4.8/5 - (99 votes)

Saunas are a kissing cousin to swimming pools in the backyard and where you’ll find pools and hot tubs, you’ll frequently find a sauna as well in both indoor and outdoor applications. If you’d like to learn more about adding a sauna to your backyard, this resource is an excellent starting point for consumers. Here, we discuss everything you’d need to know about purchasing a sauna. We discuss the various types of saunas, discuss common errors consumers make when buying a sauna, and discuss the pros and cons of saunas while discussing features and benefits in our comprehensive Sauna Buyers Guide.

Sauna Buyers Guide

What to Know When Purchasing a Sauna

Purchasing a sauna might be a difficult undertaking. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as how much to spend, what type to buy, what size you need, and where to put it – and that’s before we get into the technicalities of features and extras.

Adding a Steam Sauna To Your Backyard

Doing Your Homework

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when evaluating sauna options is which type of sauna to purchase. There are various sorts available, ranging from conventional steam saunas heated with hot stones to cutting-edge infrared therapeutic saunas. The most prevalent types of home saunas are traditional steam saunas and infrared therapeutic saunas. This essay will explain the differences between steam and infrared saunas. Furthermore, which sort of home sauna to purchase is determined by your own preferences and wellness requirements.

Figuring Out The Best Sauna For You

To determine which sort of sauna to purchase, consider the type of sauna experience you desire. If, like many people, you can’t picture a sauna without hot rocks, steam, and extreme heat, a traditional sauna may be the ideal solution for you. If the heat of regular saunas is too much for you, and health and wellness are important to you, an infrared sauna may be a good solution.

Average Price Range for Saunas

Sauna prices vary greatly based on the style of sauna, the quality of the wood and equipment, the size of the unit, and the number of added amenities.
Prices for entry-level units start about $5,000, range from $7,000 to $10,000 for high-quality, mid-market saunas, and exceed $25,000 for premium, custom-built versions. Traditional steam saunas are typically more expensive than infrared therapy saunas, owing primarily to installation costs.

Premium Versus Entry Level

You get what you paid for, as the saying goes. Inexpensive saunas are typically composed of low-quality materials, provide less effective sauna health advantages, and might result in costly repairs or replacement down the road. Making a list of “must have” and “nice to have” items is an excellent method to calculate your budget. Many retailers offer convenient financing options as well.

Back to top

Which is Better a Sauna or a Hot Tub?

Types of Saunas

1. Wood-Burning Sauna

The most traditional type of sauna, the wood-burning sauna, has a history that spans thousands of years and cultures. The two most distinguishing features of a wood-burning sauna are that it is heated by fire and has extremely low humidity. Due of the smoke, wood-burning saunas (or “traditional Finnish saunas”) are not recommended for construction outside.

To keep the temperature consistent, prepare and stoke the fire in a wood stove. This, in turn, heats the stones that regulate the temperature of the space—though temperature precision is difficult to attain. Pour a ladle of water on top of the rocks in a wood-burning sauna to boost humidity. A wood-burning sauna requires a consistent supply of wood and the cleaning of the coals.

2. Electric Sauna

In terms of the in-sauna experience, an electric sauna should be similar to a wood-burning sauna—minus the wood-burning odor. The heating components in electric saunas are still burners and stones. As a result, the humidity level is very low, though you can pour water over the stones in the same way that you would in a wood-burning sauna.

Electric saunas can be put either indoors or outdoors, though outdoor models will still require a dependable electric hook-up, which might raise the installation cost. Electric saunas typically cost between $5,000 and $7,000 in terms of initial expenditure. They also come in a variety of sizes, though an electric sauna is unlikely to be as large as a wood-burning type.

3. Infrared Sauna

If traditional Finnish saunas are at one end of the “traditional vs. modern” scale, infrared saunas are firmly on the modern side. Although both types of saunas heat users’ bodies, the mechanism of infrared saunas is very different. In particular, the actual room temperature in an infrared sauna is quite low. (The temperature still reaches 100°F, but not by as much as in full “hot rooms.”) Infrared light wavelengths, on the other hand, directly heat the users’ bodies.
Some sauna purists aren’t satisfied with this. However, if all you want to do is relax in a sauna, this should enough. You should also take note of the infrared lamps utilized in the sauna: Some models employ far-infrared, some near-infrared, and still others use both. Both types of light have distinct health benefits. Infrared saunas are available in a variety of sizes and with numerous upgrade possibilities.

4. Steam Sauna

Unlike low-humidity saunas, which are often made of wood, steam saunas or steam rooms have a high level of humidity in the air—nearly 100 percent humidity. As a result, tile and other mold-resistant materials are frequently used in the construction of steam saunas. Even with the correct materials, expert installation is advised to avoid mold growth.

Steam saunas have a lower average operating temperature than regular saunas. However, due to the high humidity levels, you should still feel the heat. Steam saunas may be the best option if you want a sauna to aid with respiratory issues. The majority of steam sauna models on the market use electricity to boil water and produce steam. A steam sauna installation typically costs between $5,000 and $7,000.

Back to top

Common Mistakes When Buying a Sauna

As you do your research, read reviews, and narrow down your personal sauna options for your backyard, you realize that a home sauna can be inexpensive and within your budget, and you won’t have to sell an arm and a limb to have your new sauna. The most common error individuals make is giving up on the dream of owning a home sauna entirely. Many people identify the cost of owning a home sauna with a steam or hot rock sauna, which may be expensive and require ongoing upkeep and repairs. The first association with hot rock and steam saunas conjures up images of a large operation requiring planning and contractors. Because of these obstacles, many do not believe they will ever be able to buy a sauna, therefore they will continue to use their local gym or spa for the foreseeable future.

Measure Twice / Install Once

Before purchasing a sauna, it is usually a good idea to take measurements of the space where you intend to install your sauna as well as the path you will need to follow to move the sauna walls into your new sauna room. Forgetting to measure your area can result in a fresh new gorgeous sauna that you can’t fit into the space you desired, and establishing your size constraints ahead of time can remove this as a potential problem.

Thoroughly Research Manufacturers

Many of you who are reading this sauna buying guide right now are about to make a decision on a sauna company somewhere. As you conduct your study, you will form opinions about the sauna company, manufacturer, etc. to select. These emotions must not be ignored. This is hardly the most scientific technique to purchasing a sauna, but there are huge variances between firms and manufacturers. If problems emerge with your sauna, as they will, you must rely on the company’s ethics to repair it and support you long after your purchase. Do your utmost to ensure they are deserving of your trust, and you should be alright.

Back to top

Health Benefits of Adding a Steam Sauna To Your Pool Area

Pros & Cons of Purchasing a Sauna

Saunas, unlike swimming pools and hot tubs, rarely require upkeep. Aside from washing the floor on a regular basis, saunas can be left alone. Electric, gas, and wood sauna heaters all have minimal moving parts and rarely fail.


1. In-home saunas offer wonderful relaxation in the comfort of one’s own home.

The most significant advantage of an in-home sauna is that it allows you to enjoy a beautiful spa-like getaway in the comfort of your own home. You have the privacy of your own area, which also offers a pleasant, stress-free environment anytime you require it. Including an in-home sauna is another option to warm up a cold bathroom.

2. They may be beneficial to one’s health.

Although saunas provide many health benefits, not every claim on the internet is supported by scientific research. Relaxation and its associated advantages are among the health benefits that have been supported. Sitting in a sauna helps improve circulation and relax tight muscles in general. Taking a minute to relax can be a beneficial tool for stress relief, which has its own set of health advantages and has been linked to improved cardiovascular health.

You should be cautious in general and use your sauna appropriately, as lingering in one for too long can induce dehydration and heat exhaustion if you fall asleep while enjoying it. People with heart illness and pregnant women, on the other hand, should consult their doctors before using a sauna. Depending on the severity of your cardiac illness, your doctor may advise you to stay cool and avoid using the sauna. They may also urge you to avoid it if you are pregnant.

3. A sauna in your home can raise the value of your home.

Saunas in the home might be a nice feature. Although you may not be building a custom house with the aim of selling it soon, an in-home sauna can raise the total value of your home, which is useful if you do decide to sell it. Meanwhile, you can enjoy having your own in-home spa at your disposal at any time!

Back to top


1. Home saunas can be costly.

Regardless of the sort of sauna you pick, an in-home sauna will necessitate additional planning and materials. This means that adding one to your custom home will raise your costs. If you’re a homeowner with limited budgetary freedom, an in-home sauna may be an extra luxury that pushes your budget too far or isn’t worth the compromises in other areas to obtain.

2. They can take up a lot space.

A regular or infrared sauna takes up space, so include it in your bathroom layout and décor. They may take up important space in your bathroom depending on the rest of your home’s layout. The advantages of having a sauna in your house may exceed the expense of giving up some extra room.

Furthermore, you have some freedom in terms of the size of your sauna – you can have a smaller one with just enough room for one person or a larger one with enough space to spread out. Following these home sauna design suggestions will also help ensure that it is worth the space you are giving up.

If the idea of giving up more bathroom space doesn’t appeal to you but you still want an in-home sauna, you can substitute a steam shower for a regular or infrared sauna. Unlike the other sorts, a steam shower can be fitted into your existing shower, which means it won’t take up extra space in your bathroom – it’ll simply add another set of pipes to your shower to generate steam.

3. Certain in-home sauna requires more upkeep.

Another potential disadvantage of an in-home sauna is that it adds another item to your home’s maintenance list. If you despise cleaning, it might be best to stick to a steam shower for your in-home sauna so you don’t have yet another distinct space to clean and maintain.

Back to top

Benefits of Owning a Sauna

  • Assist in the removal of toxins from the body. Saunas are an excellent way to naturally remove toxins. The body sweats off dangerous poisons such as nicotine, lead, and mercury while using a sauna.
  • Soothe aching muscles. Saunas relax muscles and momentarily reduce arthritic pain.
  • Reduce your stress. Saunas stimulate your body to release endorphins, which aid in stress reduction and energy production.
  • Assist in the maintenance of healthy skin. Saunas expand pores on the skin, relax facial muscles, and encourage cellular growth by bringing nutrients to the epidermis.
  • Increase circulation. Sauna heat draws blood closer to the skin and promotes blood flow to the extremities of the body.
  • Boost your metabolic rate. Regular sauna use burns hundreds of calories per session and might gradually boost your metabolic rate. This is not to say that saunas are a suitable dietary supplement. Almost majority of the weight lost in the sauna is water weight, which soon returns.
  • Soothe nasal congestion. Saunas provide brief relief from common cold symptoms such as sinus congestion and throat irritation.

Back to top

Sauna Installation

A sauna can be built anywhere in the home that has enough room. Many people choose to install their sauna in their main bedroom, bathroom, or garage. Wherever you decide to put a sauna, electricity and water must be conveniently available. If they are not available, you must install them. A plumber costs between $45 and $200 per hour. An electrician charges between $40 and $100 per hour.

Clearance For Saunas

Remember that sauna doors open outward. You must ensure that there is adequate space in the room for the sauna to be placed and that the doors can open outward. A custom-built sauna necessitates the engagement of a contractor to design and build it. The custom-built sauna must be well-insulated, particularly in the ceiling, where heat easily escapes.

Hiring a Professional Contractor

The homeowner must employ an electrician to connect a 220-volt circuit in the home’s existing electrical system when installing a prefabricated or custom-designed sauna. A 220 volt receptacle must be installed near the sauna. Most electricians charge between $700 and $1,000 for such a project, depending on the complexity of the wiring and the supplies required.

The cost of a custom-designed sauna is affected by a variety of factors. Most carpenters charge between $50 and $150 per hour, including materials. A custom-built four-person sauna measuring 8 x 5 feet will cost an average of $7,500 to have properly installed. ​

Back to top

This article sponsored by Bathing Brands.

For Pool & Spa Professionals

Installing a sauna has become a profitable source of revenue for pool contractors in recent years and Bathing Brands is helping professionals in the pool industry add the value of saunas to their outdoor living projects. Interested in learning more about how to add an additional backyard amenity to your list of products and services? Visit BathingBrands.com for more information.