Infrared Sauna vs Steam Sauna: Everything You Need to Know


Regularly using a sauna has tremendous benefits for your health, particularly when you use quality saunas such as those that use infrared lighting or steam. However, many people wonder about the differences between infrared sauna systems and those that use steam. Both of these sauna systems deliver great results regarding your health, but there are small differences in how they operate. Hence, here’s everything you need to know regarding infrared vs steam sauna.


Infrared Vs. Steam Sauna Comparison

  • Temperature Differences

best Infrared sauna

One of the major differences between steam and infrared saunas is the baseline temperature. Steam saunas have much higher baseline temperatures than infrared systems.

Primarily due to how steam operates, as well as the design of many saunas, heat in these systems is much hotter than other popular heating mechanisms. Thankfully, when it comes to detrimental health effects, the slightly hotter temperatures of steam is negligible, so you shouldn’t assume one style of sauna is better than another.

Considering that steam saunas are hotter, some people with sensitive skin do find infrared saunas to be more relaxing and gentle. Although both styles of the sauna are completely safe, some sauna users do find that infrared systems are more gentle on their sensitive skin.

On the other hand, other individuals with skin issues do not notice a difference between the two. Ultimately, you’ll have to try out the two different systems for yourself to see whether there’s a tangible difference in your experience. Either way, you should have peace of mind that both these saunas deliver the health benefits you’re looking for when going to a sauna.


  • Humidity Differences

infrared sauna vs steam sauna

Another major difference you’ll notice when comparing steam saunas to infrared saunas is that the former has much higher relative humidity. Relative humidity dictates the atmosphere you experience when entering a sauna.

Many believe that saunas with higher humidities exhibit a wet sensation in the air. You’ll notice that infrared heating makes the sauna more crisp and dry when compared to those driven by steam.

Regarding health, both are still saunas and deliver the same fundamental benefits. However, some prefer the wet steam saunas to the crisp feeling of infrared and vice versa.

If you’ve never used infrared or steam systems before, you should try both out to see which one you enjoy more. As mentioned, there is no clear winner when you compare steam to infrared.

At the end of the day, it is mostly personal preference whether one chooses one over another. You’ll find that there are some people that love using infrared heating while others swear by steam heating. Whichever one you end up liking the most, you’ll still get that great boost to circulation and energy that both infrared and steam saunas provide.


Final Verdict

Understanding the differences between these two styles of the sauna, you should make a choice regarding which one you believe suits you the most. At the same time, never discount a type of sauna that you’ve never tried in person before. By knowing the differences between major types of sauna, you’ll be in the best position to reap the tremendous benefits these facilities provide regular users.



Humidity in the Sauna   -KLAFS

What is the perfect sauna humidity?  -Divine Saunas