Generate sweatingBoth the sauna types wander human health by generating sweat. Every type generates a high temperature to heat the skin, opening up pores and sweat.


  • Promotes relaxationBoth help encourage relaxation, as the heat reduces inflammation; combined with the detoxification effects, it can help make you feel way more relaxed.


  • Skin rejuvenationPerspiration is the most fundamental way to enhance the skin. It triggers the opening of the skin pores, releasing germs and dead skin cells trapped in the pores and on the skin’s surface. The detoxification of dead skin and bacteria permits space for new cell growth, giving the skin a more radiant and youthful appearance.


  • Supports weight lossIf used in conjunction with eating right and working out, it can help to support and boost weight loss. You are more likely to burn more fat and calories when your body gets super-heated. This thing also triggers a metabolism rate that can support further weight loss.


Differences between wet

and dry saunas


Opposite to similarities, some distinct differences between wet and dry saunas include:


  • TemperatureDry saunas produce dry temperatures, and wet saunas generate sweltering temperatures. And while the thermometer may be the same, 150 degrees F feels vastly different in a dry environment than it may not in a moist environment.


  • Heating rate: Wet saunas heat up rapidly, while others take much longer. The reason behind this is the addition of water to the heating element. When the water evaporates, the hot moisture spreads faster.


  • Effects of the heatDepending on how heat affects the body, dry saunas can show much better results. That is because they use hot and dry temperatures that penetrate the body efficiently. While others yield good results, the combination of sweating and moisture has a cooling effect on the body.



Wet Or Dry Sauna: Which To Choose?


Choosing a dry or wet sauna is solely a matter of choice. It depends on your interests, expectations, unique needs, and personal preferences. Consider your body conditions and test which one can go better for you.


What About Infrared Saunas?


Infrared saunas are dry sauna that uses infrared electromagnetic radiation to heat the body. It works by directly heating your skin rather than heating the air, So it has no humidity.


The supposed advantages come from the fact that rays can penetrate your body, providing more thorough treatment. In addition, as the temperatures are much lower, around the 120-140°F range, they are less intense, making a relaxing experience and more bearable than a traditional sauna. The benefits are that you can use them in your own home and, if you use them often, you can save some money as infrared sauna sessions are not cheap.


Are There Any Drawbacks Or Risks?


Both wet and dry saunas can have had few risks if safely used. The main one is dehydration, which is natural as you sweat. But it can not be problematic when you maintain your body fluids before and after having a sauna session. People can feel slightly dizzy when standing up after a sauna, so ensure you take it easy.


A serious problem can be if you have a long session in a sauna. The ideal session can be ten minutes, but going above thirty minutes can be hazardous. People with heart problems should stay away from sauna. Sitting in a sauna can provoke a heart attack. So, consult with your doctor first.


The Best Way Of Relaxing And Staying Healthy


Both wet and dry saunas are great ways to take care of yourself. They can provide you with both physical and mental health benefits. So, you must know your body type and go to the kind of sauna that is better suited for you.