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Can Sitting In A Sauna Help You Lose Weight?

lose weight sauna

"Do saunas help you lose weight?" is a question we hear often at Sun Valley Saunas.

While the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!" Regular sauna use is best viewed as one small part of a healthy lifestyle—in addition to diet and exercise—to help you lose weight.

Here are our top sauna picks to include in your weight loss regimen. They include the:

#1 Most Compact Design #2 Best for Outdoor Use #3 Best Visual Appeal
SunRay Saunas Baldwin Indoor Sauna Canadian Timber Harmony Barrel Sauna Golden Designs Forssa Traditional Steam Sauna
SunRay Saunas Baldwin Indoor Sauna Canadian Timber Harmony Barrel Sauna Golden Designs Forssa Traditional Steam Sauna

- Occupies 17 sq. feet

- Minimal footprint

- 7-year warranty

- Most durable wood

- Aluminum bands

- 100% price match guarantee

- Glass door & window

- Golden accent lighting

- 30-day money-back guarantee

How Does the Sauna Help You Lose Weight?

The Baldwin Traditional Sauna environment mimics the effects of aerobic exercise on the body. The heat causes sweating causing you to lose water weight—part of what makes up the body mass.

You’ll lose approximately 0.6 to 1.0 kg/h of body mass in about 40 minutes in the sauna. Infrared saunas specifically, will cause you to burn between 400 and 600 calories within 30 minutes.

This means that for sustained weight loss, there should be repeated sauna use combined with other weight loss measures.

Here are the top three saunas you can use to improve weight loss.

SunRay Saunas Baldwin Indoor Sauna

Most Compact Design

The Baldwin Indoor Sauna is perfect for people wanting to use the sauna to lose weight but have minimal space to work with.

It’s about 2748 square inches or 17 square feet, which is about the same size as a standard twin-size bed. You won’t agonize over finding a large space for this sauna.

SunRay Saunas Baldwin Indoor Sauna

Canadian Timber Harmony Barrel Sauna

Best for Outdoor Use

For an outdoorsy person, an indoor sauna can be limiting.

However, the Canadian Timber Harmony Barrel Sauna doesn’t force you to make tradeoffs between using the sauna and connecting with nature. You can prop the sauna in a garden or yard, and use it while maintaining quality.

That’s because it’s made using Eastern White Cedar, which is more durable than Hemlock and Canadian Red Wood Cedar. It’s also resistant to decay and insects.

Additionally, it’s got marine-grade aluminum bands with stainless steel tightening bolts to hold everything together for lasting durability.

Canadian Timber Harmony Barrel Sauna

Golden Designs Forssa Traditional Steam Sauna

Best Visual Appeal

The Forssa Traditional Steam Sauna has a full front glass door and a full side glass window which give it a polished, modern look.

Inside the sauna, there’s minimal clutter, and there’s a golden light under the sauna bench which enhances the visual appeal of the sauna.

Moreover, it includes chromotherapy lighting which aside from enhancing the look of the sauna also has a relaxing effect.

If you want to use the sauna to lose weight but also want a “nice-looking sauna” this is the perfect sauna for you.

Golden Designs Forssa Traditional Steam Sauna

Distinguishing Weight Loss From Fat Loss

While it's clear that sitting in a sauna promotes an increase in burning calories, that might not necessarily mean you're actually burning fat.

Weight loss consists of a reduction in body mass including bone mass, muscle mass, fat mass, and water.

While all these factors impact weight loss, what you’ll lose mostly through sauna use is water weight (which you can regain once you rehydrate.)

On the other hand, fat loss is a reduction in body fat i.e., fat surrounding the organs and fat between the skin and the muscle.

Fat loss can be more noticeable than weight loss. But to burn fat you need to get to a sustained level of cardiovascular activity over an extended period—which is difficult to get to by just sitting in a sauna.

However, jumping in a sauna after your workout can cause your body to stay in a fat-burning mode and extend the positive effects of your workout.

Regular Sauna Use as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Though sitting in a sauna can help you lose weight and burn calories, the real benefits compound when you pair regular sauna use with other healthy habits.

For instance, a post-workout sauna session helps ease sore muscles, expel built-up lactic acid, and help with recovery before the next workout.

Additionally, using the sauna improves depression, hypertension, cardiovascular health, and inflammation.

When these things are optimized you're much more likely to eat healthy, workout, and sleep well—all of which help you manage your weight.

Integrate Sauna Sessions Into Your Weight Loss Plan

While it's clear that sitting in a sauna can help you lose weight, don't expect to just sit in a sauna and watch your waistline shrink.

Using the sauna only will promote short-term weight loss. If you want to sustain weight loss, use the sauna together with exercising and healthy eating.

Author’s Note: Updated on January 30, 2023, to include our top 3 traditional saunas to incorporate in a weight loss routine. Highlighted specific desirable features for each sauna including the ideal sauna for small spaces, outdoor use, and best visual appeal.


Wes McMahon

Wes McMahon, is the founder of Sun Valley Saunas and a seasoned ski town sauna enthusiast. In early 2021, Wes transitioned from being an attorney and sauna aficionado in Sun Valley, Idaho, to founding Sun Valley Saunas. His deep appreciation for the Finnish sauna tradition has helped him understand and select high-quality, hand-built saunas for customers throughout North America. Combined with his understanding of the therapeutic and communal benefits of sauna culture, he advocates for the wellness practices that saunas can bring to your overall health. Got questions? Get in touch by calling 1-855-963-5665 or info@sunvalleysaunas.com


Important: The information provided in our articles about saunas and related topics is intended for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before using saunas, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are pregnant. Individual health needs vary, and what benefits one person may not be suitable for another.

1 comment

  • Im really thinking about buying one of theese

    MARGARET GALLAGHER

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