Sauna vs Steam Room: A discussion of both the differences and issues you would encounter with steam room vs sauna.
The sauna versus steam room debate is not one that can be scored, because each has its own nuances and advantages.
The comfort of having your own sauna or steam room in the privacy of your own home is certainly a luxury. But before finally owning one, how do you know which one to buy?
It’s the classic question that has to be answered: Should you buy a steam room or sauna?
The difference between sauna and steam room
To begin with similarities, both the sauna and steam room are heated steam baths in an enclosed room.
The Sauna uses a very dry heat with low humidity since the temperatures in a sauna are much higher than in a steam room.
A steam room as oppose to a sauna uses moist heat. The temperatures in a steam room are usually not higher than 40 degrees celcius.
The reason for this is that if it the temperature was higher, the steam would burn your skin simply because of the higher water content in the steam vapor.
Saunas can be heated to temperatures between 80 and 100 degrees safely because there isn’t much water in the steam vapor, and you won’t be burnt.
Steam Room vs Sauna: Heating Mechanisms
One of the other main differences between saunas and steam rooms is the method of heating.
The steam in saunas is traditionally made by heating rocks and pouring water on top of them. This is certainly the purist way of steam bathing.
Steam rooms on the other hand use an electric steam generator. Steam is usually generated and pushed into a closed and somewhat sealed room using the electric generator.
Steam rooms unlike saunas are usually made from a ceramic based material as oppose to wood. The steam rooms are normally built with a slanted ceiling to prevent condensed water vapor from dripping on users.
Saunas, which are usually built out of wood have wooden benches for sitting. Saunas usually are built to hold more than one person at a time and don’t have slanted ceilings.
Sauna vs Steam Room: Heat Differences
What you perceive while sitting in a steam room and a sauna are different because of the different types of steam. Even though the temperatures in a sauna are higher than that of a steam room, if you try both, you will think that the steam room is hotter.
Why? Because the heat in the steam room contains a lot of moisture, when you sweat it won’t evaporate quickly which is necessary to carry away heat – therefore you feel hot.
In a sauna, even though the actual temperature is higher, the dry heat dries your sweat very quickly which keeps you cooler.
Sauna vs Steam Room: Cleanliness & Maintenance
The moist heated environment that is created by a steam room forms the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive. However the same cannot be said for the sauna which has a much lesser probability for attracting bacteria because of its dry heat.
Both the Sauna and Steam room are easy to maintain but I would say the steam room may be easier to clean simply because of the material it is made out of – ceramic tile. This can be easily wiped down using a ceramic tile cleaner.
A Sauna constructed out of wood doesn’t take a lot of maintenance but you would need to mop it and scrub the wooden benches.
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