What Should I Wear During An Infrared Sauna Session?

What Should I Wear During An Infrared Sauna Session?

In-home infrared saunas can bring a lot of benefits to their users,like saving money you would splurge on spa memberships while simultaneously improving your health [1]. While it is more comfortable to have one of these amazing therapeutic devices in your home, it does not mean you have to forgo some of the basic rules most public centers enforce. In spa centers and gyms, you have to cover yourself up for hygienic reasons and common decency. At home, this rule may not be as strict, but you still need to follow some proper guidelines so your stay in an infrared sauna cabin is comfortable and has you harvesting the best results.

Besides advice to shower before starting a session and removing your makeup to avoid irritation of the skin, you also need to pay attention to your outfits for the sauna. This refers to what not to wear inside the cabin, like jewelry, shoes, a watch or electronic devices.However, it mostly regards materials and types of clothing pieces fit for infrared therapy that can help your skin breathe and allow you to experience the benefits in the best possible way.

Sauna Dress Code And Etiquette

Sauna dress code can be a bit different from the normally applied moral rules present in society. In Finland, for example, saunas were regarded as places of healing where women gave birth and patients were sent to recover from certain illnesses. Because of this, hygiene was very important, so all users had to enter the sauna naked. Nudity was far from being accepted in public as it is today, making saunas an exception to that rule.

People commonly observe nudity as sexual, which is the main reason why many feel uncomfortable, and even appalled, when it comes to a scant sauna outfit or lack of one. Unless specified differently, all saunas are co-ed, meaning individuals of both genders have to spend time inside the cabin together — naked. However, this extreme etiquette is mostly present in Northern Europe, like Scandinavian countries, while in other parts of the world, especially the West, you are expected to wear at least a towel.

Owning an infrared sauna in your home not only allows you to use it whenever you want, but it also grants you permission to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Of course, not all types of materials and clothing are good to sweat in, and some can, for instance, cause your body to overheat. So, while you have options when it comes to infrared sauna outfits, you still have to pay attention to some details to avoid discomfort and certain skin issues, like allergies and irritation.

Choosing The Perfect Sauna Outfit

Young woman chooses clothes in the wardrobe closet at home

One of the important benefits of infrared saunas is what they can do for the skin. Their contribution to the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as increasing collagen concentrations can play an important part in skin rejuvenation and anti-aging treatment [2]. This process starts inside the infrared cabin, but it does not end there. More particularly, when you spend time inside an infrared sauna, like JNH Lifestyles’ Joyous Collection, you will start to sweat a lot.

Sweating is good for a number of medical reasons, especially as a means to cleanse your body and eliminate toxins, but the heat also opens pores and rids them of impurities [3]. Opening pores is also beneficial for acne [4] and can enhance the absorption of your beauty skincare products, like moisturizer and anti-aging creams. It is for this reason that you have to wear loose-fitting clothes so your skin has room to sweat freely, avoiding the blockage of pores. A tight sauna outfit can worsen certain conditions, like eczema, since it increases the irritation of the affected area by accumulating sweat on the material touching the skin.

Aside from picking loose outfits for the sauna, you also need to pay attention to the type of materials used for their manufacture. Look for the fabrics that will allow your skin to breathe, since doing so can help you sweat less than you usually would and not feel too hot. The idea is to have a comfortable infrared sauna session, so go for natural materials, like cotton or linen. Nylon, polyester and other synthetic materials used to make active-wear clothing are also fine as long as this sauna outfit allows the air to flow freely around your body.

A Little Effort For The Best Experience

If you are unsure about what to wear, it is always best to choose an infrared sauna outfit that is the simplest, like a bathing suit. Spending time inside the cabin nude is also fine, as long as you spread a towel on the seating area and the floor beneath you to absorb the sweat. A loose and over-sized tunic or dress may be just the perfect sauna outfit for those too shy to wear a bathing suit, go topless, or even nude under a towel.

While fabrics used for making sports bras and yoga pants are good for the sauna, the actual design of this active-wear clothing is not since it is too close to the skin. Moreover, once they are soaked in sweat, you may have trouble taking these clothes off after your sauna session. Rings, bracelets, earrings and other types of jewelry can get damaged or cause burns if not taken off before entering the cabin. Some jewelry materials can leave stains on the skin, like copper, when in prolonged contact with sweat, so it is better to leave them outside. After all, the less you wear, the better you receive all the positive effects of infrared therapy.

In The End, It’s Your Sauna — Your Rules

One of the blessings of personal infrared saunas is that you set the rules about the appropriate dress code. This depends on whether you are the only user of the infrared cabin or you share it with other members of your household. It also has a lot to do with how you feel about your body and can even help you accept the way you look and gain a more positive image of yourself. Just remember the basics, like showering before every session and regularly cleaning the cabin after use for the highest hygienic conditions. Other than that, put on your favorite sauna outfit (or don’t) and enjoy all the benefits of infrared therapy at your home.

What To Wear When Sauna'ing -Wear loose-fitted clothing so your skin has room to sweat freely -A tight sauna outfit can worsen certain conditions, like eczema, since it increases the irritation of the affected area by accumulating sweat on the material touching the skin -Tight outfits can also block pores, causing acne breakouts -Choose clothing made from materials like cotton and linen -If you decide to go nude, lay towels on the bench and floor to absorb excess sweat


[1] Tsai, S, et al. (2017). “Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation.” sciencedirect.com, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, Volume 170, May 2017, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1011134416311691.

[2] Wunsch, A and Matuschka, K. (2014). “A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information,February 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926176/.

[3]Parpaleĭ IA, et al. (1991). “The use of the sauna for disease prevention in the workers of enterprises with chemical and physical occupational hazards”. europepmc.org, Europe PMC, May 1991, https://europepmc.org/article/med/1866932#similar-articles.

[4] Paithankar DY, Ross EV, et al. (2002). “Acne treatment with a 1,450 nm wavelength laser and cryogen spray cooling.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2002, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12210594.