There is no perfect classification of saunas but many times dry and wet sauna classification is done. Also, sometimes traditional and modern sauna classification can be done. However, there is not perfect way to categorize the various types of sauna. Also, one type of sauna can fit under many other categories of sauna. So, rather than stressing on the categorization of the various types of sauna, given below are the different sauna types explained. This will help you understand various terms associated with sauna.
Wooden Saunas: Most of the saunas are constructed using wood. Wooden saunas give a natural appearance. Sometimes when the temperature in a wooden sauna goes very high, sitting on the wooden bench or chair becomes difficult, hence it is advised to place a towel on the wood before sitting.
Wet Sauna: Wet saunas are not to be confused with steam rooms. Almost all saunas have a radiant air heater with volcanic stones, when the wet mode is used a small amount of water is poured on the stones, which forms a burst of vapor and disappears in the sauna walls.
Dry Sauna: In a dry sauna, there is no moisture. This is actually a mode used in saunas. The benefit of this sauna is that it allows the sweat formed on skin to dry away quickly, which gives a cooling effect.
Traditional Sauna:Conventional saunas are different from the modern ones. They are either electric fired or wood fired and include volcanic rocks. Again traditional saunas can be wet or dry saunas.
Modern Sauna: Traditionally, stones are used to heat up the room, but with modern technology there are infrared type of saunas which heat up the body. Both the types are explained below.
Infrared Lamp Sauna: In these saunas an incandescent infrared heat lamp is used. They emit infrared rays which include middle and far infrared. These rays go inside the body and warm it up. They also have the benefit of stimulating color therapy as they emit reddish orangish light too.
Far Infrared Saunas: Far infrared saunas are getting very popular. They have a ceramic or metallic element which heats up and emits far infrared rays. These saunas are recommended for people having cellulite deposits.
Finnish/Swedish Sauna: This is dry sauna type in which the air is very dry, hot and difficult to breathe in. This sauna is not recommended to be used for more than a week. Also, if you are a beginner do not exceed more than 10 minute per session.
Russian Banya: This is similar to steam room, except the temperature is maintained higher and the moisture content lower. After you are done with this sauna you can cool off in the pool, or rub snow on the body.
Herbal Saunas: These are nothing but wet saunas where some essential oils are used to make the room aromatic. This works as a combination of steam and aroma therapy.
Barrel Sauna: In a barrel sauna only the neck and below of the body is heated. The temperature is usually between 60-80 Celsius. The session is around 10-20 minutes long.
Home Saunas: Today, there are many small saunas available which you can use at home. These are similar to barrel saunas. There are also large saunas which can be installed in the house.
No matter which type of sauna you use, make sure you maintain safety measures. Keep hydrating yourself during the sauna session by drinking water. Also, do not exceed the limit of each session by 20 minutes. If you feel the heat is too much and experience difficulty in breathing, then leave the sauna room.