The Best Sauna Temperature for Weight Loss and Health Benefits

2/4/20248 min read


  • Sauna therapy aids weight loss by increasing heart rate, metabolism, and calorie burning.

  • For optimal results, 45-minute sessions, 3 times a week, are recommended.

  • Ideal temperatures vary: traditional (140-200°F), infrared (100-125°F), steam (140-175°F).

  • Experiment to find your comfortable and effective temperature.

  • Sauna therapy offers detoxification, cardiovascular health, stress reduction, muscle recovery, and skin benefits.

Incorporating a sauna into your fitness and wellness routine can help you relax, rejuvenate, and even promote weight loss.

But what is the best sauna temperature for achieving these desired outcomes?

In this article, we will explore the best sauna temperature for weight loss and its associated health benefits.

By understanding the science behind sauna therapy and the effects it can have on the body, you'll be enabled to make informed decisions to maximize the benefits of this popular wellness practice.

Understanding Sauna Therapy and Weight Loss

Sauna therapy has become popular for its potential to aid weight loss.

When exposed to higher temperatures in a sauna, our bodies respond by increasing heart rate, cardiovascular activity, and metabolism.

This triggers a series of physiological alterations that can help you lose weight.

The Mechanisms of Weight Loss in a Sauna

Before delving into the ideal sauna temperature for weight loss, let's first explore the mechanisms behind this phenomenon.

When the body is exposed to the heat of a sauna, it attempts to regulate its temperature by triggering the sweating response.

This sweating process helps eliminate toxins from the body and can lead to temporary water weight loss.

Moreover, the increased heart rate and elevated core body temperature in a sauna can also stimulate the metabolism.

This boost in metabolic activity can enhance the body's ability to burn calories, including stored fat cells, thereby aiding in weight loss.

Duration and Frequency for Effective Weight Loss

To achieve significant weight loss through sauna therapy, it is essential to consider both the duration and frequency of your sauna sessions.

A study conducted by Binghamton University in New York suggests that for optimal weight loss results, a sauna session of 45 minutes at a temperature of 50-60ºC, at least three times a week for an eight-week period is recommended.

This study found that participants lost approximately 0.5% body fat per week, totaling around 4% over eight weeks.

It is worth noting that the duration of sauna sessions may vary depending on individual preferences and tolerance levels.

Whether you spend more or less time in the sauna than the recommended guidelines, you can still experience the benefits of sauna therapy.

However, consistent and regular sessions are generally more effective in achieving weight loss goals.

Finding the Ideal Sauna Temperature for Weight Loss

Now that we understand the facts behind weight loss in a sauna, let's explore the ideal sauna temperature for maximizing its benefits.

The best sauna temperature for weight loss varies depending on the type of sauna you are using.

Different saunas, such as traditional saunas, infrared saunas, and steam saunas, have distinct temperature ranges and mechanisms of heat delivery.

Traditional Sauna Temperature for Weight Loss

In a traditional sauna, which can be equipped with either electric or wood-burning heaters, the recommended temperature range for weight loss is between 140-200 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, it's important to note that individual preferences and tolerance levels may influence the optimal temperature within this range.

According to the "Rule of 200," a concept followed by Finnish sauna enthusiasts, the combined sauna temperature and humidity level should equal 200 for optimal comfort and benefits. For example, if the sauna temperature is set to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity should be around 40% to achieve the Rule of 200.

Experimentation and personal preferences play an important part in selecting the optimal temperature within the prescribed range.

Some individuals may prefer lower temperatures around 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit, while others may enjoy higher temperatures closer to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Begin with a temperature that feels comfortable and progressively adjust it until you discover your sweet spot.

Infrared Sauna Temperature for Weight Loss

Infrared saunas operate differently from traditional saunas, as they use electronic infrared heaters to directly warm the body's core temperature.

The recommended temperature range for an infrared sauna is generally lower than that of a traditional sauna, ranging from 100-125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infrared saunas penetrate the body's tissues, increasing core body temperature, which can enhance calorie burning and potential weight loss.

The lower temperature range of infrared saunas makes them accessible to individuals who may find higher temperatures uncomfortable.

As with any sauna therapy, it is crucial to listen to your body and adjust the temperature to your comfort level.

Some infrared sauna enthusiasts may prefer temperatures closer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while others may find 125 degrees Fahrenheit more suitable.

Experimentation is key to finding the optimal temperature for weight loss and overall enjoyment of your infrared sauna sessions.

Steam Sauna Temperature for Weight Loss

Steam saunas, which are often mistakenly referred to as "wet saunas," utilize steam generated by pouring water onto heated rocks.

The resulting humidity creates a unique sauna experience that can enhance relaxation and promote weight loss.

The best temperature for a steam sauna varies depending on individual preferences and the desired level of humidity.

To achieve weight loss benefits in a steam sauna, it is recommended to set the temperature within the range of 140-175 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it's important to note that the Rule of 200, which applies to traditional saunas, does not directly apply to steam saunas due to the absence of humidity control.

When using a steam sauna, it's advisable to start with a lower temperature, around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and gradually increase it to your comfort level. Adding water to the rocks periodically can increase humidity and enhance the steam sauna experience.

Duration and Frequency for Optimal Weight Loss Results

In addition to finding the ideal sauna temperature, it's important to consider the duration and frequency of your sauna sessions for optimal weight loss results.

While the recommended duration for weight loss varies depending on the type of sauna, a general guideline is to start with sessions of 20-30 minutes and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts.

For traditional saunas and steam saunas, three sessions per week, lasting 45 minutes each, have been found to yield significant weight loss results.

It's crucial to listen to your body and avoid overexertion or prolonged exposure to high temperatures, as this can lead to discomfort or adverse effects.

In the case of infrared saunas, slightly longer sessions of up to 35 minutes can be tolerated, as the lower temperature range is generally more comfortable for extended periods. However, it's important to consult with a medical advisor or sauna professional if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

Consistency is key when it comes to sauna therapy for weight loss. Regular sauna sessions, at the recommended duration and frequency, can help promote weight loss and overall well-being. However, it's essential to complement sauna therapy with a healthy, nutritious diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle for long-term sustainable results.

Additional Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy

While weight loss is one of the benefits of sauna therapy, it's important to recognize that saunas offer numerous other health benefits.

These benefits extend beyond just shedding pounds and can contribute to overall health and improve the quality of life.

Detoxification and Cleansing

Sauna therapy promotes detoxification by stimulating sweating and eliminating toxins from the body.

The heat and sweating process activate the lymphatic system, helping to flush out harmful substances and improve overall cellular health. Regular sauna sessions can help the body's natural cleansing processes and promote a healthier internal environment.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Sauna therapy seems to have positive effects on cardiovascular health.

The heat and increased heart rate in a sauna can improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and enhance vascular function. These cardiovascular benefits can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.

Stress Reduction and Relaxation

Sauna sessions provide a tranquil and serene environment that promotes relaxation and stress reduction.

The heat and steam create a soothing atmosphere that can help alleviate muscle tension, promote better sleep, and reduce anxiety and stress levels. Regular sauna use can be a valuable tool for self-care and mental well-being.

Muscle Recovery and Pain Relief

Sauna therapy can aid in muscle recovery and alleviate pain.

The heat helps relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow to injured or sore areas. This can be beneficial, especially for athletes or individuals recovering from physical exertion or injury.

Skin Health and Rejuvenation

The heat and sweating it causes can have positive effects on the skin.

Sauna therapy can promote deep cleansing of the pores, improve skin elasticity, and enhance overall skin health. Regular sauna use can contribute to a youthful and radiant complexion.


Sauna therapy offers a wide range of health benefits, including weight loss, detoxification, improved cardiovascular health, stress reduction, muscle recovery, and skin rejuvenation.

The ideal sauna temperature for weight loss depends on the type of sauna, with traditional saunas ranging from 140-200 degrees Fahrenheit, infrared saunas ranging from 100-125 degrees Fahrenheit, and steam saunas ranging from 140-175 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is important to listen to your body, adjust the temperature to your comfort level, and gradually increase the duration and frequency of your sauna sessions.

Consistency and regularity are essential for achieving maximum weight loss and reaping the many health advantages of sauna therapy. However, it's essential to complement sauna use with a healthy diet with consideration for calorie intake, having a workout routine, and a healthy lifestyle for overall well-being.

Remember, sauna therapy is a personal journey, and what works for one individual may not work for another. Experimentation and a sense of self-care are crucial in finding the best sauna temperature and routine that suit your preferences and goals.

Stay hydrated, pay attention to your body's signals, and consult with a medical professional if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

Embrace the power of sauna therapy as a holistic approach to weight loss and wellness.

By harnessing the benefits of heat, relaxation, and detoxification, you can embark on a transformative journey towards a healthier and happier you.


1. Is 60°C hot enough for a sauna?

Yes, 60°C (140°F) is considered a suitable and effective temperature for a sauna. This temperature range falls within the recommended heat levels for traditional saunas, and it can still provide various health benefits, including relaxation, detoxification, and potential weight loss. However, individual preferences and tolerance levels may vary, so feel free to adjust the temperature to your comfort.

2. Is sauna good for losing belly fat?

Sauna sessions can contribute to overall weight loss, but it's essential to understand that spot reduction, such as losing belly fat specifically, is not a direct outcome of sauna use. Saunas primarily promote weight loss through water weight reduction and increased calorie burning. To efficiently lose belly fat, a balanced diet, frequent exercise, and a healthy lifestyle must be followed.

3. How do you maximize weight loss in a sauna?

To maximize weight loss in a sauna, consider the following tips:

It is important to drink lots of water during your sauna session but also before and after it, to replace lost fluids from sweating.

Duration and Frequency: Aim for consistent and regular sauna sessions, but avoid excessive or prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Complement with Diet and Exercise: Remember that sauna use is just one component of a holistic approach to weight loss. Combine it with a healthy nutrient-dense, but low calorie diet and regular physical activity for optimal results.

4. Does 30 minutes of sauna burn many calories?

While sauna sessions can increase calorie burning, the number of calories burned in a 30-minute sauna session is relatively modest compared to other forms of physical activity. Estimates suggest that a 30-minute sauna session may burn around 150-300 calories. The primary weight loss benefits of sauna therapy come from improved metabolism and temporary water weight loss rather than significant calorie burning. For substantial calorie expenditure, engaging in regular aerobic exercises is more effective.