I should also mention that these portable steam showers are also as "portable steam saunas". This can be very confusing, especially for people who know that a steam shower is much more humid and has lower temperatures than a sauna. From what I've seen, these portable units more closely resemble a steam shower than it does a steam sauna. There are however portable saunas and these are usually sold under the description of "Portable Sauna" or "Portable Traditional Sauna" "Portable Infra-Red Sauna".
Let's take a look at some of the claims made by these online sellers of portable steam showers:
"The Portable Steam Sauna is the fastest and least expensive way to start receiving the benefits of a steam bath or a sauna. It can go anywhere: under your bed when not in use or with you on a trip." - www.123steam.com
This is a very common claim made by all the online sellers. They claim these portable units to be space-saving, low-cost, and perfect for traveling. Aside from that, they'll reiterate on the benefits of steam and saunas that you have already known.
Does it work?
This should be the most important criteria. The portable steam shower does in fact work. Whether it works well, works efficiently, and works consistently is a totally different story. Assuming you have no space or no budget for a real steam shower and don't have access to a gym or health spa, the portable version might answer your prayers.
Many of the websites online that sell these products don't seem very professional and often appear to be generic companies trying to cash in on the steam shower fad. There doesn't appear to be an established brandname and the product itself is at best, only an imitation of what a consumer actually wants...which is a real steam shower. The reviews I read online compared the product to a toy, claiming that it hardly steams at all and comes very cheaply made. One review I read about complained that the included chair was too small and fragile and the zippers were hard to use. - READ REVIEW http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Herbal-Steam-Sauna-Essential/dp/B002PM23R4
I've never heard of anyone mentioning that they wished for a portable steam shower. With that in mind, I seriously doubt that the portability factor is an answer to anyone's prayers. If anything, the word "portable" should be replaced by the word "cheap". If you think about it, "Cheap steam showers" seems to be much more fitting of the product. There are also many horror stories of defective units online and manufacturers not honoring their 1-year warranties on these products. I'm sure there are good brands out there but BUYER BEWARE!