Taking Your Phone into the Sauna: Yay or Nay?

Matt Justice

Many folks have said it, but we’ll say it again—it’s nearly impossible for many of us to not take our phones with us everywhere we go (answering Mother Nature’s call, included), forget living without them!

And we get it—what if you miss that important work call or that all-important Insta notification chronicling your favorite influencer’s latest hair color?

While taking your phone everywhere is a personal choice, can you take your phone along for your sauna sessions?

Long story short—you can, but whether you should is a whole different story. Here’s why!

Should You Take Your Phone into the Sauna?

As mentioned earlier, you can take your phone into the sauna, unless the sauna facility specifies in their rules that you can’t. Some facilities allow phones inside, but mandate that you don’t record or take photos while inside.

Apart from this, you can use your phone as you wish inside the sauna.

However, saunas are meant for relaxation and recovery, where you can snatch a few minutes’ break from the chaos of the outside world—so why take the outside world into the sauna with you?

Additionally, it’s not a very courteous thing to do if you’re sharing the sauna, even if you’re not recording or shooting; some people may feel uncomfortable and distracted, making it hard for them to relax.

Some other reasons include:

  • Saunas are immersive experiences; cell phones cause detachment.
  • A sauna is a safe space where nudity/semi-nudity is accepted. The presence of a photographic device might be cause for worry and discomfort, while also being viewed as an invasion of privacy.
  • Your body secretes oils and sweats while in the sauna. You definitely don’t want to get these over your phone!
  • The health impacts of cell phones, especially the carcinogenic impacts, can be a cause for worry.

If all this doesn’t convince you, maybe the fact that you’re harming your phone will!

Impact of Saunas on Phones

Saunas are extremely hot, moist environments and most electronics don’t do well in such environments. Most phones are no exception.

By bringing your phone into the sauna, you’re exposing it to extremely high temperatures, ranging between 150 and 212°F. For context, most phones can only handle temperatures up to 95°F.

Therefore, exposure to such high temperatures could cause your phone to overheat, and in as little as 5 minutes!

The heat, the hot air, and the steam together could cause your phone to melt or warp internally, even destroying the SD and SIM cards, and causing battery life to reduce. In some extreme cases, the phone could short circuit or the battery could even explode, causing irreparable damage.

Additionally, the wetness and warmth inside the sauna are the perfect environments for bacteria to thrive and germs to spread.

How does this relate to your phone?

Phones are germ hotbeds!

Taking your phone into the sauna could cause these germs to spread, which is unhygienic for you and others sharing the sauna with you.

So, then, are wet saunas the problem? What about dry infrared saunas?

Using Your Phone in an Infrared Sauna

Many folks believe that since infrared saunas operate at lower temperatures and don’t have a moist environment, it may be okay to take their phones into an infrared sauna room.

However, even though the temperature is lower than a steam room, it’s still a high enough temperature to adversely affect your phone. Infrared waves heat the surface directly and not the air around it, and the sauna’s metal walls help amplify the heat, and these together are a bigger risk than hot air or steam.

Additionally, if you’re planning to use your phone to watch videos and chill in the sauna, your phone is going to heat up even faster, thanks to the combination of video playing and the ambient heat.

What about Waterproof Phones?

However waterproof a phone is, there is only an extent to which it is waterproof. Repeated, prolonged exposure to wetness could cause damage in the long run.

Even if your phone is waterproof and can handle the sauna, it isn’t heatproof, so it’s still susceptible to the risks caused by heat, mentioned earlier.

iPhones vs Androids: Which Fares Better?

The battle between Android phones and iPhones extends to how well they fare in saunas, too!

In the case of iPhones, the IP rating is quite high, especially in models after the XS. This means that they can survive, submerged, for hours.

However, many users have claimed that the waterproofing isn’t as efficient as Apple claims it to be. Additionally, the phones have motion sensors and if they’re tripped, your warranty goes for a toss.

So what this essentially means is that even if your phone survives its trip to the sauna, but some other issue crops up at a later time, your phone won’t be covered, because the tripped moisture sensors will indicate that the problem was the moisture, even if it wasn’t.

Additionally, iPhones come with temperature warning systems, which will definitely be set off by the heat in the sauna. This leads to the phone shutting down, as a protective measure, when temperatures drop below 62°F and exceed 72°F.

Lastly, heat permanently reduces your iPhone’s battery life. Never charge your phone inside the sauna either; this will cause extremely fast overheating and permanent damage.

When it comes to Android phones, each model has a different IP rating, but most components are similar to the iPhone and therefore, react similarly. Android phones will also shut down in extreme temperatures (below 32º and above 95°F) and suffer the same battery issues and internal damage.

It should also be noted that while IP ratings are accepted standards against water resistance, brands do not test against humidity nor cover damage caused by it, even if the phone has an IPX certificate.

Keeping Your Phone Safe in the Sauna

If you absolutely have to take your phone into the sauna with you, here are a few ways to do so:

  • Make your sauna session a brief one, to reduce the amount of time your phone is exposed to the heat and moisture.
  • Always allow your phone to cool down after a sauna session, no matter how brief your session was.
  • Stick to the entrance, as this area is better ventilated and cooler.
  • Use a towel to insulate your phone and protect it from humidity and heat. You can also use the towel to wipe away any moisture that has pooled on your phone’s surfaces.
  • A protective phone case with extra waterproofing will help protect your phone.

Long Story Short

If you want our advice, don’t take your phone, Android or iPhone, into the sauna! The risk is just too high.

Even though some infrared saunas do feature phone/tablet holders, the companies’ disclaimers generally state that taking the phone in is at the sauna user’s own risk.

Despite all this, if you do want to take it in, there are some measures you can take to protect it.

Our two cents, though—saunas were built as a communal space where you can enjoy peace, quiet, and relaxation. Though phones have become an integral part of our lives, they can definitely be put away in favor of a quiet, stress-free break—for you and for fellow sauna users!

About Matt Justice

Read Matt Justice sauna reviews, health story, and more here on CertifiedSaunas.com - You can find the recommended sauna detox binders here on Amazon.

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