What is the difference between a bathhouse and a sauna?

What is the difference between a bathhouse and a sauna?

Despite the great popularity and distribution of spa centers and beauty salons, baths and saunas remain in demand. It is a place for emotional and physical relaxation. Many people consider the time spent in the steam room to be the best way to relax and rejuvenate. There are certain differences between these similarly functional rooms. In this article, you will learn how a bath differs from a sauna and how the differences affect a person..


The main purpose of saunas and baths is to maintain health and beauty. The difference between them lies in many aspects, despite the same purpose..

The well-known Russian bath and Finnish sauna, which is now very popular among Russians, are called twin cities. Just like our ancestors, the Finns considered the sauna not just a place for bathing, but a special place that was treated with respect and honor. A regular visit to the steam room was considered the best medicine for all diseases and ailments..

If the sauna used to be a small house, now its size can be impressive. Currently, the Finns continue to modernize the steam room design, as a result of which modern saunas are significantly different from their predecessors..

Temperature and humidity

The first significant difference that should be noted is the temperature regime. The conditions in the bath are softer and more sparing. The optimum temperature in the sauna is about 140 degrees Celsius. Such an indicator is not considered a limiting one and may be higher.

In such hot conditions in saunas, the humidity is extremely low: on average, from 5 to 15%. This is done to make hot air easier to perceive. The body of a healthy and strong person perceives temperature beneficially, receiving the necessary benefits.

The classic Russian bath is characterized by high humidity. The indicator is about 70%, provided that the air temperature reaches 90 degrees Celsius with a plus sign. This is done taking into account the physiology of the local population. It is believed that Russians normally tolerate such a regime in a steam room. At lower temperatures (about 60 degrees), humidity drops to 40-50%.

Special conditions are created by furnaces that differ in the principle of operation, sizes and other parameters..


Large-sized stoves are not installed on the basis of saunas. Practically all modern steam rooms of this type are equipped with fireplaces with an open backfill of stone or special electrical equipment. The main advantages of such furnaces are quick heating and maintenance of the required temperature for a long time..

As a minus, the aesthetic side is highlighted. Many bath fans love to admire the tongues of fire and enjoy the light aroma of wood, which cannot be found in saunas with innovative equipment..

The stove in the Russian bath is a huge, heavy and powerful structure. It is a dry steam generator and a source of precious heat. It is impossible to get such steam in the sauna because of the equipment of a different type. Many sauna stoves have large round stones inside, due to which the heat will be stored for a long time..

With the help of a stove, in addition to the steam room itself, a boiler with water is heated. In saunas, the stove is not used to heat the liquid..

Only firewood is used as fuel for the sauna stove.


In ancient times, the functions of the pool were performed by stakes, a hand or any other body of water located nearby. In winter, snowdrifts were used for this purpose. Now baths and saunas are equipped with pools for a contrasting alternation of hot air and cool water..

If it may not be available in the bath, then it is mandatory for the sauna. Finns are big fans of alternating water treatments.

Construction Materials

Different materials are used in the construction of saunas and baths. In the first case, in addition to natural wood, modern artificial analogues and other natural raw materials are used. As for the second room, only natural materials are used here. In the distant past, even moss and felt were used as heaters for a bath.

The development of modern building products does not stand still. More and more builders are using artificial substitutes, but such a building cannot be called a real bathhouse. Many experts call this type of room a kind of hybrid of a sauna and a bath..


A standard sauna consists of three functional areas:

  • locker room – in this part lockers and benches are equipped;
  • sweating room – steam room;
  • soap department – there is a massage room, a swimming pool.

A typical Russian bathhouse consists of two locations:

  • locker room;
  • steam room and soap room – combined area.

In the sauna room, intended for steam, one does not wash, and the broom is rarely used. Dry and hot air makes this accessory useless. Instead, scented oils and other scented additives are often used..

In the Russian bath, folk remedies are used as aromatherapy, for example, kvass diluted with water.

External design

It is very easy to distinguish a bath from a sauna by its external features. The first option is more concise and simple. The room is finished with wood. The same material is used to make furniture and add-ons such as hangers, buckets, etc..

Sauna is more luxurious, expressive and elegant. Stylish lamps, sophisticated glass doors, exquisite furniture, modern plumbing, spectacular design – all these are the characteristics of a sauna. In this case, emphasis is placed on the external design, while the bath is characterized by a more modest and peaceful decoration..

Stove stones

In special stoves for baths, stones are laid deep inside the structure and closed with a door. If it is necessary to raise the temperature in the room, the partition is slightly opened and sprinkled with water. In this case, the stones keep the required regime much more efficient. The heat inside the room persists for a long time.

As for the sauna, the stones are always open in it – their heat is directly transferred to the air..

Ventilation and pressure

Although steam rooms need to be kept high and humid, ventilation is also important. Optimal conditions for a sauna are achieved by the ratio of pressure parameters inside and outside the room.

In the bathhouse, things are different. These are rooms with increased pressure, which is necessary for wet steam. Otherwise, it will become excessively dry. The evaporation process takes place in a closed compartment of the stove and resembles an explosion, after which it passes inward through the openings in the door.

A certain volume of it remains inside, due to which increased pressure is formed – steam dissociation occurs: the hottest air vapors rise to the ceiling, and the more gentle ones go down. The movement takes place depending on the type of steam room and the condition of the steam particles.


A bathhouse cannot be imagined without a broom. This obligatory attribute of Russian baths is made from the branches of trees and herbs. Its use has a relaxing and healing effect.. In the process of use, tissues and internal organs are massaged. In addition, it has a positive effect on pore cleansing and blood circulation..

As noted earlier, this accessory is not used in the sauna: the temperature and dryness make it tough and ineffective. However, if you wish, you can use it, but only in the dressing room..

Effects on the body

In case of problems with the cardiovascular system, it is advisable to visit the sauna regularly. Dry and hot air will help keep the body in good health. However, visits are allowed only with moderate forms of this ailment.. And it is also advisable to spend time in saunas for people with problems such as:

  • stones in the kidneys;
  • diseases of the skin;
  • liver disease;
  • problems with the genitourinary system;
  • high blood pressure;
  • cold.

You can go to the bathhouse for diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Some experts, even if you have an ailment, advise you to visit her regularly in this case. The conditions in the bath have a healing effect on the respiratory organs. Studies have shown that the vital capacity of the lungs increases, and water and soft vapor have a positive effect on the functioning of the mucous membrane..

When you first visit a bath or sauna, listen carefully to your well-being. Do not stay in the steam room for a long time, get used to the conditions gradually.


It is strongly recommended to refuse the premises of the sauna in the presence of such ailments:

  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • serious mental disorders;
  • upper respiratory tract diseases.

Before going to the sauna, it is recommended to consult a specialist.

Overall positive effect

A visit to a bath or sauna has a lot of positive effects:

  • relaxation;
  • getting rid of stress and fatigue;
  • opening and cleaning pores;
  • removal of toxins from the body;
  • getting rid of cellulite and excess weight;

  • hardening of the body (when carrying out contrasting water procedures);
  • strengthening the immune system;
  • aromatherapy will not only give peace and pleasure, but also have a certain healing effect;
  • general improvement.

German doubles

The main difference between the Russian bath and the German version is that in the second case there is no division into a female and male steam room. There are two locations indoors: a room with a pool and a steam room. In it, representatives of both sexes are at the same time.

The second difference is the use of essential oils. They are sprinkled on stones, creating the necessary aromatic effect. In this way, German baths are reminiscent of saunas..


There are significant differences between the bathhouse and the sauna, which lie not only in visual design, but also in certain conditions. Depending on individual preferences, the desired effect and the general condition of the body, everyone chooses the best for himself.

If you are going to equip your personal sauna or bathhouse at home, then carefully read the above information, thanks to which you can make the right choice..

You will learn even more about the differences between a bath and a sauna in the next video..

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