When considering different types of saunas, the primary factor to focus on is the type of heat involved.
There are various sauna constructions, designs, materials, and other elements to choose from, but determining the desired heat type is crucial.
While both dry and steam heat saunas heat up the air surrounding you to a certain level, full spectrum infrared saunas adopt a different approach. Infrared heat is produced by light, which means infrared saunas feature heating panels that directly heat your body. The maximum temperatures of infrared saunas are typically lower because excessive direct heat, such as 195 degrees Fahrenheit, is not desirable.
Far infrared saunas take it a step further by directly heating the body, enabling the heat to penetrate deeper into the skin. Consequently, far infrared saunas offer a more soothing warmth akin to sunlight rather than the direct heat sensation provided by regular infrared saunas.
Dry heat saunas entail heat without moisture. The most common dry heat sauna utilizes an electric heater, although traditional options include wood fire ovens or natural gas heaters.
Additionally, dry saunas often come with hot rocks that can be placed on or around the heater. By pouring water over these rocks, one can generate steam if they wish to switch between dry and steam heat.
For those specifically seeking steam saunas, it is not mandatory to have hot rocks and manually pour water. Although that remains a choice, there are saunas available with built-in automatic steamers within the heater.
Steam heat functions by pouring liquid over a hot heater or releasing it from a pressurized system to create steam. The sealed space of the sauna allows the steam to accumulate, resulting in bathing with moist heat instead of dry heat.