Are Saunas Bad For Your Lungs


Although the health benefits of saunas have been touted for years, the answer to the question “are saunas bad for your lungs?” has remained unclear. Healthy lungs are extremely vital to the overall well-being and body performance. For this reason, understanding the effect that home saunas have on your lungs is extremely important.

In this article, we will be discussing the sauna and lungs. We will help you understand whether staying in the sauna can have any negative impacts on your lungs.

Are Saunas Bad for Your Lungs: Everything You Need to Know

If you have been asking yourself the question are saunas bad for your lungs, you should know that the answer to this question is no. When used ideally, saunas have health benefits for the lungs.

In the following sections, we will be discussing the benefits of saunas for the lungs. However, to better understand the relationship between the indoor or outdoor sauna and lungs, we will look at the physical effects of the saunas first.

What Are the Physical Effects of Saunas?

The effects that saunas have on the body are similar irrespective of the Sauna heater used. Different styles and types of saunas exist, including steam room, infrared, wood burning, and electrical saunas.

Typically, a traditional sauna will heat the surrounding air to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, which then heats your body. Infrared saunas are quite different since the temperatures only reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit – the infrared rays will penetrate your body more deeply and cause the body to start sweating at a lower temperature.

When you sit inside a sauna, the internal body temperature rises slowly. The temperature on your skin can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit within just a couple of minutes. The increased internal body temperature features significant benefits for your lungs and cardiovascular health. The heart rate will increase and your vessels will widen – this will increase circulation.

Dry Heat Treatment for the Lungs

Your lungs and the entire body experience profound benefits from the dry air and heat inside a sauna. A study published by the International Journal of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), focusing on the effects of infrared saunas on people suffering from COPD, indicated significant improvement in lung function. In this study, the results from patients after receiving 4 weeks of repeated sauna sits showed improvements in the speed of the air coming out of the lungs, compared to a group that used regular treatment.

Another study published by the Journal of Cardiology, focusing on male ex-smoker COPD patients, also reported a positive relationship between sauna and lung function. Following 4 weeks of sauna sessions, the COPD patients’ exercise length and oxygen saturation during the workouts improved significantly. Furthermore, the patients reported improved overall symptom scores and decreased pulmonary artery pressures.

Saunas Can Reduce the Risk of Pneumonia and Asthma

According to studies published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, sweating in the sauna at least 2 times per week can reduce the potential of developing pneumonia by almost 30%. Enjoying sauna sessions at least 4 times per week can reduce the risk of developing the illness even further, by almost 40%.

In addition to helping prevent pneumonia, studies published in the same Journal indicate that saunas can reduce the chances of falling ill with asthma and other lung-related problems. These studies prove that there is no negative relationship existing between the sauna and the lungs.

Saunas Can Reduce the Severity of Cold Symptoms


If you have dealt with seasonal common cold before, you already know that your breathing and lungs are hindered by coughing and congestion. One of the advantages of saunas that further proves that the answer to the question “are saunas bad for your lungs?” is no is that saunas can help reduce the severity of the common cold symptoms.

In 2010, the Medical Journal of Australia reported a controlled trial that focused on German common cold sufferers. The study had a focus group that breathed in “hot dry” sauna air and a control group that breathed in “cool dry” room temperature air. The focus group would sit in a sauna for 3 minutes each day for 3 days.

On the second day of the study, the patients in the focus group showed a significant decrease in the severity of the symptoms compared to the control group. Also, the focus group required fewer doses of cold medication.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Saunas to Boost Lung Health

Wearing your sauna suit and sitting in your 1-person infrared sauna can have significant benefits on your lung health. However, there are some things you need to know to avoid dealing with negative effects. These things include:

  • If you are a first-time sauna user, spend no more than 5 to 10 minutes in the sauna. As you become used to the heat, you can increase your time in the sauna to approximately 20 minutes.
  • After use, cool down slowly.
  • Stay hydrated – drink 2 to 4 glasses of water after each session.
  • Avoid alcohol before and after the session.


Q: Is Sauna Good for Chest Infection?


Sauna sessions are an ideal way to help reduce the severity of symptoms caused by chest infections. Additionally, spending time in the sauna can help reduce the chances of contracting a wide range of chest problems.

Q: Are Saunas Bad for Asthma?


For people with Asthma, sauna sessions can be an ideal alternative treatment. Saunas help open the airways and improve breathing.

Additionally, saunas do help with de-stressing and relaxation. Both anxiety and stress are common asthma triggers. By managing/eliminating these triggers, you should be able to reduce the possibilities of dealing with the asthma symptoms.

Globo Surf Overview

If you have been asking yourself the question “are saunas bad for your lungs?”, you should know that regular sauna sessions can improve lung health and function. Various studies, some of which have been highlighted in this article, prove that a positive relationship exists between sauna and lungs. Helping reduce the chances of contracting pneumonia, reducing the severity of common cold symptoms, and even helping with chronic lung illnesses such as asthma, sauna sessions are ideal for everyone.

More Hot Tub Reviews:


  1. Are Saunas Healthy or Harmful? –
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!