Sauna Culture Around the World

Sauna culture has been around for thousands of years, assumed to have its origins in regions like Finland, Sweden, and Russia, among other Nordic/Scandinavian countries.


While its purpose, definition, and accessibility may have been much different back then, its use-case remains the same.


The sauna has become a staple in millions of lives around the world, and for obvious reasons. Its health benefits are vast, and if nothing else is a heck of an enjoyable leisure activity to be experienced with friends, families, or in the peace and quiet of a solo session.


In this article, we discuss the prevalence of sauna culture around the world. First, we’ll define the term, for its use-case and design has changed dramatically from its inception. Next, we’ll dive into the history and origins of the sauna. Lastly, we’ll touch on what sauna culture has developed into today and why YOU should consider partaking if you aren’t doing so already.


So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Defining the Term “Sauna”


It may sound silly to do so, however, the sauna we know today differs greatly from the saunas dating back hundreds of years. As such, it’s important to define the root meaning of the sauna.


Taking that context into consideration, a sauna can be broadly defined as a designated hot spot, typically in a room, building, or hut, used to experience extreme heat, both dry or wet, for therapeutic purposes.


Fun fact: the term “sauna” happens to be a Finnish word that refers to a traditional Finnish bath.


Initially prevalent in Scandinavian & Nordic countries like Finland & Sweden, the first-generation saunas we’re far less glamorous than today’s state-of-the-art constructions.


Nevertheless, they did the job! So much so, in fact, that they’ve persisted hundreds of years to be a popular form of heat therapy. The development of the sauna has been tremendous, now being enjoyed by millions around the world.


While the sauna wasn’t always a glamorous experience, its history suggests that it was a staple in many a life…


A Brief History of Sauna Use


While it’s largely impossible to conclusively suggest where the sauna first originated, the agreed-upon consensus states that the sauna, then otherwise known as the “savu", has its origins in Finnish culture.


The first-generation saunas? Sloped mud pits dug from the ground. As for the second-generation saunas, Northern Europeans alike would use a cabin or cottage to bathe or enjoy the heat from a fire, often resulting in smoking out the entire room; hence the birth of what’s now referred to as a “smoke sauna”.


Although sauna use has deep roots in history, especially in Scandinavian countries and places like Germany and Russia, its popularity truly began to globalize in the 1950s following the development of the sauna stove; an electric heater more accessible to the masses.


Today, saunas are everywhere; from homes, backyards, and cabins, to gyms, hotels, and designated therapeutic centers. They range in size (1-person to 150-people), design, heat source, and price, and they’re much more durable than first-generation saunas, to say the least.


In Summary


Saunas have lasted in time for good reason, and they only seem to be getting better with age. Today, saunas are used for therapy, health, leisure, and/or social purposes, and their design and aesthetic can be enjoyed by all.


As mentioned, sauna culture has been around for centuries upon centuries, developing into what it is today. So, if you want to be a part of the sauna culture and see what it’s all about, we here at Salus Saunas are here to make your dream purchase come true.


For more information on saunas and how you can get your hands on your very own, contact us today or browse our website at!


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