The Complete Guide to Choosing the Perfect Home Sauna


Purchasing a sauna can often seem overwhelming due to the numerous factors that need consideration—budget, type, size, location, and the technical specifics that enhance your sauna experience.

Types of Saunas

When it comes to selecting the right sauna, understanding the different types available is crucial. The two primary categories you’ll encounter are traditional steam saunas and modern infrared therapy saunas. Traditional saunas utilise hot stones to generate steam and provide a high-heat environment. On the other hand, infrared saunas use radiant heat to penetrate the skin, offering a gentler heat experience that is becoming increasingly popular for its health benefits.

Choosing between a steam sauna and an infrared sauna depends largely on personal preference and health considerations. If you appreciate the intense heat and steam of traditional saunas, then a classic steam model might be the best fit. However, if you prefer a milder temperature and are focused on health benefits like improved circulation and muscle relaxation, an infrared sauna might be more suitable.

Budgeting for Your Sauna

The cost of saunas varies significantly based on the type, materials used, size, and additional features. Entry-level models can start from approximately £2,000, mid-range quality saunas range from £7,000 to £10,000, and premium custom-built versions can exceed £10,000. Typically, traditional steam saunas cost more than infrared models due to the additional installation requirements involved.

To effectively plan your budget, compile a list of essential and desirable features. This helps in determining what you’re willing to spend without compromising on quality and functionality. Don’t forget to enquire about financing options that may be available to spread the cost over time.

Where to Place Your Sauna

Deciding on the installation location for your sauna is pivotal not just for functionality but also for enhancing your property’s value. Infrared saunas offer flexible installation options, from indoor rooms like a spare bedroom or garage to outdoor spaces under adequate cover. Traditional steam saunas require more careful consideration due to their specific needs for plumbing, drainage, and ventilation.

Before deciding, consider your property’s layout, the sauna’s dimensions, and utility access points like electrical outlets. Optimal placement combined with easy access will ensure you get the most out of your sauna.

Choosing the Right Size

Home saunas come in various sizes, accommodating anywhere from one to six or more individuals. The size you choose should correspond to the available space, your budget, and how many people will use the sauna regularly. Ensure there is adequate bench space for comfort—generally, at least 50cm per person—and consider larger models if you prefer a more open, airy environment.

Selecting Sauna Materials

The type of wood used in your sauna impacts both its aesthetics and functionality. Premium woods like cedar and hemlock are popular for their durability and aesthetic appeal. Cedar offers a rich aroma and resistance to moisture, making it a top choice despite its higher cost. Hemlock is prized for its smooth appearance and minimal scent, ideal for those with allergies.

When choosing wood, look for high-quality, chemical-free options that are dense enough to handle high temperatures without warping or emitting resins. Sustainability is also a key factor—opt for wood sourced from responsibly managed forests to ensure environmental responsibility.

Ceramic vs. Carbon Infrared Heaters

The choice between ceramic and carbon infrared heaters is significant due to their impact on your sauna experience. Carbon heaters are generally preferred for their longevity, even heat distribution, and deep tissue penetration. This makes them particularly effective for therapeutic uses. When selecting an infrared heater, consider the type of infrared spectrum offered and ensure the model has a low surface temperature to enhance safety and comfort.

Are Additional Features Worth It?

Customising your sauna with additional features can greatly enhance your experience. Options like chromotherapy (light therapy), Bluetooth® audio systems, and digital controls add personalisation and convenience to your sauna sessions. Evaluate which features align with your lifestyle and enhance your sauna use without stretching your budget unnecessarily.

Operational Costs and Safety Standards

Infrared saunas typically have lower operational costs compared to traditional steam saunas, mainly due to their efficiency and quicker heat-up times. Always consider safety standards when choosing a sauna; look for non-toxic materials, certified electrical components, and effective safety features like automatic shut-off timers to prevent accidents.

Warranty and Aftercare

A robust warranty is essential when investing in a sauna. Look for comprehensive coverage on critical components like the heating system and construction materials. Reputable manufacturers will offer warranties that cover a lifetime on the cabin and heaters, ensuring peace of mind over the longevity of your sauna.

Making a Well-Informed Sauna Purchase

A sauna is a significant investment in your health and wellness. By understanding the types available, considering your budget and space, and choosing the right features, you can select a sauna that not only meets your needs but also provides a relaxing and beneficial addition to your lifestyle. Remember, the best sauna is one that fits seamlessly into your home and daily routine, providing lasting benefits and enjoyment.

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