Home » Can You Wear an Apple Watch in the Sauna? Find Out Now!

Can You Wear an Apple Watch in the Sauna? Find Out Now!

by Max
367 views 12 minutes read
Can You Wear an Apple Watch in the Sauna - Find Out Now!

With the incredible number of uses and functions available on the most recent version of the Apple Watch, it’s more than feasible to wear the smart device for the whole day. At that, with heart rate monitoring and other timekeeping software built in, it’s unlikely you’ll want to take it off at all. Further, the strap of the Apple Watch is one of the most comfortable not even simply compared to the FitBit or other smartwatches, but could even beat out ordinary luxury watches at large. With the multitude of functions and advertised uses of the Apple Watch, it’s natural for someone to ask whether you can wear an Apple Watch in the sauna. Depending on your definition of “can”, that answer could just as well be yes or no.

Can You Wear an Apple Watch in a Sauna?

Yes, it is certainly possible to wear your Apple Watch in the sauna. If you’ve been to a public sauna facility in the past few years, you’ve likely noticed that smartwatches are extraordinarily common in the hot rooms of saunas and steam rooms alike. So, yes, smartwatches of all kinds are allowed in saunas all the same as traditional watches but what risks do you run by bringing your Apple Watch into the sauna?

According to Apple themselves, the Apple Watch is not built to withstand heat above 80 degrees Celsius. This would prove a problem for most saunas as the average temperature for a traditional wood-burning sauna can be anywhere from 80 degrees up to 95 degrees. Apple warns that the watch is prone to self-shut downs at temperatures above 80. The watch is built in such a way that it protects itself from further damage when it notices that the temperature is too high.

So luckily there is no chance of an Apple Watch user getting injured by battery problems. This is doubly true because the Apple Watch’s fail-safe shut down in high heat and also because the inside chamber of an Apple Watch is completely pressurized. The watch is built so that even in the worst-case scenario where the battery was to leak acid (something Apple has explained is virtually impossible) there is luckily no chance that the acid or runoff could make contact with the wearer’s skin. The runoff would remain in the pressurized chamber within the watch.

Here is some food for thought, however: Apple’s warning about the temperature maximum for Apple Watches is actually a very similar warning to one offered about cell phones at large. Any temperature above 80 degrees can possibly damage the battery of most smart devices. And depending on the type of sauna that you regularly use, you have probably seen quite a few people bring their phones into and out of the sauna without a problem. But one way or another, Apple’s tech belongs to Apple. No one can guarantee that bringing an Apple Watch into a space above their temperature maximum is safe, so bring your watch in at your own caution.

Can You Wear an Apple Watch in a Steam Room?

Luckily, according to Apple’s maximum temperature limit,  it could be safe to wear a modern Apple Watch in a steam room. This is true because the average temperature of a steam room is only 45 degrees Celsius, far below the recommended peak temperature for electronics. Even better, it’s not likely that the water vapor of the steam room could damage your Apple Watch.

Steam rooms run considerably cooler than wood-burning saunas but because of the humidity, the room feels considerably hotter and muggier. Luckily, many modern smartwatches, and namely the Apple Watch, are pressurized to protect the electronic bits inside the timepiece.

The newest versions of Apple Watches are built to withstand just about any kind of moisture from sweat after a hard workout to the water from a shower. The only real problem you may run into while using your smart watch in a steam room is that you’ll have more than a little bit of trouble seeing the tempered glass screen with the high humidity in the space. With that humidity, also, may come a bit of discomfort on the wrist where your smartwatch sits, so be sure to regularly aerate your skin under the watch band. But as always, bring your Apple Watch into the steam room at your own risk. No one can fully guarantee that any electronic is survivable in places with so much humidity.

Can You Wear an Apple Watch in an Infrared Sauna

More good news, it is completely safe to use an Apple Watch in an infrared sauna. The average infrared sauna can be tuned anywhere between 40 and 70 degrees Celsius which poses no problem for the most recent and preceding generations of Apple Watches. There is, however, a key difference between infrared saunas and the other main types of saunas that may lead you to leave the smartwatch behind, but not for the reason you may expect. Your watch would survive a trip to the infrared sauna but because of the method that heat reaches your body in the infrared sauna, having most of your skin free from blockage such as clothes (or a watch band!) will lead to a better overall experience in most cases.

Infrared saunas heat the body with waves of radiation that shoot off from the sauna and onto the bed that you’re resting on during the session. So while the space of your wrist isn’t big enough to meaningfully hinder your infrared session, leaving it behind will likely give your body something around 0.5% more radiation space! Jokes aside, however, there is fairly little info about the danger of wearing an Apple Watch in a space with a lot of radiation. So, wear your watch at your own risk.

Benefits To Wearing an Apple Watch in the Sauna

There are several key reasons why the Apple Watch could actually improve your overall sauna experience:

Heart Rate Monitor

The main functions of an Apple Watch actually have great synergy with the health benefits that come from regular use of the sauna. One of the major uses of the Apple Watch is that the smartwatch can closely monitor your heart rate and even your blood pressure. It’s a perfect match, then, that a healthy person using a sauna will naturally experience an increase in their blood pressure while using the sauna.

If you are pairing your sauna visit with a good workout, the heart rate tracking feature of Apple Watches may become an indispensable part of your routine. Taking a trip to the sauna after a workout will actually temporarily extend the time that your body takes on an increased heart rate. So if you wear your Apple Watch throughout your workout and then into the sauna, you’ll be able to watch your body gradually cool down and maximize the value of your workout with a beat-per-minute precision. It’s essential to note, however, that simply increasing your heat rate isn’t necessarily the mark of a good workout. If your heart rate stays above 120 beats per minute for an extended period of time, especially in the sauna, take it upon yourself to get some fresh air and take some deep breaths.

As you go through your sauna session, your Apple Watch can give you an informed look into how your heart rate responded to the heat. And further, the more frequently you use the Apple Watch together with the sauna, the more data you can pull together and even find out how your heart rate adjusted to the heat of the sauna over time.

Discreet Message Mode

Unlike a telephone, the Apple Watch can be comparably discreet in a sauna. If you are expecting an important email or text message, it is more than possible to set your Apple Watch to silent and put it in the lowest brightness setting to avoid bothering others. A discreet look down to the wrist is much better than pulling a cell phone out of your pocket. But even with the most precautions, your Apple Watch could still easily bother other sauna goers. So, pay special attention if you plan on using your Apple Watch in the sauna, we’ll talk more about this later.

Timer Function

Another basic benefit of the Apple Watch that could come in handy in a sauna is the timer function. A healthy person ought not to spend more than 20 minutes in the sauna without taking a break to get some water. So by setting a 20-minute timer on your Apple Watch, you can feel free to step into the sauna and take a meditative solo session without the worry of accidentally overexposing yourself to the heat. And if you are working to build up your sauna stamina, you could also set a timer to increase increments and watch as your tolerance grows.

If you are planning on using your timer in a public sauna, however, be certain to ask everyone in the sauna beforehand. Even if your timer is set to vibrate and not let off a tone, even that slight noise could be a bother for those trying to get the most out of their sauna visit.

Thermometer Function

The Apple Watch also has a proprietary thermometer function which could be helpful in the sauna without a doubt. There are actually two key ways that the thermometer function on an Apple Watch could be a big help in the sauna.

First, if you are trying to avoid damage to your Apple Watch and want to keep your sauna below 80 degrees Celsius, there is likely no more accurate way to track the temperature in that sauna than to use an Apple Watch itself. Traditional wood-burning saunas can easily go above 80 degrees and if you are wearing an Apple Watch, it’s likely wise to keep an eye on that temperature if you still want to wear your device during your sauna session. It may prove difficult to tune a true wood-burning sauna to exactly 80 degrees Celsius but by keeping a close eye on your Apple Watch’s thermometer you can still be the first to know when your session may be getting a bit too hot for the watch.

Second, since both steam rooms and infrared saunas run at a considerably lower temperature and are fully safe for smartwatches, you can use your Apple Watch to tune the temperature of your steam room exactly to your preference. Better yet, using the temperature function of a smartwatch can help you find out exactly what temperature you prefer best for your steam room. You can then use that info to make your future steam room visits even more comfortable. It may be slightly harder to get a firm reading on the temperature of an infrared sauna with your Apple Watch’s thermometer because of both the way that an infrared sauna gives off heat and also because of how the Apple Watch measures temperature. The Apple Watch uses a digital reading technique that is based on the temperature of the air in the room. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, don’t heat an entire room evenly. The radiation from an infrared sauna will go directly from the bulbs in your sauna onto the body of the user. Since the Apple Watch uses space-based readings, it may try to pick up an average of the temperature both under and away from the bulbs of the sauna.

Downsides to Wearing an Apple Watch in the Sauna

As we’ve explored, it’s more than possible to safely wear an Apple Watch in the sauna as long as you keep an eye on the temperature in some of the hotter saunas in the world. But despite the raw logistics of it, there are indeed some reasons why you may want to avoid wearing your Apple Watch into the sauna.

Smart Watches Can Cause Discomfort in the Sauna

Users of smartwatches and old-school watches alike are likely familiar with the fact that wearing a band on your wrist can be quite uncomfortable for some. Granted, most smartwatches like the Apple Watch have bands made of temperature-resistant silicone. Old-school watches with metal bands are especially prone to heating up in saunas. But even if the silicone on your smart watch band is specifically heating up, it can still lead to discomfort in a sauna and especially a steam room. This is because as the body gives off moisture or vapor from the air that comes to rest on our skin, the water droplets may come to rest between your wrist and watch band. If your band is on especially tight, you may find that your skin could get a rash similar to a blister from too-tight shoes.

This goes without saying, but if you sense the beginning of discomfort from the band of your smartwatch while in the sauna, the sooner you take the watch off, the more chance you have to reduce long-lasting discomfort.

Smart Watches Can Interrupt the Calm of a Sauna

Especially if you are using a public sauna, bringing your smartwatch could even be seen as rude. Apple Watches can send and receive calls in the same way as a cell phone. By all means, today’s smart watches are pretty much just cell phones bound to your wrist instead of sitting in your pocket. All of the disrupting blips and bloops we associate with the smartphone are tied just as closely to the smartwatch. So for the same reason that someone may want to avoid bringing their cell phone into the sauna, today’s heat bathers may find that smartwatches are just a distraction stopping them from reaching the full relaxation possible in a sauna. A good sauna session is a detox for the skin just as well as the mind. While your skin is giving all of its metals and toxins through your sweat, closing your eyes and letting your mind drift is doing the same thing for your brain! In the same way that you wouldn’t want to interrupt a good sweat, try your best not to interrupt one of the best-kept secrets in the world of saunas: the brain detox! Better yet, it would be even worse to let a buzz or beep from your smartwatch interrupt someone else’s sauna visit. So if you are going to a public sauna or are interested in getting the most out of the relaxation benefits that come from regular sauna use, it may be best to skip the Apple Watch.

Conclusions on Wearing an Apple Watch in the Sauna

The good news is that if you’ve already worn your Apple Watch in the sauna, there is no reason to believe that you’ve shortened its lifespan or meaningfully damaged it in any way. And for future uses, just be mindful that you aren’t exposing your Apple Watch to temperatures higher than 80 degrees Celsius for longer than necessary. Those of you bringing Apple Watches into steam rooms or infrared saunas have even less to worry about since those two bathhouses will never reach temperatures that could damage a smartwatch.

The last consideration that smart water users ought to make before beginning their device in the sauna is whether or not it may become a distraction and get in the way of their maximum enjoyment.

You may also like