Modern Medicine

What’s the difference between a steam room and a sauna?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. The big difference between steam rooms and saunas is that saunas use dry heat and steam rooms use moist heat. A steam room usually features temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) - anything hotter could scald you because of the moisture in the air. The dry heat of a sauna can reach temperatures up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius), where you can really sweat it out without being burned. The heat source of a sauna is a kiuas - a small stove that heats rocks. You can use a ladle and bucket to pour water on the rocks, introducing small amounts of hot vapor into the air. Sauna rocks are quarried, unweathered rocks that can reach high temperatures without exploding or cracking. They’re often peridotite, hornblende or basalt rocks. A traditional type of sauna is a wood-burning savusauna. It has a pile of rocks on an open fire and heats up a windowless, wooden room.

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