A fascinating reworked world map reveals what people wear in saunas around the globe – and it’s the swimsuit that comes out on top.
On the map country names have been supplemented with their residents’ traditional sauna attire. The spa booking agency SpaSeekers.com conducted the research, identifying the sauna etiquette in 84 countries worldwide to ‘help spa-goers avoid embarrassment’.
Wearing a swimsuit tops the overall ranking as it’s the most appropriate sauna attire in 41 countries around the world, including the U.S and Australia.
In total, there are 23 countries in which a completely nude sauna experience is encouraged, including Sweden and Japan. SpaSeekers.com says: ‘While the thought of sitting naked in a hot room with strangers might feel foreign to some, the experience is completely normal practice for many spa-loving countries around the world where spa-goers can relax in the pool, sauna and other spa experiences completely starkers.‘
There are 24 countries, meanwhile, where etiquette demands that spa-goers wear a towel in the sauna – this list includes the UK, Canada and Spain.
A fascinating reworked world map reveals what people wear in saunas around the globe, showing where in the world it’s acceptable to relax in a sauna naked
SpaSeekers.com also produced a series of regional maps to show the breakdown of the results more clearly across the globe.
In Europe, spa nudity is embraced in countries such as Austria, Latvia, Slovakia and Hungary. SpaSeekers.com reveals that it can even be considered rude to wear swimwear in a sauna in Germany, where spa areas are considered designated ‘non-textile areas’ for hygiene reasons. ‘Towels are sometimes required, purely to sit on, so that is worth getting clarity on from the specific spa itself,’ it says.
Bringing a towel to the sauna is commonplace in Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands, while wearing swimwear is the norm in places such as France, Denmark and Turkey.
On the map, country names have been supplemented with their residents’ traditional sauna attire. Overall, there are 23 countries in which a completely nude sauna experience is encouraged
Wearing a swimsuit proves to be the most common spa attire – it’s top in 41 countries around the world
Moving to Asia and the Middle East, nudity is celebrated in South Korea and Taiwan, whereas wearing swimwear is recommended in the UAE, India, and Thailand. Bringing a towel, meanwhile, is customary in Malaysia and Jordan.
Looking to Oceania, New Zealanders bring a towel, whereas wearing swimwear is preferred in Fiji.
Over in South America, Brazilians wrap up in a towel during a trip to a sauna. Moving up the map to Central America, it’s better to go nude in Mexico, whereas wearing swimwear is customary in Cuba, the Bahamas and Costa Rica.
New Zealanders bring a towel to the sauna, whereas swimwear is preferred in Australia and Fiji
When in Central America, it’s better to go nude in Mexico, whereas wearing swimwear is customary in Cuba, the Bahamas and Costa Rica
The spa booking agency SpaSeekers.com conducted the research, identifying the sauna etiquette in 84 countries worldwide to ‘help spa-goers avoid embarrassment’
SpaSeekers.com says: ‘With sauna etiquette and rules varying from country to country (and sometimes even from spa to spa), it’s important to know what common practice is when it comes to getting your kit off’
SAUNA ETIQUETTE AROUND THE WORLD
- Forty one nations ‘expect you to wear swimwear’
- Twenty four nations ‘are happy with you just being in a towel’
- Twenty three nations ‘go completely bare in the sauna’
Finally, in Africa, sauna-goers should bring a towel to saunas in South Africa and Tunisia, but wear swimwear in countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Namibia.
SpaSeekers.com also shares some tips for travellers who are hoping to visit saunas, noting that if you opt to wear a bathing suit, you should ensure that your swimsuit is 100 per cent clean to avoid spreading bacteria. ‘Furthermore, sauna-goers should avoid wearing bathing costumes which have dangling decorative pieces – this is because these can overheat and burn the skin if they were to make contact,’ SpaSeekers.com reveals.
Similarly, swimsuits made from PVC materials ‘are at risk of melting, or letting off chemicals when they overheat – and at the very least will prevent the skin from breathing properly’. SpaSeekers.com recommends that swimsuit wearers ensure the costume they choose is loose-fitting and made of quality material to ‘reap the benefits of a sauna as much as possible’.
Dishing out more etiquette tips, the spa site also recommends checking with other sauna guests before you decide to up the steam levels and making sure to enter and leave quickly to retain the heat inside the space.
Commenting on the research, Jason Goldberg, director at SpaSeekers.com, says: ‘With sauna etiquette and rules varying from country to country (and sometimes even from spa to spa), it’s important to know what common practice is when it comes to getting your kit off.
‘You don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, or worse, get yourself kicked out of a spa for indecent exposure – so always be sure to research sauna etiquette ahead of visiting a spa in a new country. If you’re unsure of the rules, check in with staff at the spa you’re visiting, as they’ll be able to help clarify the guidelines so that you can avoid any embarrassment.’