Outdoor Sauna Buying Guide: 8 Things to Consider

Vista Lux outdoor sauna front

There’s something about a sauna that just makes you feel good. Maybe it’s the heat or the calming atmosphere, but whatever it is, there’s no doubt that saunas are popular for a reason.

If you’re in the market for an outdoor sauna, you may be wondering where to start. Not to worry – we’re here to help!

In this guide, we’ll give you tips on finding the right outdoor sauna for your needs. We’ll cover everything from design, size, type, and capacity to installation.

Designs and shapes

Barrel sauna
Igloo 28 outdoor sauna one room
POD sauna

There are several design options when it comes to outdoor saunas. Do you want something more traditional, like a cabin sauna? Or something more modern, like a barrel or oval-shaped?

Barrel saunas are great for smaller spaces as they take up less room. They also have a unique, eye-catching design and are generally easier to install. Perhaps the biggest pro for barrel saunas is that the curved walls help to distribute heat evenly, so you get a more consistent temperature throughout the sauna.

On the other hand, traditional cabin saunas are great for larger spaces and offer a more classic feel. They have a roomier interior that allows you to move around freely, as well as larger benches to seat more people.

Cabin saunas often have separate rooms for changing, showering, and relaxing. Many traditional sauna houses even have sleeping lofts to accommodate overnight guests!

There are also mobile saunas designed to be easily towed behind a vehicle. These are great for people who like to bring their sauna on the go or start a mobile sauna-renting business.

Whichever design you choose, make sure it fits your space and lifestyle. And if you need a specific size, we build custom saunas that are tailored to your requirements.

Electric or wood-burning?

When it comes to heating, the two main options are electric and wood-burning.

Electric saunas are a great option if you’re looking for convenience and ease of use. They are cleaner, easier to install, and require less maintenance compared to wood-burning models.

However, it’s a common misconception that electric saunas heat up faster. Heat-up times can actually be similar for both electric and wood-fired saunas, depending on factors like heater wattage and built-in safety limiters.

Electric saunas offer precise temperature control with built-in thermostats. This allows you to easily set your preferred sauna temperature.

On the other hand, wood-burning saunas add to the rustic atmosphere and provide an authentic experience that sauna purists love. The scent of burning wood and soft steam is part of the traditional appeal.

Wood-burning saunas may take a bit longer to preheat since you need to start the fire beforehand. And they require more regular maintenance like removing ash. But the initial costs can be lower compared to some electric models.

Ultimately, both electric and wood-fired saunas have their merits. Our saunas are available with both heating options, so you can choose the one that best aligns with your priorities and needs.

Hot Room Capacity

The capacity of a sauna is not about how many people can fit inside but rather how many people can comfortably enjoy the sauna at once.

For example, a 72″ long sauna is comfortable for four people. To determine the capacity of a given sauna, consider 22″-24″ of space for each seated person and make sure there is enough room for the heater to be safely away from the sitting area.

Location

Basically, outdoor saunas can be installed anywhere! You just need to make sure you have the right clearances around it and a secure foundation.

Historically, outdoor saunas were installed near the beach, lake, or river for people to enjoy a refreshing dip in cold water after their sauna session.

But nowadays, you can install an outdoor sauna anywhere – from your backyard to the deck of your boat!

Foundation

Outdoor saunas can be placed on a variety of surfaces, including concrete slabs, gravel, concrete blocks, or wooden terraces– as long as there is proper drainage to keep water from accumulating around the base.

When selecting a barrel sauna, keep the following in mind: The more legs it has, the better. Evenly distributed weight is crucial for stability and long-term durability. 

Additionally, support legs help to keep the structure straight and level.

W29 barrel sauna

Foundation materials must be weather-resistant and able to sustain the weight of the sauna. We recommend consulting a professional installer to ensure that your sauna is properly installed and securely fastened to its foundation.

Luckily, when you purchase a sauna from us, foundation materials are included in many of our kits, so you can be sure you have all the necessary elements to safely install your sauna!

And if needed, our team of expert installers will come to your location and set up the sauna for you.

Assembly

W29 barrel sauna assembly

Most saunas come as DIY kits with detailed assembly instructions that you can typically complete in a few days with the help of a few friends or family members.

If you are not the DIY type, our team can also come and assemble it for you. We make sure that your sauna is built according to the highest safety standards so that you can enjoy it without any worries!

Roofing

Outdoor sauna W2

Outdoor saunas must be protected from rain and snow, so covering them with a roof is essential. Otherwise, you risk having water leaking into your sauna, which can cause damage to the interior.

Many of our kits come with roofing shingles included, so you can easily attach them to your sauna.

Care and Maintenance

Sauna maintenance is fairly easy for both electric and wood-burning models. You generally don’t need any chemicals or special tools to keep your sauna clean and stain-free.

All you need is a bake-and-breathe method. After every sauna session, allow your hot room to continue heating for an extra half hour (bake). Then, prop open your hot room door the next morning and allow your hot room to air out (breath) until your next sauna session.

This simple routine will help ensure that your sauna stays clean, smells fresh, and lasts for years to come.

Check out our guide to learn more about sauna maintenance and how to keep your sauna looking and feeling its best.

We hope this guide has given you some insight into the world of saunas and helped you to decide which type is best for you.

Whether you are looking for a traditional wood-burning sauna or the ease and convenience of an electric model, our selection has something for everyone.

We know that once you experience the relaxation and wellness benefits of a sauna, you will never want to go back!

Happy Saunaing!

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Welcome to BZB Cabins & Outdoors blog. Our company is a proud distributor of high-quality, eco-friendly outdoor sauna and cabin kits that are manufactured in Europe. 

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