The Ultimate Dry Sauna Guide

Most gyms & spas have a dry sauna available for use, but what is the purpose & how do you use it? This guide will explain the benefits of dry sauna use, as well as best practices.


  • Drink a glass of water before entering the sauna to prevent dehydration.

  • Wear a towel and/or bathing suit.

  • Spend 15-20 minutes in the sauna – no more than 30 minutes.

  • The temperature in dry saunas is 140º Fahrenheit on average, which typically comes from a wood stove, infrared heater, or electric heater. After adding water to the hot rocks, the humidity in the room will rise.

  • When your time in the sauna is complete, be sure to drink 2-4 glasses of cold water in order to rehydrate.

the benefits

We’ve all heard that exposure in dry saunas is good for the skin and body, but what are the true benefits?

  • Your heart rate will increase to an average of 120 beats per minute – aka what would be expected during moderate exercise, thus exercising your heart without physically exercising your muscles. The increased blood flow and circulation is directed to the skin, heart & brain.

  • Spending time in a dry sauna can lower both systolic & diastolic blood pressure, by as much as 7 mmHg each.

  • Your body temperature can increase by 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which will help expand blood vessels and help blood flow through the body easier.

  • Increased sweating will eliminate impurities and toxins in the body faster than the body would eliminate toxins via sweating on its own.

  • Sore muscles and stiffness can be relieved due to expanding blood vessels and increased circulation.

  • Increased blood flow to the brain with regular sauna sessions can help lower your risk of dementia by 65%.

  • Relieve pain & treat symptoms of chronic tension-type headaches with sauna exposure. This is a benefit we’d love to test with one of our editors who suffers from weekly to bi-weekly tension headaches!

the concerns

As with everything in life, moderation is key. Health professionals suggest spending no more than 15-20 minutes in a dry sauna at a time. Since your body is sweating out fluids as well as toxins, it is important to rehydrate by drinking plenty of water after exposure. Other items to be aware of are listed below.

  • Saunas can over-dry your skin. Remember to stay hydrated & moisturize!

  • Staying in a sauna for too long – more than 20-30 minutes according to most doctors – can raise your body temperature to an unhealthy level & become dangerous.

  • Increased circulation can pull blood flow away from vital organs in some instances. Some people’s blood pressure will increase, while others will decrease. Please contact a doctor should you notice any changes in your health & wellbeing.

  • If you have a heart-related illness, please contact your doctor before visiting a dry sauna.

We encourage you to do your own research as well. In writing this blog post, we discovered knowledgable articles on the subject via Murad Skincare’s blog, Women’s Health magazine, Men’s Health, TIME & Livestrong.

We’d love to hear from you! What is your sauna routine & what benefits have you experienced? Let us know in the comments!