Different Kinds of Home Saunas

No matter what you're shopping for, it helps to know all of your options.

A home sauna is certainly no different.

There are at least six different options for owning a personal sauna. My goal is to help make your decision just a little bit easier.

Here's your list of choices:

  • Pre-cut home sauna kit
  • Modular package
  • Portable sauna
  • Outdoor sauna
  • Custom-designed sauna
  • Build your own sauna

Here's a brief look at each…

Pre-cut Home Sauna Kit

If you have some handyman skills and enjoy the rewards of piecing things together, this may be the choice for you.

Next to building your own sauna, pre-cut home sauna kits are the least expensive full size sauna option. But they also take more work to set up.

Your package arrives at your doorstep as pre-cut pieces that you will have to assemble. Detailed instructions will be included.

Modular Sauna Kit

Modular sauna kits have two advantages over pre-cut kits: ease of assembly and portability.

Modular kits include 2 to 5 pieces that lock together to form a full size sauna. Unlike pre-cut kits, modular sauna kits don't require many carpentry skills to assemble.

They're also usually more expensive.

Portable Home Saunas

Modular saunas are considered portable. But there are a bunch of smaller and more compact portable models on the market. These smaller 'saunas' don't resemble traditional saunas at all, but they achieve the same goal of making the user sweat.

Portable saunas are definitely your least expensive home sauna option.

They are available in many different designs, and you have a choice of a portable steam sauna or infrared sauna.

Outdoor Sauna

You can assemble your sauna kit in your front or back yard, or on your deck or patio. It will need to be situated on a non-penetrable surface. Outdoor saunas are specially made to endure the elements.

Custom Designed Sauna

This option is definitely the most expensive, but it's also the most exciting! You're limited only by your imagination. Manufacturers do assist you with design decision making.

Build Your Own

Thousands of people have and continue to build saunas from scratch. For people with little carpentry skills (like me), this can be a very difficult task. Here's an overview of the steps:

• design or buy the plans (design, size, location, type of heater)
• find and buy the wood
• carefully measure and cut the wood
• assemble all the pieces, including the door, heater and bench

Again, depending on your skills, this is not an easy job.


That sums up your different options for owning an in home sauna. Besides personal preference, the best choice for you really depends on a number of factors.

Terrence Banks is a fitness and wellness enthusiast. He is the author of http://www.steam-sauna-benefits.com There you'll find more details about each home sauna option.
Beware of Sauna Dealers

I have had two bad experiences with manufacturers of cedar barrel sauna's. These saunas are very expensive and dealers require half of the selling price upfront. This can amount to $3000-$4000 or more. They do not itemize the pieces that you buy, they just give you a price and you don't know how much the pieces cost. That way they can add as much as they want to the price (say for options such as installing a window) and if you get your sauna and the window isn't installed, they say "oh, we didn't charge you for that". But you have no way of knowing.
Another thing they do is include things like a water bucket and ladle, temperature gauge, sand timer, inside lights, floor boards, etc. as a bundle, but again you don't know what they are charging you for them. A lot of times you can get these things locally where you can see and feel them before you buy, and get them cheaper. I bought the bundle which was supposed to be a metal water bucket and ladle but I got a wooden bucket with a plastic bottom and wooden ladle. The temperature gauge was in Centigrade and was a cheap wooden thing. The sand timer was a flimsy wooden and glass thing that will probably break soon. You have to flip it over every 15 minutes.
Also check on the instruction manual. The one I got contained just 5 pictures. There were no tips to putting the kit together or what not to do. When you run the wiring it takes two different circuits. One is 220v for the electric heater and the other is 110V for the lights, They don't tell you this. The electric heater (Tylo from Sweden, which had to be back-ordered but they don't tell you this until they get the rest of your money) had broken pieces when it was delivered and was just dumped on my porch. I sent email requesting information about the broken parts and never heard back from them (they already had the rest of my money).
This company was called Saunakits.com and is in Ontario, Canada. I DO NOT recommend doing business with them and I regret that I did.

The other company took my deposit, told me in email 3 weeks later that the sauna was ready to ship and then I never heard from them again. I waited a week or so while I called and sent email, but the phones were disconnected and the email was not answered. The email did not bounce, I assume it was just ignored. They had $3500 of mine. I had to call my VISA provider which is issued by my bank and they had to recover my funds.
This company was called Callaway Woodworks in Houston, TX. I DO NOT recommend doing business with them and I regret that I did.

Garron Woodruff
Denver, CO

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