If you’ve recently bought a 2-person infrared sauna like the Health Mate Enrich, or started using an infrared sauna in a public place, you may be wondering what the best thing is to wear when you’re relaxing in the therapeutic booth.
There are a few options to choose from, some better than others for your health and the effects of the sauna. Which option you choose will depend on a number of factors, such as who you are with, whether you are in a private or public booth, and what makes you feel most comfortable.
Certain materials will offer greater comfort while you sweat, and some will enhance the beneficial effects of the infrared sauna, so choose wisely. Keep reading our list to also learn what not to wear for your own safety and the hygiene of the sauna space.
CAN I WEAR CLOTHES IN AN INFRARED SAUNA?
Many sauna goers believe the Finns, who are responsible for the invention of the sauna experience as we know it, have it right when they say a sauna should be enjoyed in the nude. If you are able to be in the sauna naked without breaking any taboos, it will certainly help you to receive the full benefits of the infrared rays.
If you are in a public sauna, or have guests around to enjoy your home infrared sauna with you, some clothing may be necessary. Here are 6 clothing options that will help you to get the full benefits of your sauna without baring it all.
THE CORRECT ATTIRE FOR RELAXING IN A INFRARED SAUNA
Being naked in a sauna is the best way to receive the full benefits from the experience, but it isn’t always possible if you have guests sharing your sauna, or if you are in a public space.
If you have to wear some clothing into the sauna, you will want to make sure what you are wearing is safe, comfortable, and healthy. Choose from the following clothing options that will allow your skin to breathe while keeping the sauna clean and hygienic.
ALWAYS KNOW WHERE YOUR TOWEL IS
A towel is something you should carry with you into every sauna session, whether you intend to enjoy the experience naked or not. Here are some tips for using your towel in the sauna:
If you are relaxing naked in the sauna, use the towel to sit or lie on to protect the bench from sweat, germs, and bacteria.
Choose a soft, light, cotton towel to wear for best results and comfort. A heavy towel will prevent you from sweating sufficiently, limiting the beneficial effects of the sauna.
A towel will soak up your sweat and prevent the spread of bacteria in the sauna.
It will also help you to keep the space clean, which is considerate in public spaces, and time saving in a private sauna, as it will limit the amount of cleaning time needed to keep the sauna pristine.
Do not use a towel with any PVC fabrics in it. Pure cotton is the safest and healthiest choice for wearing in the sauna.
The Finns may believe that being naked in the sauna is the best choice, but their second favorite way of enjoying a sauna is wrapped in only a towel.
If your first thought when considering what to wear in an infrared sauna was your swimsuit, you are on the right track, but there are a few important caveats you should be aware of before donning any old swimsuit to get in an infrared sauna. Wearing the correct type of swimsuit is essential.
Do not wear a swimsuit made of PVC or spandex. In these fabrics your skin cannot breathe, and your body will retain too much heat and not sweat properly. This could cause dehydration or discomfort.
PVC fabrics could soften or begin to melt under high temperatures, which aside from possibly burning your skin, could release toxic fumes into the air.
Choose a swimsuit made from natural materials that fits loosely, if possible, to allow better airflow and breathability.
Do not select a swimsuit with metal decorations or jewelry, and avoid ones with dangling pieces. These additions might look pretty, but they could get very hot in the sauna and burn your skin.
COTTON IS THE BEST OPTION
If finding or choosing a bathing suit that will work for the sauna sounds like too much work, there is a far more simple, safe, and healthy alternative – just wear cotton. Cotton will not interrupt the infrared rays, nor limit your ability to sweat, and it will offer you the coverage you need to feel comfortable in the sauna.
Choose pure or high cotton content items to wear in the sauna, such as an oversized t-shirt, a cotton wrap, baggy yoga pants, or light and comfortable shorts and tank top.
Make sure your chosen cotton clothing is loose-fitting, and that it allows good air movement against the skin.
Cotton is the perfect cloth for relaxing in the sauna, as it absorbs excess heatwaves and allows the skin to breathe properly.
Even if they are cotton, avoid wearing any tight clothes, including underwear. Any bras worn into the sauna should be loose-fitting, breathable, and free of underwires.
Ensure your clothing is clean before entering the sauna. Any dirt or dust trapped in your clothing might be released by the warm air, lowering the hygiene of the sauna space.
Always have your towel with you, even when not wearing it.
PUT ON YOUR SHOWER SHOES
If you’ve got a thing about being barefoot in a public space, or even at home in your private sauna, wearing a pair of shower shoes will cause no harm.
Don’t wear normal footwear into the sauna, you’ll only track in dirt and germs, and your feet won’t be able to breathe properly. This will make you too hot, and cause discomfort while minimizing the health benefits of the sauna.
A clean pair of shower shoes will keep the sauna clean, allow your feet to breathe, and protect you from any bacteria that might be lurking in the sauna, such as Athlete's foot.
Be aware of the people around you if you are not alone in the infrared sauna – don’t put your feet or shoes near to where another person is sitting, as that is just bad manners.
To enhance these benefits, there are 2 particular clothing items you could add to your sauna wardrobe; the sauna suit and the sauna belt.
Both items work to raise the core body temperature higher than the infrared rays can.
These items trap the heat against your skin, increasing your sweat output.
The higher level of sweating helps you to shed water weight for short-term weight loss, and it improves your blood flow and metabolism for long-term weight loss.
THE SAUNA SUIT
Many sauna goers consider the sauna suit to be a sort of waterproof tracksuit, and this is exactly what it is. The suit retains your body heat and sweat, causing the body to heat up to a higher temperature, and therefore release more sweat to cool itself down.
A number of scientific studies have shown that wearing a sauna suit in an infrared sauna will aid in lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
In one specific study, participants lost inches around their waists from wearing a sauna suit in an infrared sauna.
The subjects wearing sauna suits lost more body fat and weight than participants who did not wear the suit.
Many of the subjects experienced improvements in their VO2 max measurements, which express the endurance of the patient’s cardiovascular system.
The metabolic rate of the subjects increased, allowing them to burn more calories at rest, and their bodies experienced increased fat oxidation, burning fat for energy and helping them to lose weight.
THE SAUNA BELT
A sauna belt is a wideband, something like a corset, made from low airflow materials like neoprene, rubber, or PVC. As with the sauna suit, the belt warms the body up more, causing a higher rate of sweating.
The type of materials used to make the sauna belt means that it cannot be worn for an extended period in the sauna – use your sauna belt only for short sessions.
Most people wear the sauna belt around the waist, but it can also be used on the arms or legs.
Sauna belts are self-heating, and can be worn outside of the sauna for excellent results while going about your daily tasks. Do not have the band turned on while in the sauna – the extra heat will not be necessary.
Although the sauna belt will not help you to burn calories, it will help you quickly shed water weight.
The sauna belt’s heating function can be used outside of the sauna to treat sore muscles, as it increases blood flow to the muscles, making them more flexible and improving workout performance.
People with back pain can also greatly benefit from the use of a heated sauna belt – use it for 10 to 20 minutes for mild pain, and up to 2 hours to treat intense back pain.
WHAT SHOULD I NOT WEAR IN THE INFRARED SAUNA?
Don’t wear dirty clothing – the heat may cause the dirt to loosen from the fabric and enter the air. This could cause skin breakouts and will spread germs.
Do not wear workout clothing – PVC or spandex clothing will prevent airflow and could release chemicals into the air at high temperatures.
Remove all jewelry before entering the sauna – metal can get quite hot in the sauna and could burn your skin. Remember to remove all piercings as well.
Always go into the sauna with clean skin – lotions and makeup will clog the pores, preventing you from sweating properly, and will make a mess in the sauna when you do sweat.
Remove your Smart watch – sports watches and Smart watches are very sensitive to heat, and can react badly to the higher temperatures inside a sauna booth.
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Knowing what to wear in an infrared sauna will ensure your safety, health and comfort during your sessions. Always have your towel with you in the sauna, whether wearing it or not, as this will help you maintain the cleanliness of the sauna. Wear your towel, or loose cotton clothing if you must be dressed in the sauna, as this will allow airflow to your skin, and the necessary breathability to ensure the best results while you rest your tired muscles.
Including the right types of clothing and accessories can help you to lose weight faster and more efficiently while using the sauna. Wear a sauna suit or a sauna belt to aid you in your weight loss journey. If you are in the process of choosing an infrared sauna for your home, bear our advice in mind, as it will help you to make the best decision for a sauna that will suit you and your needs.