Before modern bathrooms were created, the humanity used to deal with hygienic problems generally by means of saunas. Almost every nation had set up their own type of sauna that diverges not only on name, interior or technical facilities, but also on microclimate. Microclimate is a proportion of temperature to humidity that affects on comfort and enjoyment of your stay in sauna.
There are several main sauna types:
1. Turkish steam bath or hamam
The microclimate in hamam is quite mild: a relatively low temperature (110-120° F) and high humidity (90-100%). The procedure starts with recreation in room heated by tubes with warm water that are laid under walls, floor and loungers. After profuse sweating, bathers dive into cold water and then can move into hotter room, where they are massaged and scrubbed. The rooms are tiled by stone, ceramic tile or glass.
2. Russian banya
Russian sauna has high humidity (40-65%) and means temperature (maximum 158 ° F). By means of water and hot air, there is a lot of hot vapor. After warming-up in a steam room, people dive into ice hole or pool with cold water. The important part of this authentic tradition is using bath brooms (venik), that are used by banschik to slap clients all over the body. The original banya is heated with fuelwood and is fully made of wood.
3. Finnish sauna
Visiting a sauna is a significant Finnish tradition. Saunas can be found almost everywhere in Finland and centuries ago Finnish women even used to give birth there. The word “sauna” in English is borrowed from Finnish language.
There are actually several types of Finnish saunas:
• Smoke saunas , where smoke from big stove fills the room
• Wood stove sauna that is heated by metal burner with stones above. This is the most popular sauna type in Finland
• Electric sauna is heated obviously by electric stove and is commonly used in Finnish apartments
• Portable saunas are built into car trailers, buses, tents or whatever. They are used while going camping or travelling.
The process is similar to attending Russian banya. After taking a shower, people go to sauna room, where the temperature usually is 176–230 °F. Then they use birch branches to lightly smack themselves and then cool down in ice-cold water.
4. Japanese hot-water bath ofuro
Basically, it’s a bath full of hot water (113 °F). It’s a distinct Japanese custom. The Japanese bath tub is smaller than the western, but deeper. The classic Japanese tub is wooden, but modern are made of stainless steel or plastic. High water temperature increases sweating and the water washes fat and sweat out of pores. Before getting into a tub, you need to clean yourself first as the other family members will use this water then.
5. Sport saunas
It’s a result of transformation of Finnish sauna. The humidity is artificially raised by pouring molten stones on stove. The temperature in such saunas can reach 203°F. It is used at Sana Championships and duels of endurance that are dangerous to health and life.