The ultimate effect of dry saunas and steam rooms is much the same. Both make you hot, induce sweating and increased heart rate. But there are sufficient differences to make people ask which is better in a contest of sauna vs steam room. The effect of breathing dry sauna air or wet steam is very different for the respiratory system and the moisture effects skin very differently too
Steam rooms create very good respiratory conditions with the humidity level at 100%. People with coughs and lung problems sometimes use a steam room to soothe their respiratory systems. Steam rooms are also more hydrating for your skin than saunas. This is great for people with dry skin, who might suffer in a dry sauna.
Some people find steam rooms stifling though and think that the humid air is difficult to breathe. Steam rooms have a mystic quality, with the air shrouded in steam, while saunas are clean and clear enough so that you could read a book if you wanted. If you have greasy skin you might find that a dry sauna is better, because your pores may get blocked by moisture if you stay in the steam room too long.
When it comes to sauna vs steam rooms, both increase circulation to the surface of the skin and make you sweat, which can be a pleasant sensation and has proven benefits for cardiovascular health. Both can also promote a healthy and deep sleep.
Some other benefits that you can only get from a steam room include:- clearing of throat, sinus and lung congestion, relief of dry throat and nasal passages and relief from the discomfort of sinusitis.