Gym Sauna Etiquette (What To Wear – Clothes, Shoes, & More!)

When using a private sauna, there are fewer rules to abide by. A public steam room, on the other hand, requires proper gym sauna etiquette.

Gym saunas will typically have posted rules for dress code as well as important rules and etiquette. Normally, you should wear something light and comfortable into a gym sauna which could be (clean) workout clothes, swimwear, or just loose cotton shorts and top.

So what else should you do to practice proper sauna etiquette? Read on.

A guide to gym sauna etiquette

There are many health benefits of using a sauna, which would explain why they are so popular today. Most of the saunas are communal, often used in family, group and public settings.

Therefore, common courtesy is necessary knowing that a number of people share a sauna. It also helps to take proper precautions from germs and bacteria while keeping the sauna clean for communal use.Typically, a public sauna will have rules to let you know what is acceptable.

However, just to avoid annoying your steam room neighbors, there are a few rules you should know.

Gym sauna Do’s

  • Dress right for the sauna. Proper attire includes towels and light clothing.
  • Carry extra towels to sit on and dry yourself.
  • Shower before you get into a sauna.
  • Get in and exit fast as you do not want to lose any heat in the room.
  • Do not eat before the sauna or in the sauna.
  • If you have long hair, tie it up into a knot for comfort. It also avoids shedding hairs for other people to find.
  • Stay aware of your space. Do not invade on your neighbors’ sitting areas and be courteous enough to move when another person joins in
  • Most sessions last about 20 minutes, but make your gym sauna time quick to allow others time to use it too.  Be aware of your appointments if you are using the space before or between services. Do not have the spa chasing you down for your appointment.
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06/29/2024 03:51 pm GMT

Gym Sauna Don’ts

  • Do not shave or groom yourself in a sauna.
  • Keep any conversation or noise at a bare minimum. This is a calm, quiet and relaxing room.
  • Do not carry any electronics either. They might not only annoy others in the sauna as you play games or music, but the heat and steam will also damage your electronics. If you must, keep the noise at a minimum and turn off the ringer volume on your phone.
  • Do not work out in the sauna. This is a place to sit and relax.
  • The sauna is not a dryer for wet or sweaty clothes.
  • As saunas are small and warm spaces, do not have any perfumes or scents in a steam room. What is pleasant to you could be annoying to your neighbor.
  • As fascinating as it may be, avoid throwing water or any other liquids on the rocks.

What to wear in a gym sauna

The rule is to keep it light and comfortable. The type of clothing is dependent on what the gym allows. Always check with the front desk to know what they allow in their steam room.

A towel will come in handy if you want to stay comfortable while enjoying the full benefits of a sauna.

If you are looking for a little extra sweat, you can also pick up specialty clothes like sauna suits, sweat suits, or other sweat-inducing clothing. Just be careful that you are staying safe and hydrated!

Sauna Suit for Weight Loss, Sweat, Gym Fitness, & Exercise Sauna Suit for Weight Loss, Sweat, Gym Fitness, & Exercise

Comfortable two-piece suit that locks in heat and causes the body to produce more sweat during physical activity or sauna sessions.

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06/29/2024 03:52 pm GMT

Do you wear shoes in a gym sauna?

Do not wear shoes in a sauna. You can opt for sandals or some flip flops to avoid walking barefoot when heading to your sauna, but take them off once you get inside.

Wearing shoes in a steam room not only looks ridiculous but also is impolite to the other people sharing the sauna with you.

What else can you bring into the gym sauna?

This is a sweet, relaxing and quiet time, which barely takes 20 minutes.

Avoid bringing anything with you except the handy towels for sitting on and drying off. Electronics are not fit for this space as they are both distracting and will get damaged by the steam. You do not want to be the cell phone scroller or talker in a sauna.

Should you use the sauna before or after a workout?

The best time to use a sauna is after a workout. A steamy session can help alleviate aches and pains caused by an intense workout. Loosen your muscles to prevent soreness by using the sauna after your workout.

As much as it might be convenient to dash out of the gym and into a sauna, be mindful of others and have a shower first. You will be more comfortable and your sauna neighbors will appreciate the clean environment.

Do you need to shower before the sauna?

Yes, you should. Take a hot or warm shower to be fresh in the sauna avoiding musky smells in a small space.

Imagine sitting on a bench on a small, hot room after a long day with a stranger who has not had a shower yet. Would you want that? If not, why would you want to be that stranger? Take a shower; proper sauna etiquette dictates this. This also opens up the skin pores and relaxes the muscles in the body.

Showering after the sauna is more obvious as most people do not enjoy being sticky and sweaty. Clean up with soap to remove any bacteria on your skin and use a moisturizer to hydrate your skin.


If you are in a public sauna, you should be mindful of how you use it for yourself and others using it with you. Keep your area clean and know what to wear for hygienic reasons and comfort.

The key in gym sauna etiquette is to be mindful of what other people’s experiences are to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time. Treat everyone in the room with respect and consideration just as you would want them to do for you.

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