Many people go to the sauna for relaxation. Aside from its health benefits to the body, it offers a feel good sensation to the mind. If you are considering adding a sauna to your home, make sure you are well-informed about the most popular types that you can get and its function. Taking home your very own sauna can be pretty expensive, but its benefits are really worth every penny. There are several factors to consider in picking the most suitable sauna for you. To help you decide, take a look at this guide. This will provide you everything that you need to know about saunas.
What is a Steam Room Sauna?
This is the traditional steam sauna with roots from 2000 years ago. This type of sauna originated from Finland. Early steam room saunas are designed with log cabins and fire pits with heated stones from the fireplace. Throwing water at the stones produces steam.
Modern saunas feature an airtight room made with materials with non-porous properties, such as glass that keeps the moisture inside it. Water inside a steam generator constantly boils to give off steam. The average temperature inside a modern steam room ranges up to 120 degrees in Fahrenheit as opposed to the traditional ones that reach much higher, up to 200 degrees. Because of the room’s nature, the apparent temperature (or the temperature actually felt by humans) reaches higher because of the humidity locked inside.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
On the other hand, an infrared sauna is made from wood, and there are specialized devices inside it, which emit infrared rays to heat the body. These rays are highly similar to what our body radiates, and these rays penetrate inside the body to give direct heat. Because of the nature of heat distribution, the average apparent temperature of this kind of sauna reaches up to 130 degrees.
There are also two types of infrared saunas based on what rays it emits: near and far. Near infrared waves are those included in the spectrum of sunlight while far infrared waves are of a different wavelength. They have different features for different kind of needs. But they still operate like normal saunas, only with a distinct effect and benefit.
Are Infrared Saunas Safer Than Steam Room Saunas?
Infrared waves are safe. These waves are naturally occurring in our environment, and our body regularly receives these waves from the sun. Lamps that emit infrared waves are also used in incubators to give heat to newborns. Generally, saunas are safe, but there are still precautions.
Before you go inside a sauna, make sure that you don’t have any existing condition that will make the use of sauna completely forbidden. Consult your doctor about this. While inside the sauna, make sure that you are well hydrated. You should also regularly monitor your body’s temperature to ensure that it will not overheat. To experience the full benefits of sauna therapy, consider these factors first before heading to a sauna.
Benefits of Steam and Infrared Saunas
While there are shared benefits from both types of saunas, there are specific benefits from each that cannot be found on the other.
Steam Room Saunas
The environment that a steam room sauna provides is full of humidity, perfect for several health concerns. Unlike infrared saunas, there are distinct benefits that steam room saunas provide.
- Better respiration
Hot and moist air relieves blocked air passageways like the nose and throat. This is perfect for the symptoms of cold, sinusitis, and some allergies. This allows for clearer breathing and overall respiration. Unlike infrared saunas that only emit direct heat to the body, the steam can be inhaled directly into the lungs and air passageways to loosen up.
- Skin hydration
For people that have blemishes and dry skin, the sauna may help alleviate these conditions. The moisture in the air helps the pores loosen up, promoting better perspiration. This also helps in better natural oil production of the skin so that you will come out of the sauna fresh and radiant.
- A good sleep
After a session in a sauna, the body will now start to cool itself down. Combined with the relaxing sensation that the heat provides, this will promote REM sleep. You can get this benefit from both saunas, but the nature of the steam room sauna makes it a bit hotter than infrared ones, so your body will do more effort cooling itself down.
The heat that infrared saunas provide a better relief than heat from steam rooms. Unlike steam room sofas that are rich in moisture and heat, infrared saunas are unique with its low humidity and air temperature.
While both steam room and infrared saunas provide this benefit, the far infrared waves do better in this part. The rays penetrate deep inside the body, promoting better blood flow. They also break up clusters of water molecules and oxygenates tissues. With less heat, far infrared saunas can make the user sweat more than regular steam rooms. Because it tries to make the user sweat from the inside, more toxins are released through sweating.
- Loss of weight and cellulite
Far infrared waves also do a better job in this regard. Regular use of the sauna will yield noticeable results in weight loss. Because the user sweats much more than a steam room sauna, this helps burn a lot more calories. Infrared waves go deep inside the body. As a result, metabolism is also increased. The cumulative effects of perspiration and increased metabolism results to a slimmer and more toned figure through regular sauna use.
- Comfort and relaxation
Infrared saunas emit less heat than steam rooms. These saunas provide a more efficient method of using the sauna without the exhausting and uncomfortable heat of steam. For those people with lung or eye problems or people with difficulty in dealing with high heat and humidity but want to experience a sauna, this is the one suited for you.
Things to Consider Before Getting Your Own Sauna
Now that you have an idea of what makes the two types of saunas distinct from each other, you will have a better understanding of what sauna to pick. But there are still considerations aside from the health benefits.
Getting a Steam Room Sauna
There are several things to consider first. When you first purchase any sauna, it will come with a kit on how to install it to your home. You can also get help from builders to assemble it for you. Steam rooms have its own electrical and plumbing needs. It requires a steam generator that will be bought separately. Setting it up requires great attention to possible hazards, so you should be careful in where you place it.
Drainage for slippage should be adequate. In building a room, the ceiling should always be sloped that will lead to a drain. There should also be an airtight system to maintain the heat and moisture inside the sauna. Molds and bacteria might accumulate inside the room so make sure that you regularly clean and maintain the sauna.
Getting an Infrared Sauna
Much like the steam room sauna, you will get a kit that you can easily assemble. You can always opt to a custom-made sauna, but you will need help from contractors. This is generally a simple addition in contrast with the steam room. They don’t require that much insulation to maintain the heat levels inside the room.
These can be set up very shortly after purchase, and most of its requirements are only electrical. You can plug this into your electrical socket and have it running. These are energy efficient too unlike traditional saunas. Infrared saunas consume only a third of a steam room sauna’s energy requirements. Always get the best infrared sauna available on the market.
If you could not afford to build your own sauna room, there are plenty of options like a portable sauna for on-the-go sweating purposes, an outdoor sauna for a nice little touch to your yard, or barrel sauna. You can also install a steam shower generator to your shower. While a steam shower room doesn’t provide the same benefits as a regular sauna room, this can be a simple addition to your existing facility on a tight budget.
Finally Deciding What Sauna to Put Up
Both types of saunas are really good at their own respective fields when it comes to health benefits. These rooms are great in easing stress through relaxation of the mind and the body. This also improves your overall health, leading to a happier and better life. This is a great addition to any home.
Take your time to consider your first sauna purchase. Take into account the current needs of you and your entire family whether this will benefit the majority or not. If your family is regularly stressed due to daily activities, this is a wonderful addition to your home. Consider also the space that will be occupied by this room. If your home has still space to provide, then filling it up with a sauna is a great choice. If you plan to have a healthier outlook in life and promote a healthy lifestyle to the whole family, a sauna can do the job.
These considerations will help you save time, money, and effort in building your own sauna.