Differences: Sauna vs. Steam Room

Posted on 09 April 2018

The relaxation debate seems to come down to sauna vs. steam room. We all want a place to unwind after a long day and the sauna vs. steam room conundrum seems to stump many of us. What are the differences between the two? What are the health benefits of each? Can I put both in my house? These are questions we all have, so let’s get to the bottom of this.

Sauna vs. Steam Room: Benefits and Differences

Many of us confuse the two, but saunas and steam rooms are actually two different things.

cedar cabin indoor home saunaWhat is a Sauna?

A sauna is a small or medium-sized room, typically made of cedar that provides a relaxing environment. Heater located inside the sauna, the heat is easily generated at temperatures of about 80°C-90°C (175-194F).

  • The heater in the sauna heats up a stack of rocks
  • Can be built outdoors or indoors
  • There are different types of saunas; Traditional (electric and wood burning) or infrared

Saunas help with muscle stimulation and reduce stress. Furthermore, they can lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

steam room shower woman towel relaxWhat is a Steam Room?

A steam room is a small to medium-sized room designed to produce a hot and humid environment perfect for letting off steam (pun intended!). Sometimes called a steam shower, it is usually made out of tile and glass. Temperatures in a steam room are generally about 42°-47C (108-115F), creating an ideal atmosphere for sweating out toxins and taking it easy.




  • A steam generator sits outside the steam room. It boils water and releases it into the air in the form of steam
  • A full height door makes the room "steam tight" in order to sustain maximum levels of humidity
  • Can be built indoors
  • Can be built into your shower called a “steam shower”
  • The heat produced in a steam room is extremely humid, whereas a sauna is dry.
  • Steam showers relieve tired and aching muscles and eases the stress of our day to day lives.
  • Steam can ease the symptoms of arthritis & asthma and helps with respiratory and circulatory issues.
  • Steam improves blood flow, while it expels impurities and toxins from the body.
  • Individuals with dry skin (especially common in colder months) find steam's penetrating effect helps moisten the skin.
  • Steam assists in alleviating conditions like acne, eczema & athlete’s foot.

While both saunas and steam rooms offer therapeutic benefits, some people prefer dry heat over humid heat. It all comes down to personal preference and what health issues you wish to resolve. For instance, if you have issues with your skin, a steam room could prove to be very beneficial. On the other hand, if you suffer from stiff, sore muscles, you may find more relief after spending time in a sauna. No matter where you fall on the sauna vs. steam room debate, Saunafin can help. Please contact us for more information and we’ll equip your home with a relaxing place you can unwind. Whether it’s a traditional sauna or a steam room, we’ve got you covered.

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