Looking for a sauna but aren’t completely sure on what you need? Here’s our buyers guide for a sauna – how to get the most for your money and make sure you have a decision you are happy with every time you step into your own personal haven.
Work our your budget before you start
Starting with a budget will prevent you from going overboard on additional features. Size, style and additional features can all be adjusted to ensure you have a sauna fits your budget but still delivers on quality. Our team know the features that add real value to a sauna, versus ‘gimmicks’ that end up being rarely used or add little value.
Indoor or Outdoor
As with pools or hot tubs, deciding on where to locate your sauna impacts on your options and can impact the overall cost significantly.
Usually these will be installed in a bathroom, taking a water supply from your mains. The advantage is usually saving on insulation and foundation work, although there will be additional costs to provide suitable ventilation and ensuring you have adequate drainage.
Setting a sauna outdoors usually allows you more flexibility with size and style. Whilst you’ll most likely have to setup drainage, foundations and ensure an adequate water supply, the benefit of having almost a blank canvas to design with, enables you to create something truly spectacular.
Style of Sauna
The two main types of sauna are traditional, and infrared. Both provide excellent relaxation and heat benefits – and after you’ve tried them, you’ll most likely have a clear preference of a style you’d like to use. Below are the key features of the different styles”
- The heat is provided by hot rocks over an electric heater.
- Heating time – around 20-35 minutes
- You can add moisture by sprinkling water over the rocks
- Uses more electricity than an infrared sauna
- You’ll usually feel hotter and perspire more in a traditional sauna than an infrared sauna.
- Heated by an electric heating element that generates radiant heat from lights
- If you opt for an infrared sauna, you’ll be able to step into a perfectly heated sauna within around 10-15 minutes of turning on to warm up.
- Often users report feeling a ‘different type of heat’ from an infrared sauna – although
- the relaxation benefits and running costs are a significant advantages over ‘traditional saunas’
There are two types of FAR infrared heating:
Carbon FAR infrared Sauna Heaters – Carbon fibres or panels will distribute a lower level of heat more evenly and are usually cheaper to buy than ceramic fibres.
Ceramic infrared heaters – A ceramic infrared heater will create a longer lasting form of heat in larger quantities.
Sauna Wood types
The style of wood often has the greatest impact on the appearance of a sauna. A few of the more popular options include:
Spruce panelling is slowly grown, healthy and tough Finnish softwood with sound knots that enliven the surface. Spruce secretes very little resin, and the wood retains its light colour for many years.
Pine panelling is made of pure pine board that has a slightly red tinge. Its looks improve with age, and it darkens beautifully as the years pass. Its faint fragrance of pine resin reminds you of fresh pine forests.
Aspen is a traditional sauna material because of its characteristics. Aspen’s light and even colour is long-lasting and creates a fresh atmosphere inside your sauna.
Alder has a refined shade of red which deepens with age. It’s slightly variegated and easy to care for
Heat-treated aspen preserves its shape well as the years pass. It is the darkest in colour of Harvia panelling material and also has a pleasant scent. You can accentuate the shade of the wood with paraffin oil.
Money saving tip
Decorative windows, traditional heating and cedar wood are the elements that make your sauna feel exceptionally high quality. Choosing infra red heating, a wood such as Aspen and less windows – will decrease your cost of installing and heating your sauna.
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