What to Bring to a Sauna: A Quick Guide

What to Bring to a Sauna

Going to a sauna is a great way to relax and unwind. But before you go to sauna, it’s important to know what to bring with you. Bringing the right items can help enhance your experience and make your time in the sauna more enjoyable. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about what to bring to a sauna.

Saunas have been around for centuries and are known for their many health benefits. They are a great way to detoxify your body, improve circulation, and relieve stress. But to get the most out of your sauna experience, it’s important to be prepared. From towels and water bottles to sauna hats and essential oils, we’ll cover all the essentials you need to bring with you. So, let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Bringing the right items to a sauna can enhance your experience and make it more enjoyable.
  • Essential items to bring include towels, water bottles, sauna hats, and essential oils.
  • It’s important to be prepared and know what to bring before going to a sauna.

Understanding Saunas

If you’re planning to visit a sauna for the first time, it’s important to understand what it is and how it works. A sauna is a small room or building that is designed to be heated to high temperatures, typically between 160°F and 200°F. The heat is generated by a stove or heater, which heats rocks that are then used to create steam.

There are different types of saunas, each with its own unique features. Traditional saunas, also known as Finnish saunas, use a stove or heater to heat the room and rocks. The rocks are then sprinkled with water to create steam. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use infrared heaters to heat the body directly, rather than heating the air around it. Turkish saunas, also known as steam rooms, are similar to traditional saunas but have a higher humidity level.

When visiting a sauna, it’s important to bring a few essential items with you. A towel is a must-have, as you’ll need it to sit on and to wipe away sweat. You may also want to bring a second towel to wrap around your body when leaving the sauna. It’s also a good idea to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated, as the high temperatures can cause dehydration.

Some saunas may provide additional amenities, such as robes or slippers, but it’s always a good idea to check beforehand. Additionally, it’s important to follow proper sauna etiquette, such as not talking too loudly and not staying in the sauna for too long. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your sauna experience.

What to Wear

When going to a sauna, it’s important to wear appropriate attire that is comfortable and allows your skin to breathe. Here are some tips on what to wear in a sauna.

Appropriate Attire

Saunas are typically enjoyed in the nude, but if you’re uncomfortable with nudity, wearing a bathing suit or wrapping yourself in a towel is acceptable. Just make sure your attire is clean and comfortable. Avoid anything constrictive, like tight underwear or jewelry, as these items can interfere with your body’s natural sweat process.

It’s also important to be aware of the dress code at the sauna you’re visiting. Some saunas may require specific clothing or have guidelines on what is appropriate to wear. Check with the sauna beforehand to avoid any confusion.

When choosing clothing, opt for loose-fitting garments made of natural fibers like cotton or linen. These fabrics allow air to circulate and help your skin breathe. Avoid synthetic materials, as they can trap sweat and moisture against your skin, making you feel uncomfortable.

Footwear Choices

When it comes to footwear, flip flops or sandals are a good choice for the sauna. They’re easy to slip on and off, and they provide a barrier between your feet and the sauna’s hot surfaces. Just make sure they’re made of a material that can withstand high temperatures.

Alternatively, you can go barefoot in the sauna. This can be more comfortable and allow your feet to sweat and breathe. However, be aware that some saunas may require footwear for hygiene reasons. Again, check with the sauna beforehand to avoid any confusion.

In summary, choose clothing that is loose-fitting and made of natural fibers, and opt for flip flops or sandals for footwear. And remember, the most important thing is to be comfortable and relaxed in the sauna.

Pre-Sauna Preparation

Before heading to the sauna, it’s important to prepare yourself for the experience. This includes taking care of your body’s hydration needs, considering what food and drink to bring, and being aware of any medical conditions that may affect your sauna experience.


It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after your sauna session. Bring a water bottle with you and drink plenty of water before entering the sauna. According to Sauna Spheres, drinking water before a sauna session can help prevent dehydration and regulate your body temperature during the session. Additionally, drinking water after your sauna session can help replenish fluids lost through sweating.

Food and Drink

It’s generally recommended to avoid eating a heavy meal before entering the sauna. However, bringing a light snack or drink may be beneficial during your sauna session. According to Thermory USA, bringing a small snack like a piece of fruit or a granola bar can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent dizziness or lightheadedness during your session. Avoid bringing alcohol, as it can dehydrate the body and increase the risk of heat exhaustion.

Medical Considerations

If you have any medical conditions, it’s important to consult with your doctor before entering the sauna. Those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or unstable angina may need to avoid the sauna altogether. According to Sauna Helper, those with medical conditions should consult with their doctor to determine if the sauna is safe for them. Additionally, if you feel unwell during your sauna session, it’s important to exit the sauna and seek medical attention if necessary.

Sauna Etiquette

When it comes to using public saunas, there are certain rules of etiquette that you should follow to ensure everyone has a pleasant and comfortable experience. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Shower Before Entering

Before entering the sauna, it is important to take a shower to remove any oils, lotions, or perfumes from your skin. This helps to keep the sauna clean and prevents any unwanted smells. Also, bring a towel to sit on to prevent sweating directly onto the benches.

Conduct Inside the Sauna

When inside the sauna, be mindful of the temperature and avoid disruptive behavior. Refrain from talking loudly or making excessive noise. It is also important to respect personal space and avoid touching others without their permission.

Community Interactions

When using a public sauna, it is important to be respectful of others and their personal space. Avoid staring at others and do not engage in any inappropriate behavior. If you do want to engage in conversation, keep it quiet and respectful.

In summary, following proper sauna etiquette ensures that everyone can enjoy the experience comfortably. Remember to shower before entering, be mindful of your conduct inside the sauna, and respect the community interactions.

Sauna Accessories

When heading to the sauna, there are a few essential accessories you should bring along to make your experience more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some items you should consider packing:

Towels and Robes

Towels and robes are essential items to bring to the sauna. You’ll need a towel to sit on and a larger towel to dry off with after your session. A robe is also a great item to bring to the sauna, especially if you plan on using the sauna in a public setting. A robe will keep you covered and comfortable when moving between the sauna and other areas.

Personal Items

When it comes to personal items, less is more. You don’t want to bring anything that could be damaged by the heat or that will distract you from your relaxation. Here are a few items you may want to bring:

  • Water: It’s important to stay hydrated while in the sauna, so be sure to bring a water bottle with you.
  • Essential Oils: Adding a few drops of essential oils to the water you pour over the rocks can enhance your sauna experience. Just be sure to check with the sauna facility first to make sure it’s allowed.
  • Fragrance: If you prefer a scent other than essential oils, you can bring a fragrance spray or sachet to add to the air.
  • Loofah: A loofah is a great item to bring to the sauna to help exfoliate your skin. Just be sure to rinse it thoroughly before leaving the sauna.

Overall, packing these essential accessories will help you make the most of your sauna experience.

Health and Safety

Monitoring Your Body

When using a sauna, it’s important to monitor your body to ensure that you are not pushing yourself too hard. Saunas can be very beneficial for your health, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Dehydration is a common issue, so make sure you drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, it’s important to leave the sauna immediately. Take a break and cool down before returning. It’s also important to monitor your blood pressure, especially if you have high or low blood pressure. If you start to feel uncomfortable or experience any pain, it’s best to leave the sauna and consult with a medical professional.

Post-Sauna Care

After your sauna session, it’s important to take care of your body. Rest and recovery are essential, so make sure to take a break and relax. Cooling down is also important, so consider taking a cold plunge or a cool shower to help regulate your body temperature. It’s important to avoid alcohol and other substances that can impair your judgment or affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature. Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to replenish your body’s fluids.

Saunas can be a great way to improve your health and well-being, but it’s important to use them safely. By monitoring your body and taking care of yourself after your sauna session, you can enjoy the many benefits of sauna use without putting yourself at risk.

Enhancing Your Sauna Experience

If you’re looking to take your sauna experience to the next level, there are a few things you can bring with you to enhance your relaxation and rejuvenation. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your sauna session:

Using Aromatherapy

Adding some essential oils to your sauna session can help you relax and unwind. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a bowl of water and place it on the sauna rocks to release the scent. Some popular essential oils for the sauna include eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint. Make sure to use high-quality, pure essential oils, and avoid using too much, as the scent can become overwhelming in a small space.

Sauna Techniques

To get the most out of your sauna session, try incorporating some stretching or vihta (birch twig) techniques. Stretching can help loosen up your muscles and improve circulation, while vihta can be used to gently massage your skin and improve blood flow. You can also experiment with different sauna routines, such as alternating between hot and cold sessions or using different levels of humidity.

Remember to always stay hydrated and take breaks as needed during your sauna session. Good ventilation is also important to ensure that you’re breathing in fresh air and not overheating. Finally, make sure to bring a towel or two to sit on and dry off with after your session.

By following these tips and bringing a few key items with you, you can enhance your sauna experience and leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Considerations for Different Sauna Types

When it comes to what to bring to a sauna, there are some considerations that depend on the type of sauna you will be visiting. Here are some things to keep in mind for different sauna types:

Steam Rooms vs. Dry Saunas

Steam rooms and dry saunas are two popular types of saunas, and they require different considerations when it comes to what to bring. In a steam room, you will be exposed to high levels of humidity, which means you will sweat more and need to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and consider wearing a swimsuit that won’t absorb too much moisture.

In a dry sauna, you will be exposed to high levels of heat, but low humidity. This means you won’t sweat as much, but you will still need to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and a towel to sit on. You may also want to bring a small towel to wipe sweat from your face.

Infrared Saunas Specifics

Infrared saunas use infrared heat to warm your body, rather than traditional heating methods. This means you will sweat less, but still need to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and a towel to sit on. You may also want to bring a small towel to wipe sweat from your face.

Infrared saunas are often found in public saunas, so be sure to check the rules and regulations before you go. Some public saunas may have specific requirements for what to wear, while others may require you to bring your own towels or other supplies.

Overall, no matter what type of sauna you visit, it’s important to stay hydrated and bring a towel to sit on. Consider wearing lightweight, breathable clothing and leaving jewelry at home to avoid discomfort in the heat.

Post-Sauna Practices

After a relaxing and detoxifying sauna session, it’s important to practice proper post-sauna hygiene and cleanliness. Taking a quick shower or rinsing off with cool water will help remove sweat and toxins from your skin. It’s also important to bring a clean towel to dry off with and to wipe down any surfaces you may have touched in the sauna.

Hygiene and Cleanliness

In addition to showering, it’s important to practice good hygiene by wearing clean clothes and using clean towels. This will help prevent any bacteria or germs from spreading and keep you feeling fresh and clean after your sauna session.

Relaxation and Cooling Down

After your sauna session, it’s important to allow your body to cool down gradually. This can be done by taking a walk outside or sitting in a cool room for a few minutes. You can also engage in relaxation activities such as deep breathing exercises or stretching to help your body transition from the intense heat of the sauna to your regular activities.

It’s important to note that the sauna temperature can range from 150-195°F (65-90°C), so it’s important to take it slow and listen to your body. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, it’s important to cool down and hydrate before continuing your sauna session.

Overall, practicing good post-sauna hygiene and relaxation practices can help improve skin health, aid in detoxification, and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

What Not to Bring

Prohibited Items

When heading to a sauna, there are a few things you should leave behind. Here are some prohibited items:

  • Alcohol: Although it may be tempting to bring a cold beer or glass of wine into the sauna, it’s not a good idea. Alcohol can cause dehydration and increase the risk of heat stroke. It’s best to stick to water or herbal tea to stay hydrated.
  • Electronic Devices: It’s best to leave your phone, tablet, or any other electronic device outside the sauna. Not only can they be damaged by the heat and humidity, but they can also be a distraction to other sauna-goers. The sauna is a place to relax and unwind, so it’s best to disconnect and enjoy the experience.
  • Lotions and Oils: While it’s important to stay hydrated, it’s best to avoid using lotions or oils in the sauna. These products can clog your pores and prevent sweating, which is your body’s way of regulating its temperature. Stick to drinking water to stay hydrated.
  • Food: Eating in the sauna is strictly prohibited. Not only is it unsanitary, but it can also cause nausea and dizziness due to the heat. It’s best to eat a light meal before heading to the sauna and wait at least 30 minutes after your session to eat again.
  • Sauna Heater: It’s important to remember that the sauna heater is not a storage space. Don’t place anything on top of the heater, including towels or clothing. This can be a fire hazard and can damage the heater.

By leaving these items behind, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best attire for a woman in a sauna?

The best attire for a woman in a sauna is a towel or a robe. If you prefer to wear clothing, choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, linen, or bamboo. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester or spandex which can trap sweat and heat.

Can you list the top benefits of using a sauna?

Using a sauna has many health benefits, including:

  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Detoxification
  • Pain relief
  • Improved skin health
  • Better sleep

What are the essentials to bring for a gym sauna session?

The essentials to bring for a gym sauna session are a towel, a water bottle, and a change of clothes. You may also want to bring a book or magazine to read while you relax in the sauna.

What’s the sauna dress code at the YMCA?

The sauna dress code at the YMCA is typically a towel or a swimsuit. However, it’s best to check with your local YMCA for their specific dress code policies.

Is there specific clothing to help with weight loss in a sauna?

There is no specific clothing that will help with weight loss in a sauna. In fact, wearing heavy clothing or plastic wraps can be dangerous and increase the risk of dehydration and overheating. It’s best to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing or a towel.

What should I avoid bringing into a sauna?

You should avoid bringing electronic devices, jewelry, and anything made of metal into a sauna. These items can get hot and burn your skin. You should also avoid bringing food or drinks into a sauna, as they can spill and create a mess.

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