Steam has long been touted for its many benefits. Aestheticians have used it for years to calm and soften skin. According to a report published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, warm mist helps improve muscle fatigue. Many people enjoy stepping into steam when they have cold symptoms too. It can soothe the mucous membranes lining the nose, reports the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Plus, steam just plain feels good — which in itself, can do wonders for your mood and overall health.
Essential oils might assist with anxiety and depression, sleep issues and overall quality of life, according to Mayo Clinic. Stepping into clouds of scented steam, whether you prefer the deep-breathing benefits of sage, hyssop and spruce or the relaxing aromas of lavender, orange and cedarwood, can turn your shower into a full therapeutic experience. Look for steam showers that release just a quarter of a drop of pure undiluted oils at a time so each canister lasts for months.
Enjoy your favorite sounds as you shower. Play your chosen music from your tablet, phone or any other Bluetooth-enabled device, controlling everything from an in-shower touch pad. Add playlists, enjoy your top podcasts or listen to the calming sounds of nature. Install speakers in your shower for a fully immersive audio experience.
Let calming blue light wash over you after a long day, energize with sunny orange light or drop into a state of tranquil bliss with green. Your steam shower can drench you in the hue of your choice. “The steam really magnifies the color because it surrounds you, so you’re enveloped in a colorful cloud,” Scalera says. And it’s not just about aesthetics: A study published in the American Research Journal of Pharmacy found that chromotherapy can help reduce stress.
Adding a steam shower is straightforward, whether you’re remodeling or building new, Scalera says. Install a full glass enclosure so that the steam stays inside, and cover the walls up to the ceiling as everything will get wet. Tile heats faster than natural stone. You’ll need an electric line for the generator too, which can be tucked in a closet or next to the shower. Scalera also recommends adding seating, either a built-in bench or a tilt-up seat. “You want to relax, you need to sit down,” he says. Finish off with a single control that handles all shower and steam functions.
Just need a quick rinse? You can use the spa functions, minus the steam, for everyday showering. Install a variety of shower head types, such as a rain shower, body spray and waterfall, for an indulgent cleanse. Using an app, “you can heat up the shower with steam from your bed, so it’s nice and cozy when you get in to take a regular shower,” Scalera says.
Steam showers can be tailored to your preferences, recalling your ideal temperature, duration and sensory options at the press of a touch pad. Do you want a short, hot steam with a restorative scent and upbeat music? Or a long, lingering soak with the sound of ocean waves surrounding you? Both are a button away.
People usually set the steam temperature between 100 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit, Scalera says, but it can go all the way up to 125, depending on the model. “You can personalize the combinations to exactly what you need,” he says. “The aroma oil, the temperature, the light, even the music.” You’re creating your own custom spa experience at home.
Tell us: What options would you want in a steam shower? Let us know in the Comments.
This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.