The idea of owning your own sauna comes with a host of benefits — the easy and immediate access to stress relief and physical relaxation, plus the fact you don’t have to share the space with anyone you don’t wish to are just a few of the obvious ones. And these days, with high-quality saunas designed specifically for the home combined with the convenience of the internet, buying a sauna for yourself isn’t that difficult either.
The real challenge lies in selecting the one perfect for your needs — especially if you’re not sure what those needs even are! That’s why we put together this ultimate guide to help you navigate the various features, sizes, and upgrades you’re offered in the world of barrel saunas, so you can be more informed and perhaps even walk away knowing exactly what kind of sauna is perfect for you.
In this guide, you’ll find key considerations that will play a role in your decision, and we’ve broken them down to provide as much information as possible.
WHAT SIZE SAUNA IS RIGHT FOR ME?
The best way to answer this question is to consider how you will use the sauna and how much space you have to work with. Most saunas will tell you how many people it can seat comfortably (such as the Almost Heaven 4-person Standard Barrel Sauna) and any sauna you’re looking at buying should also supply you with the interior dimensions and technical drawings.
WHAT KIND OF HEATER WORKS BEST?
While the choice of heater can be one of personal taste (the wood-burning stove is more traditional), there are also functional variations that may — and should — sway your decision.
For example, electric heaters are ideal for saunas smaller than 6’x6’ — saunas that size or smaller wouldn’t be able to handle the heat coming from a wood-fired heater. Electric heaters also offer easy maintenance and more control, as a wood-burning stove will not maintain temperature the same way electric heaters will. That being said, an electric heater will typically require a licensed electrician to complete the installation.
Wood-fired heaters are a popular style of heater due to the incredible heat they can produce (again, only recommended for saunas 6’x6’ or larger), the ease of installation, and, of course, the fantastic ambiance and traditional utilization.
DOES THE TYPE OF SAUNA WOOD MATTER?
MOST HIGH QUALITY SAUNAS OFFER AN OPTION OF 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF WOOD, EACH PROVIDING THEIR OWN BENEFITS.
Cedar is the most popular due to its fantastic aroma and its resistance to decay, durability, and insect-repelling qualities. It also doesn’t shrink nor swell in extreme weather conditions, so it’s the ideal choice for outdoor locations that experience intense heat or cold. Its color, aroma, and resiliency are also why it fetches a comparable price.
This is an incredibly attractive wood that's light in color with small, tight knots that loan a rustic, picturesque aesthetic. It’s one of the most cost-effective sauna woods out there, balancing durability, attractiveness, flexibility, and affordability.
The most affordable sauna wood on the market is Hemlock Fir, which offers incredible value due to its price and longevity (it hardens as it ages). It is a great choice for indoor and infrared saunas, but because it’s less decay-resistant than cedar, it’s not the best choice for outdoor environments that are especially severe.
WHAT OTHER CUSTOMIZATIONS SHOULD I CONSIDER?
Aside from selecting a size, material, and heater that fits your needs and tastes, there are a number of personalizations you should keep in mind when creating your perfect sauna escape.
A change room is a small interior room to your sauna that provides a space to change before or after your session inside.
A change room provides a nice anteroom where you (and your possible guests) can store your things, change your clothes, or even just to take a break or catch some fresh air before heading back into the sauna.
If your sauna is going to be outdoors and you live in a particularly wet environment, you may want to consider roof protection. While outdoor saunas have been specifically designed to prevent water leakage, the additional roof protection will ensure additional strength, security, and longevity no matter what your local weather dumps on it.
Both can be easily installed and conveniently controlled for a truly relaxing sauna experience. (Please note that both of these light customizations are exclusive to Almost Heaven Barrel Saunas).
Enjoy accessories that add a comfortable, convenient, and charming touch. Wooden buckets and ladles provide an authentic, functional, and safe way to transport water to pour over your heater rocks to make steam. Timers, thermometers, and hygrometers can give you the operational details you need for a perfectly dialed-in sauna session. The sky is the limit when it comes to personalizing your sauna — add sauna lights, backrests, a water bottle shelf, and even a vista window if you have a view you want to show off from the back of your sauna.
IS SAUNA ASSEMBLY DIFFICULT OR TIME-CONSUMING?
The beauty of saunas designed especially for the home is that assembly is intended to be simple and straightforward. One or two people can quickly assemble any size sauna in a matter of a few hours. In fact, you could receive your disassembled sauna in the morning and be ready to enjoy it that night!
HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING AND WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND?
Each sauna offered by MySaunaWorld.com ships anywhere in the Continental U.S. for FREE. We love and stand by the saunas we offer on this site and are 100% confident you will love yours! As such, we offer a complete satisfaction guarantee — if you’re not happy, we’ll take it back, no questions asked. Due to the nature of these products, return shipping will be the purchaser’s responsibility and the return will incur a 20% restocking fee.
I hope you found this guide a valuable help in navigating all the wonderful sauna options available to you. Finding and acquiring your sauna should be a process that’s a joy and free of stress, and that’s exactly what we aim to do. If you have any questions or concerns about what kind of sauna is best or which customizations come highly recommended, just give us a shout by clicking here or calling (833)345-3453 and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect sauna for you.
PICK OUT YOUR ALMOST HEAVEN AUDRA CANOPY BARREL SAUNA RIGHT HERE
Enjoy unparalleled relaxation in this spacious, 4-person sauna specially designed for efficient, even distribution of heat paired with the stunning craftsmanship and attention-to-detail Almost Heaven is known for.
You and your guests will love its visual appeal and spacious interior, especially its unique and convenient round front porch.
The Audra 4-Person Sauna is perfect for hosting friends and family (or for an ultra-luxurious solo getaway). Customize your Audra to create your ideal retreat experience.