The Best Steam Showers for Health and Relaxation

Steam showers offer many of the benefits of a sauna, but they can be more convenient and affordable, making them deserving of a closer look.

Best Overall

The Steam Planet Superior Deluxe Steam Generator Kit with its cords and control panel on a white background.

Steam Planet Superior Deluxe Steam Generator Kit

See It

Best Bang For The Buck

The Vevor 9kW Steam Generator and its installation accessories on a white background.

Vevor 9kW Steam Generator

See It

Upgrade Pick

The Kohler Invigoration Steam Generator on a white background.

Kohler Invigoration Steam Generator

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

A steam shower is a lot like a sauna except where saunas typically offer dry heat, steam showers provide increased humidity. Muscle relaxation, stress relief, improved skin health, and better circulation are a few of the well-documented steam shower benefits. Compared with many home saunas, steam showers typically cost less, plus it’s possible to save space if an existing shower is converted.

We carefully investigated the performance and technical aspects of 30 different models of steam during our research for this article. Our list of top picks includes only the best steam showers available on the market right now.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Steam Planet Superior Deluxe Steam Generator Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Vevor 9kW Steam Generator
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Kohler Invigoration Steam Generator
  4. BEST COMMERCIAL: CGoldenwall Commercial Self-Draining Steam Generator
  5. BEST KIT: SteamSpa QuickStart Steam Bath Generator
  6. BEST HIGH-CAPACITY: Steamist TSG-15 Steam Generator
The Best Steam Shower in a large, dark-tiled shower next to a massive indoor sauna and freestanding bathtub.
Photo: istock.com

How We Chose the Best Steam Showers

There are a couple of ways to set up a steam shower: You can build a new shower cubicle or convert an existing one. Converting an existing shower is the simplest approach, but a capable DIYer could consider installing a new bathroom enclosure using a shower kit. But since DIY-ing isn’t for everyone, hiring a professional contractor is always an option.

We looked for solutions to meet a variety of needs as we assembled this list. For each model, we considered power output, controls, user-friendly features, and of course, cost. We also analyzed owner feedback from several sources to check reliability.

To ensure we fully understood every aspect of the best steam showers, we consulted several experts. Bathroom designer Thomas Borcherding of Homestar, Inc., a design and remodeling business in St. Louis, Missouri, says, “A steam shower creates concentrated water vapor that is looking for somewhere to go, so steam showers need to be waterproofed.” It’s an important point for DIYers, because escaped steam in walls or floors can eventually lead to dampness or rot. Oren Farkash, founder and CEO of South Land Remodeling, located in Los Angeles, California, agrees. “Steam showers need an extra layer of waterproofing placed under the tiles to handle extreme moisture.” He says, “Have the ceiling of a steam shower slightly slanted toward the back wall. This will eliminate water drops falling on you from the wet ceiling.”

Our Top Picks

Knowing that steam shower installation needs vary, we considered different situations when selecting the categories. Only the best steam showers within each category made it onto this list of top picks.

See It

Product Specs

  • Power: 9kW
  • Cubic feet: 320 to 460
  • Self-draining: Yes

Pros

  • High-quality steam generator package suitable for both DIY and professional installers
  • Control panel in black or white can be fitted inside or outside shower room
  • Includes an aromatherapy reservoir so favorite scents can be added to the steam

Cons

  • Reports of some units arriving with faults, though issues have usually been resolved by customer support

Steam Planet’s Superior steam generator is a high-quality, competitively priced steam shower system for those converting an existing shower or installing their own steam room. In addition to the self-draining steam generator itself, there is a digital controller with 20 feet of wire that can be installed inside or outside the shower. Time and temperature are programmed through this controller. A temperature sensor, an aromatherapy reservoir, and a steam head with an aromatherapy outlet round out the extra features.

Power output is 9kW, and the Steam Planet steam generator is rated for spaces from 320 to 460 cubic feet. An additional controller can be added, as can a lighting kit, though these are both extra purchases. Also available are 6kW and 12kW models.

Get the Steam Planet steam shower at Amazon or The Home Depot.

See It

Product Specs

  • Power: 9kW
  • Cubic feet: Up to 318
  • Self-draining: No

Pros

  • This model provides competitive power output at a remarkably low cost
  • Multifunction controller and steam shower head are included in the price
  • Stainless steel internal heating tube for durability plus auto shutoff for safety

Cons

  • Control panel is a little dated, and temperature display is in Celsius only

DIY enthusiasts looking to keep the cost of home steam showers to a minimum may want to consider this 9kW model from Vevor. Included in the budget-friendly price is an easy-to-use digital controller that can be fitted internally or externally. The 60-minute timer and lighting switch are helpful features. However, the temperature readings are in Celsius only.

Stainless steel is used for the heating tube, and this should ensure durability. Safety features include auto shutoff and a pressure relief valve, though draining has to be done manually. The Vevor steam generator is rated for shower sizes up to 318 cubic feet where sufficient steam will be produced in 10 minutes or less. Also available are 6kW and 7kW models.

Get the Vevor steam shower at Amazon.

See It

Product Specs

  • Power: 9kW
  • Cubic feet: Up to 240
  • Self-draining: Yes

Pros

  • Only 60 seconds for ready-to-use steam thanks to Fast-Response technology
  • Renowned build quality and durability with 1-touch automatic self-cleaning
  • Constant Steam system stops temperature fluctuations and uses just 1 gallon of water per 20 minutes

Cons

  • Premium price is for the steam generator only; the necessary controller is an extra cost

Give it just 60 seconds and this steam shower is ready to use, thanks to its Fast-Response technology. When it comes to build quality and reliability, few brands have a better reputation than Kohler. The company’s steam generator is one of the more expensive models, but it’s packed with desirable features. The Constant Steam system keeps the temperature steady during use, and Power Clean provides automatic, one-touch cleaning. It’s frugal and eco-friendly, too: A 20-minute steam shower uses just 1 gallon of water.

For personal safety, the Kohler steam generator will turn itself off after 20 minutes, which is the maximum duration recommended by many health experts, but there is a user override. However, the necessary controller is not included and must be purchased separately. The 9kW Kohler steam shower generator is rated for shower spaces of up to 240 cubic feet, and an extensive range of models are available from 5kW to 30kW.

Get the Kohler steam shower at Amazon, Build With Ferguson, and Kohler.

See It

Product Specs

  • Power: 10.5kW
  • Cubic feet: Up to 371
  • Self-draining: Yes

Pros

  • Comprehensive kit includes controller, steam head, and cables
  • Timer can run from 30 minutes to 12 hours making it ideal for commercial use
  • Ready to use in 3 to 5 minutes with twin tanks for consistent temperature

Cons

  • There have been reports of occasional controller problems, but the company is usually very responsive

CGoldenwall is another company that offers a value-for-money steam generator kit. The controller, steam head, and cables are included. Suitable for interior or exterior mounting, the controller is used for setting the temperature and the lights. Of particular interest to commercial users is the fact that the timer can be set for up to 12 hours, thus providing constant walk-in steam shower capability.

Steam is produced in as little as 3 minutes with twin tanks that should ensure consistent temperature. This 10.5kW model is rated for showers of up to 371 cubic feet. Overheating protection and self-draining are included features. CGoldenwall steam shower generators are available in five sizes from 3kW to 12kW.

Get the CGoldenwall steam shower at Amazon.

See It

Product Specs

  • Power: 12kW
  • Cubic feet: Up to 450
  • Self-draining: Yes

Pros

  • Offers the most comprehensive kit, including quick-connection plumbing fittings
  • QuickStart system allows steam shower to be ready in 1 minute
  • Dual tanks allow continuous, consistent temperature steam, and there’s an aroma oil reservoir

Cons

  • Faults are not common, but reviewers note that it can be difficult to install

Plenty of adequate steam shower kits are on the market, but none are as comprehensive as this one from SteamSpa. In addition to the steam generator itself, two controllers are included for both internal and external use (a second is usually extra). Also included is a mood light, water filter, and a set of plumbing fittings to make installation quicker and easier. The steam head contains an aroma oil reservoir and comes in a choice of five finishes.

QuickStart technology means the steam shower is ready in just 1 minute, and twin tanks keep flow and temperature consistent. Auto draining is included, and this model is rated for spaces up to 450 cubic feet. Other SteamSpa steam shower generators are available from 4.5kW to 10.5kW.

Get the SteamSpa steam shower at Amazon or The Home Depot.

See It

Product Specs

  • Power: 15kW
  • Cubic feet: 551 to 675
  • Self-draining: Yes

Pros

  • Tandem-capable model designed for large residential and commercial steam showers
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel construction with industrial-grade heating elements for durability
  • Offers rapid initial heating plus SteadySteam technology for consistent temperature

Cons

  • It’s expensive, and while the control cable is included, the controller itself is extra

There is plenty of choice for those who want to create a compact one-person steam shower. Options are more limited for those who want a larger space for two or more people. The Steamist steam generator is a 15kW model that is suitable for steam rooms up to 675 cubic feet, but its outstanding feature is the ability to work in tandem. Two Steamist steam generators can be connected to meet high-capacity demands.

The unit is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and it has an industrial-grade heating element designed for high performance. Thorough testing takes place at the factory to ensure durability. InstaMist technology produces steam rapidly, and SteadySteam makes sure there is no loss of temperature during steam shower sessions. Although auto draining is available, the required controller comes at extra cost.

Get the Steamist steam shower at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Steam Shower

The process of creating a steam shower can vary, whether it’s converting an existing shower to a complete DIY steam shower design and build, to having a professional install a prebuilt steam shower enclosure. Skill level, technical considerations, budget, and personal preferences will affect which approach is right for each person.

Power and Size

The power of the steam generator is measured in kilowatts (kW). The models considered for this list spanned the range from a small steam generator at 3kW to a high-performance 30kW unit. Some steam generator manufacturers give an estimate of the space their device is appropriate for in cubic feet, which can be very useful. Anything less than 5kW is probably insufficient for a full-size shower. For single-person spaces, 7.5kW to 9kW is a popular size. Those above 15kW are usually intended for larger walk-in steam showers or commercial installations. Shower materials such as stone or marble increase costs, making budget adherence more challenging. There are websites that offer calculators, but those making a large investment may wish to consult a professional.

Another aspect related to power is sometimes overlooked. Steam generators need a dedicated electrical supply, often 220/240V. Since this will usually require work at the breaker box, this may be a job best left to a professional.

Start Time and Auto Drain

Start time is the delay between turning on the steam generator to when enough steam for the shower space is produced. Picture an electric kettle if you will. More powerful kettles boil quickly, while others leave users waiting for ages. A steam generator is the same; somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes is common, though the most powerful steam generators can be ready in 60 seconds.

Auto-drain flushes the water out of the steam generator once it is turned off. This can prolong its working life by reducing corrosion and is healthier because it helps prevent mold or mildew. It’s worth checking the details carefully. Some steam generators include an auto-drain feature, while for others it comes at extra cost.

Additional Features

Features included will vary considerably depending on whether a user is adding a steam shower generator to an existing cubicle or buying a complete enclosure. A control panel is a must, but on some models, it needs to be purchased separately. Other features might include:

  • Wi-Fi compatibility for remote control;
  • Auto shutoff to prevent overheating if there is no water supply;
  • Built-in music player;
  • Chromotherapy (light therapy); and
  • Aromatherapy oil reservoir to scent the steam.

FAQs

This article has provided information to help consumers decide on the best steam shower for their needs. If you still have questions about steam showers in general, you might find the answers to some frequently asked questions below to be helpful.

Q. How does a steam shower work?

A steam shower uses a steam generator to turn cold water into steam. This is then piped into a sealed shower cubicle. An existing shower can be converted, but fitting a new door may be necessary to keep the steam in.

Q. How long should you sit in a steam shower?

The experts we consulted agree you should sit in steam room showers for no more than 20 minutes, though some feel 10 minutes is sufficient. Make sure you are well hydrated beforehand. If you feel uncomfortable or nauseous, you should stop immediately. Those with heart or lung conditions should consult their medical practitioner before using a steam shower.

Q. How do you install a steam shower?

You can either use an existing enclosed shower cubicle or create a new one. Then the steam generator needs to be fitted outside it, with the necessary plumbing and electrical supply. While this may be fairly straightforward for experienced DIY enthusiasts, those without complete confidence may benefit from employing a suitably qualified contractor.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Share
Bob Beacham Avatar

Bob Beacham

Contributing Writer

Bob Beacham is an engineer by trade and has spent 35 years working on everything from auto parts to oil rigs. He is also an avid DIY enthusiast. Bob started writing for the Bob Vila team in 2020 and covers tools, outdoor equipment, and home improvement projects.

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA