Frequently Asked Questions
Is Finnish Type Sauna a Dry Sauna?
A Traditional Finnish Sauna can be used “wet or dry”. It is the only bath in the world where the user controls both temperature and humidity. For example, in a Turkish Steambath the user controls temperature but not humidity; likewise in infrared rooms. In a Finnish sauna the user controls humidity be sprinkling water on the rocks. This steam experience, to most sauna enthusiasts, is an essential and much enjoyed part of the sauna experience. A “dry” sauna would simply be a Traditional Finnish Sauna with no water sprinkled on the rocks.
Should I sprinkle or pour water on the rocks in the heater?
It’s completely up to user preferences. As noted above, most sauna enthusiasts enjoy the steam and higher humidity levels. The worldwide trend in sauna bathing is toward “lower temperatures and higher humidity”—which makes an even more essential part of the sauna experience.
Are Saunas Expensive?
A high quality sauna manufactured by a reputable company will cost in price range similar to other leisure products such as hot tubs and gazebos. Price depends on the size, type and features of the sauna and prices start often around $3,000.
Do Electric Saunas Consume a lot of Energy?
Most sauna users say they don’t even notice a change in their electric bills. The cost to operate a sauna can easily be calculated. As an example, a three or four person sauna, used twice a week, will cost less than $5 per month to operate. To calculate a specific monthly usage, simply multiple the kilowatt size of the heater (e.g., 6 kW for a 6 x 6 sauna) X the electrical rate in your area (e.g. $.08/kWh) X the number of hours used in a month.
Is sauna bathing dangerous for your health?
No; as proven by the extensive sauna medical research done, as well as the centuries of user experience. However, if one has any medical conditions they should consult with their physician before using a sauna.
Can children use saunas?
Yes, children can and do use saunas. Since young children to not have well developed perspiration systems, children should not stay in the sauna as long as adults.
Should I remove all clothing when going to sauna, or can I use swim suit?
In the private homes, most users sauna bathe with no clothes on—as that is the most comfortable. However, in some situations where some modesty is necessary, it is certainly OK to sauna bathe with a swim suit on.
Do I need to have drainage in the sauna room?
A drain is nice to have—particularly for cleaning purposes—but it is not essential. In new construction the cost to add a drain in the middle of the sauna floor is quite easy to do and quite inexpensive. However, in a remodeling situation, or in the situation of adding a modular sauna to an existing area of a home—it is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to add a drain. The shower should always be separate from the sauna room—which means the only water in the sauna is that used on the rocks. Whatever water spills on the floor will dry up after the sauna session—as the rocks cool down. Wet mopping of the floor can quickly wipe up any water on the floor as well as maintain the sauna floor in clean condition.
Can a humid space like a sauna cause damage to my house?
This is a common myth about sauna. A sauna, well designed and properly used, will not cause any damage to a house. Even in saunas where the users like a lot of steam, the sauna will still be a relatively dry place—when compared to normal household humidity levels. With no water sprinkled on the rocks, the humidity level can be less than 10%. A typical humidity level, with a fair amount of water put on the rocks—is 25% to 35%. For those having the newer style heaters with massive amounts of rocks—and lower air temperatures—the humidity level can reach more than 50%. The adjacent shower will typically add more humidity to the sauna area than the humidity added by the sauna. It is recommended to have a bathroom-style exhaust fan in the area near the sauna and shower.
How do I clean and maintain my sauna?
A sauna has quite low maintenance requirements and depends mostly on how often it’s used. Simple scrubbing of the bench and wet moppoing of the floor on a weekly (or less if used less) basis is typical. A simple tip: if the users get in the habit of doing a quick 30-second scrub after each sauna session—using a scrub brush dipped in the sauna water bucket—the benches will remain looking like new for many years.
How long does the heater last?
Heater longevity depends on the type of heater and how often it’s used. Some areas have unusually salty or acidic water which can accelerate heater deterioration. In general, a sauna heater should last anywhere from 5 to 20 years. Sauna heater in commercial saunas are subject to much more vigorous use. One year of commercial use is comparable to 50 years of normal home use.
How many times a week do people usually use the sauna?
On average, people use their saunas two to three times a week. Many people use them every day—where it becomes part of the daily wellness programs. Others use them more sporadically. It’s totally up to user preferences and lifestyles.
How can I find good public or hotel saunas in the US?
Many hotels and health clubs have saunas. When traveling, you can inquire in advance of your stay if the hotel offers a sauna. Likewise with health-clubs, a visti to the club will confirm if they have a sauna and what condition it is in. Public saunas—where the sauna can be “rented out” by individuals—are becoming quite rare and are only found in a few places in the US.
What kind of accessories there are available for saunas?
There are many sauna accessories that can enhance the sauna experience. The basic essentials are: water bucket (usually a wooden bucket lined with plastic or stainless steel), ladle, light and thermometer. BEyond the basics, there are many types of textile accessories such as towels, robes, slippers, back scrubbers, etc. Other popular accessories include clothes hooks, thermometer/hygrometers, sand timers, upgraded lighting systems, fragrances to add to the sauna water (for aroma therapy), etc. The list goes on and on. Visit your local sauna provider to learn more.