A central part of the spa experience is stepping into a steamy wood-paneled sauna for a moment of serene relaxation. Saunas help to repair your muscles after a workout, sweat out toxins from your body, and can aid in clearing your airways. But, you don’t have to go to your gym or have a spa day to indulge in the warmth of a sauna. You can purchase portable versions for your home that create the experience of some of the best saunas.
Many fitness centers offer saunas to their clients, and they’re a great way to get an extra shvitz after a workout. It turns out that a sauna session is also a great way to get the heart pumping a little extra, too, according to new research. A short sauna session causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that’s comparable to the increase seen from a brief, moderate intensity workout.
There’s more to them than just relaxing. A new study also found that those who use a sauna frequently nearly cut their risk of high blood pressure in half. The long-term study of more than 1,600 middle-aged Finnish men, which saw researchers from the University of Eastern Finland following up with participants more than two decades later, showed a sauna’s benefits for reducing hypertension went up as sauna use increased.
For an at-home spa experience and the added plus of health benefits, trying out a sauna might not be a bad idea. StudyFinds has selected the five best saunas for unwinding after reviewing 11 expert websites and customer reviews. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below.
The List: Best Saunas, According to Experts
Parade loves this one-person steam room that tops our list of best saunas: “This indoor sauna kit is a compact option that is lightweight and conveniently folds away when you want to move or store it. It comes with a chair that also folds. This sauna features steam heat that reaches a max temperature of 122 degrees.”
“Unlike portable saunas that require the user to sit on a chair with a hole to poke their head out, the SereneLife Full Size Portable Steam Sauna is large enough that you can fit your entire body inside with an easy-access ‘sit-in’ design. Yet, it still includes a small window and convenient hand access zippers, so you can use your phone or read a book or magazine while getting your sweat on,” says Popular Science. “When you’re finished, the unit is collapsible and can be easily stored in a closet. With a 1600 watt high-power heating element and four-liter capacity steamer, this sauna is also energy efficient. Additionally, the included wired remote control makes it simple to set the timer and heat settings from inside or outside the unit.”
“The SereneLife SLISAU35BK Full Size Portable Steam Sauna offers a bit more of a real sauna-like experience, as all parts of the body get to be inside. There are two sauna options to choose from—infrared or steam—and the steam version is available in black with a blue zipper or gray with a black zipper,” adds Better Homes & Gardens.
Planning to put your new sauna in the garage? The Spruce says this is the one for you: “Adding a home sauna to your garage doesn’t require a lot of prep and installation when you use an infrared model. The Heatwave Radiant Suana has six infrared heating elements that can be programmed up to 141 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes up less space than some larger models, which means that you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice storage or parking space.”
“The Heat Wave Radiant Saunas Hemlock Infrared Sauna has plenty of features, including full-spectrum chromotherapy lighting, an oxygen ionizer to keep the air fresh at all times, and high-quality speakers and a CD player for listening to music,” adds Better Homes & Gardens. “This home sauna has its own floor, both indoor and outdoor recessed lighting for a more relaxing ambiance, and adjustable roof vents. There are also two LED control panels—one on the inside and one on the outside—for you to easily adjust the heat, timer, and lighting settings wherever you are. The tempered glass door on this solid hemlock wood sauna is bronze-tinted, adding yet another soothing element to this sauna.”
“While some sauna companies overstate the potential effects of EMF exposure, it’s understandable that some customers prefer the peace of mind that accompanies an ultra-low-EMF sauna like the Radiant Sauna 2-Person Hemlock Infrared Sauna. This sauna is made from premium hemlock wood with tongue and groove joints, and has a scratch-resistant, tinted, tempered safety glass door,” writes Forbes.
New York Post says this is the most affordable option when it comes to the best of the best saunas. “If you’re on a budget but still want a high-quality, FAR infrared home sauna, Dynamic Saunas is a great place to start. This Bluetooth-compatible indoor home sauna cost may not be the lowest on the list, but features remote-controlled chromotherapy lighting. This sauna is designed to look great and work well. Canadian hemlock is strong and sturdy and has highly visible woodgrain in light brown color.”
“This sauna measures 75 x 39 x 36 inches and the phone booth-like structure is constructed from reforested Canadian hemlock wood with tempered safety glass,” adds Forbes. “The Dynamic Infrared Barcelona Hemlock Infrared Sauna also features interior and exterior LED control panels, a remote control, LED lighting, an interior reading light, light therapy, a handy timer and a vent. The sound system has Bluetooth capability and two speakers with preamp; note that this sauna model doesn’t include a radio (likely not an important feature for most people).”
“If you don’t mind snuggling close to your sauna buddy, then you can definitely share it. However, I’d recommend it more for one-person use if you want to sit in it for an extended period comfortably. After all, sitting next to someone who is sweating as much as you isn’t very relaxing. What do I appreciate the most about this unit? White-Glove Delivery – I’m not a fan of assembling a full sauna by myself. Or helping assemble it for that matter. If you aren’t too, then you’ll love that you’ll be able to call the company to arrange for white glove delivery especially if you’re not very good at building things, or you just don’t have the time to,” states SunBath.
Better Homes & Gardens notes this model is made of reforested Canadian hemlock wood. “This allows the sauna to retain more heat, heat up faster, and waste less energy. Two people can fit in this sauna (which can also help save further energy), and, as an added bonus, there’s also a foot heater. The sauna distributes soft heat smoothly and evenly, and while ceramic heaters may need their panels replaced every so often, the energy-efficient carbon heating panels in this sauna are made for life. Setup is simple, with the unit only taking around an hour to fully construct.”
“If you’re looking for a more permanent at-home sauna solution for two—and budget’s not a major concern—this Botaro Maxxus infrared sauna offers a stylish, luxurious solution. Six infrared heating panels generate up to 140 degrees, creating a warm and extra relaxing environment,” writes Reviewed. “Botaro Maxxus sauna has everything you need for maximum relaxation. Interior lighting and a music player let you set the right mood, while the control panel with LCD display keeps you in control. The sauna can be installed just about anywhere in your home, with no need for an electrician—it plugs right into a regular wall outlet on a 20-amp breaker. For two-person comfort, there are few options better than this.”
“Don’t you want to live a long and healthy life? Honor your body and mind by giving yourself a healthier lifestyle. Take a break from the busy home and work-life to reap the benefits of an infrared sauna! Maxxus saunas use infrared waves to penetrate into your body tissue and can help dissolve substances that are harmful. The FAR infrared waves can penetrate the deepest into the tissue to help break down toxins as you perspire and wipe them away. Add in environmentally friendly reforested wood and energy-efficient carbon heating panels and you can’t find a better product for a healthier lifestyle. Every Maxxus Sauna is equipped with a floor and lower bench heater that gets the benefits and treatment to your legs and feet too,” adds Wellness Junction.
According to Family Handyman, “Barrel saunas, like the Almost Heaven Audra, are popular partially for their ease of construction. They typically come with two round end units and a series of planks that you’ll fit around the ends. From there, simply nail and strap the aforementioned planks into place. You (and three pals) can fit inside this spacious, indoor/outdoor sauna with ease.”
“This barrel-shaped sauna made from solid cedar wood can accommodate up to four people. The construction material is weather resistant plus mildew, rot, corrosion, water, and rust resistant,” writes Better Homes & Gardens. “This antimicrobial sauna is also suitable for indoor use, so it’s worth noting if you have the space for it. There’s a large full-length tempered glass door, and you can opt to have a vista window added at the back for a better view of your outdoor area.”
“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 ahead of time. While inside, individuals can use a sauna ladle to pour water over the rocks and immerse the interior with steam. Made of 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 it’s 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 control the temperature or interior light easily,” add Bobvila.
You might also be interested in:
- Better Homes & Gardens
- The Spruce
- New York Post
- Popular Science
- Wellness Junction
- Family Handyman
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.