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What Is A Dry Sauna?

Many of us have heard about the benefits of using a sauna. Whether you want to relax your sore muscles after a killer workout, detoxify your body, or reduce stress, a nice steamy sauna can work wonders for you! But what if I told you that not all saunas are steamy and wet. Some saunas use dry air, which is why they’re called dry saunas. Yet, what is a dry sauna? 

Generally, dry saunas are wooden rooms that use dry heat to increase the room’s temperature, unlike steam saunas that use water vapor. A dry sauna is also called a traditional sauna.

But how does it work, exactly? And is it better than a regular wet sauna? You’re about to find out! 

How Does a Dry Sauna Work? 

Traditional dry saunas can be traced back to ancient times, and are heated by a wood-burning stove or heated stones. The air humidity in dry saunas is generally quite low, at about 20 to 30%, while the air temperature can be anything from around 150 to 195°F.  Infrared saunas generally operate at between 120 and 150°F. If you are heat sensitive or have some kind of illness affecting your ability to deal with high temperatures, then a traditional sauna may not be the best solution and you should opt for an infrared sauna

Like a wet sauna, a dry sauna is a wooden room with benches and chairs for people to relax while inside. 

What’s different in a dry sauna is the room's heating system itself. Unlike a wet sauna, a dry sauna doesn’t use steam or water vapor to heat the room. 

Instead, it uses dry heat from an electric or fuel-powered heater that circulates from within the wood.

This heating system cancels out the foggy experience of a wet sauna, so you could see your surroundings while enjoying the sauna! 

Is a Dry Sauna Better Than a Wet Sauna? 

The answer to “Which type of sauna is better?” depends on your personal preference. Both saunas deliver the same results but with two completely different experiences.

So how do you choose the best one for you?

When to Choose a Wet Sauna 

If you like to set the heat on a high setting and feel it on your skin, or if you’re looking for a good sweat session, then a wet sauna is your go-to. 

A wet sauna, commonly known as a steam room, produces moist heat that wraps around your body and promotes perspiration. Essentially, this is what makes you sweat a lot in a steam room. 

Since the steam room has hot water vapor to help raise the temperature, it’ll get much hotter faster than a dry sauna. 

So if the temperature reads 100°F, it’ll feel much hotter because of the steam that fills the room. 

That’s why you feel deeply relaxed in a steam room, almost like melting your stress away. Wet saunas are also great if you live in an area with low humidity levels. How so, you might wonder?

Well, if your skin feels irritated during the dry winter months or your nose dries up, then a wet sauna session will wipe all that away. 

However, if you live in a place with high humidity, the weather might affect the efficiency of your wet sauna session. 

When to Choose a Dry Sauna

On the other hand, not all people enjoy being wrapped in steam and not seeing anything around them. Also, many individuals might get anxious in a steam room, especially if they’re claustrophobic. 

Of course, that’s not what people want from a sauna session.

In this case, a dry sauna is the better choice for them to wind down. They could easily sit down and relax since they’ll be able to see clearly around them and enjoy their session without feeling anxious.

Dry saunas build up the heat gradually, offering you a steady sensation throughout your session. The heat radiates within the room from the wood surrounding you, so it isn’t as intense as a steamy, wet sauna. 

However, since dry saunas aren’t made for an intense heat sensation, the wood could become too hot to touch if you raise the heat temperature of the room too much.

This means if you’re looking for some serious sweat, your better option will be a wet sauna. 

And last but not least, many people find the cedar wood of a dry sauna chamber very attractive. The wooden interior gives a calming sensation, making you feel comfortable and relaxed.

In a Nutshell 

Both dry and wet saunas are great for your well-being. In both cases, you’ll step out of the sauna chamber feeling relaxed, refreshed, and your metabolism boosted through the roof.

The choice between both options is purely based on your preferences. If you’re looking to chill and wind down with a refreshing drink, then the dry sauna is your go-to.

Otherwise, if you want a quick sweat session, then 15 minutes in a wet sauna will do the trick. So, after reading this article, are you still wondering what is a dry sauna?