Sharing a sauna with others, whether with strangers at the gym or with your family at home, means you have to be mindful of the space. We cover all the main etiquette tips to keep you and others comfortable. Tips will include what to wear, how to keep your area clean, and which behaviors to avoid.
Gym Sauna Etiquette
If you have a sauna at your gym, we hope you are using it! Using a sauna at the gym is a wonderful way to boost your workout and remedy things such as muscle soreness, recovery time, fatigue, and performance. Infrared saunas are the perfect companion for your health journey as they help you sweat, burn calories, and heal. Just be sure you use the sauna after your workout and not before to avoid injury.
Your fellow gym buddies are also soaking in the sauna health benefits, so it’s important to know the proper gym sauna etiquette to make it a pleasant experience for everyone.
Gym Sauna Dos
- Shower before entering. Since you will be using the sauna after your workout, you’ll probably be sweaty after the gym. Rinse off any sweat or dirt so you enter the sauna fresh, everyone in there with you will appreciate it.
- Stay aware of your space. Public saunas can get crowded, so be courteous and be wary of how much space you’re taking up. If someone new joins the sauna, make room for them so everyone can sit comfortably.
- Be quick. We don’t recommend sauna sessions lasting much longer than 20 minutes in general, but make your gym sauna time quick so more people can use it. Don’t forget to be quick with the door too to keep heat in.
Gym Sauna Don’ts
- Don’t go in the nude. This is a public space, so please respect your sauna neighbors. Wear a towel or robe to avoid sitting directly on the bench, and definitely don’t wear your dirty gym clothes or shoes.
- Don’t bring electronics. You don’t want to potentially damage your phone with the heat, and you also don’t want to annoy other sauna users with the light from your screen or music from your headphones.
- Don’t exercise in the sauna. You just finished your workout in the gym, so use this time to relax! Others will be trying to wind down from their workouts, and interrupting their time with an exercise session would be rude.
Spa Sauna Etiquette
Because it is a public setting, using a sauna in a spa is a very similar experience to using a gym sauna. One of the biggest differences between a spa and the gym is the clientele. Instead of looking to repair and restore, spa visitors are looking to relax and rejuvenate, so things move at a slower pace. Saunas in spas are offered as a service before, after, or between spa services, so visitors are more likely to take their time to fully unwind.
A more relaxed environment typically means a quieter one, so your spa sauna etiquette should take that into account.
Spa Sauna Dos
- Shower before entering. If you’re using the sauna before your appointment, take a shower to rinse off any dirt from before entering the spa. If using after a service, rinse off any oils or lotions that may have been used.
- Learn the clothing policies. Some spas require towels or robes while others allow full nudity. Knowing the clothing policies beforehand can save you and other visitors from a surprise or unpleasant experience.
- Take your time. Taking your time is more of a sauna etiquette for yourself. Don’t stress and rush yourself through a relaxing sauna session, but instead be aware of your time before heading in and planning accordingly.
Spa Sauna Don’ts
- Don’t be loud. A spa is all about being quiet and in the moment, so be wary of the people around you. People are unlikely to want to strike up conversation, and they especially don’t want to listen to your conversations.
- Don’t bring electronics. Just like the gym, bringing your electronics in to the sauna is frowned upon. Watching someone send a work email or play a game on their phone can be stressful to onlookers just trying to relax.
- Don’t forget about your appointments. Spa saunas are more leisurely, but be aware of your time and your appointments. If using the sauna before or between services, don’t have the spa chasing you down for your spot.
Home Sauna Etiquette
Just because you’re home doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules. Of course, your own personal sauna will have more relaxed rules than public ones, but home sauna etiquette is aimed toward keeping your household happy and ensuring your sauna functions properly for years to come.
Home Sauna Dos
- Shower before entering. See a theme here? Rinsing off before using your sauna is imperative, regardless if you are in public or at home. Without tracking in dirt, your sauna will thank you for keeping it clean and pristine.
- Clean up after yourself. Just like showering before your home sauna session, cleaning up after yourself is a key piece of sauna etiquette. Clean your space so the rest of the household can enjoy the sauna once you’re done.
- Schedule time. If you live with multiple people, be sure everyone has their fair share of sauna time! If you are practicing something like hot yoga, make sure you have a timer set so you don’t lose track of time.
Home Sauna Don’ts
- Don’t stay in too long. This is more of a sauna etiquette for you and your home. Staying in longer than 20 minutes is not recommended for your health, and longer sessions can add up to higher electric bills.
- Don’t forget a towel. If you’re at home, you have control over the clothing rules. But even if you decide to go nude, never forget to bring a towel to sit on to avoid staining the bench with sweat or other debris.
- Don’t skip regular maintenance. Sauna care is fairly simple, but letting little things build up over time will lead to a shorter sauna life span and a more unpleasant experience for your household. It just takes a few minutes!
Regardless of where you are using a sauna and who you are using it with, being sure to keep the area clean and comfortable is key. Knowing what to wear in a sauna, how much time to spend, and what you can do to be mindful of other people’s experiences are all necessary for sauna etiquette. By practicing proper sauna etiquette, you ensure an enjoyable sauna experience for everyone!