Infographic of the best clothes for sauna.

Best Clothes for Sauna: Dress for Comfort and Relaxation

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Saunas are a popular way to relax and enjoy various health benefits, such as improved circulation and stress relief.

Choosing the right attire for a sauna session is essential to enhance the experience and ensure proper hygiene.

The type of clothing you wear can significantly affect your comfort level and the effectiveness of the heat on your body.

When deciding what to wear in a sauna, it’s crucial to consider the materials and design of your clothing. Certain materials, such as natural fibers, are more suitable for sauna use due to their breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

On the other hand, synthetic materials may hinder your comfort and should be avoided. Sauna etiquette and safety should also be kept in mind, including using appropriate footwear and observing cleanliness guidelines.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose suitable clothing to maximize comfort and sauna benefits
  • Opt for natural fibers and avoid synthetic materials for proper breathability
  • Follow sauna etiquette and hygiene guidelines for a pleasant experience

Importance of Suitable Sauna Clothing

When choosing clothes for a sauna, it is crucial to consider the type of material and fit, as this can significantly impact the sauna experience.

Suitable sauna clothing should be comfortable, loose-fitting, and made from breathable materials.

  • Comfortable: Sauna users should feel at ease and relaxed during their sessions. Wearing comfortable attire will allow individuals to focus on the heat and steam benefits without feeling restricted or uncomfortable.
  • Loose-fitting: Loose clothing is essential in a sauna because it allows for better air circulation. This helps prevent overheating and ensures the heat is evenly distributed throughout the body.
  • Breathable material: Since the primary purpose of a sauna is to induce sweating, the chosen attire should allow air to flow freely and promote the evaporative cooling process. Breathable materials prevent the accumulation of excess sweat, making the sauna experience more pleasant.
Infographic of characteristics of suitable sauna clothing.
Characteristics of Suitable Sauna Clothing

Moreover, choosing clothing made from natural fibers for the sauna is important. Some examples of appropriate materials include:

  • Cotton: Cotton is a popular choice for sauna clothing as it is lightweight, breathable, and able to absorb sweat effectively, ensuring a comfortable sauna experience.
  • Linen: Linen is another excellent option for sauna wear due to its high absorbency and quick-drying properties, contributing to overall comfort.

Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, as they may hinder the sweating process and retain heat, leading to discomfort and possible overheating.

In summary, when selecting the appropriate sauna clothing, prioritize comfort, breathability, and natural fibers.

Doing so will ensure a pleasant and effective sauna session, allowing users to fully benefit from the heat and steam without risking discomfort or overheating.

Best Materials for Sauna Clothing

When choosing the best clothes for a sauna, it is essential to consider the materials used in their construction.

This is because certain fabrics, such as cotton and synthetic materials, can have varying effects on the sauna experience. In this section, we will discuss the most suitable materials for sauna clothing.

  • Cotton is the most commonly recommended material for sauna clothing. Cotton clothes and cotton towels are ideal for use in a sauna for several reasons:
    • They are soft and comfortable.
    • They are highly absorbent, helping to manage sweat effectively.
    • They are breathable, allowing for better air circulation around your body.
    • They are natural and hypoallergenic, reducing the risk of skin irritation.
  • Towels are often used in saunas as a simple and effective solution for covering the body. Large cotton towels can serve as makeshift garments if specific sauna clothes are unavailable.
  • Synthetic materials such as polyester, PVC, spandex, and nylon are generally not recommended for sauna clothing. These materials have several drawbacks in a sauna setting:
    • They can become hot and uncomfortable, especially at higher temperatures.
    • They are less absorbent than natural fibers like cotton, meaning they will not manage sweat as effectively.
    • They are less breathable, leading to increased sweat and discomfort.
    • Some synthetic materials can release harmful chemicals when subjected to high temperatures, posing potential health risks.

In summary, when selecting the best materials for sauna clothing, it is advisable to go for natural fibers such as cotton.

Cotton clothes and towels are ideal for use in a sauna due to their comfort, breathability, and ability to manage sweat effectively.

Avoiding synthetic materials like polyester, PVC, spandex, and nylon is preferable, as they can cause discomfort and potential health risks in a sauna environment.

What to Wear in a Sauna

When heading to a sauna, it’s essential to choose the right clothing, as not wearing the proper attire can lead to discomfort and may even be against your sauna’s regulations. Here are some suggestions for attire when using a sauna:

  • Swimsuits and bathing suits: Wearing a swimsuit or bathing suit is a common and acceptable option. It provides modest coverage while still allowing the body to handle heat and perspiration efficiently. Both one-piece and two-piece options are suitable for women, while men can opt for swimming trunks or shorts.
  • Shorts and T-shirts: Lightweight workout clothes are an alternative for those who prefer more coverage. Choose breathable fabric made from natural materials such as cotton or linen to allow air circulation and sweat evaporation. Avoid synthetic materials, as they may retain heat and make the experience uncomfortable.
  • Going nude: In some saunas, particularly those in European countries, nudity is the norm. Going nude allows maximum heat exposure and eliminates worrying about sweat-soaked clothing. If this is the case, it’s essential to respect the privacy of your fellow sauna users and place a towel between your body and the sauna bench to maintain hygiene.

In any case, remember that simplicity is key when choosing what to wear in a sauna. Avoid wearing accessories such as jewelry, as they may overheat and cause burns.

It’s also essential to always check the regulations of the sauna you plan to visit, as different saunas may have different dress code requirements.

In summary, when deciding what to wear in a sauna, consider options such as swimsuits, shorts, t-shirts, or even nudity, based on your personal preference and the sauna’s rules.

Choose breathable materials and avoid any unnecessary accessories for a comfortable and enjoyable sauna experience.

Infographic of what to wear and what not to wear in a sauna.
What to Wear and What Not to Wear in a Sauna

What Not to Wear in a Sauna

When enjoying a sauna, wearing the appropriate attire for safety and comfort is important. Here are some items to avoid when using a sauna:

  • Jewelry and metal accessories: Metal, such as jewelry and piercings, can heat up quickly in a sauna, potentially causing burns or discomfort. Additionally, high temperatures can damage some materials or cause them to lose their shape. It’s best to remove all metal jewelry before entering a sauna.
  • Makeup, lotions, and creams: Avoid wearing makeup, lotions, creams, or body oils in the sauna. These products can clog your pores and affect your body’s ability to sweat efficiently. Furthermore, they can cause irritation when mixed with sweat and high temperatures.
  • Dirty or tight-fitting clothes: Wearing dirty clothes in a sauna can introduce bacteria, which can be harmful to both you and others. Tight-fitting clothes can also hinder your skin’s ability to breathe and sweat properly. Loose, clean clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton or linen, is ideal for sauna use.
  • Shoes: Shoes are not recommended in a sauna, as they can harbor bacteria and impede your feet’s ability to sweat and cool down. It’s best to go barefoot or wear clean, designated sauna sandals or flip-flops.

In summary, when using a sauna, avoiding wearing metal jewelry, makeup and lotions, tight or dirty clothes, and shoes are essential.

Following these guidelines will help ensure a comfortable and safe sauna experience.

Footwear in Sauna

When choosing footwear for a sauna, it is essential to consider materials and designs that allow maximum comfort and safety while using the sauna. Some popular footwear options for saunas are:

  • Sandals: Sandals are a great choice as they provide adequate protection for the feet and allow them to breathe. Additionally, they are easy to slip on and off, making them convenient for sauna use.
  • Shower Sandals: Similar to regular sandals, shower sandals are specifically designed for use in wet environments like saunas and showers. They are typically made from water-resistant materials and have non-slip soles for added safety.
  • Flip-flops: Flip-flops are popular due to their lightweight nature and ease of use. They provide minimal coverage and are ideal for users who prefer less material between their feet and the sauna floor.
  • Shower shoes: Shower shoes offer more foot coverage than flip-flops and are suitable for those who desire more support and protection. These shoes are made from water-resistant materials and often have non-slip soles.

When selecting the proper footwear for a sauna, remember the following guidelines:

  • Choose water-resistant and quick-drying materials, such as rubber or EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). These materials will not absorb moisture, ensuring the footwear stays hygienic and comfortable.
  • Opt for footwear with non-slip soles to prevent accidents on wet sauna floors.
  • Prioritize comfort, as the feet will be subjected to high temperatures in the sauna. The chosen footwear should be easy to wear, remove and allow the feet to breathe.

By considering these factors and selecting appropriate footwear from the options mentioned above, sauna users can ensure a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable experience.

Proper Sauna Etiquette

Sauna etiquette is important to ensure a pleasant and respectful experience for all users.

Whether you are visiting a public or private sauna, following a few simple guidelines can make your visit more enjoyable for both you and others.

  • Clothing Etiquette: In a public sauna, wearing a swimsuit or a towel wrapped around your body is common. In a private sauna, some people may prefer to go nude, but this is a matter of personal preference and the norms of your group. Always be aware of and respect the customs and rules of the sauna you visit.
  • Undressing: In most saunas, removing your clothing and leaving it in a designated area before entering the sauna is customary. Some facilities provide lockers for your belongings. Showering before entering the sauna is a good idea to remove any dirt or sweat from your body.
  • Use a Towel: When using a sauna, sitting or lying down on a clean towel is crucial. This helps maintain hygiene and prevents your sweat from coming into contact with the benches. If you forget to bring a towel, some facilities may have them available for use or purchase.
  • Respect Privacy: In both public and private saunas, it’s important to respect the privacy and personal space of others. Keep conversations to a minimum, and use a quiet, relaxing tone if you do speak. Avoid staring at others or infringing on their space.
  • Follow Time Limits: To avoid overheating, limiting your time in the sauna is essential. Start with brief sessions of 10-15 minutes, and consider taking breaks between sessions to cool down and rehydrate.
Infographic of proper sauna etiquette.
Proper Sauna Etiquette

By adhering to proper sauna etiquette and being respectful of others, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone in the sauna.

Design and Types of Saunas

Saunas offer various health benefits, but choosing the right one depends on personal preferences and available space.

This section discusses the most common sauna types and their designs to help you decide which is the best fit for you.

Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to emit light that the skin absorbs, creating heat in the body.

This type of sauna has gained popularity for its efficient heating system and lower temperature operating range (120-140°F) compared to traditional saunas. Some benefits of infrared saunas include:

  • Energy efficiency due to faster heat-up time
  • Portable options available for easy transport and setup
  • Can be installed indoors or in an outdoor space

Portable Sauna

A portable sauna offers flexibility and convenience for those with limited space or a desire for mobility. They are usually lightweight materials and can be easily assembled or disassembled. Key features include:

  • Compact size suitable for apartments or small rooms
  • Affordable and easy to install
  • Use of infrared technology in some models

Traditional Sauna

Traditional saunas originate from Finland and are built with wood, releasing heat once the temperature reaches approximately 185°F.

This type of sauna creates a relaxing, steamy environment and benefits from the following:

  • Proven design with a long history of use
  • Mortise and tenon construction for durability and aesthetics
  • Availability in indoor, outdoor, and modular (pre-built) options

In conclusion, when choosing a sauna, consider factors such as design, technology, and available space.

Infrared saunas are energy-efficient and offer portable options, while traditional saunas provide a more authentic experience. Assess your needs and preferences to find the perfect sauna for you.

Hygiene and Safety Precautions

When using a sauna, it is essential to prioritize hygiene and safety for yourself and others. Ensuring cleanliness and following proper guidelines can enhance your wellness experience while minimizing potential risks.

Infographic of sauna hygiene and safety precautions.
Sauna Hygiene and Safety Precautions

Before entering the sauna, taking a shower is highly recommended. This practice:

  • Removes dirt, sweat, and bacteria from your skin
  • Prevents the spread of germs in the sauna
  • Promotes a pleasant environment for all users

Once inside the sauna, be cautious of the environment. Due to the high temperatures and humidity, take note that:

  • Slippery tiles are a potential hazard; move slowly and wear non-slip footwear
  • Sitting on towels can prevent skin contact with the benches, improving hygiene
  • Using a personal set of tongs or gloves to adjust sauna rocks can prevent the spread of germs

Staying hydrated is essential for your well-being during a sauna session. Here are some tips:

  • Drink water before, during, and after your sauna visit
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages before entering, as they can lead to dehydration
  • Pay attention to your body’s signals and exit the sauna if you begin to feel dizzy or unwell

By following these hygiene and safety precautions, you help ensure an enjoyable and secure sauna experience for yourself and those around you.


What type of clothing is appropriate for a sauna?

It is best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing or a swimsuit when using a sauna. The key is to ensure the clothes do not restrict circulation or make you feel overheated.

  • Lightweight and breathable fabrics recommended
  • Avoid tight clothing, synthetic materials, or heavy materials

Ideal fabrics for sauna usage include:

  • Natural fibers like cotton or linen
  • Materials that are lightweight and moisture-wicking
  • Breathable fabrics that aid in heat dissipation

Avoid synthetic materials, as they may increase the risk of overheating or skin irritation.

Is it better to wear a bathing suit or go nude in a sauna?

The choice between wearing a bathing suit or going nude in a sauna is primarily dictated by personal preference and cultural norms. In some countries, shared saunas are typically used without clothing, while bathing suits are more appropriate in others. Consider the setting and any specific rules or guidelines posted at the facility.

  • Personal preference and cultural norms dictate the choice
  • Observe facility rules or guidelines

Can socks or shoes be worn inside a sauna?

Wearing socks or shoes inside a sauna is generally not recommended for the following reasons:

  • They may inhibit sweating and temperature regulation
  • Possible bacteria build-up

Instead, consider using slip-on sandals or flip-flops that can be worn to and from the sauna but removed before entering.

Is it advised to wear a sauna suit?

Sauna suits are not typically advised for use in traditional saunas due to safety concerns and potentially negative health effects. The suits are designed to increase sweating, which may lead to dehydration or overheating. Traditional saunas are designed to provide a healthy sweat, making the use of sauna suits unnecessary.

  • Avoid sauna suits in traditional saunas
  • May increase the risk of dehydration and overheating

Are there any different clothing recommendations for an infrared sauna?

Infrared sauna users should follow similar guidelines to those recommended for traditional saunas:

  • Choose loose, comfortable clothing or a swimsuit
  • Opt for natural fibers like cotton or linen
  • Avoid synthetic materials

The key difference is that infrared saunas usually operate at lower temperatures, so lighter clothing may be suitable. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines the infrared sauna facility provides.

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