steam shower

What Makes A Steam Shower Different From A Sauna

No one is unaware of the benefits that steam can offer the body; that is why people prefer moving toward the steam shower and a sauna. But, most of them are not pretty clear about the differences between both terms.


Both the terms steam shower and sauna are used interchangeably in many cases. But, in reality, both of these systems are different from one another in various factors. What makes them different includes the mechanism of their working and the potential therapeutic advantages that they promise to their users. That is why people search a lot to make this confusion clear. So, to help them, we have come up with a detailed guide to understand every aspect.


If you have been searching about this thing, your search is over now. We will elaborate on every key difference between a steam shower and a sauna. Please read it all to get the complete information. Let’s break it all.

steam shower

Factors that make them different


There are various factors that make steam showers and saunas different from each other. Some of the most important differences are mentioned here. They include:


  • Construction
  • Temperature
  • Heating system
  • Wellness benefits that they deliver


  • Construction of a steam shower and sauna


The interior of a steam shower room looks entirely different than that of a sauna. Saunas are, indeed, traditionally constructed from kiln-dried wood. (often cedar or spruce). Often spruce or cedar wood is used in its making that can tolerate lower humidity and much higher temperatures. This system works on the principle that wood absorbs the moisture that helps keep the surface at a low temperature and pulls humidity out of the air.


On the other hand, the steam shower rooms are constructed from glass blocks, ceramic tiles, or other waterproof and nonporous materials. This kind of material is conducive to a moist environment. To add more, the steam shower can be installed easily into an existing shower room. But the same is not possible for sauna. It requires are dedicated and separate room with additional bathroom real estate.



  • The temperature of a steam shower and sauna


Another key difference between a steam shower and a sauna is in the atmosphere and temperature.


  • If we talk about steam showers, most commonly, they are maintained between 105 °F and 115 °F. And humidity is maintained roughly at 100 percent.
  • But a sauna operates at a very higher temperature ranging between 160 °F and 200 °F. But the level of humidity is kept very low. Typically it ranges between 10 % and 20 %.


This huge difference between the temperatures of a steam shower and a sauna is because a steam room does not have to be as hot as a sauna. This is because a steam shower has a sealed environment, and its humidity makes people feel warmer without even needing the extreme heat like that of the sauna. Moreover, because of these differences in humidity, people refer to sauna as dry and steam showers as wet forms of heat therapy.


  • Heating System; type and location


Besides the difference in construction humidity and temperature range of steam shower and sauna, another significant difference lies in which and where the equipment is placed. Hair equipment is what produces heat.


  • The sauna uses a heater to produce “dry” heat


A sauna uses a heater to produce heat, and it is placed inside the sauna room. It generates intense heat from a typical rock-laden stove. Some saunas use advanced techniques to produce heat. In such saunas, the one that produces heat via an infrared heating system is abundant from advanced saunas.


Often, a sauna pours water over rocks in order to generate steam to increase humidity. But, the extent of this humidity is always less than steam. That is why its heat is referred to as the “dry” heat.


  • The steam shower uses a generator to produce “wet” heat


A steam shower or a steam room makes use of a generator to produce steam that is placed outside the room. In the case of a steam shower, the generator tends to infuse steam in the entire room in the form of a rejuvenating mist that forms an envelope around the person taking a shower. This makes the heat generated by a steam shower generator referred to as “wet” heat.


  • Sauna and steam shower offers various wellness benefits


Both of them are one of the best solutions that help people enjoy a lot of health and wellness benefits. Some of them are:


They can relieve stress and ease muscle tension at the end of a hectic day.


  • Both saunas and steam showers are the best therapies after an exercise as they can increase the flow of blood. This, in turn, delivers more and more nutrients to the muscle tissues. To add more, it helps increase the transport of oxygen to the muscles that help in recovery.


In the same way, both of them can be good options for promoting sweating and, of course, improving blood circulation. This thing, as a result, tends to open up the pores of your skin and deeply cleanse the skin.


  • Besides these benefits, we can not neglect their physical and emotional relaxation benefits of them. Most importantly, both dry and wet heat can stimulate soothing effects that help generate feelings of relaxation and calmness. And, especially those suffering from mood or emotional disorders, can seek relief by practicing the regular sessions of either a sauna or a steam shower.


And both of these environments are very conducive to muscle relaxation that offers pain relief in case of different muscular injuries that you might get as a result of exercise or overuse of that particular muscle.


  • Various experts are of the viewpoint that the top reason for using a sauna or steam shower is because of their role in elevating the mood. Both of them tend to interact with the brain cells that have heat-sensitive neurons that release serotonin hormone when they are exposed to heat. This hormone is referred to as the feel-good hormone, which controls the functions of energy, focus, and mood. Additionally, this hormone gives you a sense of extra confidence that you need throughout the day to function well.


The difference between the health benefits of a steam shower and a sauna


As we all know that a sauna uses dry heat, the process of natural evaporation may leave toxins and precipitation to dry on the skin surface. On the other hand, the humid environment of a steam shower room leaves no chance of sweat to dry or evaporate on the skin and keeps the body perspiring constantly.


Andrew Weil, the author of “8 Weeks to Optimum Health,” says that steam soothes the respiratory tract and nasal passages, clears the sinuses, and relieves the congestion that the dry heat of a sauna can not do. It neutralizes stress and relaxes the body and mind.


The Health Benefits of Steam Rooms and Saunas declare the benefits of sauna. The dry heat from a sauna relaxes and warms muscles and soothes the nerve endings. This, in turn, releases tension and minimizes joint pain. This is the best choice to make for those suffering from headaches, arthritis, and painful migraines.


A steam room can also boost metabolism. It also can help with weight loss. The steam room makes you sweat, which means the body is losing water. As water contributes to making a large part of your body weight, its emission will cause you to lose a few pounds. The sweat also wipes out toxins and cleanses the entire body.


Comparatively, a steam shower room can help open the airways to improve breathing and alleviate congestion. Furthermore, when the wet heat strikes, it opens the body’s mucous membranes and helps relieve pressure. For those suffering from bronchitis and asthma, it assists with sinus relief.




  • As we all know that the sauna generates dry heat, so it can lead to dehydration conditions. So, make sure to drink a lot of water before as well as after taking a sauna session.
  • In order to get used to the experience of the steam shower or sauna shower, try limiting bath time to not more than that 10 to 15 minute
  • For everyone with some sort of health concerns like pregnancy and high blood pressure, it is highly recommended to take suggestions from the healthcare provider. In this way, they will get to know the safe type of heat to use.


Final thoughts


Both sauna and steam shower have their own benefits. They have various differences and also share some benefits with each other. That is why, it is encouraged to choose the heat type that better suits you according to your health conditions, interests, and personal preferences. To put it in short, a sauna or steam shower session is an extremely simple remedy that can snatch out a lot of physical as well as mental health issues. What else do you want?