Best Essential Oils for the Sauna

Saunas have been used for centuries to promote relaxation, detoxification, and overall wellness. Adding essential oils to the sauna experience can enhance these benefits, providing an even more enjoyable and therapeutic experience. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that can be used for aromatherapy, massage, and other wellness practices. In the sauna, they can be used to promote relaxation, invigoration, and respiratory support. We use this Handheld Personal Diffuser from Kumi to effortlessly infuse our favorite essential oils into the sauna, enhancing the relaxation and wellness experience. 

Kumi Handheld Personal Diffuser
Here is the personal diffuser we use while in the sauna. Find it here.

When choosing essential oils for the sauna, it is important to consider their properties and potential benefits. Some oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, can help to open up the airways and promote easier breathing. Others, such as lavender and chamomile, are known for their calming and relaxing effects. Citrus oils like lemon and grapefruit can provide an uplifting and energizing experience. By combining different oils, sauna-goers can create their own unique blends to suit their needs and preferences.

10 Best Essential Oils To Use in a Sauna

A sauna session can be enhanced by using essential oils. These oils can help to create a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere in the sauna. Here are ten essential oils that can be used in a sauna:

1. Chamomile

Chamomile, known for its calming properties, is a perfect sauna companion. When used in a sauna, its soothing aroma helps to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. Ideal for evening sauna sessions, it aids in preparing the body for a restful sleep. Chamomile also has skin-soothing qualities, making it beneficial for those with sensitive skin types.

2. Lavender

Lavender oil is renowned for its relaxation and stress-relief benefits. In a sauna setting, its sweet, floral scent creates a serene atmosphere, helping to reduce anxiety and promote calmness. Lavender is also great for skin health, offering a gentle, soothing effect. It's particularly effective in promoting relaxation after a long day.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint oil, with its refreshing and invigorating scent, is perfect for morning or post-workout sauna sessions. It helps to clear the mind and boosts energy levels. Its cooling properties can also provide relief from muscle soreness and tension. Additionally, peppermint aids in improving circulation and respiratory functions.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon oil, with its warm and spicy aroma, creates a cozy and comforting environment in the sauna. It's particularly beneficial during colder months, as it helps to warm the body and improve circulation. Cinnamon oil also has antibacterial properties, making it a good choice for maintaining a clean and hygienic sauna space.

essential oils

5. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus oil is excellent for respiratory health. In a sauna, its strong, minty aroma helps to clear nasal passages and relieve congestion. It's particularly beneficial for those with colds or allergies. Eucalyptus also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for soothing tired muscles.

6. Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is known for its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. In a sauna, it helps to purify the air and prevent the growth of bacteria, making it an excellent choice for maintaining cleanliness. Its fresh, slightly medicinal scent also aids in respiratory health and boosts overall well-being.

7. Citrus (Lemon/Orange/Grapefruit)

Citrus oils like lemon, orange, and grapefruit bring a bright, uplifting aroma to the sauna experience. These oils are known for their mood-boosting and energizing properties, making them ideal for a rejuvenating sauna session. They also have antiseptic qualities, contributing to a clean and fresh sauna environment.

8. Frankincense

Frankincense oil, with its woody and earthy aroma, offers a grounding experience in the sauna. It promotes deep breathing and relaxation, making it beneficial for both mental and physical well-being. Frankincense is also known for its skin rejuvenating properties, adding a luxurious touch to your sauna experience.

9. Pine

Pine oil, reminiscent of a forest, brings a refreshing and invigorating scent to the sauna. Its natural aroma is great for clearing the mind and invigorating the senses. Pine has natural cleansing properties and is particularly good for boosting respiratory health.

10. Birch

Birch oil, with its sweet, woodsy scent, is both uplifting and soothing in a sauna. It's known for its detoxifying properties and helps in relieving muscle and joint discomfort. Birch oil is also beneficial for improving circulation and skin health, making it a great all-rounder for sauna use.

Overall, using essential oils in the sauna can enhance the sauna experience. It is important to adjust the amount of oil used based on personal preference and the type of sauna being used (traditional, infrared, Finnish, etc.).

essential oils

How to Use Essential Oils in the Sauna

Using essential oils in the sauna can enhance the overall experience by providing a variety of benefits for the body and mind. However, it is important to use them correctly to ensure safety and effectiveness. In this section, we will discuss the best practices for using essential oils in the sauna.

Dilution and Application

Essential oils are highly potent and should always be diluted before use. This is especially important in the sauna, where the heat can intensify the effects of the oils. It is recommended to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. The ratio of essential oil to carrier oil should be 1:10 or less.

When applying the diluted essential oils, it is best to use a water bucket and ladle. Add a few drops of the diluted oil to the water in the bucket and use the ladle to pour the mixture onto the sauna rocks. This will distribute the scent throughout the sauna and provide a gentle and consistent aroma.

Essential Oil Distribution Methods

There are several methods for distributing essential oils in the sauna, including:

  • Diffuser: A diffuser can be used to disperse the essential oil throughout the sauna. However, it is important to use a diffuser that is specifically designed for high temperatures.

  • Water bucket and ladle: As mentioned above, a water bucket and ladle can be used to distribute the essential oil throughout the sauna.

  • Sauna rocks: Adding a few drops of essential oil directly onto the sauna rocks can provide a more intense aroma. However, it is important to ensure that the oil is diluted before use.

Overall, using essential oils in the sauna can provide a variety of benefits for the body and mind. By following the best practices for dilution and distribution, you can enhance your sauna experience and enjoy the many benefits of essential oils.

Selecting the Right Essential Oils

When choosing essential oils for your sauna experience, it's crucial to balance the oils' properties with your personal preferences. First, consider the therapeutic benefits: oils like lavender promote relaxation, while peppermint energizes. Your health needs matter too; eucalyptus is great for respiratory issues. It's also important to factor in the scent strength. Stronger aromas, like cinnamon, may dominate the space, whereas subtler scents, such as chamomile, provide a gentle background aroma. Lastly, consider any skin sensitivities, as some oils may cause irritation. Additionally, understanding how often to use a sauna can help in selecting the right oils for each session. By weighing these factors, you'll enhance your sauna sessions with the perfect, personalized aroma blend.

    Properties of Essential Oils

    When selecting essential oils for your sauna, it's important to consider their individual properties. Here are some common properties to keep in mind:

    • Calming: Oils like lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.
    • Refreshing: Peppermint, eucalyptus, and citrus oils can provide a refreshing and invigorating scent.
    • Uplifting: Citrus and floral oils, such as bergamot and ylang-ylang, can help uplift the mood and promote positivity.
    • Antibacterial and antimicrobial: Tea tree oil and other oils with similar properties can help keep the sauna clean and free of bacteria.

    When selecting essential oils for your sauna, be sure to choose high-quality, natural and pure plant extracts. This will ensure that you're getting the full range of medicinal properties that the oils have to offer. 

    Using essential oils in your indoor sauna can significantly elevate the experience, creating a soothing, aromatic atmosphere that enhances both relaxation and well-being.


    Integrating essential oils into your sauna experience can profoundly enhance both physical and mental well-being. From the calming effects of chamomile and lavender to the invigorating scents of peppermint and citrus, each oil offers unique benefits. Whether you seek relaxation, respiratory relief, or mood elevation, these oils ensure a rejuvenating and therapeutic sauna session. Remember to use a quality diffuser, like the Kumi Handheld Personal Diffuser, for the best experience. Embrace these natural essences to transform your sauna visits into a holistic health ritual.

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