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Infrared Sauna vs Steam Room – Health Benefits & Risks

infrared sauna vs steam
Written by Kai Michel
Last Update: August 10, 2023

An infrared sauna is a wooden room that is created to heat its users with an infrared ray, which penetrates the body. On the other hand, a steam room is an airtight room, made from non-porous substances that produce heat with the help of a steam generator. Steam rooms are created to generate moist heat, while infrared saunas create dry heat.

However, which one should you choose? Both devices are accompanied by numerous health benefits like enhancing relaxation, detoxification, weight loss, and many more. Although the benefits they produce have some degree of difference due to their difference in the heating methods.

This article aims to present a head-to-head comparison between infrared saunas and steam rooms. By the end of the article, you’ll surely know which one is the winner of our infrared sauna vs steam room comparison. Let’s get started.

What Is an Infrared Sauna?

Infrared saunas are built to use an infrared ray to warm the body. The ray used is pretty similar to those given off naturally by our body; due to this, they perpetrate the body deeply with an approximate of 1½ inches) to heat the body.

Due to the rays they produce that are active from within, the device is built to operate within 120-139 degrees Fahrenheit, and this temperature when compared to most conventional saunas is lower since the traditional saunas are made to function with a temperature range of 180 -200 degree Fahrenheit.

What Is a Steam Room?

The steam room is designed with non-porous materials, like tile or glass, the device is an airtight room that helps to warm up the body with the use of humidity and high heat. The device boils water to generate misty steam, which in turn, is used to heat its environment.

The average temperature of a steam room range within 115 -120 degrees Fahrenheit, though when compared to the infrared sauna, the steam room feels hotter due to excess humidity, which most time escalates to 100%.  The device heats the environment. As a result, the user gets warmed from outside-in.

Infrared Sauna vs Steam Room: Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas vs Steam Rooms

Both the infrared and steam rooms offer a suitable platform to enhance health. Below are some of their health benefits.

The following are the primary health benefits of each.

Infrared Sauna Health Benefits

The infrared sauna produces heat; as a result, it creates a cozy, relaxing, and warm environment. And this helps boost blood circulation in the body, alleviates pain, and relieves stress.

Due to the modest temperature and low humidity, they carry out weight loss, and detoxification is one of their primary health benefits.

1. Concentrated Detoxification

When compared to the steam room, the infrared saunas has a higher heat rate. Since it produces rays that travel directly down the sink. It enhances blood flow, reduces clusters of water molecules, and enhance detoxification. This is unlike most steam rooms.

2. Weight Loss and Decrease in Cellulite

Infrared saunas can also enhance weight loss by burning down excess body fat. And this results from sufficient heat produced, thereby removing an increased level of sweat with an increase in the rate of metabolism. All of these activities can decrease calories 300+ in less than an hour.

Yes, time is an important factor when you’re using a sauna.

3. Comfortable Use

Infrared saunas produce a mild body temperature, when compared to the temperature produced from a steam room. For those users that are diagnosed with lung or eye issues which can experience difficulty in breathing under high humidity.

Going for an infrared sauna will help ensure a more beneficial and comfortable experience.

Steam Room Health Benefits

A steam room helps to create an environment filled with high humidity and heat, which has great benefits to health. The air in the steam room provides its users the distinct advantages that differ from that of infrared saunas when compared.

1. Respiratory Relief

The steam room provides users relief from most respiratory issues like sinusitis, cold symptoms, and allergies. The moist air produced by the steam room can penetrate the nasal and sinuses passage; as a result, clear airways.

2. Hydration of the Skin

The moist, rich air helps to balance the oil production in the skin. This is one of its significant effects on the skin. Regular use of the device can lead to a moisturize skin, especially for users with dry skin.

3. Better Sleep

Once you’re done with the steam room and step out from it, the steam session mixes with the effort of your body to reduce the level of your body temperature, and this often leads to an excellent night rest. This benefit is obtainable when using an infrared sauna.

What to Consider Before Buying

Whenever you are trying to make a decision on which of the devices will serve better, it is essential to note down some qualities that are inherent in both the steam room and the infrared saunas that are best for both individuals and family.

Infrared Sauna Considerations

Infrared saunas can serve as additional home benefits. It does not involve intense insulation if you want to maintain a high level of heat in the room. Above all, the device is much lighter and also easy to move from one spot to another.

Typically, an average sauna takes an hour or a couple of hours in the absence of a professional installation. Most infrared saunas are energy efficient since they use 1/3 of electrical power, unlike most traditional saunas.

Steam Room Considerations

Similar to the infrared sauna, the steam room can also be coupled together. It can be coupled independently or custom made, which most times involves the efforts of a contractor.

Most steam rooms lack electrical and plumbing requirements. It needs to be equipped with a steam generator which requires unique installation within a safe location.

You will need sloped ceilings with an airtight space; this will help accommodate drain. Due to its moist environment, the growth of bacteria is possible. So it essential to clean the steam room regularly with the aid of a title cleaner and to ensure its drain periodically.

Which One to Choose?

Both the steam room and the infrared saunas are accompanied by numerous health benefits that are obtainable by families and individuals. The room is built to ease up stress, improve happiness, health, and relaxation.

It is essential that before making any of the purchases to take out time to evaluate the needs of your family while reviewing facts like where the device be placed? What’s your health status? Or that of your family? Will you require the assistance of a contractor, or do you prefer installing it yourself? You will need to evaluate yourself with these questions to come to a reasonable conclusion between the steam room and infrared sauna, which will be required.

Health Risks

Both the use of infrared sauna and steam room requires common sense. Being excessively exposed to high temperatures can lead to dizziness or faintness. For pregnant women, specifically; those that are in their early stage are strongly advised to avoid direct exposure to excess heat.

If chances have it, that they want to experience a sauna or steam room, they should seek the attention of a medical expert before considering such therapy. If you have a medical history that covers diseases like liver failure, kidney disease or cardiac condition, the sauna therapy is not recommended, except with the consent of a professional.


Q. 1: Is a dry sauna the same as an infrared sauna?

Ans. Traditional saunas operate with a temperature that ranges within 185 -190 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature can be overwhelming to those who are very sensitive to heat. An infrared sauna is designed to operate with a milder temperature that ranges from 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q. 2: How many times a week should you use an infrared sauna?

Ans. There is no stipulated session you can get involved in within a week. Nevertheless, an infrared sauna is pretty safe for daily usage. And if done regularly, soon enough, you will experience wellness improvement. 30-45 minutes is the average session for most people, and this can range from 3-4 times within a week.

Q. 3: Should you drink water during a sauna?

Ans. You will need to drink enough water before getting into the sauna. This will provide your body enough time and help you hydrate properly. You drinking water while the sauna session is ongoing is not active as pre-hydrating before the start of the session.

Q. 4: Are infrared saunas bad for your eyes?

Ans. The spectrum of the wavelength used by an infrared sauna is not much of a threat to the human eye. So, this is not one of their possible health hazards.

Q. 5: Should you shower after an infrared sauna?

Ans. It is essential to take a warm shower after each session. Doing this will help wash off all forms of toxins on your skin. Since the pores to your skin are open, a bath will help prevent your pores from clogging. There are steam showers on the market with what you won’t have to take a bath separately though.

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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