2024: What To Wear In A Sauna – Easy Tips For Comfort And Safety

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Written By Lalabrothers

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For a safe and relaxing experience in a sauna, especially after a long day of work or workout, choosing the right clothing is the first step. Upon entering, it’s customary to undress and shower to take off any dusty or dirty clothes and shoes. This is crucial because everyday clothes can release dirt and dust into the air, compromising the full benefits of a good sauna session.

Deciding what to wear for your 10 to 45 minutes in the sauna depends on your attitude, social norms, and personal comfort. Conventions vary: some may strip down completely to allow their body to adapt to the high temperatures and facilitate sweating. At home, you might opt to go naked, but in a public sauna, it’s best to choose based on a simple rule – little clothing is best. Avoiding the wrong things to wear is key; the goal is to enjoy your sauna time in comfort.

When you go to a sauna, it’s important to dress right. Saunas are very hot, usually 110 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. In a sauna, your body temperature goes up and you sweat a lot. Wearing tight or heavy clothes can stop your sweat from drying. This can make it hard for your body to stay cool. The Cleveland Clinic says if you don’t cool down right in a sauna, you could get too hot. This can cause health problems like heat exhaustion or stroke.

Heart health is also important in a sauna. The heart works harder in the heat. The wrong clothes can make it hard for blood to move around your body. This can make your heart beat faster and raise your blood pressure. This is risky, especially if you already have heart problems.

Wearing the wrong thing can also be unhygienic. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and spandex can stick to your skin when you’re sweaty. This can cause skin problems and infections. Instead, it’s better to wear natural fabrics. They are safer and better for your skin in the sauna.

What To Wear In A Sauna

What to Wear in Sauna
Source of image: Freepik

In a sauna, there aren’t any hard and fast rules about what to wear, but some general guidelines can enhance your steam session. Opt for loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, or linen. These breathable fabrics allow good air circulation and have moisture-wicking properties to keep your skin dry as you sweat during your sauna session. After a workout, these materials feel softer and more comfortable on the skin, adding to the soothing effects of the sauna.

In this article, we are attempting to explain in detail certain points about what to wear in a sauna.

Can You Wear A Swimsuit In The Sauna?
Can You Wear A Swimsuit In The Sauna?

Wearing a swimsuit in the sauna might seem like a practical solution, but it can be dangerous for your health. Most swimsuits are made from PVC fabric, which obstructs the skin from breathing. At high temperatures, this material risks melting, releasing toxic chemicals and fumes. Moreover, swimsuits can be uncomfortable as their insulating material can absorb heat. Instead, opt for loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibers that allow better ventilation while sitting in the sauna. Be cautious of metal parts on a swimsuit, which can get hot and burn the skin.

In a sauna, being comfortable is key. Some people prefer to be naked, but in public saunas, it’s important to check the rules. Always call ahead or check the website. Remember to shower before entering to keep the sauna clean and avoid spreading bacteria. Avoid dangling decorative pieces or accessories that don’t let your skin breathe properly to fully enjoy the benefits of your sauna session. Remember, dehydration, toxic fumes, and poor airflow can all be concerns when choosing what to wear in a sauna.

Towel In The Sauna
Sauna towel

In a sauna, using a towel can be a better choice than a bathing suit, especially those made of PVC fabrics which can harm the skin in the heat. Instead of a swimsuit, consider a soft towel. Place it on the bench while sitting. Many Finns wrap it around their waist for the ultimate sauna experience. This helps protect your privacy and also absorbs your sweat, preventing the spread of bacteria.

A cotton towel is a great option because it can absorb sweat well and feels comfortable against your skin. If you’re not comfortable going without a swimming suit, a towel is a good compromise. In public saunas, like those in a hotel, you can often borrow a towel. It’s a good idea to bring your own if you’re going to a gym sauna. This way, you ensure it’s clean and comfortable for you as a guest. Remember, it’s about finding what makes you most comfortable while also considering hygiene and practicality in the sauna environment.

Cotton Clothes In The Sauna
Generate a picture Cotton Clothes In The Sauna

Source of image: Freepik

Wearing a swimsuit in a sauna is common, but cotton clothes can be more comfortable. A big, loose t-shirt or cotton shorts are good. Cotton is great because it absorbs heat and helps your skin breathe. Always wear clean clothes in the sauna. Bring a towel too, to put on the bench where you sit. This helps keep the seat clean and free from bacteria.

It’s better not to wear tight underwear or a bra. They can make you feel uncomfortable because of the high temperature and humidity in the sauna. Cotton clothes make things easier than choosing the right bathing suit. They are not just stylish but also safer and better for your skin. Remember, dirty clothes can cause skin problems. Some people like to wear sleepwear or just wrap a towel around themselves. This is good during hot times in the sauna. If you need to wear undergarments, pick those without wire for more comfort.

Flip Flops Or Slippers In The Sauna
Flip Flops Or Slippers In The Sauna

When you go to a sauna, it’s a good idea to bring flip-flops or slippers. This helps protect your feet from dirt and grime, especially in public saunas. If you have a sauna at home, you might not need shoes. But in public places, it’s not good to be barefoot. It can be unclean. Always wear clean shoes in a sauna that others use too. This helps keep it clean for everyone.

In most saunas, people agree it’s best not to wear shoes. This helps keep the place clean. Remember to check the rules of the sauna you visit to see what kind of footwear is okay.

What Is The Best Thing To Wear In Sauna?

When you’re choosing what to wear in a sauna, a good tip is to wear less. Actually, being completely naked is often the best way to enjoy your sauna session, especially if it’s your own personal sauna. In public saunas, it’s a good idea to at least wear a towel for your own comfort. It’s okay to be naked or wear nothing at all if you’re with friends, family, or even around strangers. In Finland, where saunas are very popular, people usually try to be as comfortable as possible with very little clothing.

Remember, each sauna might have its own rules about what to wear. The most important thing is to do what makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.

What To Wear In A Sauna For Men
What to Wear in a Sauna for Men

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For men going to a sauna, picking the right thing to wear is about being comfortable and keeping modesty. It’s good to wear something that lets your body sweat but also fits the sauna experience. In public saunas, you might need to wear certain clothes.

Good choices for men are a swimsuit or gym shorts made of cotton or natural fibers. Another simple option is to wrap a towel around your waist or over your shoulders. If you want more coverage, a light t-shirt or a breathable tank top works well. Some men like to wear a sauna kilt, which is special for saunas.

Remember, the main thing is to feel comfortable and relaxed, and to follow the sauna’s rules.

What To Wear In A Sauna For Women
Sauna CLothes For Women

For women, choosing what to wear in a sauna depends on if it’s a coed place or women-only. In a coed sauna or spa with rules on what to wear, there are a few choices. You can wear a swimsuit or bikini. It’s best if they’re made of cotton or natural fibers. You can also wrap a towel or sarong around you. Some women like to wear a comfortable, airy dress or skirt.

In a women-only sauna, you might feel good in a light t-shirt or a tank top. Other good choices are a cotton kaftan, a kimono, or a linen spa gown. The main thing is to wear what makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, while also following the rules of the sauna.

What Do You Wear To A Sauna At The Gym?

When you go to a sauna at the gym, what you wear is important. Many people wear different types of swimwear or activewear. If you’re going to an infrared sauna, wearing your snug gym clothes is usually fine. But in a traditional sauna or steam room, you might want to think more about it.

Light and airy clothes are usually the best. They let your skin breathe and don’t get too hot. Also, make sure whatever you wear is clean and feels good on you. This will help you enjoy your sauna time more, without feeling too hot or uncomfortable.

Can You Wear Gym Leggings In A Sauna?

Wearing gym leggings in a sauna can make you feel too hot, especially in a traditional sauna or steam room. These places have lots of hot air and you will sweat a lot. Gym leggings might cover your body more, but they can make your body temperature go up too much. In an infrared sauna, gym leggings might be okay because the heat is different there.

Can I Wear Gym Clothes In A Sauna?

It’s not the best idea to wear tight-fitting gym clothes in a sauna. They might make you feel too hot and uncomfortable. Instead, try wearing bathing suits or swimming suits. These are better for saunas. Remember to take a quick shower before you go into the sauna. This helps keep the sauna clean.

Sauna Accessories
Sauna Accessories

Source of image: Freepik

When you go to the sauna, there are some accessories you can take with you to make your time there better. These things are optional, but they can make your experience more enjoyable and comfortable. Here are some essentials you might want to wear or use during your sweat session:

  • Headband or Hair Tie: This keeps your hair off your face and neck.
  • Water Bottle or Thermos: It’s important to stay hydrated. A water bottle helps you cool down.
  • Robe or Cover-Up: Good to have when you’re walking around or if you want to read a book or magazine while relaxing.
  • Aromatherapy Oils: These can be used for sauna aromatherapy to make the air smell nice.
  • Seat Cushions or Sauna Bench Mat: These can make sitting more comfortable.
  • Sauna Hat: Some people wear this to protect their head from the heat.
  • Slip-Resistant Flip Flops or Slippers: These protect your feet from the hot surface.

Remember, these are just things to make your sauna time better. You don’t need them all, just choose what works best for you.

What Not To Wear In The Sauna

Safety, Hygiene, And Etiquette

When visiting a sauna or steam room, maintaining safety, hygiene, and etiquette is paramount. Avoid these items:

  • Dirty Clothes: Wearing them in a sauna can release dust into the air, making it uncomfortable due to the heat.
  • Tight-Fitting Clothes: Can be uncomfortable and restrict skin breathing.
  • Sweaters and Sweatsuits: Can absorb sweat and hinder the skin’s ability to cleanse.
  • Workout Clothes: Avoid tight, non-breathable workout clothes.
  • Garments Made of PVC: These can melt at high temperatures.
  • Lotions and Creams: Can clog pores and impair skin’s ability to breathe and release toxins.

Fabric Choices

  • Synthetic Fibers like nylon and polyester: They retain moisture and heat, leading to overheating and dehydration.
  • Natural Fabrics: Prefer cotton, linen, or wool as they breathe better and feel less sweaty and clammy.

Makeup And Fragrances

  • Makeup: Increases the risk of pores getting trapped, leading to inflammation and breakouts. The American Academy of Dermatology advises to wash your face with a gentle cleanser to avoid blemishes.
  • Strong Perfume or Cologne: The heat and steam in a sauna can react with fragrance molecules, causing an unpleasant or nauseating odor.


  • Rings, Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces: Avoid wearing these during a sauna session. The New York-Presbyterian Hospital warns that jewelry can cause irritation or burns in a hot, humid environment.
  • Phone: It’s best not to bring it into the sauna due to the risk of heat damage.

Considering these factors will ensure a more enjoyable and safe sauna experience.

Hygiene Considerations During Sauna Bath

When it comes to hygiene in a sauna, several practices are crucial:

  • Shower before entering: It’s essential to rinse off any dirt, oils, and sweat from your skin to maintain a clean environment. This also helps open pores for effective detoxification.
  • Use a clean towel: Always sit or lie on a clean towel during your sauna session. This prevents direct contact with sauna benches, reducing the risk of infections or burns.
  • Have an extra towel handy to wipe off any drip during the session.
  • In a public sauna or shared steam room, avoid touching surfaces with your bare skin to minimize exposure to acne-causing bacteria.
  • Wash away toxins after the sauna: If you’re recovering from a cold or flu or have an active infection, avoid the sauna to prevent spreading the infection.

Following these guidelines ensures not only a more hygienic experience but also enhances the overall effectiveness and enjoyment of your sauna bath.

Additional Sauna Etiquettes

When you go to a sauna, there are some rules you should know to make sure everyone has a good time:

  • Dress codes are different in different places. In European countries like Germany, Austria, and Finland, people often go naked. But in the United States, wearing a bathing suit or a towel is usual.
  • It’s important to respect other people. In a public sauna or health club, don’t stare at others or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Think about the space you use. Don’t take up too much room on the benches or block the entrance.
  • Keep talking low and soft. Loud talking or noisy behavior can bother other people.
  • If you use essential oils or scents, use just a little. Too much can be too strong for others.
  • Eating and drinking can be messy, so they are often not allowed. Keep your water bottle closed.
  • Look after your personal items and trash. Always clean up any water you leave.

These simple rules help everyone enjoy their time in the sauna.

Why Sauna Naked Is Best

Being naked in a sauna is natural, just like Mother Nature intended. In a sauna session, especially in an infrared sauna, not wearing any clothes lets your skin soak up the heat better. Think of your skin like solar panels. Just as plants need sunlight to grow, your skin needs to be open to get the most out of your sauna sessions.

It’s important to follow social norms. If you’re in a private sauna, being naked is okay. But in a public sauna, you should use a towel to cover your private parts. This is a must. If you use an infrared sauna at home, you can be naked. This way, you don’t have to wash extra clothes and you get the best results.

Being naked in your own Infrared Sauna is okay. It’s all about being comfortable and relaxing in your own space.


Can You Wear a Robe in a Sauna?

In a sauna, wearing a robe is fine, especially if you’re at a relaxing day spa. But in a traditional sauna, it might get too hot.

Should I Wear a Bra in the Sauna?

In a sauna, you can wear a bra, but a top, t-shirt, or towel might be more comfortable. A bra might be uncomfortable in the heat.

Is Wearing a Hoodie in the Sauna Good?

Wearing a hoodie in the sauna is not recommended. Only a trained professional should wear one to cut weight for an event. A hoodie can cause extra heat and high temperatures, leading to dehydration and other risks.

Do You Shave Before the Sauna?

Shaving before a sauna session is up to you. If you have sensitive skin, shaving might cause irritation or razor burns. For those with thicker hair, the steam in the sauna can soften the hair follicles, making shaving easier.

Is it better to sit in sauna with shirt on or off?

Sitting in a sauna with a shirt on or off is a personal choice. A cotton shirt can absorb heat waves and let your skin breathe. Sitting with just a towel is also a good idea to stay clean and avoid spreading bacteria.

What Should I Put on My Body Before a Sauna?

It’s best to put nothing on your body before entering a sauna. Lotions, creams, or oils can clog your pores and hinder detoxification.

What is the best thing to wear in a sauna?

The best thing to wear in a sauna is COTTON. Clothes like a pure cotton oversized t-shirt, cotton wrap, baggy yoga pants, light shorts, or a tank top are ideal. They are light, comfortable, and loose-fitting to allow air movement around your skin.

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