Sauna etiquette: 14 tips how to not be a fool in the sauna

So, you’re new to the sauna scene and have no idea what you’re doing…… Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Sauna culture can be a little intimidating at first, but fear not – I’m here to help with a beginner’s guide to sauna etiquette..! I’ll go through all the written and unwritten rules you need to know to not get on anyone’s bad side. Whether you’re a sauna virgin or just need a refresher, this post is for you……!

Ok, let’s now go through the sauna etiquette do’s and don’t, so you’ll sweat like pro next time in the hot room…..!

1. Know your sauna type

First things first – not all saunas are created equal. There are different types of saunas, such as wood-fired, electric, and infrared, each with its own unique features and benefits…… It’s important to know which type of sauna you’re using and how to properly use it. For example, some saunas require you to pour water on the hot rocks to create steam, while others have built-in steam generators. Make sure to follow the guidelines and instructions provided to ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna experience…..!

2. Dress appropriately

Saunas are typically naked affairs, but if you’re not comfortable baring it all, that’s totally fine. Just make sure to dress in lightweight swimwear that is not too tight. Ideally, wear a comfortable bikini if you’re a woman, and speedo if you’re male. And always bring a towel to sit on, as sauna benches can be hot and sweaty. And remember, saunas are not the place for shoes, so leave those kicks outside.

3. Respect the sauna rules

Every sauna is different, but there are some general rules that apply to most saunas. For example, most saunas have a “no talking” rule, so it’s important to keep your voice down and respect the peace and quiet. It’s also common to see a “no bathing suits” rule in saunas, so make sure to leave those swimsuits at the pool. And please, for the love of all things holy, do not bring your phone into the sauna. No one wants to see your vacation photos or hear your notifications during their relaxation time. Trust me.

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4. Keep it clean

Saunas are meant to be a clean and relaxing environment, so make sure to follow proper hygiene guidelines. Shower before entering the sauna to rinse off any dirt or sweat, and make sure to use a towel or washcloth to wipe down the benches after use. And remember, saunas are not the place for perfumes or other strong fragrances – they can be overwhelming and bothersome to others.

5. Be mindful of your sauna companions

Saunas can be a social activity, but it’s important to be mindful of those around you. Avoid monopolizing the conversation or imposing your views on others. Respect the privacy and space of your sauna companions and be considerate of their relaxation time. And remember, saunas are not the place for romantic advances or inappropriate behavior. Keep it classy, folks.

6. Know your limits

Saunas can be intense and it’s important to listen to your body and respect your limits. Take breaks as needed and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. And remember, if you start to feel dizzy or unwell, it’s time to call it a day and head out of the sauna. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

7. Follow the “golden rule” of sauna-ing

This one is simple – treat others the way you want to be treated. Saunas are a shared space, so it’s important to be respectful and considerate of those around you. This includes things like wiping down the benches after use, refraining from talking during a sauna session if people want to be left alone, and respecting the privacy and space of others.

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8. Don’t bring snacks into the sauna

It’s not a good idea to eat in a sauna, as the heat can cause food to spoil and attract pests. Plus, it’s just not very hygienic to be eating in a shared, sweaty space.

9. Take off footwear before entering

Make sure to take off any footwear, such as flip-flops, before entering the sauna. Pool sandals are not allowed in saunas, as they can bring in dirt and other contaminants. It’s also a good idea to leave any jewelry or other valuables outside of the sauna, as they can get hot and uncomfortable.

10. Close the sauna door properly

Make sure to close the sauna door properly so that cold air does not enter. The door should be closed tightly to keep the heat and humidity levels consistent. This helps to create a comfortable and enjoyable sauna experience for all.

11. Follow time limits in a community sauna

If you’re using a community sauna or one at a gym or recreation center, be mindful if there are certain time limits, and make sure to leave the sauna clean and tidy for the next person.

12. Be mindful of others when cooling down

It’s common for people to take a cold shower or dip in a pool after a sauna session to cool down and refresh. If you’re doing this, make sure to be mindful of others and be respectful of their space and time.

13. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re new to sauna-ing or have questions about sauna etiquette, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most sauna-goers are happy to help out a fellow sauna enthusiast and share their tips and tricks. And if you’re really nervous, consider bringing a sauna-savvy friend along for support.

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14. Know when to say goodbye

Saunas are meant to be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, but it’s important to know when it’s time to call it a day. If you start to feel uncomfortable, dizzy, or unwell, it’s time to head out of the sauna. And remember, it’s always a good idea to cool down with a cold shower or dip in a pool after a sauna session.

So there you have it – a beginner’s guide to sauna etiquette and all the (unspoken) rules to go with it. Remember, saunas are meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for all, so it’s important to follow proper etiquette and respect the rules and norms of sauna culture. Happy sauna-ing!


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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