10 best sauna essential oils

Best essential oils for sauna

10 Best Sauna Essential Oils

I remember the first time I was introduced to aromatherapy. It was almost a year ago on my friend’s hen party. We were given to smell many essential oils and pick for ourselves the favorites. It not just gave us an opportunity to choose the nicest smells, but we got to know that the essential oil you like can say a lot about your personality (it’s a good way to discover yourself if you are at least slightly interested in psychology). So when I realized that I can use essential oils in sauna, I was like “wow, give it to me!”. And I already have some odors which I completely adore! I will shortly present them.

When you choose one of sauna essential oils, you should bear in mind not just the smell, whether you like it or not. Essential oils have different health benefits. Also using it in sauna might help to kill bacteria. Another factor in choosing your sauna essential oils can be their affordability.

So here you have 10 best sauna essential oils which I have discovered.

1. Pine oil

Pine oil for sauna
Pine oil for sauna

Pine is my number one pick because of the sensation it gives. I always liked forests because in the place where I was born there are lots of forests and especially the pine ones. It correlates for me with the sea and sand and fresh air. If you pour on the rocks in sauna some pine oil mixed with water, you feel a strong smell of wood and as if you are at the sea on a hot summer day.

Pine oil has many health benefits. It is known for helping with breathing and respiration, if you have any of these problems. If you are sick and phlegm stays in your lungs, pine oil might successfully loosen your lungs. This oil has anti-inflammatory qualities so it reduces joint pain, relieves headaches, betters the mood, moreover, improves the condition of your skin if you have acne.

The time when you shouldn’t use pine oil is before you go to sleep because it makes you more focused and boosts your energy.

Pine oil benefits:

  • helps with breathing and respiration
  • can loosen your lungs from phlegm
  • reduces joint pain
  • relieves headaches
  • betters the mood
  • cleans acne

Shouldn’t be used:

  •  before going to sleep

2. Citrus oil

Citrus oil for sauna
Citrus oil for sauna

Citrus oils are the most famous ones. You are either a fan of citrus smells, or a hater. For the reason that I really like every taste which resembles oranges, I adore the smell of them. Most of the citrus oils are either of lemon, or of orange. And even though some of you might connect lemon smell with the one you spray in your bathroom, citrus oils can’t be compared to an aerosol.

The most significant feature of a citrus oil is its ability to waken you up – it gives a lot of energy. So the best time of the day to go to sauna using citrus oils is the morning. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory features and works as an antidepressant, so after a sauna session you probably will go out all happy and the world will seem as a better place to live. I am joking but just partially. I imagine a scent of lemon or orange would make you feel as if you are somewhere in the south of Spain in a big sunny garden. And who wouldn’t feel happier then.   

Citrus oil benefits:

  • gives energy
  • betters the mood
  • relaxes the muscles and relieves the pain
  • clears up the mind

Shouldn’t be used:

  • before going to sleep

3. Cinnamon oil

Cinnamon oil for sauna
Cinnamon oil for sauna

I couldn’t underestimate the smell of cinnamon. Even if we discharge all its good qualities, I would rank it highly solely for its smell. It has something very warm about it and reminds me of cold winters when I use cinnamon in hot wine or in a coffee, it reminds me Christmas and the time with my family, a cozy evening under a blanket with a laptop on my knees watching a movie. Something peaceful and tender. Maybe that is why I prefer cinnamon smell in the sauna as well.

However, it is not just this. Cinnamon oil can clear up your chest when you have a cold, it has antispasmodic and analgesic qualities, it is an antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, has some powerful antioxidants, stimulates blood circulation.

Cinnamon oil benefits:

  • helps to relieve the cold
  • soothes muscle pain
  • strengthen the immune system
  • kills the bacteria
  • could potentially be used in fighting neurological disorders and heart diseases

4. Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil for sauna
Eucalyptus oil for sauna

What I like about the smell of eucalyptus is that it is strong and fresh. It definitely won’t leave you unimpressed. In sauna it sharpens all your senses and makes the experience very distinctive.

Eucalyptus works as a pesticide and very effectively can kill fungus, bacteria, insects, mites and weeds. It was even used to prevent the spread of malaria. So what you can be sure about eucalyptus oil is that you will be very clean! Moreover, it can help you better the immune system and sooth any kind of inflammation in your body. It might relieve your respiration if you have any problems with it, clear the sinuses, relieve congestion so it is good when you have a cold.

Eucalyptus oil benefits:

  • kills any kind of bacteria
  • betters the immune system
  • soothes an inflammation
  • relieves the respiration
  • relieves the symptoms of a cold

5. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil for sauna
Peppermint oil for sauna

If you like peppermint tea, you probably like its smell as well, even though the smell of peppermint oil is sharper than the one you feel while drinking a tea. But I guess that those smells are special which reminds us good moments we had. Peppermint reminds me summer, childhood, countryside when I used to make tea from the herbs I picked up in the garden. So if peppermint reminds you something pleasant, you can imagine that while sitting in a sauna all those memories might come back.

Apart from the sentimental part, peppermint oil has some really good healing qualities. It is stimulant, antispasmodic, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant.

Peppermint oil benefits:

  • boosts your energy
  • helps sooth nausea
  • improves concentration and memory
  • kills pain on the skin
  • heals headaches

6.  Birch oil

Birch oil for sauna
Birch oil for sauna

Birch, like pine, is another tree which reminds me home and that is why I cannot be indifferent to its smell. For me it smells like a big meadow next to a river, like a road in the middle of a field, like some cows lying on the grass.

However, most often it is a minty, medicinal smell and birch oil is the most commonly used scent in Finnish saunas. Some of its greatest health benefits are bacterial prevention, pain reduction, improvement of blood circulation, skin condition. It has disinfecting and detoxifying effect not just on the body but also on the sauna.

Birch oil benefits:

  • prevents the appearance of bacteria
  • reduces pain
  • improves blood circulation
  • improves skin condition
  • disinfects and detoxifies the body and the sauna room


  • has a medicinal smell

7. Lavender oil

Lavender oil for sauna
Lavender oil for sauna

I remember when I was trying all the smells at my friend’s hen party, lavender oil was one of my favorites. Maybe because it is a smell of a flower and flowers always smell nicely.

Lavender is known widely and already for a long time. But perhaps not everyone knows what are its effects. First of all, it has a relaxing property and helps to calm down after a long day. It is good before going to sleep or it should relieve your headache. Also the effects include burn and wound treatment, it helps the skin to age slower, protects from diabetes, bacteria, works as an anesthetic, antioxidant, boosts the immune system.

However, it has a big quantity of linalool so you should be careful with the dosage. But on the other hand all the oils should be taken seriously.

Lavender oil benefits:

  • relaxing effect
  • eases headaches
  • helps burns and wounds heal
  • helps the skin to age slower
  • protects from diabetes, bacteria
  • works as an anesthetic
  • works as an antioxidant
  • boosts the immune system


  • has a high quantity of linalool which might be harmful if used in a wrong amount

8. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil for sauna
Tea tree oil for sauna

The smell of a tea tree oil is not that good – it is medicinal. So you might feel as if you happened to appear in a hospital. It is herbaceous, pungent, camphorous. Despite of that, tea tree oil has several health benefits.

First of all, tea tree oil helps to fight the infections and boost your immune system, if you have breathing issues or suffer from a flu. It might improve your skin condition and solve the problems related to it. You can use it if you feel under the weather.

Tea tree oil benefits:

  • helps to fight the infections
  • boosts the immune system
  • solves breathing issues
  • eases a flue or a cold
  • improves skin condition
  • helps to fix the mood


  • it is essential to dilute the tea tree oil and keep it from your eyes and nose
  • it has a strong medicinal smell

9. Sandalwood oil

Sandalwood oil for sauna
Sandalwood oil for sauna

Sandalwood definitely has a very pleasant smell. It is woodsy and sweet, known for using in meditation, also as an ingredient in incense, perfumes, cosmetics and aftershave. Its wide range of usage gives us an understanding that sandalwood smell is preferred by many. But what are its health benefits if you use sandalwood oil in sauna?

Sandalwood oil increases mental clarity and boosts the memory. It has a calming effect like lavender but doesn’t make you sleepy, more like contemplative and relaxed. Moreover, it reduces inflammation in your body, helps to slower the aging and lowers your blood pressure if you apply it to the skin. If your purpose is to meditate in the sauna, sandalwood oil might be exactly for you.

Sandalwood oil benefits:

  • has a pleasant, sweet, woodsy smell
  • increases mental clarity and boosts the memory
  • makes you contemplative and relaxed
  • reduces inflammation in your body
  • helps to slower the aging
  • can lower blood pressure

10. Rosemary oil

Rosemary oil for sauna
Rosemary oil for sauna

Finally, the last essential oil which is on my list is rosemary. Its smell is sharp and woodsy, might remind some tones of pine and lemon. It is a definitely refreshing herbal smell.

Rosemary usually is used in cooking but also in some skin care products. It works the best for mental health: increases brain wave activity, improves the nervous system which controls the organ function. So rosemary oil is stimulative. Adding to it, it increases heart rate, blood pressure and boosts the immune system. One of the most noticeable effect of rosemary oil is its ability to reduce stress.

Rosemary oil benefits:

  • works stimulative
  • boosts the immune system
  • reduces stress


These were 10 sauna essential oils which I choose to try for my sauna experience. It would be hard to choose my favorite. Pine, cinnamon, eucalyptus, tea tree oils help with the cold and infections, citrus, peppermint, rosemary oils give you energy, lavender and sandalwood oils relax and birch oil disinfects. However, for the biggest amount of health benefits I would choose lavender oil and my personal preference would be sandalwood oil. I always liked the smell in my yoga classes and it sounds great to meditate in a sauna. I would also recommend you to buy an essential oil set and try all the different smells yourself.

Which are your favorite essential oils for sauna? Leave a comment below!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.