How Hot do Saunas Get? (Infrared Vs. Traditional Saunas)

You might have heard about the numerous benefits of saunas, from relaxation to detoxification.

But have you ever wondered how hot saunas get?

In this article, we will explore the various temperatures that saunas can reach, the factors that influence these temperatures, and the benefits that come with using a sauna at different heat levels.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of saunas.

Types of Saunas

There are two main types of saunas that you might come across:

1. Traditional Finnish Saunas

A traditional Finnish sauna, also known as a dry sauna, uses a wood-burning or electric stove to heat up the room. The stove heats rocks, which then radiate the heat to the surrounding air. You can also pour water on the heated rocks to create steam, increasing humidity and the perceived heat.

How hot does traditional Finnish sauna get?

2. Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to emit infrared light, which the body absorbs as heat. Unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they directly warm your body, leading to a different kind of sauna experience.

How hot do infrared saunas get?

Temperature Range of Saunas

The temperature of a sauna can vary depending on the type:

1. Traditional Finnish Sauna Temperature

In a traditional Finnish sauna, the temperature typically ranges from 150°F (65°C) to 195°F (90°C), with an average temperature of 175°F (80°C). Some hardcore sauna enthusiasts may even push the temperature up to 212°F (100°C), but this is not recommended for most people.

2. Infrared Sauna Temperature

Infrared saunas have a lower temperature range than traditional Finnish saunas, typically between 110°F (43°C) and 140°F (60°C). This lower heat level allows users to stay in the sauna for longer periods, potentially enhancing the benefits of the sauna experience.

Factors Affecting Sauna Temperature

There are several factors that can influence the temperature inside a sauna:

1. Heating Source

The type of heating source used, such as a wood-burning stove, an electric heater, or infrared heaters, can impact the sauna’s temperature. Wood-burning stoves can produce higher temperatures compared to electric and infrared heaters.

2. Sauna Size

The size of the sauna plays a role in determining its temperature. Larger saunas may require more heat to maintain the desired temperature, while smaller saunas can heat up more quickly and retain heat more efficiently.

3. Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining a comfortable and safe sauna temperature. The exchange of fresh air helps regulate the temperature and prevents the air from becoming too stuffy or hot.

4. Material

The materials used to construct a sauna, such as wood, insulation, and rocks, can also affect the temperature. Different types of wood have varying heat retention properties, with denser woods typically retaining heat better. Insulation helps maintain a consistent temperature, while the type and quantity of rocks used in a traditional sauna can influence how much heat is stored and radiated.

Benefits of High Sauna Temperatures

Using a sauna at high temperatures comes with several potential health benefits:

1. Relaxation and Stress Relief

The heat in a sauna encourages the body to release endorphins, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. The warm environment also helps ease tense muscles, making the sauna an excellent place to unwind after a long day or a strenuous workout.

2. Detoxification

Sweating is a natural detoxification process, and the heat in a sauna encourages your body to sweat more than usual. This increased sweating can help remove toxins and impurities from the body, promoting overall health and well-being.

3. Cardiovascular Health

High sauna temperatures can help improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and promoting better blood circulation. Regular sauna use has been associated with a reduced risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

4. Pain Relief

The heat in a sauna can help alleviate pain by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to affected areas. This can be especially beneficial for those with arthritis, muscle pain, or injuries.

5. Skin Health

The increased sweating and improved blood circulation from sauna use can help cleanse and rejuvenate the skin, resulting in a healthier and more radiant complexion.

Safety Tips for Using a Sauna

While saunas offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to use them safely:

  1. Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body becomes accustomed to the heat.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after your sauna session.
  3. Listen to your body and leave the sauna if you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or uncomfortable.
  4. Pregnant women and individuals with certain health conditions should consult a doctor before using a sauna.


Saunas can reach various temperatures depending on their type and other factors. While higher temperatures offer several health benefits, it’s crucial to use saunas safely and responsibly. By understanding the factors that influence sauna temperature and following the safety tips outlined above, you can enjoy the numerous benefits that saunas have to offer.


1. How hot do traditional Finnish saunas get?

Traditional Finnish saunas typically reach temperatures between 150°F (65°C) and 195°F (90°C), with an average temperature of 175°F (80°C).

2. How hot do infrared saunas get?

Infrared saunas usually have lower temperatures, ranging from 110°F (43°C) to 140°F (60°C).

3. How long should I stay in a sauna?

Beginners should start with shorter sessions of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the duration as their body becomes accustomed to the heat. Most people can comfortably stay in a sauna for 15-30 minutes.

4. Can I use a sauna if I have a health condition?

If you have a health condition, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before using a sauna. Certain conditions, such as heart disease, may require special precautions or restrictions.

5. How often should I use a sauna for optimal benefits?

Using a sauna 3-4 times per week can provide optimal benefits, but the frequency can vary depending on your individual needs and preferences. Always listen to your body and adjust your sauna routine accordingly.

More From the Sauna Blog: 

Can I read a book in an infrared sauna? 
Does Saunas Use Burn Calories?
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Home Sauna?

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