How to make Saunas Hotter (infrared, dry, steam, blanket)

Me in sauna

Have you ever had the problem of stepping into a sauna, just to find out it’s not hot enough? I’ve had, many times. For this reason I decided to write down my best tips for making various saunas hotter. (I also did some research to make sure there were no essential tips out there I had not thought about myself!)

I go through traditional saunas, infrared saunas, sauna blankets and steam saunas.  

I hope this will help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past!

How do I make a traditional sauna hotter?

Traditional saunas (sometimes called dry saunas or wet saunas) are my favorite kind of saunas. Being from Scandinavia, I’ve used those since I was a kid, and below are some of my best tips for making them hotter.

There are several ways you can make a traditional sauna hotter:

  1. Check the temperature settings on the stove or heater. Make sure that the temperature is set as high as it will go.
  2. Check the placement of the stones on the stove. The stones should be evenly spaced and positioned on top of the heating element to ensure maximum heat coverage.
  3. Consider adding additional stones to the stove. This can help to increase the overall heat output of the sauna.
  4. Make sure that the sauna is well insulated. Poor insulation can cause heat to escape, making the sauna feel cooler than it actually is.
  5. Consider using a sauna stove with a higher wattage. A higher wattage stove will produce more heat, which can help to make the sauna feel hotter.
  6. Close the sauna door and windows tightly to keep the heat inside the sauna (…Duh, but sometimes it’s a small space open and you might not notice!)
  7. And the most important tip of them all (if you have a traditional, sometimes called “wet” sauna): POUR WATER on the stones in the heater (but not too much because this can be very, very powerful, and you don’t want to get burnt)! This is claimed to not make the sauna technically hotter, but it sure FEELS much hotter in the sauna when you do this. Just make sure to be really careful when doing this however. I usually start by only sitting at the lower bench after pouring water on the stones, and if I then feel comfortable after a few minutes, I may move up to the higher bench. (Once I started lying down at the higher bench immediately, and I actually got red marks on my left upper leg. Fortunately these went away a few hours , but that just shows how careful you really need to be if you do this!)
Me pouring water over the sauna stones to make it feel hotter.
Image: Me pouring water over the sauna stones to make it feel hotter.

How to make Infrared Saunas Hotter?

If you want to make your infrared sauna hotter, here are some steps to follow:

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  1. Check the temperature settings on the control panel of your sauna. Make sure that the temperature is set as high as it will go.
  2. Check the placement of the infrared heaters. Make sure that they are properly positioned and aligned with the walls and ceiling of the sauna to ensure maximum heat coverage.
  3. Consider adding additional infrared heaters to the sauna. This can help to increase the overall heat output of the sauna.
  4. Make sure that the sauna is well insulated. Poor insulation can cause heat to escape, making the sauna feel cooler than it actually is.
  5. Consider using a sauna heater with a higher wattage. A higher wattage heater will produce more heat, which can help to make the sauna feel hotter.
  6. Close the sauna door and windows tightly to keep the heat inside the sauna. (Simple, yes, but really easy to miss a small open space when you think it’s all closed off…)

Best ways to make Sauna Blankets Hotter

What about sauna blankets, the low budget sauna alternative? Well, I’ve tried these too (and I did some research), and here are the best tips:

Steps you can take to make a sauna blanket hotter:

  1. Preheat the sauna blanket before use: Before using the sauna blanket, try preheating it by laying it out in a warm place or using a heat source such as a heating pad or warm water bottle. This will help to increase the temperature of the blanket before you begin your sauna session.
  2. Use the highest heat setting: Most sauna blankets have adjustable heat settings. If your sauna blanket has this feature, try using the highest heat setting to make it hotter.
  3. Insulate the sauna blanket: If the sauna blanket is not retaining heat well, you can try insulating it by wrapping it in a thick towel or blanket. This will help to trap the heat inside the sauna blanket and make it hotter.
  4. Use a sauna blanket with a higher wattage: If you have an electric sauna blanket, using a blanket with a higher wattage will produce more heat and make the blanket hotter.
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How do I make a Steam Sauna Hotter?

What about making a Steam Sauna hotter? Read on to find out!

To make a steam sauna hotter, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Add more water to the steam generator: The steam generator is what produces the steam in a sauna. Adding more water to the generator will increase the amount of steam being produced, which will make the sauna hotter. (Ok, I know, this is not possible to do if you don’t own the sauna yourself, but I put it in there anyway!)
  2. Adjust the temperature setting on the steam generator: A lot of steam generators have a temperature setting that you can adjust to increase or decrease the temperature of the steam being produced. If your steam generator has this feature, you can try increasing the temperature setting to make the sauna hotter.
  3. Keep the door and windows closed. Duh…! But sometimes it’s a little bit open and you may not notice, so just check it!
The steam sauna of my apartment building. (Currently turned off.)
Image: The steam sauna of my apartment building. (Currently turned off.)

How to make the sauna COOLER?

But what about if you instead want to make the sauna cooler? Well, read on if you’d like to find out!

To make a sauna cooler, there are a few steps you can take:

  1. Adjust the temperature setting on the generator: If you have an at-home sauna, you can usually adjust to decrease the temperature.
  2. Open the door (or window if the sauna has a window): If you have a traditional sauna, opening the window or door will allow cool air to enter the sauna and help to lower the temperature.
  3. Use a fan to circulate the air: Using a fan to circulate the air in the sauna can help to lower the temperature and make it cooler, but try the other tips first!
  4. Take breaks and step outside: If you start to feel too hot in the sauna, you can just step outside to cool down.
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Ok, I hope this helped! Please let me know in the comments if you have any extra hacks for making the sauna hotter, …or cooler!

Anna

Author: Anna Svensson

Anna is a Scandinavian who grew up with saunas. She has had a life-long love for, and interest in, saunas. In this blog, she shares her best hacks and things she has learned about saunas over the years. You can read more about Anna in the “About” page.

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  1. Pingback: Best habits to make your sauna experience a success – Sauna Edge

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