*Disclaimer: The written article is based on a summary of existing literature on the topic of infrared saunas. The article is for educational purposes and the information provided below cannot be taken as a promise to help with acute health problems or diseases. 13 references back the claims in the article. All references are numbered. You can access the text of the reference by clicking on the number.
The topic of the blog post is whether it is practicable to bring a laptop inside an infrared sauna or a traditional sauna. The answer? It's generally not recommended to bring a laptop into a sauna due to the high heat and moisture. While some laptops, like the so-called "rugged laptops", are designed to endure more heat than others, they typically cannot withstand the high temperatures and/or humidity in most saunas.
The problem will be defined as follows:
Exploring Water, Temperature, and Humidity Exposure for Laptops in Saunas
To begin, we will explore the water-resistance or waterproof ability of a range of common laptops and their ability to withstand high temperatures, to determine if laptops are suitable for infrared saunas. Additionally, we will investigate the average temperatures of different sauna types, such as traditional Finnish saunas, steam rooms, and regular saunas. Now, let's take a closer look at some laptop brands.
Understanding Maximum Temperatures, Water Resistance, and Waterproofing of Laptops
An examination of the maximum temperatures for some of the best laptops on the market is a good starting point. The focus will be on:
Apple MacBook Air
The Apple MacBook Air can withstand temperatures ranging from 10 to 35 degrees Celsius (50 - 95 Fahrenheit). This means that it is not suitable for use in freezing or extremely hot conditions. Apple also warns that condensing humidity can cause damage.
HP also highlights a 35-degree Celsius (95F) threshold, beyond which their laptops may overheat. While certain parts of the computer, such as the CPU, may become hotter, this general rule holds.
For the Acer Chromebook, Acer recommends a maximum temperature of 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95F). A similar maximum temperature is recommended for the Microsoft Surface (5). In general, a safe operating temperature range is between freezing and 35 Celsius (95F).
Next, the issue of water resistance and waterproofing in laptops is addressed.
Understanding Infrared Saunas and Traditional Sauna Temperatures and Humidity, and Their Implications for Laptops
The temperature and humidity levels of saunas and steam rooms vary widely for many reasons. For example, infrared saunas use light and do not heat the air, making them have lower dry temperatures than those of a traditional sauna, which may use a wood fire oven and water vapour to produce extremely high temperatures of wet heat. How hot a sauna should be will depend on some of these factors. Below is a summary of the basics of sauna temperatures:
Steam Rooms: Typically, they maintain maximum temperatures of 40-45 degrees Celsius (104 - 113F) along with extremely high levels of humidity.
Infrared Saunas: These usually have a maximum temperature of 60 degrees Celsius (140F), although 50 degrees Celsius (122F) is more common. The humidity in infrared saunas tends to be low.
Dry Saunas: Dry saunas can reach maximum temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius (176F). Similar to infrared saunas, the humidity in dry saunas is typically low.
Traditional Saunas: Traditional saunas, like Finnish Saunas, can reach maximum temperatures of 110 - 120 degrees Celsius (230 - 248F) and are often associated with high humidity levels.
With these figures in mind, the question arises: How does this environment affect laptops such as an Apple MacBook Air or Acer Chromebook? Read on to discover the implications:
So Can You Take A Laptop In Sauna? How About Other Devices?
The initial part showed that saunas can reach temperatures between 40-120 degrees Celsius (104-248F), with certain types also featuring high humidity. This information can now be used to address some frequently asked questions.
Is it Safe to Take a Laptop into Infrared Heat or a Sauna?
Given that the majority of laptops are designed to endure temperatures of 30 - 35 degrees Celsius (86-95F), bringing a laptop into a sauna is strongly discouraged as it could lead to permanent damage.
Even the comparatively cooler environment of a steam room, which subjects the laptop to the least amount of heat among the options considered, still surpasses the maximum temperature tolerance. The extreme humidity of a steam room, which amplifies the impact of the heat, further compounds this issue.
The next question to consider is:
Can a Rugged Laptop be Taken into a Sauna?
While there are specialised laptops, known as "rugged laptops," designed to withstand higher temperatures, they are still not capable of handling the extreme temperatures found in saunas, such as the 60 degrees Celsius (140F) of an infrared sauna or the 90 degrees Celsius (194F) of a Finnish sauna.
Rugged laptops are typically designed for use in desert conditions, with a maximum temperature tolerance of around 45 degrees Celsius. However, to ensure safety, it is advisable to consult the laptop's instruction manual for the exact maximum temperature tolerance. It is not recommended to take risks without knowing the precise temperature your rugged laptop can withstand. General guidelines are not provided here as the quality and heat tolerance of rugged laptops can vary significantly.
Is it Safe to Take a Laptop into a Steam Room?
As stated earlier, all the laptops examined indicate that their maximum operating temperatures are significantly lower than typical steam room temperatures.
Steam rooms can reach temperatures of 40-45 degrees Celsius (104 - 113F), which exceeds the maximum heat exposure recommendation of 35 degrees Celsius (95F) for most laptops.
Furthermore, the extreme humidity in a steam room facilitates more efficient heat conduction to the laptop, resulting in faster damage than under normal humidity conditions.
Is it Safe to Wear AirPods in a Sauna?
According to Apple, the maximum recommended temperature for AirPods is 35 degrees Celsius. This limit is exceeded even in a steam room, not to mention infrared saunas, dry saunas, and especially Finnish saunas. Therefore, using AirPods in a sauna would likely result in damage to the device.
How Does a Sauna Affect Laptop Battery Life?
Heat can cause laptops to slow down and may even cause them to shut down until they return to a normal temperature. Overheating can also harm the battery and often leads to faster battery drain.
Therefore, if a laptop were to be used in a sauna, it's highly likely that the battery would drain much more quickly than usual and could even sustain permanent damage. As such, it's strongly advised against taking such a risk.
Finally, let's delve into a few frequently asked questions related to these topics:
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Frequently Asked Questions: Using a Laptop in an Infrared Sauna and Related Topics
Let's run through some of the most common queries about using laptops and other electronics in an infrared sauna:
Is it Safe to Use Electronics in a Sauna?
The term "electronics" encompasses a wide array of devices. Generally speaking, it is not advisable or potentially unsafe to use electronic devices inside a sauna due to the heat and humidity. To be certain whether a particular device can be used in a sauna, one should refer to the device's manual to verify its tolerance to high temperatures and/or humidity.
Can Cell Phones or Smartphones be Used in an Infrared Sauna?
The usage of cell phones and smartphones in a sauna is strongly discouraged. For instance, both Apple and Samsung recommend usage temperatures no higher than 35 degrees Celsius (95F) and storage temperatures not exceeding 45 degrees Celsius (113F).
Almost all saunas surpass these recommended temperatures. Furthermore, steam rooms expose devices like iPhones or Samsung Galaxy smartphones to excess humidity, even if the temperature isn't excessively high.
To avoid damaging your devices and disrupting your sauna session, it is best to keep cell phones and smartphones away from the sauna.
Can an iPad be Used in a Sauna?
The same rules that apply to iPhones also apply to iPads. Temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius for usage (95F) and 45 degrees Celsius for storage can damage an iPad.
Infrared saunas already exceed the maximum recommended storage temperature for an iPad, let alone the usage temperature. Additionally, steam rooms have excessively high humidity levels and traditional saunas far surpass the maximum temperature recommendations.
Once again, it is not safe to bring these devices into a sauna.
Can Tablets be Brought into a Sauna?
As a general rule, tablets should not be used in a sauna. Most tablets, like iPads, are susceptible to damage from overheating and/or high humidity.
Therefore, it is best to keep all tablet models, including those from Samsung, away from the sauna.
Can an iPhone 14 be Used in a Sauna?
Even newer models of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 14, should not be used inside a sauna. Apple's maximum temperature recommendations of 35 degrees Celsius for usage (95F) and 45 degrees Celsius for storage apply to all iPhone models.
Once again, it is not advisable to take an iPhone or any other smartphone into a sauna.
What Shouldn't Be Brought into a Sauna?
While a towel, water, and endurance are welcome additions to a sauna, electronics are not. If you wish to listen to music or podcasts, consider investing in one of the Clearlight® Saunas. All these models come equipped with Bluetooth and AUX connectivity, eliminating the need to risk damaging your iPad, smartphone, or laptop in the sauna.
If you're interested in watching videos, there are televisions specifically designed for saunas. These can be connected to your laptop, making it possible to watch a movie inside the sauna without exposing your device to extreme temperatures.