The 10 Best Outdoor Saunas + Complete Outdoor Sauna Buying Guide

best outdoor home saunas

Choosing an outdoor sauna is a smart move if you’re looking to add something special to your home.

It’s easier to set up an outdoor sauna than to fit one inside your home. Outdoor saunas are great because they give you plenty of room and keep the heat just right.

They’re also a fantastic way to relax, help your body feel better, and can even make your home worth more.

Starting at about $5,000, building a cabin-style outdoor sauna or buying a barrel sauna kit are often the best choices for most people because they’re cozy and work really well.

→ Jump to the best outdoor saunas

Key Takeaways:

  • Outdoor saunas, like the ones you can put in your backyard or garden, are awesome for relaxing and can have positive health benefits. They can even boost your property value.
  • Cabin-style outdoor saunas are the best choice because they give you lots of room and keep the heat just right. Barrel saunas are also popular, but they can be unstable with heat distribution because the seats are closer to the ground due to limited ceiling height.
  • You can find outdoor saunas for sale starting at about $5,000. For a really nice one or a DIY build, you might pay between $10,000 and $16,000, especially if you need to get it set up with electricity and insulate it for winter.
  • Brands like Almost Heaven and Cedar Brook offer some of the best outdoor home saunas. They have models that fit 4-6 people, perfect for families or friends.
  • Keeping your outside sauna clean and in good shape means it can last a long time, over 20 years. This means checking the wood, cleaning it, and making sure the electrical parts are safe.
  • Having a sauna outside in your garden or backyard isn’t just fun; it’s good for your mind and body. It can help you feel less stressed, sleep better, and even help your muscles recover after a workout.
Table of Contents show

Introduction to Outdoor Saunas

Thinking about getting a sauna? Outdoor saunas are a fantastic pick.

If fitting a sauna inside your house sounds tough, a backyard sauna is probably a better option if you have the space for it and if your HOA or zoning rules permit installing one. That’s why many folks go for an outdoor sauna. It’s simpler to set up outside because you don’t have to worry about fitting it into your home’s structure.

Understanding Outdoor Saunas

Outdoor saunas are standalone structures and are perfect if you want the real sauna experience without squeezing it inside your house.

Most people love the cabin-style outdoor saunas. They’re built to spread heat evenly, so you feel cozy all over. This makes them a better pick than barrel saunas, which might look cool but can leave your feet cold because heat rises and doesn’t spread as well.

Manufacturers like Almost Heaven and Cedar Brook make some awesome outdoor saunas. They’ve got a bunch of different models, so you’re likely to find one that fits what you’re looking for.

Barrel vs. Cabin-Style Outdoor Saunas

When picking an outdoor sauna, you’ve got two cool styles to think about: barrel and cabin. Both have their perks and drawbacks.

Barrel Saunas

These saunas are shaped like a barrel lying on its side, and they sure do look neat in your backyard. One big plus is they come in kits that are super easy to put together. You might get a barrel sauna kit for around $3,000 to $8,000, depending on the size and features.

The curved walls help spread heat around, but there’s a catch. Since the seats are closer to the ground due to the limited ceiling height, the bottom part can feel cooler, especially near your feet. So, if you’re sitting down, you might not feel as toasty as you’d like.

Cabin-Style Saunas

Cabin saunas are more like a little house or shed, with straight walls and a traditional look. They’re awesome for even heat distribution, meaning you’ll feel warm all over.

These saunas might start at a bit higher price, around $5,000 to $16,000, but you’re paying for comfort and a consistent warm experience. Plus, they often have more room inside, so you can move around or invite more friends in. And since they’re built like a small room, the heat stays where you want it – all around you.

Both styles have their fans.

If you love the unique look and are okay with a bit cooler feet, a barrel sauna could be your pick. They’re also a bit quicker to set up, which is great if you’re eager to start relaxing. But if you’re all about that even warmth and maybe have a bit more space and budget, a cabin-style sauna could be the way to go. It gives you that classic sauna feel, with plenty of room and heat that stays put.

Benefits of Outdoor Saunas

Getting an outdoor sauna can do a lot of good. First off, it’s a great way to chill out and get rid of toxins in your body. But there’s more. These saunas give you lots of room and spread heat just right, making every sauna session great. They’re like your own little health spa in the backyard, helping your heart and muscles. Plus, they can make your home more valuable.

Starting at about $5,000, you can get a really nice outdoor sauna. Keep in mind, you might need to spend a bit more for things like electrical setup and keeping it warm in winter. If you’re looking to save some cash, you might find a good deal on a barrel sauna at places like Costco or even secondhand. But if you want the best experience with even heat and plenty of space, cabin saunas are the way to go. They’re known for keeping you warm from top to bottom and have enough space for a few people to enjoy at once.

So, whether you’re looking for a backyard sauna, garden sauna, or just an outside sauna to enjoy at home, going with an outdoor model is a smart choice. With a bit of research and maybe some DIY spirit, you can have a cozy outdoor retreat that’s all yours.

Choosing Your Outdoor Sauna

Finding the right outdoor sauna for your home means looking at what you really need and what each sauna offers.

We’re here to help you pick the best one.

How to Buy an Outdoor Sauna

When you’re ready to get an outdoor sauna, think about how much space you have, how much you want to spend, and the weather where you live.

You should plan to spend at least $5,000 for something of good quality, but remember, setting it up and keeping it warm in winter might cost extra. It’s smart to check out well-known brands for sauna kits. If you’re looking to save some money, you might find a great deal on a used one, but consider the cost of relocating it.

Traditional vs. Infrared Outdoor Saunas

Heating Method

Traditional saunas heat up the air with a wood or electric stove, making you sweat at high temperatures. Infrared saunas warm you up directly with infrared lights, which may feel gentler.

Humidity Levels

In a traditional sauna, you can make it more humid by throwing water on hot stones. Infrared saunas stay dry because they don’t use steam to heat up.

What to Look for in an Outdoor Sauna

Focus on the sauna’s size, how it’s built, and what it’s made of.

A cabin-style sauna is usually the best because it spreads heat evenly and gives you enough room.

Materials like western red cedar are great because they last long and keep the heat well. Aim for a sauna that fits 4-6 people to get enough space without using too much. Also, make sure the heating system is efficient and safe to use.

Best Outdoor Saunas of 2024

Discovering the best outdoor saunas for 2024 means looking at what’s out there and finding the top picks that match different needs and budgets. We’ve done the research to help you find the perfect sauna for your backyard.

Best Outdoor Saunas Overview

This year’s top outdoor saunas bring together quality, performance, and value. Whether you’re looking for the warmth of a traditional sauna or the gentle heat of an infrared model, there’s something for everyone. From budget-friendly options to luxury picks, we’ve identified the best outdoor saunas to enhance your home wellness routine.

Best Overall Outdoor Sauna

The Cedar Brook Cabin Sauna stands out as the best overall choice. It combines spacious design, efficient heating, and durable construction, making it a favorite for families and sauna enthusiasts alike. Priced around $8,000, it offers a balanced mix of quality and value.

Best Budget Backyard Sauna

For those watching their spending, the Kisrais Single-Person Sauna offers an excellent experience at a more accessible price point, typically under $3,000. It’s compact but doesn’t skimp on the sauna experience, making it ideal for smaller spaces or personal use.

Worth the Splurge

If you’re willing to invest in the ultimate sauna experience, the Almost Heaven Grandview Sauna is worth the splurge. With prices starting around $12,000, it offers expansive space, luxurious features, and unmatched craftsmanship for the discerning buyer.

Best Infrared Outdoor Sauna

The Sun Home Luminar 5-Person Full-Spectrum Infrared Sauna shines as the best infrared option. Priced around $9,000, it provides gentle, even heat with the latest in infrared technology, perfect for those seeking health benefits without the intense heat of traditional saunas.

Best Barrel Outdoor Sauna

While cabin saunas are often preferred for their heat distribution, the Almost Heaven Audra Barrel Sauna offers a unique aesthetic and efficient design, making it the best barrel sauna. It’s a great choice for those looking for something different, with prices around $5,000.

These top picks for 2024 reflect the best in outdoor sauna technology and design, catering to a wide range of preferences and budgets. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade, these models offer the best combination of features, quality, and value.

Outdoor Home Sauna Recommendations

Finding the right outdoor sauna for your home can be a journey. To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 outdoor saunas that cater to a variety of needs and preferences. Here are our recommendations for 2024:

Top 10 Outdoor Saunas for Your Home

  1. Sun Home Luminar 5-Person Full-Spectrum Infrared Sauna – Originally $9,699, now $9,099 at Sun Home Saunas. This sauna offers full-spectrum infrared technology, perfect for those seeking deep muscle relaxation and detoxification.
  2. Kanlanth Hemlock Infrared Sauna – Reduced from $4,299 to $3,399 on Amazon. A great choice for its durable Hemlock construction and efficient infrared heating.
  3. Kisrais Single-Person Sauna – Available for $2,370 at Wayfair. Ideal for personal relaxation, this compact sauna fits snugly in smaller outdoor spaces.
  4. SunRay Burlington Two-Person Outdoor Sauna – Priced at $3,290 at Walmart. A cozy option for couples or individuals, offering traditional heating in a compact design.
  5. Almost Heaven Seneca Sauna – $8,899 at The Home Depot. This cabin-style sauna provides a spacious and traditional sauna experience, accommodating up to six people.
  6. Aleko Canadian 8-Person Traditional Steam Sauna – $7,488 at Wayfair. For those who love socializing or have a large family, this sauna offers ample space and traditional steam heating.
  7. Thermowood Garden Sauna – $7,999 at Redwood Outdoors. A stylish and durable option, made from thermally modified wood for extra resistance to the elements.
  8. Dundalk Leisure Canadian Timber Cabin Sauna – Now $6,922, down from $7,922 at My Sauna World. This sauna combines the charm of Canadian timber with the efficiency of a cabin design.
  9. Thermowood Mini-Cube Two-Person Sauna – $4,999 at Redwood Outdoors. A modern and minimalist option, perfect for couples seeking a unique sauna experience.
  10. HKXSC 905VS Outdoor Infrared 5-Person Sauna – Reduced from $5,299 to $4,699 at HKXSC. This sauna offers the latest in infrared technology, accommodating up to five users comfortably.

These outdoor saunas have been selected for their quality, features, and customer satisfaction, ensuring you find the perfect match for your home and wellness goals. Whether you prefer the traditional warmth of a steam sauna or the targeted heat of an infrared model, there’s an option here to suit your needs.

Installing and Maintaining a Backyard Home Sauna

Proper installation and regular maintenance are key to enjoying your outdoor sauna for years to come. Here’s how to set up your outdoor sauna and keep it in top condition.

Setting Up Your Outdoor Sauna

Setting up your outdoor sauna involves a few critical steps. First, choose a flat, stable surface away from overhanging trees or bushes. For electrical saunas, the electrical hookup can be a significant part of the cost, potentially reaching up to $1,500, as professional installation ensures safety and compliance with local codes. If you’re in a colder climate, consider insulating your sauna to retain heat more efficiently, which could be part of the initial setup or a later upgrade. Remember, a quality outdoor sauna setup, especially for a 4-6 person capacity, might cost you between $10,000 and $16,000 if you’re hiring professionals for a comprehensive installation, including electrical work and insulation.

Maintenance Tips for Longevity

To ensure your outdoor sauna lasts, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Keep the interior clean by sweeping and gently wiping down surfaces with a mild detergent. For infrared saunas, clean the heaters to ensure they’re free from dust and debris.
  2. Wood Care: Treat the exterior wood with a suitable wood preservative annually to protect against weathering and maintain its appearance. If you notice any signs of mold or mildew, address them immediately to prevent spread.
  3. Check Electrical Components: For saunas with electrical heaters, periodically check the electrical components and connections for signs of wear or damage. Have a professional electrician perform any necessary repairs.
  4. Inspect Heater and Stones: In traditional saunas, inspect the heater and stones regularly. Replace the stones if they start to crumble or lose their heat-retaining properties.
  5. Door Maintenance: Ensure the sauna door seals correctly to keep the heat in. Adjust or replace the seal as needed.

By following these maintenance tips and ensuring proper installation, your outdoor sauna will provide a relaxing and healthful retreat in your backyard for many years. Whether you’ve chosen a budget-friendly option or invested in a luxury model, taking care of your sauna will maximize its benefits and longevity.

Building Your Own Outdoor Sauna + Cost Estimations

Making your own outdoor sauna can be a big project, but it’s a great way to save money and get exactly what you want. Here’s how you can do it and what you need to think about for heating.

DIY Outdoor Sauna Building Methods

Building a sauna yourself means planning, buying materials, and putting it all together. Many people choose an 8×12 foot shed design with a changing area and maybe even a loft. Doing the work yourself or with help from friends and family can cut costs a lot.

The Wood-Burning Stove & The Electric Stove

For heating, you can pick between a wood-burning stove and an electric heater. Each has its own needs to work right.

Electric Heater Requirements

If you go electric, you’ll need a good power source. Setting up might include digging a trench for the wires and making sure everything’s safe. An electric heater like the Harvia Electric Cilindro 9kw costs about $1,300, and the whole electrical setup could add up to $1,000.

Read more about electrical requirements for saunas.

Wood-Burning Heater Requirements

A wood stove gives that classic sauna feel but needs a chimney or vent. You’ll also need a place to store wood. This option can add a cozy look and feel to your sauna.

DIY Home Sauna Cost Example for an Outdoor Sauna

Here’s a breakdown of what it might cost to build your sauna:

  • Heater: $1,300 for a Harvia electric heater.
  • Electrical Work: $1,000 for wiring and setup.
  • Wood: $1,000 for framing and another $1,000 for sheathing and misc.
  • Cedar Walls/Ceiling: $1,400 for that nice sauna smell and look.
  • Benches: $500 for green cedar lumber.
  • Siding: $1,500 to protect the outside.
  • Flooring: $1,000 in the changing room.
  • Sauna Floor: $300 for materials.
  • Roof: $500 for shingles and tar paper.
  • Door/Window/Lights: $500 to finish it off.
  • Gravel and Tools: $500 for the base and any rentals.

All up, you’re looking at about $12,000 for materials. Remember, if you hire someone to help, it’ll cost more. But if you’re handy and have some friends or family willing to pitch in, you can build a great sauna and save money.

Make Your Outdoor Sauna Better

Let’s talk about how we can make our outdoor sauna time even more enjoyable and keep it safe for everyone.

Customizing Your Outdoor Sauna

We all like our sauna time to feel special. Here are simple ways to do that:

Lighting and Feeling

Adding soft lights can make our sauna a cozy place to relax. We can use lights that dim down or change colors to match how we’re feeling. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.

Here are some sauna accessories worth getting:

Music and Fun

Listening to music or podcasts in the sauna can make it even better. We can set up waterproof speakers and a safe way to play our favorite sounds. This way, we can enjoy our time even more.

Keeping Your Sauna Safe

Safety is super important. Here’s how we can make sure our sauna is safe:

Using the Right Materials

We should pick materials that are good with heat and won’t get damaged easily. Cedar is a great choice for saunas because it lasts a long time and smells nice. Also, we need to make sure any glues or finishes we use are okay for high heat.

Electrical Safety

If our sauna uses electricity, we need to make sure everything is done right. It’s best to have a professional electrician do the work. This makes sure all the wiring and parts are safe, especially since our sauna is outside where it can get wet.

By thinking about these simple changes and safety tips, we can make our outdoor sauna the perfect place to relax. Whether we’re chilling by ourselves or having fun with friends and family, a bit of planning can help us create the best sauna experience.

I wrote previously a guide about sauna electrical requirements.

Wellness and Health Benefits

Using an outdoor sauna is not just fun; it’s also really good for us, both in our minds and bodies.

Outdoor Saunas and Mental Health

Spending time in our outdoor sauna can help us feel calmer and happier. It’s a quiet place where we can relax, away from all the noise and rush of everyday life. This break can help lower stress and make us feel more peaceful.

Physical Health Benefits of Regular Sauna Use

Regular sauna sessions can do great things for our bodies. They can help our hearts work better and ease pain in our muscles after working out. Plus, sweating it out in the sauna can help us get rid of toxins and might even help us sleep better at night.

Environmental Considerations

We love our saunas, but we also want to take care of our planet. Here’s how we can enjoy our saunas and be eco-friendly.

Eco-friendly Practices in Sauna Use and Maintenance

We can use our saunas in ways that are better for the environment. For example, turning off the sauna when we’re not using it saves energy. Also, using natural cleaners keeps harmful chemicals out of the ground and water.

Choosing Sustainable Materials for Your Outdoor Sauna

When we’re building or fixing up our sauna, picking materials that are good for the earth is important.

Woods like cedar are not only great for saunas because they last a long time and smell nice, but they’re also a more eco-friendly choice. Looking for wood that comes from forests that are looked after well is a good step toward being kinder to our planet.

FAQs about Outdoor Saunas

Making the Most of Your Outdoor Sauna Experience

We’ve explored everything you need to know about outdoor saunas, from selecting the ideal model for your space and budget to ensuring it’s installed correctly and maintained for longevity. We’ve highlighted the significant health benefits, including stress reduction and improved cardiovascular health, and discussed how to enjoy your sauna in an eco-friendly way.

Having an outdoor sauna is a valuable addition to your home, offering a private oasis for relaxation and health benefits. With the insights provided, such as considering a cabin-style sauna for its efficient heat distribution and understanding the cost implications—expecting to invest around $5,000 to $16,000 depending on size and customization—you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision.

So, take what you’ve learned here, you’re ready to choose the perfect outdoor sauna. Whether it’s enjoying the tranquility of a solo session or the joy of a shared experience with family and friends, your outdoor sauna is set to enhance your daily life. So, embrace the warmth and wellness right in your backyard, and let every sauna session improve your day in a meaningful way.

Jussi Yli-Korhonen

Jussi is an online marketing expert, an entrepreneur, and the founder of Jussi is a sauna-loving guy from Finland, the birthplace of saunas. The traditional wood-fired saunas are his favorite but he's visited dozens of different types of saunas in over 20 countries.

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