There are a lot of modern myths about weight loss including pills and famous waist trainers. That can lead to a logical conclusion that sauna suits aren’t going to be very effective either, right? Well, according to new research this might be wrong. On top of slight weight loss benefits, people using sweatsuits have shown to improve their cardiovascular system, total cholesterol, and ultimately their waist circumference. This is why I decided to showcase some of the best sauna suits for weight loss and get you a little more familiar with the different features they can have in the buyer’s guide section.
Below, you will find my top six picks for 2020 with their comparable features…
Sauna Suits Comparison Chart
Best Overall – HOTSUIT Men’s Weight Loss Workout Sweat Suit
The Hotsuit sauna suit is one of the most popular options on the market right now. That is mainly due to its durability, as well as it’s lightweight and comfortable design. It has a patented water-resistant smooth rubbery fabric on the inside which helps the body retain the heat produced during a warm-up or a workout. It also features a windproof outer layer and a watertight zipper which makes it really easy to take off after a sweaty training session. The suit is also reasonably priced, even though it is a bit more expensive than other nylon/PVC suits on the market. Despite having a rubber inside, it will be significantly odorless compared to other rubberized suits out there.
- Reasonably priced
- Durable nylon and rubber construction
- Windproof and waterproof
- Stylish look
- Easy-to-use zippers
- Cuffed sleeves and neck
- 2-piece suit, allowing for wearing both parts individually
- Fit isn’t great for some people (length-wise)
- The seams don’t tend to hold too long before starting to leak
- Not suitable for the drier
Heavy Duty Option – 2Fit Heavy Duty Sweat Suit
One of the cheaper options currently is the 2Fit Heavy-duty sweat suit. It is made out of Nylon and pvc-coated fabrics which is fairly good at raising your core temperature but is also prone to tearing and is harder to maintain compared to a neoprene suit. The inner lining is rubberized, just like the HOTSUIT and does a great job at keeping the sweat there. It does a good job at staying on top of your clothes without limiting your movements too much. All the cuffs on this suit are elasticized, which is always a welcome feature if you want your suit to stay less ventilated throughout your workout. Still, these types of suits require proper maintenance and even though they claim they are rip-resistant, they still are relatively easy to rip through if you aren’t careful. The price is one of the things that make this suit one of the best sellers right now.
- Very good price-to-quality ratio
- Rubberized inner lining
- Anti-rip materials which are tear-resistant
- All the cuffs are elasticized
- Does a great job at increasing your temperature
- Materials are prone to damage if not treated correctly
- Has to be hand-washed and hang dried
- Doesn’t prevent the buildup of bad odors
Best For Running – RDX Sauna Suit for Running, MMA, and Exercise
RDX as a brand has been on the rise these last few years. They specialize in making various products but they got their fame around their fight gear and other fighting-oriented accessories. The RDX MMA sauna suit is one of the best sauna suits for running as it is made out of a synthetic, lightweight, wind and water-resistant materials. On the outside it is nylon, while the inner layer is polyurethane which creates a durable composite material which is also perfect for heat insulation and sweating. The hoodi has a drawstring which makes it easier for you to cover your whole body and keep the temperature on the inside. The zippers are waterproof and the cuffs are elasticized everywhere. One of the things that I like a lot about this suit that, despite its price, it is machine washable and can be machine dried as well. It is also quite slim in terms of fit which is a great thing for some but if you normally wear a lot of clothes underneath it might be better to choose one size about yours.
- Decent price
- Well-designed material composition
- Elasticized cuffs all around
- Insulates really well
- The fit is quite slim which won’t usually work with a lot of clothes
- Tends to buildup bad smells
- If you want to protect the seams you have to hang dry it
Best Budget Option – DEFY Heavy Duty Sweat Suit
The reason I chose the Defy Sports Heavy-duty sauna suit for my budget pick is because it is far cheaper than the rest of the suits while it manages to stand its ground rather well. It has a typical nylon/PVC fabric which is great for insulation but isn’t the best when it comes to durability or odor-control. In fact, when the weather is warm, it is unadvisable to wash the suit altogether. Still, the suit has elastic cufss all around and the hoodie is rather tight which can be discomfortable but also creates a good seal for your body to raise its temperature. The inner lining is rubber which can be annoying depending on the type of clothes you have underneath. Surprisingly, it is rather true to its sizes so you can feel free to choose the size you typically wear.
- Elastic cuffs all-around
- True to its sizes
- Creates a good heat insulation around you
- Very cheap
- Excellent for a starter sauna suit
- Has to be hand washed
- Not advisable to wash it in warm weather
- Seams aren’t particularly durable
Best Sauna Vest – Wonderience Men’s Waist Trainer Vest
I wanted to include at least one vest in my guide, as sauna vests are becoming more and more popular due to their slim-fit and concealed nature. A lto of people actually prefer training with neoprene suits or vests as they can be worn beneath your clothes and provide little to no discomfort during your workouts. Even better, they actually make you feel more composed during your training session. Neoprene suits, however, have a few major disadvantages over traditional full-sized nylon sauna suits. They are smaller and much more expensive when you compared the effect. Sure, they do get your core temperature higher than usual, but do not cover your legs or your arms, so if you are after a more full-sized sauna effect, you might want to look elsewhere. Still, these vests are extremely durable and improve your abdominal and spinal support, which is great for some people that have a hard time keeping their posture correct all the time.
- Tight snug fit that goes unnoticed beneath your clothes
- Minimal discomfort
- Provide abdominal nad spinal support
- Do a good job at raising your core temperature
- Easy to wash and dry
- Rather expensive compared to normal sauna suits
- Does not cover most of your body
- Zipper tends to malfunction
Best for Women – HOTSUIT Women’s Weight Loss Sauna Suit
Even though sauna suits are typically unisex, there are some that I’d recommend specifically to women. The HOTSUIT Women’s sauna suit is one good example for a suit that was well-tested with the male audience before getting released in its female form-factor. It bares almost the same funcationality and feautres as the male one, although the fit here is a little bit better and a little truer to its sizes. So, if you are typically an L, there is a good chance the Large size will fit here on top of your clothes without restricting your movements. Still, as with the other HOTSUIT model, this one isn’t suitable for machine drying and the seams aren’t as durable as advertised.
- Very well-priced
- Excellent heat insulation properties
- Models are true to their sizes
- Odor-free fabric
- Windproof and waterproof
- Not suitable for machine drying
- Seems don’t hold too well
Sauna Suits Buyer’s Guide
Unlike most fitness gear, sauna suits aren’t really difficult to use and are some of the more straight-forward tools towards your weight loss goal. Still, there are a lot of things that can be discussed and are good to know prior to your purchase. On one hand, there a few features that you need to keep your eyes open for when choosing a sauna suit. On the other, knowing how these suits and vests work is crucial to your success and health.
Let’s start with one of the most important questions here now…
What are Sauna Suits and Vests?
Sauna suits are clothes made to be worn specifically during workouts or colder training days. Their main effect on the body is heating it up and containing the sweat and heat radiating from the body around it. They are usually made out of three core materials – nylon, neoprene, or PVC (or a combination of them). Sauna Vests are typically made out of neoprene and offer a snug fit, while sauna suits are generally looser and offer a bit more “room to breathe”. For that reason, vests and tighter suits tend to hold the heat better and for longer compared to PVC or nylon ones that allow a certain level of ventilation around your body.
These suits usually consist of two parts – top and bottom and feature a long-sleeved jacket and pants. There are certain variations that offer a uni-body suit experience that is arguably better at heat insulation and retention but is also harder to put on and get off. The sauna suits are worn with clothes beneath, depending on the climate and are mostly used by athletes for weight reduction or maintenance and faster warming up periods. Let’s talk about their effects a little bit more now…
How do Sauna Suits Work
The core characteristic of any sauna suit is heating up the body by retaining most of the radiated heat from the skin. It also prevents our sweat from completely evaporating in the air around us, increasing the moisture levels around the body to nearly 100%, which in turn increases heat retention as the body can no longer sweat to regulate its core temperature. That cycle happens quite fast and is one of the main reasons athletes wear sauna suits during their warm-ups. A typical 30-60 minute warm-up can be greatly shortened thanks to these suits or vests, as the joints and muscles will get to operating temperatures faster.
Higher temperatures usually make the body work overtime, at least as far as metabolic cycles go. This unlocks metabolic pathways which begin using fats more and more as the energy source of the body. On top of all that, sauna suits also increase your body’s endurance by more than 30% ultimately increasing your workout times and reducing your recovery periods. They also increase the production of serotonin, which is the hormone responsible for that runner’s high while training.
The effects of these suits are actually quite similar to the ones you experience in a steam room. If you want to learn more about, head over to my detailed article on the topic.
Sauna Suit Types
Sauna suit types can be either divided into their shape and form-factor or the material they use. I personally divide sauna suits into
- Neoprene suits – These suits and vests are lightweight, very durable and quite flexible even when they are a tight fit (which they will often be). On top of their typical heating effects, they also offer support during your workouts. They are also easier to wear under your clothes when you are training if you don’t want people to see it. With the other two types, you will usually have to put them on top of your clothes. One of the few disadvantages of neoprene suits is that they have a rubbery smell to them when they’re wet and heated up by your body.
- PVC fabric suits – Usually, PVC is used in the cheaper models and isn’t quite as durable as the neoprene or nylon suits. That should automatically make them the second or third choice in your book, even though they will save you quite some money. They also are quite loud when you workout in them, which can be a nuisance for the others you share the gym with. Most of the cheaper models also are hard to wash, as they easily tear up if put wth something hard or sharp.
- Nylon suits – Nylon suits are similar to PVC ones in terms of their chemical nature, but are more durable. One major downside of nylon is that it is prone to bacterial infestation mainly from nylon-eating colonies. In almost every other way they resemble PVC suits a lot but are slightly more expensive.
As a whole, if you really want to cover your whole body, neoprene suits won’t be a good choice, as you might easily overheat. That is why neoprene suits often come in the form of a vest or shorts, as that should be enough to raise your core temperature. If you want a full-on sauna suit, Nylon is a better choice, or PVC if you are on a budget
Do Sauna Suits Help You Lose Weight
Sauna suits have been the object of a lot of research recently, and a lot of scientists have tried and even succeeded to prove that they actually help with weight loss. Many studies have concluded that there is a near 20% metabolic rate increase when using these suits and a near 40% weight loss increase in people that wear suits or vests as opposed to ones that train with regular clothing.
A lot of toxins found in makeup, cosmetics, plastic, and other similar every-day items is contained in sweat in twice as bigger concentrations than in urine. This means that not only you will be losing weight faster and increasing your body’s metabolism, but also relieving some of that toxic load your life has on your body. Another very famous toxic (BPA) found in plastic bottles is also greatly excreted by the skin when sweating.
All that results in a healthy mix of beneficial effects which really prove sauna suits to be a very efficient way to help your body. Still, all those benefits can be quickly negated if you forget to rehydrate yourself, which is one of the main reasons people don’t feel better after using those suits. Sweating more and heating up your body will ultimately result in you losing more water, so make sure you consume twice as your regular amount after a workout with a sauna vest on.
If you want to learn if real sauna rooms can help you lose weight with their high temperatures and low humidity, click here. So now, let’s sum up some of the main benefits and disadvantages of sauna suits…
Benefits of Sauna Suits
Apart from the performance benefits sauna suits have, they also have a number of other good effects on our bodies. Let’s sum up how these suits help us in our weight loss journey and also see if there are any drawbacks to using them…
- Increases your body’s metabolic levels
- Helps with fat loss and increases the rate with which your body dissolves fat
- Increases the rate with which your body eliminates harmful toxins
- Reduces your workout and warmup times
- Reduces post-workout fatigue
- Increases endurance and performance
Now, let’s see which are some of the main drawbacks of using sauna suits…
- Greatly dehydrates your body, which is why you need to consider increasing your normal water intake after (or during) their usage
- Can cause skin issues if not washed properly and regularly
- Some suits are not comfortable to wear during intensive workouts
- Can be an expensive addition to your workout gear if you decide to go for some premium vests
Sauna Suits Features
There are certain features that you need to check before getting your first sauna suit. Those are:
- Materials used
- Cuffs and fit
- Washing and anti-odor properties
- Additional Features
Now, let’s get a little more in-depth with each of those and see why do they matter when picking the right suit for you…
As we discussed, materials don’t vary too much with sauna suits, with the main ones being nylon, neoprene, and PVC. For a looser fit, you should opt for the nylon or PVC suits, which also come in larger sizes and usually cover your whole body. They are typically worn above your clothes, while the tighter, smaller neoprene vests and shorts are worn underneath your clothes and offer a more concealed approach to the heating effect. Apart from those aspects, choosing any of these materials will be a matter of how much you’d like to spend, as the neoprene models are usually more expensive. More on that later.
Typically, sauna suits are unisex, while the sizing varies greatly. There are some extra small ones and there are suits that go up to 6 or 8XL. Still, make sure you consult the manufacturer’s size charts to see the exact measurements and fit. I prefer a slightly looser nylon suit that I can put on top of my clothes and prepare for my workout in it. Then, when I enter the intensive part of my workout, I simply take the suit off and finish training in my regular outfit. That won’t have the same heating intensity on your body but will be a good way to raise your core temperature faster and prepare your joints and muscles for what is to come.
The coverage is one of the most important features in a sauna suit. Not only do you need to decide whether it will be a one-piece or two-piece suit but you should also think about the design of it. After all, the more area it covers, and the more tightly it does so, the less breathability you will get out of your suit. This feature goes hand in hand with the next one on my list – ventilation.
When you’re working out or even just warming up, your body temperature rises. While this is helpful for your muscular system, it can put too much strain on your heart if you overdo it. This is why proper “hot points” have to well-ventilated. These are the pits and the inner tighs. Reducing the temperature there will help the body regulate its core temperature better no matter how hot it gets. If your suit is completely sealed with little to no ventilation there will be a risk of overheating you which can cause headaches, nausea or even long-term muscle fatigue and dehydration.
This one is pretty straight forward. I personally prefer a jacket type of suit which has a central zipper and pants that are a separate part of the suit. Some people like jumpsuits with big zippers while others prefer having no zippers, just elastic bands around the waist, ankles, and wrists. Speaking of that…
Cuffs and fit
Having loosely fitting hand and waist parts will allow good ventilation beneath the suit but will also greatly reduce the effect the sauna suit will have on your body. This is why you need to figure out whether you need cuffs on your wrists, ankles, and waist in order to prevent any heat loss or excessive ventilation.
Washing and anti-odor properties
It is really important to follow your manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly wash the suit. Some suits don’t require much washing, rather just a water bath to remove the sweat away. That is the case with most neoprene vests and shorts. Most nylon and PVC suits will require good washing, even though you have to be very careful not to damage them. Another thing to keep in mind is that some models could be only hand-washed which isn’t as bad as it sounds. Few are the models that can be but in the washing machine, and later on in the drier, so if you are after those, prepare to pay a little extra.
Some sauna suits also include anti-odor or moisture-reducing materials which greatly reduce the amount of odor a suit will have even after a workout. These materials help reduce the odor-releasing bacteria and prevent them from forming colonies in the first place.
There are a couple of sauna suit styles that are available nowadays:
- Full-body suits
- Core vests/suits
- Torso suits vests/suits
- Upper/Lower bodysuits
Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, so I’d just focus on the core and torso ones. The core sauna vests cover your entire chest, torso, and can even cover some of the upper arms and legs. They are very minimal in terms of design and are perfect for cardio exercising due to the minimal chafing they cause. They are also a perfect fit if you want to wear something underneath your clothes and still get that heating up effect. Still, they will heat you up a little faster than traditional full-body sauna suits, so keep that in mind.
Torso suits/vests are the ones that only cover your belly and your chest. They are a good gateway suit for people that want to ultimately start wearing full-body ones. They do not raise your temperature as much as the core ones but still offer a stealthy alternative to the bigger suits.
If you like to jog or cycle, you can opt for a lower-part sauna suit which will only cover your legs and waist and will heat up only that part of your body that you want to use.
Some of the additional features you can look for are extra pockets which are really handy on the full-body suits that you wear on top of your clothes. Often you won’t be able to reach to your clothes easily and if you have something stored in there, like keys or a smartphone, it won’t be easily reachable. That is why having external pockets on the suits is a handy feature. Zipper protectors on core suits are also a good way to prevent catching your skin between the zipper.
Other features that are important but not mandatory across all suits are for them to be machine washable. Windproofing is also an excellent feature (yet not easily found) that is perfect for runners. For those same people, having a waterproof or rubberized sauna suit will also be a good addition if they regularly train in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
Last but not least, try keeping an eye on the price tag if you are on a tight budget. All those features I just listed can easily stack up and make the price go beyond your initially desired price. As a rule of thumb, the decent suits which will do their job good enough are between 50 and 100$. Neoprene vests and core suits are generally more expensive. Nowadays there are more and more nylon suits with decent quality which are costing less than 50$ like some of the ones on my list.
Keeping your sauna suit in good condition mainly depends on how often you use it and how well you wash it after every workout. If you want to learn more about that process, head over to my article on how to clean your sauna suit.
Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions regarding sauna suits…
Are there any risks of wearing sauna suits?
The risks lie mainly within the fact that you can easily overheat your body and/or lose too many fluids. A good way to prevent that is to know when to stop to take a rest and to keep yourself well-hydrated throughout your workout. If you’ve never worn a sauna suit, it might be best if you start slowly or with only one piece (if it is a two-piece suit).
For how long can I wear a sauna suit?
As long as you feel comfortable. Some runners wear sauna suits for more than one hour while training, although that is accompanied by an intense rehydration process. Usually, 03-60 minute workouts with these suits are more than enough for your body to help it sweat profusely and heat up to the right temperature for most of the weight-loss processes to increase.
Having the best sauna suit for weight loss won’t exactly guarantee your success in that task but will greatly help you along the way. These suits will help you raise your core temperature faster and start sweating sooner into your workout. That, on its own, will help your metabolic rates go up faster and will help your body work more efficiently when it is using up its fuel, stored as fats.