The Differences Between a Spa & a Sauna

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Spas may be recreational.

A gym or fitness facility may contain both a spa and a sauna as part of your membership fee. Both utilize heat as a method of physical restoration and relaxation, and it is beneficial to know the different health benefits of each before you use them.


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Another name for a hot tub, a spa may be part of your pool or a separate outside enclosure on your patio. An enclosed water container, a spa consists of a thermostat and whirlpool jets. The whirlpool jets serve to aerate the water while the thermostat sets the temperature to heat the water. Pool and outdoor spas usually provide seating for groups of people and may be used recreationally. An above-ground outdoor spa normally contains a wooden exterior with a hard plastic interior for seating.


A sauna is small room traditionally constructed with a wooden interior. Some feature rocks, which may receive water and create steam. The traditional sauna heats the air inside the room, causing you to sweat and release toxins. New methods of infrared heating lowers the heat of the air as it focuses on the heating the skin of your body instead. Several models allow for a portable, single-person design.



As diverse as the methods of heat are between the spa and sauna, so are the purposes. The spa is primarily used as a therapeutic tool and its main function is to soothe aching muscles. Repetitive spa use may relax the muscles and restore their health. The purpose of a sauna concerns the release of toxins and impurities from the body. By heating up the body, these chemicals are sweated out through the skin.


As the technology has evolved, the purchase costs associated with spas and saunas have made them more widely available to homeowners. Heat therapy via spas and saunas offer health benefits in addition to a relaxing and pleasurable experience.



Angelique de la Morreaux

Angelique de la Morreaux began writing articles for various websites in 2010. Her focus is in the legal, small business, beauty, holiday, culture, food, drinks and automotive categories. Morreaux holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from San Diego State University.