Sauna Etiquette: 15 Do’s and Don’ts

Sauna Etiquette
Sauna etiquette revolves around mindful conduct and consideration for others. The do's include showering before entering, leaving electronic devices outside and keeping quiet. The don'ts include grooming in the sauna, leaving the door open, exercising in the steam room, and entering with metal jewelry.

1. Don’t Enter Without Showering

You should shower before entering a sauna to maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of germs. Saunas have hot and humid environments, which can cause you to sweat and release oils and dirt from your skin.

These substances can mix with the heat and create an unpleasant and potentially unsanitary environment for you and others using the sauna. 

Showering can also help to open your pores and prepare your body for the heat, making your sauna experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

2. Enter Quietly And Close The Damn Door

Enter the sauna quietly and without music buzzing on the loudspeaker to not disturb others in there.

Also, close the door immediately to maintain the high temperature and humidity levels inside. Leaving the door open allows heat to escape, which can reduce the benefits of using a sauna in the first place. 

3. Be Courteous

Saunas are typically quiet and relaxing spaces where people go to unwind and de-stress. To ensure everyone’s comfort and enjoyment, be courteous in a sauna. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid loud conversations or any unnecessary noise that could disturb others. 
  • Most saunas require sitting on a towel to prevent sweat from getting on the bench.
  • Give others enough space and avoid crowding them. If the public sauna is crowded, wait for a bench to free up before sitting.
  • Be aware of the temperature and avoid doing anything that could interfere with the health benefits of a steam room.
  • Saunas are gender-segregated, and it’s important to respect this.

4. Know How To Time It 

If using a sauna for the first time, spend 5-10 minutes in the sauna at a time. After working out, wait at least 10 minutes before using the sauna. Don’t spend more than 15 minutes in the sauna.

If you’re an experienced sauna user, limit your time to 15 to 20 minutes because the longer you stay, the greater the risk of dehydration.

A spa has a larger space with different activities, making it ideal to stay longer.

5. Wear A Towel Or Robe

woman wearing bathrobe
Wear a bathrobe in Sauna

When using a sauna, wear a towel or a robe. This will help to absorb sweat and prevent your skin from directly touching the hot surface, which can cause discomfort or burns. It can also help you maintain your modesty and ensure you are comfortable during your sauna session. 

6. No Phone And Gadgets

Leave your phone and other gadgets outside of the sauna or in a locker, if one is available, for the following reasons:

  • Heat and moisture: Saunas are hot and humid environments, and electronic devices cannot withstand these conditions. 
  • Safety: If your device overheats or malfunctions, it could cause a fire or other safety hazard.
  • Distraction: The whole point of a sauna is to relax and unwind, and bringing your phone or other gadgets can be a distraction. 

7. No Exercise

Don’t exercise in a sauna because it’s dangerous and harmful to your health. Saunas should make you sweat by exposing your body to high temperatures, which can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Exercising in a steam room can increase the risk of these conditions even further, as your body is already under stress from the heat. 

8. The Sauna Rock

water on sauna rock
Seek permission before pouring water or essential oils on Sauna rocks

Before pouring water or oil on the rock, you should ask the other people in the sauna if they are comfortable with it. Some people may prefer a dry sauna experience or may have respiratory issues that steam can aggravate. 

You should ascertain that the water or oil you use is appropriate for a gym sauna, as some substances can be harmful when heated. 

9. Keep It Quiet 

Keep noise to a minimum in a sauna to create a peaceful and relaxing environment. Loud talking or other disruptive noises is poor sauna etiquette that can distract from the overall experience.

Excessive noise can also be dangerous in a sauna, as it can mask the sounds of someone who may be distressed or need assistance.

Also check: 9 Must-Know Cough Etiquette Tips

10. Hydrate Yourself

Drinking plenty of water or other hydrating fluids before entering the sauna can help ensure you’re adequately hydrated and minimize the risk of dehydration. 

11. Temperature Adjustments

Making sudden changes to the temperature can be harmful to your body. Rapid temperature changes can cause various adverse effects, such as dizziness, nausea, dehydration, and in severe cases, heat stroke. 

So make sure to make incremental temperature adjustments and while you’re at it, don’t forget to ask fellow members if they’re okay with it.

12. No Metal Jewelry

Opt for non-metallic jewelry made from materials that are less likely to conduct heat, such as silicone or plastic.

  • Metal is a good conductor of heat, so it can quickly become very hot in a high-temperature environment like a sauna. 
  • Prolonged exposure to a sauna’s high humidity and heat can cause metal jewelry to rust or tarnish.
  • In some cases, metal jewelry can get caught on clothing or other objects in the sauna, potentially causing injury.

13. Schedule Home Sauna

Home saunas are usually small and cannot accommodate a big family. So, make sure to schedule it ahead of time so that it doesn’t clash with other family members.

14. Grooming Can Wait 

Clipping your nails, combing your hair, or shaving while in a sauna is poor sauna etiquette because a sauna is not a bathroom. Grooming in a sauna creates an unsanitary environment for you and the other people using the sauna at the same time.

15. Maintenance

Always clean up by wiping down the bench and removing any towels you use. Leave the sauna clean and ready for the next person.

What To Do While In A Sauna?

Here are some things you can do while in a sauna:

  • Relax: Saunas are for relaxation and stress relief, so take deep breaths and let your body unwind.
  • Stretch: The heat can help loosen your muscles, so take advantage of this and do some light stretching.
  • Meditate: Focus on your breath and clear your mind in the sauna.
  • Practice mindfulness: Pay attention to the sensations in your body and focus on being present in the moment.
  • Use a sauna brush or loofah: Scrub your skin with a sauna brush or loofah to exfoliate and promote circulation.

Also read: 12 Korean Bath House Etiquette Rules

What Should You Do Before Entering A Sauna?

Before entering a sauna, take the following precautions to ensure your safety and comfort:

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water before entering a sauna to ensure your body is hydrated.
  • Avoid alcohol: Avoid consuming alcohol before entering a sauna, as it can lead to dehydration and may affect your ability to tolerate the heat.
  • Remove metal objects: Remove all metal jewelry and other objects before entering a sauna, as they can get hot and burn your skin.
  • Shower: Before entering a sauna, remove any lotions, oils, or sweat on your skin that can prevent your pores from opening up and sweating.
  • Test the temperature: Check the sauna’s temperature before entering to ensure it is comfortable for you. 

How Do You Know When It Is Time To Get Out Of The Sauna?

It’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel when using a sauna. Signs that it may be time to get out include feeling uncomfortable, dizzy, or nauseous.

What Should You Do If You’re In A Sauna And You’re Feeling Cold?

If you are feeling cold in a sauna, there are several things you can do to warm up:

  • Pouring water on the hot rocks will create more steam and raise the temperature in the sauna.
  • Try standing up or moving closer to the heater if you are sitting down.
  • If you are not already wearing a towel or robe, put one on to trap in heat and keep yourself warm.
  • Staying hydrated will help regulate your body temperature and keep you from feeling too cold.
  • If you are still feeling too cold, it may be best to exit the sauna and warm up in a different way.

What Is The Best Way To Cool Off After A Sauna?

After your sauna session, cool off with a cold shower to invigorate your body and close your pores.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

Recent Posts