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The Ultimate Barrel Sauna Buying Guide (+ Best Barrel Saunas of 2023)


Time to read 6 min

Ever had that feeling of total relaxation, as if your stresses just entirely melt away? That's what stepping into your very own barrel sauna feels like. But before we dive into the warm embrace of the barrel sauna, let us explain why they are so hugely popular.


What are Barrel Saunas?

You might have seen them in luxury resorts or fancy health clubs, or even in a neighbor's backyard. Barrel saunas, resembling large wooden barrels, are outdoor saunas specifically designed to offer an immersive steamy experience. Their unique cylindrical shape isn’t just for show; it plays a role in the sauna's efficiency. More on this later.

How to Build a Barrel Sauna

While buying a pre-made sauna is convenient, some enthusiasts prefer building their own. Start by selecting the right wood (cedar or hemlock is highly recommended), determine your size, and procure the necessary equipment. With detailed guidelines, patience, and some DIY spirit, your backyard can host a cozy barrel sauna tailored to your needs.

Benefits of Barrel Saunas

So, why should you consider getting one? Here are the main benefits of barrel saunas.

Health Benefits

Improved circulation

Like a dance routine that gets your blood pumping, the heat from the sauna increases blood flow, ensuring every part of your body gets the oxygen it needs. Imagine your circulatory system as a busy highway; a barrel sauna helps remove traffic jams.


Sweating it out isn’t just a gym phrase. In a barrel sauna, your body sweats out impurities and toxins. Think of it as your body's natural way of cleaning house. The more you sweat, the more toxins get released.

Relaxation and Stress Relief

Remember that feeling of total relaxation I mentioned earlier? It's the magic of endorphins. Heat stimulates their release, acting like a gentle, natural painkiller.

Practical Benefits

Efficient Heat Distribution

Ever wonder why it's barrel-shaped? Apart from the round shape that avoids most legal building permits, this design ensures a very efficient and even distribution of heat. Picture it as a cozy blanket wrapping you up from all sides.

Durable Design

Constructed mainly from cedar or hemlock, barrel saunas are naturally resistant to decay. It’s like having a sturdy wooden shield against the elements.

How Much is a Barrel Sauna? Prices can vary widely based on size, material, heating options, and additional features. However, with options like the Almost Heaven Salem 2-Person Classic Barrel Sauna and the SaunaLife Model E7W Barrel Sauna, you can get premium quality without breaking the bank.

Buying Guide for Barrel Saunas

Now that you're on the barrel sauna bandwagon, how do you pick the right one?

sauna stove

Size and Capacity

How many folks are you planning to invite? Decide based on whether it's just for you, your family, or a party! Remember, many models like those mentioned above are available in various sizes to cater to different needs.

Materials Used

Ensure the wood is high-quality, like cedar or hemlock. Remember, it’s not just about looks; it's about longevity. Almost Heaven Saunas, like the Salem 2-Person Barrel Sauna mentioned earlier, all have the option of choosing between hemlock, red cedar, or for ultimate durability and rot resistance, thermally modified hemlock.

Heating Options

Wood-fired or electric? It's like choosing between a classic vinyl music record and a playlist on your phone. Both have their charm and practicalities. At the end of the day, this is just up to preference. If you want a quick heat up, with Wi-Fi compatible heaters and the latest tech, choose an electric option. If you love the charm, smell and atmosphere of a wood-burning heater, choose that.

Additional Features

Some saunas come with windows, others with customizable benches. It's all about personalizing your relaxation zone.

Tips for Maintenance

A barrel sauna isn’t just a purchase; it’s an investment. Clean it regularly, ensure proper ventilation, and treat the wood periodically. Think of it as pampering your pampering machine. A sauna is not just a nice thing to have, it is an investment in your health and well-being that, if properly used, will lengthen your life.


Barrel saunas, with their myriad of benefits and unique charm, are more than just a luxury. They are a doorway to health, relaxation, and a slice of the good life. Whether you're considering how to build your own or pondering over how much is a barrel sauna, remember that this is an investment in your well-being. Ready to take the next step? Here are some of our most asked questions.

FAQs (Continued)

  1. How often should I treat the wood of my barrel sauna?
    • Ideally, once a year. It keeps the wood in top condition.
  2. Can I place my barrel sauna indoors?
    • They're designed for outdoor use, but if you have space and proper ventilation indoors, you can place it indoors.
  3. How long does a barrel sauna take to heat up?
    • Typically, 30-45 minutes. It’s like preheating an oven, but for your relaxation!
  4. Is it safe to use daily?
    • Absolutely! But remember, moderation is key. Keep sessions between 15-30 minutes.
  5. Do barrel saunas need a foundation?
    • Yes, a flat, sturdy foundation like concrete or patio blocks is ideal.

Our Favorite Barrel Saunas of 2023

Best Compact Barrel Sauna: Almost Heaven Salem 2-Person Classic Barrel Sauna, 6x4 ft.

For those tight on space but unwilling to compromise on quality, the Almost Heaven Salem is your dream come true. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail and the finest quality cedar, this compact sauna fits perfectly into smaller spaces without losing the essence of a genuine sauna experience. With its easy assembly and top-notch materials, it’s no surprise this model is a favorite among many.

Best Wood-Burning Barrel Sauna: SaunaLife Model E7W Sauna Barrel w/ Rear Window - 4-Person - ERGO Series Sauna Barrel, 71"x81"

For those who crave the traditional feel of a wood-burning sauna, the SaunaLife Model E7W is a splendid choice. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, the rear window offers a unique perspective of the outdoors while you bask in the heat. It’s spacious, made with the finest materials, and promises an authentic wood-burning experience. The ERGO series specifically ensures ergonomic seating, allowing for maximum comfort during your sauna sessions.

What Makes Barrel Saunas Stand Out?

Unique Design

The cylindrical design of a barrel sauna isn’t merely aesthetic. This shape offers better heat circulation and faster warm-up times compared to its rectangular counterparts. The design ensures even heat distribution, offering a consistently enjoyable experience.


Given their shape and construction, barrel saunas are relatively easier to move around. If you decide to redesign your backyard or move houses, you can take your little relaxation chamber with you!

Aesthetic Appeal

A barrel sauna can be a gorgeous addition to your outdoor space. It combines functionality with beauty, enhancing the overall appearance of your garden or patio.

Wrapping Up: Your Sauna Journey

Saunas are no longer a luxury reserved for fancy resorts or elite health clubs. With barrel saunas, you can enjoy this luxury right in the comfort of your backyard. Whether you're curious about building one, considering a purchase, or just exploring the concept, it's evident that barrel saunas are a worthy investment in health and relaxation. Dive into the warmth, let go of daily stresses, and indulge in an experience that's both therapeutic and invigorating.


  1. How do I choose between a wood-burning and an electric sauna?

    • It depends on personal preference. Wood-burning offers a traditional feel and a distinct aroma, while electric ones provide ease of use and consistent temperatures.
  2. What kind of warranty should I look for when buying a barrel sauna?

    • Always look for a comprehensive warranty that covers both parts and workmanship. It's a testament to the manufacturer's confidence in their product.
  3. Can I customize my barrel sauna's interior?

    • Absolutely! Many retailers, including us here at Select Saunas, offer customization options like adjustable benches, added windows, or specific lighting to enhance your experience.

Dive deeper into the world of saunas and wellness by exploring our vast collection here at Select Saunas. Your wellness journey begins with the right choices, and a barrel sauna might just be the perfect one for you.