Our Top Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Backyard Sauna

Our Top Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Backyard Sauna

Our Top Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Outdoor Home Sauna

Imagine having access to a sauna whenever you want, where boosting your wellness is as simple as walking a few steps into your backyard. That’s the beauty of having an outdoor home sauna. You can gather with close friends for some quality time together or create a wellness practice that includes the entire family. Whatever the reason, a backyard sauna is there whenever you want to use it. However, there are a lot of sauna options out there and some big decisions you need to make before you install and start enjoying your personal backyard oasis.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

1. What the different types of home saunas are

2. What to consider when getting your backyard sauna

3. How much a home sauna costs

What Are The Different Types of Home Saunas?

Sauna culture sprawls all over the world, offering a multitude of experiences depending on where you travel. From the times of the OG saunas in caves closed off with animal skins, the sauna has evolved over centuries as cultures and tech have improved the heating style, materials and amenities. Here are a few types of home saunas you can explore. (They are totally worth it.)

1. Traditional Finnish Sauna

This type uses extreme ambient air temperature, often around 180°F with 20-40% humidity. It typically includes a stove for heating rocks, with the option to pour water over them to release steam (known as "löyly"). There are wood-burning options as well as electrical options for the stove.

2. Smoke Sauna (Savusauna)

A Savusauna is an ancient type of Finnish that comes without a chimney. Wood is burned in a stove, and the smoke fills the room, heating it up. After the room is heated, it's ventilated before use. As you can imagine, the interiors are sooty and blackened.

Smoke Sauna

Image Credit: Rokuan Lomahuvilat

3. Infrared Sauna

An infrared sauna uses infrared waves to directly heat the body rather than the air. These saunas operate at lower temperatures, typically between 125-155°F, and are preferred by those who prefer a less intense heat experience.

4. Electric Sauna

Heated using electric stoves or heaters, these saunas are easy to operate and offer precise temperature control. They typically reach temperatures between 150°F to 195°F.

5. Home Steam Sauna

A home steam sauna generates steam with a steam generator, creating a high-humidity environment at a lower temperature (usually around 110°F). Akin to Turkish hammams, they often have ceramic tiles or other non-porous surfaces.

6. Shower-Sauna Combo

You can combine a steam room within your shower. Our Auroom Baia Cabin Indoor DIY Sauna Kit allows you to do just that.

Auroom Baia Cabin

6 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Outdoor Home Sauna

1. Size

The first step in choosing an outdoor sauna is knowing what size you want. If you want your whole family to be able to use the sauna, you’ll want to opt for a larger option. If your backyard space is limited in size, you may need to choose something a little smaller to accommodate your space.

What are the different sizes of saunas?

Here is a rough estimate of the at-home sauna sizes available:

2-Person Saunas: Typically measure around 4 x 4 feet. These saunas are compact and ideal for individuals or couples, offering a space-saving option you can even install indoors, or outdoors in smaller homes.

3 to 4-Person Saunas: These saunas have standard dimensions of approximately 6 x 5 feet. They are suitable for small groups or families and can fit comfortably in most homes

5 to 6-Person Saunas: Popular dimensions are 6 x 8 feet. These saunas are spacious enough to allow users to sit or lay down comfortably, making them suitable for larger families or groups.

7-Person Saunas: These have dimensions of 8 x 8 ft, providing ample space and aesthetic versatility due to their size. You can add in a lot more sauna amenities like music systems and multiple benches.


Apart from the sauna’s heat source, little impacts the experience more than the materials you choose. Nothing beats wood for its heat resistance, moisture-controlling properties and that oh-so-heavenly scent. But what kind of wood is the right choice for you? Cedar smells amazing, birch and pine are robust and economical but our favorite is thermally modified spruce. It’s a gorgeous, durable wood that can withstand weather events, making it the best material for outdoor home saunas.

Sauna Life G11

Our SaunaLife G11 backyard sauna is made with sustainably-harvested Nordic spruce from Scandinavia that’s thermally modified for longevity. Price: $13,900.

3. Shape

Next on the list of to-do’s is determining what shape you want your outdoor home sauna to be. Rectangular saunas are the most spacious, but barrel saunas heat up the fastest because of their shape. If you live somewhere snowy, you may want to look into an igloo style sauna, because the roof shape allows for snow to slide off easily. What are your needs and what matters most to you? Start there to begin narrowing down your options.

4. Amenities

In our opinion, this is the best part — designing your ultimate sauna experience! Combining amenities is the most fun in your backyard, because you can combine your sauna with an outdoor shower, a pool, or even an outdoor kitchen. Maybe you want to go all out and include all three? Whatever you choose, your outdoor sauna will combine nicely with any and all backyard amenities you’re looking for.

5. Heat Source

Do you want an electric sauna or wood fired? Both deliver very different experiences. The heat quality, maintenance costs and of course, the ambience are just some of the ways in which they differ.

As a rule of thumb, a home electric sauna typically requires 240 volts and a 30-60 amps dedicated circuit. Your home sauna will need a reliable electrical source to operate properly and accommodate the necessary power, so we recommend talking to an electrician first to see if what you want to do is actually possible.

If you already know a wood-burning sauna is what you want, an electrical source isn’t necessary. All you need is some good old fashioned logs a-burning! But you will have to install a chimney or vent to get the smoke out so you’re not coughing up a storm in your sauna.

We will forewarn that although wood fired saunas may seem tempting because they don’t require an electrician, they are trickier to install and tend to be more expensive. Our suggestion is to just do your research with each option to make sure you’re happy with what you’re getting!


Something else you’ll want to think about is where your sauna should live. The closer your sauna is to your house, the easier it is to access and the cheaper it is to run power to the sauna heater. If you don’t want it in your backyard, you can still install it in your balcony. Our Auroom Cala Wood Cabin Indoor Sauna Kit allows you to do just that. Wherever you decide to put your sauna, remember that it needs to be somewhere with good drainage so that water can’t pool around the base of your structure and cause any damage.

Auroom Cala Wood

Auroom Cala Wood Cabin Indoor Sauna Kit. Price $5,750.

How Much Does A Sauna Cost?

At Sauna House, our sauna kits start at $3990. That’s the DIY, prefab SaunaLife X6, which comes with Wi-Fi app-controlled LED lighting. It’s made of Aspen, appropriate for indoor gyms, spas and if you have the space, your home!

Saunalife X6

The median cost of an economical, value-packed sauna that gives you both indoor and outdoor options ranges between $5,00 to $6,000. At the high end, costs can go up to $50,000+ and beyond. It all depends on what you want out of your sauna.

Ready to Install Your Backyard Sauna?

There are so many reasons why having a home sauna rules! If you’re interested in installing a sauna or you have more questions about the process, you can connect with our sales manager, Rory, by filling out this form. He’s our go-to expert for sauna installation and will be happy to answer any queries and help you find what you’re looking for.

Already have a sauna?

Want to show off your own sauna oasis to the world? Send us a picture of your setup! We’d love to see it.


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July 26, 2022
By: Sauna House