Well, here’s where it’s actually a tie. In terms of health & wellness benefits both are winners. The difference between sauna and steam room is fairly obvious; one is dry (sauna) and one is moist (steam). However, your visit to a steam room may feel more intense than a visit to a sauna. Here’s why:
- A sweat bathing session feels hotter than a sauna because the steam prevents sweat from evaporating from the skin
- Humid air stores more heat than dry air
- Finally, when steam vapor hits the skin, it condenses, with the sweat already on the skin, this adds heat by way of something known as the heat of condensation.
- A sauna, on the other hand, has a low humidity, so the body’s core temperature stays cooler, even though the temperature range is about 170° to 190°F. So it takes a longer time to feel the heat.
All this said, the benefits of both are abundant in short-term and especially long-term. Regular usage is the key to derive maximum wellness be it a steam or sauna. To decide which one is better, you might want to ask yourself; is there a gym or a spa nearby that has steam/sauna? Do I prefer dry heat or moist heat? Which facility am I likely to use on a regular basis? Would I want to start with a sweat bath every morning? Do I want this experience in the comfort of my personal bathroom?
If you are new to the sauna or steam room, start with short a exposure and gradually increase the time you spend inside the rooms. And remember to check with your physician if you have any health concerns or if you experience dizziness or any other symptoms.