Whether you’ve had a long day at the office or you just finished working out for an hour or two, heading straight to your own personal sauna can seem like the absolute best thing in the world, especially after all of that hard work. Infrared saunas are known for their many important health benefits including lowering stress, reducing muscle soreness, detoxifying the body, and improving circulation, these saunas may be good for your body and leave you feeling refreshed, but do you know how long to stay in sauna? Knowing the right amount of time to stay in your sauna will help you get the most out of each treatment, without the fear of dehydration or any unwanted side effects.

Knowing how long to stay in the sauna can be dependent on your experience with sauna use, the type of sauna, and how you’re feeling that day. For the beginner, I recommend starting off slow, beginning with sessions as short as five to fifteen minutes. If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s a good idea to skip a sauna for the day since your body may respond differently to higher temperatures. Should you notice any discomfort during use, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, or if you begin to feel faint, exit the sauna immediately. Following these rules can help to keep you safe and ensure you experience all the benefits your new sauna has to offer.

Read on to learn about the safety risks and health concerns, find out exactly how often you should use infrared sauna, and be sure to follow these tips in order to continue to enjoy your daily treatments.

Sauna Options

Saunas will fit into one of four categories:

  • Steam
  • Finnish
  • Infrared
  • Dry

The type of experience you’ll have will depend on the type of sauna you use. A Finnish sauna contains a water bucket, heated rocks, wood lining, and a ladle. During treatment, you’ll pour water over the rocks in order to create steam to change the humidity level in the sauna. Pouring water over the heated rocks will help to change the humidity zone by as much as twenty percent. When the temperature rises in the sauna, the humidity will drop, just like when the humidity rises, the temperature will lower.

Steam saunas are also referred to as Turkish baths and have a temperature up to one hundred and twenty degrees. These saunas are made out of glass, acrylic, or tile. The temperature is usually pretty low, yet the humidity is about ninety to one hundred percent. This means that the sauna’s humidity level tends to make the temperature feel much hotter than it really is.

A dry sauna is very similar to a Finnish sauna. This type of sauna also contains heated rocks. Yet, unlike a Finnish sauna, it doesn’t contain water that you’ll ladle onto rocks. The humidity will also be much lower.

The infrared sauna is much different than the other three types of saunas I’ve covered. This type of sauna doesn’t contain any level of humidity and instead of heating the air it heats up the user’s body temperature.

Treatment Length

coals in sauna

There are certain health risks associated with sauna use, including heat stroke and fainting. Because of this, some medical professionals recommend not staying in a sauna longer than forty-five minutes for infrared saunas and just up to twenty minutes in a steam sauna. After this point, you should leave the sauna and allow your body to cool down for ten to twenty minutes. This cooldown period can include a dip in a pool or a cold shower. Another option is simply sitting in a cool room. If you feel like your body is able to handle another round then you can spend an additional ten to twenty minutes in the sauna. You may be able to go back for a third time after another cooling period, depending on how you feel.

Each time you leave the sauna, shower, dry off and try to take in some fresh air. Make sure you always hydrate afterward. You should drink at least eight to ten ounces of water immediately, in order to make up for the amount of sweat you lost when you were in the sauna.

Pay Close Attention to How You Feel

While forty-five minutes is the time limit for infrared saunas, it’s still very important to be conscious of how you feel while you’re in the sauna. Some people may be more sensitive than others. In fact, ten to fifteen minutes may be too long for some users. If you begin to experience the following symptoms, we recommend leaving the sauna immediately:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased fatigue
  • Nauseous

During this time, head outdoors for some fresh air and slowly drink water to rehydrate and bring your body down to a normal temperature. If you have certain health conditions, you should speak with your physician prior to using a sauna.


The skin is the body’s largest organ. Because of this, it’s very important to take your time in the sauna in order to eliminate toxins. For this purpose, try to stay in the sauna as long as possible, but still avoid exceeding forty-five minutes. Detoxification is done by sweating it out in the sauna as its infrared lights heat up the body, much in the same way that the sun warms up the body. While this is very relaxing, it also works to flush toxins from the skin.


Aside from flushing toxins from the body, infrared saunas can also increase blood flow. The higher temperature will cause the heart to work faster, which will increase blood flow. For this purpose, stay in the sauna for fifteen to twenty minutes daily.

Staying Safe In Your Sauna

There is some disadvantage to using a sauna, such as the risk of dehydration, but as long as you slowly build up a tolerance for this type of heat, you can enjoy all the benefits that come with regular sauna treatments. If you’re new to infrared sauna use, then begin with short five to ten-minute sessions at one hundred and ten to one hundred and twenty degrees. This way, you can work up to a twenty to thirty-minute session.

Staying hydrated and limiting your exposure can help to keep you safe during treatment. It will also help you feel rejuvenated when you leave the sauna, not drained or fatigued. Learning how to properly use a sauna can help keep you safe while maximizing the benefits of the treatment.

Proper Sauna Use

There will be times when you’re not able to stay in the sauna as long as you typically would. This can be due to your hydration level, current health condition, or even whether or not you’ve eaten prior to sauna use.

Before you hit the sauna, make sure you’re properly hydrated. Since you’ll be sweating excessively, which will lead to a loss of water from the body, make sure you drink prior to use.

Never use a sauna immediately after eating a large meal. A heavy meal requires a lot of energy to digest. This can deplete the body of the energy it needs during a sauna sweat. Avoid using your sauna for at least one hour after a heavy meal.

Before you use your sauna for the first time, always read the instructions. These instructions will include warnings, risks, and guidelines, in addition to important safety measures that you’ll need to take into account during use.

Remember, if you begin to feel any type of discomfort, get out of the sauna immediately. The body is not designed to withstand high temperatures for an extended period of time. In the beginning, limit your sessions from five to fifteen minutes until you’re able to determine how well your body responds to higher temperatures in a confined space.

Related Questions

What Type of Sauna Infrared Panels Heat Up the Fastest?

Carbon panels have a reputation for offering a faster heat up time, which can save you both time and money on your electric bill. The Sunray Sequioa 4 Person Infrared Cedar Sauna has a reputation for its faster than average heat up time, feature-packed design, and removable ergonomic backrests, which provide a more comfortable sauna experience. To learn more about sauna design and the features available to choose from, click here to read our buyer’s guide.

Are Saunas Safe for Children

We do not recommend sauna use for children under five years of age, although most manufacturers will not list an age recommendation for their models. Children can safely use a sauna on a lower setting, for a shorter period of time. If you want to take your child in your infrared sauna, start off with a very low heat setting and make each session just five to ten minutes in length until you can gauge how long your child can safely remain in the sauna without experiencing any discomfort. Generally, a fifteen-minute sauna session is perfect for children, as long as you choose a much lower setting.

Final Thoughts

Sauna use can be very beneficial to your body since it helps to flush out toxins, can aid in weight loss, and can even help you manage your stress. How long to stay in sauna will depend on whether or not you’re new to sauna use, how you feel that day, and the type of sauna you’re using. For a typical infrared sauna you can relax in total comfort for up to forty-five minutes, while a safe amount of time for other types of saunas such as a traditional sauna can be as short as fifteen to twenty minutes.