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How Hot Is a Sauna & What Is The Recommended Temperature?

man and woman relaxing in a sauna

Jane Kuperberg |

Table of Contents

Saunas offer a therapeutic escape, providing relaxation and a slew of health benefits. However, determining the ideal sauna temperature depends on the specific type you're using. Whether it's a dry, wet, or infrared sauna, each comes with its recommended temperature range.

Recent research from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reveals fascinating insights about sauna use. According to their findings, subjecting the body to intense heat not only imposes significant stress but also causes a notable increase in heart rate.

This suggests that the physiological effects of a sauna session could be compared to those of a workout. In simpler terms, enjoying a sauna might deliver some benefits akin to those from physical exercise, given the way it challenges and stimulates the body

Speaking of health benefits, the list is extensive. Many people use saunas for their detoxification, relaxation, and stress relief benefits. Saunas are also said to improve cardiovascular health, promote weight loss, and reduce chronic symptoms.

However, like any hot and steamy activity, there are risks involved. Dehydration, burns, and risks for people with certain medical conditions are all potential drawbacks to sauna use.

Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to minimize these risks. Staying hydrated, limiting your time in the sauna, and listening to your body's signals are all vital steps. Understanding your medical history and any possible contraindications is just as important.

So, let's dive deep and explore the different types of sauna temperatures, their health benefits, risks, and precautions for safe usage.

What is sauna temperature?

Sauna temperature is an essential component of a relaxing and therapeutic sauna experience. Sauna temperature ranges from 70 to 100 degrees Celsius (158 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit). Different types of saunas require different temperatures to provide optimal therapeutic effects.

The traditional Finnish sauna, for example, uses dry heat ranging from 70 to 100 degrees Celsius. In contrast, a Russian sauna, also known as a banya, uses higher temperatures of up to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit) and steam humidifiers to increase the humidity in the room.

An infrared sauna, much like the saunas in our Enlighten collection, uses temperatures between 50-60 degrees Celsius, with infrared radiation used to warm the body directly.

Finding the perfect sauna temperature can be a personal journey, and while it's tempting to crank up the heat, safety should always come first. For sauna newcomers, beginning with a more moderate 70 degrees Celsius and adjusting as you become more acclimated is a good strategy. Moreover, it's crucial to take into account individual factors like your age, health background, and any pre-existing medical conditions.

The right sauna temperature not only promotes relaxation but also facilitates detoxification. However, it's essential to strike a balance. Going to extremes isn't the goal; the idea is to ensure you're relaxed without risking overheating or dehydration. Pay close attention to how your body responds during your sauna session. If you feel any discomfort, it may be a sign to take a break. After all, the benefits of a sauna go beyond just temperature. It's about relaxation, detoxification, and overall well-being. So, while you aim to sweat it out, ensure it's a pleasant experience, and not one where you feel like a human popsicle!

woman doing yoga and meditating next to an indoor sauna

Risks of Sauna Temperature

Saunas are a great way to relax and detoxify after a long, tiring day. However, just like with any other activity, there are risks involved with excessive sauna temperature. But, before we delve into the risks, let us define what we mean by sauna temperature.

Sauna temperatures determine the amount of heat that is generated in the sauna. Different types of saunas require different temperatures. For instance, the traditional Finnish-style saunas require high temperatures, which can reach up to 80 - 100°C. Meanwhile, infrared saunas require lower temperatures, below 60°C, which penetrate deeper into your skin.

While saunas offer numerous benefits, there are notable risks involved. Dehydration, burns and risks for individuals with specific health conditions are some of the risks to be aware of when using a sauna.

Dehydration

Dehydration can occur due to the excessive sweating that occurs in a sauna. When you sweat, you lose a significant amount of fluids, which can increase your chances of dehydration. It is therefore important to drink plenty of water before entering a sauna to keep yourself hydrated. When you notice that you are feeling dizzy or weak, you should immediately leave the sauna and rehydrate your body.

Burns

Burns can be a result of ignorance of the controls in a sauna. You should always be careful when adjusting the temperature and ensure that your body is not in proximity to any dangerous heating elements. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions such as heart conditions, high or low blood pressure, or diabetes should be extra cautious when using a sauna and consult their doctor before doing so.

In summary, it is important to be mindful of the risks involved with sauna use. While the benefits can be enormous, taking good care of your body before, during and after a sauna session can ensure that you enjoy a safe and relaxing experience.

outdoor luxury sauna in naturistic setting

Precautions for Safe Sauna Temperature

Saunas have been around for centuries and are known for their health benefits. However, it's important to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some important pointers to keep in mind:

Listen to what your body is telling you

If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, it's time to step out of the sauna. Pay attention to how you feel and don't push yourself too hard.

It's also important to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session. And while you're in the sauna, you can bring a water bottle with you to sip on.

Limit the length of your sauna sessions

While it might be tempting to stay in for an extended period, it's best to keep your sessions under 20 minutes. This will help prevent overheating and dehydration.

Be mindful of your health

Finally, be aware of your medical history. If you have any health conditions, it's best to consult with a doctor before using a sauna. Certain conditions such as heart disease, low blood pressure, or pregnancy may require you to avoid saunas altogether.

Now, while these are important precautions to take, don't let them scare you away from the sauna! With common sense and a little bit of caution, anyone can enjoy the many benefits of sauna temperature. So go ahead, relax, and enjoy the soothing heat.

woman doing yoga next to an indoor sauna

Sauna Temperature: What Experts Say

When it comes to sauna temperature, expert recommendations vary depending on the type of sauna and individual factors. Generally, a temperature between 70-100°C is recommended for traditional saunas, while infrared saunas operate at a lower temperature of 50-70°C.

Experts advise that individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or pregnancy, should consult their doctor before taking a sauna, and adjust the temperature and time in the sauna accordingly. In addition, those new to sauna use should start at a lower temperature and gradually increase as their body adapts.

To find the right sauna temperature for you, it's important to listen to your body. If you're feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable, it's time to step out of the sauna. Staying hydrated is also key when using a sauna, so drinking water before and after your session is recommended. Limiting sauna time to 10-15 minutes per session can also help reduce the risk of dehydration and other risks.

Ultimately, the best sauna temperature for you will depend on your individual preferences and health status. It's important to start slowly and listen to your body, adjusting the temperature and time in the sauna accordingly. And of course, be sure to consult your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about sauna use.

elderly man sitting and enjoying his brand new indoor sauna

Conclusion

In summary, the temperature of a sauna can have a profound effect on your health, but it's important to keep in mind that it's not for everyone. The benefits of sauna temperature include relaxation, detoxification, weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced symptoms of chronic conditions.

However, there are also risks involved, such as dehydration and burns, especially for individuals with certain health conditions. It's crucial to take precautions for safe sauna use, such as listening to your body, staying hydrated, limiting sauna time, and knowing your medical history. Expert recommendations suggest finding the right sauna temperature for you to reap the benefits without the risks. Heat up that sauna, but do it safely!

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