A sauna is typically a wood-lined room that is heated to approximately 175 degrees by stones that are placed on an electric or wood-burning heater. A steam room is usually finished in ceramic tile and is heated to 104 degrees by a steam generator. A steam room has a humidity level around 100 percent, whereas there is almost no moisture in a sauna.
Saunas help to detoxify the body by raising body temperature, which assists in killing bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, according to Sauna & Steam Bathing. The sweat that is released through the skin during a sauna helps to relieve the liver and kidneys of a portion of their waste-removal duties. The intense heat in a sauna increases blood flow and circulation in the body, which can result in glowing skin, but the dry heat can make it difficult for some people to breathe.
Steam Room Benefits
The high moisture content in a steam room can be beneficial for those suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis or sinusitis by helping to flush mucus and allergens from the system. Steam can also help to clear the skin of acne by opening up and deep-cleaning the pores, while the steam exposure may also reduce the appearance of wrinkles by hydrating the skin, according to Di Vapor.