BUYER’S GUIDE: HERE’S HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT SAUNA FOR YOU
If you’ve been searching for a personal home sauna, you’ve probably discovered there are A LOT of options out there; it can simply be overwhelming. Finding that perfect oasis to melt away your stress shouldn’t cause you more stress! With that in mind, My Sauna World has created the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to help you navigate your options and choose the best sauna for you.
TYPE OF SAUNA: TRADITIONAL OR INFRARED
When considering the type of sauna you want, its best to consider how much heat you want and why kind of experience you’re looking for.
Traditional saunas use electric or wood-burning heaters to heat the air and space within the sauna. They can create temperatures of 190 - 195 degrees F within an hour and are much hotter than infrared saunas. Because of this “heat stress,” traditional saunas are renowned for a number of science-backed health benefits, including cardiovascular and blood pressure improvements, easing of tense or tight muscles, as well as relaxation, stress reduction, and better mood.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use penetrating infrared light to heat the body directly, rather than the sauna space. They typically generate heat up to 120 - 140 degrees F in just 10 minutes, raising the body temperature of the user to cause sweating, improve circulation, decrease stress and fatigue, and more.
TYPE OF SAUNA: INDOOR OR OUTDOOR, SHAPE, & SIZING
Whether or not you opt for an indoor or outdoor sauna — and what size or shape sauna you get — completely depends on your space, what you want to use it for, and your personal preferences.
Indoor or Outdoor and Sizing: Questions to ask yourself — do you want an indoor sauna that you can easily access in your bathroom, garage, or basement? Or do you want an outdoor sauna near the pool or in the garden? Do you want a 2-person sauna for just you or for you and your partner? Or do you want a larger size to share it with your family or entertain guests? In that case, opt for a 6-person or larger. Get what is most practical for your space and needs. All saunas should come with measurements for you to see where it will fit in your own space.
Barrel or Classic shape: Barrel-shaped saunas (or POD-shaped saunas) have a simple design that is highly effective, allowing it to heat quickly and efficiently. While they also do well indoors, they are particularly fit for outdoor use since they naturally shed water and possess a structural integrity that is retained even in the harshest outdoor environment. Classic- or cabin-shaped saunas are usually built for indoor use.
TYPE OF HEATER: WOOD-BURNING OR ELECTRIC
Both the electric and wood-burning heaters will efficiently heat your sauna to 190 degrees F in less than an hour, and both are safe to use with rocks and water for creating steam. However, the ideal one for you depends on where you put your sauna, how large it is, and finally, what your preferences are.
When to get an electric heater:
Electric heaters are suitable for both indoor and outdoor saunas.
If convenience is a priority, then an electric heater is the best way to go. With a flip of a switch, an electric heater will quickly and effortlessly heat your sauna. Electric heaters require 220 volts and 30-40 amps of power, depending on the size of the heater. You will need a licensed electrician to connect it. They will have to hard-wire the heater to an electrical source.
When to get a wood-burning heater:
Wood-burning heaters are suitable for outdoor saunas only.
Wood-burning heaters also are recommended for larger sauna (84” or more), because they are more effective at heating larger spaces than an electric heater.
If a traditional sauna experience is a priority, then you’ll prefer a wood-burning heater, as there’s nothing like hearing the wood crackle or watching the fire move as you let the stress melt away.
SAUNA FEATURES: THE CANOPY PORCH, FLOOR KIT, ROOF KIT
The below sauna features are available for all Almost Heaven Barrel Saunas and Indoor Saunas.
Canopy Porch: We recommend adding the canopy porch to outdoor barrel saunas if you want a protected and convenient space to cool off or store belongings.
Roof Kit: We recommend getting a roof kit for your outdoor barrel sauna if it will be living uncovered in particularly harsh weather, such as an area with excessive rain and snow.
Floor Kit for Indoor Saunas: Indoor saunas are designed to utilize your existing floor as their interior surface (ideally placed upon a concrete, tile, vinyl or laminate area). An indoor floor kit is ideal if you prefer the practicality and polished look of a cedar floor, while also protecting your existing floor’s surface from moisture. We do not recommend placing your sauna on carpeted areas; should you opt to, a floor kit is a must.
Floor Kit for Barrel Saunas: Due to a barrel sauna’s shape, the natural interior floor of a barrel sauna will be rounded. If you prefer a flat floor, you should get a sauna with a floor kit.
TYPE OF WOOD: CEDAR, SPRUCE, OR HEMLOCK FIR
Most saunas in the market offer a variety of choices when it comes to wood finishes. Most popular ones are the following:
Cedar: This wood is also one of the most sought-after wood for all types of saunas due to its aromatic durability, aromatic properties, natural beauty, and its ability to resist decay. Cedar is known for its distinctive and stylish reddish-brown hue, and an added benefit is that it naturally repels insects, stains, and mildew.
Clear vs Rustic Cedar: Clear means no knots are present, which supplies a more modern look, whereas rustic means knots are present, supplying a more “rustic” look.
Nordic Spruce: This wood comes from one of the oldest trees in the world and is great for saunas due to its durability and resistance against stains. It also boasts hypoallergenic properties, making it fantastic for those with allergies.It’s attractive, 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.
Hemlock Fir: The most affordable sauna wood on the market is Hemlock Fir, which offers incredible value due to its price and longevity (it toughens with age). It is a light reddish-brown with lines that lend an elegant appeal, and it’s resistant to mildew. It is a great choice for indoor and infrared saunas, but since it’s not as decay-resistant as cedar, it’s not the best choice for outdoor environments that are especially severe.
ALMOST HEAVEN SAUNA UPGRADES: HIMALAYAN SALT WALL, VISTA WINDOW, & LED LIGHTBAR
Sauna upgrades like a Himalayan Salt Wall, LED Light Bar, and Vista Window are available for all Almost Heaven Saunas.
Himalayan Salt Wall: A Backlit 38"x10" Himalayan Pink Salt Panel is mounted horizontally high above the heater, providing some extra style and relaxation, great for indoor or outdoor saunas.
Vista Window: A 20"x40" Tempered Glass Vista Window is perfect for outdoor saunas with a view, as it provides a large look at your surroundings and also creates a more spacious feel within the sauna.
LED Lightbar: Coming in 30” or 52” length, the versatile LED Lightbar is mounted in a cedar deflector frame that allows the light to be directed along the wall or bench on which it is mounted. It can be attached horizontally, vertically, or even below a bench for an even softer, more subtle glow.
SAUNA ACCESSORIES: LADLES, BUCKETS, THERMOMETERS, & MORE
Accessories can heighten your sauna experience, adding another level of comfort, convenience, and even charm. Premium Accessory Packages make it easy by bundling the basics into one package.
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 specific operational details you need to ensure you have an optimal, dialed-in sauna session.
Essential oils can enhance your sauna experience and elevate its health benefits.
Vapor-proof light fixtures: Having these light fixtures makes your sauna experience safer. These fixtures safeguard you from short circuits and accidental electrocution.
Entertainment features: Bluetooth speakers allow you to pipe in your favorite music while you relax.
I hope this Buyer’s Guide has helped provide clarity in your search to find the perfect sauna for you. If you want the helpful guidance of someone from our team, please do not hesitate to reach out via our contact page or by talking with us using the live chat option here on our site.