How Often and for How Long Should You Use a Steam Room (Wet Sauna)

Steam saunas provide copious amounts of physical and mental benefits when used properly but can be detrimental when used incorrectly. Finding the perfect recipe for how often and how long you should use a steam room (or wet sauna) is key.

You should go to a steam room 3 times per week and stay inside for 15 minutes/ session to reap benefits like reduced stress, tangible fat loss, and enhanced skin health. If you’re a novice, start with 5 minute-sessions and never exceed 20 minutes due to the risk of fainting, dehydration, and more serious health issues. 

Continue reading to discover how often and for how long you should use a steam room, if using one can help you detox, and about other potential benefits of a regular schedule!

How long should you use a steam room (session time)?

Steam rooms can get, well, steamy. The amount of time you spend inside a steam sauna will ultimately determine whether or not you experience the advantages it has to offer.

As stated in the Indian Journal of Medical Biochemistry, you should spend roughly 15 minutes inside a 112°F steam sauna. Other research suggests that you should never exceed 20 minutes/session. Always start on the lower end of the spectrum if you’re a new sauna-bather. 

This formula will allow your body to gradually get used to the change in temperature and humidity while preventing any accidents, like fainting or dehydration.

Just be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your steam sauna session to stay hydrated!

The best steam room session time for beginners

If you’re a newbie when it comes to using steam saunas, err on the side of caution.

No matter what type of sauna you’re using, steam rooms included, it’s best to start with 5-minute sessions as a beginner. Anything longer can pose a risk for acute renal failure due to dehydration.

Dr. Vigil, M.D., a team physician out of UCLA, mentions that heat and moisture from steam rooms cause your blood vessels to dilate. If you don’t have enough blood pressure or volume to fill the space, that’s when problems arise, and heatstroke can occur.

This is especially true if you’re already a little dehydrated, let’s say from a workout, prior to entering the steam room. A situation like this highlights the importance of drinking enough water.

The best steam room session time after exercise

For years now, experts have preached the benefits a steam room session can provide after hitting the gym. What’s the best way to incorporate a steam room into your fitness routine?

It is recommended to wait at least 10 minutes before going into a steam room after a workout. Then, spend 10 minutes inside. This allows for your body to cool down and recover after pushing the limits of your muscular and respiratory systems.

A 2013 study out of the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research showed that moist heat, right after a fitness routine, improved exercise-induced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Additionally, wet heat was more impactful at penetrating deep tissue layers and reducing pain than dry heat, with 75% less exposure time.

These findings indicate that using a steam sauna post-workout correctly can dramatically enhance recovery time.

Maximum steam room session time

If you’re a pro, what’s the greatest amount of time you should spend in a steam sauna?

The maximum recommended time you should spend in a steam room is 20 minutes. Although, if you start to feel unwell, get out before the 20-minute mark.

In a 2009 freak accident, three people died during a sweat lodge ceremony in Arizona after spending more than two hours inside a sauna. Never try to push your limits too far in order to achieve unrealistic results.

Furthermore, a 2006 study mentions that while steam rooms can provide many advantages to the user, excessive sauna bathing poses a particular threat to those on antihypertensive medication. Reckless use predisposes these people to orthostatic hypotension after a session.

How long should a steam room session be to get all the benefits?

Now that we know the maximum minutes you can safely spend inside a steam sauna, what’s the ideal amount of time to experience the pros of wet heat?

The minimum threshold for benefiting from a steam room is 10 minutes. At that point, your body will begin to sweat, releasing harmful toxins and speeding up your metabolism in order to self-regulate. 

Other recorded improved health outcomes include better sleep, enhanced skin health, and less joint stiffness.

How long should you sit in a steam room to lose weight?

While most of the lbs. lost directly after using a steam room are attributed to water weight, there are some long-term weight loss benefits a steam room can provide. What’s the recipe for this?

You should sit in a steam room for about 15 minutes in order to see weight loss results. Spending this amount of time inside will trick your body into thinking your workout is extended and burn about 50% more calories than you would normally at rest. 

The average amount of calories burned during a steam sauna visit of 15 minutes is around 25 calories. It’s important to note that a person’s age (metabolism speed), genetics, gender, and weight will play a huge role in this.

A 2018 study featured the impact of 15-minute steam room sessions on weight loss and lipid profile. Researchers found that after seven sessions in a steam room, at 122 °F, the 90 study participants showed lowered total serum cholesterol (TC), serum triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and an overall reduction in weight.

How long should you sit in a steam room to detox?

The data regarding if a steam room helps you detox is a bit foggy, although we can provide some general recommendations.

Spend at least 10 minutes inside a steam room to allow the detox of harmful chemicals from your bloodstream. During this time, your sebaceous glands will be activated, and your body is able to get rid of hormone-disrupting toxins like Bisphenol-A. 

While wet heat is able to penetrate tissues more efficiently, it takes a little longer to induce sweating compared to the 8 minutes of a dry sauna. The moisture in the air acts as somewhat of a cooling mechanism for your skin.

How often should you use a steam room?

We’ve touched on the ideal steam room session time for added health benefits, but what about the number of times required per week?

You should use a steam room around 3 times per week to achieve the best results while also limiting your chance for potential risks. 

Consistency is key with any regimen, although you want to keep your body guessing to avoid plateauing. Talk to your doctor first so he/she can give you the perfect schedule to meet your medical needs!

How often do you need to steam to get the benefits?

How regularly should you visit a steam sauna to positively impact your body and health? Is there a magic number?

In order to see and feel real results, you should steam for 3 times per week. Once or twice isn’t frequent enough to elicit a stress response and improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. 

It’s best to go on different days each week so that your body has to adapt to change each time. After a while, our physiological systems are able to recognize a routine and regulate.

How often should you use a steam room for weight loss?

What’s the best regimen for weight loss?

To lose weight, visit the steam room 3 times per week. Anything less won’t be enough to boost your metabolism, while anything more may lead to stagnancy in efforts. 

As was mentioned above, using a steam sauna can burn up to 50% more calories than while you’re resting. A study from the Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine found that combining sauna exposure with regular exercise and healthy eating habits can help athletes cut weight rapidly.

Can you use the steam room every day?

Is it a good idea to use the steam room every day?

While you can use the steam room every day, it’s not the best practice for reaping benefits. Steams can be harmful if you overuse them, so stick to every other day if you prefer more frequent visits. 

Detrimental effects like dehydration, airway irritation, and fainting can occur.

Potential benefits of using a steam room regularly

We’ve gathered some of the most important advantages of using a steam room consistently.

The biggest potential benefits of a regular sauna schedule are:

  • Faster muscle recovery
  • Enhanced skin health 
  • Reduced stress 
  • Tangible fat loss
  • Better cardiovascular circulation

Let’s get more specific below!

Faster Muscle Recovery

Steam saunas have a special way of speeding up muscle recovery, whether it’s needed after going to the gym or due to an injury.

Moist heat, during or after stretching, has the ability to penetrate skin layers more deeply and enhance the elongation of mature connective tissue by 25%. Additionally, vasodilation occurs, and increased blood flow speeds up the delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and metabolites to the injured site.

As a result, steam saunas will allow you to get deeper into your stretches and help your muscles heal the tiny tears that occur as a result of working out.

Enhanced Skin Health

Aging gracefully has become one of the most sought-after ideas of the last decade. Can a steam room assist in this pursuit?

The added moisture of a steam room is able to open the pores on our face and expel dirt and grime trapped beneath the epidermis. This helps to reduce the appearance of enlarged blackheads.

In order to make this process beneficial, it’s important to go inside a steam room with a clean, freshly washed, and product-free face. Immediately afterward, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and apply clean beauty products specific to your skin’s needs.

A steam room can even help your skincare products absorb better!

Reduced Stress

The best part of a steam room is the way it makes you feel- that instant relaxation sensation isn’t all in your head (or is it?).

Attending regularly scheduled visits to the steam room stimulates the release of endorphins and reduces cortisol production. While sauna exposure elicits an immediate stress response, the long-term effects actually result in reduced tension. 

Stress is a catalyst for so many health problems. Eliminating it can improve your skin, regulate your hormones, and help you achieve fitness goals.

Tangible Fat Loss

We touched on this briefly above. Tangible fat loss is a big, long-term benefit of using a steam room as advised.

Steam saunas help people lose weight by burning calories after your workout is complete and speeding up your resting metabolism.

Adding steam room visits to your self-care plan can make all the difference in seeing results.

Better Cardiovascular Circulation

Heat expands, and this is great for circulation.

Visiting the steam room on a schedule can improve cardiovascular circulation by dilating your blood vessels and increasing blood flow. According to Mayo Clinic, it also has the ability to reduce arterial stiffness.

This makes for a healthier heart and a happier you!

There’s no doubt that visiting a steam sauna can dramatically improve your mental and physical health, as well as your appearance.

How often and for how long you should use the steam room will ultimately depend on your specific health conditions, though the general recommendation is for 15 minutes at a time, 3x per week.