Saunas are a popular way to relax and rejuvenate, and one of the key elements of a sauna is the layout of the benches. One question that sauna-goers and sauna owners may have is whether a two-level or three-level bench layout is best. In this post, we'll explore the differences between these two layouts and discuss the concept of löyly, which is a key factor in the sauna experience.
Two-level sauna bench layout:
A two-level sauna bench layout typically consists of a lower bench and an upper bench. The lower bench is usually located near the sauna stove and is the coolest part of the sauna. The upper bench is located above the lower bench and is the hottest, as it is located closest to the ceiling and therefore receives the most heat from the stove. This layout allows sauna-goers to choose their desired level of heat by sitting on either the lower or upper bench.
Three-level sauna bench layout:
A three-level sauna bench layout adds an additional bench between the lower and upper benches. This middle bench is at a temperature intermediate between the lower and upper benches. The top bench is still the hottest, as it is located closest to the ceiling. The top bench should be 100cm to 120cm (39in to 47in) from the ceiling, and each bench should be 45 to 50cm high (17 in to 19in). This layout gives sauna-goers even more control over the temperature they experience, as they can choose to sit on the lower, middle, or upper bench depending on their preference.
The drawback of a three-level bench sauna is the "stadium effect." It is less comfortable to climb up and down the three levels and for some people it can be a deal breaker. The building also has to be physically taller, to accommodate the three levels of benches.
The law of löyly:
Löyly is the steam that is created when water is thrown on the sauna stove. It is an important part of the sauna experience, as the heat and humidity from the löyly can help relax muscles and clear the airways. The law of löyly dictates that when you sit on the top bench, your feet should be above the stove. On the top bench, the difference between a person's feet and head will be smaller, and heat will be more uniform.
Which layout is best?
Ultimately, the best sauna bench layout will depend on personal preference. Some people may prefer the simplicity of a two-level layout, while others may enjoy the added control of a three-level layout. If you are unsure which layout is right for you, it may be helpful to try out both and see which one you prefer.
In conclusion, the layout of the benches in a sauna can have a significant impact on the overall sauna experience. While both two-level and three-level layouts have their own unique benefits, the best choice will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Regardless of which layout you choose, be sure to keep the law of löyly in mind and adjust the temperature accordingly to get the most out of your sauna experience.