A Bather’s Guide to Thermal Rooms – Part 2

Thermal bathing is becoming more popular than ever. However, with so many different rooms to use, how do you know which ones will offer you the benefits you are looking for?

Follow our series of blogs designed to explain the look, temperature, useage and benefits of each room and discover the range of experiences and rituals available.


Overview:  Tepidarium/Caldarium/Laconium

As far back as Roman times, when bathing was a more social pastime, bathers journeyed through a series of cold to hot rooms to help purge toxins and dirt from their skin, finishing in a comfortably warm room to rest, relax and socialise.   These rooms, with their original room names, are still in use today.   Here is our interpretation of their uses and benefits.



Temperature:    35-40⁰C

Percentage Humidity:    10-20%

A tepidarium usually has heated floors, walls and loungers giving a pleasant feeling of constant radiant warmth. The loungers can be set to different temperatures according to preference and the air temperature can be up to 15⁰C below the temperature of the walls and the seating.   Relax on the lounger and let the radiant heat encourage increased blood flow and circulation. This room is often used before, during and after other spa treatments and is designed to restore the body to its normal temperature of 37⁰C.

Tepidarium at the Roco Nivaria Gran Hotel    www.adrianhoteles.com

Tepidarium at the Roco Nivaria Gran Hotel http://www.adrianhoteles.com


The warmth of the benches permeates into your skin, relaxing the muscles and encouraging a feeling of wellbeing. The shape of the benches encourages optimal blood flow throughout the body, opening the veins and capillaries allowing blood to the surface of the skin. This helps achieve the healthy glow we always strive for.   The dry air can also help to enhance the body’s immune defences as well as relieving stress.



Temp Range:                    To relax:  30 – 40⁰C

                                                To sweat/purge:  50-55⁰C                            

Percentage Humidity:   95-100%

This is a warm or hot room with gentle steam. The floor and walls are usually heated, but the air temperature is usually lower than the heat in the walls which makes it easier to bathe for longer.   Some Caldariums incorporate heated plunge baths.

Relax on the loungers to let the steam open your pores and clean your skin. If preferred, rub on scented oil or exfoliants to help the skin cleaning process.   If a plunge pool is not available, hoses may be provided for cooling off and refreshing.

Image courtesy of Hotel Campiglio Bellavista www.hotelcampigliobellavista.it

Image courtesy of Hotel Campiglio Bellavista http://www.hotelcampigliobellavista.it


The heat of the caldarium promotes blood circulation, stimulates metabolism and has a positive effect on the respiratory, circulatory and immune systems. Some Caldariums have chromotherapy lighting and essential oils can also be used to stimulate the senses.   (Please see previous blog posts on Complementary Wellbeing for further details on chromotherapy and aromatherapy.)



Temperature:                                    55-60⁰C

Percentage Humidity:                   15-20%

 A Laconium is a warm, dry heat treatment room where the body is allowed to warm up gently.   It is usually a tiled room where the warmth is generated by heated walls, loungers, benches and floors. Relax on the loungers or benches for as long as you feel comfortable and the body will slowly start to sweat as it warms up, with the heat penetrating deep into the muscles. Most Laconiums have a Kneipp hose where you can cool off and stimulate circulation, before relaxing back onto the loungers to enjoy the thermal experience again.   For a more personal bathing experience play soothing or uplifting music and introduce fragrances to help you undwind via a humidifier.

Image courtesy of Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa  www.thespa.uk.com

Image courtesy of Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa http://www.thespa.uk.com


As the room is warm, rather than hot, you can spend a longer time relaxing, as the dry, warm air heats the body gently.   The aim of a Laconium experience is to purify and detoxify the body through improved blood circulation brought on by sweating.




For more information on bathing rituals click here:  http://www.dromuk.com/online/dromology



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