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Sauna Vs. Steam Room

A sauna refers to a room which is heated up so that one can refresh themselves. Steam bath is taken in a room filled with hot steam that relaxes and freshens up one's body. Here is some information about them, as well as their differences.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2018
Nothing can vitalize one's senses better than a sauna or a steam bath. There are different rooms for the two. Even if there are differences in the methods of both, the purpose is the same - therapeutic. Irrespective of their health benefits, they also provide relief from various health problems from the stiffness of joints to strengthening the immune system.
Differences
Here are some differences between the two:
Method
The most prominent difference between a sauna and a steam room is the method of heat generation and the type of heat generated. The former is a low-humidity room or chamber, which uses infrared rays or hot rocks for the creation of high and dry heat. Whereas, the latter is a is a high-humidity chamber, creating vapor through heating of water.
Room Set Up
Sauna rooms are made of wood and have wooden benches to sit on, while steam rooms have no room for ventilation. Saunas have plain and the usual flat ceilings. Further, they can accommodate multiple people.
On the other hand, for technical reasons, steam rooms have a slanted ceiling, for preventing the steam build up from dripping onto the bathers. Steam rooms can be used only by one individual at a time for a single session use.
Functioning
Another factor is that the steam rooms seem hotter as the sweat does not evaporate and carry away heat. Whereas in the other, as the sweat is induced by dry heating, the sweat dries up faster, thus, leading to the feeling that it is not that hot.
In case one has asthma or sinusitis, perhaps he/she would go for the steam room because of the moist heat it generates. This is because the sauna room might aggravate these health problems. Furthermore, many people experience difficulty in breathing, because of the dry heat in sauna. This is the basic differentiation.
Body Heat
Infrared sauna rooms heat the body intrinsically. On the contrary, steam rooms and hot tubs heat the body externally.
Amongst other things, a steam room could be a breeding ground for bacteria, because of the warm and moist heat. That, is a lesser possibility when it comes to dry saunas. Further, it could be made ready to use in a matter of seconds, while the preparation of sauna consumes a lot of time and is also costlier.
In case of their maintenance, both are pretty easy to be maintained. Moreover, they can be easily cleaned using a ceramic tile cleaner. A sauna, in fact has no floor drain, whereas the other has it.
On observation of the aforementioned comparison, one can now decide which one of these to opt for according to his/her choice. Even with all their peculiarities and some variations, they basically induce sweating and clearing up the body of toxins. Moreover, they are both good for various health reasons and a great way to unwind and relax.