Best Oils for Steam Room (Which One Should You Use?)

Steam rooms and aromatherapy are a natural combination. What are the best essential oils to use during a session in the steam room?

The best oils for the steam room provide physical or mental benefits in addition to smelling nice. Lavender is the best choice if your goal is relaxation or stress reduction; birch is ideal post-workout because it can soothe inflammation or sore muscles. Other oils can boost your metabolism, detoxify your body, or even improve your mood.

Keep reading to learn more about which essential oils are best for use in the steam room, plus the best ways to put them into use.

Can I use essential oils in the steam room?

Essential oils are used in steam rooms to relieve anxiety, reduce depression, and enhance the environment with their fragrance. They are great for maintaining good health and improving your mental well-being.

Some of the most common reasons people use essential oils in steam rooms are because they:

  • Have a pleasing fragrance
  • Relieve anxiety
  • Reduce depression
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Detoxify your body
  • Improve your metabolism
  • Clean you
  • Improve your sleep
  • Lift your mood

Before adding essential oil to your steam, choose one that is safe to breathe in.

Have a pleasing fragrance

Some people add essential oils because of their fragrance.

Adding fragrance to your steam room can change the atmosphere and experience. Preference can determine the reason why people choose certain essential oils, given the specific fragrance may deter or entice a person to choose a certain oil.

Like perfume or cologne, essential oils can be a personal choice. If you’ll be in the steam room with others, be sure everyone agrees on a scent before putting it to work.

Relieve anxiety

Essential oils are great for relieving anxiety.

Lavender and sandalwood are good options for relieving anxiety because of their relaxing nature. Steam rooms are naturally relaxing, but options with extra anxiety relief can make your stress entirely disappear.

Check the qualities of your oil carefully – it can be jarring to plan a relaxing steam room session and realize you’re smelling energizing citrus!

Reduce depression

Using essential oils in your steam room is ideal for reducing depression.

Many essential oils, including lavender and citrus, have calming properties that help reduce depression. These calming properties can cleanse your mental state and uplift your negative attitudes. 

While oils can help reduce triggers for depression, they’re not a cure-all and should be used in conjunction with – not in place of – any other therapy or medications.

Reduce inflammation

Some scents are anti-inflammatories that relieve symptoms of swelling or joint inflammation.

The best anti-inflammatory essential oil scents include cinnamon, eucalyptus, citrus, and lemon oils.

Using these oils is good for decreasing skin inflammation, like acne.

Detoxify your body

Steaming essential oils can be wonderful for body detoxification.

Many essential oils have antiseptic options that are cleansing for your body.

One of the best essential oils for body detoxification is birch with a hint of mint.

Improve your metabolism

Some essential oils have been shown to boost your metabolism.

Oils like rosemary and peppermint can give you a boost of energy, which may be just what you need after an intense workout!

People claim that intense aromas give boosts of energy, so the metabolism works quicker.

Clean you

Specific essential oils will clean you while using them.

Lemon and birch oil have antiseptic properties that are important for maintaining a clean environment and body.

They promote good health and are an excellent way to kill physical bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Improve sleep

Essential oils are wonderful for improving sleep because of their relaxing properties.

Oils like lavender are known for relaxing the body and improving your sleep.

The more relaxed the body becomes, the more likely essential oils will promote better sleep and improve your sleep overall.

Lift your mood

Many people claim that using essential oils in your steam room is one of the best ways to lift your negative mood.

Essential oils like citrus and bergamot promote positive feelings because of their potent smell. These essential oils can make you feel positive because you are surrounded by positive energy.

How do you use essential oils in a steam room?

Now that you know how helpful essential oils and aromatherapy can be to your steam room session, how do you use them?

To use essential oils in the steam room, mix a few drops of the oil of your choice into the water. Pour the water over the hot rocks in your steam room as normal to emit steam as needed throughout your steaming session. The essential oils will activate with steam, filling the air with their aroma.

It also helps to place a towel over your head to trap essential oil steam around your head. Trapping the oils around your head will allow you to smell the oils more easily.

How much essential oil should I put in a steam room?

You only need a few drops of essential oil in your steam room.

The number of drops you need will depend on the potency of the oil you’re using. Start with just a few drops in the water and judge from there. You can always add more drops if the fragrance isn’t obvious enough.

The smell of essential oil will become very apparent once you begin steaming it in the water. Generally, the more water you steam in the room, the more essential oils you will smell.

You can also place essential oils in the water bucket and leave them there without pouring them onto the rocks. The water will evaporate on its own.

What kind of oils do you use for a steam room?

Use essential oils in your steam room for different body and health effects. Try using different types of oils to find which one you like the best. They each have qualities and aromas that make them unique.

The best oils for use in the steam room include:

  • Bergamot
  • Birch
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense 
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Tea Tree

Keep reading to learn more about each of these oils and why you should use them during your steam room session.


Bergamot is a citric oil that is extracted from the rind of a specific type of orange. It gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor.

Many essential oil users link the fruity and floral bergamot oil with reducing anxiety.

This calming oil can be steamed in your steam room at any time of the day since it will not make you drowsy.


Birch oil is a popular essential oil for steam rooms because of its pain-reducing effects.

The woodsy essential oil is good for when you have headaches. Additionally, the anti-bacterial effects make this essential oil great for treating respiratory and skin issues.


Cinnamon essential oils smell very much like the spice of the same name.

Cinnamon oil is a healthy essential oil with a sweet and sharp fragrance that is known to improve mood and enhance metabolism.

People also use cinnamon essential oils to decongest when they get sick with colds and cases of flu.


Cedarwood oil is a woodsy scent with a sedative effect that people claim can help with sleep and anxiety.

Using cedarwood oil in your steam room can provide antioxidant and antibacterial effects. It is also a very popular insect repellant, so it can help with itching and keeping insects away.


Citrus is a strong-smelling essential oil that cleanses and gives you a boost of energy. Citrus essential oil is therapeutic for the body and good for starting your day.

People with anxiety may be able to use citrus essential oils to calm their nerves.


Eucalyptus essential oil has a natural forest scent which is similar to rosemary with a hint of citrus and mint.

Eucalyptus is a calming essential oil, which makes it a great choice for relieving stress and improving health in your steam room.

Using eucalyptus oil soothes congestion and respiratory conditions because of its naturally antibacterial qualities.


Frankincense is a woodsy essential oil that is good for improving the immune system, balancing hormones, and improving digestion.

Steaming the essential oil has sedative effects that promote relaxation.


The best essential oil for relieving anxiety and depression is usually lavender.

Use the essential oil in your steam room before bed to reduce stress, improve your daily brain function, and get better sleep.

The flowery smell is powerful and can make you sleepy, so don’t use it if you prefer your steam time in the morning or mid-day.


Using lemon oil in your steam room is one of the best ways to enhance your concentration.

This energy-boosting essential oil is perfect for the start of your day, but it is also great for skin maintenance and hygiene.

Steaming lemon oil is a hygienic treatment.


Peppermint is a sweet-smelling oil that is very gentle despite its sharp smell in its natural state.

Using peppermint oil in steam rooms gives antispasmodic properties to calm the muscles and reduce nausea.

The essential oils have calming properties that help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.


Pine oil is a refreshing scent that smells like a sweet forest, known for medicinal purposes.

Many people claim that using pine essential oils in steam rooms relieves headaches, reduces joint pain, and treats acne. Additionally, many people claim that it improves mood.


Rosemary smells like the outdoors, primarily flowers so many people who prioritize smell choose this oil.

Rosemary oil is a detoxifying oil with antiseptic properties.

You should avoid using rosemary oil if you are pregnant or have epilepsy since this can cause further issues.


Sandalwood oil calms the body, making it great for relaxing, like meditation. It provides similar, calming effects to lavender without getting you tired.

Sandalwood smells like a mixture of deep woods and sweet floral scents. It is a great option for people who want an outdoorsy scent. 

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is a gentle outdoorsy scent that smells similar to pine oil, with a gentler twist.

Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that can boost the immune system.

It is popular for treating many respiratory and skin conditions, like the flu, common colds, acne, or dandruff.

What is the best oil to use in a steam room?

Your choice for which oil to use in the steam room will vary based on your specific situation, needs, and fragrance preferences.

Overall, eucalyptus is the best essential oil for steam rooms because of its health and body benefits. It is a highly refreshing essential oil that is known to treat sore muscles, soothe respiratory problems, and improve dry skin. It will also help keep your sauna clean because of its antimicrobial properties. 

It is very similar to lavender, which is a relaxing oil that reduces anxiety and depression. Steaming lavender makes you feel drowsy. However, eucalyptus does not make you feel tired, which makes it the best oil to use in a steam room.

What is the most common oil to use in a steam room?

It may not be surprising to learn that the best oil to use in the steam room is also the most popular.

Eucalyptus is the most common oil used in a steam room.

It is a refreshing oil that promotes good health and stress relief. The essential oil combats health issues and gives bursts of energy, making it good for any time of the day.