Our Top 5: Saunas We Love
How to Pick the Right Sauna for You
In all honesty, the team at Sun Valley Saunas loves all saunas. But we decided to put this list of our top picks together and share it with you because having your own personal, private sauna in your home or on your property is an affordable luxury. You don’t need an upscale spa or a pricey gym membership to experience the therapeutic benefits of a sauna. All you need is the space inside or outside your home to have sauna professionally installed. And that’s where we come in!
There’s a lot to consider when looking at adding a sauna to your home: traditional v. infrared; outdoor v. indoor; wood stove v. electric heater, etc. The first question we typically get when customers contact us is what’s the difference between all these saunas?? Because there are so many variables, the search for an at home sauna can be a little overwhelming. Below is a little bit of information that should help you on your way, along with our top five favorite at home saunas.
What's the Difference Between Traditional v. Infrared Saunas
Traditional saunas – in the classic Finnish sense – heat the air around you using steam and an electric sauna heater or wood sauna stove. Infrared saunas use light to penetrate the skin and heat the body from within – similar to how the sun works. Traditional steam saunas get up to 195° F while infrared saunas operate at lower temperatures, between 120° and 140° F. Both are great for different reasons. It’s up to you which you prefer!
What's the Difference Between Wood Sauna Stove v. Electric Sauna Heater
Sauna purists will always defend a wood burning sauna stove for their traditional steam sauna. They give off that crackle and the smell of wood fire as you sit back and enjoy your outdoor sauna. But, they’re a little more work – you have to start the stove manually and feed it with wood. Totally worth it for some people. Others, not so much. Electric sauna heaters are much easier to manage – just flip the switch and wait 20-30 minutes for your sauna to heat up. Plus, an electric sauna heater works with an indoor sauna or an outdoor sauna, unlike most wood fire sauna stoves. Either way, you top them both off with sauna rocks and hot water to create the steam you’re looking for.
What's the Difference Between an Outdoor Sauna vs. an Indoor Sauna
Whether you want to go with an outdoor sauna or an indoor sauna is generally going to depend on your personal preference and your living situation and available space. A typical indoor sauna can have a footprint as small as 3’ x 3’, or as large as 8’ x 12’. Outdoor saunas can obviously be pretty big, but with most of them going in a backyard size is generally less of a concern. Whether your preference is an outdoor sauna or an indoor sauna you can still choose between infrared or traditional and both options have plenty of size choices, woods, brands, etc.
Taking all that into account, here are our top five favorite saunas:
Enlighten Sauna Moonlight 5 Dry Traditional Sauna T-16380
If you like the traditional sauna experience with privacy yet want room enough for a few friends, this may be the perfect sauna for you. The Moonlight 5 is a traditional dry sauna that comes with a Harvia electric heater. This model is designed for indoor use AND outdoor use, and it comfortably seats up to five people. Built out of beautiful Western Canadian Red Cedar and minimal tempered glass panels, the Moonlight 5 lends itself to a serene, calm atmosphere and less exposure, so privacy is at a maximum. The Moonlight 5 also comes with a built in stereo with Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a digital controller for easy operation.
This two-person, dynamic infrared sauna is the perfect option if you're looking for a small, efficient indoor sauna. It has a footprint of about 15 square feet’ and with six radiant infrared heaters, this indoor sauna reaches a max temperature of 135 degrees quickly and maintains its heat. Made of Canadian Hemlock wood, its 6mm wood plank walls, which are about 40% thicker than other indoor saunas, keep the heat in and keep the sauna running efficiently. Equipped with a built in stereo with Bluetooth connectivity, this is the perfect at home indoor sauna for those with minimal space.
Enlighten Sauna Diamond 5 Infrared/Traditional Hybrid Sauna H-19378
Can’t decide between a traditional steam sauna and an infrared sauna? Go with a hybrid! Built out of beautiful Western Canadian Red Cedar the Diamond 5 comes equipped with a Harvia electric sauna heater as well as 12 radiant infrared heaters. Built with long, almost floor to ceiling tempered glass windows, the Diamond 5 lets in lots of natural light and even appears to glow from within at night time. As with all Enlighten Saunas, this hybrid sauna is also built for indoor or outdoor use. Comfortably seating up to five people this is the sauna to get if you really want to check all the boxes!
If you’re looking for a traditional outdoor sauna with a modern and unique look, the Dundalk Luna CTC22LU is for you. The rounded corners of this sauna constructed from Eastern Canadian White Cedar give it a non-traditional vibe, while the two-tiered L shaped benches, backrests and Harvia electric sauna heater ooze traditional Finland. The bronze tempered glass doors and windows provide sauna bathers a great view of the outdoors, and moderate privacy. What this sauna lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for with solid construction, classic approach and traditional sauna values. It’s also backed up by a lifetime warranty!
Classic and elegant, the SunRay Westlake 300LX traditional indoor sauna makes a statement. Constructed of luxurious Canadian Hemlock with a crystal cultured stone interior wall, this indoor traditional sauna is decorative and beautifully built. It includes ergonomic, wide bench seating for maximum comfort, interior LED lights and a sound system with Bluetooth connectivity. The Westlake 300LX is a three-person sauna with an all-tempered glass front for clear viewing from inside and out. This sauna looks and feels like the ultimate in modern sauna style with stainless steel finishes, blonde wood and stone. A great option for a home spa or bathroom.
Want to talk more about saunas with the team? We’d love to hear from you!
DISCLAIMER: Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using a sauna, as they may not suit everyone.