Steam room disadvantages

Updated February 21, 2017

Steam rooms have been a fixture in health clubs and spas for decades, and many homeowners are now incorporating steam rooms and saunas into their own homes. A steam sauna can be built as a separate room, or it can be incorporated into a bathroom with a specially designed steam shower. Steam rooms provide many benefits, such as relaxing muscles and allowing the body to sweat out toxins, but the steam room also has several disadvantages.


Steam rooms often require extensive construction that may be inconvenient. A proper steam room typically requires the installation of steam generating equipment, which may call for the services of an electrician and a plumber. If you are looking to add a steam room to existing construction, it may be difficult to install the equipment properly without tearing out walls or ceilings. Due to the moisture content present in a steam room, it is also important to construct the steam room with nonporous materials like tile. Even a tiled steam room may become susceptible to moisture damage over time, and result in loose tiles along the grout lines or damaged subflooring beneath the tiles.

Reduced Benefits

One of the main points of a steam room is to encourage sweating, so your body has the opportunity to release toxins and excess water weight. The effects can result in relaxed muscles, reduced swelling in the joints, and less pain after injury or stress. The high temperatures of a sauna encourage the body to regulate its core temperature by promoting sweat that evaporates on the surface of the skin and causes a cooling effect. The elevated moisture levels in a steam room do not allow the body to release as much sweat, and indicates the steam room cannot reach the same temperature heights as a sauna without scalding the skin.


Some users enjoy the use of a steam room to open up breathing passages and alleviate congestion caused by asthma or cold viruses, but steam rooms can also make you sick if you're not careful. Bacteria and germs thrive in warm, damp areas like a steam room, and the steam can carry mould and mildew spores through the air. If you have a steam room in your house, clean the area after use, and wipe down the walls and ceilings after a steam bath. If you are using a public steam room, make sure it is regularly cleaned and disinfected.

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About the Author

Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.