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The Best Home Sauna: Indoor and Outdoor Saunas for the Ultimate Relaxation

home sauna room using warm lighting

There’s nothing quite like relaxing in a sauna. Beyond just simple relaxation, it’s been proven to provide a wealth of physical and mental benefits.

We’d love nothing more than to truly relax (dare we say even in our birthday suits?), but in gym and spa saunas, there are certain rules and etiquette that you’ll need to follow.

So why not get your own sauna at home?

Home saunas allow you the freedom and privacy to unwind in any manner you see fit. Whether it's the luxury of lounging in solitude or the ability to invite close friends or family, a home sauna puts you in control. No more worrying about public sauna protocols or sharing space with strangers.

Read on to learn the best home saunas that are worth your money.

Types of Saunas

Before getting into our list of the best home saunas, there are a few things you should know.

There are three main types of home saunas available: infrared saunas, traditional saunas, and steam saunas. Steam and infrared saunas all offer a unique experience and have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The table below outlines the distinct characteristics of the various sauna types. The specific features may differ depending on the traditional, infrared, or steam sauna model you select.

Feature

Traditional Sauna

Infrared Sauna

Steam Room

Heat Source

Wood, electric, or gas heaters

Infrared heaters

Steam generator

Temperature

150–195°F (65–90°C)

120–150°F (38–65°C)

100–120°F (30–50°C)

Humidity

Low (5–30%)

Low (5–10%)

High (100%)

Heating Method

Heats the air, which then heats the body

Directly heats the body without warming the air significantly

Heats the body through warm, moist air

Common Construction

Wood interior, with benches and a heat source

Wood or other materials, with special infrared heaters

Tiled or waterproofed room with steam outlet

Installation Place

Typically outdoors or in well-ventilated indoor areas

Indoors, often in bathrooms or spaces where moisture isn’t an issue

Indoors, requires waterproofing and ventilation

How to Choose the Best Home Sauna

When choosing an infrared or steam sauna, consider your personal comfort preferences, health goals, and the practicalities of installation and maintenance. Each type of sauna can provide a relaxing and health-promoting experience, but the best choice will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

Selecting the right materials is essential for sauna durability and heat efficiency. Woods like cedar are chosen for their moisture resistance, while hemlock and spruce offer affordability and visual appeal. 

Build quality, including thick walls and sturdy benches, ensures better insulation and heat retention. The heater type, whether traditional or infrared, influences the sauna experience by affecting heat distribution. 

Quality heaters should heat up quickly and maintain consistent temperatures. When choosing home saunas, consider size and capacity to accommodate personal or group use, and prioritize energy efficiency for cost savings and effective temperature management. 

Fun Fact: Dating back to over 10,000 years ago, just after the Ice Age, the most ancient Finnish saunas were established.

Best Traditional Saunas

When thinking about saunas, we probably pictured a woody interior with plenty of steam. These are called traditional steam saunas, also known as Finnish saunas. Traditional saunas use either a wood-fired or electric heater to heat the air in the room. This heater also warms up the rocks to a high temperature, and water is thrown onto the rocks to create steam, which increases the room’s humidity.

If you want a classic sauna experience, here are our top picks for your own traditional home sauna.

Best Traditional Indoor Sauna: Golden Designs "Sundsvall" Edition 2-Person Traditional Indoor Sauna

Sundsvall, a light-brown 1–2 person sauna with a clear glass door

Golden Designs’ Sundsvall 2-person traditional sauna is crafted from 100% natural Canadian red cedar wood, which provides natural resistance against decay, so use this with the peace of mind your sauna will last you for years to come. 

The comfy interior, rich aroma of the wood, and Harvia traditional sauna stove offer the relaxing and invigorating escape that most sauna users seek and need. It also has a sleek design that can fit almost anywhere in your home. 

Though this is a traditional sauna, Golden Designs has included fantastic modern features in their saunas. The Sundsvall is equipped with a galaxy-star color therapy lighting system on the ceiling and additional color therapy lighting on the backrest, which offers a visually stimulating experience that enhances your well-being.

With a touch-screen control panel that includes an FM radio and Bluetooth connection, you can create a more personalized ambiance through music or meditation. Built-in performance speakers deliver exceptional sound quality, creating an immersive experience. 

With all these features and more, we’re proud to call the "Sundsvall" the best traditional indoor sauna we offer.

Best Outdoor Traditional Sauna: Almost Heaven Audra 2-4 Person Customizable Canopy Barrel Sauna

Audra, a barrel-shaped 2–4 person wood sauna with small benches, a canopy, and a glass door

The best outdoor home sauna arguably should have the classic barrel design.

Almost Heaven Audra offers a fantastic sauna bath experience that combines leisure, health, and the great outdoors. Its barrel design and superior 4.5 kW heater equipped with sauna stones heat up the interior swiftly and ensure even distribution of warmth throughout. 

Made from solid Western red cedar that boasts a pleasant cedar aroma, this outdoor sauna also comes with a best-in-class 4.5 kW heater with sauna stones that warms it up to a consistent 185 degrees Fahrenheit in 45–60 minutes.

One of the best features of this outdoor sauna is its tempered clear-glass window and door. You can soak in the stunning views of your surroundings while basking in the gentle heat—truly paradise. The exterior benches outside this outdoor sauna provide the perfect spot to cool down after your session and enjoy the tranquility of your garden or backyard.

Best Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas are gaining popularity for their user-friendly approach to wellness. They offer a gentle yet effective sauna experience, making them a preferred choice for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of a sauna without the intense heat and steam of traditional saunas. Instead of heating the air around you, these saunas use infrared panels to directly warm your body. Plus, infrared saunas tend to be more energy-efficient.

Take a look at our hand-picked selection of infrared home sauna options:

Best Low-EMF Infrared Sauna: Dynamic Saunas Barcelona Elite 1-2-Person Ultra-Low EMF Far Infrared Sauna

Barcelona Elite, a mahogany-brown 1–2 person infrared sauna with a glass door

We love the modern look and advanced features of the Barcelona Elite by Dynamic Saunas. Made with reforested Canadian Hemlock wood and equipped with six infrared carbon ultra-low EMF heating panels, this sauna allows you and your partner or friend to bond comfortably in temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its energy-efficient panels distribute a wider, softer heat throughout the interior, and with a guaranteed ultra-low EMF reading, you can enjoy the full benefits with the risk of being exposed to any harmful radiation.

Barcelona Elite also comes with a music system with Bluetooth and two dynamic speakers as well as an interior and exterior LED control panel, so you’re in full control of your sauna session. 

So whether you want the soft, soothing sounds of nature or feel the bass of your favorite song, this sauna will give you a personalized sanctuary for the ultimate escape from the stresses of daily life.

Best Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna: Maxxus 3-Person Full Spectrum Near Zero EMF FAR Infrared Sauna (Canadian Red Cedar)

Maxxus 3-person wood infrared sauna with an LED control panel and a glass door

A full-spectrum infrared sauna emits all three kinds of infrared: far infrared, mid infrared, and near infrared. Each type has plenty of benefits, and with a full-spectrum infrared sauna like the Maxxus 3-person sauna, you get most, if not all, therapeutic benefits of a sauna session.

Maxxus stands out to us with its durability, quality, and focus on sustainability. This sauna is built with environmentally friendly Canadian reforested red cedar wood and Near Zero EMF PureTech™ heating elements, so these are perfect for any nature-loving, health-conscious individual who wants to experience the benefits of infrared saunas.

Maxxus doesn’t skimp out on any modern features we know and love too. This sauna also has a floor heater and a privacy glass (if you need it, of course). If there’s an audiobook you want to listen to while sweating out the toxins from your body, simply plug your phone into the MP3/Aux input and listen to it on the two speakers. You can also adjust the temperature with their LED control panel and enjoy additional wellness with their chromotherapy lighting.

With enough space to sit three of your guests comfortably, you can have that sauna party in your own home!

Best Outdoor Infrared Sauna: Sunray Cayenne 4-Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna w/ Ceramic Heaters

Cayenne, a 4-person light-brown sauna with a roof and glass windows and door

Witnessing the sunrise or sunset is a pleasure we all enjoy. What better way to enhance that experience than with a relaxing sauna session? The Sunray Cayenne outdoor sauna offers the soothing warmth of infrared heat while you gaze at the sky and your surroundings from the comfort of your backyard.

Made of durable and beautiful Canadian hemlock wood, Cayenne comes with eight ceramic heaters that will quickly heat up the sauna to your desired temperature. With Bluetooth speakers and wide benches inside that comfortably sit four people, you can listen to music as you talk and sweat it out with your guests. It also features built-in cupholders to keep you hydrated throughout your session.

This sauna also comes with an oxygen ionization system that purifies the air, a fantastic feature we know sauna lovers would appreciate. Easy to assemble and compliant with all US and Canadian electrical safety standards, we’re confident this sauna will fit perfectly in your home.

Fun Fact: The sauna experience transcends concerns of bodily pleasure, shame, or comparison; it's fundamentally about embracing stillness and silence, slowing down, and savoring the present moment.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Home Sauna

person cleaning wood surfaces

Already added a sauna to your checkout cart? Keep in mind that, just like any valued possession, it requires careful handling and consistent maintenance.

Maintaining and cleaning your home sauna is essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. The process involves routine tasks and occasional deep cleaning, depending on the type and usage of the sauna.

Routine maintenance tasks primarily involve keeping the sauna dry and clean after each use. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Ventilation: After each sauna session, leave the door open to allow moisture to escape. This helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Drying: Use a clean, dry towel to wipe down the interior surfaces of the sauna. Pay special attention to the benches, as they are most likely to absorb sweat and moisture.
  • Sweeping: Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor of the sauna to remove dust and debris.

When it comes to products for cleaning a home sauna, it’s important to choose those that are safe and effective. Avoid cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia, as these can discolor the wood and emit harmful fumes when heated. Instead, opt for natural cleaners like mild soap, baking soda, or vinegar.

In addition to cleaning, regular inspection of the sauna’s components, such as the heater, stones, and control panel, is also crucial. This helps identify any potential issues early and keeps the sauna running efficiently. 

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific maintenance and cleaning guidelines.

Home Sauna Safety Precautions

Sauna use is generally safe but comes with essential safety tips to prevent health risks. Ensure adequate hydration before, during, and after sessions to avoid dehydration. Limit sauna sessions to safe durations, starting with shorter periods and increasing as your body adapts.

Maintain moderate temperatures and ensure the sauna has a reliable temperature gauge. 

Avoid alcohol to prevent dehydration and impaired temperature regulation. Listen to your body and exit the sauna if you feel unwell, as this could indicate overheating. 

People with certain health conditions, pregnant women, and young children should consult a doctor before sauna use.

Get Your Dream Sauna at Select Saunas

Investing in a home sauna is an investment in your health, well-being, and quality of life. More than just the luxury of relaxation, having a sauna at home offers you a personal retreat where you can recharge, reflect, and rejuvenate on your terms.

So start your wellness journey today with a beautiful handcrafted sauna from Select Saunas. We're here to help you achieve your personal sauna dreams.


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