Have you ever wondered about a Finnish sauna?
After all, there are saunas that exist all around the world. So why are Finnish saunas so special? Almost every home in the country is fitted with one, and it is recognized as part of their culture. But are they any different from the saunas you can find in your local area?
A Finnish sauna is a unique experience. They’re not exactly like your traditional or infrared saunas. There’s also an etiquette that is reflective of the Finnish culture. It begins the moment you decide to jump in the sauna to the time you take a step outside of one.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Finland to learn all of the intricacies of Finnish saunas. We’ve got all of the answers to your questions right here for you.
What is a Traditional Finnish Sauna?
Many people will know the Finnish sauna as a smoke sauna. The room is heated with wood that’s burned inside a stove. There also may or may not be a chimney. Once the wood is nothing but ashes and the smoke has left the room. The sauna can commence.
The door gets closed, and the remaining embers heat the room to the optimum temperature. It must feel very soft inside, and there should still be a smoky smell in the air. The room should also have a basket of rocks that’s been heated by the stove. If you want to increase the humidity, all you need to do is pour some water over them. This will then help you sweat inside the room.
What Does a Finnish Sauna Experience Look Like?
A Finnish sauna experience is completely different from others. Firstly, you don’t just stroll into a Finnish sauna. There’s an etiquette you’re expected to abide by. Firstly, you should remove all of your clothes. That’s right, you have to be naked for a Finnish sauna, but you can wrap yourself in a towel. Next, you’ll want to take a shower and then grab a towel before heading inside the sauna.
Anyone inside the sauna is allowed to throw water onto the stones. There are no rules around how much steam is filling the room. It comes down to personal preference. The best Finnish sauna experience is when the air is moist and never dry. Once you’re ready to leave, you should have another shower or go for a swim outside. Many Finnish people love the invigorating feel of exiting the hot sauna and jumping into icy cold water. It’s an experience you should try at least once.
What are Finnish Saunas Made Of?
Even though a Finnish sauna involves burning wood, the structure is also made of this material. Wood is able to absorb the moisture from the steam much better than other resources and provides a cozy environment to sit back and enjoy the experience. The stove and bucket for the stones are made from metal. Typically, the wood burning inside a Finnish sauna is fresh birch. It’s able to heat rooms for longer periods of time compared to other items.
What Type of Heaters are in Finnish Saunas?
Finnish saunas are heated using traditional methods. The process begins with the burning of fresh birch. This material is capable of burning for long periods. Once the room has reached a certain temperature and the smoke has cleared, participants may enter the room. It’s then up to the individuals to pour water onto hot stones heating on the stove to raise the humidity to their preferred level.
How Long Can You Stay in a Finnish Sauna?
Despite being in almost every single home in Finland, the amount of time relaxing inside one is no different from any other type of sauna. It’s recommended that a sauna session lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. This is the amount of time inside the Finnish sauna though. The time does not reflect the shower before entering the sauna or the time you spend swimming in cold water afterward.
It’s also not recommended to have more than one Finnish sauna per day. Spending too long inside a sauna or having them more than once a day can increase your chances of dehydration.
What Should You Wear Inside a Finnish Sauna?
A part of the sauna culture in Finland is to enter the structure nude. A Finnish sauna is recognized as a place to relax and unwind. The women and men here find it best when they’re completely naked. However, they understand if you would prefer to wear a towel inside a unisex sauna. If you’re relaxing in a same-sex one though, there’s an expectation you’ll be naked.
Saunas in Finland don’t generally allow you to wear a swimsuit. The main reason is not what you think. It’s because you can’t get the full sauna benefits. Wearing a swimsuit inside a Finnish sauna may cause irritations to your skin. It might also stop your entire body from sweating out the toxins that it needs to. So for safety, and to ensure you get the most authentic Finnish sauna experience, you should enter it in your birthday suit.
Where Can You Find Out More Information About Finnish Saunas?
A Finnish sauna experience is unlike anything else. You might be used to visiting public saunas and enjoying your session before leaving to head home. However, in a Finnish sauna, the etiquette is completely different. From showering beforehand to jumping into a body of cold water afterward, it’s likely to be an interaction you’ll never forget.
No one does them like Finland. There’s so much to learn from them about what the best type of sauna is. If you have more questions about indulging in an authentic Finnish sauna experience, we can help educate you on everything you need to know.