I have recently been made aware that in the USA, at least to obtain UL (Underwriters Laboratory) certification, a sauna heater must not heat above 194 °F. Further that the sauna temperature sensor controlling the heater much be located above the heater – not, for example, on the opposite side of the sauna enclosure.
The studies that validated the use of traditional saunas for health benefits would all have been done at “temperatures typically between 70 and 100 °C (158 and 212 °F)” – which is the normal air temperature of a sauna in Finland, right? The quoted text is from Wikipedia.
If so we may be fooling ourselves into thinking we can get those benefits via a sauna we might frequent in the USA.
The sauna I use reaches 140-150 °F across the main sauna bench when it is cranked up to its maximum 194 °F. It could be that the higher European temperatures are unnecessary, but given that those are the temps at which the validation studies were conducted, I have no basis for thinking lower temps would be effective.
BTW, it looks like that even obtaining the actual UL code book for this would run > $700, so I can’t say for sure whether UL even requires this of sauna heaters. If you would like to purchase a copy and let us know, please visit this URL: https://www.shopulstandards.com/ProductDetail.aspx?productId=UL875_9_B_20090521(ULStandards2)