What to Wear in a Sauna?

Wear a towel or swimsuit in a sauna. A sauna is a heated room or space designed for people to relax and sweat.

It is important to wear appropriate clothing inside a sauna. The ideal clothing to wear in a sauna is light and breathable clothing that allows your skin to breathe and sweat freely. Wearing heavy clothing like jeans and sweaters can cause discomfort, and synthetic clothing can cause skin irritation and make you feel hotter.

A towel or swimsuit is a perfect option for those who are not comfortable being completely naked. Always make sure to bring a towel to sit on, as sitting directly on a wooden bench or surface is not recommended. In this article, we will discuss in detail what to wear in a sauna and provide some tips on how to make the most out of your sauna experience.

What to Wear in a Sauna?

Credit: infraredsauna.com

Choosing The Right Sauna Clothes: Materials And Fabrics

Saunas have been used for centuries as a way to sweat out toxins and boost overall health. But when it comes to sauna wear, choosing the right fabric and material is essential to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. We will focus on the key aspects to consider while selecting sauna clothes.

The Benefits Of Choosing Breathable Fabrics

If you want to stay comfortable during a sauna session, consider choosing fabric that is breathable and lightweight, and that wicks moisture away from the skin. These qualities help you sweat more efficiently and make the sauna experience more enjoyable.

Here are some benefits of wearing breathable fabrics in a sauna:

  • Helps regulate body temperature by facilitating sweat evaporation
  • Allows for better air circulation, promoting a cooler and more relaxed feel
  • Resistant to odors and protects against bacterial growth
  • Reduces the risk of skin irritation, rashes, and chafing, especially for people with sensitive skin

The Drawbacks Of Non-Breathable Materials

Wearing non-breathable fabric in a sauna can have adverse effects on your health, causing discomfort, and even leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Here are some disadvantages of using non-breathable materials in a sauna:

  • Trap heat and moisture, leading to overheating, dehydration, and fatigue.
  • Can cause skin irritation, bacterial growth, and unpleasant odors
  • Not durable enough, can wrinkle, or degrade during repetitive washing, reducing their overall lifespan.

The Best Clothing Types For Warmth And Comfort

When choosing the right sauna clothing, it’s essential to prioritize warmth and comfort while ensuring that the fabric is breathable. While cotton is a common material for sauna wear, it’s not the best choice as it retains moisture, making you feel wet and damp.

Instead, here are some comfortable and breathable materials to consider:

  • Linen: It is a lightweight, breathable, and airy fabric that keeps you cool and comfortable during a sauna session.
  • Bamboo: It’s an eco-friendly and naturally microbial fiber, making it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin. It’s breathable, moisture-wicking, and soft to the touch.
  • Microfiber: It’s an excellent moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly, making it a suitable choice for sauna wear.
  • Wool: It’s a natural insulator that keeps you warm and helps regulate temperature, making it ideal for colder climates.
  • Viscose: It’s a breathable and moisture-absorbent fabric that dries more quickly than cotton.

Choosing the right sauna clothes, especially the fabric and material, is essential to get the most out of your sauna experience. While breathable fabrics provide several benefits, non-breathable materials like vinyl or rubber should be avoided due to the risks associated with overheating and skin irritation.

Ultimately, select clothing that prioritizes comfort, breathability, and durability.

The Dos And Don’Ts Of Sauna Attire

Do: Wear Loose, Lightweight Clothing

When visiting a sauna, it is important to keep your comfort and safety in mind. Here are some dos and don’ts of sauna attire to help you make the most of your experience.

  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing that allows your skin to breathe and sweat to evaporate, such as a cotton t-shirt and shorts.
  • Choose natural fabrics that absorb moisture and avoid synthetic materials that can trap heat and cause skin irritation.

Don’T: Wear Anything Heavy, Tight, Or Constricting

  • Never wear anything heavy, tight, or constricting that restricts your range of motion. Sauna cabins are hot, and the last thing you want is to feel suffocated and uncomfortable.
  • Avoid wearing clothing with buttons, zippers, or metal ornaments as these can get uncomfortably hot inside the sauna, and metal can burn your skin.
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Do: Bring Extra Towels And Bathrobe

  • Bring extra towels for sitting, drying off, and wiping sweat. Saunas are notorious for their high levels of humidity, so you will need a fresh towel to stay dry and comfortable.
  • Consider bringing a bathrobe or a large towel to wrap around yourself when moving around the sauna, especially if you are shy or visiting a mixed-gender venue.

Don’T: Wear Jewelry Or Perfume

  • Avoid wearing jewelry or perfume as they can heat up and cause unnecessary discomfort or irritate other patrons with allergies.
  • Keep your skin bare, simple, and clean, to allow the full benefit of the sauna heat to be absorbed by your pores.

Your sauna experience can be enjoyable and safe when you wear the right attire. Choose loose, lightweight clothing made of natural fabrics, and bring along additional towels and a bathrobe. Remember to avoid wearing heavy, tight, or constricting clothing, jewelry, or perfumes inside the sauna.

Keep these essential tips in mind to get the most out of your sauna visit.

For Women: Navigating Sauna Etiquette

Why Swimsuits Are Not Always The Best Bet

When it comes to sauna etiquette for women, it’s essential to understand that swimsuits are not always the best option. Although swimsuits may be the go-to option for the beach or pool, they may not be appropriate for a sauna.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Saunas are hot and humid, and swimsuits can make you feel even hotter and stickier.
  • Wearing a swimsuit may attract unwanted attention from others in the sauna.
  • Swimsuits can be difficult to put on or take off in a small changing area, which could be uncomfortable and awkward.

Finding Alternatives To Standard Swimwear

Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to standard swimwear that you can consider when visiting a sauna as a woman:

  • A towel wrap or sarong is a great option. It’s lightweight, easy to remove, and provides coverage and comfort.
  • Loose-fitting shorts or tank tops made from breathable fabric are another option. Not only are they comfortable, but they also allow for better air circulation.
  • If you’re visiting a sauna with friends or family, consider wearing a comfortable, lightweight robe over your clothing. This will allow you to easily transition from the sauna to a lounge area or common space with ease and comfort.

Understanding Cultural Differences In Sauna Practices

While saunas offer numerous health benefits, it’s important to recognize and respect cultural differences when it comes to sauna practices. Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting a sauna, especially when cultural differences may come into play:

  • In some cultures, like finland, sauna rituals are taken very seriously, and it’s important to follow specific protocols. For instance, naked co-ed saunas are considered normal in finland, and it’s expected that visitors respect this tradition.
  • In countries like japan, public nudity is typically not allowed, so it’s important to wear a towel or other clothing while in the sauna.
  • Understanding and respecting the local customs and practices is essential to ensure that everyone in the sauna is comfortable and feels respected. Always research the customs and etiquette of the sauna you plan to visit to avoid any awkward or uncomfortable situations.

When it comes to sauna etiquette for women, swimsuits may not always be the best option. Instead, consider lightweight clothing or towel wraps that are comfortable and easy to wear, and always understand and respect cultural differences when visiting a sauna.

For Men: What To Wear In A Sauna

Tips For Choosing Sauna-Ready Clothing

When going to a sauna, it is important to consider choosing the right clothing. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when choosing sauna-ready clothing:

  • Choose breathable and lightweight fabrics like linen or cotton to prevent overheating.
  • Avoid synthetic materials like spandex or polyester as they may trap sweat.
  • Opt for loose-fitting clothing to promote air circulation in the body.
  • Wear flip flops or sandals to protect your feet from the hot sauna floor.

How To Navigate Nudity In A Male Shared Sauna

In a male shared sauna, nudity can be a common sight, and it is important to know how to navigate the situation. Here are some tips that can guide you:

  • Respect the cultural norms regarding nudity.
  • Do some research beforehand to know about the sauna you will be going to.
  • Follow the lead of the locals and wear a towel or simply embrace nudity.
  • Carry a towel to sit on and to wrap around your waist once you leave the sauna.
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Understanding The Importance Of Hygiene

The sauna is a place where sweating is natural, and hygiene is essential. Here are some basic hygiene rules you should adhere to when in a sauna:

  • Always take a shower before entering the sauna to prevent body odors.
  • Avoid using strong perfumes or colognes that can mix with sweat and create an unpleasant odor.
  • Avoid touching others in the sauna, as it might spread germs.
  • Carry a small towel to wipe sweat and keep yourself clean.

Remember that enjoying the sauna experience while maintaining hygiene is key. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of the sauna to the fullest!

Sauna Safety: Protecting Yourself And Others

Saunas are a popular way to relax, detoxify, and relieve stress. However, since saunas involve high temperatures and humidity, it is crucial to protect yourself and others while using them. This section provides valuable safety tips that will help you stay safe and make the most of your sauna experience.

The Risks Of Overheating And Hydration

  • Overheating can lead to serious health issues such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
  • High temperatures can cause severe dehydration, leading to muscle cramps, headaches, and dizziness.
  • To avoid these risks, drink plenty of water before and during sauna sessions.

Staying Safe In Shared Sauna Spaces

  • Always follow proper etiquette when sharing a sauna with others, such as wearing a towel or bathing suit (if required) and using separate seats if the sauna is crowded.
  • Never use lotions or oils in a shared sauna, as this can cause slippery conditions that can lead to falls.
  • Refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol in the sauna.

Using Proper Toweling Techniques To Prevent Slipping

  • Always use a towel to sit on in the sauna to prevent burns and to keep the area free of sweat and bacteria.
  • Use a towel to wipe off excess sweat from your skin to prevent slipping and to keep the sauna clean.
  • If you need to stand or walk around inside the sauna, use a towel on the floor to prevent slips and falls.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the benefits of using a sauna without putting yourself or others at risk. Remember to stay hydrated, be considerate of others, and use proper towel techniques to stay safe and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions On What To Wear In A Sauna?

What Should You Wear In A Sauna?

It is best to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of natural materials such as cotton, linen, or bamboo. Avoid synthetic fabrics as they can trap heat and moisture. A swimsuit or towel can also be worn, but keep in mind that they may get wet from sweating.

Is It Okay To Wear Jewelry In A Sauna?

It is not recommended to wear jewelry in a sauna as the high heat and humidity can cause it to become hot and uncomfortable to wear. Metals can also conduct heat and may burn your skin. It is best to leave jewelry at home or in a locker.

Should You Wear Shoes In A Sauna?

It is not necessary to wear shoes in a sauna as most saunas have a mat or wooden slats to sit on. However, if you prefer to wear shoes for sanitation reasons, wear lightweight and breathable sandals or slip-on shoes.

Avoid athletic shoes or sneakers as they can trap humidity.


The choice of what to wear in a sauna greatly impacts the experience and benefits that can be obtained. It’s important to prioritize comfort and functionality in your clothing choices. Loose-fitting cotton garments, such as shorts and t-shirts, are the best options as they allow your body to breathe and sweat naturally while avoiding overheating or skin irritation.

Avoid synthetic materials which can trap sweat and prevent adequate ventilation. Additionally, it’s important to always prioritize hygiene and safety, especially in communal or public saunas. By following these guidelines, you can optimize your sauna experience and gain the full range of health benefits associated with sauna use.

So, dress comfortably and sensibly, and enjoy a revitalizing sauna session.

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