What is a Sauna Hat? and Why Bother Getting One?

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 12:03 pm

Sauna hats, a traditional accessory worn to protect the head from heat during sauna sessions, have been used for centuries to enhance the overall sauna experience.

By safeguarding your head from excessive heat exposure, these hats, also known as sauna hat, allow you to enjoy longer, more comfortable sauna sessions.

But what are the different types of sauna hats, and how do you choose the right one for you?

In this article, we will explore traditional and dwarf sauna hat varieties, as well as factors to consider when selecting the perfect hat for your needs.

sauna hat

Snapshot of Sauna Hats

Sauna hats have been used for generations in hot tubs and saunas to protect the head and hair from heat exposure. A sauna hat serves dual purposes: it enables a relaxing, heat-soothing experience and also wards off cold plunge-related symptoms.

This makes it a must-have accessory for spa enthusiasts who frequently fluctuate between hot and cold environments.

These stylish and comfortable hats, perfect for wearing, are made from traditional materials such as wool and linen, ensuring effective heat protection for everyday wear.

Traditional Sauna Hats – The Classic Choice

Originating in Central Europe and widely used in countries like Germany, Russia, the Baltic region, and Finland, traditional sauna hats have a long history of enhancing the psychological experience of sauna-goers, especially when sitting on the top bench.

Made from 100% high-quality wool, these hats provide excellent heat protection and moisture resistance, ensuring a comfortable experience during your sauna session.

With a variety of designs including:

  • classic

  • dwarf

  • cut-outs

  • floral

  • earflaps

  • horns

Traditional sauna hats cater to diverse preferences across all ages and genders. Handcrafted using the traditional felting technique, wool felt sauna hats offer excellent insulation and shape retention, allowing you to relax and enjoy the sauna without worrying about overheating.

Dwarf Sauna Hats – Compact and Convenient

Dwarf sauna hats, compact versions of their traditional counterparts, provide similar heat protection benefits in a more portable design. Crafted from 100% wool, including Merino sheep’s wool and New Zealand wool, these hats are handmade using the oldest non-woven technique, ensuring optimal heat retention and comfort.

The unique design of dwarf sauna hats provides coverage for the head and ears, protecting them from sudden temperature changes in the sauna. With their compact and convenient design, dwarf sauna hats are an excellent alternative to traditional sauna hats for those who prioritize:

  • Portability

  • Ease of use

  • Protection from excessive heat

  • Maintaining hair health

Selecting Your Ideal Sauna Hat

Choosing the right sauna hat requires careful consideration of factors such as material, size, and fit for optimal heat protection and comfort during sauna sessions.

In the following subsections, we will explore these factors in detail, as well as discuss proper care and maintenance to prolong the life of your sauna hat.

Material Matters

The materials used for sauna hats vary greatly, but the most common choices are:

  • Wool: known for its superior heat insulation and comfort

  • Felt: also provides excellent heat insulation and comfort

  • Silk: used for more delicate and intricate designs

  • Linen: offers a lightweight and breathable option

  • Lace: adds a touch of elegance to sauna hats

Wool felt, in particular, is composed of durable fabric that effectively shields the head from excessive heat in the sauna.

Linen, on the other hand, is an environmentally-friendly and gentle material that effectively absorbs moisture and becomes softer with use. Although linen is a popular sauna textile, it may not provide the same level of heat protection for the body as wool felt.

linen sauna hat

Ultimately, the choice of material for your sauna hat will depend on your personal preferences and the level of heat protection you desire.

Size and Fit

The right size and fit for your sauna hat is vital to provide optimal heat protection and comfort during sauna sessions. Sauna hats are generally designed to fit most adults, with dimensions ranging from 9.1 x 9.8 inches (23 x 25 cm) to 70 cm in circumference. Some sauna hats also offer adjustable features, such as velcro tape, to ensure a comfortable fit.

The ideal fit for a sauna hat should be snug and secure, without being overly tight or uncomfortable. To measure your head for a sauna hat, measure the circumference of your head and choose a hat that covers most of it, including the eyebrows.

Remember that a properly fitted sauna hat is essential for effectively protecting your head from the heat and avoiding overheating during your sauna activities.

Care and Maintenance

Proper care of your sauna hat not only extends its lifespan but also maintains its effectiveness in shielding your head from heat. Regular care and maintenance involve gently brushing the surface with a soft brush to remove any surface lint or dirt.

When it comes to washing, it is recommended to hand wash your sauna hat with a mild detergent and allow it to air dry. Avoid common errors when cleaning your sauna hat, such as using hot water, wringing or twisting the hat, and exposing it to direct heat sources.

Instead, reshape the hat while damp and allow it to air dry in a well-ventilated area, ensuring it remains in optimal condition for your next sauna session, without the need to soak it.


In conclusion, sauna hats play a crucial role in protecting your head and hair from excessive heat during sauna sessions.

Both traditional and dwarf sauna hats offer unique benefits, with traditional hats boasting a rich history and diverse designs, while dwarf hats provide a compact and convenient alternative.

When selecting the perfect sauna hat, consider factors such as material, size, and fit to ensure optimal heat protection and comfort.

With the right care and maintenance, your sauna hat will serve you well for many sauna sessions to come.

Get Hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the point of a sauna hat?

A sauna hat helps to protect against the adverse effects of overheating, such as nausea and dizziness. It also prevents damage to your hair from heat exposure, allowing for longer sauna sessions. For an added benefit, pre-soak the sauna hat in cold water before use.

Do sauna hats work?

Sauna hats help to prevent your head, ears or hair from feeling too hot, as well as regulating body temperature, making them a useful tool for those looking to enjoy the sauna.

What is a sauna hat called?

A sauna hat, commonly known as a banya, is a type of steam bath accessory typically made from sheep or alpaca wool, felt, or sheepskin. It is popular in Russia and some parts of Alaska. The sauna hat is designed to keep the head warm and to protect it from the steam. It is also believed to help the body sweat more efficiently, allowing for a deeper and more effective sauna experience. The hat is usually worn during the sauna session,

What materials are commonly used for sauna hats?

Wool and felt are the most popular materials for sauna hats, offering heat insulation and comfort. Other materials, such as silk, linen, and lace, can also be used to create more intricate designs.

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