A sauna session offers a safe and soothing environment for relaxing after an exercise or a long working day. You don't have to make a fashion statement in a sauna; the primary goal is to help you relax and improve your health. The simple rule of a sauna is to wear the most miniature clothing you can. 

Before you get into a sauna, you have to take a shower and wear clean clothes. Wearing dirty and sweaty clothes will prevent you from reaping the great benefits of a decent sauna. After you shower, you must choose suitable clothing to enter the sauna depending on your social conventions and the comfort level you want. 

That said, being naked in a sauna is the best way to get the full benefits from the experience, but it isn't always possible if you are sharing your sauna with other people or in a public space. 

If you are unsure what to wear in a sauna or steam room, don't worry; I have your back. This guide will fill you in on what to wear in a steam room as well as what you need to avoid.

Let's dive in.

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Towels sauna wear

A towel is best for a sauna since you don't need to sit directly on the sauna's benches or seats. Even if you wear other clothes, ensure you carry your towel. It will help you maintain your privacy, keep the space neat, absorb sweat to keep you dry, and prevent germs or bacteria from spreading.

Besides, it will enable you to expose as much of your skin as possible. The Finns do not allow any other attire in a sauna. You only need to wrap your towel around your body to get in a sauna.

If you wear a swimsuit, you can spread the towel on the bench and sit on it to prevent infectious diseases. This is because a towel is a barrier between you and the next person. A towel made of sustainable cotton is the recommended and safest option to wear in a sauna.

Cotton material is highly absorbent, lightweight, and soft; thus, it will effectively soak sweat while ensuring comfort. A heavy towel will reduce the therapeutic benefits of the sauna by preventing you from sweating enough.



Swimsuit sauna wear 

A swimsuit is another great outfit to wear in a sauna. You will never go wrong if you wear your swimsuit in a sauna since it balances modesty and comfort. However, there are a few things you need to know before putting on a swimsuit and entering the sauna. Selecting the correct swimsuit type is crucial.

First, select a swimsuit without metal fasteners or decorations since they can get too hot in a steam room due to extreme heat, making you uncomfortable. Also, never wear a spandex or PVC swimsuit since these materials don't allow your skin to breathe. As a result, your body won't sweat adequately and keep too much heat, causing dehydration or feeling uneasy.

Besides, ensure you don't wear a swimsuit made of PVC fabrics since they can melt when exposed to high temperatures, burn your skin, and emit harmful gases. Therefore, ensure you choose a swimsuit manufactured with natural materials that promote good breathability and airflow.

Also, ensure your swimsuit is loose for comfort purposes. Please note that even if you wear a swimsuit in a sauna, ensure you bring a towel to sit on to observe cleanliness.

Check out our 15 best-recycled bikinis and swimsuits you'll love.



Loofah accessory 

If you have your own portable infrared sauna, you can use a loofah to scrub your body and remove dead, dry skin. This is perfect and will do wonders for your skin, but you must be cautious before using it.

However, using a loofah in a public sauna is unacceptable. Many people consider it disrespectful to other individuals who are also using the space.


Shower sandals

Shower sandals sauna wear

In a private sauna, no harm if you wear your shower sandals, but it is unethical to put on your shoes in a public sauna. When you walk barefoot in the facility, your feet can pick up germs and bacteria and transfer them to the steam room, which is a perfect place for bacterial growth since it's warm and moist.

If the floor is slippery, you can wear shower shoes to prevent falling. But once you get on a sauna bench, take them off; if you must, wear shoes. Flip-flops or shower shoes made of rubber are the best shoes for saunas.

Never wear regular shoes in a sauna since they will prevent your feet from breathing properly. Besides, they can get too hot, causing discomfort while reducing the sauna's health benefits. Don't wear socks in a sauna.

Check out our selection below of cheap, ethical, and recycled slippers.

Any cotton clothing

Cotton sauna wear

If you feel uncomfortable going in a sauna with your towel only or a swimsuit, there is an alternative that is healthy, easy, and safe. Simply wear cotton attire. Cotton clothes will not reduce your body's ability to sweat nor obstruct the infrared rays. They also help absorb heat and provide all coverage required for optimal comfort.

Select high-quality cotton garments. For instance, wear loose yoga pants, oversized t-shirts, baggy shorts, and light tank tops. Ensure your cotton clothing have loose-fitting for better skin breathability. Tight clothes will prevent you from reaping the full benefits of a sauna.

If you wear a cotton bra, ensure it is breathable, loose, and has no underwires. As usual, ensure you have a towel even when not wrapping it around your body.

For inspiration, check out these benefits of organic cotton on the skin.


Bathrobe sauna wear

A bathrobe is another standard and fantastic option to wear in a sauna. It offers you more coverage than a towel while you remain at ease. The bathrobe is highly absorbent; it will help soak up your sweat, keeping you comfortable and dry. It is also loose-fitting and straightforward to put on and take off.

Besides, a bathrobe is soft on your skin and allows easy airflow and movement. It will prevent direct contact with the heated surfaces, which can lead to discomfort and burns.

A bathrobe will help you maintain hygiene since it creates a protective layer between your body surface and the sauna bench, preventing bacteria from spreading, especially in public saunas.

Check out this selection of cheap and eco-friendly robes.


Sauna suit

Sauna suit wear

You can also get into a sauna with a sauna suit. It is a perfect choice for people going to the sauna to lose weight. Studies show that wearing a sauna suit in an infrared sauna will help you lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The sauna suit makes you sweat more and enjoy the sweating.  

It increases the metabolic rate, burns more calories, and optimizes fat oxidation for more energy and weight reduction. It is comfortable and lightweight and enables you to maintain your body temperature.

Sauna belt

Sauna belts are specially manufactured using low airflow materials like rubber, neoprene, or PVC. The primary purpose of a sauna belt is to warm your body to allow a higher sweating rate. Despite this benefit, you cannot use the sauna belt in a sauna for a prolonged period because of the material types used to build it.

You can wear your sauna belt on the legs and arms, though many prefer to wear it around the waist.

Since it is self-heating, you can use the sauna belt when not in a sauna or doing your daily activities. In this case, you don't need the extra heat; hence you can turn off the band as you use the sauna.

The belt can help to stimulate blood flow in your muscles for improved physical performance and flexibility. In addition, a heated sauna belt can be more beneficial to people with back pain.

Sauna hat

Have you ever worn a sauna hat before? It is made explicitly for use in saunas. They shield the surface of your head from intense heat and allow you to stay in the sauna for extended periods.

What to avoid wearing in a sauna

You should avoid wearing various items in a sauna, whether using an infrared or conventional sauna. These include:

Soiled and tight-fitting clothes

Make sure you don't wear dirty clothes in a sauna. The heat could make the dirt come off the fabric and get into the air. This can increase germs spread, resulting in skin breakouts.

Make sure you wear clean clothing before you enter the sauna. Tight-fitting garments will make you uncomfortable, and you will fail to get the full sauna benefits.

Sweatsuits and workout clothes

You should not wear any clothing made of spandex or PVC material in a sauna. These garments can prevent your body from breathing and are highly prone to melting when exposed to high temperatures.

Metal piercings and jewelry

Never enter a sauna wearing your metal piercings and jewelry. These items can heat up and cause skin burns. Remember to take off all piercings and jewelry during your sauna session.

Street clothing

Please do not wear street clothing in a sauna since they are not allowed. You can be expelled from the facility if you wear street garments.

Don't apply oils, creams, and lotions

Applying oils, creams, and lotions will clog your pores. This will prevent you from sweating properly; hence you won't reap sauna health advantages. But you can apply lotions and oils after the sauna session.

Don't carry phones, AirPods, or other electronics

Never wear AirPods in a steam room since the battery can drain quickly or overheat. Also, please don't carry your smartphones or tablets to the sauna, as they can break down or overheat.

What to consider when selecting sauna clothing

The thumbs rule for entering a sauna is to wear as little clothing as possible. Also, in a sauna, ensure you reveal most of your body as much as possible to acquire exclusive sauna therapeutic benefits.

If you are using a private sauna and you are just alone, going naked is the best way. However, you must maintain privacy in a public sauna since nudity is prohibited. The following are factors to consider when choosing sauna clothing:


Make sure you wear breathable clothing in a sauna for your safety and comfort. Breathable fabrics like cotton let the sweat evaporate and proper airflow, regulating body temperature and preventing overheating.

These clothing are also highly absorbent, ensuring your body is dry and super comfy. Don't wear non-breathable clothing in a sauna since you can endanger yourself. These clothes can overheat, causing nausea, dizziness, and dehydration.


Sauna clothing is designed to make you sweat and let your body expel toxins. Wear lightweight clothes since they will keep you comfortable as you sweat. Heavy clothing can make you feel uneasy and weighted down.


Loose-fitting clothes are ideal for wearing in a sauna because they allow your body to sweat properly. Tight clothing limit blood flow and raise the possibility of fainting or overheating during a sauna session. Besides, restrictive clothing can trap moisture, leading to fungal infections or skin irritation.

Easy to remove

During sauna sessions, the temperatures can get extremely high and unbearable, causing excessive sweating. In such instances, you need clothing that is easy to remove to help you cool down or into other clothing.

Considering all these factors when selecting your sauna clothing, you will enjoy your sauna session and get more health benefits.


Wearing the correct clothing in a sauna is vital as it keeps you safe, comfortable, and healthy during your sessions. Never forget to carry your towel, whether you are donning it or not, since this will ensure you maintain sauna cleanliness and hygiene.

If you must dress in a sauna, wear loose clothing to allow breathability and air to reach your skin for optimal outcomes as you relax your tired muscles. Cotton clothing is the best because they absorb more sweat to keep you dry. If you are using an infrared sauna to lose weight, wear a sauna belt or sauna suit to assist you in your losing weight process.

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About the Author: Dinushka Breaker Gunasekara

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