10 Relaxing Home Sauna Kits To Consider
It's easy to bring the healing energy of a sauna home. Check out our selection of easy-to-assemble kits that can have you detoxing in no time.
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Buying an Indoor Sauna Kit
The benefits of sweating it out in a sauna have been well-known for at least 2,000 years. When you perspire, your skin pores open and release toxins from your body, your cardiovascular health improves, your metabolism increases, you sleep better and you may even lose some weight. Your skin gets healthier, your muscles relax and you generally feel better.
Sounds pretty good.
Saunas with electric heating elements have been around for about 100 years, but home sauna kits are a more recent development. Prior to their widespread availability in the last 20 or so years, you had to go to a community facility at a spa or health club and share the space with other people.
The benefits of community interaction notwithstanding, sometimes you just want to sauna by yourself—and now you can. A home sauna kit costs anywhere from a few hundred to eight or $10,000, which for many people is a small price to pay for the luxury of an at-home therapy retreat.
Every sauna kit requires some installation. While some are very easy to set up, others call for basic carpentry skills and extra hands to lift heavy parts. Keep that in mind when choosing a kit for your home, along with these other factors:
- Electric vs. Infrared: The traditional electric heater sits in the middle of the sauna and provides heat from a resistive element, It’s a fairly large appliance that draws 2,000 watts of power or more, and the sauna has to be big enough to accommodate it. Infrared heat lamps, on the other hand, fit inside much smaller compartments. Infrared heat doesn’t heat the air inside the enclosure. Instead, it penetrates directly into the body. That means infrared lamps get you warm faster while consuming less electricity.
- Wet vs. Dry: With a resistive heater, you usually have the option of pouring water on the rocks on top of it and filling the sauna with steam. Some saunas even come with their own steam generator. While the choice between hot humid air and hot dry air in a sauna is a matter of personal preference, it’s nice to have both options available. Infrared saunas can only supply dry heat.
- Size: Some home sauna kits are only big enough for one person, while others can accommodate six people or more. A small sauna will fit almost anywhere in the house, but if you have room for it, a larger one is better. It gives you more space to stretch your legs or lie down.
- Portability: Saunas are traditionally made of cedar or some other type of wood, but portable one-person infrared saunas may have enclosures made of insulating fabric. While the fragrance of wood — especially cedar — adds to the enjoyment, there’s a lot to be said for being able to set up your sauna anywhere you want, indoors or out.
Best Portable Infrared Sauna
The SereneLife Portable Home Spa is a one-person infrared sauna. The SereneLife Portable Home Spais a tent-like structure lined with reflective foil and equipped with a 1,300-watt infrared heating element that can quickly raise the temperature to 140 degrees. It comes with a foldable chair and an integrated heating pad for your feet.
This unit is lightweight and can easily be transported anywhere by one person. It comes with a wired control module that allows you to set the temperature and program the heater to come on at a pre-set time.
Best Portable Steam Sauna
SereneLife also makes a Portable Steam Sauna that’s about the same size and weight as its infrared model. This sauna has a 1,600-watt heating element controlled by a remote control, and it comes with a foldable chair.
The steam is produced by a manually operated steam generator that is connected to the base of the unit. The maximum temperature is lower than the infrared model (only about 120 degrees) but that’s typical for wet saunas.
Best Traditional Steam Sauna
The Almost Heaven Bridgeport Six-Person Steam Sauna is as close as you’ll get to a built-in community sauna. It has an eight kW electric heater that can pump the temperature as high as 195 degrees, and when you pour water on the rocks, you get instant steam. You can use this sauna in either dry or steam mode.
This is one of the more expensive sauna kits, and the heater draws 40 amps at 240 volts, so it’s also expensive to operate.
Best Compact Far Infrared Sauna
The heat you feel from the Maxxus Three-Person Far Infrared Sauna comes from six heat emitters that produce radiation from the far end of the infrared spectrum. This radiation closely matches the heat our own bodies emit, so some people believe it penetrates more deeply and activates the sweat glands more efficiently.
The Maxxus sauna is made from hemlock and weighs about 320 pounds when fully assembled. It has a tempered glass door and two full-length side windows. It ships in three separate boxes and the parts are fitted with clasps for easy assembly.
Best Large-Capacity Far Infrared Sauna
The Monaco Six-Person Far Infrared Sauna comes from the same manufacturer as the Maxxus. It features the same far infrared heating elements, which require two separate 120-volt circuits, and it’s about twice as heavy. Needless to say, there’s much more room inside this sauna for lounging by yourself or with friends.
The interior design is striking, with curved benches and vertical wooden ventilation grilles. It’s also equipped with an audio player, a 15-in. LCD monitor and four built-in speakers. Sections are clasped for easy assembly.
Best Indoor/Outdoor Two-Person Sauna
Prefer to put your sauna out on the patio? The Enlighten Sierra Two-Person Sauna can do that, and it can also live in the bathroom or exercise room. It’s fully insulated and has a double-shingled roof.
Heat is supplied to the sauna by six carbon heaters and two full-spectrum heat lamps that radiate in both the near and far ends of the infrared spectrum. This unit draws 2,250 watts of power, and at 775 pounds, it’s heavy enough to stay put when the wind blows.
Best Corner Sauna
When you don’t have much space for a sauna, one that fits in a corner like the Blue Wave Sonoma Three-Person Sauna may be exactly what you’re looking for. The far infrared sauna features seven carbon heaters, and it plugs into a dedicated 120-volt outlet.
Made from hemlock, the unit features two windows and a full glass door as well as interior and exterior lights. According to the manufacturer, it takes 45 minutes to assemble.
Best Barrel Sauna
The Almost Heaven Barrel Sauna may be designed for the outdoors, but it’s small and cool-looking enough to be an indoor conversation piece. It has a large resistive heater that draws 30 amps at 240 volts, and it can be used as a wet or dry sauna.
The barrel has a six-ft. diameter, so tall people will have to bend down to get in. There are facing benches both inside and outside, so when the 195-degree heat gets too much, you can sit outside for a while and cool down.
Best Budget Sauna
If your body is looking for the healing energy of far infrared heat, and you’re on a budget, the Barcelona Far Infrared Sauna deserves a second look. It’s constructed of hemlock and features six carbon heating elements. This sauna plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet.
This sauna is perfect for one person or two close friends. It has a Bluetooth music system and two speakers, and a clasp system makes assembly very easy. It only weighs 250 pounds, so if you have a dolly, you can move it around the house by yourself.
Best ADA-Compliant Sauna
The healing heat of a full-spectrum infrared sauna can be especially beneficial for wheelchair-bound individuals. The Clearlight Sanctuary Retreat is a four-person sauna with a ramp, a generous amount of floor space and two spacious benches.
Far infrared heaters are located on the back and side walls and full spectrum heaters are on the front wall. This unit requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit, and it draws 3,160 watts. That’s a lot of power, but you get a lot of relaxing heat.