best outdoor sauna

Top 6 Best Outdoor Saunas (Reviews & Buying Guide) 2021

Nothing beats having your own sauna. A sanctuary of sorts that you can go to relax, meditate, and clear your mind from all kinds of frustrations.

Once you get an outdoor sauna, you’ll never have to go through the trouble of driving to a spa or gym, or carefully plan your schedule so that you can book an appointment or session. All you’ll need to do is just walk to your sauna for a convenient and relaxing experience. It gets even better when you have a family because you’ll end up saving the money that you would have used to get the same service.

Outdoor saunas are also aesthetically pleasing. They’ll make your outdoor space look better than it did before. You can set one up wherever you want and get a size that you feel will meet your needs. They are popular because they don’t have a lot of restrictions. To top it off, the outdoor environment will naturally make you feel at ease even before you start your session.

To ensure that you get the best outdoor sauna experience, we’ve done some research and listed a few quality options for your consideration. Our selection is diverse and comprises of saunas with different capacities, heating methods, and materials, to mention a few. We have also included a buying guide to help you narrow down your options and make the best purchasing decision.

Outdoor Sauna Reviews

1. Cayenne 4-Person Outdoor Sauna

Features Overview

  • FM radio with CD player and MP3
  • A Vent
  • Reading Lamp

Are you looking for a reasonably sized outdoor sauna? If you are, then you should consider getting this four-person sauna. It’s ideal because it’s neither too big nor too small. The sauna is a great fit for small households, but you don’t necessarily have to be a family person to get it. You can also purchase it so that you’ll have enough room for your guests when they come to visit.

You can place it on your deck or patio. It also comes with a cover that you can use to protect it from harsh weather. One of the things you should look forward to includes it long ergonomic bench, which you can use to stretch yourself out and comfortably sit in whatever position you want. The bench is spacious so both you and your guests will have enough room to sit back and relax.

Product highlights

The sauna has a smooth and naturally appealing look. It’s also easy to assemble and install thanks to its tongue and groove construction. The outdoor sauna uses eight ceramic heaters. They work fast, so you won’t have to wait too long for the sauna to heat up. You’ll also take a liking to its recessed and interior exterior lighting.

This model stands out because it has a little bit of something for everyone. People who want to sit back and relax, have the previously mentioned bench and four movable ergonomic backrests. The backrests come highly recommended for people who suffer from lower back pain since they’ll provide additional support. They will enhance your comfort and have you feeling better than you initially were.

If you don’t like stuffiness, you’ll enjoy the sauna’s oxygen ionization system. The system will help purify the air and kill off odor-causing bacteria. It will clear unwanted odor, smoke, allergens, and pollen, among other things. Users also get cup holders, so that they can enjoy some cold and refreshing drinks during their sessions.

The Good/What I like

Users get an 18-month warranty for the radio and heating elements.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some users had trouble with the roof sections.

Pros

Cons

2. Finlandia Outdoor Sauna 4″ x 4″ with Roof Kit

Features Overview

  • 50 to 150 lbs. stones
  • Easy to use controls
  • Wooden bucket with a plastic liner

This outdoor home sauna comes pre-framed and insulated. It also has paneled sections and a pre-hung glass door. Finlandia does most of the work so that you don’t have to. The best thing about it is the fact that it’s made using Western Red Cedar wood.

The wood is beautiful and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It’s resistant to mold, and you’ll never find insects crawling on it. Your sauna won’t lose its appeal over time because cedar doesn’t stain or get discolored. The material is also resistant to splintering and performs well under high temperatures.

Product highlights

Users like the fact that the sauna heats up quickly and gives off a pleasant smell. It’s comfortable to touch when hot and has some odor absorption properties. The advantage of using a Western Red Cedar sauna is that the wood gives it antimicrobial qualities. Reason being, cedar contains natural oils, tannins, and resins. As such, your outdoor sauna will always be in excellent hygienic conditions. You should get this kind of sauna if you or your close family members have allergies.

The sauna is also durable, thanks to the quality of the materials used. You won’t have to deal with warping and cracking issues because cedar has a high stability range. It will always be in top shape regardless of how many times it heats up and cools down.

This outdoor sauna will also come with assembled benches. That includes headrests for the top benches. Other accessories include a 106/40 dipper, 0301K thermometer, bathing sign, and a wooden heater guard. Make sure you assemble the sauna on a level vinyl, tile, or concrete floor for stability and safety reasons.

The Good/What I like

The sauna was built using reliable materials.

The Bad/What I don’t like

It doesn’t have many user reviews, so it’s difficult to gauge its long term performance.

Pros

Cons

3. 4-Person Outdoor Sauna Weather Resistant Hemlock Wood

Features Overview

  • Ten-year residential warranty
  • Five-year warranty on the heaters
  • Three-year warranty on the electronics

Weather-resistant saunas offer us some peace of mind, knowing that the saunas won’t suffer any damages regardless of the weather. Your investment won’t go down the drain, and you’ll keep enjoying health benefits for several years. This sauna’s construction is waterproof, including its fully shingled roof. Even its tempered glass windows and doors are weather-sealed.

Product highlights

The sauna was built using durable wood, non-toxic glue, and a non-toxic finish. The materials are dependable, and the manufacturer adhered to the highest safety standards. It has a tongue and groove construction, and it’s easy to assemble and disassemble.

It uses eight ceramic far infrared heaters and warms up in about half an hour. You’ll be able to extend your sessions because it operates at very comfortable temperatures. Users can adjust the sauna temperature from 77F to 140F. But you won’t need to set the temperature at full capacity to get the most out of your sessions. It’s also safer and won’t cause you any discomfort compared to traditional saunas, which operate at 160F to 200+ F.

The sauna comes with 4 LED reading lights, so you’ll not strain yourself whenever you have a book or magazine. It also has an MP3/Auxiliary input that allows users to connect their devices and enjoy some music during their session. You’ll also benefit from its four chromotherapy color LED lights. The therapy has additional benefits that will help you deal with issues that a conventional sauna wouldn’t address.

The Good/What I like

The sauna has an ionizer w/ozone generator.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some users claim that it’s not sturdy.

Pros

Cons

4. Canadian Red Cedar 3-Person Outdoor Backyard Sauna

Features Overview

  • Chromatherapy LED and interior color lighting
  • One year warranty on electronics
  • Ionizer/ozone generator

If you fell in love with the previous red cedar sauna, you’re also going to like this model. It’s slightly smaller, but you’ll get the same benefits that the wood offers. You’ll get a stronger and much durable sauna that produces an aromatic and relaxing smell whenever it heats up. The sauna also comes with a waterproof shingled roof and removable red tiles.

Product highlights

Unlike some of the models we have come across, this outdoor home sauna uses far infrared carbon fiber heating panels. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it has one of the most effective heating systems in this list. Such heaters provide better heat penetration, resulting in more health benefits.

Carbon fiber heating panels come highly recommended because they are also energy efficient. You’ll get to enjoy having a sauna without worrying about outrageous utility costs. The panels consume less energy compared to their ceramic counterparts. Reason being, they operate using low surface temperatures. Other benefits of using carbon fiber panels include their long life expectancy and uniform heat distribution. You’ll never have to worry about hot spots again.

The infrared sauna is easy to assemble, but you might need an extra set of hands to complete the process. Previous buyers mentioned that it took them roughly two to three hours to get it up and running.

The Good/What I like

The sauna has low EMF levels compared to its ceramic counterpart.

The Bad/What I don’t like

The sauna comfortably accommodates two individuals instead of three.

Pros

Cons

5. 8″ Ft Canadian Outdoor Red Cedar Barrel Sauna

Features Overview

  • Thermometer / Hydrometer
  • Water bucket
  • Ladle

This is the only barrel sauna in this review. Although the design is relatively new, it still has tons of advantages. Compared to other designs, this type of sauna is easier to assemble and incurs fewer construction costs. It also doesn’t require a foundation. You can put its cradles on a concrete pad, deck, blocks, or some pavers.

The sauna design is considered to be more durable compared to square-shaped saunas. The bonus is that it can also handle heavy snow loads. This barrel sauna provides users with better steam or heat circulation as well.

Product highlights

The sauna consists of high quality Canadian cedar. To provide an excellent insulation barrier, the manufacturer ensured that the wood was 1 3/8″ thick. The thickness also contributes to the sauna’s sturdiness. It can accommodate up to six people comfortably since its outer walls are extended all the way to the edge. As a result, the sitting space is roomy, and you’ll get more than enough space to stretch.

This is the only barrel sauna in this review. Although the design is relatively new, it still has tons of advantages. Compared to other designs, this type of sauna is easier to assemble and incurs fewer construction costs. It also doesn’t require a foundation. You can put its cradles on a concrete pad, deck, blocks, or some pavers.

The sauna design is considered to be more durable compared to square-shaped saunas. The bonus is that it can also handle heavy snow loads. This barrel sauna provides users with better steam or heat circulation as well.

Product highlights

The sauna consists of high quality Canadian cedar. To provide an excellent insulation barrier, the manufacturer ensured that the wood was 1 3/8″ thick. The thickness also contributes to the sauna’s sturdiness. It can accommodate up to six people comfortably since its outer walls are extended all the way to the edge. As a result, the sitting space is roomy, and you’ll get more than enough space to stretch.

The sauna won’t take long to heat up since it uses a 9KW sauna heater. It stands out from other saunas that use 4.5KW heaters even when heating large spaces.

The Good/What I like

The sauna comes with lava rocks.

The Bad/What I don’t like

The sauna design requires more maintenance.

Pros

Cons

6. Canadian Hemlock Wood Traditional Swedish 1 or 2-Person Outdoor Steam Sauna

Features Overview

  • 40lbs sauna rocks
  • 4.5KW stove
  • One year parts warranty

You should consider purchasing this sauna if you want a 2 person outdoor sauna. The manufacturer put it through thorough testing to ensure that it is 100% waterproof. The sauna is expertly sealed and also has Asphalt waterproof roofing.

It’s an excellent fit for sauna lovers who want the traditional sauna experience at home. It won’t take long to set up, and you’ll never worry about the heating panels going out. You can use it as a dry sauna or a steam sauna based on your preferences.

Product highlights

The sauna comes with a water bucket and a spoon for users who want steamy sessions. You’ll also get a thermometer, hygrometer gauge, and a sand timer. The timer is convenient because it lets users know how much time they’ve spent in the sauna. You can use the timer to determine whether your session has ended. Users can also choose to take periodic breaks or use it to gauge whether it’s the right time to rehydrate themselves.

The Good/What I like

Users can opt for a free 6kw or 9kw stove upgrade.

The Bad/What I don’t like

The temperature can get as high as 200+ degrees.

Pros

Cons

Buyer’s Guide

Outdoor saunas aren’t cheap. That’s why you need to consider some factors carefully before spending your hard-earned money. We have highlighted what you need to keep in mind when making your selection, to ensure that you end up with an ideal sauna.

1. Design

Outdoor saunas come in several designs. The most common ones are the barrel and square-shaped saunas. If you’re more focused on aesthetics, you should go for square saunas. They are tall, stylish, and look like a small house. These saunas are also popular because they complement most outdoor spaces.

You should consider getting a barrel sauna if you want something durable. You and your family will enjoy using it for a considerable amount of time. That’s part of what makes it a worthwhile investment. The sauna is also suitable for backyard areas and requires fewer foundations.

2. Size

How large is your household? The answer to this question will help you narrow down your options. If you have a large family, you might want to consider a sauna that can fit up to eight people. That way, most of you will be able to use it simultaneously.

Smaller families should get smaller sized saunas. Reason being, bigger saunas have large heaters, so you risk increasing your utility bill for room that you don’t really need. However, if you can handle the extra expenses, you should go for a sauna that can accommodate both you and your guests.

You should also consider how much space you have to work with. You might want a large sauna, but the available space might limit you to a smaller sized alternative.

3. Type of heating source

There are three main types of saunas that you can opt for. You’ll be able to make better purchasing decisions once you get to know more about them.

a) Infrared saunas

Infrared heating systems focus on heating up a person’s body rather than the room. They have lower temperatures compared to other saunas, but you’ll still end up sweating in the same way. These saunas have tons of health benefits compared to other traditional models.

b) Wood burning sauna

This type of sauna uses wood and sauna rocks. The wood is burnt in a stove to heat up the sauna. You can control the amount of fire in the stove to get the temperature you want. To control the humidity in the sauna, you’ll need to throw water on the heated rocks.

c) Electrically heated saunas

As the name suggests, these types of saunas use electricity. The electrical heaters are either mounted on the wall or the floor. They have remote controls for convenience and are quite efficient. People also find them safe and stylish.

4. Materials

The wood used to build the sauna should be durable and capable of withstanding the elements. Most saunas comprise of Pine, Cedar, Hemlock, and Spruce. Cedar is expensive, has a light appearance, and is resistant to decay. It mostly stands out because of its pleasant aroma.

The other three types of wood are not as costly; that’s why they are used to build affordable saunas. Hemlock and Spruce also have excellent heat retention. You should also be critical about the glass and metals used to construct the saunas. Make sure the sauna you want has tempered glass and steel for safety and durability reasons.

5. Features and accessories

Modern saunas come with tons of features to enhance the user’s sauna experience. Some of them have music systems with quality speakers, Bluetooth capabilities, FM radios, and built-in MP3 aux connections. Such features will help keep you entertained throughout your session.

Other sauna features and accessories include backrests, magazine racks, internal and external temperature controls, chromotherapy lighting, and LED lights

6. EMF levels

You’ll only need to worry about EMF radiation when shopping for the best outdoor infrared sauna. The sauna should have low emf levels for the sake of your health. Go for options that will limit your EMF exposure so that your health isn’t affected in the long run.

FAQs

1. Why should I use a sauna?

Saunas have tons of health benefits. The sessions can help you detox, recover from injuries, reduce aches and pains, relieve some stress, lose weight, and beautify your skin, to mention a few.

2. How much will I spend if I want to buy a sauna?

Sauna prices vary depending on the material, type, size, and manufacturer.

Infrared sauna prices range from $1,000 to $4,000. They are some of the most common home saunas and they can accommodate up to five people. The bigger the infrared sauna the more expensive it is. You’ll also end up spending more if you opt for an infrared sauna with advanced features.

Portable infrared saunas are much more affordable. Their prices range from $100 to $400. They are highly convenient since you can carry and use them wherever you want.

Traditional sauna kit prices range from $3,000 to $6,000. These are DIY kits that come with all the necessary parts. You can easily assemble it on your own, so you won’t really need professional assistance. However, it all comes down to your personal preferences.

If you’re purchasing a traditional sauna room, your estimated expenditure will range from $2,000 to $7,000. The amount you spend will depend on the type of heater you choose and the size you want.

Outdoor saunas commonly use wood stove burning, traditional, or infrared tech for heat. As such, you’re likely to spend about $1,000 to $7,000. Remember, the heating system, materials, and size of the outdoor sauna are what will determine the final cost.

3. How should I dress when using a sauna?

What you decide to put on will largely depend on your preferences. Some people use the sauna when naked, while others opt for towels. You should also consider if you’ll be using the sauna alone or if you’ll have other people with you.

Aside from using a towel, there are a few other options for people who don’t want to be naked. You could wear a loosely fitting swimsuit made from a natural fabric. Or go for anything loose and lightweight provided that it’s made from cotton or other natural fabrics. Remember to take a minimalist approach in this kind of scenario.

4. How can I build a sauna from scratch?

You can get readily available resources for DIY saunas on the internet. We can’t offer detailed instructions, but we can provide you with a summary of what steps you’ll need to take when building your own sauna.

  • Choose a suitable location with easy access to electricity, plumbing, and heating.
  • Install the necessary gas lines, wires, and pipes.
  • Make sure you dig some space for your lava rocks if they are your preferred heating method.
  • Create a simple structure using wooden boards.
  • Insulate its inner frame and add a vapor barrier.
  • Build an outer wall and roof the sauna with tiles or wood. Remember to leave a spot open for ventilation.
  • Install the heating system and layer the floor with ceramic tiles.
  • Use unsecured boards to lay down a second layer of flooring.
  • Add structures like benches and other fixtures.
  • Test the heating system and ventilation points before using the sauna.

Remember, these steps are just meant to provide you with an overview of the process. Make sure you look for guidance and more detailed instructions once you’re ready to make a sauna at home.

5. How do I maintain my outdoor sauna?

Wood can shrink or expand, depending on the level of humidity and weather conditions. The more moisture it takes in, the more it swells. This trait is usually a problem for anything made of wood. However, the materials used to make these outdoor saunas are manufactured to the highest standards, to counter such issues, leaving you with very little maintenance to do. You won’t have to treat the wood as much as you would with a traditional sauna.

For the exterior, stain the sauna with a UV inhibitor from time to time, instead of applying paint. Doing so will help it resist weathering and retain the wood’s natural color. You should also scrub the benches and floor periodically. Use a mild solution of baking soda and water, and you’re good to go.

Conclusion

We recommend the Cayenne 4-Person Outdoor Sauna as the best outdoor sauna in this review. It comes with ergonomic benches and backrests, cup holders, and a few other useful accessories. The sauna also has an air filtration system to help keep the atmosphere fresh and hygienic. You’ll also like how it heats up quickly, and how it has a spacious design. It’s also the most affordable outdoor sauna on this list.

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