Updated on January 28, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
After many years of chronic health issues, I was introduced to the benefits of saunas and I now find myself using them almost daily.
Even if you are the model of perfect health, saunas are an amazing way to relax, rejuvenate, and relieve sore muscles after working out. Outdoor saunas are particularly convenient because you don’t need a plethora of space inside your home. So, if you have a small backyard, a tiny porch, or a massive piece of property — our below Outdoor Sauna list has got you covered.
Best Outdoor Saunas
(Best overall — $$$)
Why it’s great: This model by Allwood is manufactured in Europe with thick, slow grown Nordic spruce. Nordic Spruce is ideal because pine can occasionally leak resin at high temperatures. It also comes with roof shingles to protect the sauna from the elements — which will allow your sauna to ultimately last longer. It also has two heater options: Electric or Woodburning.
I love this sauna because of the unique pre-dressing room and covered porch. Many folks enjoy alternating between hot and cold temperatures while sauna-ing and this allows you to comfortably step out and take a break mid-sweat. You can sit on the porch in the open air, or decide to hang out in the dressing room area if outside temperatures are too chilly. The design is excellent, high quality, and the windows provide an ample amount of natural light. If you have room for it in your yard, I highly recommend this outdoor sauna.
Keep in mind: Payment plans are available for this sauna via Amazon. Assembly is required.
(Best 4 person sauna — $)
Why it’s great: This beautiful, rustic, outdoor cedar Outdoor Sauna is as elegant as it is effective. The interior lights and digital touch screen panel allows you to easily control your heater while relaxing in a spa-like atmosphere. The small exterior porch is a perfect place to cool down between sweats or hold towels or drinks. The large front door is made of tempered glass to let in daylight but not let the heat out.
I also appreciate the US Safety Standard CE and ETL Certified Wet or Dry Heater, 35 pounds of lava stones, and traditional wooden sauna bucket that come with the product. Overall this is my top pick for a 4-person outdoor sauna.
Keep in mind: Payment plans are available for this sauna via Amazon. Comes partially assembled.
(Most compact sauna — $)
Why it’s great: his Allwood Outdoor Steam or Dry Heat Sauna is perfect for small backyards or 1-4 person sauna use. This smaller model is also manufactured in Europe with thick, slow grown, Nordic spruce. As explained above, Nordic spruce is ideal because pine can occasionally leak resin at high temperatures. Like the bigger model, it has roof shingles to protect your investment. I appreciate the two heater options: Electric or Woodburning.
Although this model doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the larger model, it is a high-quality steam sauna — that can fit nicely in almost any backyard — from a very trusted brand.
Keep in mind: Assembly is required.
(Most charming — $$)
Why it’s great: This is by far the most charming sauna on our list and will look adorable in almost any backyard. It comes with a pre-changing area which makes shifting between hot and cold temperatures easier on the body, a shingled roof to protect the sauna from the elements, and a Harvia M3 Wood Burning Heater or Harvia FLB60 Heater. It’s also manufactured in Europe with high-quality Nordic Spruce.
Keep in mind: Although it doesn’t have as large of windows as the Allwood 8-person Sauna, it does have windows in the sauna area which brings in some nice natural light. Assembly required.
(Most versatile — $)
Why it’s great: This indoor/ outdoor, wet/dry sauna is much more compact than the other saunas on our list. It can fit in a larger garage, deck, or small backyard; and of course, if you have space… it could be kept inside your home.
It’s made of red cedar, has a lovely scent, and can easily fit up to 4 people. The tempered glass used on the doors and windows allows natural night in while keeping sound and cool temperatures out. Each sauna kit comes with a 4.5kW heater and stones, a LED control panel for easy temperature regulation, and lamps inside the sauna. It’s a great, simple sauna choice.
Keep in mind: Assembly is required but is one of the more simple assemblies on our list.
(“Budget” 8-Person Sauna — $$)
Why it’s great: This sauna will save you a couple of thousand dollars while still boasting a lot of the bells and whistles of the Allwood Sauna. It has a porch and changing area, similar to the Allwood. The details remain slightly less refined and it doesn’t come with shingles to protect the sauna from the elements, but you should be able to find shingles at a local hardware store easily enough if you want to self-apply them.
It’s made out of pine, which can occasionally leak resin at high temperatures, but in our experience, it shouldn’t be much of an issue. The heater included is US Safety Standard CE and ETL Certified Wet or Dry Heater; 240 Volt. This is a solid XL outdoor sauna choice for those who don’t want to break the bank.
Keep in mind: Assembly is required. Shingles aren’t included. Payment plans are available for this sauna via Amazon.
(Best medium sized choice — $$)
Why it’s great: This sauna, made from Nordic Spruce, is slightly smaller than the other 8-person saunas on our list, making it a fun and simple choice for folks who enjoy the benefits of a wood-burning heater, rather than a standard electric one (although you can opt for a Harvia electric heater if that is your preference.)
Its simple design allows two adults to lie down comfortably or have 6-8 adults seated. It has an additional changing room which, as I mentioned above, is very convenient on colder days.
Keep in mind: This sauna doesn’t come with a porch. Assembly required. Payment plans are available for this sauna via Amazon.
Important home portable sauna accessories
Why it’s great: I love these electrolytes. They’re the brand my health practitioner recommended for before and after sauna use. These are stevia-sweetened and taste great. My children even ask for “pink water” daily. They prevent dehydration by replacing naturally occurring electrolytes + trace minerals: Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Chloride, Sodium, and Phosphorus.
Prevent post sauna headaches, or muscle cramps after exercise by guzzling some of this super yummy drink.
Keep in mind: Ultima comes in so many great flavors, try them all to find your favorite.
Good for: All sauna users.
Why it’s great: Being nude in a sauna feels amazing! But… you will find the sweat from your body stains the wood and can eventually start to smell. This is why I suggest a great Sauna Wrap or Oversized Towel for sitting on to protect your sauna from wear and tear.
Sauna Wraps are perfect if you are sauna-ing with friends. The secure wrap keeps the towel on so you can relax and let go — without fear of flashing your buddies!
Keep in mind: Whenever possible, I suggest affordable organic cotton. The sauna naturally opens your pores and has been said to help your body excrete toxins. You don’t want to have any additional dyes or chemicals on your skin from the towel that could be absorbed by your pores.
Why it’s great: Even if you are diligent about wearing a towel and keeping it clean… saunas can get a bit smelly. I find Ozone to be the perfect way to destroy odors safely and naturally. Ozone reacts with any contaminants in the airor wood and kills bacteria and odors rather than masking the smells.
Unlike other deodorizing methods, ozone searches out and destroys problem gases. With three oxygen atoms in each molecule, rather than the two oxygen atoms in the air we breathe, ozone is unstable, so its extra oxygen atom can detach and grab onto odor polluting molecules to change their molecular composition. If the molecules are stinky ones, they can change to be non-smelly a.k.a. Neutral.
The best part? You can use it in your house as well to get rid of pet odors and mold. I love my Ozone Machine!
Keep in mind: Ozone Machines are not to be used during sauna use. In fact, Ozone machines cannot be used while you are in the room as it is harmful to breathe in the ozone while the machine is on. Instead, simply set the timer and leave the room. When the timer goes off, open the sauna door and let in the fresh air. After a few minutes, it’s totally safe to go in and remove the Ozone machine and enjoy your non-smelly sauna!
FAQs about outdoor saunas
1. Will I have to assemble my Outdoor Sauna?
Yes. All the saunas on our lists come in parts and will need to be assembled. If you don’t feel comfortable with a tool belt, I suggest hiring a handyman as it can be a full day’s work. You will also want to make sure the ground where you are setting up your sauna is level.
2. Are any of these Outdoor Saunas far infrared?
No, I have yet to find an outdoor far infrared sauna. But if you know of one, please let us know! In general, the above saunas range from dry heat to steam to heat — from electric heaters to woodburning. Each provides its unique health benefits.
If you are concerned with EMFs I would suggest going with a woodburning option. If you are only interested in far infrared saunas, I suggest checking out our Portable Sauna page for both portable and smaller indoor sauna options.
3. Is it safe for pregnant women?
Generally, pregnant women are advised not to sauna because it raises the body temperature above what is healthy for your growing baby.
4. What about the elderly and children?
Children can use saunas for shorter periods at lower temperatures. In these cases, I would suggest getting an outdoor sauna that has clear temperature controls — such as the Aleko 4 Person Red Cedar — so that there is never a worry it could get too hot.
Regarding the elderly, a 20-year study conducted with more than 2,300 participants at the University of Eastern Finland revealed regular sauna use (4-7 times per week) at 176 degrees F for 19 minutes lowered the risk for both Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association includes sweating as an important way to improve brain health:
5. Can I get dehydrated from an Outdoor Sauna?
Yes! Be sure to drink an electrolyte supplement before and after your sauna.
6. Can using an Outdoor Sauna prevent insomnia?
Sauna use has been proven to release endorphins. As a sufferer of insomnia, my personal experience is that my body does fall asleep and stay asleep more easily after sauna use.
7. How do I clean my Outdoor Sauna?
We feel it’s best to clean your sauna using natural products. Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle is a great way to disinfect.
A portable Ozone Machine (as mentioned above) is another favorite way to kill bacteria by destroying odors and pollutants rather than masking them. If you are still unsure, check with the product’s manual or the manufacturer to confirm the best way to sanitize your sauna.
Outdoor Saunas are the perfect way to relax, detox, and rejuvenate without taking up precious real-estate inside your home. Adding a sauna to your health care routine can flush out toxins stored in fat, combat stress levels by reducing the hormone cortisol, boost your immune system, help with insomnia, and burn calories.
If you feel that an Outdoor Sauna is out of your budget, be sure to check out our Portable Sauna page here.