A home sauna can be a lovely addition to your house, providing you with comfort and relaxation. A steam room, too, can help you de-stress and unwind. Both a steam room and a sauna have several healing benefits as well. However, before you invest in either a home sauna or a steam room, it is a good idea to consider the differences between both in order to decide which one will be better suited for your requirements.
Here is more on a home sauna versus a steam room to help you make a decision.
Difference in Type of Heat
While both a sauna and a steam room provide you with comforting heat, the type of heat differs. A sauna uses dry heat while a steam room uses moist heat. This means that saunas usually have higher temperatures than a steam room. The average temperature for a sauna is between 80 deg C to 100 deg C while that for the steam room is around 40 deg C since higher than that can result in scalding. So, while a steam room has low temperatures, it has higher humidity, a sauna has high temperature with low humidity.
Difference in Construction
Saunas are made of wood with wooden benches to sit on. Heating is done with stones placed on an electric or wood-burning heater. When water is poured on the hot stones, it produces steam that raises the temperature. However, this steam quickly dissipates to leave the room both dry and hot. There are also infrared saunas that use infrared heat, rather than stones, to raise the temperature.
Steam rooms, on the other hand, are usually built with ceramic tiles to keep the moisture trapped in. The steam is generated by a steam generator which heats the water and feeds the steam into the airtight room and raises the humidity level to nearly 100 percent. The temperature is kept lower than a sauna to keep the steam from scalding those inside.
Difference in Health Benefits
While both a home sauna and steam room help to release tension, ease stress and remove toxins from the body by raising the body temperature and making you sweat, the difference in the type of heat makes one more appropriate for some people than the other.
A steam room provides you with moist heat, so you’ll benefit from it if you suffer from sinusitis, asthma, dry cough or bronchitis. The moist steam will help to clear congested nasal and sinus passages. Also, since steam really makes you sweat, it’ll help you if you suffer from acne or other skin conditions caused by toxin buildup.
A sauna, on the other hand, is a good choice for those who cannot tolerate the humidity of the steam room. People suffering from joint problems, arthritis or infections should avoid using a steam room since the moisture may aggravate the existing condition.
If your choice of a home sauna or steam room is dependent on any health condition, it will be a good idea to consult your physician before investing in either. While both are useful, natural ways of cleansing the body, the differences in the type of heat, construction and temperatures influence their precise benefits.