Saunas have long been recognized for their potential health benefits, ranging from relaxation and stress reduction to improved circulation. In fact, extensive research shows the positive impact of frequent sauna use on longevity. However, your results will always depend on how you use the sauna. That’s why in this article, we will answer the commonly asked question “how hot should a sauna be?” and other considerations to maximize your sauna experience.
Temperature Guidelines for Saunas
The optimal temperature for a sauna depends on the type of sauna and your personal preferences.
Traditional saunas are typically heated using wood-burning or electric stoves. The temperature in a traditional sauna usually ranges between 70-90°C (160-194°F).
However, it's important to note that preferences vary between regions and individuals. The Finnish Sauna Society suggests a temperature range of 80-90°C (176-194°F) for a traditional sauna experience.
Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to directly heat the body. The temperature in infrared saunas is typically lower than traditional saunas, ranging from 38-65°C (100-150°F). Some experts recommend a temperature range of 60-65.5°C (140-150°F) for maximum benefits.
Steam saunas, also known as steam rooms or steam baths, operate by generating steam using a steam generator. The temperature in steam saunas is generally cooler compared to traditional and infrared saunas, ranging from 30-50°C (86-122°F).
These saunas are characterized by high humidity levels, typically close to 100%. Remember that these temperature ranges are general guidelines. The key is to always listen to your body and adjust the temperature to your preference so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience!
While saunas offer numerous benefits, it's crucial to exercise caution and prioritize safety. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
Listen to Your Body
Everyone's heat tolerance is different, so pay attention to your body's signals. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable, it's important to exit the sauna and cool down.
Keep Track of Time
The duration of sauna sessions should be limited to avoid overheating. Beginners should start with 5-10 minute sessions and gradually increase the duration. Regular sauna users may extend their sessions to a maximum of 15-20 minutes.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Sauna sessions can cause significant sweating, leading to dehydration. Ensure you are well-hydrated before entering the sauna, and replenish fluids afterward. It’s recommended to drink 2-4 glasses of water post-sauna to rehydrate.
Consult With a Healthcare Professional
If you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant, consult with your healthcare provider before using a sauna. Certain medical conditions may require specific temperature restrictions or precautions.
Conclusion: Ideal Sauna Temperature
Finding the ideal temperature for a sauna session depends on your personal preference, type of sauna, and heat tolerance. Remember to prioritize safety and stay within recommended time limits of 5-20 minutes.