Installing the correct sauna thermometer will help everyone who uses your steam or dry sauna do so in safety and comfort. Such factors as type, cost, readability, water resistance and heat resistance should be considered when buying a sauna thermometer. Learn more about each of these factors that can influence the purchase of a sauna thermometer below.
Types of Sauna Thermometers
In a dry sauna, you can install a basic temperature gauge thermometer. It can be in a dial format or digital. However, for a wet or steam sauna, you may want to install a hygrometer alongside your thermometer. Many manufacturers package these two measuring devices in a single frame so that sauna users can read both at a glance. A hygrometer will show humidity in the sauna. When the humidity is above 35 per cent, this means your sauna rocks are insufficiently hot, and are producing too much steam. Thus the hygrometer and thermometer work together to help keep the sauna environment at its healthiest.
Cost of Sauna Thermometers
You can pay as little as $20 or as much as $450 for a sauna thermometer. The $20 thermometer, with narrow black numbers on a white face, may not be easy to read in a steam sauna. The $450 sauna thermometer has a beautifully carved wood case holding a thermometer and hygrometer, but is no more effective in conveying temperature and humidity than combined units costing much less. Look for easy readability, from a reputable company, in a thermometer that is watertight and will not fog up in a steam sauna. You will be able to find a reliable sauna thermometer from most makers priced between $40 and $75.
The most readable sauna thermometers have an exposed gauge needle on a solid wood base, with large numbers carved right into the wood. Since you need to install the thermometer 6 inches from your sauna's ceiling, it is important to be able to see it clearly from the bottom bench. Other highly readable sauna thermometers have moisture-proof glass faces, with a large scale and red needle. The best thermometers have a danger zone marked so you know immediately when the air temperature is too high. You can then open the sauna door at once to allow the sauna cabin to cool.
Ensure that the sauna thermometer you buy is watertight. If the temperature gauge fogs up on exposure to humid air, it will be useless in your sauna.
Make sure your sauna thermometer can tolerate the heat conditions it is made to measure. Avoid sauna thermometers with fiberglass or acrylic covers, as these can pop loose from the thermometer frame. Once the cover is hot it may also crack on exposure to colder air if you need to open the sauna in an emergency.
Remember that your sauna thermometer does not control your sauna heater's heating cycle. Always check the thermostat on the sauna heater and compare it with the thermometer when warming your sauna for use. Always use a sauna timer set for a safe minimum time for the optimum sauna experience.