What to Wear in an Infrared Sauna: Dress Do’s and Don’ts

Saunas are meant to heat up the body for various health benefits. To enjoy the benefits of a sauna, you need to wear as little clothing as possible. If possible, you can go into a sauna nude with only a towel to sit on.  

Wear as little as possible when going into an infrared sauna pod. You can go nude if it’s allowed or when alone. The best clothing you can wear include underwear, swimsuits, towel, sauna suit or any breathable dress. For a sauna blanket, wear the recommended clothing to protect yourself from heat.   

What to Wear in an Infrared Sauna

What to Wear in an Infrared Sauna?

If you’re wondering what to wear in an infrared sauna, the answer is, as “little as possible.” In fact, the best experience is going in there totally naked. However, if you’re sharing the sauna, it won’t be such a considerate thing to do. 

Most saunas will provide towels and other types of clothing to use in different places. If the sauna has a private room where you can be alone, you’re allowed to be naked in there. 

Infrared saunas work by heating up your body with light. The natural result is to sweat and eliminate toxins from the body among other benefits. Wearing heavy clothing or oil and lotion on the body covers the pores of your skin thus making the session less effective. Basically, the less you put on in the sauna, the better your experience. 

What Not to Wear in an Infrared Sauna

You shouldn’t wear anything that inhibits sweating when going to an infrared sauna. The items to avoid include:

  • Heavy towels
  • Shoes
  • Thick hats or other heavy headgear
  • Thick swimsuits made of non-breathable materials
  • Makeup 
  • Dirty clothing
  • Materials made of PVC or spandex

If you have to put on something in the form of clothing when in the sauna, put on a loose and light cotton shirt and shorts. Cotton will not affect the rate of sweating but will give you good body coverage. 

Anything you wear in the sauna should be loose, light, breathable and easily removable.

What to Wear in an Infrared Sauna

Infrared sauna benefits

Some infrared sauna benefits include:

  • Increases lactation in breastfeeding mothers. 
  • Effective at detoxifying the body of chemicals and heavy metals.  
  • Strengthens the nervous system. 
  • Reduces depression and anxiety. 
  • Treats heart disease and prevents cardiac arrest. 

Sauna should be enjoyed at least 2 times a week with each session at least 15 minutes for the benefits above. If you’re doing it purely for medical reasons, consult your doctor first. 

Infrared sauna dangers

Some of the infrared sauna dangers include:

  • Harmful to children below 15 years due to poor body temperature regulation. 
  • Increases the risk of birth defects and complications in pregnant women. 

Again, consult your doctor before you or anyone else you know uses the sauna. 

Infrared Sauna Etiquette and Tips

Most public saunas will have the guidelines written somewhere for you before you enter. It also helps to know the following etiquette and tips to make the most of your time in the sauna:

  • Always take a shower before a sauna. This helps open up pores on the skin for better sweating. 
  • Remove all makeup before a sauna. Makeup, and anything that clogs the pores of your skin, should be removed before going into the sauna to allow sweating. 
  • Hydrate before, during and after a sauna. Your body will be losing water through sweating when in the sauna. It helps to drink more of it. Take at least 1 liter (33.8 ounces) of water before the sauna. 
  • Avoid dehydrating drinks in a sauna. Whether it’s before, during or after a sauna, avoid dehydrating drinks such as coffee, alcohol, sugary foods and soft drinks. 
  • Remove jewelry before a sauna. Before going into a sauna, remove all accessories on the body be it a watch, earring, necklace or hearing aid. 
  • Don’t use oil or lotion in a sauna. Oil and lotion clog up the pores on the skin preventing sweating and should thus not be used in a sauna. Besides that, oil and lotion will stain the wood in the sauna. Teak shower floors are used in saunas and, although stain-resistant, can still stain.
  • Eat energy-rich foods before a sauna. Your body needs energy in the sauna and eating light foods that provide energy will be helpful. Don’t go into a sauna when exhausted as the experience won’t be nice. Avoid heavy foods as they require energy to digest and may thus leave less energy for detoxification. 
  • Choose your infrared light colors. Different colors in an infrared sauna have different effects on the body. This is called chromotherapy (color therapy) and can help with different things including mood, stress and others (guides are provided in the sauna). You can have the best of everything by bathing in each color for 5 minutes. 
  • You can use a loofah to scrub the skin in a sauna. The loofah should mostly be used when you’re alone since it’s a bit gross scrubbing your body in public. 
  • Cool down after a sauna. Once you’re out of the sauna, take a few minutes for your body temperature to return to the norm before taking a shower. If you’re out of time, have a warm shower instead of a cold one. Cool down for about 15 minutes afterwards. 
  • Wear minimal footwear in a sauna. Walk barefoot or wear open sandals when in a sauna to allow sweating on the feet as well. 
  • Shower after a sauna. Wash off the sweat from the sauna while using as little soap as possible to keep the pores open. Avoid cold showers after a sauna as they close the pores on the body and prevent further detoxification. You can go for a shower or bath but both avoid cold water in both cases.
  • Avoid technology in a sauna. Keep phones and other electronics away from a sauna as they can be affected by the heat and steam. AirPods aren’t water and sweat resistant, for example, and should thus be kept away from the sauna. It’s also a good chance to stay stress-free and not worry about constant notifications on your phone. 
  • Don’t bring food to the sauna. Food only gets contaminated or it can contaminate the place as well. 
  • Dress lightly after a sauna. Put on light clothing to avoid overheating the body after the sauna. If the body heats up too much, you’ll sweat more afterwards. Sweating then cools the body with some of the toxins sweated out being reabsorbed into the body through the skin.
  • Sit up straight in a sauna. To absorb the most heat in an infrared sauna, sit upright so that the light covers as much of your body as possible. If the lights are placed on the roof, lying down helps with the heat absorption. 
  • Consult your doctor before a sauna. Those with health conditions and implants should always consult with their doctors before going to the sauna for safety purposes. 

Tight clothing in a sauna can irritate your skin especially if you have skin conditions such as acne and eczema. For this reason, sauna clothes should always be loose and light.

FAQs

How do you prepare for an infrared sauna?

Prepare for an infrared sauna by drinking a liter of water, taking a shower and wearing light clothing. Avoid alcohol and other dehydrating foods and drinks. You should also keep off heavy foods before going in. 

Can I take my phone into an infrared sauna?

You should not take a phone into an infrared sauna since the heat and moisture will damage it. Even when the phone is waterproof, the heat in a sauna is more than manufacturers recommended for electronic devices. 

Are you supposed to wear clothes in a sauna?

Wear as little clothing as possible in a sauna. You can even go nude if it’s allowed or you’re alone. 

What do you wear in an infrared sauna blanket?

You should go in an infrared sauna blanket fully clothed to soak up the sweat and protect yourself from the heat. This means putting on long pants and socks with long-sleeved clothing. 

Should you wipe sweat in a sauna?

Always wipe sweat in a sauna to prevent your skin from reabsorbing the toxins in the sweat. You should thus have a towel with you to constantly wipe off the sweat as your body heats up. 

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