Saunas can be complicated, which is why here at Boutique Rooms, we have put together a list of the sauna basics you should know. Saunas offer a variety of benefits that can be enhanced through proper preparation and after-care.
At Boutique Rooms, our guests have exclusive access to their own private sauna at our gorgeous rustic property, The Retreat, allowing you to make the most out of the benefits of a sauna every day you stay with us!
But how do you know where to begin? Below is a list of sauna basics for preparation before and during use as well as some tips and tricks to help you become an expert in sauna-use!
1. What is a Sauna?
A sauna, also known as a sudatory, is a small room where users go to perspire and relax either alone or with others.
Saunas are often found in health spas and gyms for people to use after swimming or workouts. Using a sauna can be a very communal experience as well as a personal relaxing session to take time out for oneself.
Saunas can be used in various ways, and the experience is completely personalisable to your specific needs.
2. What Does a Sauna Do?
A sauna can offer a range of health benefits and in some cases, can even improve user’s quality of life! When we prepare correctly, a sauna can be a beautifully relaxing experience.
The benefits of using a sauna frequently include detoxifying our bodies, weight loss, pain relief, and skin cleansing.
Here at Boutique Rooms, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the many benefits you can expect to get from sauna use!
3. What is the History of a Sauna?
The oldest known saunas existed in Finland, where instead of wooden houses, they were pits which were dug in the ground. These then developed into “smoke saunas”.
These saunas heated piles of rocks by burning wood for 8 hours. The smoke then got released and the sauna heat could then be enjoyed for up to 12 hours.
After the Industrial Revolution, saunas developed to include chimneys and a metal woodstove, where sometimes temperatures exceeded 110 degrees Celcius.
Following this, the first electric sauna stove was developed in 1938 and the use of saunas expanded across the globe.
4. What Are the Types of Saunas?
There are four main types of sauna. Each developed differently and requiring different technology and use:
Traditional Finnish Sauna
This is probably to most common sauna, and can be found in gyms, spas and health clubs. This version of a sauna is most similar to the traditional roots and is lined with wooden pannels. Inside the sauna there are heated rocks and wooden benches, and offers humidity of 20%-40%.
Unlike other saunas, in an infrared sauna, there is 0% humidity. An infrared sauna instead heats up the body’s internal temperature through infrared heat and light.
A dry sauna is most similar to a traditional Finnish sauna, in that it contains heated rocks. However, the humidity is much lower, therefore offering a moderately dry heat.
A steam bath sauna possesses lower temperatures of around 50 degrees Celcius. However, sometimes these saunas feel more intense than traditional saunas due to their 100% humidity. Instead of wood, steam baths are paneled with acrylic, glass or tiling.
5. Basics of the Sauna Ladle and Bucket
So you get into a sauna and spot a random ladle and bucket in the corner – what on earth are they for?
The ladle and bucket are used to raise the humidity and temperature of a sauna by pouring some water over the hot rocks. The water then steams and crackles, adding humidity to the room and raising the apparent temperature.
The Finnish term for this kind of sauna steam is “löyly“.
6. Where Can Saunas Be Stored?
Saunas can be used inside your house, for example, your bathroom, and also outside in your garden. However, before deciding on where to place your sauna, you should do some research into weather-suitable saunas.
For example, sunlight and water can affect the outer appearance of your wooden saunas. The inner workings should not be affected, but it is important to ensure that you buy a sauna that is all-weather resistant, should it be placed outside.
Features to look out for in an outdoor sauna include:
- Being constructed of a composite plastic “wood”, to ensure no leaking or fading
- Being around 1000 pounds in weight as to not be moved or affected by outdoor elements
- Featuring a 4,500-watt heat spectrum heater to allow for use even in the coldest outdoor temperatures
7. Where Can Saunas Be Purchased?
Saunas can be bought online or in person. However, with all big purchases, you must do your research into finding a reputable company before handing over your cash. You should always check the business name, company number, and VAT number.
Some brilliant companies include:
8. Are Saunas Suitable for Everyone?
Even though saunas have a wide variety of benefits, they are not suitable for everyone. Users with any health conditions, including cardiovascular issues, pregnancy or high blood pressure should consult a doctor before using a sauna.
Here at Boutique Rooms, we put together a short article to help inform you of the general sauna safety guidelines.
9. Sauna Use Around the World
Saunas are famous across the globe for their many benefits. In many countries, you might primarily find saunas at health clubs, gyms, and spas. However, countries with colder climates often incorporate saunas into their regular day-to-day, and are considered a way of life!
Many residents in countries such as Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, use saunas daily and consider the experience to be very communal and social.
10. Basic Sauna Etiquette
One of the principle rules when it comes to sauna etiquette is that you should be completely nude! However, this might not be to everyone’s taste and so it is usually fine for users to just wear light swimwear.
Other general etiquette rules vary across the globe but can include:
- No talking in the sauna
- No outside items (e.g. phones/books)
- No food or drink
If you are unsure, check the rules of the place you are going if you are travelling, or perhaps make your own rules for your own sauna oasis!
We hope this list has been informative and has provided you with the knowledge you were looking for to take your sauna usage to the next level!
Remember to check out our property The Retreat to experience exclusive, private sauna use for you and your guests!
We are always on hand to offer any advice, to provide information or to answer any queries you might have. Just get in touch below, and we will respond to your request as soon as possible!