Naked in the sauna

In Germany, we are among the world champions in saunas. But what are the rules in public saunas? Is it obligatory to be naked in the sauna or can I cover myself with a towel. In the sauna there are rules and unwritten laws, we clarify.
Textile-free sauna: An interplay of tradition, health and etiquette
© saunazeit

The health and hygienic benefits of being naked in the sauna

  • In many cultures and institutions, being naked in the sauna is preferred to ensure an optimal sweating experience.
  • In swimwear, bacteria can accumulate in the humid environment of the sauna, compromising hygiene.
  • Without clothing, the body can sweat evenly, effectively cleaning the sweat pores.

Naked in the sauna – Is that really necessary?

Naked in the sauna – unwritten laws in the sauna. Textile-free zone prevails in a large part of the sauna facilities. This means that outside the sauna cabin, visitors wear a bathrobe or wrap a large towel around their body. Only in the cabin itself, you meet unclothed people. Basically, the sauna room is not a place to look at the bodies of other sauna-goers or to present yourself naked. As a rule, this area is sparsely lit, so that “details” usually remain hidden and at best the rough silhouette of the guests can be made out. However, those whose sense of shame is very great can cover themselves with a bath towel.

Why is the sauna a textile-free zone?

There are several reasons why a sauna room must be entered without textiles. The hygiene is probably the most important point which should be mentioned in this context. Usually, swimwear is made of synthetic material, the fibers of which can emit harmful substances in the heat of the sauna. Furthermore, a lot of sweat accumulates in swim trunks, bikinis, and the like, which is washed out again by the water when swimming in the leisure pool afterward – an unpleasant thought for everyone involved. In addition, the clothing hinders the evaporation of the exuded sweat on the skin and consequently the cooling of the body. As a result, not only does the desired effect of the sauna session fail to materialize, but it is also unfavorable from a health point of view. In essence, there are Textile question following points to consider:

  • In the sauna area, wearing a towel or bathrobe is customary or desirable.
  • In case of increased shame, a bath towel wrapped around the body is allowed in the sauna room.
  • Swimwear such as bikini or swim trunks should be avoided for hygienic reasons. This also applies to the sauna area.
  • Street clothes are taboo, as street dust is not allowed to enter the sauna area.

Tips for sauna beginners

Almost always a changing room with lockable boxes or lockers leads to the sauna area. Here you will find some changing rooms where you can undress or dress in peace – protected from prying eyes. After getting rid of your clothes, slip into a bathrobe or put a towel around your hips. The specialized trade offers special sauna towels for this purpose.

There are large bath towels that are fastened with velcro fastener (sauna kilt) are provided. These hold much better on the hips and do not slip down as quickly. It certainly goes without saying that ladies need a larger towel to cover their breasts as well. After that, lock up your clothes and any valuables in the lockers and head to the shower area, which is equipped with separate wet rooms.

A large part of the shower stalls often have neither a shower curtain nor a door. However, there is always a cabin that has these “protective devices”. If this cannot be found at first glance, ask the supervisory staff or other sauna visitors.

The sauna session

After the shower, dry yourself thoroughly and go to the sauna room. Whether you go naked into the sauna or enter it with a wrapped towel is entirely up to you. However, please check in advance if the sauna is currently accessible. If not, you will have to wait until the beginning of the next entry time. As a rule, visitors can tell by a clock, which is placed next to the door. Alternatively, a green lamp provides information about this.

If you are not sure, you should ask the sauna attendant or other guests. Especially for newcomers, it is unpleasant to burst into the middle of a steaming infusion and incur the displeasure of everyone present.

After you have chosen a place, spread your towel or bathrobe on the sauna bench. Make sure that the cloth is positioned so that no sweat can get onto the wooden surface. If you don’t want to sweat naked in the sauna cabin despite the dim light, you have to take a second towel with you, which you can now wrap around your body.

After the sauna bath is finished, the so-called cooling phase follows. Here, sauna-goers should first do without the bathrobe, as it delays the cooling of the organism. During this phase, it is important to take a fresh air bath. Whether you wear a bathrobe, wrap a towel around your body or stand in the fresh air without a shirt is entirely up to you.

Good to know

Especially in the beginning, the shyness is great to sit naked with other unclothed people. Those who have problems with this should avoid a mixed sauna for their first sauna bath. However, if a women’s or men’s sauna is not offered in your area, an extra bath towel will serve you well.

Exceptions from nude sauna

Steam saunas located in public baths may usually be entered with bathing suits. However, they do not reach the temperature ranges offered by a traditional sauna. Furthermore, at the so-called Sauna Championships, textiles are common. After all, some spectators are following the action here and the cameras are not far away either. In addition, some large sauna facilities offer special cabins that are not declared a textile-free zone. Conclusion: For many sauna-goers, going naked to the sauna means freeing themselves from everyday stress and recharging their batteries. Simply let your soul dangle.


Our buy recommendation:

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