Gone are the days of not-so-hot saunas in damp suburban basements. Moody’s electric heaters now have more power, and today’s home sauna should find a place in the sun (i.e., in the backyard) or in the corner of the home gym. They are efficient, beautifully designed and a great way to make your space feel balanced and comfortable.
None of us can sweat like the Finns and then take a dip in the Baltic Sea, but you can borrow that lifestyle and improve circulation in the best home sauna. To make it a part of your daily routine, here are the best for indoor and outdoor use, including electric and wood-burning stoves, custom work from amazing brands, sauna sets, and affordable options.
Capacity: 6 sizes; smallest 4 seats | Heating: wood or electric | Wood: western red cedar | Extras: add-ons include front porch, walk-in closet, awning and panoramic windows
Why you should choose this: This eye-catching design is also highly effective, making it perfect for sweating out on cold days.
Barrel saunas are designed to maximize the use of hot air. Without a flat roof, heat not only rises but also circulates more easily. This efficiency and ability to warm up quickly is ideal for outdoor models, especially those that require driving through snow or cold air. This is a more traditional wood burning stove or an easy to use electric stove. Finnish saunas are traditionally powered by wood-burning stoves, and in both wood-burning and electric versions, water is added to the stone basket on the stove to increase humidity.
There are many ways to customize this model, from adding a front porch or shed to more windows or a walk-in closet. Placement next to the back door may only require an awning, but in a sauna farther away, a dressing room or a large front porch for shoes would be better. Get the most out of your views with extra windows and add a rubber roof for hard-to-reach areas.
Capacity: 1 person | Type of heating: electric heating with Tylö 4.6 kW heater or Huum Drop 4.5 kW | Wood: poplar | Optional: Wi-Fi controlled heater is optional and sauna accessory kits are also sold.
Why we chose it: This small but powerful model is equipped with a powerful heater and two benches for optimizing heating or inviting friends.
Just under 4′ x 5′, this sauna is perfect for those who don’t have enough space to make it stand out but want to enjoy their home sauna experience to the fullest. Heater options are from Tylö or Huum (two well-established brands), and an inner shelf allows you to alternate between hot and slightly cooler bottom shelves. (The higher bench will be hotter than the lower bench due to the rise in temperature.)
In small spaces, the appearance of the sauna is more important. While a large home may have little room for a sauna in the basement or home gym, placing the sauna in a small home means it can be more visible. Thankfully, Auroom has been designed with waxed poplar wood horizontal panels that integrate seamlessly into existing design schemes.
Capacity: 3 people | Heating method: Wood or electric heater | Wood: western red cedar | Additional features: Built-in shower
Why we chose it: It’s a beautiful outdoor model with a built-in shower that’s easy to assemble.
Bill Millett, owner of Country Saunas by Design, has been in the sauna industry for over 20 years. Having managed over 600 residential and commercial sauna projects, he knows his business like the back of his hand. His curated products, including this Pure Cube model, are designed for serious relaxation. This means that they are well designed and can be used without major problems. The Pure Cube comes with wall and roof panels, making assembly less of a puzzle and more of a solid weekend project.
Showering before a sauna is a standard practice in Finland and this model makes it easy to do so. Shower fittings and door hinges are made of stainless steel. With two benches and an air vent, it’s easy to control the heat. The optional semi-detached panel (cedar grill outside the sauna) is perfect for high traffic areas or to provide more privacy in a backyard sauna without blocking out all the light. If you have a backyard pool, built-in showers are great for rinsing after a sauna or after a swim.
Capacity: 2 people | Type of heating: Electric heating with a 4.5 kW Harvia heater, but it can be increased to a 6 kW heater. | Wood: Nordic Pine | Additional Features: Start time can be set up to 8 hours, LED lighting.
With a reliable Harvia heater (and the option to upgrade to a more powerful model) it’s a solid budget option that’s perfect for basic one-person use and occasional two-person use. Hinges and fasteners in stainless steel, windows and glass doors tempered and tinted. A properly sized door and window, especially in a small space, is the key to preventing claustrophobia in the sauna.
Although spruce is a softwood, northern spruce is not as porous as other spruces, meaning it is less likely to absorb sweat and odors. Lighter wood, such as the wood used here, is also less likely to discolor from wear and tear over time. Thus, this model is ready for stable use without rapid wear. Overall, this sauna’s design choices will satisfy budget-conscious buyers who don’t want to sacrifice quality.
Capacity: customizable | Heating type: electric or wood | Woods: wide selection including Canadian hemlock, northern white spruce, European alder and western red cedar | Additional features: LED lighting, floating bench, heat and moisture resistant speakers and mobile sauna control
With carefully selected woods, years of industry experience and a team ready to help make your individual sauna dream come true, Finnleo is a great choice for backyards and various outdoor structures such as pool houses. The company has a wide range of personalization options — from a bench to a tree to a door — to ensure that outdoor saunas don’t stand out badly, but are beautiful and fit seamlessly into backyard designs.
Going down the traditional path with wood-burning heaters does not mean completely abandoning technology upgrades. “Finnleo wood-burning heaters have been reimagined for modern living,” said Mark Raisanen, director of sales and marketing for Sauna360, Finnleo’s parent company. “The patented air channel system between the outer hood and the inner firebox allows heated air to pass efficiently through the stone chamber, thereby heating the stone faster and more evenly. This improves vaporization and air circulation in the sauna.”
“I really enjoy working with Finnleo,” says interior designer Kristin Hildebrand, who uses the brand to date for her most personal project, her home. “After extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that this is an excellent manufacturer of really high quality and beautiful saunas.” degree of customization to fit any budget.
Power: Customizable | Heating type: electric | Woods: several choices including aspen, taiko and western red cedar | Additional features: Deluxe control panel allows you to adjust an additional fan, smell or lighting
Tylö Sauna offers quality options at every price point, from prefabricated plug-and-play saunas to completely custom designs. Industry expertise to help customers find the perfect match with multiple personalization options. We particularly like the look of the Panorama’s interior and the unique black Taika panels.
But it’s not just about branding. Tylö electric heaters are known as the best in the business. They are very efficient, high quality and durable. “Tylö heaters are unique in that they separate the stone chamber from the air chamber,” Raisanen says, explaining that this design allows for faster heating.
Some people prefer an infrared sauna where the heat is less intense. (Many sauna authorities refuse to apply the term “sauna” to an infrared model because it doesn’t have a heater with a stone and steam generated, but it’s become a pretty standard term in the US.) The best infrared options are here, but some standouts include:
From dealers who have installed hundreds of saunas to beloved architects who use them on multi-million dollar projects, we spoke to experts in the field to better understand what a quality sauna is all about. And there’s no point in adding a relaxing feature to your home if it doesn’t work well or breaks quickly, we supply durable wood, reliable specifications and high quality heating from trusted brands.
When it comes to design, there are several key factors to consider: location, type of wood, heaters, and accessories. First, decide if your sauna will be indoors or outdoors, as the latter must be able to withstand the elements. In both locations, think about how you will set up, this is usually a budget issue but location impacts (prefabricated models that are suitable for home gyms versus custom models that are more built into the main bath). saunas from various types of wood. types There are pros and cons for each room. As for heaters, “some people choose wood-burning heaters to enjoy the ritual of chopping wood and lighting a fire to heat the sauna,” Raisanen said. “For huts and remote areas, wood-burning stoves are chosen because electricity is not required. Then they enjoy the relaxing crackle of a wood-burning fire. Others choose electric stoves for convenience” (Note: some wood-burning saunas). requires electricity.) Both wood-burning and electric heaters have a traditional pile of stones on which water can be poured to create steam.
Wood stoves use firepower, but the wood must be sawn to fit the firebox, and sauna fireboxes require more effort and time. By comparison, electric saunas reach high temperatures in 15 to 30 minutes, and the new Wi-Fi-compatible interface makes that process even easier. “I think the heater is the most important part of buying a sauna,” says Millett. “You can buy a heater online from any Joe Schmoe, but it likely has few specs or wiring diagrams, and typically no online seller offers warranty assistance.” Heaters are not the place to save money.
“The walls are mostly covered with northern white spruce, hemlock or cedar,” says Finlio. The bench is not always from the same tree. For example, at Sauna360 benches and backrests often use abachi or aspen because “it doesn’t have knots, which means the leather doesn’t come into contact with overheated surfaces,” Raisanen says. He reports that western red cedar “is the traditional choice of sauna wood in North America”, has a “pleasant scent”, “retains moisture well” and due to its properties “comfortable at high temperatures”, which means it can be used. as bench material in addition to wall material.
Our choice for small spaces is poplar, but it’s been overheated, which means it’s basically “baked” to make it more stable. As Reisman states, “Taika’s main selling points are low maintenance and significant color change compared to the lighter bench/backrest system.” A good option for those who are sensitive to woody scents like cedar.
“Scandinavian design is based on light colors, clean lines and natural materials to create a warm and inviting space,” he said of the equally popular Scandinavian white spruce. “Light wood visually enlarges small spaces and promotes overall calmness and relaxation. Saunas with this kind of wood smell fresher because sweat doesn’t seep through the wood like other types of wood.”
SizeMillette gives great advice on sizing. He recommends following what he calls “80% capacity,” which means the sauna is sized for how many people are in it 80% of the time. “Don’t come to the sauna based on how many people you think want to try it on their first day or when the whole family has finished their holiday,” he says. “Instead, it’s based on the day-to-day use of you and your family.” For small saunas, he recommends nothing less than 4 feet deep, 4 feet wide, and 7 feet high. The most popular size he sells for home use is 5x7x7. Kathy Purple Cherry, founder and chief architect of Purple Cherry Architects, recommends staying at least 7 feet apart in one direction so you can lie down. For two people to lie comfortably at the same time, she recommends a sauna 7 feet deep and 7 feet wide.
All electric saunas require an electrical connection, some wood-fired saunas will also work. Very small saunas can be plugged into a standard outlet, but larger saunas require a 220/240V power supply connected to a circuit breaker with a 30 or 40 amp circuit breaker. As Millett points out, in order to maintain a warranty, many brands require a licensed electrician to do the job. Cherry says: “My advice is to understand where the power comes from and whether the sauna needs a separate circuit. Generally, electricity is supplied from the top of the room or from the ceiling. Before ordering and installing, make sure you can connect the wiring to the sauna location you want. ”
Today, there are many options for lighting, design of benches, doors and controls. Even prefabricated models sometimes allow upgrades for better lighting or a different type of bench. We especially like the look of the built-in lighting, which helps create a relaxing spa atmosphere. Some electric sauna heaters can now connect to Wi-Fi, allowing you to warm up your sauna for hours or make sure your sauna is ready after a workout. As for the benches, there are floating structures and lamellas of different thicknesses, ergonomic vertical seats and bench backs. The more custom the design, the more options to consider, so work with a quality retailer who can discuss the cost of the different options and how those options will affect the user experience.
Before investing in a home sauna, check with your doctor to make sure he doesn’t have any concerns about your particular medical history and medications. Anyone who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant should also consult their obstetrician. While it may seem obvious, be sure to read the safety instructions that came with your sauna for the best safety practices. If other people will also be using the sauna, consider posting a safety notice next to the sauna, or include these instructions in any usage guidelines you provide to guests.
Raisanen recommends reviewing the sauna brand’s safety checklist. “There are several companies entering the US market that claim to have US safety lists but are not in the all-important UL875 category (i.e. the sauna safety category),” he said. “There are heaters on the market that don’t even have a lid cutoff or don’t meet some of the other very important safety components on the US safety list. You want the entire heating element to meet the safety standards for the UL875 sauna category.”
Warranty texts tend to be long and tedious, but it’s worth looking at them before ordering a sauna to really understand how well a company is willing to back their product and what happens if something goes wrong. In addition, it is useful to know how to manage the installation in order to avoid voiding the warranty. As mentioned above, many brands require the use of a licensed electrician. A strong warranty can also be an indicator of quality: if a company offers a comprehensive and long warranty, it demonstrates confidence in its product’s ability to withstand regular use.
Hildebrand and her husband are former professional athletes. “During our professional career in volleyball, we used and felt the benefits of the sauna a lot,” she said. So when they renovated their home gym, adding a sauna was a no-brainer. To complete the look, they looked at the flooring used in the home (designer white oak) and chose unpainted spruce for the sauna to match the wood tone of the floors elsewhere in the home and “gives it an organic feel, and the sauna you see in Finland”.
This placement of the sauna is common not only among professionals. “Saunas are often located next to gyms, either in the main building or in a separate building,” Cherry said. “After a workout is the ideal time to use the sauna. In addition, placing the sauna near a frequently visited place can encourage more frequent sauna use.” second dressing room off the main bedroom.
“Saunas can be custom made or you can buy prefabricated,” Cherry explains. “This does not apply to a wet sauna (also called a steam room). Think of a steam room as a tiled room with a sloping ceiling – essentially a waterproof box. Individual saunas are often built behind walls, so you don’t even know the room. It’s a sauna, except for the door.” , which is usually a smoked-glass wood-framed door.A prefabricated sauna unit is usually a freestanding unit hidden in a corner.”
Infrared saunas rely on infrared heat, traditional saunas use electric or wood-burning heaters to generate heat and humidify. Infrared saunas are a newer option and are not too hot, which is why some people prefer them because they are not as heat-intensive as traditional saunas.
If not, start with a bucket and a spoon. Tylö has some pretty good options besides extras like a thermometer and an hourglass to keep track of how long you’ve been in the sauna.
If you’ve been to a spa or upscale hotel with a sauna, you’ve probably noticed sauna drains, which raises questions about humidity and what problems home saunas can be. It turns out that drains are only needed for commercial saunas and are used for cleaning, not for wicking moisture from conventional saunas. Saunas are “very dry, typically between 5 and 35 percent,” Raisanen said. “After use, leave the sauna door open and allow it to air out completely. The remaining heat in the stone and wood should dry out the sauna completely and even help dry the shower room if it is next to the sauna.” The most common mistake is not to plan ventilation. “It’s not difficult, but intake and exhaust planning is a very important step,” he said.
Speaking of moisture, Millett points out the importance of the moisture barrier. “When installing all of our indoor saunas, in addition to laying surface insulation, the first step is to create a good waterproofing layer on the posts before installing the boards,” he said. “This, along with the warmth and cedar inside, prevents mold from growing.” Although not required, for remodeling a custom indoor sauna, Millett recommends adding a drain to the sauna for easier cleaning if the drain is easily accessible.
We posed this question to Raisanen, whose advice shows that a little sauna grooming can go a long way: “A good post-sauna habit is to take a brush, pour it into a bucket (of plain water) and give it a quick clean of the bench and backrest. This ritual lasts from 30 up to 60 seconds will keep the beautiful appearance of the sauna for many years. wood with a mild detergent and water if dirt or sweat develops. Depending on how often you visit the sauna, mop with a liquid deodorant such as Pine-Sol from time to time.
Adhering to this Scandinavian tradition is a great way to de-stress after a long day at work, recover from a strenuous workout, or reunite with friends. Whether it’s a bucket in your backyard or a completely custom design in your bathroom, adding the warmth and fizz of a sauna to your home is an addition that reduces stress, not increases it.
Post time: Nov-11-2022