If you’re looking to add a little luxury, relaxation, and potential health benefits into your life, investing in a sauna or steam room is a great idea. But which is better – a dry sauna or a wet steam room? This guide will compare saunas vs steam rooms to help you decide.

As the owner of a sauna and steam room installation company based in Dubai, I’ve seen these amenities completely transform homes from ordinary to oases of wellness and tranquility. Below, I’ll over everything you need to know to choose between installing a sauna or steam room.

Sauna vs Steam Room: Key Differences

While saunas and steam rooms both involve sitting in an enclosed, heated space, there are some key differences:

Heat method:



Now that we’ve covered the basic differences, let’s dive deeper into comparing sauna vs steam room by looking at setup and use, health benefits, considerations for your home, costs, and recommendations.

Sauna vs Steam Room: Setup and Use

Using a Sauna

A dry sauna session will typically last 10-30 minutes. The sauna should be pre-heated to approximately 158-194°F before entering. Pour some water over the sauna rocks if you want to create a quick burst of steam.

It’s important to hydrate before, during and after use. Limit your first few sessions to 5-10 minutes as your body gets used to the heat. Cool down gradually when you’re done.

Using a Steam Room

For a steam room, allow 10-15 minutes for steam to be generated before entering. Sessions are also typically 10-30 minutes. The high humidity will make the steam room feel hotter than the actual temperature.

Like a sauna, be sure to hydrate and take breaks as needed. Enter slowly and exit gradually.

Sauna vs Steam: Health Benefits

So what exactly will you gain from using a sauna or steam room? Let’s compare some top health benefits:

Sauna Health Benefits

Steam Room Benefits

As you can see, both saunas and steam offer some excellent whole-body benefits!

Comparing Sauna vs Steam: Costs and Considerations for Your Home

Deciding between a sauna vs steam room for your home depends on several factors:

Sauna Costs and Considerations

Steam Room Costs and Considerations

As you budget your project, factor in costs not just for materials and installation but also for ongoing maintenance. Consider any electrical upgrades needed in your home to support the room you choose.

Sauna or Steam Room: Which Is Better for Me? Recommendations

With all the info above in mind, here are my top recommendations on which option may suit you best:

Best for Athletes/Exercise Enthusiasts – Sauna

The intense dry heat of a sauna helps muscle recovery after tough workouts. Saunas are popular in gyms and sports therapy clinics for good reason! If you love sports or high intensity functional training, go for a sauna.

Best for Overall Relaxation – Steam Room

While both saunas and steam rooms offer stress and tension relief, there’s nothing quite like a steam room for completely melting worries away. The soothing moist air, gentle warmth and tranquil ambience is heavenly. Pick a steam room for pure, tranquil relaxation.

Best for Respiratory Issues – Steam Room

For breathing issues ranging from simple colds to chronic lung problems like COPD, steam rooms allow you to deeply inhale moist, warm air directly into airways. This helps loosen mucus, open passages wider and provide therapeutic respiratory relief with regular use. Those with respiratory conditions should absolutely opt for steam.

Best for Social Gatherings – Sauna

Saunas heat up fast and can comfortably fit more people together to socialize as you sweat out toxins. The dry air also makes conversation easier without steam obscuring vision. If you want a space to unwind that doubles for fun gatherings, a roomy sauna is fantastic.

Best for Smaller Spaces – Steam Room

For compact areas like apartments/condos, steam rooms require less square footage than saunas. You also don’t need ceiling height for ventilation. Just be sure to use moisture-resistant building materials.

Best for Outdoors – Sauna

Saunas are a great addition to outdoor areas like poolside cabanas, decks, garages or backyards since ventilation is easier. Steam rooms must remain indoors only.

I hope the details above on comparing sauna vs steam room help guide your decision process. Still unsure? Reach out to us anytime for a free consultation on your project!

Frequently Asked Questions About Saunas and Steam Rooms

As you consider adding a sauna or steam room to your home, here are answers to some common questions:

Are saunas or steam rooms better for weight loss?

While both can burn calories in use due to raising your heart rate, saunas appear to have more potential to help lead to lasting weight loss results. Studies show blood flow and circulation improvements from regular sauna use may help the body metabolize fat more effectively long-term.

How often can you use a sauna or steam room?

It’s generally safe for most healthy adults to use either option a few times per week, but start slow. Limit initial sessions to 10 minutes then build up gradually to 20-30 minutes max as your body adjusts. Hydration is vital, so drink water before, during and after. Allow cooling off periods between sessions. Those new to heat therapy should consult their doctor first.

What health conditions are saunas or steam rooms unsafe for?

People with certain medical issues should check with a doctor before using either type of heat therapy. Those with heart problems, low blood pressure, pregnancy complications or respiratory issues need medical guidance on safe heat levels. Elderly individuals, small children and those under the influence of drugs/alcohol should also use extreme caution.

How often do saunas/steam rooms need cleaning?

To prevent mold, mildew and bacterial growth, thoroughly clean wet steam room surfaces weekly. Use natural cleaners to prevent lung irritation. Disinfect saunas monthly paying close attention to hygiene of benches, flooring and accessories. Wipe down after each use.

Follow all manufacturer maintenance guidelines for your model including drain flushing and part inspection/replacement.

What’s better – infrared, traditional or steam?

Infrared saunas utilize different wavelengths for targeted penetrating heat that may offer extra detoxification benefits. However, traditional saunas and steam rooms have more research backing their far-infrared and thermal therapy advantages. All provide different but useful experiences depending on if you prioritize intensity, circulation benefits, comfort or convenience.


Hopefully this complete guide has covered all the details needed to decide whether your home would benefit more from a rejuvenating sauna or tranquil steam room. Both can transform your living space into a relaxing daily retreat.

As the owner of a sauna and steam room installation company based right here in Dubai, get in touch if you have any other questions or want a custom quote for bringing one of these wellness enhancing sanctuaries into your life! My team specializes in top quality materials, efficient installations, warrantied construction and seamless project management from start to finish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Hello 👋
Can we help you?