The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Saunas (2023)

Building a sauna at home is like hitting the jackpot for your health, wellness, and relaxation! Let’s face it, an outdoor sauna is a way to go if you're looking for extra fun in the sun. 

Outdoor Barrel Sauna

Outdoor Sauna for Home

Let's explore why you should consider having a sauna in your backyard and why it's the best investment you'll ever make! 

  1. Health benefits: Saunas have been used for centuries to do more than heat your buns. Regular sauna sessions have been shown to reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, and relieve muscle pain and soreness. It's like hitting the reset button on your body!
  2. Convenience: No more excuses for missing your sauna sessions. With a sauna at home, you can enjoy the benefits whenever you want. Just step into your sauna after a long day of work or a challenging workout and let the magic happen. And the best part? You're in control! You get to set the temperature, the mood lighting, and even the music (if you want to).
  3. Relaxation: An outdoor sauna is the ultimate chill zone. The heat and steam can help soothe your muscles, calm your mind, and relieve stress. It's like a mini-vacation in your backyard. And if you're feeling extra zen, you can meditate or practice yoga in the sauna. 
  4. Increased home value: Adding an outdoor sauna to your home is like putting a cherry on top of a sundae. It's the cherry that takes your home from "pretty good" to "pretty amazing." An outdoor sauna is a unique and luxurious feature that can set your home apart from the rest, making it more attractive to potential buyers. Plus, they'll think you're cool!
  5. Cost-effective: Yes, the initial cost of building a sauna may seem high, but in the long run, it's a cost-effective investment. No more paying for expensive gym memberships or spa sessions. You can enjoy the benefits whenever you want, for as long as you want, without breaking the bank.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Saunas (It's Not Just As Obvious As It Sounds) 

Saunas offer relaxation and improve your health, but choosing between indoor and outdoor saunas can take time and effort. 

Indoor saunas are convenient and offer year-round use, regardless of the weather. They're also easier to install and can be fitted into a small space, such as a bathroom or basement. But, indoor saunas can lack the natural light and fresh air that outdoor saunas offer.

Indoor Infrared Sauna

On the other hand, outdoor saunas allow you to soak up the sun and experience the therapeutic benefits of being in nature. Sun exposure is one of the best ways to absorb essential vitamin D, vital for strong bones and a healthy immune system. Breathing in the fresh air and being surrounded by nature can improve your mood, reduce stress, and enhance the sauna experience.

Thermory Outdoor Barrel Sauna

Another great thing about outdoor saunas is that they provide a sense of community and socializing. You can invite friends or family to a sauna party, making it a fun and memorable experience. You're usually limited to a few people in an indoor sauna, which can be less social and fun.

Finally, an outdoor sauna can add value to your property and increase its overall appeal. A unique and luxurious feature like an outdoor sauna can make your home stand out and attract potential buyers.

Is An Outdoor Sauna Right For You

When comparing indoor and outdoor saunas, there are a few key differences. Indoor saunas are conveniently located inside your home, making them easily accessible, particularly in cold weather. They are also usually built in a more controlled environment, making it easier to regulate temperature and humidity.

On the other hand, outdoor saunas provide the unique experience of being in nature and offer a more natural environment. They also allow for natural light and fresh air exposure, which can have additional health benefits. However, outdoor saunas are subject to the elements, so choosing a sauna made of high-quality, weather-resistant materials is essential and considering the maintenance required to keep the sauna in good condition.

In terms of health benefits, both indoor and outdoor saunas offer similar benefits, including increased circulation, relaxation, and stress relief. However, outdoor saunas may provide additional benefits, such as increased exposure to Vitamin D from sunlight and the therapeutic effects of being in nature.

Ultimately, whether you choose an indoor or outdoor sauna will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances, such as your home setup, location, and budget. Considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the many benefits of sauna therapy in your home.

What to Know Before Buying an Outdoor Sauna

Ready to take the plunge and buy an outdoor home sauna? Before you do, here are a few things to keep in mind, so you end up with the sauna of your dreams:

  1. Find Your Spot: Where's the best place for your sauna in your backyard? Make sure it's a spot that's convenient for you to use and offers the privacy you want. Consider factors such as access to electrical outlets and how they will look in your landscaping.
  2. What's Your Type? There are all sorts of outdoor saunas to choose from, including wood-fired, electric, and even outdoor infrared saunas. Pick the right one for you based on your budget, energy source availability, and personal preferences.
  3. Size Matters: How many people do you want to fit in your sauna? Do you want a two tiered sauna? Make sure you choose a sauna that's the right size for you, your budget, and your backyard.  
  4. Quality is Key: You want a sauna built to last, so make sure you choose one made of high-quality materials that are weather-resistant and durable.
  5. Set a Budget: Outdoor saunas can range in price from just a few bucks to several grand, so decide on a budget before you start shopping. Look for a sauna that provides good value for your money.
  6. Maintenance Matters: Consider the amount of maintenance and upkeep required for the type of sauna you choose. Make sure you're up for the task!
  7. Warranty Wows: Look for a sauna with a warranty and solid customer support. This will offer peace of mind and ensure you can get assistance.

By keeping these things in mind, you'll be on your way to finding the perfect outdoor home sauna for you. With the ideal sauna, you'll enjoy all the health and wellness benefits of using a sauna right in your own backyard! 

How Much Space Do You Have for a Sauna?

Building an outdoor home sauna can be a fun and rewarding achievement, but it's wise to consider a few key factors before getting started. In many cases, construction is unnecessary as many sauna options come ready to use or easy to assemble. 

Firstly, you must have a clear plan, including the size, location, materials, and electrical and heating requirements. 

Make sure you have the necessary tools, such as saws and drills, and choose weather-resistant materials for construction. The foundation of your sauna should be sturdy and placed on a level spot, considering soil conditions and drainage. 

Ventilation is also crucial for a comfortable and safe sauna experience, so ensure you have proper airflow. Additionally, you'll need to consider electrical hookups for lighting and heating, and you may need to hire an electrician for a safe and reliable electrical source. 

Considering these factors, you can build a successful and enjoyable outdoor home sauna.

What’s Your Sauna Budget

Budget, oh, budget! It's the bane of every DIYer's existence, but it's a crucial consideration when building an outdoor sauna. Don't let sticker shock get the best of you! 

Outdoor saunas can range from simple DIY projects to elaborate, custom-built structures. The cost of your outdoor sauna will depend on size, materials, and any additional features you choose to include. Set a budget before you begin and stick to it, so you don't overspend and end up with a project that exceeds your means.

Lastly, a budget can also help you prioritize the most critical aspects of your outdoor sauna, such as the heating source or ventilation system. By carefully considering your budget and making informed decisions, you can create an outdoor sauna that fits your needs and your wallet.

Wood-Burning vs. Steam Sauna

When building an outdoor sauna, choosing the right heating option is a big decision. Let's take a closer look at the two most popular options: wood-burning and steam.

Wood-burning saunas are like the OG of saunas. They use wood-fired stoves to heat the air and provide that classic, rustic sauna experience. The setup is often less expensive, and no plumbing or fancy equipment is needed. But let's remember this option requires a little more TLC, and fire safety is always necessary. So, if you're ready to get your hands dirty and want that traditional sauna feel, this might be your option.

Huum Wood Burning Sauna Stove

Steam saunas, otherwise known as traditional saunas, on the other hand, use a generator to produce steam and heat the air. This option is like the "set it and forget it" of saunas - easy to regulate, consistent heat, and more humidity. However, the equipment and plumbing come with a higher price tag. This might be the way to go if you want a hassle-free sauna experience.

Steam Sauna

So, which one is the winner? It depends on personal preferences and budget. If you're a traditionalist, go for the wood-burning option. If you want something low-maintenance and easy, go for steam. Whichever you choose, get ready to sweat and relax in style!

What’s an Outdoor Barrel Sauna

This unique sauna style is like a giant wine barrel, but it holds heated relaxation instead of storing fermented grapes.

The rounded shape of the barrel sauna allows for optimal use of space and provides a unique sauna experience. The heat is evenly distributed throughout the sauna, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Plus, who doesn't love a good round of "pass the hot sauce" in their own outdoor barrel sauna?

Barrel saunas can use electric heaters, as is the case with most Golden Designs barrel saunas or wood-fired stoves in terms of heating options. Like traditional saunas, wood-fired stoves provide a more rustic experience, while electric heaters are more convenient and low-maintenance.

Building an outdoor barrel sauna is a fun and unique way to bring the relaxation of a traditional sauna to your own backyard. Remember to bring plenty of water, a good book, and a positive attitude! You're in for a real treat with an outdoor barrel sauna.

The Best Outdoor Infrared Sauna

The great outdoors just got even greater with adding an outdoor infrared sauna! But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best one? 

When searching for the best outdoor infrared sauna, consider the following: size, features, and materials. You want to ensure the sauna is big enough to fit you and any sauna buddies comfortably and has all the desired features, like adjustable lighting and temperature control. The materials should also be high-quality and weather-resistant, so your sauna can stand up to the elements and provide relaxation for years to come.

One of our more popular outdoor infrared saunas is the SunRay Cayenne Outdoor Infrared Sauna. This sauna is made of Canadian Hemlock and has a temperature range of up to 140°F. It also has built-in speakers and a 7-year warranty.

In the end, the best outdoor infrared sauna is the one that fits your needs and budget. 

The Best Outdoor Barrel Sauna

Look no further if you're in the market for the best outdoor barrel sauna! SaunaLife Barrel Saunas have taken the sauna world by storm with their top-notch quality and features.

These saunas are made with SaunaLife's signature heat-treated aspen wood and are stunning to look at and built to last. 

The ash wood provides excellent insulation, making it a highly efficient heat conductor for the perfect sauna experience.

You can create the perfect ambiance for your outdoor sauna sessions with adjustable lighting and temperature control. And the built-in stereo system allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes while you sweat them out.

The Best Outdoor Saunas

  1. SaunaLife Outdoor Saunas: These sophisticated modern outdoor saunas offer a combination of durability and style. Made from high-quality thermally modified wood that is resistant to rot and decay, these saunas come in various sizes and designs, allowing for a customized sauna experience. They also feature efficient heating options and easy assembly, making them convenient for outdoor relaxation and wellness. 
  2. Almost Heaven: This outdoor sauna is designed for a more spacious and traditional sauna experience. The Baia cabin is made from high-quality Western Red Cedar. Its design provides ample space for 6-8 people. In addition, it comes with a range of features, including built-in benches, a sauna stove, and a chimney, making it a complete kit ready to use right out of the box.

The 4 Best Outdoor Saunas for Sale

  • SaunaLife Outdoor Saunas: Made from thermally modified aspen wood, SaunaLife outdoors saunas will last longer in cold snowy climates. It's an excellent choice for those looking for a durable and long-lasting outdoor sauna.  SaunaLife barrel saunas are also larger in diameter than typical barrel saunas, and are made using beefier cuts of wood for a higher end look. 

Advantages: Durable, eco-friendly materials, traditional design, extended warranty.

Disadvantages: There may be better choices for a modern or sleek design. 


  • Dundalk Leisurecraft Luna Outdoor Sauna: This modern and stylish sauna kit is made from Canadian Hemlock and comes with a 1-year warranty. It's an excellent choice for a contemporary and sleek outdoor sauna.

Advantages: Modern and stylish design, made from durable materials, 1-year warranty.

Disadvantages: Warranty may be shorter than other options.


Advantages: Infrared technology, made from high-quality materials, compact design.

Disadvantages: There may be better choices for those looking for a larger sauna.


Advantages: Traditional design, made from durable materials, 1-year warranty.

Disadvantages: Warranty may be shorter than other options.


Each of these sauna kits has unique advantages and disadvantages, but the best choice for you will depend on your budget, space, and personal preferences. 

It's also a best practice to consider the size, materials, features, and design you're looking for and make an informed decision based on your needs. Questions? Go ahead and e-mail, text, or call if you have any questions about the products we carry or just general sauna questions. We're always happy to help! 


DISCLAIMER: Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using a sauna, as they may not suit everyone.

This Article is independently written by Sarah Lopes. All opinions given are hers. Sarah has a Master's Degree in Health Psychology with a concentration in Mind-Body Medicine and has been a Registered Yoga Instructor since 2009. Her passion for health and wellness began as a child and has deeply rooted in her 20 years as a working professional in the field.

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