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The Truth About Steam Baths: Can They Help You Battle a Cold?

The Truth About Steam Baths: Can They Help You Battle a Cold?

People have been enjoying steam baths and saunas for centuries. Both offer numerous benefits to your general health and well-being, including relaxation, stress relief, and improved circulation. But which is more effective at helping you get over a nasty cold?

Does the answer depend on whether you’re using a sauna or a steam bath? Luckily, both saunas and steam baths offer many of the same benefits. However, some distinctions between the two could help you decide which one is right for your home spa.

Saunas tend to be hotter than steam baths but also dryer (since they don’t involve water). Additionally, since most saunas do not use actual steam—rather some type of heat source like an electric panel—they may not offer as many secondary benefits as a traditional Finnish style.

Can using a steam bath help you get over a cold?

A steam bath, similar to a sauna, should help you feel better and more relaxed after a nasty cold. However, there is one very important distinction: steam baths use actual steam that is warm but not scalding. This is particularly important if you have young children who might use the steam bath with you.

While saunas typically involve temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or more, steam baths usually involve temperatures of just 100 to 120 degrees. For this reason, steam baths may be a better choice if you are sick and fighting a cold.

That said, it’s still important to do your research when selecting a steam bath. Be sure to look for units that have safety features like auto-shutoff, as well as lots of room between the water and the ceiling. This will help prevent burns, particularly in curious and active children.

Which is better for your cold – sauna or steam bath?

There is no clear-cut winner here – both the steam bath and the sauna have their benefits. A sauna may be a better choice if you are looking to sweat out toxins and are in good health, whereas a steam bath may be a better choice if you are looking to relax and clear your head.

Some people find that a sauna helps them sweat out toxins and helps relieve their symptoms. Others find that a steam bath relaxes them, helps them sweat, and helps them feel better. Again, the best option for you may depend on your personal preference, as well as your current physical and emotional health.

For example, if you are currently experiencing high fevers and high temperatures, a sauna may not be a great choice, as it could exacerbate your condition.

Is there anything saunas can do that steam baths can’t?

The only obvious difference between the two is that saunas use actual steam while steam baths don’t. However, steam baths can be more comfortable for people who don’t like the feeling of being “steamed up.” If you do want to experience a steam bath, be sure to choose a model that contains actual steam.

Some models simply use scented water, which won’t provide the same health benefits. Also, keep in mind that, compared to saunas, steam baths tend to be warmer and last a shorter amount of time.

This could help you avoid sweating out too many minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals are important for a healthy heart and nervous system.

What is a Steam Bath?

A steam bath, like a sauna, uses steam to help you relax and unwind. The bathtub or shower stall is fitted with a special nozzle that creates a steam-filled environment. Steam baths are particularly good at clearing your sinuses and relaxing your muscles.

Like a sauna, a steam bath is typically done as a solo activity. However, some steam baths are large enough that you can bring a friend along. If you are cleaning out your house while you are sick, a steam bath is a great way to relax and unwind.

Just be sure to stay close to the nozzle, so you don’t get too hot. A steam bath can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Be sure to stay close to the nozzle so you don’t get too hot.

What is a Sauna?

A sauna is a traditional wood-fired or electric room that uses dry heat to relax and unwind. Saunas are particularly good at helping your body sweat and release toxins from the body. Like a steam bath, a sauna is usually done as a solo activity.

Some saunas, however, have room for two people. These saunas are usually larger and more expensive than smaller models. If you are cleaning out your house while you are sick, a sauna is a great way to relax and unwind.

A sauna is typically done for 15–30 minutes, depending on how hot you like it. Be sure to stay hydrated while in the sauna, as it is easy to get dehydrated and overheated in these types of environments.

Bottom line

Overall, a steam bath and a sauna both offer many of the same benefits. However, some distinctions between the two could help you decide which one is right for your home spa.

Saunas tend to be hotter than steam baths but also dryer (since they don’t involve water). Additionally, since most saunas do not use actual steam—rather some type of heat source like an electric panel—they may not offer as many secondary benefits as a traditional Finnish-style.

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten is a technology and software expert, who has been using steam baths for more than 20 years. He loves technology and software, and he's passionate about the benefits of steam bathing.

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