Even though they’re both basically hot baths, a sauna uses dry heat and a steam room uses moist heat. Saunas have very low humidity, which means they can be much hotter than steam rooms. They’re usually between 80°C and 100°C, which is perfectly safe because they use dry heat.
A steam room on the other hand is usually about 40°C any hotter than that it could scald your skin. Steam rooms are heated with a steam generator where the steam is fed into an almost airtight room where it builds up to create a humidity level around 100%.
The construction material also differs. Saunas are usually made of wood and include wooden benches to sit on where as steam rooms need to be designed to contain the moisture created by the steam. A material like ceramic tile is often used and more recently some plastics. Steam rooms are also built with a slanted or concave ceiling most of the time to prevent moisture build-up from dripping onto the bathers.
But which one is better? This one is really a matter of personal preference, although some experts do favour one over the other but taking one or the other is better than neither.
They’re all good for the following:
• improving blood circulation
• easing muscle tension
• promoting feelings of relaxation and well-being
• enhancing detoxification processes
Steam rooms will feel warmer than an infrared sauna because when you perspire the sweat doesn’t evaporate and carry away the heat.
If you have a respiratory ailment such as asthma or sinus congestion you may prefer the moisture present in the steam bath. Steam inhalation is very effective against bronchitis, sinusitis and other allergies.
The next time you are suffering with a cold bend over a steaming hot pot of water with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam and direct it toward the face. You’ll feel the benefit immediately. With a steam room the effect is increased considerably.
Moving onto maintenance both are relatively easy and trouble free. A steam room can be washed with a ceramic tile cleaner, and the steam generator will require periodic draining.
The floor of a wood sauna should be cleaned once a week to once a month with a mild detergent to prevent or rotting and staining.
So there you have it; it really is a matter of personal preference. We here at Aqualine stock both infrared saunas and steam rooms so please feel free to browse the site. If you have any question you can comment on this blog post or contact us by phone or email.