Steam vs. Sauna - What's the Difference?


Saunas provide dry heat in a wood-paneled room from a wood or electric stove. Generally, the stove heats rocks, which radiate heat throughout the room. A sauna may have small amount of steam if water is poured over the hot rocks, however a sauna overall provides dry heat. The temperature in a sauna typically ranges from 160-200 degrees Fahrenheit with a low level of humidity (ranging from 5-30 percent). Steam rooms, provide moist heat from a water-filled steam generator pumping steam into the enclosed room or shower. The temperature in a steam room typically ranges from 110-114 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 100 percent.


Health Benefits of Steam and Sauna Bathing

Sweating opens pores and can temporarily cleanse the outer skin, but sweating in saunas doesn't remove toxins from within the body as some people believe. Also, scientific evidence doesn't support the widely-held belief that using saunas or steam rooms causes weight loss, which is a popular reason why many people use these facilities. Both do make you warmer, make you sweat and relax, lower your pulse and blood pressure by causing blood vessels to dilate, and remove salts from your system.


History of Steam Bathing

The history of the steam baths can be traced far back into the mists of time. Popular with the ancient Greeks, the steam bath was subsequently adopted by the Romans as the "Sudatorium" which almost invariably formed part of the Roman baths of the period throughout the entire sphere of influence of the Roman Empire. In Turkey, the steam bath, or "Hamam" has survived the thousands of years, and with it our continued use of the term "Turkish bath". The practice spread to northern Russia too, where it was known as the "Banja". While steam baths were also built in Europe, their expansion was probably limited in the first instance by technical problems (chiefly in regulating the steam temperature) and because of the high investment costs involved. Today though, new developments in steam generating technology have made it possible to install steam baths almost anywhere at a reasonable cost.


History of Sauna Bathing

Eventually the sauna evolved to use a metal woodstove with a chimney. Air temperatures averaged around 70-80 degrees Celsius (160-180 degrees Fahrenheit) but sometimes exceeded 90 C (200 F) in a traditional Finnish sauna. Steam vapor, was created by splashing water on the heated rocks. The steam and high heat caused bathers to perspire. The Finns also used a vihta which is a bundle of birch twigs with fresh leaves, to gently slap the skin and create further stimulation of the pores and cells. The Finns also used the sauna as a place to cleanse the mind, rejuvenate and refresh the spirit, and prepare the dead for burial. The sauna was (and still is) an important part of daily life, and families bathed together in the home sauna. Indeed, the sauna was originally meant to be a place of mystical nature where gender/sex differences did not exist. Because the sauna was often the cleanest structure and had water readily available, Finnish women also gave birth in the sauna. When the Finns migrated to other areas of the globe they brought their sauna designs and traditions with them, introducing other cultures to the enjoyment and health benefits of sauna. This led to further evolution of the sauna, including the electric sauna stove, which was introduced in the 1950s and far infrared saunas and have become popular in the last several decades.


Who Makes Steam Generators and Sauna Heaters?

There are many manufacturers of both Steam Generators and Sauna Heaters, some however have been around for decades, others only years or even months. We only carry the top makes in the business, the names we know and trust, knowing that you can do the same. Be confident that if a warranty issue arises in the future, the company that made your unit will still be in business. These companies are Amerec, Mr. SteamSteamist, Thermasol, Finlandia, Lattner, and Harvia.


Steam Rooms and Saunas by SteamSaunaBath

For over fifty years, SteamSaunaBath has been supplying, installing, and servicing Steam generators, steam showers and sauna products which has made us a recognized leader in the Industry.


Unlike traditional companies, SteamSaunaBath has mastered nearly every construction related trade. Our steam and sauna experts hold a half-century of experience in the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry trades. We have leveraged our skills to build the finest steam and sauna bathing experiences available anywhere. Bathers, tradespeople, and healthclubs from New York City to Los Angeles rely on SteamSaunaBath to build bathing spaces. We offer steam and sauna design, installation, maintenance, and repair services in nearly every city, suburb, or rural area.


Bathers can receive huge savings on industry top brands, design support, installation assistance, a free lifetime of repair services, and other benefits through the BathLife program. Members of the BathLife program receive access to the BathingPro Network of steam and sauna service affiliates. This network is filled tradespeople that specialize at building awe-inspiring steam and sauna rooms. With BathLife, SteamSaunaBath aims to make the steam shower and sauna design, installation, maintenance, and repair processes simple and cost effective. If you need assistance planning your steam or sauna environment, purchasing parts,  researching steam shower doors, or installing these bathing spaces, contact a steam or sauna expert today.