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When people think of “saunas,” they usually think of steamy rooms where bathers lounge on wooden benches, enjoying the heat and humidity. But there is such a thing as a dry sauna, though the name “dry sauna” can be somewhat misleading. Traditional Finnish saunas use steam to make the bather sweat, whereas dry saunas, or traditional Swedish saunas, don't use steam, just heat. Bathers will still sweat in a Swedish sauna, just not as much.
Sauna heaters from manufacturers such as Avalon and PolarSauna, available through saunas.com, can be used as either steam sauna heaters or dry sauna heaters; to use them as dry sauna heaters, you would just refrain from pouring water over the rocks.
Dry saunas must use temperatures that are much higher than steam saunas, because humid air transfers heat more effectively than dry air; this is why it feels hotter outside on a humid day than on a dry day. The higher temperature, however, does not make for a more uncomfortable sauna experience. If you have questions about dry saunas versus steam saunas, talk to an expert at saunas.com