The popularity of steam showers and steam rooms has grown in recent years. Now, you can have your own spa treatment in the comforts of your home.
But steam shower generators are not just purely for soothing and relaxation– and definitely not a mere fad! They are backed by science, and in fact, offer several health benefits.
What is a Steam Shower/ Steam Enclosure?
A steam shower, also called a steam enclosure, is a specialized shower stall that keeps steam inside for relaxation. It provides a spa-like atmosphere without a bathtub. After enjoying a steam session, you can rinse off in the same enclosure.
While not for everyone, those seeking luxury and potential health benefits are drawn to steam showers. To generate steam for your steam shower, you fill the steam generator with cold water using digital controls. The water is then heated by an electric element, and the resulting steam is released into the shower head through a pipe, maintaining a safe temperature below 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is a steam generator?
A steam generator is a rectangular bathroom device used to heat water up to a specific temperature that creates steam. The steam shower system then emits steam through the steam head, which almost instantly fills the room with warm, relaxing steam.
*** Also read: 8 Best Steam Generators for Shower (2023 Review)
What is a steam generator kit?
A steam generator typically comes with different accessories, and this full set is called a steam generator kit. A steam generator kit is a complete steam shower package that includes everything you need to control your steam shower: a steam generator unit, steam control panel, steam head, cables, etc.
Which is the best steam generator for a shower?
There is no singular answer to this because the best steam shower generator varies from buyer to buyer. Each steam generator has different features that cater to different steaming needs of the user. Needless to say, there are a number of important factors to consider before purchasing a steam shower generator for your home.
And if you are able to assess which steam generator suits you best, you can easily get the most value for your money.
What should you look for in a steam generator?
When buying a steam shower generator, you should look past the brand or price. Rather, you should think like a typical bathroom plumber. These are some of the primary factors you should consider:
- Check if the product complies with the required certifications, and/or has passed safety checks– a good and reliable steam generator is ETL- (Electrical Testing Laboratories) certified. The ETL Verified mark certifies that a product meets certain specifications and has passed the required product inspection and testing.
- Examine the brand, materials used and product warranty– of course, there are popular and established steam generator manufacturers yet it’s best to further check the brand’s credibility and proven performance through customer reviews.
You also want to make sure that you can rely on your steam generator for many years to come, hence the importance of a warranty.
Each brand offers different options for warranties ranging from 6 months to 3 years. Regardless of the duration, it’s always wiser to find a steam shower generator that has a warranty, so you can assure that the product has good quality and doesn't contain manufacturing defects.
- Product Features
- Steam Generator Dimensions
- Power and Water Consumption
- Type of Controller
- Automatic Drainage
- Noise Level
Product FeaturesSteam generators are equipped with various features which offer different types of relaxation and steam experiences. Assess and decide which feature is important to you.
Some people want extra spa-like features such as aromatherapy or chromotherapy. On the other hand, there are customers who are very particular about the steam unit’s technical features such as energy consumption and maximum temperatures.
Steam Generator DimensionsOne of the most frequently asked questions when buying this item is “What size of steam generator do I need?” It depends on a number of factors but the compatibility of the steam generator’s size and the shower’s dimensions will greatly dictate how fast and efficient the unit can steam up the room.
If your steam generator is too small for the space, it may not create a fully immersive steam experience. If it's too large, it can be wasteful. Size also comes into play when deciding where to locate the generator. It is generally easier to install lighter and smaller steam shower generators, as they can be placed in a number of narrow spaces. On the other hand, heavier and larger steam showers require more careful planning and installation.
Power and Water Consumption
Compared to a regular shower or bath, steam generators are incredibly energy-efficient. As experts say, it’s a “greener” way to bath. A residential steam generator consumes a mere 2 gallons of water for every 30 mins. of usage, as compared to an average American shower (that lasts for 8 mins.) which uses 16 gallons of water.
Power consumption- wise, steam shower generators largely depend on the homeowners’ existing standing charges for electricity. Other factors such as shower room size and layout may also affect the steam generator’s power consumption.
Here are the usual power requirements of a steam generator unit:
- Maximum Power Output: Similar to a water heater, a steam shower generator is only going to work when it is powerful enough to heat up water to its boiling point. Because of the same, checking the maximum power output rating is quite important. Most steam shower generators are rated for up to 9 kilowatts or up to 12 kilowatts which is more than enough.
- Voltage Rating: You also need to check the voltage rating of your steam shower generator if you want it to be fully compatible with the electric circuit at your home. Usually, you will find most steam shower generators use either 220 volt or 240 volt current. And you simply need to go with one which is compatible with your home's electric current voltage.
It is best to choose a steam generator with automatic drain system which will drain the generator's tank after each session. This will prevent bacteria buildup within the tank and can prolong the life of your unit.
On average, generators with this feature drains about 15 minutes after you use the shower. Some controllers also has a manual purge option if you wish to do the drainage prior to the auto drain period.
Type of Controller/ Control Panel
Steam generators come with different types of controller units, depending on the model or version. Entry-level models come with basic keypad, while the more sophisticated ones often come with digital touchscreen controllers– some even WiFi operated– thus more features and functionality.
The best controller is the one which will bring you the most convenience. Whether a basic or digital keypad, it has to be easy-to-use and intuitive for the user.
Timer is also an essential feature, so you can set how long the steam unit will run. Newer versions can automatically turn off the steam once the set time is finished, providing a hassle-free and convenient bath.
Noise is also a factor buyers consider when buying steam generators. For your reference, a steam generator unit produces a muffled boiling or popping sound while creating steam.
But don’t worry because with the right placement, like inside a closet, a vanity or anywhere behind a closed door, you will not be able to hear these noises. Moreover, majority of units these days are designed to be as quiet and noise-free as possible.
Steam generators needs to be connected to the power and water line, hence you need to ensure that enough cables– with appropriate length and type– are included with your purchase. Otherwise, you need to ask the seller or manufacturer which cable is suitable for your unit to avoid malfunctions.
Take the guesswork out of purchasing steam generators
Browse through our steam generator collection for a one-stop shop experience. Choose from a wide variety of steam generator kits, or read our blog for some helpful tips on purchasing steam units and other bathroom products.
Your bathroom needs matter and BathTubsPlus is always happy to assist!