Types of Saunas

Saunas have exploded in popularity since the early 2000’s, when owning one was a luxury unaffordable for many. With the increased demand, more and more types of saunas are entering the market. It’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in a sauna before making a buying decision. On top of that, most folks can’t just walk into a sauna dealership in their backyard. Or, if you live near us, maybe you can!

We highly encourage anybody interested in making a sauna investment to come try one before you buy. You can visit our sauna showroom by walking in, or making an after hours appointment.

What are the types of Sauna?

A sauna is a place in which a type of sauna heater is located. The main two types of saunas are traditional and infrared saunas, with sub-types of each. For example, there are two types of infrared saunas, both modular and permanently installed.

  1. Traditional Saunas
  2. Infrared Saunas

For the purposes of not naming every single variation of sauna type possible, the sauna types listed above are all the possible variations a person can have when it comes to sauna. If you are considering buying a sauna and have questions on any part of the process, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We would be thrilled to answer any questions you may have!

Steam room, or sauna?

While a steam room is a type of sauna, when we compare saunas vs steam rooms, they are in completely different categories. We consider a sauna to be a room with a stove, either infrared, electric, or wood fired. On the other hand, a steam room uses a steam generator to create a soothing steam experience.

Traditional Sauna Types

In the world of traditional saunas, there are many different styles that would qualify as a different type. There are two different types of traditional saunas, wood fired or those powered by an electric heater.

Wood Fired Traditional Saunas

Wood fired traditional saunas are the most authentic sauna experience. A wood fired sauna experience is the closest thing to the original Finnish Savusauna (known as a smoke sauna). Any sauna with a wood stove should be located outdoors, but the placement of it can vary. There are portable wood fired saunas, permanently installed custom wood fired saunas, and mobile wood fired saunas.

Are outdoor saunas always powered by a wood stove?

Actually, electric stoves tend to be the most popular stove option for an outdoor sauna. It’s not uncommon for sauna users to have two saunas on their property, one indoors and one outside. Traditionally, outdoor saunas used wood fired stoves, however, they’ve been increasingly replaced with electric stoves due to the convenience and performance.

One of the reasons folks choose to buy their electric sauna heaters through us is because they can be controlled from the palm of your hand. Our sauna controls are built using Sauna Logic technology, meaning they come with a smartphone app as well as a standard wall mounted control panel.

Electric Traditional Saunas

Electric traditional saunas come in many shapes and sizes. Most traditional saunas powered by an electric sauna heater are located indoors, but we do offer several outdoor models as well. These are perfect for the sauna user who prefers the convenience of controlling their sauna from their phone or wall panel rather than starting a fire each time they’d like to use it.

We offer panel built sauna kits, DIY pre-cut sauna kits, as well as custom saunas permanently installed both indoors and out.

Can you have a wood fired sauna indoors?

While not common, there are indoor saunas that are wood fired. It is not recommended to have a wood fired sauna stove indoors. Wood fired indoor sauna stoves have been replaced by electric sauna stoves in recent years, and wood fired saunas are typically used in outdoor saunas.

Are Barrel Saunas Traditional Saunas?

Most barrel saunas are a traditional sauna using either a wood stove or an electric sauna heater. Barrel saunas typically feature a single bench, running along each side of the sauna itself. This is one of the main reasons folks who desire an outdoor sauna do not end up purchasing a barrel sauna.

With that being said, many people love the look of a barrel sauna. They’re unique in their design.

Electric stove saunas

Saunas that use electric stoves have become increasingly popular over the past 20 years, especially due to the increased efficiency that comes with updated stove technology. Contrary to what many think, electric sauna stoves are actually highly efficient. There are three types of electric stove saunas.

  • Indoor electric stove saunas
  • Outdoor electric stove saunas
  • Dry Saunas

Infrared, portable saunas

Infrared saunas have multiple different sub-types.

  • 1 Person Sauna
  • 2 Person Sauna
  • 3 Person Sauna
  • 4 Person Sauna

Sauna steam rooms

Sauna steam rooms are commonly used in fitness centers and gyms throughout the world. While they were popular within the last 20 years, sauna steam rooms generally offer an experience too mild for avid sauna enthusiasts. Sauna steam rooms come in a wide range of sizes, but the majority are built for large groups.

Portable stove-less saunas

If there’s a sauna steam room option for those looking to get the steam without the heat, a portable sauna would be your go to option. Portable saunas are a great starter option for those looking to test out an infrared sauna prior to purchasing.

Frequent questions on the different types of sauna

When we consider all of the different types of saunas in the world, there are a high number of variations one could have. For many of these, we’ve addressed individual questions on a certain article.


Let The Sauna Experts Help You Build Your Dream Sauna.

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