How Long Should I Stay in a Steam Room or Sauna?

Updated March 23, 2017

Sitting in a sauna or steam room is not only a relaxing experience, but it can also have a variety of positive effects on your health. Essentially, saunas and steam rooms are the same thing. They have been known to improve circulation, detoxify the body and decrease stress significantly. However, it is extremely important to follow certain safety considerations when using a sauna.

Time Limit

Because of the health risks associated with a long sauna stay, sauna manufacturers such as Finnleo and Saunafin recommend that you limit your time in the sauna to 15 to 20 minutes. While in the steam room, sit where you feel most comfortable. Heat rises, so the top bench will provide a hotter atmosphere than the bottom bench. If you are new to the sauna experience, you should sit on the lower bench until your body builds up its tolerance to the heat. After 15 to 20 minutes in the sauna, you should leave the sauna and allow your body to cool down. Take in some fresh air, dry the body off and drink at least eight ounces of water to make up for the amount of sweat you produced in the steam room. Stay out of the sauna for at least 20 minutes. Then if your body feels as though it can handle another visit to the sauna, you can return for another 15 to 20 minutes. After leaving the steam room for the second time, be sure to drink plenty of water and allow your body to cool off completely once more. It is vital for your body to return back to normal temperature. Otherwise, serious health complications could arise.


Although the 15 to 20-minute time limit is a general rule, it is extremely important to be conscious of your own body while sitting in a sauna. For some people, 15 minutes may be too long for a sauna stay. If you begin to feel overly tired, nauseous, dizzy or uncomfortable in any way, you should leave the steam room immediately. Sit in an area with fresh air and drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate and bring your body back to a normal temperature. Staying in a sauna too long could lead to fainting or heat stroke. If you have any health conditions, you should speak with your physician before sitting in a sauna.

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