Key Takeaways -

  • A sauna can be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of cold and flu viruses, including congestion, fatigue, and muscle aches.
  • Research has shown that heat exposure from a sauna can help reduce inflammation associated with common cold symptoms.
  • An Infrared sauna is also believed to improve circulation, which is important for helping the body fight infection.

Are you unceasingly trying to evade the cold and flu symptoms that have been plaguing you? If so, understand that many people around the globe suffer from this same predicament. However, there is a way out of your discomfort – a solution for getting rid of those frustrating symptoms.

For hundreds of years, people have utilized saunas for health and wellness. But did you also know that a session in the sauna can help alleviate cold and flu symptoms?

If you're looking for a natural way to alleviate your common cold symptoms, this article will dive into the potential health benefits of saunas. Read below to find out how a sauna session can help bring relief from your illness.

Can A Sauna Help With The Symptoms Of A Cold Or Flu?

What Is a Sauna?

A sauna (steam room) is an enclosed space HEATED with dry air, typically between 80 and 100 degrees Celsius. It has been used for centuries to promote health and wellness.

There are several TYPES of saunas [1], including traditional wood-heated saunas, electric or infrared saunas, steam baths, and far-infrared saunas, which all offer different benefits.

As well as being beneficial for the SYMPTOMS of colds and flu, using a sauna can provide relief from sore muscles, help detoxify the body by releasing toxins through sweat, improve circulation in the body and reduce stress levels.

Pro Tip: Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your sauna session to stay hydrated.

How Can A Sauna Help With The Symptoms Of A Cold Or Flu?

Using a sauna can help REDUCE the severity and duration of cold symptoms by relieving congestion, stimulating circulation, boosting your immune system, and helping you sleep.

The hot steam produced in a sauna can also help to reduce inflammation, improve your BREATHING, and boost your body’s natural defenses against colds and viruses.

Another reason is the humid air causes SWEATING which helps to detox your body. When a sauna's temperature is fairly high, it stimulates blood flow to the skin, and blood vessels begin to dilate, which helps you expel toxins from your body through sweat.

Pro Tip: High temperatures are also good to help weaken cold viruses in the body.

Infrared saunas are also believed to improve circulation [2], which is important for helping the body FIGHT infection. The deep heat of infrared saunas can penetrate up to three inches below the skin surface to deliver therapeutic benefits more deeply and effectively than traditional saunas.

Additionally, the dry air in a sauna is believed to be able to kill BACTERIA and viruses that cause colds and flu, making it an ideal environment for fighting these illnesses.

Pro Tip: Inhaling hot air produced in a sauna can help to reduce congestion and soothe sore throats.

What Does Scientific Research Say About Saunas And Cold/Flu Symptom Relief?

Studies into the effects of dry heat therapy on cold and flu symptoms have shown promising results. Dry heat therapy, such as from a sauna, has been found to reduce the duration and SEVERITY of symptoms from a cold and flu as well as improve the overall body's immune system.

A study published in 2018 found that using a sauna TWICE a week reduced the frequency and severity of colds and flu, as well as improved overall health in those who used the sauna regularly [3].

Another study published in 2014 found that saunas help to reduce the risk of developing a cold or FLU by up to 25% [3].

How Often Should You Use A Sauna To Help Relieve Cold And Flu Symptoms?

Using a sauna to help relieve the flu can be BENEFICIAL, but it is important to understand how often you should use a sauna.

Generally, it is recommended that you use the sauna 1-3 times per week for 15-20 minutes at a time. This will help to BOOST your immune system while also providing relief from the symptoms of colds and flu.

When using a sauna, stay HYDRATED and take breaks if needed. Additionally, consult with your doctor before using a sauna if you have any underlying medical conditions or are pregnant.

So if you’re looking for an EASY way to help relieve your cold while also boosting your overall health, consider adding regular sauna sessions into your routine.

Pro Tip: Be sure to allow your body temperature to cool down gradually after a sauna session and avoid cold showers or jumping into a cold pool straight afterwards.

Factors To Consider Before Using A Sauna For Colds And Flu Symptoms

When treating cold and flu symptoms, saunas can be a useful tool. But before you jump into a sauna session, there are some FACTORS to consider.

It Won't Cure Your Cold

First, it's important to understand that a sauna WON'T necessarily cure your cold or flu. However, they can help reduce the severity of symptoms and boost your immune system.

Avoid Saunas With Medical Conditions

It's also important to note that not everyone should use a sauna for cold and flu symptoms. People with certain MEDICAL conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, should consult their doctor before using a sauna.

Pregnant women should also avoid using a sauna due to the potential risks associated with overheating.

Stay Hydrated

Finally, if you do decide to use a sauna for cold and flu symptoms, make sure you stay hydrated and take frequent breaks from the heat. This will help PREVENT dehydration and other potential health risks associated with prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Take A Sauna If You Have A Fever?

Absolutely not! Taking a sauna is highly inadvisable if you have a fever. Saunas are incredibly hot and can further deplete your body of fluids and cause even more severe health issues when someone has an elevated temperature.

Will Using A Sauna Help A Sore Throat?

Absolutely, saunas are an excellent way to lessen the symptoms of a sore throat. The steam generated from the heat in a sauna helps thin out excessive mucus and resulting discomfort. Get back on your feet quicker with this simple solution.

Can A Sauna Help Improve The Immune System?

With regular sauna sessions, you'll not only help reduce toxins and manage stress levels, but you can also boost your immune system. Studies have demonstrated that by decreasing inflammation within the body with a sauna session, overall health is improved.


Taking advantage of a sauna to alleviate cold and flu symptoms can be great for your overall health, but you must familiarize yourself with how to use it appropriately as well as recognize any limitations based on your own condition.

It's always wise to seek advice from your physician before indulging in a sauna if you have existing medical conditions or are expecting. Furthermore, keep yourself hydrated and pause frequently so that you can remain safe as well as relaxed throughout the experience.

With the correct usage, saunas can be a simple way to aid in alleviating cold and flu symptoms as well as enhance your general health.

Sources -

  1. Dunnett T. 7 Different Types of Saunas Explained | Sauna Samurai. Sauna Samurai. Published February 12, 2022. Accessed February 4, 2023.
  2. Team Saunas org. Published May 8, 2019. Accessed February 4, 2023.
  3. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018;2018:1-30. doi:10.1155/2018/1857413