The Best Outdoor Saunas of 2022

Relax and unwind inside your outdoor sauna, whether you prefer a dry heat or a traditional steam sauna.

By Alyssa Gautieri | Updated May 2, 2022 11:31 AM

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The Best Outdoor Saunas

Photo: amazon.com

With a rise in consumer preference toward health and wellness, outdoor saunas are becoming increasingly popular. Beyond enjoyment and relaxation, saunas have been found to provide a myriad of health benefits like improving heart health, reducing stress, fighting illness, burning calories, flushing toxins, and relieving sore muscles.

When shopping for an outdoor sauna, many consumers look for a quality product that provides convenient features and benefits for health while looking great in an outdoor space. As you scroll through this article, you’ll learn about some of the key characteristics of outdoor saunas and read about some of the best outdoor saunas on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Aleko Outdoor Rustic Red Cedar Wood Barrel Sauna
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Xmatch Far Infrared Wooden Outdoor Sauna
  3. BEST FAR INFRARED: SDI Factory Direct 4 Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna
  4. BEST STEAM: Thermory 6-Person Outdoor Traditional Steam Sauna
  5. BEST BARREL: Almost Heaven Saunas Audra Barrel Sauna
  6. BEST DESIGN: BZBCabins Outdoor POD Sauna Igloo Kit 40
  7. BEST COMPACT: SunRay HL300D Grandby Outdoor Sauna
  8. BEST WITH DRESSING ROOM: Allwood 8 Person Barrel Sauna with Dressing Room
The Best Outdoor Saunas

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Outdoor Saunas

Whether you’re looking for a traditional steam sauna or a sauna with dry heat, there are a ton of options to consider. While the traditional Finnish sauna is heated by a wood-burning stove with sauna rocks, a dry sauna typically produces heat with a carbon or ceramic electric heater. Depending on the heat source, different types of outdoor saunas provide users with a different variety of health benefits.

Traditional Finnish Sauna

Although they’ve become popular in all parts of the world, saunas are entwined with Finnish culture. The traditional Finnish sauna is a steam sauna heated by a wood-burning stove, with or without a chimney. A basket of sauna rocks is heated by the stove, and water is tossed on top of the rocks once the rocks have warmed to create steam and humidity throughout the sauna.

With most traditional saunas, users can adjust the temperature to create their ideal atmosphere. The combination of high heat and humidity is known to provide health benefits, like improving skin health, clearing congestion, reducing joint stiffness, lowering blood pressure, and more.

Dry Sauna

Both steam and dry saunas provide health benefits by heating the body, but they do so in different ways. While a steam sauna uses wet heat and high humidity to create a sauna experience, a dry sauna operates at a much lower temperature and provides much less humidity.

Dry saunas heat the air evenly and penetrate deeper into the skin. The heating element may be powered by an electric or fuel-powered heater. Dry saunas range from 150 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas use infrared light to penetrate the skin and heat the body directly. They operate at a lower temperature compared to an outdoor traditional sauna and dry sauna, typically between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Users can enjoy a deep sweat without overheating, which results in a safer and more enjoyable sauna experience.

Providing plenty of health benefits, infrared saunas help with relaxation, aid weight loss, improve circulation, relieve sore muscles, lead to better sleep, and more. When shopping for an outdoor infrared sauna, there are near infrared, far infrared, and full-spectrum saunas. Most infrared saunas use either carbon or ceramic heaters to evenly disperse heat.

What to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Sauna

Before making a purchase, consider the size, material, and design of the sauna in order to find the best fit for your outdoor space. It’s important to find an option with the right amount of seating and the kinds of accessories that make the most impact. Depending on how often you want to sauna bathe, consider the overall safety of every sauna type. Keep reading to learn more about these key considerations.

Size and Seating Capacity

Outdoor saunas are available in various shapes and sizes, as they can be intended for a couple, the entire family, or for entertaining small groups. Two- or three-person saunas look great on a patio or deck, while larger barrel saunas tend to work best in a backyard. Some barrel saunas can accommodate up to eight people, and some even include a separate dressing room and a front porch for additional seating.

Larger saunas typically have benches on both sides, making it easier for users to hang out and talk while enjoying their backyard sauna experience. It also provides those in smaller groups the option to lie down on the bench while inside the sauna. Whereas both a one-person outdoor sauna and a two-person outdoor sauna tend to have only one bench, they are a great option for those who don’t have a ton of outdoor space.

Materials and Design

Most outdoor saunas are constructed from wood, with the most popular materials being cedar, hemlock, and spruce wood. Thick wood panels offer more insulation so heat stays inside, regardless of the weather outside.

When considering the type of materials, think about the exterior of the sauna for longevity and how it relates to other structures around the yard, such as a pool house or a shed. While some saunas have a wooden door, many have a door made from tempered glass. Some models even have front or rear windows, so users can enjoy views of nature while inside their backyard sauna. Some wooden saunas have roofing shingles to protect against damage from rain and UV rays.

Traditional outdoor saunas use a wood-burning stove, whether that’s with or without a chimney. Some have a sauna guard, which is usually a wooden structure that surrounds the heater or stove for safety reasons so that bathers do not accidentally touch the heat source. For a more comfortable sauna experience, some outdoor saunas have vents that circulate air throughout the structure.

Accessories

When shopping for a sauna, it’s important to consider what features and accessories are most important to you. Many models allow users to set the sauna to their preferred temperature using a thermometer, and some include a timer that can be set hours in advance. There are steam saunas that also include a hygrometer, which is used to measure the amount of water vapor in the air.

Some models include LED lights and recessed lighting inside, making it possible for users to read a book or a magazine. Others include chromotherapy lights, which are known to provide additional health benefits like accelerating healing, relieving muscle tension, and improving circulation. Additional options include MP3 or charging outputs and Bluetooth connectivity, so users can enjoy music from inside the sauna.

Safety

Generally, all outdoor saunas are safe to use regularly, although infrared saunas are considered to be safer long term. Infrared saunas operate at a much lower temperature, between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them the safer option for users who want to sauna bathe for longer periods or for those who want to enjoy their sauna every day.

If installed correctly, outdoor saunas are not considered a fire hazard. Be sure to follow the instructions closely when installing a sauna. Steam saunas have the potential to grow mold and mildew, which is why it’s important to regularly clean a sauna after each use.

Our Top Picks

Now it’s time to explore some of the top options. Whether it’s a spacious barrel sauna, compact infrared sauna, or a two-room sauna with a separate dressing room, our top picks include some of the best outdoor saunas to blend seamlessly with many types of backyards.

Best Overall

Photo: amazon.com

This sauna features a tempered glass door entrance, which helps create a quiet environment inside the sauna while also allowing users to see outside. Effortlessly operate the sauna with an adjustable temperature range between 158 and 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Once inside, users can pour water over the bucket of sauna stones to boost atmospheric temperature and humidity.

This sauna comes partially preassembled, so the structure can be set up within a few hours. This cedar wood sauna is spacious enough to comfortably fit four people, but it’s ideal for couples.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: 158 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Capacity: 4 people
  • Extras: Tempered glass door, sauna lava stones

Pros

  • Automatic shut-off timer
  • Comes partially preassembled
  • Shingles protect against weather
  • Porch provides extra seating and storage space

Con

  • Could be more spacious

Get the Aleko outdoor sauna on Amazon, The Home Depot, and Aleko.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: Xmatch Far Infrared Wooden Outdoor Sauna
Photo: amazon.com

The nine low-EMF heating plates warm this kiln-dried hemlock wood sauna within 10 to 15 minutes. Use the LCD panel to choose an ideal temperature between 68 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. For added benefit, the tempered glass door keeps heat in while making it possible to see outside the sauna.

The tongue-and-groove design ensures a quick assembly regardless of whether users are looking for an affordable option for indoor or outdoor use. With two Bluetooth speakers, this infrared outdoor sauna makes it easy to play music from a smartphone or tablet. While the interior is spacious enough for two people, this sauna is not ideal for those taller than 6 feet 2 inches.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: 68 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Extras: LCD panel, reading lamps, chromotherapy

Pros

  • 10- to 15-minute warm-up
  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Simple assembly
  • Bluetooth connection

Cons

  • Not ideal for those taller than 6 feet 2 inches
  • Could be more spacious

Get the Xmatch outdoor sauna on Amazon.

Best Far Infrared

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: SDI Factory Direct 4 Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna
Photo: amazon.com

Newly designed, this 2022 model from SDI Factory Direct uses far infrared ceramic heaters and includes an oxygen ionizer with an ozone generator to keep air fresh. Users can play music from a smartphone with the auxiliary input or pop a CD into the CD player, which is conveniently located inside the sauna. However, there is no Bluetooth connection.

Complete with a shingled roof and waterproof hemlock wood construction, the sauna boasts a simple aesthetic that pairs well with many home styles. It does, though, lack a modern look when compared with other options. The digital control panel makes it easy to control the temperature anywhere from 64 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit. Users can also control four LED reading lights and the four chromotherapy lights. The sauna is designed to comfortably fit up to four people. Since the overall height is more than 7 feet tall, even taller individuals can comfortably fit inside.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: 64 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Capacity: 4 people
  • Extras: Stereo speakers, oxygen ionizer, chromotherapy

Pros

  • Shingled roof
  • Waterproof hemlock wood construction
  • Auxiliary input
  • More than 7 feet tall

Con

  • No Bluetooth

Get the SDI Factory Direct outdoor sauna on Amazon and SDI Factory Direct.

Best Steam

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: Thermory 6-Person Outdoor Traditional Steam Sauna
Photo: wayfair.com

Spacious and stylish, this barrel sauna has 24-inch-deep benches for a comfortable and soothing sauna experience. Fit up to six people inside this sauna—even those who are more than 6 feet tall.

The responsibly sourced spruce wood from Norway has a brushed texture, distinct knots, and consistent heartwood color to complete the sauna’s aesthetic. To ensure quality, every board is checked for internal flaws, and each board is between 1.5-inches and 3.5-inches thick to provide added insulation.

Although sold at a higher price point, this sauna is constructed with high-quality materials and is built for outdoor use whether in wet, cold, or hot climates. Users can start using this sauna quickly once they follow the step-by-step assembly instructions.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: Up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Capacity: 6 people
  • Extras: Rear window, 24-inch-deep benches

Pros

  • Sustainably sourced spruce wood
  • Spacious interior
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • High price point
  • No speaker system
  • No roofing shingles

Get the Thermory outdoor sauna at Wayfair.

Best Barrel

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: Almost Heaven Saunas Audra Barrel Sauna
Photo: wayfair.com

This spacious 6-foot by 6-foot sauna heats up to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The Harvia electric heater can heat up right away or can be programmed up to 8 hours in the future. While inside, individuals can use a sauna ladle to pour water over the rocks and immerse the interior with steam.

Made from solid wood, this barrel-style sauna has a covered canopy with additional outside seating and a tempered glass door with a stainless steel handle. Although sleek and stylish, this sauna must be covered, or else rainwater will enter through the wooden roof. There is also no speaker system or smart screen to easily control the temperature or interior light.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: Up to 195 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Capacity: 4 people
  • Extras: Covered porch with 2 exterior benches

Pros

  • Handcrafted
  • Ready to assemble
  • Sleek design
  • Porch provides extra seating and storage space

Cons

  • Water will enter the sauna if left uncovered
  • Temperature does not easily adjust
  • No speaker system or smart screen

Get the Almost Heaven outdoor sauna at Wayfair and Lowe’s.

Best Design

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: BZB Cabins Outdoor POD Sauna Igloo Kit 40
Photo: amazon.com

This spacious, two-room sauna from BZB Cabins includes a separate changing room with additional benches. Use the room for additional hangout space or to store towels, beverages, and other essentials. Reminiscent of a classic red barn and complete with two rear windows, this stylish sauna prioritizes aesthetics more than its competitors. The sauna kit also includes roofing shingles to complete the look while also providing protection from rain and UV rays.

Fit the whole family or entertain guests, as this sauna provides space for up to eight people. Inside, the outdoor home sauna is 6 feet 10 inches tall, so even taller users can walk around comfortably. Shoppers can choose from a Harvia M3 wood-burning heater or a Harvia FLB60 heater. This kit includes everything needed for assembly, although the materials are heavy and the wood is unfinished, meaning the assembly may be time-consuming.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: Not specified
  • Capacity: 8 people
  • Extras: Changing room, bucket and ladle, 2 windows

Pros

  • Charming design
  • 2 separate rooms
  • Large capacity
  • Roofing shingles included

Cons

  • Delivered unfinished
  • Time-consuming assembly
  • Heavy construction

Get the BZB Cabins outdoor sauna kit on BZB Cabins and Outdoors and Amazon.

Best Compact

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: SunRay HL300D Grandby Outdoor Sauna
Photo: homedepot.com

For those without a huge backyard, the SunRay Grandby sauna may be a great fit. It fits three people and offers plenty of interior space, yet it doesn’t require a large outdoor area. It’s the perfect option for a smaller patio or deck. The exterior resembles a typical house with a pitched roof, which helps prevent water from damaging the structure.

The seven ceramic heaters warm up within 10 to 15 minutes, and the control panel allows users to select their preferred temperature up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. To curate a great sauna experience, there is also an oxygen ionization system to keep the air fresh and clean, recessed interior lighting, and an FM radio with MP3 and CD player. Made from natural Canadian hemlock wood, the three-person sauna is easy to assemble and is ready to use once it’s plugged in.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: Up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Capacity: 3 people
  • Extras: 7 ceramic heaters, ergonomic backrests, oxygen ionizer

Pros

  • FM radio with CD player and MP3
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Heats up fast
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Only 1 seating bench
  • No Bluetooth

Get the SunRay outdoor sauna at The Home Depot and AnySauna.

Best With Dressing Room

The Best Outdoor Saunas Option: Allwood 8 Person Barrel Sauna with Dressing Room
Photo: amazon.com

This classic barrel sauna design heats up quickly and allows for natural continuous air circulation.

Its tempered glass door allows light to enter the front of the sauna, while two rear windows ensure light passes through the entire structure. The raw Nordic spruce-wood construction blends seamlessly with nature, making this a great option for backyards. With enough space for up to eight people, this sauna is great for entertaining guests or including the entire family.

Users can choose from a wood-fired heater or an electric heater, although both options include sauna stones. For lasting durability, bitumen roof shingles protect the structure from weather— including rain and the sun’s UV rays. Designed to last for years to come, this home outdoor sauna does stand at a higher price point compared with other saunas. Although assembly may take a few hours, it doesn’t require a professional and can be completed within a day.

Product Specs

  • Temperature: Not specified
  • Capacity: 8 people
  • Extras: Covered porch, separate dressing room, rear windows

Pros

  • Shingles protect against weather
  • Nordic spruce construction
  • Porch provides extra seating and storage space
  • Spacious interior

Cons

  • No sound system
  • High price point

Get the Allwood outdoor sauna on Amazon.

Our Verdict

For most typical residential situations, the Aleko outdoor sauna is a great pick because it has a porch with extra seating, comes partially preassembled, and includes roof shingles for durability—all at a reasonable price. The Xmatch outdoor sauna is another good option thanks to its budget-friendly price and useful features, including an LCD panel, reading lamps, and chromotherapy.

How We Chose the Best Outdoor Saunas

When creating this list, we wanted to include a good-quality option for every type of user. We considered the types of saunas at various price points, as well as different sizes, styles, and materials. When it comes to size and capacity, it’s important to consider how the sauna will be used, so we included options that are ideal for couples, the whole family, or hosting a small group. The ease of assembly also weighed into our decision-making process.

We also considered extra features, as shoppers may value certain accessories, such as a stereo system, chromotherapy lights, or a traditional bucket with sauna rocks. Further, we took into account the durability and weather resistance of every option. We also wanted to offer a range of styles to ensure that all users could find a fit to accommodate their space, whether it’s a backyard, deck, or patio.

FAQs

We’ve covered a lot of information about the best outdoor saunas, but you might still have some questions. Keep reading for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about outdoor saunas.

Q. Can I put a sauna in my backyard?

Yes, you can put a sauna in your backyard. Make sure that the sauna you choose is built for outdoor use.

Q. Will I have to assemble my outdoor sauna?

Most likely. Some saunas come partially assembled, but most take at least a few hours to assemble.

Q. What’s the difference between an indoor and outdoor sauna?

Indoor saunas tend to accommodate two to four people, while outdoor saunas are often larger. Some models are designed to function indoors or outdoors.

Q. What are the health benefits of using a sauna?

Sauna bathing has been known to increase circulation, improve cardiovascular health, reduce pain, boost immunity, improve sleep, and reduce stress.

Q. How do I clean and sanitize my sauna?

Outdoor saunas can be wiped clean using mild soap and water. Sauna floors can be mopped with a mild detergent.

Q. How much does an outdoor sauna cost?

Depending on the type of sauna and quality, outdoor saunas can cost anywhere from $2,000 to more than $10,000.