Do you look forward to your annual spa vacation and the time you get to spend sweating in the sauna? If so, you should consider bringing that relaxation and wellness experience right into your home.
While there are several types of saunas to choose from, you can feel confident they will provide lasting benefits making them more than worth the investment. From improving circulation to easing sore muscles, to de-stressing and more, a home sauna is one of the best self-care purchases you can ever make.
If you have the space, either inside or outside your home, and you are confident you will use the sauna enough, you will find there is an option that suits your needs. Keep reading to learn about the main types of saunas for home use here.
Wood Burning Saunas
Traditional wood-burning saunas, which are commonly called Finnish saunas, are “dry” saunas. This means there is no humidity inside.
The sauna is powered by a wood stove that heats the stones and heats the sauna compartment. You can expect temperatures to reach between 140- and 200-degrees Fahrenheit in this type of sauna.
To create the steam, water is poured over the heated stones using the provided spoon and bucket.
If you are interested in wood-burning saunas, it is best to install them outdoors. Choose a location where the smoke won’t bother the neighbors.
Most people find their first experience visiting an infrared sauna at the local gym or fitness facility. For many, this is the point when they are hooked.
While the infrared sauna won’t create that intense heat that other saunas are known for, you will sweat.
In recent years, the use of infrared saunas has become more prevalent. At first glance, some people don’t know what these saunas are. The sauna room utilizes a rather unique heating process, and the room doesn’t actually heat.
Instead, powerful infrared lights are used for heating up your body. It provides the same effects and benefits offered in a more traditional steam sauna.
Interestingly, the infrared sauna won’t produce temperatures as high as other sauna options. This is because the heat targets your body. This means the same benefits are provided.
Some people don’t find this type of sauna as relaxing as the others listed, while other people prefer it. When you spend time in an infrared sauna, you will sweat – a lot. You can use this type for all the benefits of going to any other sauna type mentioned here.
The atmosphere in an infrared sauna is different, and it doesn’t provide the same feeling. A sauna purist will likely always want to stick with some of the other options; however, that doesn’t mean infrared saunas don’t have fans, too.
One of the reasons this type of sauna is so popular is that it is more affordable than some other types. Even if you want the traditional steam option, it may not be possible based on your financial situation.
Electric saunas provide an experience similar to what wood-burning saunas do. The biggest benefit is that there is no fire you have to stoke.
The stones and stove are heated using electricity. Water is still able to be poured on the stones, which creates the steam.
If you live in an urban area, electric saunas are a smart option compared to wood-fired ones. They can also be installed indoors.
You can find electric saunas available in many sizes, which means you can find an option that will fit your needs and specifications.
This is one of the most unique sauna options and one you won’t see often. It features some of the characteristics of traditional Finnish saunas and is the most authentic Finnish style option.
A smoke sauna does not have a chimney or stove. Instead, with this option, fires are built under piles of rocks. Once the rocks have been heated, and the fire is extinguished, the smoke is aired out of the sauna, which is when the session begins.
If you want to experience one of these, there’s a good chance you will have to travel to Finland.
A steam sauna is commonly referred to as a steam room, hammams, or Turkish sauna. These saunas use moist heat created by boiling water that releases steam into the chamber.
Usually, steam saunas will be completely clad in ceramic tile or another type of non-porous surface. The steamy, hot air, which is usually around 110 degrees Fahrenheit, is believed to be especially beneficial to your respiratory system.
It is important to note that if you choose a steam sauna, they are at risk of mold growth. This is because of the high levels of humidity and moisture present.
Because of this, it is best to have a professional install a steam sauna if this is the type you choose.
Sauna Shower Combo
Do you love the steam heat but want to avoid installing a bulky sauna on the inside of your house? If so, choosing a shower-sauna combo may be the ideal option.
With this, you can convert your current shower area into a steam shower or a steam sauna. It can still be used as a shower or be used with the added heat and steam features.
This type of sauna requires plumbing expertise. If you do not have this, be sure to call in a professional for help.
Portable Steam Saunas
Do you want something small, portable, and lightweight? If so, a portable steam sauna may be the solution you are looking for.
You can find one-person, soft-sided huts or tents that provide the sauna experience on a smaller scale. While they can look a little silly since you sit in them with your head sticking out the top, they provide the benefits offered by a traditional sauna.
Even better, they are a much more affordable option than the other sauna types listed here.
Setting up this type of sauna only takes you a few minutes in most situations. You can unfold the sauna, put your chair inside, and access the zipped area where the heat comes from.
This is also where you will get into the unit.
A small, steam-producing water heater is attached to this unit. You will add water to the steamer, which heats up your small sauna.
The process is simple, and when the water runs out, it will automatically shut off. Once done, you can break everything down and store it in the garage or another convenient location.
The Sauna Blanket
This type of “sauna” may be a bit of a reach, but it is worth mentioning.
A sauna blanket looks like a regular sleeping bag. You climb inside, and infrared lights are used to het up your body to higher temperatures.
When you lay in the sauna blanket, you will sweat – a lot. Because you are inside this blanket, the experience may seem more intense than traditional sauna rooms. You will get hot and sweat, but this is the purpose of the product.
There is a good chance your heart rate will increase when using a sauna blanket, too. This means you can get many of the benefits offered by more traditional saunas.
Using this type of sauna requires caution. If you have certain medical conditions, avoiding the use of a sauna blanket may be best. If you aren’t sure, be sure to ask your doctor.
Health Benefits of Using a Sauna
The health benefits of using a sauna are some of the main reasons, so many people make this investment. Some of the specific health benefits can be found below.
The heat in the sauna causes your heart to start beating faster. It also results in the blood vessels getting wider.
When this happens, blood can get around your body without as much resistance. This can help alleviate muscle soreness and improve joint movement and other mobility issues.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Visiting a sauna a minimum of one time a week can help produce several heart-related issues. This includes things like coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, and sudden cardiac death.
The more you use your sauna, the better heart health you will achieve.
You can find multiple ways to lose weight. However, a sauna can play a role in this.
Spending just 20 minutes in a sauna can help you lose 500 calories.
Types of Saunas: Which One Is Right for You?
When it comes to different types of saunas, you have a lot to choose from. Keep the information above top-of-mind when shopping for a sauna to choose one that best suits your needs and budget.
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