What’s What: Sauna vs. Steam Room


Our saunas are made from high-grade sections of superior softwoods, including red cedar, hemlock, and fir.

To the uninitiated, a sauna and steam room may seem similar. They’re both rooms. They’re both sometimes found at the gym. Some of their major health benefits may overlap in part. But these are two distinct items, and here’s how you can tell which one’s which.

A steam room is usually tiled and has a steam generator that pumps a warm mist into the room through nozzles located throughout. It is designed to be an exclusively wet environment.

A sauna, by comparison, is usually made from softwood lumber and involves a heater, stones, and a bucket and ladle. Softwood remains cool and pleasant to the touch in an environment that can reach 195F. In a sauna, the heater has a reservoir for the stones, and the bucket and ladle is used to sprinkle water on the stones when they’re good and hot, creating a bust of steam.


The heater is one of the most important parts of a sauna, which is why we trust Harvia, the Finnish sauna heater experts, to provide heaters for each of our rooms.

If you don’t put water on the stones, the sauna environment stays dry. If you do, the humidity caused by the steam makes it a wet environment. To keep it humid, periodically add a little more water from time to time as it dissipates. A traditional Finnish sauna bathing routine usually involves rotations of wet and dry with times to cool off in between.

It isn’t a complicated distinction, but it’s easy to lose track of the terminology if it’s something you’re new to.

If you’ve begun noticing the amazing benefits of regular traditional sauna use and want to learn more about indoor and outdoor home sauna options, we’d love to tell you more. Give us a call at 888.355.3050 or e-mail sales@almostheaven.com.


Each sauna we ship includes a wood bucket and ladle so you may enjoy your sauna in the authentic Finnish tradition.

Sauna Stones 50lbs

The 2×1 rule for sauna stones: if you use your sauna about twice a week, replace your stones once a year. Source: Harvia FAQs.

July 13, 2015 •