Sauna Vs Hot Tub- What’s the Difference?

After a long day at work, we all want to relax and reenergize for a bit. There are a few things that can be more relaxing than sitting in a sauna or spending some time soaking in a hot tub. The hot environment of a sauna as well as a hot tub can act as a comfortable way to get rid of all the stress and tension in your body.

Even though, a sauna and a hot tub follow the same principle of using heat to help the body relax, there is a world of difference in how both these operate. People often use both or one after another depending on their requirement and preference. While sitting in a sauna can rid your body of all kinds of toxins, it can also get really hot so you need to practice caution while using a sauna.

Excessive sweating in a sauna can lead to dehydration and hyperthermia as a sauna heats up the air in the room and offers a steam bath to cause perspiration. A hot tub on the other hand maintains water a particular temperature and keeps the water hot and also offers features like bubble jets for a massage experience.

In this article, we are going to take a look at various features and properties of a sauna and a hot tub so that you can make an informed decision about which one you want to get for your house. We are also going to take a look at the advantages, disadvantages, FAQs and more about both saunas and hot tubs to learn a bit more in depth about both.

What is a Sauna?

A sauna (2) is a room that is equipped with steaming devices and heaters to create dry as well as wet heat. As air is a bad conductor of heat, the temperature in a sauna can get really hot. This causes excessive sweating in people who are sitting in the sauna and helps to flush out the toxins from the body in form of sweat. Often, saunas have steam dispensers in them so that users can enjoy the hot steam and feel relaxed because of increased blood circulation and heart beat rate. Steam can also improve skin complexion and skin tone as heat makes the skin look better. Improved blood circulation also makes the skin look radiant with a healthy glow.

Advantages of a Sauna

There are several advantages of spending time in a sauna, here’s a look at some of these advantages(3).

  1. Better Skin – Spending time in a sauna opens up the skin’s pores that help in the release of dead skin cells. The bacteria and dead cells in the outer layer of skin are flushed away with the sweat leaving you with healthy and glowing skin.
  2. Improved Blood Circulation – Exposure to heat helps in improving blood circulation as heat drives the blood to the outer extremities of the body. Better blood circulation helps to improve heart rate and cardiovascular activity.
  3. Removals of Toxins – Excessive heat can be helpful in flushing out harmful toxins from the body through sweat. Sweating can help in removing toxins like zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and mercury from the body. This might also provide long term benefits as you feel more energized and less fatigued.
  4. Better Hair (4)- By properly taking precautions to prevent hair against loss of moisture and dryness in a sauna, you can experience better hair as sitting in a sauna increases blood flow to the skin. This means the follicles in the scalp get more nutrients and this can also promote better hair growth. While in the sauna, keep your hair wrapped in a towel and keep taking sips of water to prevent dehydration.
  5. Reduce Chronic Pain (6) – As high temperature helps to relax the body, it can be a great way to deal with chronic pain. Elders and people suffering from joint pains or muscle fatigue can benefit from sauna sessions as these help to loosen up the muscles and provide relief from pain.

Disadvantages of a Sauna

A sauna is great for relaxing but there are certain disadvantages of a sauna. Here’s a look at some of these disadvantages.

  1. Not Recommended for Pregnant Women – Pregnant women at any time of their pregnancy should avoid a sauna. The high temperature of the sauna can move blood away from their fetus which can lead to birth defects and even miscarriage in the initial months of the pregnancy.
  2. Saunas can cause temporary impotence (7) – Excessive heat can have a negative effect on the mobility and quality of sperm, but these effects are short-lived and can be reversed by avoiding saunas for as short as three months. Anyone trying to conceive should avoid saunas.
  3. High Temperature is not ideal for elders – Elders with health problems such as high blood pressure or heart problems should avoid saunas. The excessive temperature in the saunas can lead to variation in body’s temperature and blood pressure.
  4. High temperature can cause dehydration and hyperthermia  – Sauna sessions should be limited to ten-fifteen minutes as spending too much time in a sauna can lead to dehydration or hyperthermia. Make sure you drink plenty of water before going into the sauna as you will be sweating once you’re inside. People sensitive to high temperatures should also avoid saunas.
  5. Building a sauna can be expensive – A sauna needs a proper room that is built for this purpose. Building another room on your property can be expensive. You can use a membership of a gym sauna but being in the sauna with other people might not be up to your liking.
  6. Saunas Require Extensive Maintenance – It takes time and money to ensure your sauna is sanitary and it works as it is supposed to. You might also need to high professional technicians to check the sauna in case something goes wrong with it.

Videos of Sauna Use

Who Should Choose a Sauna

When it comes to choosing a sauna, here are some users that can make the best use of a sauna

  1. Athletes – Athletes suffering from muscles aches and pains because of training or performance in sports can benefit from taking steam baths as it improves their cardiovascular performance.
  2. Fitness Enthusiasts – Fitness enthusiasts can benefit from being limber and relax after strenuous exercise in a gym or at the playground. Sitting in a sauna for ten to fifteen minutes can help aching muscles in recovering quickly.
  3. People Recovering from Injuries – People who have suffered from injuries can benefit from saunas as the heat helps to loosen up stiff muscles and drives blood to the extremities of the body and that can help in healing quickly.
  4. People Suffering from Arthritis – Elders suffering from arthritis can get relief from joint pain as heat helps to reduce inflammation in joints and also eases muscle pain.
  5. People Suffering from Acne – Excessive sweating can help in removing toxins and oils from the skin and that can reduce the occurrence of acne on skin

FAQs about Saunas

Users often have questions and queries regarding sauna use. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about saunas.

Q1) How much time should I spend in a Sauna(7.1)?

Ans. Saunas have a really high temperature inside so that users can start sweating immediately. For the best use, you should not spend more than 10-15 minutes inside a sauna. You can always go out of the sauna, cool off, and come back inside for another session.

Q2) What are some precautions I should take while in a sauna(7.3)?

Ans. Make sure you take a bath before entering a sauna as it removes any dirt or dust from your body. It also moistens the skin so that it’s best suitable for a sauna bath. Before entering a sauna, drink at least two glasses of water as you will sweat it all out once you’re inside. Wrap your hair in a towel as excess heat can be damaging for hair follicles. In case you feel dizzy or disoriented, get out of the sauna at once and seek help. Sauna use is not recommended for pregnant women, heart patients, or blood pressure patients as it can create a range of health issues for them. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking any medications before entering the sauna.

Q3) I have trouble sleeping at night. How can a sauna bath help me?

Ans. A sauna raises your core temperature and once you start to cool down after exiting the sauna, the lowering body temperature creates a slightly drowsy feeling. This can help you sleep better and sleep much deeper than before.

Q4) I suffer from joint pain. Can sitting in a sauna help me?

Ans. Yes. A 10-15 minute session in a sauna can help your joint muscles to relax and reduce inflammation so that your joints will feel much at ease. The effect of the sauna can be felt long after you’ve exited from the sauna.

Conclusion about Saunas

Spending some time in a sauna or a steam room can work wonders for your overall health. But before visiting a sauna, make sure you consult with your physician and get their approval for visiting a sauna. The excessive heat in a sauna is not ideal for people who are suffering heart issues or women who are pregnant.

Sportsmen, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts can benefit a lot from saunas. Spending 15-20 minutes in a sauna can flush out toxins from the body and help you to relax and unwind. The heat makes the skin’s pores open up and relaxes the muscles and helps to soothe any aches or pains due to physical exertion.

Spending time in a sauna can also help you to sleep better as exposure to heat releases endorphins and once you’re out of the sauna, the slow decline of endorphins helps in promoting better sleep. If you’re looking for all these health benefits and much more, you can consider building a sauna in your house.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs come in various shapes and sizes. You can buy from portable hot tubs to fixed hot tubs and much more. A hot tub heats up the water up to 104 degrees F and keeps the water hot while you’re using it. Hot tubs can be enjoyed indoors as well as outdoors and you can also buy portable hot tubs that can be inflated for use and then later deflated for storage or moving them to another place. Hot tubs also come in various sizes and you can buy hot tubs to accommodate anywhere from 2-6 people. These hot tubs can also be placed on your porch, on your patio, on the deck or in the outhouse. In all, hot tubs make a great style statement and add to the decor of a space.

Advantages of a Hot Tub

There are various advantages of a hot tub in the house and you can live a healthier and more relaxed life when you use a hot tub. Some of these advantages are:

  1. Relaxation – Hot tubs are great for relaxing and rejuvenating yourself after a long day at work. You can set up the hot tub to heat the water and when you reach home, you can slip into the hot tub and spend some time there. The warm water can open up your skin’s pores and flush out the toxins from your body.
  2. Better Sleep – Sitting in a hot tub can raise your body’s temperature and when you get out of the hot tub, the gradual lowering of the body temperature induces a sleepy state. People who use hot tubs regularly mention that they sleep quite well and deeply every time they soak in the hot tub.
  3. Improves Skin – Sitting in a hot tub for a while can be really beneficial for your skin. As your blood vessels dilate, it makes the blood rush to the extremities of the body and bubble action of the water helps to remove dead skin cells and other impurities from the skin. Once you exit the hot tub, you will feel your skin glowing and looking really great.
  4. Helpful in Joint Pain and Stiffness (8)- A soak in a hot tub offers a buoyant environment where the stress and pressure is taken off from the body’s joints. This can help people who suffer from problems like arthritis and joint pain.
  5. Gentle Massage – Most hot tubs come with the function of bubble jets that can offer a gentle massage with their bubble action that can be really relaxing. Elders suffering from pain in joints or other body parts can use the bubbles jets to direct the massaging action of the bubbles at that part of the body to get a relaxing feeling.

Disadvantages of a Hot Tub

While hot tubs can be really useful for a number of reasons, there are certain disadvantages of hot tubs that should not be ignored either. Here are some of the common disadvantages of hot tubs.

  1. Time Required to Heat Up – As hot tubs contain a lot of water, the time taken for a hot tub to heat up to a required temperature can be anywhere from 12-24 hours. So if you want to soak in a hot tub, you need to set up the tub and start the heater much in advance.
  2. Maintenance – Maintaining the hot tubs can be a stressful task as these contain several parts and accessories that can develop faults by being in contact with hot water. You also need to use chemicals and cleaning supplies to make sure the water in the hot tub is ideal for use and it has a proper chemical balance.
  3. High Temperature – The water in a hot tub can often get too hot and it can be harmful to people who have a history of medical problems such as heart problems and high blood pressure.
  4. Not Ideal for Pregnant Women – Hot tub use can be problematic for pregnant women as sitting in the hot tub can lead to a rise in their core temperature and that can lead to problems like miscarriage or birth defects in the fetus.
  5. Inflatable Hot Tubs Can Develop Leaks – When it comes to inflatable hot tubs, you need to be really careful in their use. While the material they’re made of is strong, it can still get punctured or ripped with careless usage. And once ripped, patching it up can be quite difficult.
  6. Risk of Contamination – With hot tubs, people often share a hot tub with others. This can lead to spread of infection of skin if the water in the hot tub is not up to high sanitization levels. Also, as there are a lot of chemicals in the water of the hot tub, those allergic to these chemicals might feel uncomfortable sitting in the water.

Videos of Hot Tub Use

Hot tubs are a great accessory that can be used in any home. Here are some of the possible users for hot tubs.

  1. Elders – Elderly people who might be suffering from a range of problems such as joint pain, arthritis, muscle pain and more can benefit from sitting in the hot tub. The hot water in the tub can help them to relax as it reduces inflammation in the joints.
  2. Light Sleepers – People who have trouble sleeping can benefit immensely from a hot tub. Soaking in the hot tub a few hours before sleeping can help them to sleep better and more deeply as sitting in hot water raises the core temperature of the body. Once they get out of the hot tub, the body’s temperature lowers gradually and this can induce a state of relaxation.
  3. Sportsmen – Sportsmen and athletes often suffer from muscle cramps and injuries due to activities on the field. A soak in a hot tub can help them get to feel relief from different kinds of muscle pain as the hot water relaxes the muscles and makes the joints more limber.

FAQs about Hot Tubs

Users often have questions about hot tubs and their uses. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about hot tubs.

Q1) My hot tub shut down on its own and there is an error code on the control panel. What is the reason behind this?

Ans. There can be various reasons for the hot tub shutting down. Most of the times, it’s because either the water is too hot. In this case, you should let the hot tub cool down a little bit before switching it on again. Other times, it can be a clogged filter. You should take out the filter and examine it. If it is clogged you can either clean it or replace it if it’s too old. If these actions do not get the hot tub started again, consider calling the helpline of your hot tub’s manufacturer.

Q2) What type of chemical should I use for cleaning my hot tub? How can I know if the chemical balance in the tub is alright for usage?

Ans. You should always use the chemicals that are suggested by the manufacturer of your hot tub. You can look up the names of chemicals in the manual that came with your hot tub. All hot tubs come with chemical strips that can be dipped into the water to check if the chemical balance is alright for usage. If your hot tub didn’t come with the chemical test stripes, you can pick some up from your local hardware store.

Q3) I want to enjoy my hot tub outdoors, and I am confused whether I should get a fixed hot tub or an inflatable one?

Ans. Getting an inflatable hot tub is the best choice as you can set it up in the location that you like. Also, setting up the inflatable hot tub is really easy and you can do it without the need of any tools. Simply hook up the tub with the spa pump and it will fill up with air in no time. You can then fill it up with water and start the heater to heat up the water. A fixed hot tub will cost you a lot of money to set up and it is also very difficult to move in case you decide to relocate.

Q4) I want to keep my hot tub safe from small animals. How can I do that?

Ans. To keep your hot tub’s water safe from outside contamination, you need to get a hot tub cover. These covers are available for almost all models of hot tubs and if your model is not available, you can measure and get your own hot tub cover made. These covers offer locking options that can lock up the cover really tight on the hot tub so that small animals or insects can’t get in. Hot tubs covers are also insulated which ensures the water stays hot when the cover is placed on it.

Q5) How long does it take for the water to get hot?

Ans. The rate of water getting hot depends on a range of factors. The weather in your location, the volume of water in your hot tub, the power supply of your heater and much more. On an average, it can take anywhere from twelve hours to a day for the water to get hot. You can always speed up the heating process by covering your hot tub with an insulated hot tub cover and switching off the jets while the water is heating up.


A hot tub is a great addition to any home as it is great for families or couples to spend some quality time together. Hot tubs are relaxing, rejuvenating, and these also make a place look good. Modern designs of hot tubs can complement the decor of any house as these are designed with modern sensibilities in mind.

Given the various health benefits of hot tubs, these can be useful for everyone from the elderly, to sportspersons, and for people who have trouble sleeping at night. Most of all, hot tubs are the ultimate in luxury and relaxation. If you’re looking for an affordable and fun way to relax, then get a hot tub for your home.

For more information about hot tubs, please browse through this website. You can also leave your questions or queries in the comment section and our team will answer you promptly.


Hi, I'm Richard the Chief Editor at I worked in the Hot tub maintenance field for a few years, and I thought to share my knowledge about Hot tub on our blog. My team and I share useful information related to Hot Tubs.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Ladine - November 25, 2019

I’d like to get both now I want a hot tub for about 3 people .., so bot too big, and one that will last so is a soft tub better then a inflatable. Plus one that is salt water, use hot for winter and cold for summer. Plus a infrared dry sauna for up 2 people, and both good on power.


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