Wet and dry saunas are basically the same thing. A Sauna can be used wet or dry. “Wet” sauna refers to the practice of adding water over the hot stones of your sauna heater. If water cannot be poured over hot stones it is not a true Sauna. The Sauna bather controls the humidity in the room by the amount of water used. Water can create a more relaxing atmosphere and it aids in perspiration and deep cleansing of the pores. Although use of water is the most popular, some like to use the Sauna without any water at all for a very dry climate (humidity level 10-15%). Sauna heat and humidity are flexible so it is up to the bather as to how they want to use the Sauna to suit their needs.
While many people consider wet saunas and infrared saunas to be similar products, they are actually quite different. The dictionary defines a sauna as, “a bath that uses dry heat to induce perspiration, and in which steam is produced by pouring water on heated stones.” By definition, an infrared “sauna” is not a sauna at all, but a therapy room. It does not use water, does not get exceptionally hot, and does not generate steam.
A wet sauna is a room constructed of softwood with a single heater – typically electric – that is capable of reaching temperatures of about 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature produces a very dry environment with extremely low humidity. You can tolerate the heat because the soft wood does not get hot and the dry air is void of moisture. When you sprinkle water over the rocks located in the heating unit, it creates a burst of steam, which creates moisture, therefore the name, “wet” sauna. The burst of steam also causes a rush of super-hot air, momentarily creating an exceptionally hot environment.