- 1 Top 5 Best Outdoor Saunas Comparison
- 2 Highest Rated Outdoor Saunas Reviewed
- 3 Particularities of Saunas for Outdoor Use
- 4 Building Your Sauna or Buying It-Which is Best?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Top 5 Best Outdoor Saunas Comparison
Highest Rated Outdoor Saunas Reviewed
DesignThe manufacturer used western red cedar which is one of the most popular options due to its rot-resistant and insect-repellent properties. Also, this type of wood provides great heat and sound insulation. The sauna is spacious enough to accommodate 6 people as it is 7′ long and 7′ wide. It includes 2 benches that come in hand-finished cedar. The door is also made of cedar and is very well insulated. It features a tempered glass tinted window for a more stylish appearance.
PerformanceSince it features a barrel design, the sauna will heat faster and more evenly. This is because there’s up to 23% less air volume that has to be heated and the round corners promote a uniform circulation of the heat. In general, the sauna doesn’t need more than 20 minutes to heat up and the temperature depends on how much wood you add in the heater.
- 340L stainless steel straps: provide a solid structure support without rusting or oxidizing the wood.
- Stainless Surgical steel heater: the wood-fired heater has anti-rust properties.
- Generous amount of steam : the heater is able to produce superior steam to enjoy a good sauna session.
ConvenienceThe added features make the sauna more convenient to use. Starting with the position of the seats and the durable light, this model has pretty much all your need.
- Different levels of the seats: the seats feature an innovative design as each of them is positioned at a different level, so the temperature you feel is also different. Therefore, you can opt for a seat that best suits your needs and size.
- Duck board floor: keeps your feet warm and dry.
- High-temperature lights: the built-in lights are specially designed to withstand the high temperatures within the sauna.
Almost Heaven Saunas Audra Canopy Barrel SaunaThis wonderful unit will comfortably accommodate up to 4 people. The porch is quite attractive, and it provides a cool-down area and a place for towels and drinks. The pleasing barrel shape is not only very stylish but functional as well, as it actually provides maximum usable space while it minimizes excess cubic feet. The less cubic feet of air a sauna offers, the faster the room will actually heat. In addition, the unit comes equipped with opposing benches that run the full length of the room, and it is heated by an exceptional 4.5kw sauna heater. The heater requires 220v/30 amp service, whereas the sauna light requires 110v/15 amp service. This barrel kit comes to you partially assembled from the factory. However, the assembly is very easy, and it can be accomplished in just a few hours. The unit comes mounted on polymer cradles, which are impervious to breakdown by the elements. Therefore, you can place it right on the bare ground. The mounting holes that are molded into the cradles will allow you to anchor the sauna to a patio or deck, in case you prefer a secure installation. You will definitely appreciate the craftsmanship and quality materials that this sauna contains. Another great thing about this unit is that it is backed by an exclusive lifetime warranty.
Allwood Barrel SaunaThe Allwood Barrel Sauna is another great choice because, thanks to the cylindrical shape, it is possible to provide a natural continuing air circulation. The air is actually pushed back on the round walls. Moreover, you will certainly enjoy those longer steam cycles while you will be able to save money on energy. This wonderful sauna is without a doubt built to last. Therefore, your investment will be a long-term one. The unit features roof shingles which will add to the lifespan of your investment. The frame is quite sturdy and the front and back walls are made from 1-5/8 inches slow-grown Nordic Spruce. Did you think that this is everything? There is definitely more. The Allwood barrel sauna also features a tempered tinted glass door, separate intake/outflow air vents, and 2 industrial grade stainless steel bands with fastener mechanism. A partial assembly is required. However, you will certainly find the whole process a very easy and quick one, even if you do this for the first time. The design is an attractive one, and the unit will beautifully complement your garden, not to mention the wonderful effects it will have on your overall health.
4-person Outdoor Sauna HemlockThis wonderful 4-person outdoor unit comes equipped with 6 ceramic far infrared heaters, which will provide a very comfortable heat that will not make you feel like you are suffocating. You will actually feel very comfortable and you will quickly experience a deep relaxation, not to mention the wonderful health benefits that this sauna offers. There is a digital control panel, very easy and convenient to use. The roof is fully shingled and 100% waterproof. The unit also features a weather sealed tempered glass door and 2 glass windows. An MP3 / auxiliary input for iPod, iPhone with 2 speakers are also provided so that you can listen to your favorite music while you take a relaxing bath. There are 4 LED reading lights. The unit disassembles as easily as it assembles, and it warms up in about 30 minutes. The operating temperature is between 110F and 140F, in comparison with 160F to 180F how traditional steam saunas have. Inside you will find 2 comfortable benches. The double wall construction is sturdy and durable. There are also other features such as an adjustable temperature: 77F – 140F, a timer setting: 0 to 60 minutes, non-toxic finish on the outside, 8 heaters, and a residential warranty of 10-year. This is an ETL Listed product.
Sunray Cayenne 4-personThis unit is spacious enough to accommodate 4 people. It comes equipped with 8 ceramic heaters that will quickly and efficiently get the sauna to the desired temperature. There are also 4 movable ergonomic backrests for a high comfort, an oxygen ionization system that efficiently purifies the air, recessed interior and exterior lighting, and an FM radio w/CD and MP3 so that you can listen to your favorite music while you have a hot bath. Moreover, the unit comes equipped with cup holders as well. The Cayenne is very easy to assemble, and you will surely be able to do this in a quite short period of time. The natural Canadian Hemlock wood enhances any outdoor patio setting. This sauna measures 72 x 52 x 83 inches. The smooth and naturally appealing will definitely be to your liking, not to mention the fact that it is durable as well. The manufacturer provides for this item a 7-year structural warranty. This is an ETL/CSA Certified product, which means that it meets all US and Canadian electrical safety standards. All in all, with this modern sauna you will surely manage to improve your overall health, relax after a long day at work, reduce stress in your life, and more. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to go for it, in case you are actually planning to purchase a unit like this in the near future.
Final ConsiderationsThere’s no doubt that each of the 5 models reviewed by us is an excellent choice. If you’re looking for a barrel sauna the first 3 units are what you need. However, there are some differences between them including the wood and the warranty. NLCT Barrel Sauna Kit features a Western red cedar construction and is backed by a 5-year warranty. Almost Heaven Saunas Audra Canopy Barrel Sauna is made of Canadian red cedar wood and is covered by an impressive lifetime warranty. Allwood Barrel Sauna is made of slow-grown Nordic Spruce but unfortunately, there is no information on warranty. All these models use a wood-fired heater. On the other hand, the last 2 models, Outdoor Sauna Hemlock and Sunray Cayenne feature a chalet design and come with ceramic heaters. The first model is warranted for 10 years, while the second one for 7 years. While they may be different, all these saunas have something in common: they are comfortable, stylish, and most important, highly efficient. Therefore, we strongly believe that one of them will match your preferences and your outdoor decor.
Particularities of Saunas for Outdoor UseSaunas designed for outdoor use have the strong advantage that they can be mounted outdoors, thus not limiting your indoor space or forcing you to make changes to your house. These stand-alone units come as kits that can be installed on site so that you can have your sauna ready to use in a few hours. They are very similar to the indoor saunas, showing resemblances in construction, operating mode, and features. However, the main difference is the suitability to outdoor use that is due to a series of particularities, as follows.
ConstructionThe construction of the sauna is very sturdy and durable in order to make it weatherproof and resistant to humidity. The most commonly used material is wood, such as Canadian Hemlock, red cedar, or Nordic spruce, all equally resistant to moisture, heat, and direct sun rays. As for the shape, the most popular is the barrel and the regular chalet. To ensure maximum protection in any type of weather, they have a shingled roof that draws away rain or snow. To ensure air circulation and to prevent any sort of accidents, all saunas must come with air vents that provide ventilation.
Type of heaterAny type of sauna includes one of two versions of heaters, namely one that uses wood or infrared heating panels. As such, these units can be powered either by a wood-burning heater combined with rocks that must be watered to create steam or carbon heaters that emit infrared heat. Both types are suitable for use outdoors and each has its benefits to your health. Traditional wood heaters remain the favorite of people who want to enjoy a steam sauna while the infrared heating panels are gaining more and more popularity among sauna enthusiasts.
Installation and operatingOutdoor infrared saunas are more pretentious when it comes to installing them, considering that you must have a power source near and you must remove any moisture source such as a well. Given the outdoor environment, it could be more difficult to install the sauna near a power source. In case you opt for a wood-fired sauna, installing it is simpler and more user-friendly than in the case of infrared saunas. You can install the sauna anywhere you want, without being conditioned by a power source. All you have to be careful about is the venting that must be properly designed. However, the infrared sauna is more convenient due to the control panel that allows you to set the desired time and temperature. In the case of the wood sauna, you must gradually add wood and water the rocks in order to increase the temperature and to create steam.
Building Your Sauna or Buying It-Which is Best?Before making the decision of buying an outdoor sauna, you must know that this implies a large investment that requires plenty of thinking. These units can cost a few thousands of dollars and they also require some landscaping changes in order to provide them with electricity and water. You have two alternatives when it comes to getting a home sauna, and those are either buying or building it. Our article will help you make up your mind that showing you what each of them implies. Before deciding what type of construction to pick, you must first ensure you have room for it and that you can supply it with electricity. Some people also like to install a shower near the sauna to ensure a complete spa session. Also, bear in mind that being an outdoor unit means that the place you find for it is permanent and that you must invest in quality materials that will last throughout the years. If you decide that you want to build it, you first need to find out how to build a sauna from scratch, which are the materials you need and whether or not you can do it yourself. You will need to buy the wood, the hardware, and all the interior accessories. Let’s not forget about the heaters, that can be infrared or wood-powered. If you are not a handyman, you will likely need the assistance of an electrician for all the wirings, which is the most important part in obtaining a safe unit. The overall costs, however, will be lower than in the case you decide to buy a sauna kit, but people who prefer hassle-free home improvements decide to buy the sauna. Buying an outdoor sauna is more convenient, although the costs are higher. You will receive the entire wood frame, the interior, the heaters, and all the electrical parts. All you will have to do is assemble it and have it hooked up to an energy source. The market abounds with outdoor models that work either on infrared heat or on wood so you can enjoy the comfort of an infrared sauna or the intensity of a steam sauna.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Outdoor Saunas Weather Resistant?
Since this type of sauna is particularly made for outdoor use, it features a durable construction, so you will be able to use it for a long period of time. Most saunas are made of high-quality materials, with thick walls that can easily withstand harsh weather. So, no matter if there’s rain, snow, or powerful wind storms, an outdoor sauna will stay in place.
How Much Time Does an Outdoor Sauna Need to Heat Up?
In comparison to indoor saunas, outdoor ones need more time to heat up during the cold winters. This is absolutely normal, so you should give them a little more time to reach the desired temperature. A traditional sauna usually heats up in 30-40 minutes while an infrared one in 15-20 minutes. However, for outdoor saunas, you should wait 10 or 15 minutes more to make sure they are ready to use.
Where Is the Best Place to Install the Sauna?
You can install the sauna pretty much everywhere. Nevertheless, you have to consider some aspects. For example, the base has to be flat and solid enough to sustain all the weight. Also, you should think about privacy or distance to the house if you want to make your experience more enjoyable and comfortable.