If you're interested in getting a sauna or steam shower installed in your own home, then congratulations are in order, after all, bringing a spa-like experience into your bathroom shows that you care about yourself and your family, and the numerous benefits (both physical and mental health) will elevate your standard of living significantly. However, it's important to understand that a sauna and a steam shower are two very different things, even though the two terms are often used interchangeably. Before you go out shopping, think about which fits your life (and budget) best: here are the top three distinctions between a sauna and a steam shower you should know about.
Dry vs. moist heat The difference between the two lies mostly in the kind of therapy you will enjoy - either high and dry heat (sauna) or low and moist heat (steam shower). To a large degree this is a matter of personal choice although it has been proven that there tends to be more advantages to the steam shower relative to the sauna, especially for those suffering from asthma, the common cold, the flu, or for those afflicted with pulmonary diseases. It's also better for the skin.
Major health benefits Both offer great health benefits, especially:
- Provision of deep heat for pain relief, especially to muscles and joints after accidents or exercise
- Improvement of the immune system
- Improved blood flow, leading to more nutrients and oxygen flowing to the vital organs
- Mental relaxation
It should be pointed out, however, that the steam shower has extra advantages:
- The de-clogging of sinuses and airways to soothe pulmonary diseases
- Softer and cleaner skin
Installation and materials Saunas are usually made of wood because dry heat is used. Steam showers are never made of wood and should be completely enclosed (and made waterproof) to ensure the damp and steam don't penetrate into other parts of the bathroom. The construction and installation materials will differ, as will the plumbing requirements. The truth is that, whichever you choose, you will have made a good choice - the health benefits of both have been proven over and over throughout history, and both allow you to relax in different ways, raising your standard of living, adding value to your home and giving you more and more energy with each session to face the next day. However, it's important to make the right choice; it will influence your budget and if you have health issues, one might be preferable over the other. In case of doubt, consult the professionals and follow the advice of a medical expert. Your life is about to change, after all, and it should become better just the way you want it.