Considering purchasing a home barrel sauna? Audacia Home has you covered by providing a complete buying guide. This guide will go over all of the most important considerations when choosing a barrel sauna. We’ll provide recommendations for the most effective barrel saunas that are available. Enjoy!
A barrel sauna provides many benefits including instant access to relaxation the ability to unwind and socialize with your friends. Audacia Home is here to guide you through some questions to think about when selecting an outdoor sauna.
What Size of Barrel Sauna is Right for You?
One of the primary aspects to consider when selecting a barrel sauna at home is selecting the right size. Many people purchase and utilize saunas for different motives. These tend to be the primary factor to determining the right size barrel sauna.
How do you Envision using your Barrel Sauna?
A few customers may think of their barrel sauna as a primarily social-oriented activity. In other words, who wouldn’t love a nice barrel sauna session after a nice evening campfire? Or alternatively, who would not love a nice steamy barrel sauna session in the midst of a cold winter evening?
Both of these scenarios offer excellent potential uses of a barrel sauna for socially related purposes with friends and family.
However, some barrel saunas users may have their sauna sessions as a time to relax and unwind. They take sauna time as a relaxing time and even envision making use of barrel sauna mostly for private use.
Both situations are great uses of the sauna, but as you can see, they are very distinct. For the first type of group (socially related users), a big barrel sauna that can house up to 6 people may make the most sense, while for individual users, a smaller barrel sauna may make sense.
However, if a person also wishes to for relaxation and stretching out in a lying down position, a bigger option might be a better choice in this regard.
Barrel Sauna: Size Restrictions
Another factor to consider when choosing a barrel sauna is the size of space you can allocate to set up one. If you live out in the country and have a large yard – you can skip this section in its entirety. However, if you are an urban resident with a smaller yard, it is something to consider.
I would suggest taking measurements where you envision placing the sauna, and comparing them with the sauna measurements online in order to determine whether or not you will have enough space for the sauna of your choosing.
What Kind of Heater Should I Use in my Barrel Sauna?
Essentially, there are two types of heaters you can utilize in their sauna that are electric and wood burning. We will briefly discuss each, and explain the reasons why you should choose either one or the other.
Wood Burning Stove Sauna Heater
The most traditional type of sauna heater is a wood burning sauna heater that gives your sauna an old-fashioned. Who doesn’t love the thought of enjoying a nice warm sauna session with the scent of a campfire inside?
Even writing about it makes me want to hop in one. Another benefit of using a wood burning heater is the extreme amount of heat that they are capable of producing. Lastly, a benefit that may appeal to some customers is the fact that they do not run on any electricity – ie. there will be no need to have your electrician come and run a circuit out to your backyard.
As amazing and authentic as wood burning heaters are, it would be imprudent of us to ignore the fact that come with some drawbacks too. For starters, they take much longer to heat up than their electric heating counterparts.
Additionally, based on whether you reside in a rural or urban area, finding the right wood for your sauna barrel could be difficult and even expensive. Secondly, while wood burning heaters can get very hot, it can be difficult to regulate the exact temperature exactly like it is with electrical heaters.
Wood heaters are usually cheaper than the electric options – if your sauna isn’t equipped with a chimney, you will likely have to build one for the sauna. This could be more expensive than an electric heater by itself.
Here are a few of the things to take into account if you are considering the use of a wood-burning sauna. If you have more concerns, I suggest getting in touch with our experts who would be happy to help you further.
Electric Sauna Heaters
Electric heaters are easy and quick to heat up and simple to operate. Top electric sauna heaters can often reach the maximum permitted by United States law of 194. Depending on the model, you may even be able to program list your sauna to turn on at a particular time so you can hop right in when it’s already reached full temperature.
As with wood burning heaters, electric heaters come with certain disadvantages too. For example, the fact they are electric means that they will have an effect on your home utility bill. Additionally, depending on where you plan to locate the sauna, it may be difficult to get the electrician wire from that location to meet the electrical needs.
The wood burning and electric sauna heaters come with their own advantages and disadvantages. We suggest considering all of the factors discussed above, and coming to a conclusion based on your own personal preferences.
In our opinion, assuming that electrical requirements are not an issue, the decision boils down to whether you’d prefer the authentic wood burning sauna experience or the simplicity of the electrical sauna heating system.
What Type of Outer Wood Should I Use for my Barrel Sauna?
The type of wood you choose for your barrel sauna is an essential aspect that must be carefully considered. There are numerous options available on the market, with considerable cost differences between them. Given this, it is important to know what you are, or are not, paying for when choosing a type of wood.
The most sought after kind of sauna wood, and for good reason. The two most benefits of a cedar sauna are the terrific cedar aroma that occurs once the sauna heats up, and second, the beautiful red-cedar aesthetic.
While these are the most popular benefits of using a cedar sauna, there are other important factors as well. In addition, saunas employ white cedar, which shares many of the same qualities similar to its red counterpart but will appear lighter in appearance.
First of all, Cedar is one of the most “soft” wood, which means it absorbs less heat. So, when you make your sauna extremely hot it won’t be hot enough to sit on or touch and also the wood does not expand.
When a type of wood – such as a hard wood – absorbs a significant amount of heat, it expands, causing it to warp or become deformed over time and continuous use. Further, one of the reasons that make cedar wood an ideal choice is that it is decay and mold resilient, and this is essential for saunas outdoors like barrel saunas.
A major concern of cedar wood is that it can become discolored after prolonged periods of exposure to the sun. Given this, it’s important to apply a protective layer on your wood in order to stop discoloration as time passes.
Certain saunas – such as our Clearlight Outdoor Infrared Saunas, make use of composite cedar wood to prevent this, and to provide for exceptional durability benefits. This is the reason our Clearlight saunas are covered by the lifetime guarantee!
Nordic Spruce is an exception looking wood which balances durability, tight knots, flexibility, and cost effectiveness. It is typically lighter in color, making it a favorite for customers who prefer a lighter-look for their barrel sauna.
Nordic is also slightly more affordable, which is excellent for customers looking to save some cost on their barrel sauna. However, some of our saunas – the Thermory Barrel Saunas in particular, use thermally modified Spruce. While an oversimplification, thermo treated wood is exposed to extreme temperatures over a long period of time.
This exposure makes the wood virtually indestructible at no cost to the aesthetic. This is extremely beneficial for outdoor barrel saunas which have to go through harsh conditions. This is exactly why the Thermory Barrel Saunas (which use thermo treated wood) carry a limited lifetime warranty! They are – as of writing, the only barrel sauna to use thermally treated wood.
A very cost effective option, Hemlock wood hardens as it ages. This does come with a cost however, as if wood becomes hard and absorbs significant amounts of heat, it can become deformed over time.
Hemlock is not as decay resistant as cedar. These are likely the primary reasons why it is cheaper in cost, and would usually not come with a lifetime warranty. However, if you do not plan on using your sauna at extreme temperatures and are looking to save some cost on your sauna, then this may be an option to consider.
Barrel Sauna Assembly
Another factor to consider when choosing a sauna for your home is the difficulty of the assembly process. Customers typically fall into 3 baskets;
- Consumers who are looking for an assembly kit, or would like to build a sauna themselves as a useful project
- Customers who wish for the sauna to be as easy to assemble as they can, and get everything installed within few hours following the delivery.
- Customers who are looking for the least expensive option as well as those who want to contract out and employ a third party to construct the sauna.
Depending what one of these categories you fall into, you should carefully consider the assembly process and installation options offered by the store that you are purchasing from. Audacia Home takes pride in this, and we are able to assist with the complete installation of any product.
We hope this guideline has helped to illuminate some of the most important factors when choosing barrel saunas for your home. We would suggest carefully considering every aspect, and then deciding what is the best option for you by weighing these factors.