James Storen

I'm James, a passionate sauna therapist and wellness educator. As a sauna instructor at Am-Finn Sauna, I provide guests with safe, relaxing, and therapeutic sauna experiences. Read about me.

Building an outdoor sauna at home offers numerous health benefits, convenience, and relaxation. Saunas have been shown to reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and relieve muscle pain. With an outdoor sauna, you have the convenience of enjoying sauna sessions whenever you want, and you can customize the temperature, lighting, and ambiance. Adding an outdoor sauna can also increase the value of your home. Although the initial cost may be high, it is a cost-effective investment as you save on expensive gym memberships and spa sessions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Outdoor saunas provide numerous health benefits and convenience for relaxation.
  • Customize the temperature, lighting, and ambiance to enhance your sauna experience.
  • Adding an outdoor sauna can increase the value of your home.
  • Save money on gym memberships and spa sessions with your own outdoor sauna.
  • Consider the initial cost as a cost-effective long-term investment for your well-being.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Saunas

outdoor saunas

When deciding between an indoor or outdoor sauna, there are several key differences to consider. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific requirements.

Indoor Saunas

Indoor saunas offer year-round use regardless of the weather conditions outside. They are typically easier to install in small spaces, making them a popular choice for homeowners with limited room. However, one downside of indoor saunas is that they may lack natural light and fresh air.

Outdoor Saunas

On the other hand, outdoor saunas provide a unique experience of being in nature. They allow you to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of fresh air and natural sunlight, which can boost mood and provide essential vitamin D absorption. Outdoor saunas also offer a sense of community and socializing, as they can become a focal point for gatherings and relaxation in your backyard. Additionally, they can add value to your property and enhance the overall appeal of your home.

When considering the differences between indoor and outdoor saunas, think about whether you prioritize convenience and year-round use or prefer the natural ambiance and connection with the outdoors.

Overall, both indoor and outdoor saunas have their own unique benefits. The decision ultimately depends on your personal preferences, available space, and desired sauna experience. Whatever you choose, having a sauna in your home can provide numerous health benefits and a relaxing escape from daily stress.

Is an Outdoor Sauna Right for You?

Outdoor sauna

If you’re considering investing in a sauna, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is whether to opt for an outdoor or indoor sauna. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your personal preferences and circumstances before making a choice.

Outdoor Sauna

An outdoor sauna offers numerous benefits, particularly if you enjoy being close to nature. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the therapeutic effects of fresh air and natural light while you relax and detoxify your body. Additionally, outdoor saunas often provide more space and can be a focal point of your backyard oasis. They can also be a great addition if you enjoy entertaining friends and family, as they offer a unique socializing experience.

Indoor Sauna

On the other hand, an indoor sauna offers convenience and accessibility. It allows you to enjoy sauna sessions throughout the year, regardless of the weather conditions outside. Indoor saunas are also typically easier to install, especially if you have limited space. Additionally, they offer more privacy and can be seamlessly integrated into the design of your home.

Ultimately, the decision between an outdoor and indoor sauna comes down to personal preferences. Consider factors such as your love for nature, the availability of outdoor space, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Think about how you plan to use the sauna and what matters most to you in terms of convenience, ambiance, and the overall experience.

Remember, whichever option you choose, both indoor and outdoor saunas offer similar health benefits and can greatly enhance your wellness routine.

What to Know Before Buying an Outdoor Sauna

Before investing in an outdoor sauna, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and needs.

Types of Saunas

First and foremost, you’ll need to choose the type of outdoor sauna that suits you best. There are three main options to consider: wood-fired, electric, and infrared saunas. Wood-fired saunas provide a traditional experience and are often favored for their authenticity and unique ambiance. Electric saunas, on the other hand, offer convenience and easy operation. Lastly, infrared saunas use a different heating mechanism that penetrates the body more deeply, offering therapeutic benefits beyond mere relaxation. Evaluate the pros and cons of each type to determine which one suits your preferences.

Size and Space Requirements

Next, consider the available space in your backyard for the sauna. Measure the area and ensure that it accommodates the size of the sauna you plan to purchase. It’s important to leave enough room for ventilation and airflow, as this is crucial for a safe and comfortable sauna experience. Additionally, check if any permits are required to install an outdoor sauna and comply with local regulations.

Quality and Durability

When investing in an outdoor sauna, you want to ensure that it is built to last. Look for saunas made from high-quality materials such as durable woods like cedar or hemlock. Consider the sauna’s construction, insulation, and resistance to outdoor elements. It’s also essential to choose a sauna from a reputable manufacturer that offers a warranty and good customer support.

By taking these factors into account before purchasing an outdoor sauna, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the benefits of having a personal oasis in your own backyard.

How Much Space Do You Have for a Sauna?

Outdoor sauna

When considering the installation of an outdoor sauna, it’s essential to evaluate the available space in your backyard. The size of your outdoor sauna will depend on various factors, including personal preferences, budget, and the layout of your outdoor area.

Before you begin, ensure that you have measured the designated area accurately. It’s important to have extra space around the sauna for maintenance and ventilation purposes. Additionally, check if there are any local regulations or permits required for building a sauna in your area.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical space requirements for outdoor saunas:

  • Minimum Clearance Space: The sauna should have enough space around it to allow for easy access, cleaning, and maintenance. A minimum clearance of 3 feet on all sides is recommended.
  • Height: Consider the height of your sauna to ensure that there is enough headroom for comfortable movement inside. If you plan to install benches, account for the additional space they will require.
  • Electrical and Heating Requirements: Allocate space for the electrical connections and heating system of your sauna. Ensure that the location allows easy access to power sources and ventilation.

By carefully evaluating your space availability and requirements, you can choose the right size and design for your outdoor sauna, creating a relaxing and functional space in your backyard.

Table: Space Requirements for Outdoor Saunas

Space Consideration Recommended Measurement
Clearance Space Minimum 3 feet on all sides
Height Consider clearance for comfortable movement and bench installation
Electrical and Heating Requirements Allocate space for wiring and ventilation

What’s Your Sauna Budget?

Outdoor sauna

When planning to build an outdoor sauna, one of the essential considerations is your budget. The cost of an outdoor sauna can vary depending on various factors, including the size, materials used, and additional features.

Here are some budget considerations to keep in mind:

  1. The size of the sauna: Larger saunas tend to be more expensive than smaller ones due to the increased materials and labor required for construction.
  2. The materials used: The choice of materials can significantly impact the cost. For example, high-quality wood such as cedar or hemlock may cost more upfront but provides durability and aesthetic appeal.
  3. Additional features: Consider whether you want to include features such as built-in benches, lighting, sound systems, or aromatherapy options. These can add to the overall cost of your outdoor sauna.

It’s important to find a balance between your budget and the features you desire. Prioritize essential aspects such as the heating source and ventilation system while considering long-term maintenance costs. Remember that investing in a quality outdoor sauna can provide years of relaxation and health benefits.

Expense Cost Range
Outdoor sauna kit $2,000 – $8,000+
Materials for construction $500 – $3,000
Accessories (benches, lighting, etc.) $200 – $1,000
Installation labor $500 – $2,000
Electrical and heating system $500 – $2,000

“Remember, your outdoor sauna is an investment in your well-being and home. Consider your budget carefully, but also prioritize quality and longevity when making decisions.” – John Smith, Outdoor Sauna Enthusiast

By setting a budget and considering your options, you can find the right outdoor sauna that fits your needs and financial capabilities. Remember to research different suppliers and compare prices to ensure you get the best value for your money. With proper planning, you can create a relaxing and rejuvenating outdoor sauna experience without breaking the bank.

Wood-Burning vs. Steam Sauna

When it comes to choosing the heating option for your outdoor sauna, you have two main choices: wood-burning or steam saunas. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the differences before making a decision.

Wood-Burning Sauna

A wood-burning sauna provides a traditional and rustic experience. The crackling sound of the fire and the smell of burning wood add to the overall ambiance. Wood-burning saunas are known for their intense heat and the ability to create a steamy environment. However, they require more maintenance compared to other options.

Wood-burning saunas require regular wood chopping and loading, as well as cleaning out ashes. Fire safety precautions are essential to prevent accidents, so it’s important to have proper ventilation and insulation. Additionally, the fire must be properly extinguished after each use.

Steam Sauna

If you prefer consistent heat and humidity regulation, a steam sauna might be the right choice for you. These saunas use electric heaters that produce steam, creating a moist and relaxing environment. Steam saunas are often considered more convenient and require less maintenance compared to wood-burning saunas.

However, steam saunas generally come with a higher price tag than their wood-burning counterparts. The cost of the equipment and installation can be a significant investment. It’s essential to consider your budget when deciding on the heating option for your outdoor sauna.

Ultimately, the choice between a wood-burning and steam sauna depends on your personal preferences and budget. If you value the traditional experience and are willing to put in the extra maintenance effort, a wood-burning sauna may be the right fit. On the other hand, if you prioritize convenience and consistent heat, a steam sauna might be the better choice for you.

In Summary

  • Wood-burning saunas offer a traditional and rustic experience but require more maintenance and fire safety precautions.
  • Steam saunas provide convenient heat and humidity regulation but come with a higher price tag.
  • Consider your personal preferences and budget when choosing between the two options.
Wood-Burning Sauna Steam Sauna
  • Traditional and rustic experience
  • Intense heat and steam
  • Consistent heat and humidity regulation
  • Convenient and low maintenance
  • More maintenance required
  • Fire safety precautions
  • Higher initial cost
  • Higher initial cost
  • Less traditional ambiance


When it comes to enjoying the benefits of sauna sessions, safety should always be a top priority, whether you choose an indoor or outdoor sauna. By following a few essential sauna safety tips, you can ensure a positive and enjoyable experience.

First and foremost, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using a sauna, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. This will help determine if sauna sessions are safe for you and if there are any specific guidelines you should follow.

Hydration is crucial during sauna sessions, as the heat can cause excessive sweating. Remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to stay properly hydrated. It’s also important to avoid alcohol before and during sauna use, as it can increase the risk of dehydration.

Additionally, it’s essential to limit your sauna sessions to a reasonable amount of time. Generally, 10 to 20 minutes is a recommended duration for each session. Listen to your body and exit the sauna if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable in any way.

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your sauna is another crucial aspect of sauna safety. Check for any damages, ensure proper ventilation, and clean the sauna regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria or mold. If you notice any issues, it’s important to address them promptly.

Whether you opt for an indoor sauna or an outdoor sauna, both provide wonderful benefits for your health and well-being. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preferences and circumstances. By considering factors such as convenience, space availability, and your desire for a natural environment, you can make an informed decision.

With the right planning, budgeting, and attention to safety, you can create a safe and enjoyable outdoor sauna in your own backyard. So go ahead and embark on this exciting journey to relax, rejuvenate, and improve your overall well-being with the wonderful world of outdoor saunas.


What are the health benefits of using an outdoor sauna?

Outdoor saunas offer numerous health benefits, including stress reduction, improved cardiovascular health, boosted immune system, and relief from muscle pain.

What are the advantages of an outdoor sauna compared to an indoor sauna?

Outdoor saunas allow you to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of nature and provide sun exposure for vitamin D absorption. They also offer a sense of community and socializing.

How do I choose between an outdoor and indoor sauna?

The choice depends on personal preferences and circumstances. Indoor saunas are convenient and easily accessible, while outdoor saunas provide a more natural environment.

What factors should I consider before buying an outdoor sauna?

Consider factors such as location, type of sauna, size, quality of materials, budget, and maintenance requirements.

What should I consider when building an outdoor sauna?

Consider factors such as size, location, materials, electrical and heating requirements, ventilation, and proper airflow.

How do I set a budget for my outdoor sauna project?

Set a budget based on size, materials, and desired features. Prioritize essential aspects while considering long-term maintenance costs.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of wood-burning and steam saunas?

Wood-burning saunas provide a traditional experience but require more maintenance and fire safety precautions. Steam saunas offer consistent heat and humidity regulation but come with a higher price tag.

What are some sauna safety tips?

Follow safety tips such as consulting with a doctor, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, not staying in the sauna for too long, and regularly inspecting and maintaining the sauna.

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