Diet & Weight Magazine

Steam Room Vs. Sauna: Pros and Cons

By Beliteweight @BeLiteWeight

Steam rooms and saunas are in vogue right now. Every gym and spa has one or the other, and many have both. And why not? Sometimes you need the hot humid air of a steam room, and sometimes your body can benefit from the hot dry heat of a sauna.

To help you decide when the time is right for each, check out this quick list of pros and cons.

Steam rooms provide a wet, tropical experience because they are typically heated to between 114 and 120 degrees with 100 percent humidity.

Steam Room vs. Sauna: Pros and Cons

  • Steam rooms are good for your skin because they promote detoxification through sweating
  • Steam rooms help relax overworked muscles
  • Steam rooms can work as an expectorant, so if you're suffering from a cold, sinus infection or have a congested chest, the hot, wet air could help you recover sooner.


  • Steam rooms can quickly cause dehydration
  • If you're pregnant, entering a steam room can harm your baby
  • Because steam rooms are so hot and moist, they are fertile grounds for fungi and bacteria to grow.

Saunas are typically heated to a dry, hot temperature of between 160 and 200 degrees with humidity levels much lower than that of a steam room.


  • Saunas promote blood flow to the skin
  • Saunas help reduce muscle pains and aches
  • There are some who believe that spending time in a sauna burns calories by raising your body temperature
  • It is believed that people who sauna regularly (even for only a few minutes a couple times a week) sleep better than those who don't.


  • Spending a lot of time in a sauna, especially in the winter, can wreak havoc on your skin by drying it out and causing it to crack and peel
  • Spending time in a sauna while you are pregnant can hurt your baby
  • Raising your heart rate too quickly can lead to serious medical problems including cardiac arrest.

In general, both steam rooms and saunas are safe–unless you're pregnant or on prescription medication–and can help you relax, feel better when you're sick and recover from your workouts.

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