Dry Sauna Vs. Steam Sauna

Spa-goers flock to saunas for the relaxation and health benefits offered in the high-heat rooms. There are two main types of saunas: dry saunas and steam saunas. Each exhibits distinct features.

Dry Saunas

Dry saunas are heated by pouring water over hot rocks.

A dry sauna is heated to temperatures of 175 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considerably hotter than a steam sauna. Dry saunas are made of wood, and are heated by pouring water over hot rocks. A bit of steam escapes through this process, but it is minimal and dissipates quickly.

Steam Saunas

Steam saunas -- sometimes called steam rooms -- contain tiled surfaces to retain moisture. Steam generators heat them to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit; steam saunas cannot be as hot as dry saunas, as the humidity created by a steam room could scald the skin.


Despite their differences, both saunas and steam rooms are said to remove toxins from the body, treat respiratory illnesses, relieve body aches and provide therapeutic relaxation.

About the Author

Ginger Yapp has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in travel and film topics. Her work has appeared in such publications as "USA Today" and online at Hotels.com. Yapp also has experience writing and editing for a small California newspaper. She earned her B.A. in film and media studies and has worked as an ESL teacher at an international school.