Dry Sauna vs Wet Sauna: What’s the Difference and Which to Choose?
Are you looking for a way to relax and unwind? To ease your aches and pains? To detoxify and boost your overall health and well-being that doesn’t involve the use of toxic pharmaceutical drugs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you may be thinking about paying a visit to a sauna near me.
Heat therapy via saunas isn’t new. It’s a centuries-old practice that originated in Finland, and actually, initially, it wasn’t intended to be therapeutic, but rather, it was used as a way to provide warmth and protection from icy Finnish winter weather. Rudimentary saunas were nothing more than pits, so-to-speak, that were dug in the ground, and hot stones were placed on fireplaces that were built inside the pits to generate heat. Water was poured on top of the stones to further increase the heat and humidity. The results were so efficient and the temperature rose so substantially inside the first saunas that users had to disrobe, and they discovered that the time spent inside these warming pits did more than just protect them from frigid wind-swept ice and snow; they found that it also offered a number of health benefits. The benefits included relaxation, enhanced mood, reduced aches and pains, enhanced skin health and appearance, and more!
Fast forward to today and saunas are still widely used. In fact, athletes, weightlifters, and gym-goers often use saunas to recuperate post-workout. Whether you’re an athlete yourself, you’re an avid fitness enthusiast, or you’re just looking to add a proven therapy to your routine to boost your overall health and well-being, you might be considering vising a sauna yourself. When you’re researching “sauna near me”, you’ll find lots of facilities that offer heat therapy, and you’ll also find that there are two main options to choose from: dry sauna and wet sauna. What’s the difference between the two and which one should you choose? For more information, keep on reading so you can decide which one will work best for you.
What’s a dry sauna?
A dry sauna is a chamber or a room that is lined with wood (usually cedar). They usually feature built-in benches that you can sit on and of course, heating elements that increase the temperature inside the space. The heating element can be electric or fuel-powered, and dry temperatures are circulated throughout the space to generate a marked heating effect on the body. Alternative, an infrared heating element can be used in a dry sauna. These elements use specialized technology to generate infrared waves, which penetrate the body.
Whether traditional or an infrared sauna, the dry temperatures penetrate through the skin and generate sweat.
What’s a wet sauna?
A wet sauna is similar to a steam room in that it generates moist heat. Like a dry sauna, the chamber or room is lined with wood (usually cedar), and built-in benches provide seating. Of course, it also features a heating element, which can either be electric- or fuel-powered, and water is poured on top of rocks that are situated on top of the heating element. Pouring water over the heating element puts moisture, as well as heat, into the environment. Of course, exposure to the heat and humidity triggers sweat production.
Similarities between wet and dry saunas
While wet and dry saunas differ in the way they generate heat, they do share a lot of similarities in regard to the effects that they have on the body. These similarities include:
- Generate sweating. Of course, both wet and dry saunas encourage the production of sweat, as they each generate high temperatures, and as those temperatures heat the skin, the pores open up, which leads to sweating.
- Skin rejuvenation. Believe it or not, perspiration is one of the most fundamental ways of enhancing the skin. Sweating triggers the opening of the pores, which releases any germs and dead skin cells that are trapped within the pores and that are sitting on the surface of the skin. The detoxification of bacteria and dead skin allows space for new cell growth, which combined, gives the skin a more radiant, youthful appearance.
- Supports weight loss. When used in conjunction with working out and eating right, the use of both dry and wet saunas can help to support and speed up weight loss. When the body is super-heated, you burn more calories and fat. The rate of metabolism also increases, which further helps to support weight loss.
- Promotes relaxation. Both types of saunas help to promote relaxation, as the heat can reduce inflammation, which, when combined with the detoxification effects, can help to make you feel way more relaxed.
Differences between wet and dry saunas
Despite the similarities, there are some distinct differences between wet and dry saunas, besides the method in which they are heated. These differences include:
- The temperature. Obviously, dry saunas produce dry temperatures, while wet saunas generate moist temperatures, and while the temperature thermometer may be the same, 150 degrees F feels a lot different in a dry environment than it does in a moist environment.
- Rate of heating. Wet saunas tend to heat up pretty rapidly, while dry saunas heat up slower. The reason is due to the addition of water on the heating element. As the water evaporates, the hot moisture spreads out a lot faster in the space. It takes dry saunas longer to heat up, as the infrared panel or stones need to heat up on their own accord, as they don’t have the addition of moisture to speed up the rate of heating.
- Effects of the heat. In regard to the way heat effects the body, dry saunas provide better results. That’s because the use hot and dry temperatures, which penetrate the body a lot more efficiently. While wet saunas do yield good results, the combination of the moisture and sweating has a cooling effect on the body.
Wet or Dry Sauna: Which to Choose?
It really depends on your unique needs and what you’re looking to achieve. If you aren’t sure which one is right for you, get in touch with us today! We’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.