Useful tips - from The Finnish Sauna Society

In the sauna wear your birthday suit. Nakedness is natural. Sweating makes swimsuits uncomfortable.

There are no exact rules of behavior but the ritual is meant to be relaxing. Hurry and noise are out of the question and so is reckless competition about who stands heat best.

It is a good idea to begin with a wash or shower; a seat towel for the hot room is also useful.

The temperature should be 80-90°C; ten minutes at a time will be enough. Air humidity is regulated by ladling small doses of water onto the stove stones. Warming up and cooling off can be repeated as many times as feels good. Whisking adds to the pleasure.

Another brief warming-up may be nice after washing before finishing off with a shower or a swim.

Heavy meals and alcohol should be avoided before sauna. Afterwards you will need a refreshing drink and possibly a snack.

Sauna bathing in moderation suits everyone. Those with health problems should nevertheless consult a doctor before trying it.

A Recommended Sauna Procedure

- from The Finnish Sauna Society

NOTE: In some illustrations below the bathers are depicted sitting on bare wooden sauna platform. This is not recommended, but for hygienic reasons a cloth or similar should be used by each bather to sit on.

Reserve enough time, at least an hour and a half.

Naked Sauna Customs of Finland

Sauna Etiquette

Sauna Vs. Steam Room - Understand the Difference

The North American Sauna Society

The Finnish Sauna Society

        Sauna and Health



Leave your clothes in the dressing room. You should also have a clean set of clothes to wear after the sauna. Take something to sit on, e.g. a small towel, into the sauna.

Take a shower or a dip in water before entering the hot room. This is to moisten the skin and to remove any possible body or fragrant odors, which do not belong to the sauna.

Enter the hot room for the first round. The recommended temperature is 176-194°F, at most 212°F. At first the air may be dry. Increase humidity by throwing water onto the stones in the stove. Using the whisk is not recommended on the first round since the skin has not yet softened adequately.

Leave the hot room when you feel hot enough and cool off by taking a shower or a swim or just by sitting in room temperature or outside. Have a drink if you feel thirsty, but avoid alcohol in the sauna.

Take a second round in the hot room, which now should already be more humid than on the first round. After warming up you can use the whisk if you please. It feels best with adequate humidity and temperature.

Cool off again.

Repeat the hot-cold cycle as many times as you feel comfortable with. Use the whisk according to your preference. For many people two rounds is usually right.

Return to the hot room for a short warm up to soften the skin.

Wash up.

After washing yourself you can return to the hot room for a while, now preferably to a lower temperature.

Finally rinse yourself under a refreshing shower or go for a swim.

Dry yourself with a towel or just by sitting in room temperature. You can also lay down and even close your eyes for a while if you feel like it.

Have a refreshing drink and a salty snack according to your personal taste.

Before putting on clean clothes allow enough time for cooling off, otherwise the sweating may still continue. Also watch out not to get cold since the body is in a more "sensitive" state after the sauna than normally.

Leave the sauna and the dressing room in tidy condition.