9 types of sauna and their differences


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In cold, wet weather, is there anything nicer than relaxing in the sauna, sweating and stimulating your metabolism? Many fitness studios have spa areas on offer. This usually includes a Finnish sauna. But there are many other sauna variants. See if you can tell the difference.

The wellness areas of adventure pools or thermal baths offer numerous types of saunas, from classic Finnish to Tepidariums. But what exactly is the difference between them? And how do the different types of sauna affect the body?

1. Finnish sauna

The classic among the saunas: the Finnish version

The Finnish sauna is the classic among saunas – because the Finns are considered to be the inventors of sauna culture. Only wood is used in the construction, which means that this type of sauna exudes a lot of warmth and cosines. The visitors can perceive a slightly sweet wood fragrance. The temperature in the Finnish sauna is never below 70, usually between 80 and 100 degrees. The humidity is ten to 20 percent. In contrast to what is customary in Germany, the Finns do not use scent additives and mostly rely on pure water.

The more original form of the Finnish sauna is the so-called earth sauna, which is embedded in the floor. Thanks to a wood-fired oven inside, temperatures of up to 110 degrees Celsius can be reached.

Benefits of visiting a Finnish sauna regularly:

  • The high temperatures in the sauna strengthen the immune system , similar to a fever. The effect: Infections are more easily warded off.
  • The alternating stimulus from cold and warmth gets the circulation going. A Finnish long-term study has even shown that the risk of cardiovascular disease decreases if you regularly go to the sauna.
  • The sauna session has a positive effect on the skin. It is better supplied with blood, the pores open in the heat and contract again when immersed in cold water.
  • Since the blood vessels expand due to the heat, the Finnish sauna can also be helpful in the treatment of circulatory disorders.
  • The airways are better supplied with blood by switching from warm to cold.
  • In the sauna, the body falls into a kind of rest mode. The body functions are reduced by the high temperatures and the muscles relax slightly. Therefore, it is easier to breathe deeply and intensely, which strengthens the breathing.
  • Going to the sauna can also help detoxify the  body. The heat ensures that the pores open and you sweat out toxins that can put a strain on the metabolism, for example

2. Russian sauna: Banya

In the Russian sauna, or banya , leafy birch branches are used

The banya is the Russian version of the sauna. It is similar to the Finnish variant, but differs in the process. In the banya, the infusion takes place with the help of so-called weniks: leafy birch twigs, which are ideally soaked in water for several hours or overnight. This gives the sauna a pleasant smell of birch. After the infusion, the branches are used to lightly chop off the body. This increases the blood circulation in the body – and increases the humidity in the sauna. The 80 to 100 degrees feel significantly hotter on the skin.

The most important things about the Russian sauna in a nutshell

  • A banya is a Russian sauna with an oven and more than a hundred degrees Celsius
  • The banya consists of a steam / sweat room, washing and relaxation room
  • At the beginning of a banya visit, you rinse yourself off with warm and cold water
  • Positive effects: Improvement of the blood circulation, muscle relaxation, impurities on the skin are removed


3. Sanarium


Those who cannot stand the high temperatures can visit a sanarium, also known as a herbal sauna. The maximum temperature there is 60 degrees Celsius. This type of sauna is very gentle on the circulation and is therefore also suitable for children. Instead of the classic infusions, herbs and essential oils are used here, which has proven itself in the case of respiratory diseases or colds.

Benefits of a sanarium:

  • relaxed
  • has an antihypertensive effect
  • strengthens the immune system
  • has a regenerating effect
  • ensures a more beautiful complexion
  • vigorous the circulation
  • lowers high cholesterol levels in the long term

4. Bio sauna


The bio sauna is also perfect for newbies: the temperatures here are also very mild at 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. Due to the lower temperatures, a longer visit to the sauna is also possible for beginners. The skin can breathe optimally and the blood circulation is gently awakened. The bio sauna is also very often recommended to people who have suffered a stroke (if you are affected, but please consult your doctor beforehand).

What are the advantages of a bio sauna?

  • Natural remedy for relaxation for body and mind.
  • Ideal application for people who cannot withstand high temperatures.
  • High humidity – ideal for the cleansing effect of our respiratory tract.
  • Gentle on our circulatory system.
  • Our metabolism is set in motion.
  • Heartbeat is increased and trained.
  • Toxins in the body are carried away through the skin through sweat.
  • Immediate relaxing effect on our body.
  • Lowering cholesterol levels with regular use.
  • Ideal for rheumatics.
  • Nourishing effect on the skin.
  • Increase in the level of oxygen in the blood.

5. Steam sauna


Another alternative among the cooler saunas is the steam sauna, also known as the steam shower – not to be confused with the steam bath (see below). The steam sauna works with high humidity instead of high temperatures: it doesn’t get warmer than 55 degrees Celsius here. Many people find the high humidity to be very pleasant.

Benefits and positive effects of a steam sauna

  • Tensions are released
  • Sleep disturbances are reduced
  • Rheumatic complaints can be alleviated
  • Muscle tension is released
  • Cold symptoms are also alleviated and can go away completely with regular visits

6. Infrared sauna

In the infrared sauna, the body is heated with the help of the red light

The infrared sauna works completely without air heating: In order to make the body sweat, this heat cabin generates heat with the help of infrared rays and thus ensures pleasant warmth from the inside out.

Advantages of the infrared cabin

  • Fast warm-up time
  • Inexpensive to use
  • Better for muscles and joints
  • Better compatibility (due to the low temperatures)
  • Easier to use
  • Can be connected to a normal 220 V socket
  • Smaller cabin, so easier to place
  • Simple assembly

7. Steam bath


Sweating is the order of the day in the sauna – in the steam bath (caldarium) you can unwind. It was invented by the Romans – the caldarium (from the Latin caldus , “warm / hot”) was part of the typical Roman thermal baths. The temperature is 40 to 50 degrees and the humidity is almost 100 percent. The caldarium is gentle on the circulation and is ideal for promoting blood circulation. The muscles should be able to relax particularly well here. The special feature: Various scents can be added to the steam, which also pamper the senses.

Positive benefits of steam baths

  • Tensions are released
  • Sleep disturbances are reduced
  • Rheumatic complaints can be alleviated
  • Muscle tension is released
  • Cold symptoms are also alleviated and can go away completely with regular visits

8. Tepidarium


The tepidarium is also part of the Roman bathing culture: a lukewarm room (38 to 40 degrees) with heated walls and benches made of stone or ceramic. The mild heat acts directly on the body, which is said to be particularly beneficial for regeneration. Due to the lower temperature, you usually stay in the tepidarium for 30 minutes or longer.

The advantages of the tepidarium

  • At around 40 ° C, the cardiovascular system is significantly less stressed than when going to the sauna
  • Higher performance
  • Lower des blood pressure
  • Strengthen the nerves and the immune system

9. Hamam


A hammam, also known as an oriental bath or Turkish bath, is another extremely mild wellness application. This Arabic version of the steam bath is mostly made of marble; in the middle of the room there is a circular area on which you can sit or lie down. Either you are washed by a master of ceremonies and doused with warm water – or you do it yourself. The maximum temperature in the hammam is 42 degrees Celsius.

Advantages of the hammam

  • Increases the oxygen exchange capacity in the lungs and bronchial system.
  • The Turkish bath is less strenuous for the body than the sauna.
  • For people suffering from stress and anxiety, the Turkish bath relaxes the nervous system.
  • Soothes the skin and makes it softer. Hence, it is very beneficial for people with acne .
  • It also expands pores and activates sweating. This removes toxins and impurities from the skin and promotes blood circulation.
  • The Turkish bath moisturizes the airways; helps with colds, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis.
  • Helps to delay skin aging, as it allows a stronger oxygen supply and revitalization of the tissue.
  • It facilitates the elimination of vaginal discharge and helps in cleaning the genitals . Heat also helps relieve painful menstruation.
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