Can I use my phone or smartwatch in the sauna?


The sauna is a place that many of us associate with relaxation and unwinding after a hard day. It’s a space where we can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a while. But what about our electronic devices? Can we take them into the sauna with us without risking damage? This question has become particularly pertinent in an age where smartphones, smartwatches and other devices are almost an integral part of our lives. In this short article, we will try to answer this question, discuss the impact of sauna conditions on our electronic devices and give some practical tips.

Effects of high temperature and humidity on electronic devices

Electronics and extreme conditions, such as those found in a sauna, rarely go together. Why? There are two main factors we need to consider: high temperature and humidity.

First, let’s focus on temperature. Most electronic devices, including smartphones and smartwatches, are designed to operate within a certain temperature range, usually between -20 and 50 degrees Celsius. A sauna can easily exceed these values, often reaching temperatures of up to 90 degrees Celsius. High temperatures can cause batteries and electronics to overheat, leading to damage and shortening the life of the device.

Although many devices, such as the iPhone and Apple Watch, are IP68 certified, meaning high resistance to water and dust, the sauna poses a challenge even for these advanced devices. Temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius, which are common in a sauna, can cause batteries and electronics to overheat, leading to damage. In the case of iPhones, they have built-in heat sensors that alert the user when the device starts to overheat.

Another factor is humidity. Saunas, especially steam saunas, have very high humidity levels. Water is a natural conductor of electricity and can cause short circuits in electronic systems. Even if the unit is ‘waterproof’, moist air can get inside through small gaps, damaging internal components.

Can I take my smartphone and smartwatch into the sauna?

Although some modern devices, such as the iPhone and Apple Watch, are IP68 certified and can theoretically survive brief exposure to sauna conditions, it is strongly recommended not to take them into this type of environment. High temperatures can cause the battery to overheat, which can lead to swelling and other permanent damage.
If the smartphone is not waterproof, moisture in the sauna can get into the device through small cracks and connectors, leading to short circuits and electronics failure.

In most public saunas, it is prohibited to bring electronics into the sauna. After all, if your phone or tablet breaks down, the owner of the relaxation area will not take responsibility for it.

And the infrared sauna?

An infrasauna, or infrared sauna, works differently to a traditional sauna. Instead of heating the air, infrared rays directly heat the body. Although the temperature in an infrared sauna is much lower (around 50-60 degrees Celsius) and there is no high humidity as in a traditional sauna, it is still not recommended to take electronic devices into the sauna.

Infrared radiation should not directly affect electronics, but heating the device can lead to problems such as overheating of the batteries. As with a traditional sauna, it is recommended to leave electronic devices such as phones and smartwatches outside the sauna.

The sauna is a place where we should disconnect from everyday stresses and technology. Therefore, it is best to leave your devices in a locker or other safe place when using the sauna. This not only helps to protect the devices, but also helps us to fully focus on relaxing and unwinding.

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Since 2011 I have had my own business selling sauna building materials, sauna cookers and sauna accessories. I know all about building a quality sauna!