BEST OUTDOOR SAUNA REVIEWS 2023

an outdoor sauna with a spectacular view

We review the Best Outdoor Saunas of 2023.  Check out our independent reviews and outdoor sauna buyer’s guide below.  We’ll take you through everything you need to know about buying an outdoor sauna for your home.


OUTDOOR SAUNA INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

outdoor sauna in a garden

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BEST OUTDOOR SAUNA OVERALL WINNER

OCEANIC OUTDOOR TRADITIONAL SAUNA REVIEW

OCEANIC OUTDOOR TRADITIONAL 4 PERSON SAUNA E2030

KEY FEATURES

  • TYPE: REGULAR CABIN
  • CAPACITY: 4-PERSON
  • EXTERIOR: THERMOWOOD
  • INTERIOR: FINNISH SPRUCE
  • 6 KW SAUNA HEATER
  • TRIPLE INSULATED
  • 5-YEAR WARRANTY

BEST OUTDOOR SAUNA 2023

Oceanic sauna’s 4 person outdoor traditional sauna is the overall winner in the outdoor sauna category for 2023. It ticks all the boxes in terms of performance, build quality, and value for money. It is the best outdoor sauna of 2023.

If you’re looking for a robust sauna that will stand the test of time the Oceanic could be the one for you. And, it comes with a range of features and add-ons that allow you to tailor the sauna to your individual needs.

CONSTRUCTION

• CABIN INTERIOR

The sauna interior benches, backrests, heater guards, and floor mats are constructed from Finnish Spruce timber – for a traditional Nordic look and feel. It has a beautiful look and a smooth finish. The sauna is equipped with two low and one high bench.

CABIN EXTERIOR

The cabin exterior is triple insulated and constructed from 21mm weather-resistant thermowood. Thermowood is created via a process of heat treatment and does not involve the use of any chemicals. It’s an ideal wood for an outdoor sauna.

ABACHI & HEMLOCK UPGRADES

You can choose to upgrade your cabin interior by switching out the standard Finnish Spruce with either Abachi or Hemlock wood. The options include either spruce cladding with abachi benches or hemlock cladding with abachi benches.

Abachi wood retains a more moderate temperature inside a sauna and is cooler to touch. This feature makes it ideal for sauna benches.

TRIPLE INSULATION

The sauna is triple insulated with rockwool and foil to keep the heat in and boost performance. This makes the Oceanic a good choice for colder climates where other saunas will struggle to reach optimal temperature.

Additionally, the front-facing glass window is double-glazed. This greatly boosts its insulating ability and helps keep running costs at a minimum. It also reduces start-up time meaning the sauna heats up quickly and is ready to use sooner.

DIMENSIONS & CAPACITY

The Oceanic E2030 is a spacious mid-sized traditional outdoor sauna and can comfortably fit 4 people. It is advertised as a 4-person but we feel it can accommodate five people at a push. There are three benches – two low and one high.

The cabin has a footprint of 94” x 69” inches and stands 95” inches tall. See below for its precise internal and external dimensions.

  • External Dimensions: 94” x 69” x 95” inches
  • Internal Dimensions: 78” x 52” x 75” inches

HEATER PERFORMANCE

The Oceanic outdoor sauna is equipped with a powerful 6 KW electrically powered heater. You’ll have to install an outdoor electrical connection if you don’t already have one. The heater generates more than enough heat to have you sweating in an outdoor setting. It is fitted to the sauna wall, comes with a 15 kg sauna rock stack, and has a heater guard for safety.

EXTRAS & ADD-ONS

Each sauna is sold with a range of sauna accessories as standard. Included in the bundle you will receive a water bucket and ladle, a set of sauna fragrances, a sand timer, a thermometer/hygrometer, and fire-rated spotlights.

And the optional add-ons, available at an additional cost, include Bluetooth speakers, a sauna pillow, a herb bowl, and protective bench covers.

WARRANTY

The Oceanic traditional outdoor sauna comes with a 5-year timber warranty and a 12-month warranty on electrical parts. The warranty does not cover the heating elements as these are considered consumable parts. All replacement parts are available in stock and can be ordered by contacting Oceanic’s after-sales team by telephone.

VERDICT

Oceanic Outdoor Traditional Sauna feature overview pros and cons

The Oceanic 4-person traditional sauna is the best outdoor sauna of 2023. It combines excellent build quality with superb all-round performance. The cabin is triple insulated and uses 21mm thermowood exterior cladding to ensure the heat stays on the inside.

If you want an outdoor sauna that performs in cold weather, heats up quickly, and keeps running costs down – this could be the one for you. And, it comes with a range of optional extras that allow you to tailor the sauna to your specific requirements. It comes with a 5-year timber warranty and a 12-month electrical part warranty.


BEST BARREL OUTDOOR SAUNA

REDWOOD OUTDOORS BARREL SAUNA REVIEW

REDWOOD OUTDOORS 6 PERSON CEDAR BARREL SAUNA

KEY FEATURES

  • TYPE: BARREL CABIN
  • CAPACITY: 6-PERSON
  • CANADIAN RED CEDAR
  • HARVIA SAUNA HEATER
  • WOOD-BURNING STOVE
  • ASPHALT ROOF – EXTRA
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY

BEST OUTDOOR BARREL SAUNA 2023

The Redwood Outdoors 6-Person Cedar is the best barrel outdoor sauna of 2023. It is constructed using traditional Canadian red cedar for an authentic feel and look, is equipped with a Harvia sauna heater, can accommodate up to six individuals, and tops out at a temperature of 195°F (90°C).

If you are looking for a barrel sauna that looks great, packs a punch, and delivers intense heat – the Redwood Outdoors Cedar could be right up your street.

CONSTRUCTION

• CANADIAN RED CEDAR

The sauna cabin is made using 100% grade-A Canadian red cedar timber – an excellent choice for a sauna. Red cedar is weather resistant and treated with care will last many years. And, it gives the barrel cabin an attractive traditional appearance that will complement any home.

INTERIOR LAYOUT

The barrel measures almost 6 feet long and has a single bench on either side running the full length of the interior. The heater is wall mounted on the back-facing wall and a glass door is positioned on the front. The sauna has an elegant Scandinavian charm.

TONGUE & GROOVE STAVES

The barrel cabin is constructed using tongue and groove staves that allow for expansion and contraction as the sauna heats up and cools down. The staves are wrapped in stainless steel bands and fasteners that hold them tightly in place and minimize heat loss.

A support cradle holds the barrel in place and lifts the sauna off the ground. This delivers stability to the curved structure and insulates the cabin from the cold ground below.

ASSEMBLY

The sauna is delivered in pre-cut tongue and grooved pieces – and requires home assembly. It doesn’t require any specialist DIY skills or tools but two sets of hands are recommended. You will need a screwdriver, spirit level, drill, hammer, rubber mallet, and an adjustable wrench. The task takes between 4 and 6 hours and is guided by a user manual and video.

CAPACITY & DIMENSIONS

The Redwood Outdoors Cedar Barrel is a 6-person sauna. The interior benches measure 64” inches long. Assuming you have three people sitting next to each other on each bench – this allows 21” inches of space per person. For a more comfortable and relaxing experience, we recommend limiting use to just 4 people at a time.

The barrel measures 76.5” inches high – taking into account the supporting cradle. And, it has a cross-section of approximately 73” inches at its widest point. See below for detailed interior and exterior dimensions.

  • Interior Dimensions: 64” x 64” x 69” inches approx (height x length x width in inches)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 76.5” x 71” x 73” inches approx (height x length x width in inches)
  • Weight: 900 lbs

HEATERS

The barrel outdoor sauna comes equipped with a Harvia heater. Harvia, based in Finland, is recognized as the world’s leading manufacturer of sauna heaters. And, when you order the Redwood Outdoors cedar barrel you get to choose from one of three types.

  • Harvia KIP 6kW Electric Heater
  • Harvia KIP 8kW Electric Heater
  • Harvia M3 Wood Burning Stove

The heaters reach a maximum operating temperature of 195°F inside 60 minutes and are designed to be enjoyed as either dry or wet heat. For wet heat, ladle water onto the hot coals. The wood-burning stove adds a little magic to the sauna experience – with the crackling of burning timber and a truly authentic feel.

EXTRAS & ADD-ONS

The sauna comes as standard with a cradle, head and backrest, towel rack, water bucket and ladle, and a stack of sauna rocks. Optional extras include roof shingles, a flat flooring kit, a chimney kit, adjustable sauna recliner, and an outdoor shower. An additional cost applies to all optional extras.

ROOF SHINGLES

Add a black asphalt shingles roof to protect your barrel sauna from the elements and keep water out. A shingles roof will prolong the life of the sauna.

FLAT FLOORING KIT

This kit allows you to convert the round-bottomed floor of the barrel into a flat surface for comfort.

SAUNA CHIMNEY

The chimney kit is recommended for use with the Harvia M3 wood-burning stove. The kit comes with a chimney, chimney cap, and floor & wall heat guards.

ADJUSTABLE SAUNA RECLINER

Add an adjustable sauna recliner for added support and comfort while you relax and take in the heat. The backrest is ergonomically curved and height adjustable.

OUTDOOR SHOWER

An outdoor sauna allows you to step outside the sauna and straight into a refreshing cold shower. Great for people that like to rapidly move between hot and cold.

WARRANTY & SHIPPING

The wooden barrel sauna comes with a 1-year limited warranty. And, the Harvia electric heaters and wood-burning stoves are also covered by a 1-year limited warranty. The sauna is shipped on a wooden crate – throughout all of the United States. The crate measures 85” x 45 ½” x 28 ½” (length x width x height).

VERDICT

Redwood Outdoor Barrel Sauna features overview and pros and cons

The Redwood Outdoors 6-person cedar is the best barrel outdoor sauna on the market. It is constructed using 100% grade-A Canadian red cedar wood – arguably the best timber choice for a sauna.

The barrel is fitted together using tongue and groove staves that assemble easily, hold in place, and allow for expansion as the cabin heats. Steel fasteners hold everything in place and a cradle is used to house the barrel and prevent it from rolling.

It comes with a choice of electric or wood-burning Harvia stove – the king of sauna heaters. And, it reaches a highly impressive 195°F maximum temperature. It is available to order throughout the United States and comes with a 1-year limited warranty.


BEST 2 PERSON OUTDOOR SAUNA

almost heaven salem 2 person review

ALMOST HEAVEN 2 PERSON SALEM BARREL SAUNA

KEY FEATURES

  • TYPE: BARREL CABIN
  • CAPACITY: 2-PERSON
  • COMPACT DESIGN
  • TIMBER OPTIONS
  • HARVIA SAUNA HEATER
  • DRY OR WET SAUNA
  • MADE IN USA

BEST OUTDOOR 2 PERSON SAUNA

The Almost Heaven Salem is the best 2 person outdoor sauna in 2023. It combines a compact design, excellent build quality, and reliable performance. If you want a small outdoor sauna that can accommodate two people – this could be just the one you’re looking for. Below we’ll take you through everything you need to know.

CONSTRUCTION

Almost Heaven has been making barrel saunas for almost 40 years. The company is based in Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia and their range of outdoor saunas are USA made. If you’re looking for a sauna company with lots of experience – you won’t find much better.

The barrel is constructed using a ball-and-socket joining profile between the lumbar support. This structure allows the cabin to expand and contract as it heats up and cools down. And, the whole thing is securely held in place using a series of fasteners and stainless steel bands.

The barrel is supported on a plastic polymer cradle that holds the sauna in place and lifts it off the ground. This prevents ground moisture from seeping into the base of the sauna and also helps insulate from cold ground temperatures.

The interior of the barrel is fitted with LED lights. The lights are energy efficient and require a 110 volt, 15 amp power source. If you choose an option with a glass door or rear-facing window – the glass will be tempered.

TIMBER OPTIONS

The Salem barrel 2-person sauna is available in three timber options – rustic fir, rustic cedar, or clear cedar. And, the timber panels measure an impressive 1 ⅜” inches thick, which delivers reliable heat insulation.

RUSTIC FIR

Fir is a great choice for people looking for an authentic nordic sauna. This choice of timber is light in color and is very popular in Scandanavia. Fir saunas have a clean, fresh look and are patterned with occasional knots in the panels.

RUSTIC CEDAR

The rustic cedar option adds a little color to the cabin. This timber option has a warm red hue – a very popular choice of lumber for saunas in North America. Cedar is an excellent wood for sauna construction.

CLEAR CEDAR

Clear cedar is a premium lumber choice. It has similar properties to rustic cedar but has an absence of knots. This means the timber panels have no noticeable wood knot patterns.

CAPACITY & DIMENSIONS

The Almost Heaven Salem barrel sauna has a compact design. It’s ideal for people that have limited available outdoor space. The sauna can accommodate 1 or 2 people at a time and is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. This means its compact design makes it a great addition to a home gym.

The sauna has an exterior footprint of 47” x 72” inches and it stands 77” inches high. Note, the cradle adds an additional 6” inches to the height of the cabin.

The interior dimensions measure 71″ x 39″ x 71″ inches (width x depth x height). Inside, two benches run the length of the interior – one on either side. The benches measure 39” inches long, 18” inches deep, and stand 17” inches high.

  • Interior Dimensions: 71″ x 39″ x 71″ inches (width x depth x height)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 72″ x 47″ x 77″ inches (width x depth x height)
  • Bench Dimensions: 18″ x 39″ x 17″ inches (width x length x height)
  • Cradle Dimensions: 54″ x 6″ inches
  • Shipping Weight: 540 lbs

The sauna is a great fit for 2 people as long as you don’t mind sitting close together on either side of the barrel. There is plenty of room for sitting and relaxing, but the benches are not long enough to lay flat and stretch out.

HEATERS

The sauna is fitted with a Harvia sauna heater and comes complete with a stack of sauna stones. The 4.5kW heater requires a 240V, 30-amp electrical connection. And, the good news – it performs superbly.

You can expect a maximum sauna temperature of 175-185°F – in most operating environments. However, if you live in a particularly cold climate, we recommend upgrading to the more powerful 6kW Harvia heater.

The heaters come equipped with an easy-to-use control panel. There’s even a setting that allows you to delay pre-heating by up to 8 hours. And, the heater can be used for either a dry or wet sauna session. If you want to introduce a little steam, just ladle some cold water over the hot sauna stones.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES

The Almost Heaven Salem 2-person barrel sauna comes with several optional upgrades to choose from. Depending on how you want to use your outdoor sauna you can customize the rear vista window, heater type, door style, type of timber, and LED lighting.

VISTA REAR WINDOW

A rear-facing window can be installed on the rear end of the sauna above the heater. This is great for homes that want to make the most of an impressive view. The window measures 20” x 36” inches in size and is made using 3/8” inch thick glass.

HEATER OPTIONS

The Salem comes with a 4.5kW Harvia heater as standard. If you want more heating power you can upgrade to a 6kW unit.

DOOR STYLE

You can tailor your sauna door by choosing from either an all-wood, wood with a window, fading glass, or deluxe glass sauna door.

LED MOOD LIGHTING

You can upgrade the standard LED lighting ensemble to mood lighting for an ambient lighting effect.

TIMBER OPTIONS

You can choose from one of three types of timber for your barrel sauna – rustic fir, rustic cedar, or clear cedar – see above for details.

WARRANTY & SHIPPING

The Salem comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the sauna cabin, a 5-year limited lifetime warranty on the heater and its parts, and a 1-year warranty on the heating elements. Almost Heaven ship saunas through the United States. If you live outside the US you will have to contact one of the company’s international partners.

VERDICT

ALMOST HEAVEN 2 PERSON SALEM BARREL SAUNA key features overview pros and cons

The Almost Heaven Salem barrel sauna is our top pick in the 2 person outdoor sauna category of 2023. The company are US based and has been making saunas for almost 40 years. If you want a sauna that performs well and takes up very little space – the Salem is an excellent choice.

The barrel is constructed using a secure ball-and-socket mechanism that locks the timber frames in place while allowing them to expand and contract as the sauna changes temperature. There are three lumber options to choose from – rustic fir, rustic cedar, and clear cedar – each offering a distinct appearance and set of characteristics.

The sauna comes equipped with a 4.5kw Harvia electric heater that performs well and reaches temperatures of up to 185°F. However, if you need more heating power you can upgrade to a 6.0kw unit – a good choice for people living in colder climates.

Optional extras allow you to tailor the Salem to your individual needs and include a rear-facing vista window, a more powerful heater, door style, mood lighting, and preferred timber of construction. The sauna requires onsite assembly which will take two people – approximately six hours.


BEST OUTDOOR INFRARED SAUNA

clearlight sanctuary outdoor 2 infrared sauna review

CLEARLIGHT SANCTUARY OUTDOOR INFRARED SAUNA 2 PERSON

FEATURES

  • TYPE: INFRARED SAUNA
  • CAPACITY: 2-PERSON
  • FULL SPECTRUM INFRARED
  • CANADIAN RED CEDAR
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT
  • CHROMOTHERAPY
  • LOW EMF/ELF

BEST INFRARED OUTDOOR SAUNA 2023

The Clearlight Sanctuary Outdoor 2 Full-Spectrum infrared sauna is the best outdoor infrared sauna of 2023. It is built using high-quality durable materials, is available in 2-person and 5-person capacities, and generates full spectrum infrared heat. Clearlight has been a world-leading infrared sauna manufacturer for over 20 years.

CONSTRUCTION

• SAUNA INTERIOR

The interior of the Clearlight Sanctuary outdoor infrared sauna is built using grade-A western red Canadian cedar wood. The timber is color matched before construction to optimize aesthetic appeal. The cedar is ecologically sourced and is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

SAUNA EXTERIOR

The sauna exterior is built using weather-resistant, robust cedartek – an engineered durable wood. The panels are tongue and groove assembled and the double walls are insulated to keep the heat on the inside.

GLASS & INSULATION

The sauna uses 8 mm thick tempered glass in the window and glass door panels. Insulation is paramount for outdoor infrared saunas as they do not generate the same levels of heat as a traditional sauna. Infrared saunas typically operate at 120°F compared to 150-180˚F of a traditional sauna.

CAPACITY & DIMENSIONS

2-PERSON SAUNA

The Clearlight Sanctuary OD2 is a 2-person outdoor sauna. The sauna seats two people side by side on a bench that runs the full length of the rear side of the sauna. The bench measures 54” x 22” inches. And, a stylish glass panel door sits on the front side of the sauna, opposite the bench.

  • Interior Dimensions: 54” x 49” x 70” inches (width x depth x height)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 57” x 52” x 80” inches (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 772 lbs

Note: you’ll need to allow an additional 8.5” inches for the roof overhang.

5-PERSON SAUNA

The Clearlight outdoor sanctuary infrared sauna is also available in a 5-person variant. This sauna has larger dimensions but has a similar design and layout as the 2-person, see below for details.

  • Interior Dimensions: 77” x 47” x 72” inches (width x depth x height)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 83” x 52” x 80” inches (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 1,050 lbs

Note: you’ll need to allow an additional 8.5” inches for the roof overhang.

HEATERS

The Clearlight Sanctuary is powered by True Wave II Carbon and Ceramic Heaters. The heaters are listed as producing infrared light largely in the 9.4 micron wavelength and as being low EMF and ELF. There are also two 500 watt full spectrum heaters positioned on either side of the door.

HEATER POSITIONING

The infrared heaters are strategically positioned throughout the sauna to provide all-around coverage and maximize your exposure to infrared light energy. There is a large, full-width, heating panel at the rear covering your back area, another smaller infrared heater at ground level behind your lower legs, one on either side wall providing side coverage, and two front-facing heaters – one on either side of the door.

ENERGY EFFICIENT HEATING

Infrared saunas run at lower temperatures compared to traditional saunas. They consume less power and are energy efficient. Energy costs vary from one region to another and from one supplier to the next. But, as a ballpark figure, you can expect the Clearlight Sanctuary Outdoor 2 to consume in the region of 50 cents of electricity per hour.

EXTRAS & UPGRADES

The outdoor Clearlight Sanctuary comes with some great extra features and an exciting range of optional add-ons that will appeal to many sauna users. As standard, the sauna comes equipped with Chromotherapy and a Bluetooth sound system – see below.

COLOR CHROMOTHERAPY

The sauna is equipped with a color chromotherapy light panel on the roof of the cabin interior. The light panel emits colored light to enhance relaxation and boost potential health benefits. Each light color is associated with a specific potential benefit.

BLUETOOTH AUDIO

A Bluetooth audio system comes as standard. It allows you to connect your device and listen to music or podcasts via a built-in speaker on the cabin roof.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

ERGONOMIC BACKREST

For a little extra comfort, you can add an ergonomic rest that supports your back while you relax and enjoy the heat. The backrest is chiropractic designed and is freely moveable. You can add or remove it depending on your preference at any given time.

RED LIGHT THERAPY

If you want to introduce red light therapy into your sauna you can add a red light therapy LED tower. The light tower emits a combination of red and near-infrared light to potentially boost muscle recovery and reduce inflammation.

HALOTHERAPY SALT DIFFUSER

The Halo One halotherapy salt diffuser is a device that grinds and diffuses salt into the sauna cabin during the session. Fans of halotherapy believe salt inhalation boosts the immune system and promotes respiratory health.

VIBRATION RESONANCE THERAPY

This optional add-on consists of two vibration resonance therapy (VRT) devices that attach to the underside of the bench. The VRT modules emit sound and vibrations that can be felt while relaxing on the bench. VRT therapy has a feel similar to a light touch massage.

WARRANTY & ASSEMBLY

The outdoor Clearlight Sanctuary sauna comes with a residential use, limited, 5-year warranty for the cabin exterior, and a lifetime warranty for interior components. To validate the warranty you must use the sauna protective cover that is supplied with the sauna. The sauna cover is waterproof and provides additional protection from the elements.

The 2 person Clearlight Sanctuary outdoor sauna requires self-assembly on-site. And, it takes approximately 3 hours to assemble and install. You’ll need a couple of helpers and we recommend roping in two or three friends to get it up and running. The 5-person sauna comes with installation included in the price.

VERDICT

Clearlight Sanctuary Outdoor 2 infrared sauna key features pros and cons

The Clearlight Sanctuary Outdoor 2 is the top outdoor infrared sauna of 2023. It combines an excellent build, with solid performance, and high energy efficiency. If you want to introduce an infrared sauna to your garden area – this device could be right up your street.

It has a sleek elegant design that will stylishly complement its surroundings. The cabin interior is made from color-matched Canadian red cedar wood and the exterior from weather-resistant robust cedartek. And, it comes with a tailor-made waterproof cover to help protect it from the elements.

Infrared heat is generated using strategically placed carbon and ceramic heaters that provide all-round body coverage. The heaters are highly effective and will have you sweating in no time – provided you don’t live in an exceptionally cold climate.

Chromotherapy and Bluetooth audio are included as standard. And, there is an impressive range of optional extras including an ergonomic backrest, red light therapy towers, a halotherapy salt diffuser, and a pair of vibration resonance modules. If infrared sauna is your thing – the Clearlight Sanctuary Outdoor 2 is certainly worth a look.


OUTDOOR SAUNA BUYER’S GUIDE

outdoor sauna in the snow

Choosing the best outdoor sauna for your home can be a daunting process. Buying an outdoor sauna can become a time-consuming process, with a seemingly endless range of saunas to choose from and an overload of information and product descriptions.

To help you navigate the outdoor sauna world we’ve created a buyer’s guide. This guide will help you focus on your needs and allow you to easily find the ideal outdoor sauna for your home. Here’s what you need to know, see below.

TYPES OF OUTDOOR SAUNA

What are the different types of outdoor sauna? The four main types of outdoor sauna are – traditional sauna, infrared sauna, steam sauna, and hybrid sauna. Each of these can be further broken down based on its design and shape.

Outdoor saunas come in all shapes and sizes and can be built as cabin saunas, barrell saunas, thermowood saunas, cube saunas, panorama saunas, corner saunas, oval saunas, and pod saunas. For a full breakdown see Types of Outdoor Sauna – Complete Guide.

SAUNA SIZE

What size sauna are you looking for? You can get outdoor saunas in a wide range of sizes, from single-person capacity right up to super-seized eight-person saunas. However, the most common outdoor sauna sizes are 2, 3, and 4-person capacity.

Two-person saunas are ideal for one or two people. If you intend on using the sauna on your own – we recommend going for a 2-person device for a little extra comfort and room. Then if a friend or family member wished to join you – they can jump right in.

Three and four-person outdoor saunas are great if you want to get additional family members or a group of friends in there. Sauna comes with a wide range of health and relaxation benefits. But the social interaction and enjoyment of a shared experience are often overlooked.

SPACE REQUIREMENT

Whatever size sauna to choose to go for – you need to ensure you have available outdoor space to accommodate the device. It’s time to get the tape measure out. You’ll need to carefully measure the dimensions of the space you plan to use to house the sauna.

Then, compare the available space against the dimensions of the sauna you have in mind. Do you have enough outdoor space? Below is a table comparing the most common outdoor sauna sizes for a general overview.

Outdoor Sauna Sizes Dimensions

BUDGET

What’s your budget? As with any significant home goods investment you’ll need to consider your budget and the prices of saunas available in your category. There are two expenses to consider when shopping for an outdoor sauna – the price of the sauna and the installation costs.

The price of the sauna should be clearly advertised by the retailer. Make sure the price includes the sauna heater and not just the cabin. As for installation costs, you’ll need to ask some questions.

Reach out to the manufacturer and establish what installation will need to be completed. Then get a quote from a qualified tradesman for the installation works.

MATERIAL OF CONSTRUCTION

Pay particular attention to the materials of construction. The best outdoor saunas are made from red cedar wood, Nordic spruce, Canadian hemlock, and basswood. You should prioritize quality over price when assessing the materials used.

Aim for a sauna that’s built to last and will stand the test of time outside in your garden or backyard. You should also pay particular attention to the type of heater.

This is the single most important piece of equipment in your sauna. Do some research, read the reviews, and make sure you are investing in a quality piece of equipment.

CLIMATE

Where do you live? You need to consider your local climate when buying an outdoor sauna. If you live in an area that experiences harsh weather conditions and significant swings in seasonal conditions – you’ll need to prioritize sourcing a sauna that will stand the test of time in these conditions.

Also, if your region experiences very cold winters you should aim for a traditional outdoor sauna over an infrared sauna. Traditional saunas run at much higher temperatures and will feel more comfortable on a frosty winter’s evening.

ASSEMBLY & INSTALLATION

man holding a drill and performing diy

What are the installation requirements? Most outdoor saunas require self-assembly. This means they’ll be shipped to you on a pallet and you’ll have to assemble the sauna on-site. Assembly takes time and a basic understanding of hand tools.

What about electrical and plumbing installation? Does the sauna require an electrical power source? If so, you’ll have to run a power line to the sauna location. Most people will have to hire an electrician to complete this task. And, if you’re purchasing an outdoor steam room you may need to install a water purification unit for the steam generator.

LOCAL REGULATIONS

Depending on the area you live in – the installation of a sauna may fall under local authority regulations. It may be categorized as a new permanent building and be subject to building codes.

The last thing you want to do is install an outdoor sauna only to receive a legal notice or fine down the road. Reach out to your local and state authorities and find out if there are any official requirements or regulations you need to satisfy for your new outdoor sauna.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Do you want any special additional features? The best outdoor saunas come with a range of optional extras you can have added to personalize your sauna experience. Popular features you can choose from include color light therapy, remote access, built-in sound systems, and ergonomic backrests.

Color Light Therapy

Color light therapy, also known as chromotherapy, uses colored light to potentially boost mood, aid relaxation, and stimulate energy levels. The interior of the sauna cabin is fitted with LED lights that can be set to emit colors depending on the effect you wish to achieve.

Remote Access & Control

The best outdoor saunas come with apps and remote access that allow you to power on and off the sauna using your phone. This means you can preheat the sauna without having to physically go outside and access the control panel itself.

Bluetooth Sound System

A Bluetooth audio system allows you to connect your device and listen to music or podcasts while you relax in the sauna. Speakers are strategically fitted in the wall panels so you can sweat and listen to your favorite tunes all at the same time.

Ergonomic Back Rest

Another popular add-on is an ergonomic backrest. This timber frame is placed behind your back while you rest in the sauna and it is designed to shape and optimize spinal alignment while you rest.


PROS & CONS OF OUTDOOR SAUNA

outdoor pod sauna

An outdoor sauna is a considerable investment. And, if you are thinking about adding one to your home, you need to know the pros and cons. Below we run through the key advantages and disadvantages of an outdoor sauna. For a more detailed guide, check out the Benefits and Disadvantages of Outdoor Sauna.

THE PROS

• BACK TO NATURE

An outdoor sauna allows you to sit back, relax, and work up a sweat in the great outdoors. What better way to get back in touch with nature than by enjoying a sauna session in your garden and backyard? And, when you need to cool down and you can step outside and enjoy some truly fresh air.

PRIVATE RETREAT

An outdoor sauna provides a private space you can escape to when you want to get away from the everyday stresses of life. It is a stand-alone, separate space and can be used as a retreat you can relax and unwind in when you feel the need to step outside.

RELAXATION & HEALTH BENEFITS

Outdoor saunas come with all the same health and relaxation benefits as a regular sauna. Saunas have been enjoyed around the world for centuries for their potential health and relaxation benefits – such as system detox, skin cleansing, and cardiovascular stimulating benefits.

SAVES INDOOR SPACE

Placing your sauna outdoors means you will save space inside your home. Saunas are large devices and require significant space. If you live in a home with limited space – your options may be limited. You can free up your indoor space by opting for an outdoor sauna and placing it in your yard or garden.

THE CONS

INSTALLATION & ASSEMBLY

The vast majority of outdoor saunas require onsite assembly. Assembling an outdoor sauna requires a basic knowledge of hand tools and will take several hours.

There are also installation requirements to be considered. Most out door saunas need an electrical connection. If you don’t already have one, you’ll have to have an electrical power source installed in your yard.

EXPOSURE TO THE ELEMENTS

Outdoor saunas are exposed to the elements. And, if you live in a region that experiences harsh weather conditions – the sauna cabin can suffer damage over the years. Although outdoor saunas are designed to withstand most weather conditions, you may need to perform periodic maintenance over the years to prevent deterioration.

REQUIRES OUTDOOR SPACE

Outdoor saunas require a considerable amount of free space. Not all homes have gardens or yards that can accommodate a sauna cabin. A typical 2-person sauna measures 58” x 41” x 96” inches. While a larger 4-person cabin will need 78” x 68” x 96” inches of free space.


BEST OUTDOOR SAUNA FAQ

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Here’s a round-up of the questions we get asked when covering the best outdoor saunas and outdoor sauna reviews.

Does An Outdoor Sauna Require Ventilation?

No, an outdoor sauna does not require ventilation. However, installing a vent can boost your overall sauna experience by providing the option to open a vent and introduce cold air if things get a little too hot.

Can An Infrared Sauna Be An Outdoor Sauna?

Yes, an infrared sauna can be an outdoor sauna. However, infrared saunas operate at much lower temperatures than traditional saunas. If you live in a cold climate an outdoor infrared sauna can feel cold. Adding additional insulation can boost the performance of an outdoor infrared sauna.

Does An Outdoor Sauna Have To Be Assembled?

Yes, the vast majority of outdoor saunas require on-site assembly. They are shipped in pre-fabricated parts that can be quickly and easily assembled on-site by following instructions. If you want a pre-assembled outdoor sauna you should contact your preferred manufacturer and express your interest.

Can You Use An Outdoor Sauna In The Winter?

Yes, you can use an outdoor sauna in the winter. In fact, this is many peoples’ favorite time to enjoy a hot sauna session. For winter use, choose an outdoor sauna with good insulation properties that allows it to easily reach optimal temperature.

 


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