When it comes to sauna etiquette, there are the written rules and there are the unwritten rules. The written rules are easy as they will literally be printed on the side of the sauna door. They usually refer to classic dos and don’ts (no shoes, no running etc) and a few health and safety truisms (avoid if you have a heart condition). But the unwritten rules can be much harder to navigate…
You may be having the time of your life at the spa, but that doesn’t make it OK to bring your champagne cocktail with you into the sauna. First of all, it will evaporate. Secondly, if you spill it, you are forcing all the other guests to endure a sticky floor until the next time the room is cleaned.
There’s another reason too – alcohol raises your blood pressure and increases your heart rate, and so will a sauna. This is a combination that can be potentially lethal, so avoid drinking immediately before and after a sauna too.
When you use a sauna, you ideally want to wear as little as possible without causing offence. Some European spas embrace sauna nudity, but the UK is a little less open-minded. Never assume that nudity is acceptable in a public sauna, but if it is, be sure to sit on a towel.
There is a time and a place for small talk, and that place is not a sauna. Most people use their sauna time to relax and sit in silence, focusing on their breathing. Follow their lead and you will have a sublime sauna experience.
This is probably the biggest bugbear for any sauna user, and it is so easily avoided. Saunas are supposed to be hot and steamy, but every time the door opens, that steam goes gushing out and the temperature of the room drops slightly. This is a necessary evil in public saunas, but much worse is when an oblivious user wanders out and leaves the door wide open behind them. Get in and out as quickly as possible and always, always close the door behind you.