Let’s make one thing clear first: a wet sauna is actually not a sauna at all in terms of what we traditionally think of like a sauna.
Yes, they both can have high temperatures, so they certainly qualify as “heat” therapy. And yes, they both have steam. But technically they are very different.
In a wet sauna, the steam and heat are created by a steam generator, a device that boils water creating steam, which is then circulated throughout the room by a built-in fan. The steam is often mixed with aromas, such as eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and other natural scents to elicit a deeper sense of relaxation.
A dry sauna is the traditional kind of sauna that people typically think of when they hear the word “sauna.” It is a small room, often wooden and extremely hot. The steam is created by pouring water on hot rocks in the corner of the sauna, and then it fills the room with hot steam.
Let’s get into the main differences first
Wet saunas are nearly 100% humid. Dry saunas typically have 15 – 20% humidity, 40% – 55% if you pour water on hot rocks, and during intense sessions, the humidity can sometimes reach as high as 80%.
The temperature in wet saunas typically varies between 110 – 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry saunas are quite hotter, ranging from 160 to 200 Fahrenheit, depending on how hot the rocks are heated and how intensely you throw water on them.
Duration & Session Length
There are no set rules for how long a person should spend in a sauna. It all depends on how hot the sauna is, what kind of sauna it is, and your level of tolerance, health condition, etc. However, most people sit in a sauna for anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes.
The higher side of that time frame is if you’re in a wet sauna because of lower heat and softer steam – making it easier on the body to tolerate.
Since dry saunas are much hotter and the humidity is much lower, most people will spend there between 5 to 10 minutes before getting out – although again, longer sessions depending on the person and the sauna.
So what are the benefits of wet saunas vs. dry ones?
The benefits of these two types of saunas are very similar. They both can do wonders for your health, especially when used regularly.
Both have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, help with muscle & joint pain relief, help you with cardiovascular health, and also have mental health benefits. Heat is heat, after all, so it works the same way.
In a wet sauna, because steam is warm and moist, it can be much more relaxing for some people than dry heat. It is also more difficult to overheat in a steam room because the moisture in the air helps cool you down.
Some people find wet saunas to be more calming and relaxing because of the smell of natural aromas combined with moist air. Others might prefer a dry sauna for its simplicity and traditions.
The cleansing effect
The lower temperature and near 100% humidity in wet saunas is not very effective at killing germ’s and viruses, so you do not get the same cleansing effect that you do in a dry one.
A dry sauna, when heated up to 80°C (176°F) or more kills most bacteria, viruses, and fungi. So it acts as a natural disinfectant.
Keep in mind though, that sauna is not a miracle place to heal you from the illness. It can be a remedy, but not a cure.
You can build your own traditional sauna in just a few days with our outdoor sauna kits, and customize it according to your needs and space. Everything is included so only have to assemble it to your desired location or just hire us to do that for you.
If you choose one with a wood-burning stove and the wood is widely available in your region, it will cost almost nothing to operate. An electric stove can put some extra expenses on the electric bill, it is still cheaper to operate than a steam generator.
A wet sauna is definitely a luxury, but building one yourself can be quite expensive.
You need to have a steam generator, which consumes a lot of energy, plus a circulating system that moves steam around. A wet sauna also takes up more space because the generator will be outside of the room, not inside. You’ll also have to make sure the room is steam and humidity-proof to prevent infrastructure damage from moisture.
In general, building a decent wet sauna requires more planning, time, and money.
Wet saunas offer the benefits of being very relaxing and less likely to overheat, but they are a luxury that is expensive to build. A dry sauna offers many of the same benefits as a wet one with cheaper construction costs and lower operating expenses, making them a better choice for those who want an affordable option built within days.
For those interested in building their own traditional style dry sauna, we’re here to assist you!
Feel free to contact us today if you have any questions about how our team can help make your dreams come true by providing quality outdoor sauna kits that fit all budgets.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!