sore throat

No, sauna is not good for a sore throat.  If you have a sore throat you should avoid using a sauna. The dry hot air inside a sauna can irritate a sore throat and leave you feeling worse. The best advice is to steer clear of the sauna if you have a sore throat.  Below we cover everything you need to know about sauna for sore throat


Does sauna help with sore throat? Is sauna good for sore throat? Can sauna cause sore throat?  And, sore throat after sauna?  These are questions we get asked regularly.

There is no evidence that a sauna will help relieve a sore throat. In fact, many people find that inhaling hot dry air irritates their throat further.  On the other hand, it has been shown that spending time in a sauna will have no effect on speeding up your recovery.

lady entering a sauna

As there is little evidence that a sauna session will improve your sore throat – it’s best you just avoid it until you are feeling better. In fact, the hot dry air might just make things worse.

Most sore throats are not serious and resolve themselves within 3 days. Stay away from the sauna, rest up, and give it some time until you are feeling better.


A sore throat is a painful irritation of the throat. They are not a serious condition and usually resolve themselves after 3 days. Sore throats are most commonly triggered by a viral infection.

woman with a sore throat

They are a very common illness and most people will suffer a sore throat 2/3 times every year. Teenagers and young children pick them up more frequently than adults.

They are usually caused by a viral infection that also causes the common cold or flu. This type of sore throat is known as pharyngitis. Antibiotics cannot help fight a viral infection.

The best way to avoid picking up a sore throat is to practice good hygiene – wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and avoid sharing cups, glasses, and utensils.


  • Painful Throat – made worse by swallowing
  • Scratchy Dry Throat
  • Redness & Tenderness in Back of Mouth
  • Swollen Tender Neck Glands
  • Mild Cough
  • Unpleasant Breath Odor


Most sore throats are caused by viral infection. A less common but more serious infection is caused by bacterial infection. See below for the different types of sore throats and how they are caused.


Viruses cause sore throats known as tonsillitis, laryngitis, and pharyngitis. Viral sore throats are triggered by the common cold, influenza, mononucleosis (kissing disease), chickenpox, measles, croup, and covid-19. Glandular fever is a type of viral tonsillitis.


Many different types of bacteria can cause a sore throat but by far the most common is Streptococcus Pyogenes. This is the infection that causes strep throat. Strep throat can develop into a serious infection and requires treatment using antibiotics to avoid serious complications.


Less common causes of an irritated throat include allergies (pets, pollen, dust), dryness (dry indoor air), irritants (pollution, smoke, chemicals), muscle strain (shouting, talking loudly), gastro-reflux GERD (stomach acid disorder), HIV infection, and tumors.

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Heat and humidity have an effect on the mucous membranes that line the throat. Hot dry air irritates these sensitive throat membranes. Breathing in hot dry air over a period of time can cause a sore throat and should definitely be avoided if you already have one.

lady drinking a glass of water

However, a study lead by Daniel Pach at the Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics in Berlin found that inhaling hot air while in a sauna has no significant impact on overall symptom severity of the common cold.

Some people will be adversely affected by the dry heat of the sauna.  Others will feel no discomfort.  But as there is no potential benefit – breathing in hot dry air should be avoided when you have a sore throat.


Most sore throats are caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The vast majority of sore throats are caused by the same viruses that give us the common cold and influenza.

That means you will pick up a sore throat in the same way as you pick up a cold or flu. The virus is transmitted in tiny droplets from an infected person when they cough, sneeze and touch their face.

These droplets are often passed from one person to another when we touch the same objects, such as door handles, money, and kitchen utensils.

The best way to avoid getting a sore throat is to practice good basic hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and avoid sharing utensils.


Infrared saunas will not irritate your sore throat as much as a regular sauna. This is because an infrared sauna does not heat the air inside the sauna.

inside an infrared sauna

Traditional saunas, like a Finnish sauna, heat the air to a very high temperature. Breathing this hot dry air can irritate your sore throat and make you feel worse.  The advice is to avoid it.

The advice is to avoid a sauna if you are suffering from a sore throat. However, if you insist on taking a sauna it is better to use an infrared sauna instead of a traditional sauna.


woman entering a sauna after a workout

Interested in learning more about the best infrared saunas of 2023?  Take a look at our guides to super affordable, compact, and convenient sauna – the best Infrared Sauna Blankets, Infrared Mats, and Portable Steam Saunas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Sweat Out a Sore Throat?

No, you cannot sweat out a sore throat. Most sore throats are not serious and will resolve themselves in 2-3 days.  Do not try to sweat out a sore throat in a sauna.  If it is particularly bad, seek medical advice.

Will a Steam Room Help Cure a Sore Throat?

A steam room may temporarily relieve the symptoms of a sore throat but it will not speed up your recovery.

Can a Sauna Cause a Sore Throat?

No, a sauna will not cause a sore throat. The vast majority of sore throats are caused by viruses and bacteria. In rare cases, the dry hot air of a sauna may irritate the membranes in your throat causing temporary soreness.

Is Sauna Good For Tonsilitis?

No, there is no evidence to suggest a sauna is good for tonsilitis. Tonsilitis is caused by a viral infection. Most tonsilitis infections will resolve themselves in a few days. The dry heat of a sauna may irritate the tonsilitis further.

How Do I Know If My Sore Throat is Viral or Bacterial?

The best way to find out if your sore throat has been caused by a bacterial or viral infection is to go to a doctor. Bacterial infection can lead to strep throat which is a serious condition requiring treatment by antibiotics.

How Do I Get Rid of a Sore Throat Quickly?

Most sore throats are not serious conditions. While they can be painful and irritating, ore throats tend to clear up in 2-3 days. The best way to get rid of a sore throat is to let your immune system fight it off naturally.

What Does a Sore Throat Indicate?

A sore throat is usually a sign of a viral or bacterial infection. The vast majority of sore throats are caused by viral infections. Bacterial infection is more serious and requires treatment using antibiotics as it can lead to strep throat.

How Do You Know When a Sore Throat is Serious?

If you think your sore throat is serious you should see a doctor. If it is more painful than a regular sore throat or has persisted for more than 3 days you should seek medical advice from a professional.

How Long Should a Sore Throat Last?

Most sore throats last 2-3 days. Your immune system fights off the infection in this time.

Let us know how you’ve got on.  Have you ever tried sauna with sore throat?  What’s been your experience of combining sauna sore throat. Leave a message in our comments. We’d love to hear from you.


About the Author


• Health & Wellness Consultant

Ellie is a fully trained and highly skilled massage therapist. Hailing from sunny Florida, she brings a wealth of expertise to the health and wellness realm. She holds a LST qualification in Massage from the esteemed Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences and specializes in techniques that promote relaxation and healing.

Her experience extends beyond massage and encompasses a diverse range of therapies including infrared sauna. She developed her expertise at the Equinox Sports Club in San Francisco and has led sessions in pilates fusion, outdoor run clubs, and vinyasa yoga. Ellie is highly regarded for her ability to tailor treatments to individual needs.

When not immersed in the world of holistic wellness and local sports and fitness clubs she enjoys exploring Florida’s natural beauty and participating in outdoor activities. With her unique blend of expertise, experience, and passion for wellness Ellie looks forward to helping you discover the benefits of sauna and sauna therapy.

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  1. Dont use a sauna if you have a sore throat. You might have a cold or flu. Or even worse. And you can pass that on to others using the sauna. So dont do it.

  2. If you have a sore throat you shouldn’t be sitting in an enclosed space like a sauna with other people. Don’t spread your illness.

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