Real Talk: What Do Steam Rooms Actually Do?

Get the benefits of steam rooms in quick bullet points by scrolling to the bottom of the story.

A solid sweat session in the steam room is a vital part of any good spa trip, right? In fact, it’s one of the (very) few times we’d actually embrace prolonged exposure to drenching humidity. But vague notions of it “opening up your pores” aside, do you really know what the exact benefits of a steam room are? What it’s actually doing to your skin or even your body in general? While we all love a steam sesh here at Byrdie UK, we have to admit, before delving into things for this article, we weren’t entirely sure either. But with every spa therapist worth their Dead Sea salt advocating a regular steam, we thought they must be onto something good. So to get to the bottom of things, we’ve enlisted two experts in the field: Natalie Hart, head spa therapist at Huddersfield's award-winning Titanic Spa, and Rupert Critchley, MD, a practicing GP and founder of London’s Viva Skin Clinics.

Keep scrolling to discover the benefits of a steam room and why you should book yourself in ASAP.

Steam Rooms: The Short Story

Pressed for time or just CBA for the long read? Here’s the short take on the benefit of steam rooms, courtesy of Natalie Hart, Head Spa Therapist at Titanic Spa.

  • The humid heating sensation of a traditional steam room is particularly beneficial for the respiratory system and can help to soothe coughs and clear sinuses.
  • The steam increases the body’s heart rate and temperature, which induces sweating, thus contributing to the body’s detoxification process.
  • The level of humidity helps open up clogged pores and cleanse the skin to remove impurities, whilst also hydrating dryer skins.
  • Some steam rooms are combined with essential oils, which can help to induce relaxation and contribute to a better night’s sleep.
  • If you're pregnant or suffer from high/low blood pressure, any chronic disease, respiratory problems or a heart condition, then please consult your GP before heading for a steam.