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What is a Steam Shower?

10th March 2007

Brief definition of a Steam Shower

A steam shower is a small cabin or enclosure designed to contain heated water vapour that has been created using a humidifying steam generator. A steam shower session can be a social affair if the enclosure sits more than one person. Steam showers combine the functionality of a standard steam room with many additional features including a shower. Steam showers are designed for use in a bathroom. Therefore, many of them have been packed out with features that enhance the standard showering experience, turning the bathroom into a mini spa.

Brief History of the Steam Shower

Steam showers are an adaptation of the steam room. Steam rooms can be traced back to the Roman times where the Romans would bathe in a sweat room called a sudatorium. Around the same era, the Turks had their Turkish bath (the hammam), while the Russians caught hold of the concept and had their own steam bath called the banya. The history of the sudatorium goes back to the ancient Greeks. With the evolution of technology, manufacturers integrated the steam room and shower into a combination unit called a steam shower, designed for use in a bathroom.

Types of Steam Shower

There are many different styles of steam showers for every home and taste. The following are the most popular styles of steam shower:

Single / Double Steam Showers Steam showers can have seats in them, and the ones that do usually have one or two seats. Steam showers with two seats are generally larger than steam showers with one seat, however, there are steam showers which are large and only have one seat.

Corner / Wall Steam Showers Steam showers are manufactured to many different specifications as customers have different spacing requirements, therefore steam showers are made for both corners and walls. Steam showers which are designed for corners are generally free standing and can be pushed into the corner. Steam showers which are designed to stand against a flat wall are often rectangular and are also free standing.

Bathtub Steam Showers Steam showers can also have a whirlpool or standard bath integrated into the unit. Instead of a shower base, a whirlpool bath with hydromassage jets is used. The user can have the option of bathing in the bathtub, using the shower, or the steam, making the bathtub steam shower the ultimate bathroom centerpiece. Steam showers that have a whirlpool bath are generally larger than steam showers with a shower base.

Features of a Steam Shower

There are many different steam showers on the market, integrating into them different technologies. Steam showers can include some of the following features:
  1. Music & Phone Connections - A function which allows the user to connect an external audio device (e.g. CD player, iPod, MP3 player, etc.) to the steam shower. The user can listen to their favourite music while showering. Steam showers usually have a phone connection which enables the user to dial and answer calls while in the steam shower.
  2. Handheld shower on slide rail - The same as a handheld shower on slide rail in a standard shower.
  3. Overhead shower - Usually a static shower head, integrated in the roof of the steam shower unit. This usually gives the effect of falling rain as the surface area of the head is large, approximately six inches in diameter.
  4. Body Jets - Steam showers often have body jets, enhancing the steam experience further. Typically ranging in number from 4 to 16+, the jets, acting as hydrotherapy treatment, spray water onto the muscles relaxing and stimulating them.
  5. Digital control panel with remote control - Steam showers can have a digital control panel which will control most of the features within the unit. For example, it can control the overhead shower, the steam temperature and the radio function.
  6. Thermostatic controller - A thermostatic valve controls the temperature of the shower water, preventing surges of hot and cold water.
  7. Foot massage - A device, usually attached to the wall of the steam shower that can be placed on the floor to massage the feet. Water sprays up from the foot massage which massages the feet.
  8. Steam generator with time and temperature settings - A steam generator acts like a kettle: it is the physical device which produces the steam. Steam generators on residential steam showers usually range between 2-3KW. The higher the wattage of the steam generator, the faster the water will boil, therefore the faster the steam shower will fill with steam.
  9. Aromatherapy - This feature uses a mechanism that allows the bather to add drops of essential oils to the steam outlet, steaming the aroma into the steam shower, improving the steam shower experience even more.
  10. Radio and speaker - Operated from the control panel within the steam shower, the bather can listen to the radio, with a built in shower speaker.
  11. Fluorescent overhead light - Usually a circular fluorescent light, the overhead light illuminates the steam shower, creating a fresh bright atmosphere.
  12. Shampoo & Body Wash Dispensers - A shampoo bottle, attached to the wall of the steam shower which can be filled up with shampoo and conditioner.
  13. O3 - A function that is activated when the steam shower is switched off. This self activating function releases a gas called O3 which sterilizes the unit, helping to reduce the build up of bacteria.
  14. Seat - A seat which allows the bather to sit down and relax during a steam shower session.

Summary

Steam rooms have a rich history. The development of technology has brought along with it affordability. Where steam showers would not have been an option in the past due to expense, they are now available at reasonable prices. The integration of the steam shower with the home bathroom will ensure the tradition of the steam room will live on for many years to come.

Note: Di Vapor is not responsible for the views, opinions or advice represented in the articles on this site. You are advised to seek medical advice before following any such information. Copyright © March 2007 Di Vapor.



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