Can I Bring Anything Into the Sauna With Me?

lady entering a sauna

Can you bring anything into a sauna with you? Yes, there are several items you can take into the sauna. Many are recommended accessories. When using a sauna, you can take the following items in with you? Appropriate clothing, a towel, water, essential oils, vihta whip

Appropriate Clothing

When you use a sauna, especially a public sauna you should wear appropriate clothing. The best option is to wear something loose-fitting and comfortable. Swimwear is the best option. A pair of comfortable swim shorts work well for men. And, a swimsuit or bikini works well for women.

woman in a sauna wearing a white towel

Some people like to enjoy using a sauna naked. This is best left for a private home sauna. If using a public, you should check the rules first. And, always take a towel with you to sit on if using a sauna naked. You can use it to sit on and to wipe away excess sweat to avoid creating a mess.

As for footwear, most people use sliders or flip-flops in public saunas. Check with the management first to see if there are any rules governing sauna footwear. At home, you can go barefoot if you wish. For more check out our full guide, What to Wear in a Sauna.


You can take a towel into a sauna with you. In fact, we recommend it. A towel can be used to dab away excess sweat. And, you can sit on it for a little comfort and to prevent an accumulation of sweat on the sauna bench below you. They also work well as a wrap. If you want to avoid wearing a swimming costume, you can wrap up using a towel instead.


It’s always a good idea to take some water into a sauna with you. Or, leave it just outside the sauna door. This way you can take a drink and replenish your water levels whenever you wish. Staying hydrated is vital when using a sauna. All water lost to sweat must be replaced as soon as possible. Check out our full guide on How Much Water Should I Drink in a Sauna?

glass of water being poured

Some public saunas do not allow you to take water inside the cabin. Check the rules before entering to be sure. This is because they do not permit water to be thrown on the hot coals. If excess water is added to the coals, they become cold. And, they can take a long time to reach full heat again.

Essential Oils

Many people like to use essential oils when enjoying a sauna. The most popular are eucalyptus, birch, and lavender. They are used by adding a few drops to a little water and then pouring the water on the hot coals. This fills the sauna cabin with the sweet aroma of the essential oil.

essential oils and sauna

Again, if you are using a public sauna, you will need to check the rules first. Many public facilities forbid the pouring of water on the sauna coals. However, if you are enjoying a sauna in the comfort of your own home, you are free to do as you wish.

Vihta Whip

A vihta is a traditional sauna whip. Also known as “vasta” or “vastaaja” in Finnish, it is a sauna accessory commonly used in Finnish sauna culture. It’s made of a bundle of leafy birch twigs tied together and is gently whisked over the skin to create a pleasant sensation and stimulate circulation.

image of a sauna whip and a sauna hat

The leaves release a pleasant aroma and can provide a mild exfoliating effect as well. It’s a popular practice in many saunas, particularly in Finland and other Nordic countries. Is considered a key part of the sauna experience for many people. Have you tried using a traditional sauna whip?

Here’s What You Should Not Take Into a Sauna

Now we know what you can bring into a sauna. Let’s take a look at the items you should leave outside. Here are the most common things you should not take into a sauna with you.

Glass Containers

Glass should never be taken into a sauna. It can break easily and pose a serious safety hazard. Especially when people are only partially clothed and often barefoot.

Your Phone

Never take your phone into a sauna. In fact, leave all electronic devices outside. Excessive heat and humidity can damage electronics. And, they can irritate your fellow sauna users.

Jewelry & Metal Objects

All jewelry and metal objects should be left outside. They can heat up quickly and cause burns if touched. Jewelry can become restrictive and tight as your body swells in response to the heat.

Food & Drink

Saunas are not appropriate places for consuming food and drink. Leave all beverages outside the sauna.

Body Lotion

You should not wear body lotion in a sauna. It caninhibit sweating, trap heat, and potentially irritate your skin. The sauna’s high temperatures and humidity may mix with the lotion, leading to discomfort and sticky residue. You should product-free, clean skin for a more enjoyable sauna experience.


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About the Author


• Sauna Specialist

Meet Jake, a man with a passion for sauna therapy. Jake’s background is in science and his passion is wellness and basketball. Growing up in Orlando Florida, Jake enrolled in Florida International University where he graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences.

As a young man, he worked in the spa and wellness center at the renowned Breakers Palm Beach luxury hotel. Here he developed his skills and understanding of client-centered wellness delivery. Upon graduating from Florida International University he took up a research position focusing on the application and practical effects of steam therapy.

His research has contributed to advancing the understanding of steam sauna therapy and how it can be applied in the occupational health environment. His work in this area has been officially recognized for its impact on the field.

Jake is a devoted fan of the Orlando Magic basketball team. When not working and advancing his research he enjoys attending games at the Kia Center in downtown Orlando. He also likes to remain active in his local sports community and volunteers as a basketball coach for his local youth team.

With his background in scientific research and passion for wellness, Jake is a valuable addition to the Home Sauna Heaven writer’s team where he shares his knowledge and understanding of sauna therapy, steam sauna therapy, and how they can be used for best effect.

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