Sauna etiquette is based on a variety of factors. In some countries nudity in a sauna is commonplace, while in others a bathing suit is almost always required. Whether clothing is optional or not, this is probably the most popular question asked by sauna users about sauna etiquette. This is probably due to the fear of a potentially embarassing situations that could arise if you make a mistake. If you are unsure, you can always try and follow the lead of other sauna users, or if your are using a private sauna ask your hosts what is expected. You will find that in many european countries where nudity is not as taboo, that many saunas will be either clothing option, or may require you to not wear clothing.
Sauna Etiquette Do's
- Always shower before entering a sauna. This is to benefit not only the other sauna users, but you as well. Cleansing the skin will prevent anything from contaminating your opening pores. Washing off sweat or residual chlorine from a dip in the pool will also prevent the heat from increasing the smell and bothering other sauna users.
- Always use / wear a towel in a sauna. Whether it is a clothing optional sauna or not, sitting on or wearing a towl is an important part of sauna etiquette. Nobody wants to sit in a pool of someone elses sweat, whether they have a bathing suit on or not.
- Only stay in for as long as you are comfortable. Staying in a sauna longer than your friends just to be tougher, or competing as to who can stay in the sauna longest not only defeats the relaxing goals of a sauna, but can be quite dangerous. One competitor in this years world sauna championship actually died after staying in a sauna for too long.
- Always read the rules posted outside the sauna if there are any. This will give you an idea of the expected behaviour for sauna users. If it is a private sauna, ask your hosts if you have any questions prior to using the sauna.
Sauna Etiquette Donts
- Don't leave the door open or forget to close the door. Sauna etiquette states that you should always enter or exit the sauna quickly, leaving the door open for as little time as possible. This will prevent the heat from escaping.
- Don't speak loudly or make any loud noises that could disturb the other sauna goers. If you must have a discussion with someone else in the sauna, keep it to a low whisper.
Sauna Etiquette United States
Sauna etiquette in the united states is often more relaxed than other countries. The main exception to this is that in mixed sex saunas clothing is not usually optional. Bathing suits are usually required in all mixed sex public saunas. Otherwise, your behavior should promote relaxation, and not interrupt others ablity to relax.
Sauna Etiquette Finland
As the birthplace of the sauna, Finland has a great deal of history when it comes to sauna etiquette. Nudity is commonplace in finnish saunas. Although the idea of sitting naked with complete strangers may seem strange at first, you will most likely feel even more out of place if you are the only clothed person in the same situation.
Sauna Etiquette UK
Sauna etiquette in the UK is similar to other countries if not slightly less open to nudity than many european countries. British culture is not as open in regards to this so make sure you check the facility rules to determine what the proper etiquette is that particular sauna.
Sauna Etiquette Australia
Sauna etiquette in Australia is very similar to that of european countries. That being said, never assume that clothing is optional in a sauna as this can be a very embarassing error to make.
Sauna Etiquette Sweden
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