Sauna Versus Steam - Discover the Pros and Cons

 

Both saunas and steam baths have therapeutic benefits. They are good for blood circulation and can cleanse and rejuvenate the skin through heavy perspiration. They are good for easing muscle tension and promoting feelings of relaxation and well-being.

Some people find the dry heat of the sauna to be uncomfortable to breathe. Those with respiratory problems like sinus congestion and asthma may prefer the moist heat of the steam bath room. Steam inhalation is often used for treating bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies so people with these conditions may benefit from steam baths.

If you are thinking of installing either a sauna or a steam bath in your home, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Generally speaking, saunas are easier to build and require less material and labor than a steam bath. However, you can buy self enclosed portable steam baths or steam cabinets which can be easily installed in any bathroom. These cut down on construction and installation costs.

Both types of bath can be installed in a small space. Pre-built saunas can be placed in a bedroom or basement and can be put together in less than half an hour. Steam bath enclosures are usually installed in a bathroom and require the services of a plumber to connect the steam generator.

If you plan on converting an existing bathroom into a steam bath, all the walls and ceilings of the bathroom must be finished with a material like ceramic tile to prevent moisture from escaping. The room has to be airtight with only a small opening at the bottom of the door to allow a fresh air intake.

Both saunas and steam baths require relatively little maintenance. The steam bath simply needs to be washed with a ceramic tile cleaner once a week or so, and the sauna can be vacuumed or swept out occasionally. The natural wood of the sauna can become stained after a while, but the stains can be removed with light sanding or by washing the wood with an acidic solution.