Benefits of Hot Tub vs Sauna

There are great differences between the benefits of a hot tub and a sauna and if you are questioning which one to choose for yourself regarding the benefits of hot tub vs sauna, then more than likely we can provide the answers you are searching for.

Simply put, this all comes down to how you feel about each of these products and what you want to use them for.

If sitting in a steam room like this one really floats your boat, then having a sauna is right for you.

If you like to soak in hot water and maybe have family and friends around you, then a hot tub is the answer.

Both give a relaxed feeling and both can ease your aches and pains.

Our aim is to break the question down to give you the full facts, good and bad, what health benefits you will achieve and we will suggest different options from our experience and friends in dealing with these products.

Health Benefits of Hot Tub vs Sauna

The principals of hot tubs and saunas are to provide relaxation to our bodies, giving our aches and pains chance to diminish as well as offering our joints a support, that way taking the strain off our muscles.

But there are two major differences of the benefits of hot tub vs sauna.

The first in using a sauna is basically providing heat around the room using steam. This offers the following:

  • initial weight loss dues to extra sweating
  • a good skin detox where the extra sweating helps carry any problems outside the body
  • relief from arthritis owing to the extra heat in the surroundings
  • improved body health generally.


A hot tub, regardless of whether it’s a simple inflatable hot tub  or an all-fangled luxury variety like the Essential Hot Tubs Polara 50 above provides the following:
  • Weight loss, again from the sweating
  • Eases sore muscles
  • Skin detox for the same reasons
  • Relief from arthritis and rheumatic pains
  • Relaxation improves sleep and gets rid of stress headaches while improves you frame of mind
  • Gives a pleasurable experience and boosts bodily health

Both need consideration if you suffer from heart problems or diabetes (see our article on HOT TUB SIDE EFFECTS) in that you will need to be aware of raised core body temperature and other possible problems.

The hot tub temperature can be adjusted easily, but a sauna will cook your goose or gander if you don’t take care of the temperature (see our article on THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF HOT TUBS)

From your point of view one can appear better than the other, but both virtually achieve the same results providing you don’t get too hot.

Below we go into the good and bad regarding what you are looking for in this comparison.

Sauna vs Hot Tub for Weight Loss

Let’s be clear about this; all fats do not just disappear if you are simply sitting in a sauna or lazing in a hot tub – it just doesn’t happen!

What really happens is you lose water and other fluids from your body by sweating – yes, you do sweat in the water inside your hot tub.

You get the feeling you’ve had a workout by your blood vessels being dilated near the surface of your skin causing it to flow better and lower your blood pressure – means your heart eases its load a little, as it tries to remove the excess heat to your surroundings and this gives you a rosy glow all over when you get out.

Problem is – that water is easily replaced – so you do, in fact, lose weight minimally, but soon put it back on again.

Saunas are well known for weight reduction, but they require lots of energy to be used up in the form of exercise for best effect to break down the fat, even while you are in them.

Hot Tub vs Sauna: Detox

From a point of view of detoxing yourself the sauna is the better option than a hot tub for cleansing your skin as sweat passes more easily through hot air than into water, that way taking more of those minute particles of heavy metals away from you.

In fact, both do the same thing, but it is more pronounced with the sauna if that is your aim.

Hot Tub vs Sauna: Arthritis

Heat is of great benefit in relaxing tissue within joints and this allows more flexibility, meaning people who suffer from arthritis, rheumatics and associated problems can get great value from using a hot tub or sauna regularly.

Pain is eased, mobility improved and not forgetting the brain, a sense of well-being develops as heat penetrates the body and provides a sense of relaxation instead of tensed muscled trying to overcome the problems associated with these conditions.

However, of the two, a hot tub wins hands down owing to the buoyancy provided by the water supporting a body and easing joint pressure which usually can cause a lot of pain and inflammation.

On top of this blood flow increases within the joints allowing white blood cells a chance to overcome any problems and stop them from developing further.

In fact, most medical facilities have connections to places offering hot tub therapy for people with physical mobility problems as it is a highly recommended way to ease joint troubles – so why not have your own?

Hot Tub or Sauna for Sore Muscles

If you are considering either a hot tub or a sauna to ease sore muscles after a workout, then your choice should be a hot tub as you will be disappointed with a sauna.

With a blend of massage jets or bubbles, added buoyancy and residual heat effectively relaxing any overworked muscles, plus better circulation, a hot tub wins easily with no questions asked.

Depending on the type of hot tub you can get a gentle massage from pumped-in bubbles or a more vigorous massage from powerful water jets.

Some, like the Essential Hot Tubs SS1140200300 Arbor-20 Jet Hot Tub, Cobblestone offer the option of both these massaging pleasures although they do tend to be a bit dearer to purchase compared to the simple air–bubble hot tubs.

Another point regarding hot tubs is the buoyancy provided as this added to the heat tends to relax you before you even switch on the massage jets or those theraputic bubbles.

The Cons of Having a Hot Tub and Sauna

Larger hot tubs and most saunas have one main disadvantage in that they are expensive to set up at home.

Firstly, for a sauna, you need an enclosed space to trap the heat, either a built-on room to house your sauna, otherwise you can install one in a timber structure out in your yard.

Both generally need an electric supply to generate the heat required.

For hot tubs there is a different requirement in that if you have a sunken hot tub, it needs excavating and installing by a plumber and electrician to the required specifications, again adding to your initial outlay.

MSPA Luxury Exotic Hot Tub

Should you wish to go for a standalone hot tub, either the inflatable hot tub variety like the MSPA luxury exotic hot tub  sitting just outside your property so the electric supply is from your home,

or a stiffer sided portable hot tub like the GoPlus 6 person Inflatable Hot Tubt sitting further away from your home, then you may just need an external socket installed to provide the heat.


Extension leads are not recommended in this case as they can cause faults on the electronics of your hot tub.

So, if you are planning to have either a sauna or a sunken hot tub installed in your own home, you will need to have deep pockets as the installation itself will require a room for your sauna or a large space in your backyard for your hot tub.

Simply put, the best thing about having your own personal sauna or hot tub is you get privacy with no jealous nosy neighbors sticking their oar into your affairs.

In terms of money saved, you will end up spending more if you  visit the gym regularly or intermittently and being able to use your own anytime at all, like when you get home after a gym session, work or a long vacation is more than priceless.

The death knell of price is the main disadvantage of owning one, but it can be easily sidelined by purchasing a portable instead.


There are many indoor portable saunas like the SereneLife Portable Infrared Home Spa which are both cheap and easy to set up; no need for a separate room.

If you’re planning to get a hot tub instead, the inflatable SaluSpa Palm Springs is way cheaper than a regular hot tub and just as servicable although there are more expensive versions available.

With inflatable hot tubs and any hard sided portable hot tubs you don’t need your yard digging up and the cost is minimal – especially if you are wanting to test out hot tubs and see if you like them.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of benefits of hot tub and saunas especially if your plan is to have a good time with family and friends. If faced with the dilemma of choosing the best one to experience, I recommend going for the one that you will enjoy the most. 

Why not check out our other informative posts?

How to raise pH in hot tub.

2 thoughts on “Benefits of Hot Tub vs Sauna

    1. Hi Myron, I reckon that’s fine so long as you don’t overdo the timing as basically you may be cooking yourself slowly. Your pores will be cleaned out thoroughly, so that’s a good thing, but if you are diabetic I would check the blood sugars before you use the sauna as overheating the core temperature and diabetes don’t mix well.

      Another point is if you have heart conditions… Best to let your core temperature get back to normal before you use the sauna – maybe a couple hours gap.

      Otherwise, no problems.


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