Dry Sauna Vs Wet Sauna – Which One Is Right For You?

A uniquely designed, eco-friendly sauna with a green moss-covered roof, situated by a tranquil lakeside, epitomizes the blending of relaxation and nature-a highlight of the sauna experience.

The crackling sound of heated stones or the gentle hiss of steam—what calls out to you? Here, we dive deep into an age-old debate: Dry Sauna vs Wet Sauna.

With over a decade of wellness industry experience, my adventures through steamy cabins and sizzling rooms have shown me firsthand the transformative power these sanctuaries hold.

Each boasts its legion of loyalists touting health perks ranging from clearer skin to improved respiratory function. Unwrapping these benefits is key to deciding which one will be your personal oasis. Prepare yourself; by the journey’s end, you’ll uncover secrets tailored just for your well-being needs.

Ready to discover your perfect match?

Quick Summary

What is a Dry Sauna?

Imagine you’re unwinding in a cozy wooden room filled with a warmth that hugs your body – but without all the steamy mist that fogs up your glasses.

Dry saunas have been helping people relax and stay healthy for thousands of years.

It uses an electric heater or a wood-burning stove to warm up rocks till they’re super hot. These rocks then heat the air all around you. The heat makes you sweat, which can feel good and be healthy for your body.

According to a mechanistic review published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), dry saunas (temperature = 80–90 °C; humidity = 10–20%) offer various health benefits such as markers of cardiovascular health and lipid profiles, as well as increasing overall longevity for chronic users.

The temperature in a dry sauna can be very high, ranging between 160 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit. In this type of sauna, there’s not much steam unless you pour water on the hot rocks placed on top of the heater- that’s why it’s called dry! Still, the humidity is in the range of 5-20%.

Related: Electric vs Wood-Burning Sauna Heater

What is a Wet Sauna?

What is a wet sauna? A wet sauna, often referred to as a steam room, uses steam to create a high-humidity environment with lower temperatures.

The temperature stays cooler than in dry saunas, around 90 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity can reach close to 100% as there is minimal ventilation.

Picture yourself enveloped in a soothing mist that promises to open up more than just your pores – it’s like a tropical vacation for your health. It can be of 2 types:

  1. Finnish sauna: It has the same setup as a dry sauna, but once you start pouring/throwing water on the hot rocks, it becomes a wet sauna. The more water you pour, the more steam it generates. This evaporating hot steam that rises from the hot stones is traditionally called ´löyly´ in Finland, and the Finns are in love with it!
  2. Steam room: A water-filled generator pumps hot steam into an enclosed space, creating moisture in the air. The sauna gets  really warm but keeps the air super moist.

According to a study published in the NCBI, wet saunas (temperature = 70–100 °C; humidity ≥ 50%) are specifically designed to increase the thermal load of an individual, offering various health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health and relaxation.

Just sit back on the bench and let that warm mist work its magic on your body!

An inviting sauna room with neatly stacked towels and sauna stones, showcasing the serene and clean atmosphere of a wooden dry sauna setup.

Dry Sauna vs Wet Sauna: Key Differences

When it comes to the tropics of your own personal sweat session, understanding the key differences between dry and wet saunas – like their unique heating methods and atmospheric vibes – is crucial; you’ll be amazed at how these distinctions play in choosing your ultimate relaxation retreat.

(Don’t stop here; keep on reading to unravel the steamy details!).

Method of Heating

Dry saunas crank up the heat by warming the air around you. They use  an electric heater or wood-burning stove to get the temperature soaring hot.

If you are looking to buy a sauna heater but confused about which one to buy, explore our picks for the top 7 electric sauna heaters and top 5 wood-burning sauna heaters this year.

Wet saunas, also known as steam rooms, give off moist heat with water thrown over hot rocks or through steam generators. The air stays cooler than in a dry sauna.

Ready for more? Let’s dive into how each type handles temperature and humidity.

Temperature and Humidity

Hot and steamy or dry and toasty? That’s the choice you’re making between wet and dry saunas.

Wet saunas keep things cool—well, cooler than dry ones—with temperatures around 90-120 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t let that fool you; it feels like a tropical rainforest in there because of all the moisture hanging in the air, with humidity reaching close to 100%.

Dry saunas crank up the heat to between 160 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The air is much drier, so while it’s hotter, you might not feel as sweaty at first. The humidity stays between 5-20%. It’s like being wrapped in a warm towel that keeps getting warmer—the kind of heat that sinks into your bones.

Whether you’re itching for intense heat or craving humidity will guide your sauna choice just right!

Health Benefits

Health Benefits of a Dry Sauna

Dry saunas heat you up and make you feel good. They can also help your body in many ways. Here are some health benefits of using a dry sauna:

  • The hot air pushes your core temperature up, so your heart works harder to cool you down. So your heart gets stronger, just like when you exercise, which is great for your cardiovascular health.
  • There is more blood pumping around and better muscle relaxation, too.
  • You might hurt less and move more easily. Heat eases pain in your muscles and joints, so you feel better after a workout or if you have arthritis.
  • You sweat out bad stuff from your body. When you get hot, you sweat, and that helps clean out toxins.
  • Breathing can get easier if you have asthma or allergies. Warm air helps open up airways so lungs work better.
  • Stress goes away, and you relax. Sitting in the warmth calms you down and reduces stress hormones.
  • You may not get sick as often because it boosts your immune system. The heat can make more white blood cells that fight off germs.
  • Skin gets cleaner and healthier as sweating opens up pores. This cleansing action can improve skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
Ambience inside a steam sauna with high humidity for therapeutic steam sessions

Health Benefits of a Wet Sauna

A wet sauna can feel like a warm hug for your body. It’s where heat meets moisture, and together they work wonders.

  • The steamy air helps relax muscles and ease pain. After a long run or hard workout, your tired limbs will thank you.
  • Breathing in the humid air can clear up your nose and chest. If you’ve got a cold or cough, it’s like nature’s cough syrup.
  • Your heart gets to pump more easily, thanks to vasodilation. That’s when your blood vessels open wider because of the heat.
  • Sauna sessions aren’t just me – time; they help with circulation, too. Better blood flow means more oxygen travelling around your body.
  • Feeling stressed? Step into the wet sauna. The warmth helps take the weight off your shoulders, so you leave feeling lighter.
  • Joints acting up? The moist heat is their friend. It soothes away joint discomfort, making movement easier again.
  • Detoxing happens naturally as you sweat out the bad stuff. Say goodbye to toxins that have been hanging around too long.
  • Just like going for a jog improves lung function, so does inhaling hot sauna air. It trains your lungs to be stronger. You feel each breath deeply– an amazing relief for folks who deal with asthma or allergies.
  • Sitting in this type of sauna can be like giving your skin a mini spa treatment; it becomes softer as pores open and sweat cleans away dirt.
  • Regular trips to a wet sauna might keep your ticker healthy over time. We’re talking about long-term love for your heart here.

Dry Sauna Vs Wet Sauna: Which is Right for You?

Choosing between a dry sauna and a wet sauna is kinda like picking your favorite ice cream flavor—it’s a personal thing, you know? So let’s wade through the steamy details together to figure out which one will have you chillin’—or should I say, sweatin’—in blissful contentment.

Personal Preference

Picking between a dry and wet sauna is all about what you like. It’s your choice, and it should make you feel good.

  • Think about how you feel with dry heat versus humid air. A dry sauna has low humidity and focuses on just the heat. If stuffy air bothers you, the crispness of a dry sauna might be better.
  • Now, if breathing in moist, warm air feels nice, especially for your skin and lungs, a wet sauna could be your friend. The steam can help if you’re feeling congested or have some muscle pain.
  • Are scents something you enjoy? Add essential oils in a wet sauna to create an aromatherapy session. This isn’t an option in most dry saunas.
  • Let’s talk quiet time. A traditional sauna (dry) is often quieter, which can be great for relaxing deeply or even meditating.
  • But hey, feeling social? Wet saunas can be more lively places where people chat while enjoying the steam together.
The warm glow of a sauna room in the evening, featuring wooden benches and soft lighting, offering a cozy and inviting space for relaxation away from moisture.

Health Goals/Considerations

Saunas are great for relaxing and may help your health. But before you dive in, think about how they might affect your body.

  • Respiratory Issues: If you have asthma or other breathing problems, a wet sauna might help clear your respiratory tracts. The steam can ease a sore throat and nasal congestion.
  • Skin Conditions: Some people find that dry saunas are better for their skin. You sweat a lot, which helps clean out your pores.
  • Heart Health: Studies have shown that dry saunas improve cardiovascular health. This can be good for some folks, but not if you have high blood pressure or heart disease. Always talk to your doctor first.

Practicality and Maintenance

Dry saunas are a win for easy upkeep. They aren’t as likely to grow mold or mildew because they have less moisture. This means you can enjoy the heat without worrying too much about cleaning all the time.

Just make sure you give it a quick wipe down after use and check the wood for any signs of wear.

On the flip side, wet saunas need more love to stay fresh. The steamy air feels great but can invite unwanted guests like mold if you’re not careful. You’ll have to dry them out well and clean them more often to keep them nice and tidy.

For sauna lovers who don’t mind a bit of extra work, that misty warmth could be worth it! Just remember, whatever you choose, taking care of your sauna means more time relaxing in it later on.


So, you’re wondering which sauna is best for you, dry or wet?

  • Think about what you want from a sauna. Do you need help with achy muscles, or do you have trouble breathing sometimes?
  • Maybe the heat of a dry sauna will relax your body, while the steam in a wet one helps your lungs.
  • Next, imagine yourself inside each type of sauna. Can you handle the dry heat, or does the thought of steamy warmth make you feel better? The right choice can give your heart and mind a boost, too!
  • Don’t forget how much work it takes to keep each one clean. Dry saunas usually need less care than wet ones.
  • Now, ask yourself how often I will use this sauna. Every day? Once in a while?

Remember these points when making up your mind. Your perfect sauna should make life happier and healthier!

FAQs about Dry Sauna vs Wet Sauna

Got burning questions tickling your brain like a relentless steam room mist? Dive into our FAQ section – it’s hotter than the sauna rocks themselves and just might hold that golden nugget of info you’ve been sweating to find out!

What are the benefits of a dry sauna compared to a wet sauna?

Dry saunas offer higher temperatures and lower humidity, promoting intense sweating and deep muscle relaxation. They are effective for detoxifying the body, relieving muscle and joint pain, and improving cardiovascular health. Additionally, dry saunas are easier to maintain due to lower moisture levels.

What is a dry sauna?

A dry sauna is a type of sauna where the air is heated to high temperatures, typically between 160-195°F, with low humidity levels (5-20%). It heats the body, inducing sweat without the presence of steam or moisture.

What is a wet sauna?

A wet sauna, often referred to as a steam room, uses steam to create a high-humidity environment with lower temperatures around 90-120°F. It provides a moist heat experience, beneficial for respiratory and skin health.

What are the health benefits of dry saunas?

Dry saunas can improve cardiovascular health, promote muscle relaxation, alleviate joint and muscle pain, aid in detoxification, assist in respiratory function, reduce stress, enhance immune function, and improve skin health.

What are the health benefits of wet saunas?

Wet saunas are beneficial for muscle relaxation, respiratory relief, improved circulation, stress reduction, joint pain relief, detoxification, lung function improvement, and skin hydration.

How do I choose the right sauna for me?

Consider personal preferences for heat and humidity, health goals (respiratory issues, skin conditions, heart health), and practical aspects like maintenance. Dry saunas are better for intense heat and easier maintenance, while wet saunas are ideal for humid heat and respiratory benefits.

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