Humidity and temperature ratio in the sauna

The ratio of temperature and humidity leads to different effects in the sauna. While dry heat prevails in the Finnish sauna, the humidity in the banya can be up to 100%.
Humidity and temperature in the sauna

Humidity and temperature in the sauna

Humidity and temperature ratio in the sauna. You’re probably wondering why you should bother with the humidity and temperature ratio in the sauna. After all, one thing is clear: it gets damn hot in that small room. That’s true – and on the other hand, it’s also wrong.

How you experience the heat depends crucially on the humidity. For example, you experience dry heat as gentle. Especially if you run a sauna at home, you should consider the relationship between humidity and temperature. We will try to explain the relationship to you in this article.

How to control the ratio correctly

If you have a sauna at home, you are probably familiar with the associated control unit. It not only lets you regulate the temperature via a thermometer. In addition, it has a so-called hygrometer, with which you can measure the humidity. If you visit a public sauna, you can usually read these values at the entrance.

But is the humidity always the same in the whole room? No. You know this from the heat. It is much more intense on the upper floors than on the lower floors. With humidity, it’s simply the other way around. It is especially noticeable for those who sit down below.

In a normal sauna, you enrich air with moisture through infusions. Here, fragrant liquid evaporates on the sauna heater. It rises as steam and fine drops settle in the air. They are so heavy that they sink down a good bit.

This is how you perceive the ratio

The classic Finnish sauna combines dry air with relatively high temperatures. While this will make you sweat profusely, most people still perceive the heat as relatively gentle. However, some people react very sensitively to these conditions: they suffer from a dry cough or their skin and nose start to itch.

Steam bath with high humidity

Steam baths are the stark opposite. Here it is not particularly warm, but the humidity is extremely high. You won’t sweat much here, but you will still get wet. This is simply the water from the air that settles on your skin. By the way, it has a deep cleansing effect.

But you will notice that you will have to breathe much more deeply in the wet warmth. The water has simply displaced a large part of the oxygen. It is true that the moist air cleanses your respiratory tract. But to be adequately oxygenated, you have to breathe in quite a bit of it. This is healthy, but also exhausting for the body. That’s why a visit to a steam bath is also a great strain on your heart and circulation.

Russian banya

Between these two extremes, there are many ways to heat saunas. For example, think of the Russian banya sauna. Here, a lot of wetness gets into the air due to the infusions with damp birch branches. Nevertheless, it gets up to 90 degrees in this sweat room, heat that you experience much more intensely thanks to the humidity.

Effects of humidity and temperature in the sauna

For many sauna-goers, taking a sauna is a healthy and beneficial physical experience. Regular use results in a number of positive health effects. However, the prerequisite is that you feel comfortable and have no health complaints.

  • Relaxation and stress relief: the hot and humid climate in the sauna helps to relax muscles and relieve stress. The heat promotes the release of endorphins, also known as “happy hormones”, which can induce a feeling of relaxation and well-being.
  • Improving circulation: the combination of high temperature and humidity in the sauna dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. This leads to better oxygen supply to muscles and organs.
  • Cleansing the skin: sweating in the sauna opens the pores and helps remove dirt and impurities from the skin. The increased blood circulation also contributes to a better supply of nutrients to the skin.
  • Respiratory relief: the increased humidity in the sauna helps to moisten the respiratory tract and relieve the symptoms of colds, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. However, not everyone benefits from this effect, and people with certain respiratory conditions should consult their physician before using the sauna.


Why not try this out in your sauna at home? We can’t tell you what ratio of temperature and humidity is right for you. But we are sure that you will have a lot of fun trying it out.