Saunas are typically heated to 150°F and 195°F and can bring many health benefits. We all have different tolerances to heat, and it is important to keep an eye on how hot things are getting. Not only do you need to pay attention to the heat, but you will also need to pay attention to the humidity. That’s where a sauna hygrometer comes in handy.
A sauna hygrometer is a small device that looks similar to a thermometer. Instead of measuring the heat, it measures the air’s humidity. A sauna hygrometer is essential if you are in a steam sauna and you are trying to understand and control the level of humidity in the air.
There are a lot of different sauna hygrometers on the market, and now you can typically buy a set that comes as a hygrometer-thermometer combination. One of these combination hygrometer thermometers is the easiest way to get all the information you could need about the air in your sauna. It will allow you to figure out what humidity is right for you, and to tune your sauna to your personal preferences.
What Is a Sauna Hygrometer and How Does It Work?
Many of these tools rely on the temperature, pressure, mass, or mechanical changes as moisture is being absorbed. This allows the device to comprehend how much moisture is in the room, and then the pin needle moves in the proper place, showing where the moisture level is.
Why do Most Hygrometers Come as Hygrometer/Thermometer Sets?
Though you can buy both of these products separately, it is generally good to buy them as a set. It is crucial to keep an eye on both of these things. Over time, researchers decided it was cheaper, more efficient, and drove sales to create one tool that measured two separate parameters. If you do not yet have a set, you should invest in one because it is the easiest way to keep track of two critical measurements for maintaining a sauna.
Great Thermometer/Hygrometer Sets
If you still have yet to find a proper set but already own a sauna, take a look at these. They will help you determine the temperature and humidity levels all at once and for a reasonable price. All of the links take you to Amazon, by the way.
ThermoPro TP63B Thermometer/Hygrometer
The ThermoPro TP63B (on Amazon) is an indoor set that is perfect for your sauna. You can leave it on the bench or hang it up on the wall. It is digital, wireless, and super easy to read. When you start looking for a hygrometer and thermometer, you will want to make sure it is waterproof and not water-resistant.
The MIFXIN (on Amazon) is also a wooden thermometer/hygrometer perfect for saunas. It will hang on the wall easily and has two circles embedded that show the different levels. Both circles are clearly labeled. This one uses small pins or hands as you would see on an analog clock. This is only meant for indoor use; you will never be able to use it outside.
Bjerg Instruments 8″ Thermometer/Hygrometer
If you want something more decorative for your sauna, the hygrometer from Bjerg Instruments (on Amazon) can do that for you. It has a nice round, thick piece of wood that covers a circular thermometer and hygrometer. The top half will measure one thing while the bottom measures the other. It is beautiful and functional.
These are just a few options that will help upgrade your sauna, and allow you to keep an eye on both levels. Keeping an eye on these will help you keep the area at a nice temperature, and help you keep safe in a hot room.
Where Should You Place Your Hygrometer?
The best place to hang your hygrometer/thermometer is away from the heater but close enough so that it has a reasonable chance of getting an accurate reading of the temperature. So what does that look like? Place it away from any windows, doors, or anywhere the temperature could fluctuate intensely. The goal is to have it in the middle somewhere, that way it can remain at an even heat throughout the sauna session.
Though the air will be consistent in the sauna, placement really does matter. Cold air will fall lower to the ground, and hot air will rise higher, so keep that in mind when you’re hanging it up. If your gauge is too close to the ground or too high to the ceiling, it will not read accurately. Put simply, try and place it in the middle of the room – not too high or too low. The placement is essential for getting a good reading, that way you can make informed decisions when maintaining your sauna.
What Should the Hygrometer Reading Be?
Every sauna has a perfect humidity temperature that’s right for you. However, there are certain best practices that nearly everyone should follow with a few exceptions. For example, most experts argue that your room should always be between 5-30% – anything above or below may not have your sauna working as effectively as it should. The more moisture the air is, the more likely you will feel hotter and less comfortable. You will also remain wet for much longer.
How do you Know that Your Hygrometer is Working?
So what happens if something isn’t right? There could even be something wrong with the hygrometer. Thankfully, there are quick tests you can run to ensure it’s working properly. Take a slightly dampened towel, one that is not dripping with water, and wrap your hygrometer in it for 45 minutes. Once it has been sitting for the allotted time, unwrap it as quickly as possible to read the results.
If it is working, it should be reading 100% humidity levels. You should do this once in a while before you use your sauna to ensure your safety. However, if your hydrometer is new, it may take a few hours to warm up and read correctly. If it is out of the package, always wait two hours to see if it starts working. After that, you can run the test I just mentioned to ensure it’s actually working the way it should.
How many types of hygrometers are there?
There are four types of hygrometers. There are electrical, dew-point, psychrometers, and mechanical hygrometers. At the end of the day, they all do the same things but in slightly different ways. However, there are differences in prices, and you may find that some of them work a bit better for you, personally. For example, some people prefer mechanical hygrometers while others would rather have an electrical one with a digital readout.
Do you Need a hygrometer for an Infrared Sauna?
This is a great question. Infrared saunas do not use steam, they radiate heat directly to and into the body. So, an infrared sauna does not need a bunch of water particles filling the air, conducting the heat into the body through that route. For that reason, you won’t typically ever add, or need to measure and maintain humidity levels in an infrared sauna. You won’t need a hygrometer for your infrared sauna.
If you own a sauna, you will want to maintain the proper temperature and an appropriate humidity level. The best way to do that is to invest in a hygrometer and ensure that it works and reads the air correctly. Many sets are available to purchase, and as long as you hang them in the appropriate place, you will find that it is the ultimate tool for your sauna.