Different Sauna Types: How to Choose the Right One for You

Different Sauna Types: How to Choose the Right One for You

Different Sauna Types: How to Choose the Right One for You

Thinking of getting a sauna for your home? Great choice – but we know it can be overwhelming. There are several different at-home sauna types and each comes with its own sets of pros and cons – which one should you get?

From the heat intensity of a Finnish sauna to the humid embrace of a steam room, and the gentle warmth of an infrared sauna, we'll explore the nuances of each to help you make an informed decision. We’ll cover essential aspects such as installation considerations, health benefits, maintenance needs, and cost implications to ensure you find the perfect match for your lifestyle and wellness goals.

Ready to turn your home into your personal wellness retreat? Let’s dive in.

What are the Different Home Sauna Types?

There are three main types of home saunas:

1. Traditional Finnish Sauna
2. Steam Sauna
3. Infrared Sauna

Each of these saunas offer varying experiences but what’s best for your home really depends on what suits your preference.

Generally speaking, traditional saunas and infrared saunas are the most common for home use and can be installed indoors or used as an outdoor home sauna.

Sauna Types: Traditional Sauna vs. Steam Sauna vs. Infrared Sauna

If you’ve come to Sauna House before, then you’ve probably noticed that we have three different types of saunas, each operating a little differently, giving you a slightly varying experience.

We’ve got the comforting warmth of the traditional Finnish sauna, the slightly harder hitting heat of the steam room and the subtle radiance of the high-tech infrared sauna.

So, is there a best sauna for your home? We think it’s all up to you and what you enjoy. We’ve broken down the popular at home sauna types by budget considerations.

Traditional Finnish Sauna

Traditional saunas use extreme ambient air temperature and a little moisture to elevate your core temperature. They usually run around 180°F and are among the most common choices for an at home sauna.

Traditional Finnish saunas have the unique option to pour water over hot rocks which release steam and humidity into the air known as “löyly” in Finnish. Usually, a traditional sauna has a humidity level between 20-40%. (Note: this moisture is still nowhere near that of steam rooms which hover near 100% humidity.)

They can be custom designed or pre-built and be installed either inside your home or outside in your backyard.

If you’re curious about installing a sauna at your home, fill out our form to chat with our sales manager, Rory.

Factors to consider

Finnish-style saunas bring the classic high heat and woodsy vibes that sauna lovers rave about, but before you dive in, think about where it’ll fit in your home – these beauties need their own dedicated spot, whether it's a cozy corner inside or a snazzy  outdoor home sauna setup. Installations are a bit of a project, with electrical and ventilation needs to consider, but it’s totally worth it. Budget-wise, you’ll have to consider the maintenance and electricity bills in the long term, even if the initial setup may not be as expensive as you think.

Our Auroom Familia Cabin Sauna comes in 5 sizes and three different wood options to complement your indoor space.


Our outdoor barrel sauna kit seats 4, and fits neatly into any outdoor space!

Steam Saunas

Also known as steam rooms or wet saunas, steam saunas are moisture-filled warm rooms that are built with materials to handle high humidity and heat levels (like non-porous tiles, glass, and acrylic). Modern steam saunas operate with steam generators that heat water to a boiling point, producing steam that’s channeled straight into the sauna room. And they bring the heat!

Steam saunas typically range in temperature from 105°F to 120°F accompanied by a humidity level of a whopping 100%.

Factors to consider

Home steam sauna units can be integrated into existing bathrooms or designated as a standalone feature in your home. The installation process demands attention to waterproofing and ventilation, ensuring a safe and enduring setup.

In terms of budget, it's important to account not only for the initial investment but also for the ongoing utility costs associated with water and electricity usage.

Maintenance is relatively straightforward but essential, focusing on cleanliness and moisture management to prevent any issues with mold or dampness.

Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas use a form of light wave to create heat in the room and elevate your core temperature. These waves penetrate body tissues, increasing your internal temperature and creating sweat that just never seems to stop once you get it going.

Infrared exposure is designed to be lower in temperature (about 125°F-155°F) but longer in duration.

Factors to consider

When considering an infrared sauna for your home, space is a flexible factor; these saunas come in a range of sizes, from compact models that fit in smaller spaces to larger ones for spacious rooms.

Installation is typically less complex than traditional saunas, often requiring just a standard electrical outlet, making them a convenient option for many homes. Budget-wise, infrared saunas are generally more cost-effective, both in terms of initial investment and ongoing energy usage, which tends to be lower compared to traditional saunas.

Maintenance is relatively straightforward, focusing mainly on keeping the interior clean and ensuring the infrared panels are functioning correctly.

So, which of the three sauna types is the right one for your at home sauna?

We’ve given you a rough overview of the considerations of each type of sauna so far, but let’s go a little broader. The decision to install a sauna at home is not just about adding a luxury feature; it's about investing in your health and well-being in the long term.

You’ll need to consider the benefits, logistics, costs and many other factors when it comes to choosing what sauna to go for. Here’s a table quickly breaking them down:

Consideration Infrared Sauna Finnish Sauna Steam Sauna
Heat Type Infrared panels heating the body directly High ambient air temperature Warm, moist heat (steam)
Temperature Range 125°F to 155°F 180°F to 200°F 110°F to 120°F
Installation Typically easier, requires standard electrical outlet Requires robust electrical system and proper ventilation Requires waterproofing and good ventilation
Space Required Flexible, available in various sizes Requires dedicated space, indoor or outdoor Can be integrated into bathrooms or standalone
Initial Cost Generally lower Higher due to construction and heating elements Higher due to plumbing and waterproofing
Operating Cost Lower energy usage Higher energy usage for heating High water and electricity usage
Maintenance Relatively low, mainly cleaning and panel checks Regular cleaning and heater maintenance Regular cleaning, moisture control to prevent mold
Health Benefits Deep tissue relief, relaxation, detoxification Improved circulation, muscle recovery, stress relief Skin hydration, respiratory relief
User Accessibility Lower temperatures, suitable for a wider range High temperatures, may not suit all users Humid environment, beneficial for respiratory issues

Should you go for a sauna or a steam room? For a more in-depth look, check out our blog.

Get Your Perfect Home Sauna from Sauna House

If your heart is leaning towards the warm, rustic feel of the authentic wooden Finnish sauna, then Sauna House can help.

We offer sauna products ranging from sauna stoves and sauna room kits to unique outdoor barrel saunas – all solutions to help fit the ancient tradition of the Finnish sauna into your pumping modern life.

Our commitment at Sauna House is to guide you through every step of your journey. From selecting the perfect model that aligns with your space and lifestyle, to expert installation and tips on how to get the most out of your sauna experience, we are here to ensure your journey to owning a Finnish sauna is as seamless and rewarding as possible.

Ready to explore your options?

Check out our range of sauna products!

August 25, 2021
By: Sauna House