We Know: How to Buy a Sauna

Should I Buy or Build a Sauna?

The first question you need to answer for yourself before purchasing a sauna is whether you want to buy a sauna kit and build it yourself, design and build a sauna from scratch, or purchase a pre-built sauna where you simply assemble the finished pieces. Prices vary considerably among types of saunas, size, options, and shipping costs, but a top of the line pre-built sauna will cost close to $4,000.

About Saunas

Saunas can be very simple or quite elaborate. They vary in size, design, heater type, and can have accessories like stereo systems and benches. You can also use aromatherapy or clay products to enhance your sauna experience.


There are indoor saunas, outdoor saunas, and some that can be both. Most saunas are built with cedar wood.

Sauna Heaters

Look for hot rock heaters that can accommodate large rocks as they create a more comfortable heat. Here are several good sauna heaters:

  • Sampo heater.
  • Polar.
  • Fino.
  • Saunacore Ultimate.

Sauna Heating Types

Sauna heat can be either wet or dry. The steam, or wet heat, is created when you sprinkle water on the heated rocks. Not all heaters can do both.

  1. Infrared heater. Uses an invisible, far infrared range of wavelengths to create heat that penetrates the skin. Also used in conjunction with color therapy.
  2. Electric rock heater. Can create wet or dry heat.
  3. Wood stove. A wood stove designed especially for saunas heats up the rocks with a soft, even heat. Can create wet or dry heat. A chimney vents the smoke outside.
  4. Propane or gas heater. These are usually used for large, commercial saunas.


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