How to take a bath at a Finnish sauna

How to enjoy a Finnish sauna

The sauna is enjoyed for physical and mental health benefits, socializing and relaxing. to have an enjoyable and safe experience, it is important to use a sauna properly.
There is no one right way to bathe in the sauna. The sauna process is as varied and wide ranging as people themselves, so beyond some basic guidelines it is up to you to determine what process works best for you. One of the main things to remember is to take your time and enjoy the experience.

1. Give yourself plenty of time to the whole Sauna-bathing ritual. Finnish sauna is a very relaxing experience and generally takes at least an hour or two.

2. Take all clothes off and drink water 1–2 glasses.

3. Take a shower first and do a ”pre-wash”. Entering the sauna with wet skin is desirable for some, but having dry skin is enjoyed by many too.

4. Place a bench cover or towel on the sauna bench for hygiene reasons. Also, the wood of the sauna bench gets very hot.

5. Start the warming in the dry Sauna and take the first LÖYLY (vapour) without the VIHTA (whisk). A typical sauna temperature should be around 80 to 90 degrees °C with a maximum of 100 degrees °C. Add humidity to the air by throwing water on the rocks, increasing the temperature and humidity gradually.

6. After first sweating (about 8–10 minutes) take a shower. Remember that a sauna is a sweat bath and you should only stay in as long as it feels comfortable.

7. Cool off and drink something refreshing. You can step out of the hot sauna to the terrace or porch to cool off occasionally.

8. Second warming now in the damp Sauna and you can also try bath with the VIHTA (whisk) , because your skin is now smoother than on the first time.

9. Repeat the sweating and cooling off process as many times as desired. Finnish tradition is to plunge into a cold lake or roll in the snow during the cooling down process.

10. After the warming and cooling process get clean after your Finnish sauna by washing with soap and water and rinsing well.

11. After washing cool off and drink again.

12. After washing and cooling it is all right to sit or lie in the Sauna a while again.

13. End your Sauna bath with a showeror – if possible – swimming.

14. After Sauna you can relax and rest on a bench. The body will be squeaky clean and you will be very relaxed.

15. Drink again something refreshing and eat a light sauna snack.

16. Dress only after sweating has completely stopped. Leave the Sauna clean and tidy.

17. After a Good Sauna you feel very relaxed and refreshed, almost like being re-born!


Good to know! 

- Avoid overeating or drinking anything alcoholic before and during the sauna.
- If you are using a public sauna, see the rules and guidelines that are usually posted near the sauna area.


Tags: Finnish sauna, sauna bath, sauna instructions, finnish sauna manners, how to take finnish sauna