Understanding the Difference Between Traditional, Steam and Dry Saunas

Posted on 10 June 2020

A sauna can provide you with years of spa-quality relaxation from the comfort of your home. Many people are interested in installing an indoor or outdoor sauna in their home but are not sure where to begin. Once you have decided to install a new home sauna, the best place to begin is selecting your type of sauna. There are three main types of saunas: traditional, steam, and dry. Each comes with its own sets of benefits, advantages, and disadvantages. In this blog post, we will discuss a few of these differences to help you select the perfect sauna for you and your family.

Traditional Saunas & Their Benefits

home saunasAs their name implies, traditional saunas have been used for thousands of years as a health and wellness aid. Traditional saunas rely on some form of heating device, usually a wood-burning or electric stove. These heating devices help the sauna maintain very high temperatures. In fact, one of the main advantages of a traditional sauna is that it can maintain high heat relative to other models. A lot of homeowners ultimately choose this type of sauna due to its ability to naturally maintain temperatures as high as 195-degree Fahrenheit! Although high heat is a benefit to some, it can be a disadvantage to others. If you are new to sauna use and are heat-sensitive, a traditional sauna may not be the right model for you. Instead, it might be better to pick a model that maintains slightly lower temperatures, such as the steam sauna or dry sauna models discussed below. The other main disadvantage of a traditional sauna is the extra power required to run the heater and maintain high temperatures. Depending on your type of heater, the cost of running the sauna will vary. For example, a wood-burning heater will require little to no electricity, but you will need a reliable source of wood.

Traditional sauna use can provide a wide array of health benefits. With regular at-home sauna use, the high heat of the interior environment can improve circulation and sleep, reduce stress, and alleviate pain. Many athletes enjoy using a traditional sauna to improve recovery after workouts and to reduce muscle aches and pain. Traditional saunas are also a popular choice with individuals suffering from arthritis, chronic fatigue, and back pain. The high temperatures of a traditional sauna help to open pores and induce sweating, improving the look and feel of skin. In addition to the physical benefits, many people find the warm and relaxing environment of a sauna helps to reduce stress, increase relaxation, and improve sleep.

Steam Saunas & Their Benefits

Unlike traditional or dry saunas, steam saunas rely on wet heat to function. By generating heat through steam, your body can hydrate as it receives all the benefits of heat exposure. These models are particularly popular with individuals suffering from asthma, allergies, frequent colds, or other respiratory issues. Steam is known to reduce congestion and improve respiratory symptoms, helping you breathe easier. Similar to taking a hot shower when you are sick, the steam generated in a steam sauna can open up your airways and help you relax and unwind without feeling congested or short of breath. The heat of a steam sauna is additionally able to reduce muscle aches and pains, relieve stress, and improves sleep!

Dry Saunas & Their Benefits

A dry sauna is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a traditional sauna feel without the high temperatures. Dry saunas are designed like a traditional sauna, but they only reach temperatures of about 140-degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike a steam sauna, dry saunas contain little to no moisture, making them a less desirable option for anyone looking to alleviate congestion or respiratory issues. Otherwise, dry saunas are still able to provide the same benefits as a traditional sauna, including relaxing muscles and reducing fatigue and pain. Many people find regular sauna use is an important part of their broader wellness routine, helping them to improve their physical and mental health.

Accessories Available for Your Sauna

Whether you want a traditional, steam or dry sauna or are interested in an indoor or outdoor model, there are a variety of accessories available to personalize your sauna experience. For anyone who is temperature sensitive, one of the best and least expensive accessories for your sauna will be a thermometer. With an easy to read dial, a thermometer will help ensure that your sauna is at your desired temperature whenever it is in use. Additionally, you might want to install a 15-minute sand timer to ensure that you do not spend too much time in your new at-home sauna.

A popular accessory, especially for those looking for a traditional sauna experience, is a wooden bucket and ladle. Traditionally, the bucket is filled with water and the ladle is used to splash water on the sauna rocks. This helps create humidity and steam in the sauna. With the help of the bucket and ladle, you can create steam based on your personal preference. Feeling a little stuffed up? Simply splash extra water on the rocks to increase steam and alleviate your congestion.

Finally, a few extra accessories to improve your sauna experience include a towel rack, ergonomic backrests, and even wooden clocks to seamlessly blend with your sauna walls.

At SaunaFin, we help our customers design and build the sauna of their dreams. With our easy-to-assemble PreFab kits and Sauna Material kits, we have packaged everything you need to build an indoor or outdoor sauna. Our wide array of sauna accessories and heater models allow you to fully customize your new at-home sauna to fit your personal preferences. Our selection of sauna models come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit almost any backyard or budget. For more information on any of our sauna kits and to get started with your new at-home sauna, contact us today at 905-738-4017. We currently take orders online, over the phone, and over email and our showroom is now open for viewings by appointment.  

Please, enter a valid value