Sauna Calories Calculator: How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Sauna?

Man wiping sweat with a towel in a sauna cabin, potentially burning calories in a sauna

Curious to know how many calories do you burn in a sauna?

I’ve got you covered with our handy sauna calories calculator. It’s designed to offer quite an accurate estimate of the calories burned in a sauna, turning your curiosity into knowledge.

New research shows that a 30-minute sauna session can potentially burn between 300 and 500 calories. So, using a sauna post-workouts can be an enticing option for enhancing burning calories.

Stick around to discover more!

Key Takeaways

  • Calories Calculator: Utilize our Sauna Calories Calculator to estimate the calories burned during your sauna session.
  • Calories Burned: A 200 lb. person may burn around 150 calories in a 30-minute sauna session versus 100 calories for a 130 lb. person.
  • Factors Influencing Calorie Burn: The number of calories you burn in a sauna is affected by the sauna type, the duration and frequency of your sessions, the sauna’s temperature, your body composition, weight and age.
  • Sauna Types: Different types of saunas, including infrared, electric heater, and wood-fired heater saunas, have varying effects on calorie burn.
  • While saunas can aid in calorie burn, the weight lost is primarily water weight.
  • Usage Tips: For safe and effective sauna use, stay hydrated, monitor session duration and temperature, cool down properly, and consult your physician if you have any health conditions.

Sauna Calories Calculator

I have come up with this Sauna calories burned calculator after extensive research. I have consulted some of the industry’s top health professionals to be as close as possible with the real world figures.

Calculate Calories Burned in a Sauna

Please note: The calorie estimates provided by this calculator are approximate and may not reflect the exact number of calories burned. For more accurate results, consider consulting with a fitness professional or using a specialized calorie tracker.

How to Use the Sauna Calories Calculator?

Follow these steps to use the sauna calories burned calculator effectively:

  1. Enter your height in feet and inches.
  2. Input your weight in pounds.
  3. Enter Your age in years.
  4. Select sauna type: Choose the type of sauna you’re using (infrared, electric heater, or wood-fired heater).
  5. Session duration: Type in how long your sauna session lasts in minutes.
  6. Calculate: Click on “Calculate Calories” to get your estimated calories burned and also your BMR.

The result will provide an estimate of the calories you burned during your sauna session. Keep in mind that individual factors such as metabolism and body composition can influence the actual calories burned.

How Does Using a Sauna Burn Calories?

I remember my first time in a sauna. I was both curious and skeptical about the health benefits, especially the popular claim of significant calorie burn. Like many, I wondered: Just how effective could sitting in a heated room be for weight loss?

How exactly does sitting in the sauna burn calories? Let’s try to understand.

Sitting in a hot sauna causes several responses in your body:

  • As your body works to pump blood to the skin to release heat, it results in increased heart rate & blood circulation, and blood vessel dilation.
  • Your core body temperature rises, triggering your body’s stress response to heat exposure.
  • Heavy sweating begins within minutes, resulting in the loss of fluids and electrolytes, thereby burning calories. Make sure to wear sauna-appropriate clothing like, some loose, lightweight, minimal attire that allows vigorous sweating.

Your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn at rest, also goes up in order to produce more energy to cope with the heat.

To potentially influence your metabolic rate and marginally boost your calorie burn, you can also consider gentle stretching exercises and practicing deep, mindful breathing during your sauna sessions.

Now that we’ve seen how saunas contribute to calorie burning, let’s look into the factors that affect this process.

A woman lounging comfortably in a wooden sauna, with a cup in hand, trying to burn calories during a sauna session.

Factors Affecting How Many Calories Can you Burn in a Sauna

Let’s explore the carious factors which uniquely influence how many calories can you burn in a sauna:

Sauna Type

In a traditional sauna, the calorie-burning effect is amplified because the hot environment makes your body work even harder.

On average, you can expect to burn around 1.5-2 times more calories in a sauna compared to sitting in a room with a normal temperature.

While traditional saunas are effective at burning calories, infrared saunas take the calorie-burning game to the next level.

The infrared rays penetrate deeper into your skin, increasing your metabolic rate. This can possibly help you burn up to 10 times more calories in infrared sauna than in a dry sauna. Even the portable infrared sauna tents may help you burn some calories.

This makes infrared saunas a popular choice for those looking to maximize their calorie-burning efforts as compared to traditional saunas.

One study found men burned an average of 410 calories in a 30-minute 174°F infrared sauna session, while women burned 290 calories on average.

However, it’s important to remember that the actual number of calories you burn in a sauna session depends on various other factors apart from just the sauna type. These factors include individual differences, session duration & frequency, overall health status, and many more.

Individual factors

An individual’s unique characteristics significantly impact the calories burned in a sauna session. These include:

Body Composition

Your body composition significantly influences how many calories you burn in a sauna. People with more muscle mass burn more calories as muscle is metabolically active and requires energy to maintain temperature.

Higher percentages of body fat also lead to increased calorie burn as fat acts as an insulator, requiring more energy to heat up.


Heavier individuals burn more calories in a sauna as there is greater body mass to heat up.

Obese people lose more weight from sweating compared to normal-weight people when exposed to the same heat stress.

A 200 lb. person may burn around 150 calories in a 30-minute sauna session versus 100 calories for a 130 lb. person.


Younger individuals tend to burn more calories in a sauna than older individuals. This is because the basal metabolic rate and heat tolerance decrease with age.

One study found those under 30 burned over twice as many calories as those over 50 during 15-minute sauna sessions.

Health Status

Certain health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes may limit heat tolerance and calorie expenditure in a sauna.

Medications that affect hydration, thermoregulation, or heart rate can also influence calorie burn.

Consulting a doctor is important to ensure sauna use is safe.

Detail of glistening sweat on a person's skin while lying down in a sauna, indicative of calorie burning.

Duration and Frequency

The longer you stay in a sauna session, the more calories you will burn.

Most studies show the greatest calorie expenditure occurs during sauna sessions lasting 30-60 minutes.

One study found men burned an average of 73 calories during the first 10 minutes of a sauna session, whereas they burned more than 134 calories during the last 10 minutes of that session.

Using the sauna more frequently also boosts calorie burn over time. With consistent daily sauna use, your body adapts to the heat stress, burning more energy through each session.

One study found participants using the sauna 5 times per week burned twice as many calories versus 3 times per week.


How hot a sauna is directly impacts your body’s physiological response and the number of calories you burn.

Higher sauna temperatures place greater thermal stress on the body, requiring more energy expenditure to maintain your core temperature.

Studies show that raising traditional sauna temperature from 174°F to 212°F increases calorie burn by over 50%.

However, prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not recommended as they can cause discomfort and health risks.

Similarly as per one study, infrared sauna use at 140°F versus 110°F doubled the amount of calories burned.

In summary, sauna temperature significantly influences the body’s calorie burn response.

Time of Day

Using a sauna later in the day, such as in the late afternoon or early evening, may result in greater calorie expenditure compared to morning sauna sessions.

A small study found that participants burned 400 calories when using a sauna in the morning versus 800 calories when using it in the late afternoon.

This difference in calorie burn may relate to the body clock and its effect on metabolism. Core body temperature and metabolic rate fluctuate throughout the 24 hours, with body temperature typically peaking in the early evening. Using a sauna during this period places greater demands on the body to maintain its core temperature.

Understanding these factors sets the stage to address common misconceptions about sauna use and weight loss.

A pensive man sitting in a steam-filled sauna, with glistening skin, contemplating the potential calorie burn from the heat exposure.

Misconceptions and Realities of Weight Loss in Saunas

When it comes to weight loss, saunas have gained popularity as a potential solution. However, it’s important to understand the reality behind sauna weight loss and manage your expectations accordingly.

Sitting in a sauna can result in weight loss, but it is only temporary. This is because the weight lost is mainly water weight, which can quickly come back as soon as you rehydrate.

While saunas can be a relaxing and enjoyable addition to your fitness routine, they should not be considered as the primary focus for weight loss.

Activities such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training are more effective for increasing your metabolism, building muscle, and burning calories.

The main health benefits of sauna use revolve around improved cardiovascular health, reduced muscle and joint pain, better sleep, improved brain function, increased immune system function, and so much more.

To achieve sustainable weight loss goals, focus on consistent, moderate healthy habits. Keeping a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise is key.

In my personal experience, after incorporating regular sauna sessions into my fitness routine, I noticed a slight improvement in my weight management. While the sauna itself didn’t cause significant weight loss, it seemed to complement my overall exercise regimen.

Let’s visualize how sauna sessions compare with other activities in terms of calorie burn.

Below is an infographic showing the average calories burned in 30 minutes of sauna use, running, and swimming. Please note, these are approximate figures and can vary based on individual factors.

Sweating it out! This infographic breaks down how many calories do you burn in a sauna compared to activities like running and swimming.

With these realities in mind, let’s explore some essential tips for safe and effective sauna use.

Tips for Safe and Effective Sauna Use

Using a sauna can be an enjoyable way to promote relaxation and support your overall health and wellness goals.

However, it’s important to use saunas safely, especially if you’re hoping to lose weight.

Here are some tips:

1. Stay Hydrated: Prolonged sauna sessions and excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. To support your body’s weight loss efforts and overall well-being, remember to stay hydrated while using a sauna.

2. Track sauna duration and temperature using a timer and thermometer: Be mindful of how long you sit in the sauna. Start with sessions of 10-15 minutes and slowly work your way up to 20-30 minutes max as your body adapts.

Higher temperatures increase the risk of overheating. Stay within the sauna manufacturer’s recommended time and temperature ranges.

3. Cool down: After exiting the sauna, give your body 20-30 minutes to gradually cool down before taking a cold shower.

4. Consult your physician: Those with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems should consult their physician before starting sauna use for weight loss. Pregnant women should avoid saunas.

Following these sauna usage and safety tips will help you lose weight safely while minimizing the risk of dehydration, overheating, and other side effects.

Be patient & consistent, and listen to your body.

FAQs About How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Sauna

How many calories does 30 minutes in a sauna burn?

The number of calories burned in a 30-minute sauna session varies, but on average, it could be between 50 to 500 calories. However, it is influenced by factors like sauna type, body weight, sauna duration, temperature, and individual metabolism​.

Is weight loss experienced in a sauna permanent?

No, weight loss in a sauna is primarily from water loss due to sweating and is usually regained once you rehydrate.

Do infrared saunas burn more calories compared to traditional saunas?

Yes, infrared saunas burn more calories compared to traditional saunas. The infrared rays penetrate deeper into your skin, increasing your metabolic rate. This can possibly help you burn up to 10 times more calories than in a dry sauna.

Can I combine sauna sessions with my workout routine?

Yes, using the sauna post-workout is beneficial for relaxation and muscle recovery. Ensure adequate hydration and avoid immediate sauna use after intense workouts​.

Are there any risks associated with using a sauna?

Saunas are generally safe, but overexposure can lead to dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Individuals with health conditions  like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems should consult a physician before using a sauna. Pregnant women should avoid saunas.

How does a sauna burn calories?

When you sit in a sauna, your heart rate and body temperature rise, causing your body to work harder to produce sweat and cool down. This increased effort burns calories.


While saunas can give your calorie burn a temporary boost, they aren’t a replacement for diet and exercise.

To lose weight sustainably, focus on a consistent calorie deficit, nutrition plan, and workout routine.

Use saunas as an add-on calorie burner, not the main event. Track your heart rate, hydration, and time spent in the sauna. And, of course, consult your doctor before starting.

With realistic expectations and safe usage, saunas can be a helpful tool to support your overall weight loss goals. Just don’t expect them to do all the sweating for you!

Now that you know all about the calorie-burning benefits of a sauna, why not try incorporating it into your fitness routine? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below!

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