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Comparing Dry, Steam, & Infrared (IR) Saunas

Immerse yourself in the soothing world of saunas with Salted Peace, where we help you navigate the wellness choices that suit your lifestyle. In this post, we'll explore the key differences between dry, steam, and infrared saunas, and answer the burning question: which type of sauna is the healthiest and better for you?

Infrared saunas are often considered healthier than traditional saunas due to their ability to operate at lower temperatures, making them more accessible to people with certain health conditions. They are also noted for their potential to stimulate cardiovascular health, detoxification, and relaxation. However, the 'best' sauna ultimately depends on individual needs, preferences, and health conditions.

Stick with us as we delve deeper into the unique features, benefits, and potential drawbacks of each type of sauna. We've got a wealth of information that can help you make an informed decision about your wellness journey.

Understanding the Basics: Dry, Steam, and Infrared Saunas

Saunas have been used for centuries, renowned for their potential health benefits and soothing properties. They come in three primary types: dry, steam, and infrared. Each of these provides a unique environment and set of benefits, owing to their distinct operational principles and the physical experiences they offer.

Dry Saunas

Also known as Finnish saunas, dry saunas use heat from a stove, traditionally wood-fired, but more commonly electric in modern times, to create a hot and dry environment. Temperatures often range from 160 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity levels usually less than 20%. These high temperatures stimulate sweat production, which can aid in detoxification and muscle relaxation.

Steam Saunas

Steam saunas, also known as Turkish baths or hammams, operate at lower temperatures than dry saunas, typically between 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they maintain a high humidity level, often reaching 100%, creating a dense, wet heat. This makes the perceived temperature much higher and can be beneficial for skin hydration and respiratory health.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas are a modern innovation in the world of wellness. Unlike traditional saunas that heat the air, infrared saunas use infrared panels to emit radiant heat that warms the body directly. They operate at lower temperatures, usually between 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, making the experience more tolerable for many.

A Closer Look at Traditional Dry Saunas

Dry saunas rely on a heat source, traditionally a wood-burning stove, but now often an electric heater. These heaters warm the air in the room, and the hot air, in turn, warms your body. This warming effect induces profound sweating, which is thought to encourage detoxification, improve circulation, and promote relaxation. Pros of Dry Saunas:

  • Cardiovascular Health

Studies have found that regular sauna use can benefit cardiovascular health by improving heart function and potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

  • Detoxification

By encouraging profound sweating, dry saunas may help rid the body of toxins, promoting overall health and wellbeing.

  • Muscle Relaxation

The high heat can help to relieve muscle tension and soothe aches and pains, making dry saunas popular with athletes and those with chronic pain.

Cons of Dry Saunas:

  • High Temperatures

The intense heat in a dry sauna might not be suitable for everyone. Those with certain health conditions, such as heart disease or low blood pressure, should consult with a healthcare professional before using a dry sauna.

  • Dryness

The low humidity can lead to discomfort, particularly for those with sensitive skin or respiratory issues. It's essential to stay well-hydrated when using a dry sauna.

While dry saunas are a favorite for many, it's important to remember that the experience is intensely personal. The high temperatures are often invigorating for some but may be overwhelming for others. Although many people find dry saunas beneficial for their health, more scientific research is needed to conclusively determine all their potential health benefits and risks.

Steam Saunas: Unveiling the Power of Humidity

Steam saunas, also known as Turkish baths or hammams, operate differently from their dry counterparts, focusing more on the power of humidity rather than solely on high heat.

Steam saunas create a hot and humid environment, with temperatures typically ranging from 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but humidity often reaching 100%. The steam is produced by boiling water, which increases the moisture content in the air. This humid environment can make the sauna feel hotter than it is, which results in a substantial sweat response from the body. Pros of Steam Saunas:

  • Respiratory Benefits

The humidity in a steam sauna can help to open the airways, which may be beneficial for individuals with certain respiratory conditions like asthma or sinus congestion.

  • Skin Hydration

Steam can help to hydrate the skin, which may improve skin health and appearance, making steam saunas popular for skincare routines.

  • Detoxification

Like dry saunas, the heat and sweat response in a steam sauna may help flush out toxins from the body.

Cons of Steam Saunas:

  • Bacterial Growth

The humid conditions in a steam sauna can provide a breeding ground for bacteria if the sauna isn't properly maintained.

  • Heat Sensitivity

While the actual temperature in a steam sauna is lower than a dry sauna, the high humidity can make the heat feel more intense, which might be uncomfortable for some individuals.

Steam saunas offer a unique experience compared to dry saunas, focusing on humidity and steam rather than solely on heat. This creates a different sensation and set of potential benefits, especially concerning respiratory health and skin hydration.

Not everyone enjoys the high-humidity environment of a steam sauna. Some individuals may find the dense steam overwhelming or claustrophobic, while others revel in the sensation of being enveloped in warm steam.

Ultimately, the suitability of a steam sauna depends on individual preferences and health considerations. If you're considering incorporating sauna use into your wellness routine, it's always wise to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it's a good fit for your needs and health condition.

Infrared Saunas: The Modern Wellness Revolution

Infrared saunas represent a modern twist on the traditional sauna concept, offering a unique approach to wellness that's gaining popularity in recent years.

Unlike traditional saunas that heat the air around you, infrared saunas use infrared panels to emit radiant heat that is absorbed directly by the skin. They operate at lower temperatures, usually between 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, making the experience more comfortable for many users.

Pros of Infrared Saunas:

  • Efficiency

Infrared saunas are considered more energy-efficient than traditional saunas as they heat the body directly, requiring less energy to achieve the desired effect.

  • Cardiovascular Health

Several studies suggest that infrared sauna use can stimulate heart rate, like moderate exercise, promoting cardiovascular health.

  • Detoxification and Relaxation

Like traditional saunas, infrared saunas can promote sweating and relaxation. However, the comfortable temperatures may allow users to stay in longer, potentially enhancing these benefits.

Cons of Infrared Saunas:

  • Heat Preference: Those who prefer the intense heat of traditional saunas may find the lower temperatures in an infrared sauna less satisfying.

Infrared saunas provide a unique experience from traditional saunas. Because they heat the body directly, users often find they can stay in an infrared sauna longer than a traditional sauna. However, this doesn't necessarily mean more is better. As with any wellness practice, it's essential to listen to your body and avoid overdoing it.

It's also important to note that while infrared saunas are considered safe, individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, should consult with a healthcare provider before use. Pregnant women and individuals who are prone to dehydration or heat intolerance should also exercise caution.

In the end, infrared saunas offer an innovative and potentially beneficial addition to wellness routines. Still, as with any health-related activity, it's essential to approach them with a balanced perspective, considering both the potential benefits and limitations.

Infrared vs Traditional Sauna: Making the Right Choice

Choosing between an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna involves careful consideration of personal comfort preferences, health goals, and the unique benefits each sauna type offers. At Salted Peace, we're proud to provide a top-tier infrared sauna, designed with quality, safety, and holistic wellness in mind. Here's how it compares:

Heat Source and Environment

Traditional saunas heat the air around you, creating a hot environment that induces sweat, detoxification, and relaxation. These benefits come from the high temperatures (160-200 degrees Fahrenheit for dry, 100-120 for steam) traditional saunas operate at, which can be intense but invigorating.

On the other hand, infrared saunas, like our Sunlighten Signature III sauna at Salted Peace, use infrared panels to warm your body directly. This innovative technology operates at lower, more comfortable temperatures (120-150 degrees Fahrenheit), providing efficient and comfortable heat exposure.

Health Benefit

Both sauna types offer potential health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and detoxification. Steam saunas can also improve respiratory health and skin hydration due to their high humidity.

Infrared saunas offer similar benefits and more. Some studies suggest they may provide pain relief and aid in weight loss. With our infrared saunas at Salted Peace, you can enjoy these benefits in a more comfortable, lower-temperature environment.

Quality and Safety with Salted Peace

At Salted Peace, we prioritize quality and safety. Every component of our Sunlighten Signature III sauna is crafted with this in mind. Our saunas are made with 100% premium wood throughout the entire cabin—no hidden plywood is used.

The Solocarbon heaters in our saunas are not only proven 95-99% efficient but also composed of a proprietary blend of FDA-approved materials. They are heat-sealed to withstand temperatures above the operating temperature, ensuring no unhealthy gases are released during heating. Extensive third-party testing guarantees that our materials are safe and non-toxic

Chromotherapy at Salted Peace

Our infrared saunas also offer chromotherapy, a therapeutic science that utilizes colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies promoting health and harmony. Each color possesses frequencies related to different physical symptoms. By working on various energy points, chromotherapy helps balance your body via the full spectrum of visible light.

Deciding between an infrared and traditional sauna comes down to personal preferences and health goals. At Salted Peace, we invite you to try our Sunlighten Signature III infrared saunas and experience their unique benefits. As always, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new wellness routine. Saunas should complement a balanced lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and rest.

Unlocking Your Healthiest Self: Tips for Sauna Usage

Saunas can be a powerful tool in your wellness arsenal. However, to reap the maximum benefits and ensure your safety, it's important to use them correctly. Here are some tips for optimizing your sauna usage:

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Whether you're using a traditional or an infrared sauna, you're bound to sweat—a lot. This can lead to dehydration if you're not careful. Stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after your sauna session. Bring a water bottle with you into the sauna and take small sips throughout your session to replace lost fluids.

2. Listen to Your Body

Every person has a unique tolerance for heat. Start with shorter sessions (around 10-15 minutes) and slowly increase the duration as your body acclimatizes. If you start to feel dizzy, excessively hot, or uncomfortable, it's time to step out!

3. Proper Timing

Timing can greatly influence the effectiveness of your sauna sessions. Using the sauna post-workout can be beneficial as it continues the "flushing out" process, helping to eliminate toxins and lactic acid built up during your workout. However, avoid using the sauna immediately before strenuous exercise, as it could lead to excessive fatigue.

4. Incorporate Rest

Remember, a sauna session is not a race. It's meant to be a relaxing, restorative experience. After your sauna, allow your body to cool down naturally, and rest for at least 10-20 minutes. This will help your body to reap the full benefits of heat exposure.

5. Use Sauna Accessories

Consider using sauna accessories like a headrest or a towel to sit on for added comfort. Essential oils can also enhance your experience, with scents like eucalyptus promoting clear breathing, and lavender encouraging relaxation.

6. Consistency is Key

While you'll likely feel great after your first sauna session, the most significant benefits come with regular use. Aim for at least 2-3 sessions per week, depending on your personal comfort and health goals.

Remember, while saunas can provide numerous health benefits, they're not a replacement for a balanced lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. As always, consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new wellness routine.


Navigating the world of saunas can be an exciting journey towards wellness and relaxation. From understanding the basics of dry, steam, and infrared saunas to diving into the specifics of each type, it's evident that each sauna offers unique benefits. Traditional dry saunas offer an invigorating, intense heat experience, while steam saunas harness the power of humidity for potential respiratory and skin benefits. On the other hand, infrared saunas, like those offered at Salted Peace, provide a modern wellness revolution, offering similar benefits at a more comfortable temperature.

When comparing infrared saunas and traditional ones, the "right" choice boils down to personal preferences, health considerations, and the benefits you're looking to gain. The Sunlighten Signature III infrared sauna at Salted Peace, with its top-tier design, quality, and safety, provides an excellent option worth considering.

Maximizing your sauna experience requires proper usage. Remember to stay hydrated, listen to your body, time your sessions appropriately, rest after each session, use sauna accessories for comfort, and maintain consistency for the best results.

No matter what sauna type you choose, it's a step towards unlocking your healthiest self, complementing a balanced lifestyle of healthy eating, regular exercise, and adequate rest. As always, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new wellness routine.

Interested in learning more about our Infrared Sauna in Spring Hill? We invite you to come and explore the many benefits of our state-of-the-art Sunlighten Signature III infrared sauna. Don't just take our word for it; feel the difference for yourself. Our team is ready and excited to guide you on this transformative wellness journey. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and how an infrared sauna can contribute to your health and well-being. Happy sauna-ing!

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