Sauna With A Cold? Sauna With A Fever? Is That Safe?

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Having a fever or a cold is not a good feeling. A clogged nose, difficulty in breathing, and simply an overall feeling of being unwell. You just want to get well again so you can go and enjoy the things you want to do. 

However, can you visit a Sauna with a cold? What about a fever?

One of the most common old pieces of advice that you could get to treat your cold is to sweat it out your cold. Sweating and sauna work well, but what happens if you go to a sauna with a cold? And what about if you have a fever?

The short answer is that sauna with a cold can be quite helpful, but if you’ve got a fever, you should not visit a sauna until your fever has subsided. We’ll explain in further detail below.

The Cold Truth

Before we discuss whether saunas are good for colds or not, let us first refresh ourselves with what cold is. The common cold is an illness that everyone suffers from, typically a couple of times per year. 

It is usually caused by a virus, and there are about 200 different viruses that could cause it. Unfortunately, you can’t treat your cold with antibiotics because those only work on bacteria, not viruses. 

Colds can produce several symptoms, which lead to discomfort. Such symptoms include sore throat, cough, runny nose, headaches, sneezing, and sometimes a fever. 

Flu is another illness that is similar to the symptoms of a cold. They are caused by a specific type of virus, Influenza. That means, it is possible to get vaccinated against the flu virus. However, the virus tends to change strains to adapt so the vaccine should also be modified yearly for it to work.

Over the last several years, Covid has taken over the world, and at this point in most non-elderly people, it produces similar symptoms to the influenza virus.

Just like with colds, you can’t treat flu or Covid with antibiotics, because the symptoms are caused by a virus and not a bacteria. 

Getting Over A Cold

You can get vaccinated for some protection from the flu and Covid, but for the common cold, there aren’t any vaccines available. Additionally, there isn’t any cure available for the common cold.

The best thing that you could do is to help alleviate the symptoms, take plenty of rest for the body to recover, and drink a lot of fluids to keep the body well hydrated. 

The best thing that you could do is to help alleviate the symptoms, take plenty of rest for the body to recover, and drink a lot of fluids to keep the body well hydrated. 

Apart from those, alleviating the symptoms is your goal to make it more comfortable for you until you heal. If your throat hurts, you can gargle some warm water with salt to make it bearable. 

What Happens When You Go To A Sauna With A Cold?

sauna with stones

There are many people who feel that time in the sauna can help out with a cold. It is a common belief passed down through generations, and in Scandanavia it is commonly encouraged. Visiting a sauna when sick can be very helpful in alleviating the symptoms of a cold. 

Things change, however, if you have a fever.

Sweating and Fever

When you have a fever, you usually sweat and then after that, you feel better. It seems that sweating helps make the body get well again, but why does this happen?

During a fever, our body temperature rises. That is the body’s response to whatever is causing the infection. In the case of having colds, the viruses are the ones that are causing the body to have a fever. 

The main goal of heating the body is to kill the virus due to the high temperature. Although the body’s reaction to the virus causes the fever, the body still regulates the temperature so that we don’t get too hot. 

When the body is hot, we usually sweat. Sweat is mainly made up of water and a few salts, carbohydrates, urea, and protein.

It doesn’t contain viruses or toxins. 

As the body heats up, it fights off the virus and then you cool down by sweating. As you sweat and as the virus dies, you can feel better, that is why it is thought that sweating it out is a way to cure colds. 

That is also the reason why some people look for a way to sweat when they have a cold or are having a fever. They think that it could help out the body. However, sweating isn’t the cure that helps the body heal, it is simply a normal response of the body to heat. 

A sauna is a place where you can sweat. If sweating is a cure, then the sauna is a great place to be. However, sweating is not really a cure, so being in the sauna will not cure your cold.

What it will do, though, is help clear out your airways (particularly when using a sauna with sauna rocks for steam) and boost your immune system. Time in the sauna can help in this way.

Fever and Sauna

Some colds bring on a fever. If your body is spiking a fever, you should not be visiting a sauna. This can lead to your body overheating, as you’re starting out with a fever, and increasing your body temperature from there.

Wait until your fever has subsided before you use the sauna.

Wait until your fever has subsided before you use the sauna.

Sometimes, using the sauna could make your symptoms worse. Whenever you go to a sauna, it is important to make sure that you are properly hydrated.

When you have a cold, you should also be properly hydrated. 

If you don’t take enough fluids when you go into a sauna, you can sweat excessively and lose more fluids. If you do, you might feel worse than you originally felt before you went into the sauna. If the body is not properly hydrated, it may not be able to efficiently fight off the virus and heal.

Don’t Use a Public Sauna When Sick

Another risk when you go to a sauna with a cold is passing the virus to other people. This is particularly true if you are going to a public sauna or gym sauna. Saunas are enclosed spaces and that makes other people more vulnerable to getting the virus from you. 

Whenever you have a cold or fever, avoid going to public saunas so that you also prevent getting others infected with the virus that you currently have. 


If you’ve got a cold, a sauna can be helpful in alleviating symptoms like a stuffy nose, and can boost the immune system. But if you’re running a fever, you should avoid using a sauna until your fever is gone. Saunas have many benefits, including a longer life, but if you push your body temperature too high with a fever, you may shorten it!