What To Wear in a Sauna

What To Wear in a Sauna

Navigating the steamy ambiance of a sauna starts with understanding what to wear in a sauna, a crucial step for anyone looking to embrace the warmth that wraps around you, melting away the day's stresses.

One key fact to keep in mind is that cotton reigns supreme in the realm of sauna fabrics. Its breathability and ability to absorb excess heat make it a champion among materials, ensuring your comfort during every minute of relaxation.

In this article, we'll guide you through selecting the perfect sauna attire—be it for men or women—that aligns with both comfort requirements and etiquette norms. Plus, we'll touch upon accessories that can elevate your experience without causing faux pas.

Key Takeaways

  • Wear loose cotton or linen clothes in a sauna for comfort and to absorb sweat.
  • Avoid synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester because they trap heat and sweat.
  • Cotton towels are best for sitting on in the sauna to stay cool and maintain cleanliness.
  • Sauna hats protect your head from the heat, while flip-flops keep your feet from hot surfaces.
  • Check sauna rules regarding clothing, as some public saunas may not allow nudity.

Importance of Choosing Suitable Sauna Attire

Choosing the right sauna attire is key to your comfort and safety. Breathable sauna wear, like loose cotton clothing, lets air flow and helps your skin feel cool. Wearing suitable apparel for the sauna also absorbs sweat.

This keeps the benches clean for others. Plus, optimal sauna wear protects against burns from hot surfaces.

Functional sauna clothing is not just about comfort; it's a health choice, too. Sauna-friendly attire made of absorbent material prevents overheating by allowing heat to escape from your body easily.

Loose-fitting sauna clothes keep your circulation flowing well during the heat session. Always pick garments that let you relax and enjoy the benefits of a good sauna experience without worry.

Read More: Traditional vs. Infrared Sauna Options

What to Wear in a Sauna for Men

What to Wear in a Sauna for Men

In a sauna, men often wear swim trunks or gym shorts made of cotton. These materials help absorb sweat and allow the skin to breathe. A towel around the waist is another smart choice—it keeps things modest and soaks up moisture, too. Loose-fitting clothes are key for comfort and airflow.

Some guys go without any clothes at all; this is okay in private saunas but not in public ones. Remember to check the rules before you drop your shorts! Always choose clothing that feels good on your skin and doesn't trap heat. After all, the sauna's heat should be enough to handle!

Read More: How Long to Sit in a Sauna after a Workout

What to Wear in a Sauna for Women

What to Wear in a Sauna for Women

Just as men have guidelines for sauna attire, women also have specific options that ensure comfort and adhere to sauna etiquette. A cotton swimsuit or bikini is a great choice since it's breathable and absorbs sweat easily. Towels or sarongs are excellent for those seeking more coverage while still allowing the skin to breathe.

Loose dresses or skirts made from natural fibers like linen are another comfortable option. They're not only lightweight but also avoid sticking to the body in the heat. For extra comfort, an oversized t-shirt can be worn – just make sure it's clean and made of cotton or bamboo fabric to stay cool and respect shared sauna spaces.

Read More: Top 5 Benefits of Saunas

Sauna Accessories

While the heat in a sauna can be immensely relaxing, certain accessories can significantly enhance your experience. These specialized items not only improve comfort and safety but also adhere to traditional sauna practices recognized worldwide.

Sauna Hat

A sauna hat keeps your head cool and comfortable in the hot room. It's made from materials like wool felt, which guards against extreme temperatures. Think of it as heat protection for your scalp – it stops you from feeling too hot too quickly. Many people use them to stay longer in the sauna without discomfort.

Wearing one is a smart move because it shields not only your head but also your hair and ears. A good thermal hat makes all the difference between an okay sauna experience and a great one! You can easily find these hats online or at stores that sell sauna gear.



Flip-flops are your feet's best friends in a sauna. They protect your skin from the hot surfaces that could burn you. Think of them as shields for your soles when you walk on wood or tiles that have been heated by the sauna. You also stay safe from germs because flip-flops keep your feet off the floor where bacteria might live.

Choose rubber sandals or shower shoes dedicated just for sauna use to boost comfort and hygiene. These spa accessories make sure you step out fresh and clean without worrying about what might be sticking to bare feet. Always have them with you when heading to the heat for a worry-free, cozy sauna experience.

Cotton or Linen Socks

Right after choosing flip-flops, consider the socks you wear to the sauna. Choose cotton or linen socks for a visit. These materials are great because they let your feet breathe and don't hold too much heat. They help keep your feet from getting too warm and absorb sweat well.

Wearing moisture-wicking socks made of cotton or linen ensures that any sweat gets pulled away from your skin. This keeps you comfortable during your sauna session. Look for lightweight sauna socks that won't make your feet slip inside the flip-flops either. Comfort is key, so natural fiber socks are a smart choice when heading into the heat.

Read More: Five Essential Tips for Buying Your Perfect Sauna

Ideal Materials for Sauna Wear

Ideal Materials for Sauna Wear

When choosing your sauna attire, consider the breathability and heat resistance of the material. Opting for natural fibers like cotton and linen can greatly enhance your comfort and ensure a more enjoyable experience.

Cotton Towel

A cotton towel is a must-have for any sauna visit. Unlike heavier terrycloth, it's light and doesn't hold as much heat. This means you stay cooler and more comfortable while lounging in the warmth. Cotton breathes, letting air flow through, which helps your body regulate its temperature naturally.

Always bring a towel to sit on during your sauna session. It's about being clean and respectful in the shared space. A good absorbent cotton towel will soak up sweat and prevent bacteria from spreading on benches or seats.

Plus, sitting on a soft towel feels better than wood or tile! Comfort meets hygiene with this simple addition to your sauna gear.

Loose Cotton Shorts

Loose cotton shorts are a perfect choice for both men and women in the sauna. They're lightweight and let your skin breathe, which is just what you need when you're sitting in the heat. Cotton is gentle on your skin and doesn't hold moisture like some other fabrics can.

Wearing these airy shorts helps with moving around comfortably. You won't feel restricted or uncomfortable during your time relaxing in the sauna. These breezy bottoms are great for keeping cool while allowing air to circulate freely around your body. Opting for loose-fitting shorts means a more enjoyable sauna experience without any hassle!

Linen Wrap

A linen wrap is a top choice for your sauna visits. This fabric is light and feels gentle on the skin, keeping you cool as you sweat. Linen's airy nature lets your skin breathe, making it perfect for high heat in the sauna. It also absorbs moisture well, so you stay comfy and dry faster.

Many people love how linen wraps look and feel. They are easy to wrap around your body and offer enough coverage while being stylish. You don't have to worry about feeling too hot with linen—it's just right for relaxation wear.

Read More: Near vs. Far Infrared Sauna: Which Is Better for You?

What to Avoid Wearing in the Sauna

What to Avoid Wearing in the Sauna

Stepping into the sauna means leaving certain outfits behind; keep your experience comfortable and safe by knowing what not to do—stay tuned for those all-important no-nos.

Synthetic Fibers

Leave those synthetic fibers at home when you hit the sauna. Fabrics like nylon and polyester don't mix well with heat because they keep sweat stuck to your skin. This can make you feel uncomfortable, and these materials are just not breathable enough for sauna use. They might even irritate your skin or cause itching as things heat up.

Flip the script and choose natural fibers instead, which let your skin breathe more easily in the warmth. Now, speaking of comfort during your steamy session, let's talk about heavy cotton hoodies and why they're a bad idea.

Heavy Cotton Hoodies

Just like synthetic fibers, heavy cotton hoodies are not the best choice for a sauna. They might seem cozy, but these thick layers trap heat and sweat against your body. This can make you feel too hot and uncomfortable fast. Cotton absorbs moisture, too, so as you sweat, the hoodie gets wetter and heavier.

Choose something light instead of a bulky hoodie. Look for clothes that let your skin breathe and handle moisture without holding onto it. You want to relax in the sauna and not feel weighed down or overheated from your outfit.

Remember to pick breathable attire that helps keep you cool and dry while enjoying the warmth around you.

Clothing with Plastic Zippers or Buttons

Leave your plastic-zippered jackets and buttoned shirts at home before you enter the sauna. These items can get very hot in the high heat, leading to discomfort or even burns. Metal zippers and buttons are especially risky, as they heat up quickly and retain that heat.

Imagine leaning back only to press a heated zipper into your skin—ouch! Stick to sauna-safe clothing with no hard parts that could harm you.

Choose simple, soft garments instead of anything with plastic or metal fastenings. Trust a plain cotton towel or linen wrap to keep you safe and comfy while you sweat it out. Following this tip helps maintain proper sauna etiquette and ensures your experience stays relaxing rather than painful from unexpected burns.

Sauna Etiquette and Hygiene Considerations

Everyone wants a clean and relaxing sauna experience. Follow the community rules and keep personal hygiene top of mind. This means showering before you enter the sauna. Use a towel to sit on, protecting both you and the bench from sweat. Talk softly if you need to speak—remember, this space is for relaxation.

Many people use saunas to unwind after a long day or tough workout. Make sure you don't bring in dirt or germs that could ruin it for others. Always wear clean clothes or bathing attire when entering a steam room or public sauna facility.

Can You Wear a Swimsuit in the Sauna?

Wearing a swimsuit in the sauna is common, but it might not be the safest choice. Swimsuits are often made of synthetic fibers that can trap heat and chemicals, leading to discomfort or health risks.

Instead, loose cotton clothing is safer and more comfortable for sauna use. A simple towel, breathable workout clothes, or even swimming gear can work if it's made from natural materials like cotton.

Going into a sauna should always focus on comfort and safety. Remember to pick attire that lets your skin breathe easily. 

Should You Shave Before the Sauna?

Shaving before the sauna is up to you. Some people shave because they want smooth skin for their sauna session. But remember that there are risks when shaving right before going in.

Your blood vessels dilate from the heat, making cuts more likely to bleed. The warmth can also make your pores open wide and risk infection if you cut yourself. Wear what makes you comfortable, and consider a pre-sauna shave carefully for safety reasons. 

What Should You Wear in an Infrared Sauna?

Choosing the right attire for an infrared sauna is key. Opt for loose-fitting, light clothes made from natural fibers like cotton or linen. This allows your skin to breathe and helps you stay comfortable while you enjoy the heat.

Some folks like to wear sweatshirts, pants, and socks to boost sweating but always consider comfort first.

If going nude isn't your thing, workout clothes are a good alternative – just remember to sit on a towel and take off your shoes before stepping in. After the session wraps up, slip into something relaxed and easy to let your body cool down naturally.

Your clothing choices in an infrared sauna should make you feel at ease so that you can relax and soak up all the benefits of your session without any fuss.


Now you know what to wear in a sauna. Pick cotton or linen for a comfy visit. Remember, loose is key for sweating well! Avoid synthetics to stay safe and cool. Enjoy your sauna time with the right outfit!


What's the best thing to wear in a sauna?

Lightweight, breathable clothing or a bathing suit works well in a sauna.

Is it okay to wear jewelry in a sauna?

It's better to remove jewelry before entering the sauna to prevent burns and discomfort.

Can I just wrap myself in a towel while using the sauna?

Absolutely – wrapping yourself in a towel is a common practice for comfort and hygiene.

Should I keep my shoes on when I go into the sauna?

Leave your shoes outside – going barefoot or wearing special sauna slippers is usual.

Are there any fabrics I should avoid wearing in a sauna?

Skip synthetic fabrics; they might melt or become uncomfortable with heat. Stick with cotton or linen.