how to use sauna

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use a Sauna Effectively and Safely

In this article, you’ll learn each stage of how to use sauna effectively. Here’s a step-by-step sauna instruction to help ensure that you’ll be safe before, during, and after using a sauna. This way, you can enjoy your sauna and its benefits.
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Saunas offer a lot of amazing health benefits when properly used. They are a great way to relax and relieve stress and pain. However, if you’re new to saunas, proper and safe use of one isn’t difficult but can be daunting. Knowing where to start would be extremely helpful. 

That’s why, in this article, you’ll learn each stage of how to use sauna effectively. Here’s a step-by-step sauna instruction to help ensure that you’ll be safe before, during, and after using a sauna. This way, you can enjoy your sauna and its benefits.


How to Use a Sauna: Pre-Entry Preparations

How to Use a Sauna Pre-Entry Preparations

There are important safety rules and precautions you need to follow before you start your sauna session: 

1. Check Your Current Health Condition

Saunas are generally safe for most users, but to ensure your safety, it’s best to take extra precautions. Before taking a sauna bath, ensure you’re in good health. Always ask your doctor for advice if you have any high-risk medical conditions or are taking medications. 

While some illnesses, like a cold, might improve with a short sauna session, others may worsen. Reconsider using a sauna if you fall under any of these conditions: 

  • You’re feeling sick, having cramps, or if you faint easily. 
  • You have high-risk medical conditions like liver failure, kidney disease, or other cardiac conditions. 
  • You’re taking medications that cause you not to sweat or to overheat quickly. 
  • You experience abnormal heartbeats, have poor blood pressure, advanced heart failure, or severe aortic stenosis.
  • You’re pregnant or trying to conceive. Saunas can affect the developing fetus or reduce sperm count.

    If you’re not experiencing serious health issues, you’re good to go! 

    2. Drink Water

    A sauna session will cause your body to sweat and shed water, which can cause dehydration if you don’t have enough water inside your body. Hence, you must practice a mandatory hydration session before using your sauna. 

    Drink two to four glasses of water a few hours before entering the sauna. This will help your pores open up and help you sweat properly without the risk of dehydration. You can also drink light tea or fresh juice, but make sure to avoid drinking the following: 

    • Alcohol
    • Carbonated beverages
    • Alcohol

    3. Take a Shower and Dry Off

    Take a quick, warm shower before entering the sauna. Rinsing your body with clean water can help remove any lingering scents and oils in your skin. Perfumes and smells can become more intense inside the humid sauna.

    Furthermore, taking a shower also helps you rinse away and remove any remaining dirt from your body. This helps clean and open your pores, allowing you to sweat properly during the sauna session. You can use a mild loofah or exfoliator as well. 

    After the shower, make sure to dry off your body completely.

    4. Make Sure to Take Off Everything

    Take off your clothes and jewelry. Once you’ve dried off after your quick shower, you can wear minimal clothing, or none at all, before entering the sauna. Just make sure to avoid wearing tight clothes as your skin also needs to breathe. 

    Jewelry is also a no during sauna sessions because they’re highly reactive with high heat. Remember, metal heats up fast in saunas, and you can get painful burns. This includes everything from rings to earrings and necklaces. 

    What you should wear or bring instead are two clean towels: one for you to sit on and one to wipe your sweat with after the session.


    How to Use Sauna Safely While Inside

    How to Use Sauna Safely

    After you’ve made the proper preparations, here are the most essential steps and tips to follow during your sauna session

    1. Start With a Short Session

    If it’s your first time using a sauna, keep your first session short. First-timers might find the heat too harsh and uncomfortable. Here are what you need to do as a beginner instead: 

    • Stay for a maximum of 10-12 minutes only. 
    • Take cool-off breaks after every session before going back inside. 
    • Read the instructions for the sauna that you’re using. 

    Once you feel more comfortable with the heat, you can increase the duration of your sauna sessions. Most users limit their sessions from 15 to 20 minutes. But if you’re comfortable, you can stay longer. Just remember never to exceed 30 minutes!

    2. Sit On Your Towel

    Once inside, place the towel on the bench before sitting down. The bench can become too hot because of the heat, and the towel can protect you from hurting yourself. Moreover, the sweat from our body can stain the wood of the benches, and using a towel can prevent it. 

    3. Start With the Lower Bench

    The higher the bench is placed inside the sauna, the higher the temperature you’ll feel once seated. Whether a first-timer or not, it’s recommended that you sit first on the lower bench. The temperature is lower there. As your body gets accustomed to the temperature, you can move to the higher bench for a hotter experience. 

    4. Relax and Repeat

    You can sit or lie still inside the sauna. Try to breathe normally or deeply and clear your mind of what stresses you. If you’re with someone inside, you can also talk to them. This helps in unwinding and bonding with family or friends. 

    During the intervals or between sessions, rest outside and drink water if you feel thirsty. This will help bring down your temperature slowly and replenish your body. You can go back inside for a second session after this. 


    What to Do After Using the Sauna

    What to Do After Using the Sauna

    If you’re sure you’re done with the sauna, here’s what you need to do: 

    1. Cool Off

    The body temperature rises during the sauna sessions. That’s why, after every session, you must restore it to normal. The main objective of this cool-off period is to bring down your body temperature. Here are a few options you can try: 

    • Take a warm, then cold shower to bring down your body temperature slowly. 
    • Plunge into a cold pool or shower to stimulate your body. 

    Depending on your health condition, you can choose either of two. But if you have heart problems, the cold options might send your body into shock, so taking a warm shower might be better. 

    2. Wear Breathable Clothes

    After you’ve showered, wear loose, comfortable clothing to allow your skin to breathe. Tight or fit clothes might be too uncomfortable after a sauna since you could sweat more. 

    3. Rest and Replenish

    Find a cool place where you can sit still or lay down. You should rest for at least 10 minutes before doing another activity. This will give your body and heart rate to recuperate. While doing so, drink more water and have a snack. 

    The water is rehydrating yourself since your body loses much water when sweating. You can drink two to four glasses of water again, or you can also go for an electrolyte-heavy drink. For the snack, go for salty snacks like crackers and pretzels. These will help you restore the sodium you lost in the sauna. 



    Knowing how to use a sauna the right way allows you to enjoy the sauna and its benefits to the fullest. Moreover, by being able to use it safely and efficiently, you’re protecting yourself from any harm that may come with the high temperatures. Remember, the most important thing is to know and listen to your body before, during, and after using the sauna. 

    If you want to look at some saunas you can add to your home, you can check out our home sauna collection. We have indoor and outdoor saunas and accessories to help you get the best sauna experience!