Dry vs Steam Sauna for the Home 

We can get the obvious detail out of the way first. A dry sauna uses dry heat from a heater within the sauna and takes advantage of the heat conductivity of the wood construction. 

A steam sauna heats water to create pressurized steam that is released into the enclosed structure sauna room. 

The experience of using these types of saunas is considerably different, and they also come with different set-up, cost, and maintenance issues. Here’s a breakdown with considerations for homeowners in Northern Colorado. 

Do You Prefer Steam or Dry Heat? 

This is perhaps the most important question to ask when considering a steam room or a dry sauna for your home.  If you haven’t experienced either, here are some things to think about. 

A steam room produces a wet heat that gives you a strong sense of perspiring. The heat from steam encompasses your body with a very direct contact sensation. Though it depends on your heat settings, a heat sauna usually feels hotter faster than a dry sauna. 

If you desire a strong sensation of immediate heat that gives you a deeply relaxing feeling (like you’re melting) then you’ll probably prefer the steam sauna.

One thing to note is that the sensation of being engulfed by steam makes some people anxious. If you have claustrophobic tendencies, this might be a problem with a steam sauna. 

A dry sauna offers a more steady sensation of heat. The primary feeling of heat radiates from the wood. It creates a steady sensation of warming that’s usually less intense than the steam room. 

The aesthetic appeal of the dry sauna is considered greater by most people for two reasons. One, you can see because you’re not in a fog of steam. Second, the wood interior of the dry sauna is attractive and relaxing. 

If you set your dry sauna to a high temp to really bring on serious sweat, the wood may become uncomfortably hot to the touch. Again, if really intense heat is your pleasure, consider the steam room design. 

Another factor to consider is how much you want to hang-out in your sauna. A steam room is great for an intense sweat, but it’s not that pleasant if you want to sit with a few friends and maybe even drink a beer while in your sauna. The warm ambience of the dry sauna gives you the sensation of being enclosed in a giant tree, and if you don’t set the heat too high you can sit around and enjoy it indefinitely. 

The last, important consideration is humidity in the place where you live. If you lived in a place with high humidity, it lessens the effect of the steam room. 

However, Mountain Mist Pool and Spa services people in Northern Colorado, which is a place with notoriously low humidity. In dry winter months when your skin is irritated and your nostrils are encrusted, a steam sauna can be a real life-saver. 

This really comes down to personal taste. Most people who want a home sauna enjoy both steam and dry heat, but will often have a preference for one. Choose the one that makes you feel the best. 

Costs and Maintenance 

In general steam rooms cost slightly more but the difference is usually not enough to deter someone from choosing one type over the other.  

A complete steam room requires professional installation, but if you’re a handy carpenter you can install your own dry sauna. 

Steam saunas are like big bathtubs, meaning that you have to clean them to avoid mold and mildew buildup.  Dry saunas require minimal maintenance. 

Both a steam room and dry sauna offer similar health benefits, including skin cleansing through perspiration, improved circulation, and the inducement of sleep. Contrary to popular belief, neither type of sauna is a weight loss solution. 

To learn more, please visit the Longmont or Loveland locations of Mountain Mist Spa and Pool. Our experts will help you decide which type of sauna you’re most likely to enjoy over the long term

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