How to Use a Sauna Suit

Close-up of wet eye

Sauna suits, also known as sweat suits, are athletic body suits formerly made of rubber, now typically made of nylon, polyester or PVC. Meant to be worn during exercise, these suits trap body heat in, leading to an increase in the production of sweat and shedding of water weight. While useful for athletes such as boxers or wrestlers seeking to lose water weight before weighing in, casual users should approach sauna suits with caution.

Select the right size suit for your body. Sauna suits, often unisex, typically compare to standard track suits in size. So if you generally wear a large track suit, a large sauna suit should also fit. Try the suit on before buying if possible, as sizes vary per manufacturer.

Wear close-fitting, moisture-wick undergarments – such as briefs and sports bras – under your sauna suit.

Slip the bottoms of the sauna suit on over your undergarments, just as you would a pair of pants, before your aerobic exercise routine. Put the top on over your head, so that the bottom of the shirt goes over the waistline of the pants – do not tuck the shirt into the pants. The elastic waistbands of the suit should rest at your collarbone, wrists, waist and ankles.

Hydrate thoroughly before, during and after your exercise. Drink at least 6 ounces of water before your workout, another 6 ounces again every 20 minutes of activity and at least 6 more after your routine.

Work your way up to performing your usual aerobic exercise routine gradually. When just starting out, wear your suit in five- to 10-minute increments, working your way up to your usual amount of exercise time; do not exceed 60 minutes of exercise at a time while wearing the suit. Start with low-impact versions of your exercis, such as jogging before running, walking before jogging, or lying leg raises before hanging leg raise, and move on to higher impact exercises as your endurance increases.

Clean your sauna suit according to the manufacturer's instructions. This typically requires you to hand wash the garment in warm, soapy water, although some suits can be machine washed. Unless explicitly stated as safe in the manufacturer's directions, never iron a sauna suit or put it in the dryer. Instead, allow your suit to air dry.


Wear a sauna suit only if you are 18 years of age or older. Do not wear this type of clothing if you are pregnant. Consult your doctor or health-care provider before using a sauna suit.

Do not wear a sauna suit during hot weather. The American Council on Exercise warns against exercising when the weather is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Never wear a sauna suit in an actual sauna.

Immediately remove the suit, move to a cool environment and drink cool water if you experience nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular heartbeat or chills.