The different temperature ranges in a sauna

There are different types of saunas with temperatures that could not be more different. Finnish saunas often reach temperatures between 80 and 100°C (176 to 212 °F). A distinction is often made between traditional Finnish saunas and dry saunas, the only real difference, between the two being that in the Finnish sauna water is poured onto the stone.
Sauna and its temperature zones

Sauna and its temperature zones

How is it that a sauna with a temperature of 100 °C (212 °F) does not cause burns on the skin? At this point, some big question marks might appear. Considering that we are talking about temperatures at which water boils, how can the human body withstand these temperatures?

The explanation is actually quite simple. Think of it this way. You can endure a 90°C (194 °F) environment for a few minutes, but if you dip your finger into 90°C (194 °F) water, you will get a severe burn. Why is that? Compared to air, water is a much more efficient conductor of heat. Both air and wood (from which a sauna is often built) are relatively poor conductors of heat. The heat builds up slowly. That’s why it doesn’t bother your body.

You can think of a dry sauna as a slow stove for your body. You absorb heat, your body begins to distribute it throughout your body, continuing to heat up. As long as the temperature of the air, room, and benches is above the dew point, you can stand the heat, even if boiling water is poured on hot stones and evaporates. But let’s move on to the different temperature ranges in the sauna.

The natural convection effect

Each sauna is equipped with an air inlet and an air outlet. As a result, the air movement creates a natural convection effect, i.e. air renewal in the sauna. This convection creates temperature zones. Depending on where you are in the sauna, the temperature varies. The sauna heater also plays a crucial role in the temperature gradient. The light air heated by the sauna heater rises to the top. As a result, the sauna guest is surrounded by the high air temperature and cools down again on the sweating skin. As a result, the air becomes heavier again and sinks to the ground.

The temperatures in saunas are consistently kept between 60 and 100 ºC (140 to 212 °F). However, the closer you get to the ceiling, the higher the temperature becomes.

  • The typical temperature in the upper seating area is around 90-100 °C (194 to 212 °F).
  • The temperature on the benches in the middle of the room is between 65 °C and 75 °C (149 to 167 °F).
  • The temperature in the floor area averages between 40 and 50 ºC (104 to 122 °F).

What sauna bench height should I choose?

The ideal sauna bench height for you depends on your personal preferences, how well you tolerate heat and how long you have been sweating. Sauna novices should not overexert themselves by choosing a seat on one of the upper benches. Likewise, those with circulation problems or limited heat tolerance should choose a seat in the lower section of the sauna.

Sauna temperature: the risks

When you sweat in the sauna, your core temperature and heart rate rise. You should not stay in the sauna for more than 15 minutes maximum. Shower between sauna sessions, and then take a break of at least 30 minutes to recharge for the next session.

People with respiratory or heart problems and pregnant women should avoid the sauna because of the high temperatures. If in doubt, it is best to consult your doctor.

Due to the high temperatures that prevail in the sauna, sauna bathing is considered to have numerous health and beauty benefits. However, it must be adjusted according to their needs and health.

The benefits of different sauna temperatures for a holistic sauna experience

A visit to the sauna is a wonderful way to relax, cleanse the body and recharge your batteries. In the sauna, you can choose between different temperatures, each of which has its own benefits and effects on the body.

The sauna at 50–60 degrees: relaxing sauna at moderate temperatures

At a sauna temperature of 50–60 degrees Celsius (122 to 140 °F), you can enjoy a pleasant and relaxing sauna bath. At these moderate temperatures, the body is gradually warmed up without being overly stressed. This is especially beneficial for sauna novices or people with sensitive skin.

During a sauna session in this temperature zone, the pores of the skin open up, resulting in better blood circulation. The pleasant warmth helps to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. It also promotes general well-being and provides space for rest and relaxation.

The sauna at 70–90 degrees: Healing sweating at medium temperatures

In the temperature range of 70 to 90 degrees Celsius (158 to 194 °F), the sauna reaches a somewhat more intense heat. These medium temperatures provide an optimal environment to enjoy the healing effects of sweating. Sweating at these temperatures has a positive effect on the skin. The increased flow of sweat thoroughly cleanses the pores and removes excess sebum and dead skin cells.

It can also relieve ailments such as muscle tension, joint pain and cold symptoms. A sauna bath in this temperature zone thus contributes to better health and a strengthened immune system.

The sauna from 100 degrees: intensive sauna effect

For those seeking a demanding and intense sauna experience, a sauna temperature of 100 degrees Celsius (212 °F) and above offers a real challenge. These high temperatures are not for beginners and require a certain experience and adaptability of the body.

The intense sauna effect at this temperature promotes maximum blood circulation and allows for profuse sweating. A sauna bath at this temperature provides a feeling of purification and renewal, but also puts more strain on the circulatory system.


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