What Is A Sauna Hat For, And Why Wear One?

What Is A Sauna Hat For, And Why Wear One?

Are you new to the world of saunas and wondering why some people wear hats in such a hot place? With temperatures soaring, it seems odd to add more layers. However, there's a secret weapon many sauna enthusiasts swear by - the sauna hat.

This accessory isn't just for style; it plays a key role in enhancing your sauna experience. A fascinating fact about these hats is that they're often made from materials like sheep or alpaca wool. These materials are chosen because they provide excellent protection against the sauna heat.

Dive in with us as we look into everything you need to know about sauna hats, including their benefits and how to pick the right one for you.

Everything You Need to Know About Sauna Hats

Sauna hats are special accessories designed to protect your head from the intense heat of a sauna. Made mainly from natural fibers like wool or linen, these hats act as a barrier, safeguarding your scalp and hair.

Wool felt, often sourced from sheep wool in places like Comox Valley and Campbell River, is a popular material due to its excellent insulation properties. This means you can stay longer in the sauna without feeling uncomfortable.

These hats not only shield you from heat but also help regulate body temperature by absorbing sweat. When the steam rises during an aufguss session—a traditional infusion of water mixed with essential oils—the sauna hat plays a crucial role in maintaining comfort.

Sauna Hat Benefits

Sauna Hat Benefits

Wearing a sauna hat protects your head from the sauna heat. It also helps in managing sweat during your sauna session.

Shield Against Heat

Sauna hats serve as a shield from the high temperatures found inside saunas. Since they act as a barrier, your head stays cooler, making the sauna experience more enjoyable. This protection helps reduce the risk of overheating and allows you to stay in the sauna longer.

Research suggests that such heat can interfere with the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which are vital for body functions, including mood regulation, managing anxiety, and maintaining sleep cycles.

Thankfully, wearing a sauna hat protects the scalp from being directly exposed to the heat, leading to a cooler, safer, and more pleasant sauna experience.

Absorbs Sweat

Not only does a sauna hat protect you from the heat, but it also plays a crucial role in absorbing sweat. Materials used in these hats are designed to soak up perspiration efficiently.

This keeps the sweat from running down your face and into your eyes, making your sauna experience more comfortable. You won't have to worry about constantly wiping away sweat or getting it in your eyes thanks to these handy sauna accessories.

Wearing one helps maintain cleanliness within the steamy environment of a sauna. It captures the moisture and allows for easy rinse and dry afterward. With this accessory, managing perspiration becomes effortless, letting you focus on relaxation and the health benefits of your sauna session.

Wearing a Hat in Sauna Maintains Hair Health

Sauna hats play a crucial role in keeping your hair healthy. They create a barrier that protects your hair from the intense heat, which can cause dryness, split ends, and brittleness. By wearing one, you help maintain moisture in your hair and prevent damage.

Healthline highlights that overexposure to intense heat can deplete the natural oils in your hair and deteriorate proteins, resulting in split ends, breakage, and dryness — conditions we'd certainly prefer to prevent.

These hats also allow you to enjoy longer sauna sessions by regulating the temperature around your head. This regulation helps avoid excessive heat exposure that could harm your hair over time.

Balancing Body Heat

Wearing a sauna hat plays a crucial role in keeping your body's temperature balanced. It helps prevent the discomfort of feeling too hot and reduces the risk of dizziness. The hat acts as a barrier, cooling your head while the rest of your body gets to sweat out toxins comfortably.

Research indicates that the brain plays a crucial role in heat exchange. By insulating it with a sauna hat, you can achieve a harmonious balance between warmth and coolness, enhancing comfort.

Your overall experience improves because you can stay in the warm environment longer without feeling overheated. By regulating body temperature, you get all the benefits without any drawbacks.

How to Choose the Right Sauna Hat

How to Choose the Right Sauna Hat

Picking the perfect sauna hat involves knowing what it's made of. You also need to make sure it fits well and suits your style.


The choice of material for your sauna hat is an essential factor in maximizing the benefits of your sauna experience. Sauna hats are primarily made from high-quality wool felt. They are favored for their great antibacterial properties. This makes them ideal for hygiene in saunas' warm, humid environments.

Wool's ability to regulate body temperature in intense heat is key. It does this by easily trapping a layer of air between the hat and the scalp. This is an insulating barrier. It keeps a constant temperature and ensures your head stays cool and comfy. This is true even during long sauna sessions.

Sauna enthusiasts like wool, especially alpaca and sheep wool, for its cooling effect and water absorption. However, alternative materials like birch leaves are a more traditional option. They also protect from heat well. Considering these materials' unique properties is crucial. Wool provides great insulation and breathes. It supports a dry and cool scalp amidst the sauna's high temperatures.

For sauna hat care, using a mild detergent and lukewarm water for cleaning is advisable. You should hand wash wool felt hats. This will prevent damage from high heat or aggressive washing.

Gently wringing out the hat and letting it dry in a well-ventilated area ensures it retains its shape and insulating properties. You can choose a sauna hat made from sheep wool or alpaca wool. You can also choose from materials like polyester felt. But remember that your personal preference is key.

Size and Fit

Choosing the right material is crucial, but getting the correct size and fit ensures comfort and effectiveness. A sauna hat should feel snug on your head without being too tight. This balance helps to regulate body temperature efficiently while keeping you comfortable.

Most sauna hats are designed to be adjustable, catering to both men and women. They come in a "one size fits most" style, which means finding one that fits well shouldn't be hard. Always try on a hat before buying if possible, or check the measurements if shopping online to ensure it will give you the proper fit for optimal heat protection and sweat absorption.


Sauna hats come in various designs to match a personal preference, enhancing the experience with elements that cater to both function and fashion. From whimsical shapes depicting animals or mythical creatures to more traditional patterns that pay homage to sauna culture's rich heritage, there is a sauna hat for every taste.

These hats not only add a playful or elegant touch but also effectively regulate body temperature. The design of the sauna hat, including those with or without a brim, influences the air circulation inside the hat, which is crucial for comfort.

Hats with a brim provide protection from direct heat, which is especially beneficial when sitting on the top bench, while those without a brim offer a sleeker, more streamlined fit.

How to Use and Care for a Sauna Hat

How to Use and Care for a Sauna Hat

Correctly enhancing your sauna hat usage can make a big difference in the experience. It helps regulate body temperature and makes your time more enjoyable. Here are steps and tips:

  • Choose a natural fiber hat for its benefits. Wool hats act as a barrier against the heat.
  • Soak the hat in cool water before entering the sauna. This adds extra cooling protection.
  • Put on the hat right before you step into the sauna. It prevents your head from heating up too quickly.
  • Keep the hat on throughout your sauna session. It absorbs sweat and shields you from intense heat.
  • After use, rinse the hat in lukewarm water to remove sweat and toxins.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water from the hat; don't wring it, which can misshape it.
  • Air-dry the hat completely before storing it. Avoid direct sunlight or heated areas that might shrink or damage it.
  • Follow any specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. This ensures your hat stays in good shape.


Sauna hats serve a vital role in enhancing your sauna experience. They protect your head from intense heat, allowing for longer, more comfortable sessions. These hats also keep your hair safe while helping to regulate body temperature.

Whether you're new to saunas or a seasoned enthusiast, adding a sauna hat to your routine can elevate the comfort and benefits of each visit.


Can anyone use a sauna hat?

Yes, anyone who goes into a sauna can use a sauna hat to help control their body temperature.

How does the regulation of my body temperature benefit me in the sauna?

Regulating your body temperature with a sauna hat makes your time in the sauna more enjoyable and may help prevent overheating.

What is a sauna hat called?

A sauna hat is often referred to as a "banya hat" in regions with a strong tradition of sauna usage, such as Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. 

Where can I buy a quality sauna hat?

Look online or at stores specializing in spa equipment or wellness products to find various options.

Does everyone need a sauna hat?

If you want to enhance your experience by staying longer comfortably and protecting your hair, then yes.

Why do Russians wear hats in the sauna?

Russians wear hats in the sauna primarily to protect their heads from overheating, as the intense heat of traditional Russian saunas (banyas) can be quite extreme.