Which Is Better? Hammam Spa Or Sauna

Which Is Better? Hammam Spa Or Sauna

Top 3 Differences You’ll See and Feel Inside Sauna and Hammam!

Deciding between a hammam or sauna experience often comes down to personal preferences. Fitness goals and health factors also influence which treatment is better suited to an individual. Both hammam and sauna have well established benefits for body and mind.

The roots of sauna are deeply Nordic (think of Finland) and hammam is more associated with Mediterranean culture (Turkey and Morocco origins).

Discover how hammam and sauna differ from each other, keep in mind that both are an excellent way to treat yourself to a lovely, relaxing spa day experience!  

Top 3 Differences for Sauna and Hammam

1. Dry vs. Wet – The most obvious difference when it comes to sauna and hammam is the spa environment: essentially saunas are dry environments and hammams are wet.

For example, a Turkish hammam treatment involves a lot of water and the steam room is almost always near 100% humidity. A hammam steam room is not as hot as a sauna, the average hammam steam room temperature is 45 degrees Celsius. The high humidity and copious amounts of water facilitate the ultimate clean skin outcome.  

The sauna experience is drier and hotter with an average room temperature of somewhere between 70 to 90 degrees Celsius. Sauna humidity is much lower, around 10 to 20 per cent. The ultimate sauna outcome is a deep sweat to purge the body of toxins.  

If you like bathing and being wet then hammam is probably your first choice. If you prefer low humidity then a sauna is going to suit you better. Let your past experiences and personal preferences guide your decision when it comes to booking a sauna or hammam treatment. But if you’ve never tried Moroccan or Turkish hammam it is most certainly worth giving the experience a go!  

Here’s what to expect in our Este Beginner’s Guide to your first Turkish hammam!

2. In-and-out vs. Leisurely Lounging – If scheduling plays a factor in your enjoyment of a spa experience then there are some time usage differences between sauna and hammam that are worth knowing about.

Ideally a hammam spa day should allow for as much time as desired to luxuriate and pamper oneself. The hammam experience is about taking all the time you need to relax and unwind. As the temperature in a hammam steam room is quite tolerable you can steam for as long as comfortable, some people steam for up to an hour. How long you stay in the hammam steam room depends on your available time and treatment plan. Let’s just say that a hammam treatment requires more dedication.  

The sauna experience is a bit different when it comes to time allotment. Because they are so hot it is advised, for health and personal comfort, to stay in a sauna anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Again, because of the high heat, the sauna experience is known for being more in-and-out — short bursts of heat in conjunction with quick cold showers are typical of the sauna experience. It really depends on how heat tolerant one is and how much time is available. Saunas are an ideal quick-fix to a fast and furious lifestyle.    

Now these differences are not set in stone, as individual time allowances and personal preferences will determine how long one spends enjoying sauna versus how long a person allots for a hammam spa day.

3. Cosy Cabin vs. Luxury Palace – When it comes to spa design, sauna and hammam differ in appearance.

You already know how they feel different: saunas are dryer and hotter; hammams are wetter and more humid. Therefore, hammam and sauna design needs to support those two different environments, as well as be comfortable and inviting. Both hammam and sauna succeed at that!  

Traditionally saunas are more down-to-earth in how they look; they tend to be smaller spaces compared to hammam and are generally more sparse. A classic sauna will have wood walls and benches, a stone stove and low lighting. All of this contributes to the sensation you are relaxing inside a cosy little log cabin.    

Aesthetically, Moroccan and Turkish hammams are more ornate and fanciful. Hammam design tends towards the larger-than-life approach; the space is often made of marble, with a dome ceiling featuring unique windows that diffuse light into a beautiful mystical glow, and they are often decorated with gold water taps and decorative ceramic tiles, all of which are traditional in hammam design. The ornamental style of most hammams make you feel like a princess in a royal palace! It’s no wonder people return again and again to hammams to bathe in an exotic fashion that has been popular for hundreds of years. Classical hammam design is a feast for the eyes!  

Clearly a wood and stone setting is better suited to a dry sauna treatment, and a marble and tile covered space better accommodates a wet and humid spa experience.

Even within the world of hammam there are differences between Moroccan and Turkish spa treatments.  

Sauna and Hammam Benefits!

With the high humidity of hammam and consequently added steam, you will experience more of a cleansing effect from the overall hammam treatment. Opening the pores with steam, in combination with the soaps and topical applications used in Moroccan and Turkish hammam, all work together to provide a deep skin cleaning. The removal of dry dead skin is better supported by the hammam experience.

Check out the Top 10 Hammam Spa Benefits.  

A sauna sweat is more intense than the one you get from exercise. Intense sauna heat draws out toxins from the body, consequently this spa experience is more of a purging. Sauna has a strong reputation for reviving the immune system, specifically targeting the respiratory tract and sinuses. And like hammam, a sauna treatment increases blood flow which boosts energy and brain power!  

Making either sauna or hammam part of your personal health regime will result in many health and beauty benefits. If you are fortunate enough to have a spa and hammam near you, it’s beneficial to make regular visits, as both sauna and hammam are proven to have a positive effect on health.

Luxury Hammam Spa Experience Available For Booking Soon!

Birmingham is the site of the new Este Spa &Hammam. The new luxury spa featuring both Moroccan and Turkish hammam will be located in the prestigious neighbourhood of Edgbaston in Birmingham, England.

Este Spa & Hammam is a dream come to life for Este Medical Group’s CEO and Founder, Sam Cinkir, who anticipates hammam will be a huge thrill for spa devotees craving something new and exciting. Este Medical Group is renowned for skincare expertise, award-winning clinics and management, as well as a 5-star Trustpilot rating.

Guests of the new spa and hammam will have so many exciting treatment options to choose from, the new Este spa menu is fully loaded with popular skincare treatments — from Turkish and Moroccan hammam, classic Swedish, Banya Venik and Thai Fusion massage to aroma, anti-cellulite and deep tissue therapies. See the full Este spa menu here.

We will keep you informed of all the latest Este Spa & Hammam news through our blog posts. Pop in again soon for more hammam spa announcements!

Este Spa & Hammam