Image of the best Outdoor Saunas for four people.

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If you're a wellness enthusiast, you've definitely heard about exotic sauna sessions—be it an infrared sauna or a traditional sauna. Or, more realistically, you've seen images of them while scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram feeds.

While celebrity singers like Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift are already in line, embracing the sweaty trend of outdoor saunas, you might want to know whether they're worth the hype. Here's a one-word answer: YES!

How It All Started

Nobody actually knows when or where the first saunas were built; however, the practice is assumed to have begun in Northern Europe, or more specifically in Finland, around 2,000 BC.

Unsurprisingly, Sauna, meaning bathhouse, is the only term in the Finnish language to be included in the English dictionary.

From Finland to America

Fast forward to the 1950s, some Americans who lived near Scandinavian settlements had the chance to learn about the concept of saunas early in their growth.

Today, even after 360 years of the existence of saunas in our nation, the tradition of hitting the sauna has become ingrained in the lives of many Americans, just as it has for the people of Finland.

As the Finnish saying goes, "In the sauna, one must behave the same as they would in a church."

The Science of Saunas

Historically, the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates of Kos, also known as Hippocrates II, was quoted saying, "Give me fever, and I can treat any ailment." Although Hippocrates quoted this over two thousand years ago, we can clearly see the connection between this particular saying and the roots of a traditional sauna session (heat the air to heat the body).

Outdoor nordic spruce traditional sauna floor with far infrared.

Generally speaking, both traditional and infrared saunas are therapeutic chambers that are heated, enclosed, lined with wood, and come with various benches, seats, décor, size, and capacity choices. The intense heat produced inside the sauna induces purifying sweat, which provides relief from aches and pains along with a heightened sense of relaxation.

Northern Europeans have benefited from saunas for years and have sung their praises. A study by the University of Eastern Finland has even demonstrated that frequent sauna use is associated with several health benefits, including:

- Weight Loss

- Detoxification

- Pain Reduction

- Stress Management

- Skin Rejuvenation

- Increased Metabolism

- Increased Blood Circulation

- Better Sleep and Relaxation

- Improved Immune Function

- Improved Cardiovascular Function

Different Types of Saunas

There are many types of saunas, so whether you want a typical outdoor steam sauna or a glass sauna that uses dry heat, you're covered. In dry saunas, heat is achieved using a carbon or ceramic electric heater.

This is unlike the traditional Finnish sauna, which is warmed by a wood-burning stove and stacked with sauna stones.

Users of various outdoor saunas may reap a wide range of health benefits, which vary according to the heat source and other features.

Traditional Finnish Sauna: The traditional Finnish sauna generates ambient heat with the help of an electric heater and, on occasion, a wood-burning stove. In addition, the sauna is filled with thermally conductive sauna stones that absorb and retain heat to create almost heaven-like healing steam.

Infrared Sauna: The use of infrared heaters is what differentiates an infrared sauna from the traditional Finnish sauna. This type of sauna generates heat via the use of infrared light. In many circles, an infrared sauna is also referred to as a far-infrared sauna. "Far" denotes the pattern of the light spectrum where infrared radiation resides.

Dry Sauna: The only difference between a traditional Finnish sauna and a dry sauna is that the latter uses water to produce a hotter and more humid environment, while the former does not. In addition, dry heat works at a far lower temperature (around 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and produces a significantly lower humidity level than a steam sauna.

Barrel Sauna: The barrel sauna is among the popular styles of backyard saunas and sauna kits. You can tell when you're looking at a barrel sauna just by its design and interior space - no need to look at the heating method here. The walls of a barrel sauna are curved, while the structure is cylindrical. There is often a glass front or a tempered door so users can take in the surrounding vistas.

Red Cedar Sauna: Cedar saunas are another common backyard sauna built with Juniperus virginiana, also known as red cedar wood. In addition to possessing a deep, earthy tone, the rustic transparent red cedar wood is pleasantly scented over repeated sessions in the sauna. It is also resistant to decay and holds up well against moisture.

Things to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Sauna

Once considered a rare luxury, both traditional and infrared saunas have gradually made their way to the health and wellness market in the United States due to their lower prices, easy installation, and almost-heaven-like experience.

However, outdoor saunas, easier to integrate into existing spaces and less expensive than indoor versions, are in especially high demand.

Image of a select choice for best Outdoor Sauna for Backyard.

Considering that the market is flooded with a wide variety of structures, sizes, and heating types, the whole process of buying an outdoor sauna might become overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers.

Here are some recommendations to help you pick the best outdoor sauna. Make sure you stay with us till the end to discover Airpuria's top picks.

Check for Regulations:

When installing a permanent sauna (as opposed to a portable one), there are certain state or local building codes to follow since that's typically considered a "new construction." Therefore, ensure that you cover your bases before installing an outdoor sauna or an entire home sauna kit.

Determine the Available Space:

Saunas come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for a purpose, such as relaxation for a single person or couple, a full family, or a small group. On a deck or patio, a sauna designed for two or three people looks fantastic, while a bigger barrel sauna for six people is often best suited for use in the backyard.

Inspect the Material:

Most outdoor saunas are built from wood; Canadian hemlock, red cedar wood, and nordic spruce wood are the most popular materials. To make the most of your investment and enjoy a great sauna experience, always look for well-constructed outdoor saunas made with high-quality materials, particularly wood.

Consider Design and Accessories:

Some saunas have a wooden tempered glass door, while others have a window for users to be able to look out and take in the view of their surroundings. As far as the accessories are concerned, look for the features important to you, like a timer, LED control panel, chromotherapy lights, charging outputs, and even Bluetooth connectivity.

Compare the Heating Options:

The heating options of saunas can be broken down into two main types: Radiation heaters, such as those that use far infrared (FIR), and Convection heaters, which are powered by electricity, gas, or wood.

Double-Check the Control Panel:

You may set a timer on the controls to begin the heating process (which usually takes at least 30 minutes) so that the sauna will be at the ideal temperature when you enter it. This feature is not only limited to modern saunas; even a traditional sauna may be outfitted with contemporary safety features.

Keep the Weather in Mind:

If you reside in an area that gets chilly during the winter, investing in a traditional sauna will make your winters much more enjoyable. Alternatively, if you live in a hotter region, an infrared sauna in the summer might be more fun since you won't have to put up with extreme temperatures.

Budget Accordingly:

Even while saunas don't need regular maintenance, the initial investment might be significant. First, establish a spending limit, and then decide whether or not you are satisfied with the standard configuration or want to upgrade it with additional features.

The Best Outdoor Saunas - Our Top 3 Picks for 2023

Now that you know what to consider before buying a sauna, it's time to explore some of the best outdoor sauna options.

Below, we have curated a list of some of the best outdoor saunas that include both traditional and infrared saunas to blend seamlessly with your backyard.

Before moving to the details, here's a brief overview of the brands we deal in.

Dundalk LeisureCraft

Located in Melancthon (formerly Dundalk), Ontario. LeisureCraft is a family-owned manufacturer of pre-fabricated sauna kits with the homeowner in mind.

LeisureCraft is a marvel in the sauna industry because the company believes in eco-friendly measures and buys wood from sustainable mills that take the environment seriously.

We at Airpuria deal with LeisureCraft's best-selling Dundalk and Canadian Timberland Collection.

Click here to view our collection of Dundalk LeisureCraft Saunas!

Enlighten Sauna

Located in Burlingame, California, Enlighten Sauna is an innovator and leader in the infrared sauna industry.

The company has devoted a significant amount of time to studying and investigating infrared therapy to develop the most efficient infrared sauna currently available on the market.

Thus, when you buy any Enlighten Sauna from Airpuria's sauna collection, you can be sure of exceptional quality. Don't believe us? Explore the collection yourself.

Click here to view our collection of saunas from Enlighten Sauna!

Medical Breakthrough

Formerly, the founders of Medical Breakthrough were surprised to find that in the sauna industry, virtually no business was manufacturing a true medical sauna backed by doctors, and this is when it all started.

All the saunas that fall under the roof of Medical Saunas™ are tested to relieve various medical conditions. At Airpuria, we're proud to offer over 22 products from the exceptional categories of Medical Breakthrough that are sure to wow you.

Click here to view our collection of saunas from Medical Breakthrough!

Infrared Sauna: Enlighten Full Spectrum Rustic

Image of an Enlighten Full Spectrum Sauna, commonly thought of as the best infrared outdoor sauna.

The Enlighten Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna is made from rustic Canadian cedar and is a marvel in the outdoor sauna category. Apart from being spacious (seating for five people), the front glass covering with an open view is a game-changer.

The interior cabin delivers powerful, easily adjustable infrared heat, while the weather-resistant and non-toxic shell provide an extra layer of protection and safety.

Traditional Sauna: Enlighten Dry Traditional Sauna SunRise

Image of the Enlighten Dry Traditional Sauna SunRise, commonly referred to as the best traditional outdoor sauna.

The Enlighten Dry Traditional Sauna SunRise falls under the category of corner saunas. These saunas are known to occupy less space—making them quite popular for homeowners with limited space but big wellness dreams.

The sauna is made from Canadian red cedar, which smells heavenly, while the durable material is strong enough to last for decades. The sauna also has glass panels on the sides, allowing the user to enjoy a lovely view of their backyard while letting their troubles melt away. 

Hybrid Sauna: Nature 9 Plus Outdoor Sauna

Image of an Nature 9 Plus Outdoor Sauna, commonly thought of as the Best Hybrid Outdoor Sauna.

The Nature 9 Plus is the best choice if you are looking for a hybrid outdoor sauna that revitalizes and energizes you. This sauna is equipped with a full-spectrum heater that uses infrared radiation for light treatment and varying degrees of skin penetration.

This model also includes a high-quality wood heater cover and ergonomic backrests, so as you unwind and relax, they will provide you with the utmost comfort and support for your back.

Essential Points to Remember

As you begin your search for the perfect outdoor sauna, keep these important takeaways in mind:

  • Saunas originated in Northern Europe, specifically Finland, around 2,000 BC.

  • Both traditional and infrared saunas offer numerous health benefits, including weight loss, detoxification, pain reduction, stress management, and improved cardiovascular function.

  • There are several types of saunas to choose from, including traditional Finnish saunas, infrared saunas, dry saunas, barrel saunas, and red cedar saunas.

  • When buying an outdoor sauna, consider factors such as local regulations, available space, materials, design and accessories, heating options, control panels, weather conditions, and budget.

Expert Advice for Sauna Buyers

When it comes to purchasing an outdoor sauna, there are a few insider tips that can help you make the best choice for your needs:

  1. Consider your available space: Before you start shopping for a sauna, take a moment to assess the space you have available in your backyard, patio, or deck. This will help you determine the appropriate size and shape for your new sauna.

  2. Think about your preferred heating method: Saunas can be heated using traditional electric or wood-burning stoves, infrared heaters, or a combination of both. Consider which type of heating method you prefer, as this will impact your decision when choosing a sauna.

  3. Look for high-quality materials: The construction and materials used in an outdoor sauna are crucial for its durability and performance. Opt for saunas made from high-quality wood, such as Canadian hemlock, red cedar, or Nordic spruce.

  4. Don't forget about accessories and features: Saunas can come with a variety of additional features and accessories, such as chromotherapy lights, Bluetooth connectivity, and charging outputs. Consider which of these options are most important to you before making a decision.

  5. Budget accordingly: Saunas can be a significant investment, so be sure to set a spending limit and determine whether you're satisfied with the standard configuration or if you'd like to upgrade with additional features.

Make Your "Sauna Dream" A Reality With Airpuria

Airpuria Logo symbolizing the best outdoor saunas at Airpuria

Airpuria is a health and wellness product company based in Wauconda, Illinois. With American headquarters, an extensive network of delivery partners, and PayPal credit financing options, we're on a mission to create that feeling of home for everyone, anywhere, by introducing them to life-changing innovations from premium brands—all under one roof.

The Airpuria team, Kellen and Ceara believe that where an individual spends most of their time—home, office, or wellness facility—should feel like a personal sanctuary.

When it comes to the "feeling of home," nothing can be compared to sitting in a therapeutic chamber after a stressful day for a long sauna session.

At Airpuria, we're proud to be a nationwide distributor of the best Infrared, Traditional, Hybrid, Canadian Timber, and Medical Saunas from industry-leading, premium brands like Dundalk Leisurecraft, Enlighten Sauna, and Medical Breakthrough.

Ready to make your wellness dream a reality? Discover the entire sauna collection on Airpuria's official website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Worth Getting An Outdoor Sauna?

It is definitely worth getting an outdoor sauna since, unlike indoor saunas, you don't have to set aside space inside your home. Simply install it in your backyard, and you're good to go.

Does An Outdoor Sauna Need to be Vented?

The answer is yes and no. Ventilation in an outdoor sauna is recommended but not for safety reasons; it is just to make the sauna experience more pleasant overall for the user.

Can You Use An Infrared Sauna Outside?

Infrared saunas are ideal for indoor situations. However, if the proper procedures are followed, they may be put outside, provided they are covered to protect them from the elements.

Who Makes Good Outdoor Saunas?

Dundalk Leisurecraft, Enlighten Sauna, and Medical Breakthrough are among the best outdoor sauna manufacturers worldwide. You can easily find the products on Airpuria's website.

How Do I Choose the Right Outdoor Sauna?

To choose the right outdoor sauna, consider factors such as available space, material, design, heating options, control panel, weather conditions, and budget. Research different sauna types and read reviews to make an informed decision.

What Is the Difference Between Traditional and Infrared Saunas?

Traditional saunas use an electric or wood-burning heater to heat the air inside the sauna, while infrared saunas use infrared light to directly heat the body. Infrared saunas typically operate at lower temperatures and offer a different heat distribution than traditional saunas.

How Long Should a Sauna Session Last?

A sauna session should last between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on individual preferences and tolerance. Beginners should start with shorter sessions and gradually increase their time in the sauna as they become more comfortable.

How Often Can I Use an Outdoor Sauna?

You can use an outdoor sauna as often as you like, provided that you listen to your body and don't overdo it. Some people use saunas daily, while others prefer a few times a week. It's essential to stay hydrated and give your body time to recover between sessions.

Contact Us to Learn More About Outdoor Saunas!

If you have any questions, would like to know more information, or need assistance in customizing your perfect product, give us a call here - 773.337.8822.

Can't call? Click or tap here to send us an email -

We'd love to talk to you!

Sauna Financing Options and More

To make your sauna purchase more affordable, consider providers like Airpuria that offer financing options. Airpuria provides financing for all customers with rates as low as 0% for up to 18 months, as well as business financing with flexible terms and competitive rates.

Individuals can take advantage of 0% interest rates for up to 18 months, while business owners can apply for special financing programs tailored to their needs.


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