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Steam Showers and the Science of Human Comfort

One size does not fit all. This maxim holds true for anything from shoes, to gloves, to, yes, steam showers. Anthropometry, the scientific study of the measurements and proportions of the human body, matters to the design of your home steam shower. It's what guides the advice we offer customers on what to consider when designing their steam room.

Here’s how anthropometry influences the various parts of a steam room:

What's An Ideal Steam Room Size?

An accepted way to size a steam room is to think in terms of length x width x height = total volume. However, this formula for sizing a shower fails to take into account the human element (the dimensions of the human body).

Instead, we encourage anthropometric questions such as “What’s the forward reach of the average adult male?” or “What’s the line of sight of the average adult female?” By studying human dimensions instead of building dimensions, you can determine a size that does more than just work. It maximizes your comfort and the benefits steam can offer you.

Based on such research, we came to the conclusion that the minimum steam room size that is comfortable for one person is 3 feet long by 3 feet wide by 7 feet high. 

>> See Yes, You Can Have a Steam Shower in a Small Bathroom.

The optimal ceiling height, though, is 8’. If you plan on a taller ceiling, you'll want a larger generator to ensure that you have enough steam for your steam room experience.

Steam Showers And The Science Of Human Comfort

When it comes to selecting the ideal steam generator size, it's important to consider the type of materials being used in the shower. The greater the porosity of the material, the quicker it will dissipate heat, requiring a larger steam generator to pick up the slack.

>> See Tile Steam Shower? Marble Steam Shower? What's the Difference?

You can learn more about sizing your steam shower with the MrSteam Virtual Spa.

Feeling Good With Steam Means Being Seated

For maximum enjoyment during a steam session, you will need a place to sit down. MrSteam Premier Dealers often find that many people wanting steam fail to consider seating, not to mention where or how to position it.

After studying the human body, we determined that the ideal seat is 18” high and 15” deep. Those dimensions offer you enough space to sit comfortably without having to hunch forward or lean back too far. Consider installing the MrSteam fold-up teak seat, coated for moisture protection.

Remember to position your seat away from the steamhead to avoid direct steam exposure.

Feeling Good With Steam Means Being Seated

>> See Top 10 Considerations Before Installing a Steam Shower.

Where Is The Steam Control Most Accessible?

No matter which steam shower control option you choose, there is an anthropometric way to position it in your steam room for maximum comfort.

Install it between four and five feet above the floor to avoid unnecessary bending or reaching whether you happen to be sitting or standing.

Position it on the opposite wall from the steam head to avoid direct exposure. This placement is important because the built-in thermostat within the control will not read accurately if placed directly above the steamhead.

Furthermore, make sure it’s within reach of your seat so you don’t have to get up to use it. The whole point is to minimize the energy and effort you have to expend during your steam session so you can relax and focus on feeling good.

Where Is The Steam Control Most Accessible?

Where Should The Steamhead Be Positioned?

Position the steamhead between 6" and 12" above the floor. Try to find one that is cool to the touch. Consider placing your steamhead on the same wall as your regular showerhead.

As noted above, be sure the steamhead is positioned away from your head, body and feet and on the opposite wall from the control. This is important for comfort and safety.

Avoid placing it near the entrance or exit area so you don't lose steam as you enter and exit.

>> Check out other “Dos” and “Don’ts” regarding steam.

>> See How To Design a Steam Shower Bathroom: Corey S. Klassen Explains.

Comfort is at the center of the MrSteam universe because, without it, you cannot truly take advantage of steam’s total health and wellness benefits so you feel good. When planning your steam shower, remember the most important component: yourself.

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Topics: Benefits of Steam, Installation & Maintenance