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How Hot Does a Home Sauna Get?

Saunas raise both your skin and body temperature which causes you to perspire while also increasing the heart and circulation rates.  But how hot does a home sauna get?  It really depends on the type of sauna you’re using.  There are three main types of sauna:  traditional, infrared and steam saunas.  In this article, we’ll go over each type as well as the temperatures that they normally reach.

Traditional Saunas

Traditional saunas originally created heat by lighting a wood fire beneath a pile of rocks.  The hot rocks would help increase the temperature of the air more than just having a fire alone.  Modern traditional saunas use electric heaters to warm up the sauna rocks which eliminates the smoke that accompanies the fire.  Traditional dry saunas will heat the air between 150 and 200 Fahrenheit (66 and 93 degrees Celsius.) 

As a side note, there used to be a World Sauna Championships in Finland where competitors would find out how long they could last in 230-degree Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius) heat.  Although this is a much higher temperature than found in most traditional saunas, some people have been known to spend a few minutes in saunas with temperatures as high as 285 degrees Fahrenheit (140 degrees Celsius.)  Such people also typically wear felt caps and slippers to help deal with the high temperatures.  But after a competitor died in 2010, the World Sauna Championships were suspended.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas work very differently than traditional saunas.  Rather than increasing the temperature of the air, these saunas use far infrared rays which penetrate the body and increase your core temperature.  Because of this, the ambient temperature of an infrared sauna is much lower than that of a traditional sauna.  It’ll usually fall between 110- and 130-degrees Fahrenheit (43 and 54 degrees Celsius.)

Due to their lower temperatures, infrared saunas provide a much different sauna experience than traditional saunas.  For those who can’t handle high temperatures, infrared saunas may be ideal.  For those who are used to the high temperatures found in traditional saunas, an infrared sauna will be a different experience.

Steam Saunas

Steam saunas rely on humidity to increase the room’s temperature.  Boiling water is converted into steam which, in turn, heats the air.  Humidity can quickly reach 100% in an airtight steam room.  Humid air typically feels hotter than dry air thus the temperatures of steam saunas are usually lower than traditional saunas.  Steam saunas can run in the range of 90 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 49 degrees Celsius.)

Because of the lowered temperature in steam saunas, they may be more comfortable for some people.  However, the humidity can be less comfortable for those not used to high humidity.  It really comes down to personal preference.

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