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The Differences Between a Steam Room, a Dry Sauna, and a Personal Infrared Sauna

Last Updated on: September 28, 2021

Girl sitting in the Synergy Sauna (portable infrared sauna)
A steam room, dry sauna, and a personal infrared sauna all serve essentially the same function: to provide health benefits through heat. But which type of sauna is best?

Heat has long been known to provide great health benefits. Steam rooms, dry saunas, and personal infrared saunas use heat in different ways to achieve health benefits, but how do these products differ, and which is best?

How Did Saunas Start?

Saunas have been used for centuries to promote detoxification, relaxation, and improved health. Saunas are thought to have originated around 2000 B.C. in Europe (1). Originally known as “savusaunas” or “smoke saunas,” some of the oldest saunas worked by burning large amounts of wood for around 6 to 8 hours over a pile of rocks known as a “kiuas.” When properly heated, the rocks would emit heat for up to 12 hours after the fires were extinguished and the smoke dissipated. In Finland, rudimentary saunas involved digging pits into slopes, heating up stones around a fireplace, and then pouring water onto the hot stones. Today, Finland has more saunas than cars (1).

Dry room sauna with hot rocks to help increase humidity
The first saunas are thought to have originated around 2000 B.C. The first saunas in Finland involved digging pits into slopes, heating up stones around a fireplace, and then pouring water onto the hot stones.

How Different Saunas Work

Steam Rooms

Steam rooms are enclosed spaces heated using steam. Most steam rooms use a water-filled generator to pump steam into the enclosed space. Steam rooms are typically between 110° and 114° Fahrenheit and feature 100% humidity (2)(3).

Dry Sauna

Dry saunas are typically wood-paneled and make use of dry heat from hot rocks or a closed stove. The temperature of these types of saunas ranges from 160° to 200° Fahrenheit, and they have 5% – 30% humidity. Dry sauna treatments generally involve dry-heat exposure for around 5 – 20 mins interspersed with periods of humidity created by throwing water over heated rocks (4).

Synergy Science™ Personal Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas use infrared emitters at different wavelengths to directly heat your body instead of dry and wet saunas that heat the space around you. The Synergy Science Infrared Sauna™uses full-spectrum near-, mid-, and far-infrared heat. Compared to dry and wet saunas, infrared saunas typically run at lower temperatures between 120° and 140° Fahrenheit (4).

Because your body easily absorbs infrared wavelengths, your core temperature increases more quickly than it would while using dry and wet saunas. It also allows the heat to penetrate deeper in the body; this means that you can start to feel the full benefits a sauna has to offer more quickly without the sauna needing to reach uncomfortably hot temperatures.

Inside view of a wood lined sauna
Short-term heat exposure that elevates your skin and core temperature has been shown to have a number of significant health benefits.

Health Benefits

Short-term heat exposure that elevates your skin and core temperature has been shown to have a number of significant health benefits, including activating brain function, increasing heart health and blood flow, and improving the nervous system (4) (5). Steam rooms, dry saunas, and infrared saunas all have similar significant health benefits with a few slight variations.

Steam Rooms

Steam rooms have a number of significant health benefits including (3)(6)(7)(8):

  • Clearing congestion in the sinuses, airways, and lungs
  • Improving the cardiovascular system, which includes lowering blood pressure and improving circulation
  • Reducing stress by increasing endorphins
  • Helping people feel more rejuvenated, relaxed, and in control by decreasing cortisol levels
  • Promoting good skin health by helping to repair broken skin tissue, clearing the pores, and helping eradicate dirt and dead skin which are a cause of acne
  • Accelerating workout recovery by helping reduce muscle pain and inflammation
  • Burning calories through sweating
  • Helping loosen stiff joints more effectively than cold compresses
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Helping to remove toxins trapped below the skin more effectively than dry saunas

Dry Sauna

Dry saunas are similar to steam rooms in the benefits they have to offer, though they may differ slightly. These benefits include (4):

  • Helping improve heart health, which includes improving blood circulation
  • Reducing symptoms of rheumatic diseases
  • Aiding with asthma
  • Increasing exercise performance
  • Ridding the body of excess salt through sweat
  • Improving sleep
  • Increasing the metabolism, which aids in weight loss
  • Improving the immune system
  • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
  • Rejuvenating the skin, which helps slow the effects of aging
  • Helping lower inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Helping improve insulin sensitivity

Synergy Science™ Personal Infrared Sauna

The health benefits of a full-spectrum infrared portable sauna include (9):

  • Helping eliminate heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins from the body
  • Improving heart health, blood circulation, and blood pressure
  • Helping improve nerve function and protecting against nerve damage
  • Increasing metabolism and facilitating weight loss
  • Promoting healthy skin
  • Preventing tissue damage
  • Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Supporting natural wound healing
  • Decreasing muscle and joint stiffness
  • Stimulating the same benefits of a 30-minute jog in as little as 10 minutes
  • Increasing cell energy production in the form of ATP
Girl unzipping the Synergy Sauna (portable infrared sauna)
The Synergy Sauna™ is a portable, easy-to-operate infrared sauna that uses full-spectrum near-, mid-, and far-infrared heat.

The Synergy Sauna™: A Better Way to Detox

If you are looking for a portable, easy-to-operate personal infrared sauna, then look no further than the Synergy Sauna™. This sauna uses full-spectrum infrared (FIR) rays between 7 and 14 micrometers to generate detoxifying, therapeutic heat. But what exactly is infrared? Simply put, infrared is light. The Synergy Sauna™ uses near-, mid-, and far-infrared, which means that it uses light that has short, medium, and long wavelengths (10). By using these wavelengths, the Synergy Sauna ™ is able to provide a uniquely wide range of total body benefits.

Other top benefits of the Synergy Sauna™ include:

  • Soft, antibacterial, non-synthetic bamboo fabric
  • A temperature of up to 140°F in just five minutes
  • A high-tech carbon heating element that emits extremely low frequencies (ELFs)
  • A simple-to-use temperature control
  • A foot heating pad with separate temperature control and green jade stones
  • Ozone creation to keep the interior of the sauna clean
  • Features of expensive saunas, such as ozone and oxygen therapy, at a fraction of the cost
  • Openings for your head and hands for you to read, watch television, or listen to music during the session.

For more information on the Synergy Sauna™ visit this page.

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