Find the Best Home Saunas
Compare Top Home Sauna Reviews
|Almost Heaven||Read Author Review|
Almost Heaven sells several different types of indoor and outdoor saunas. From barrel-shaped and cabin-style outdoor saunas to standard and infrared indoor units, each sauna is handcrafted.
|Amerec||Read Author Review|
Amerec cuts and designs saunas for homes and commercial spaces. They also sell sauna accessories and sauna heaters. Find your local dealer on their website to inquire about pricing.
|Finlandia Sauna||Read Author Review|
Finlandia manufactures traditional indoor and outdoor Finnish saunas. Finlandia sells both custom pre-cut and standard pre-fab sauna kits built from locally-sourced lumber.
|Finnleo||Read Author Review|
Finnleo sells indoor and outdoor Finnish and infrared saunas. You can also customize your own sauna to fit your space. Contact your nearest dealer for information on Finnleo sauna prices.
|Harvia||Read Author Review|
Harvia’s cedar sauna rooms can come in prefabricated or pre-cut packages to meet your specifications. All Harvia saunas are manufactured in Finland. Call Harvia for specific pricing info.
|Northern Lights||Read Author Review|
Northern Lights designs and manufactures cedar outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Their barrel-shaped saunas ensure quick heating and even vapor distribution, while the durable cedar construction remains weatherproof.
|Sunlighten||Read Author Review|
Sunlighten designs saunas that can hold 1-6 people. Sunlighten’s infrared saunas use far, mid and near infrared heating technologies. Sunlighten also sells a portable lay-down sauna.
What to know when buying a sauna for the home
How much does a sauna cost?
With the exception of portable saunas, which cost around $100-$250, you’ll pay over $1,000 for an in-home sauna. The specific answer to the question of how much is a home sauna depends on the type of sauna you want and whether or not you need professional installation. Other cost considerations include:
- Interior sauna unit: You can buy a small interior prefabricated sauna for about $1,000-$4,000, depending on size and what additional features you want to include.
- Traditional sauna kits: Sauna kits come with everything you need to put a sauna together without calling for professional installation. These generally range from $2,000-$6,000.
- Interior and exterior custom saunas: If you want a custom sauna, you’ll pay more than you will for a prefabricated sauna. Expect to spend $2,500-$6,000 for a custom sauna unit.
- Sauna room cost: Converting a room into a sauna is the most expensive project, costing upwards of $5,000-$8,000. If you’re adding a room onto your house, expect to pay more.
Home sauna sizes
Sauna dimensions are configured based on how many people can comfortably fit in it at a time. If you’re getting a customized sauna or building a sauna room, your dimensions might be different based on your situation. In general, though, these are the dimensions of 1-4 person saunas:
- 1 person sauna: 35.75 inches long, 35.2 inches wide and 75 inches high
- 2 person sauna: 47.3 inches long, 47.3 inches wide and 75 inches high
- 3 person sauna: 59.1 inches long, 39.4 inches wide and 75 inches high
- 4 person sauna: 59.1 inches long, 59.1 inches wide and 75 inches high
Who installs the sauna?
Buying the sauna is only part of the process—you’ll also need to install it. Saunas ship in pieces called “kits” that are pre-cut or prefabricated. Whether you should put a sauna together yourself or not depends on your own carpentry skills, but some kits are easier to assemble than others. If you’re converting a space in your home to a sauna room, you’ll want to work with a contractor who can make sure the wiring is installed correctly.
- Pre-cut sauna kits: Pre-cut kits are saunas cut to your specifications. These ship with all their components in separate pieces, and you have to put it all together. These kits take some time to build. If you don’t have any carpentry or electrical experience, you may want to hire a professional.
- Pre-fab sauna kits: Prefabricated, or pre-fab, kits are built for quick assembly, with doors and insulated walls that are already put together. You can assemble most pre-fab kits in just a few hours.
How to use a sauna
A sauna session should be relaxing and recharging. Here are the steps to take to get the most out of your sauna experience:
- Heat up your sauna: How long does it take to heat up a sauna? In general, expect it to take around 35-45 minutes. If you’re using a wood-burning sauna, that doesn’t include the time it takes to build a fire. The best sauna temperature is between 160 and 190 degrees for a dry sauna or up to 130 degrees for an infrared sauna. If you’re new to using a sauna, you might want to start with a lower temperature and build your way up.
- Drink water while you wait: Saunas are meant for you to sweat, which means you could quickly get dehydrated if you use one. Make sure to drink at least one glass of water before going into a sauna. Adding this step as part of your pre-sauna routine will make sure you don’t experience lightheadedness, nausea or dizziness as a result of not being hydrated enough when you go into a sauna.
- Disrobe: A lot of people wonder what to wear in a sauna. The great thing about having a personal sauna is that you can wear whatever you want, even if that’s nothing. Getting naked in a sauna can be a great way to relax and unwind without feeling restricted. Bring a clean towel to sit on to keep the sauna clean and prevent sweat-induced stains. If you don’t feel comfortable getting fully naked, wear a bathing suit or a cotton t-shirt and shorts. Avoid wearing shoes and street clothes in your sauna. Take off any jewelry, and leave your cell phone outside of the sauna.
- Get in your sauna and relax: The best part of the sauna experience is getting in and relaxing. Ideally, you’ll lay down in the sauna. If that’s not an option or is uncomfortable for you, sit with your legs slightly drawn up. How long to stay in your sauna depends on your personal preferences. If you’re new to using a sauna, you might only stay in for a few minutes at a time to start, eventually building up to 10-15 minutes in a Finnish or dry sauna. Never stay in a sauna if you start feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous. After 10-15 minutes, step outside to cool off. Have a glass of water during this time. Go back in when you feel ready and, if you’re using a sauna that’s heated with sauna rocks, add a couple of ladles of water to your hot stones. Sit in the steamy sauna for another 5-10 minutes before getting back out to cool off.
- Get out of the sauna: You might get in and out of the sauna several times before you officially end your sauna session. A calming after-sauna ritual can keep you relaxed and help your body temperature come down slowly. Many people like to shower after the sauna. Shower with warm water, and avoid using harsh soaps. Apply lotion after your shower to keep your skin moisturized.
- Clean your sauna: The easiest way to clean your sauna is to leave a bucket with a cloth or sponge near the door of your sauna as a reminder to clean up after you leave. For daily cleaning, you can just use water and a cloth to wash away dead skin and dirt. Every few days, use sauna cleaner and water to more thoroughly clean the sauna. Vacuum every few weeks or whenever you notice that you’ve tracked in dirt or debris.
Types of saunas
Infrared saunas heat the body directly, much like the sun, instead of warming the air around you like a traditional sauna. Infrared saunas don’t get as hot as Finnish saunas, usually maxing out around 130 degrees. They reach the desired temperature of 110-130 degrees in about 30-45 minutes.
Infrared sauna benefits include detoxifying the body, reducing joint and muscle pain and alleviating stress. Some experts believe infrared saunas can help people with chronic conditions, like fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, depression, anger and muscle and joint pain. Talk to your doctor before going into an infrared sauna to make sure you don’t have any health risks.
Companies that make infrared saunas include Finnleo, Almost Heaven and Sunlighten.
A dry sauna has low humidity and therefore can be heated as high as 190 degrees. The low humidity and dryness make this extreme temperature tolerable for a healthy adult. Dry saunas can be heated by wood or by an electric heater.
Electric saunas are also dry saunas, and they use an electric sauna heater that’s likely powered by a 220V power line. These heaters are easy to set and manipulate. They heat the room evenly while it is in use. Electric heaters need a lot of energy to run, so expect to see an increase in your energy bill.
Benefits of a dry sauna include joint relief, muscle relief, detoxification, lower blood pressure, better circulation and an enhanced immune system.
Companies that make dry saunas include Harvia, Finnleo, Northern Lights, Finlandia, Amerec and Almost Heaven.
Some people confuse the terms “steam sauna” and “steam room.” A steam sauna, or wet sauna, is created when you add water to the sauna rocks that are heating your dry sauna. This adds humidity to the air, sort of like a steam room. Steam rooms and saunas are heated differently, so the humidity in a wet sauna is low, around 5-30 percent. Steam rooms reach 100 percent humidity, which prevents your sweat from evaporating. This is why you’ll feel hotter in a steam room than in a sauna.
Steam sauna benefits include opening your pores, providing relief to sore muscles and joints and helping you calm down and relax. Wet saunas can also help your sinuses, although they can trigger asthma attacks, so avoid a wet sauna if you have asthma.
Companies that make wet saunas include Harvia, Finnleo, Northern Lights, Finlandia, Amerec and Almost Heaven.
Dry sauna vs wet sauna
Essentially, any sauna that uses sauna rocks as a heat source can be either a dry sauna or a wet sauna, depending on whether or not you add water. Saunas are heated with sauna stones. If you drip water on the stones, you’ll create steam and turn your sauna into a wet sauna.
Portable saunas are an affordable option for people who are more interested in the health benefits of a sauna than the full experience of sitting in a sauna room. Portable sauna benefits include the fact that they are easy to pack up and transport. A portable infrared sauna can be handy for athletes and frequent travelers who want to be able to enjoy the health benefits of a sauna while they’re on the road.
Sunlighten sells portable saunas.
The sauna originated in Finland, so Finnish saunas are often referred to as traditional saunas. A wood-burning sauna is the most common form of a Finnish sauna. It uses wood instead of sauna rocks as its heat source. Watching the wood burn can provide an extra level of relaxation for the sauna user, and they can be great for people who live in remote areas since you don’t need to rely on electricity for them. You can also buy a Finnish sauna with an electric heat source.
Buy a Finnish sauna from companies like Harvia, Finnleo and Finlandia.
Indoor vs. outdoor sauna
Indoor saunas tend to have faster installation than outdoor saunas, and they can be more convenient, depending on how your property is set up. Outdoor saunas, though, can offer a pleasant escape, particularly if you have a scenic view from your property. Outdoor saunas are easier to customize since they don’t have the same size limitations as an indoor sauna. Work with a professional to install your outdoor sauna, particularly if you’re using an infrared sauna, to make sure the wiring is installed correctly.
Companies that sell outdoor saunas include Northern Lights, Finlandia and Almost Heaven.
Sauna health benefits
Sauna weight loss benefits
Your body uses energy to sweat, and increasing your core body temperature causes your heart to pump more efficiently. This process burns calories and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. Though it doesn’t cause weight loss by itself (aside from water weight, which you’ll gain back once you rehydrate), a sauna can be a helpful supplement to your workout regimen to help your muscles recover faster and ease joint pain.
How many calories do you burn in a sauna?
The average person burns 60-90 calories an hour passively sitting. In general, you’ll burn anywhere from 300-500 calories in a half hour sauna session since you’re sweating with a slightly elevated heart rate. This means you’ll likely burn more calories in a sauna than you would sitting on your couch. However, the weight you’re losing is mostly water weight, which you’ll gain back once you drink water. Regular sauna use can lead to more burnt calories overall, but it shouldn’t be considered a substitute for a regular exercise routine.
Should you use a sauna after working out?
There are mixed opinions about whether a sauna is more beneficial before a workout or after a workout. Getting in a sauna for a few minutes before a workout can warm your body up and slowly raise your heart rate, which can lead to a better workout. If you want to use a sauna after a workout, make sure your heart rate comes down before you get in. Because saunas improve circulation and ease muscle soreness, they can be an effective way to warm down your body after a workout to prevent injuries and help you relax.
Are saunas good for you?
For the average healthy person, yes, saunas are good for you. The most common reason people use saunas is to relieve stress. The heat relieves aches and pains from sore muscles, and its space gives you a place to sit quietly without distractions.
Saunas are fine for healthy adults, but some people should stay away from them. Sauna health risks include increased blood pressure and dangers of becoming dehydrated or overheated. People who suffer from chronic illnesses should talk to a doctor before using a sauna. Never drink alcohol before or during sauna use, as this can increase your chances of becoming dehydrated (since it makes you sweat more) while limiting your ability to determine when your body is overheated.
Sauna and pregnancy
Pregnant women should never use a sauna, not even for a few minutes. Saunas increase your body’s core temperature, which can be extremely harmful for your baby.
Is a sauna good for acne?
A sauna opens your pores, and if you wash your face soon after your sauna session, this can help you get rid of acne. The heat and moisture from wet saunas help produce sweat which flushes out toxins and dead skin cells. This process helps keep your skin healthy and clean.
Wash off your makeup and lotion before getting in a sauna, as having makeup on while you intensely sweat can cause acne breakouts.
Sauna for anxiety
As the sauna’s heat raises your body temperature, your body releases endorphins. This release of endorphins can naturally ease anxiety and lead to deeper, more relaxing sleep.
A body exposed to a sauna’s heat can produce white blood cells more quickly. These cells fight viruses and boost your immune system. Wet sauna treatments can also clear your sinuses to help get rid of congestion and allergy symptoms.
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Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.