Buying A Sauna: Everything You Need To Know

You’ve taken a sauna or ten, you’ve felt and noticed the health benefits, you’ve done your research and you know you want one in your home. Where do I go from here? While the exhilarating world of Sauna may seem complicated, it’s not. Should you have questions along the way, do not hesitate to give us a call. We’ve been using Saunas our entire lives and have a wealth of knowledge to share when it comes to purchasing a Sauna for your home or business.

Answer These Questions Before Buying A Sauna

  1. Should I build it myself or buy my Sauna?
  2. What type of Sauna do I want?
  3. Where will it be?
  4. What size constraints do I have?
  5. Do I own or rent my home?
  6. Should I get a kit or custom cut?
  7. What size heater should I use?
  8. What wood should I use?
  9. Where do I get a door?


While it looks like a lot, it’s relatively simple. We wanted to write a guide of some of the most frequently asked questions about buying a Sauna, as well as give our readers something that is comprehensive (actually useful, not a list of 3 tips you already know).

Building vs. Buying

The single biggest advantage to buying a sauna vs building it yourself is the amount of time it will take to get up and running. For many of our clients, they simply want it now. What they often do not consider is that when you choose to buy your Sauna, you’re buying it from somebody who has likely done it thousands of times. If you’re not a carpenter, buying your Sauna instead of building it yourself is likely going to make it last that much longer.

In our case, we are a Finnleo Sauna Dealer serving Minnesota. Finnleo is the #1 Sauna Builder in the world and we’re located in the actual town where each and every Finnleo Sauna is built. Finnleo Saunas are the top choice of traditional Finnish saunas for the most hard-core of users. Available in both infrared and traditional (or combo units), they’re built to stand the test of daily use over a lifetime.

With that being said, an advantage of building your own sauna is that if done correctly, the cost can be lower. While that’s often the case, depending on what materials you have readily available in your area it’s always worth getting a cost comparison once you’ve got your estimate.

People who build their own Saunas often come to us to buy:

  • The Sauna Heater
  • Wood (yes, we sell all the Sauna wood we use in our own units)
  • Doors (more on door sizing here)
  • Benches
  • Accessories

Should you want to build your own Sauna, we offer custom cut packages that are CAD designed and cut specifically for your space – all you have to do is assemble it upon arrival. Or, you could consider one of our Sauna Kits and DIY the entire thing yourself.

What type of Sauna should I choose?

While infrared saunas have exploded in popularity, many folks don’t realize that they can get a traditional steam sauna in their home without a drain setup. If something like that interests you, give us a call. Those Saunas are what we call Panel Built (Kits) and come in both Infrared or Traditional.

The biggest thing to when deciding between Traditional or Infrared to consider is heat. The heat of a traditional sauna is unlike anything you’ve likely experienced, it’s a much different type of heat than what you’ll get out of an Infrared sauna.

The true, traditional Finnish sauna is built with either an electric or wood fired heater that allows the user to throw water on the rocks, creating hot steam.

Where do I put my Sauna?

This is by far the easiest question to ask when buying a Sauna. Most folks know that it’s either going to be inside or outside. Both are entirely possible, with four choices.

  • Custom Cut Indoor
  • Panel Built Indoor
  • Custom Cut Outdoor
  • Panel Built Outdoor

We do get a few questions about putting an Infrared Sauna outdoors. Here in Minnesota, we do not recommend putting an Infrared Sauna outdoors due to the extreme cold and damage it can cause to the Infrared heating system.

What size space do I have?

The smallest footprint we carry is just 16 square feet. This is one of the smallest Sauna units on the market, if not the smallest, built for a single person. For many of our clients in an apartment, this is their first choice.

Size is a critical question, because some saunas need 240v power. If you want something a little bigger for more people, you’ll need to get 240v power to ensure the heater is capable of properly heating your Sauna room. The last thing you want to do is buy an oversized Sauna, start hosting Sauna night only to discover that your heater is undersized.

Another reason size is highly important is due to the height of Sauna rooms. Ours start at 72″ tall. While that will fit in the majority of ceiling heights out there, it’s something that should be thought about prior to buying your Sauna.

Do I own or rent my space?

If you rent, a Sauna is still possible. You’ll just want to make sure that you have standard 120v power. If you have 240v power, or your landlord is OK with it, a bigger Sauna that’s still portable when you move is entirely possible. Our larger units are relatively easy to move, it’s important to note that you will have to dis-assemble it prior to moving. You’re not going to be able to fit them through the door fully assembled, nor would you want to.

Should I get a Sauna kit or custom cut room?

If you plan on staying in your home awhile, or forever, it’s hard to beat a custom cut Sauna room. They’re more expensive, but they’re built to seamlessly integrate into your space – no matter where in the home you decide to put it. Saunas also increase your home value! Many people who start with a smaller Sauna realize how much enjoyment they get out of sharing their experience, upgrading to a bigger or custom cut room when they end up moving down the road.

What size heater should I use?

To answer this question, we recommend giving us a call to discuss the size of your design or existing space. Ordering a heater (not from us) that’s too small is a common mistake and something we field a lot of questions about. We don’t just try to sell you any heater, we make sure that it’s the right heater for your space. As you become more accustomed to using your Sauna, your heat tolerance will rise and you’ll want to get everything you can out of your heater.

What wood should I use?

Price and availability are the two biggest things to consider when choosing the wood for your Sauna. You can come up with the best looking wood in the world, but if you can’t source it you’re in trouble. We offer Western Red Cedar, Canadian Hemlock, Nordic Spruce, or Black Taika. These are the most commonly used types of Sauna wood, for their ability to withstand high heat and humidity over a lifetime of use.

What wood do I use for Sauna Benches?

Cedar wood goes with Cedar walls, Hemlock goes with Taika and Hemlock, and Abachi with Nordic Spruce. If you’re custom building your Sauna using your own materials, buy something from the list above that you like the look and feel of the best. In your Sauna, the benches are the part you’ll touch the most. You want not only a wood type that’s correct for Sauna, but also comfortable.

Where do I get my Sauna door?

We sell them, you can give us a call or learn more about Sauna door sizing here. If somebody builds their entire Sauna themselves, the door is the one component they typically buy. Doors are a critical part of the Sauna and ordering a pre-hung Sauna door is simple.

We hope this was helpful. As we add to our list of Sauna FAQs, we’ll add to this guide. Give us a call or contact us online should you have any questions whatsoever on building your Sauna!

Let The Sauna Experts Help You Build Your Dream Sauna.

While our customer experience cannot possibly match the feeling of relaxation you get from taking Sauna (nothing can), it’s on par with it. We’d love to share our passion and experience of Sauna with you.

We offer financing on any project.

Not Just Sauna Experts. 
Sauna Experts Who Care.