Sauna Buying Guide – Top Tips For Choosing the Ideal Sauna For Your Space


sauna buying guide

Investing in a sauna is more than just a purchase—it’s a lifestyle choice dedicated to relaxation and well-being.

By incorporating a sauna into your home, you can indulge in the ultimate luxury of unwinding and enjoying the finer things in life. 

Welcome to Paradise Valley Spas, where we bring you over 35 years of expertise in all things backyard leisure and relaxation.

With our extensive experience serving customers in the Bay Area since 1986, we understand exactly what our valued clients are looking for when it comes to choosing the perfect sauna for their space.

So, if you’re ready to take your relaxation game to a whole new level, look no further. In this sauna buying guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know to find the perfect sauna for your home.

Sauna Types: A Comprehensive Overview of Different Sauna Options

When it comes to choosing a sauna, there are various options available, each with its unique benefits and features.

Understanding the different types of saunas can help you make an informed decision and select the one that best suits your preferences and needs. Let’s explore the various sauna options:

  • Traditional Saunas: These are the classic saunas that have been used for centuries. They use a traditional heating method, usually involving a wood-burning stove or an electric heater. The high-temperature environment creates a dry heat that most people find particularly enjoyable.
  • Infrared Saunas: Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to emit radiant heat that directly warms the body, rather than heating the air. This type of sauna operates at lower temperatures compared to traditional saunas, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a more gentle and comfortable sauna experience.
  • Steam Saunas: Also known as steam rooms, steam saunas utilize a generator to produce steam, creating a moist and humid environment. Steam saunas are often seen in spas and health clubs, offering a relaxing and therapeutic experience.

When choosing a sauna type, consider factors such as the desired heat level, humidity preferences, and specific health benefits you’re looking to achieve.

sauna buying guide for indoor saunas

Sauna Buying Guide – 3 Key Factors to Consider

1. Size and Space Considerations: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Home

When choosing a sauna for your home, it’s crucial to consider the available space and ensure that the size and dimensions of the sauna will fit seamlessly into your desired location. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Measure accurately: Before even considering different sauna sizes, take accurate measurements of the space you have available. This ensures that when you start exploring sauna options, you have specific dimensions to work with and can easily determine what size sauna will fit.
  • Consider ceiling height: Remember to take into account the height of the ceiling in the location where you plan to install your sauna. Saunas typically require a minimum ceiling height of 7-8 feet to ensure proper ventilation and to prevent the environment from feeling cramped.
  • Proper ventilation: Along with adequate ceiling height, sufficient ventilation is essential to maintain a comfortable sauna environment. Ensure that there is enough space around the sauna to allow for proper airflow and circulation.
  • Choose the right size: Saunas come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to choose one that suits your needs. If you prefer a more intimate and personal experience, a smaller sauna may be suitable. However, if you plan to enjoy your sauna with family and friends, consider a larger size that allows for more seating and comfort.
  • Outdoor considerations: If you’re considering an outdoor sauna, think about how it will fit with your existing landscape and outdoor living space. Consider factors such as weather resistance, privacy, and aesthetics when selecting the right size and design.

Remember, a sauna is an investment in your well-being, so take your time to find the perfect fit for your space.

Measure accurately, consider all factors, and explore the options that will provide you with the optimal sauna experience in the comfort of your own home.

2. Design and Aesthetics: Creating an Inviting Sauna Retreat

When it comes to choosing a sauna for your space, design and aesthetics play a significant role in creating an inviting atmosphere that matches your personal style and complements your home’s decor.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when it comes to sauna design and aesthetics:


The materials used in the construction of your sauna not only affect its overall appearance but also its functionality and performance. Common materials used for sauna exteriors include:

  • Cedar: Cedar is a popular choice for saunas due to its natural resistance to moisture, mold, and decay. It also offers a pleasing aroma and attractive grain patterns.
  • Hemlock: Hemlock is another durable and visually appealing hardwood commonly used for sauna construction. It provides a smooth, knot-free surface and is known for its stability and resistance to warping.

Door Types:

The type of door you choose for your sauna not only adds to its overall appeal but also affects its functionality and insulation. Some options to consider include:

  • Full Glass Door: A full glass door creates a sleek and modern look while allowing natural light into the sauna.
  • Half-Glass Door: A half-glass door combines the benefits of a full-glass door with added privacy.
  • Solid Wood Door: For a more traditional or rustic look, a solid wood door can add charm and warmth to your sauna.

Design Elements

If you opt to invest in a custom sauna, the design opportunities open up significantly, ensuring your new sauna is capable of matching your unique vision.

  • Windows: Add windows to increase visibility, natural light, and add to the aesthetic appeal of your sauna.
  • Custom shapes: If you have an oddly shaped space in your home, custom saunas allow you to install a sauna specifically shaped to fit that space.
  • Bench Designs: Add benches at different heights to your sauna to create extra dimension. This increases seating and allows you to enjoy different levels of heat without adjusting the temperature.

Consider incorporating elements such as soft lighting, or plants to add personality and create an inviting atmosphere.

3. Heating Systems: Understanding the Different Heat Sources

When it comes to saunas, the heating system is a crucial aspect to consider. The heat source you choose can significantly impact your sauna experience, so it’s essential to understand the different options available.

Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of various heating systems to help you make an informed decision.

1. Traditional Wood-Burning Stoves:

  • The charm and authenticity of a traditional wood-burning stove add a unique touch to any sauna.
  • Wood-burning stoves provide a steady and radiant heat, creating a cozy and atmospheric ambiance.
  • They offer a classic sauna experience, favored by many sauna purists.

2. Electric Heaters:

  • Electric heaters are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and efficiency.
  • These heaters can quickly heat up the sauna, allowing for a fast and hassle-free sauna session.
  • Electric heaters are easy to control, allowing you to adjust the temperature effortlessly.

3. Infrared Heaters:

  • Infrared saunas use infrared light to directly penetrate your body, providing a deep, soothing warmth.
  • These heaters emit a lower temperature than traditional saunas, making them ideal for those who prefer a gentle heat.

Remember, each heating system has its own set of advantages and considerations. It’s important to weigh your preferences and needs before making a decision.

Whichever heating system you opt for, it’s crucial to ensure that the sauna is properly installed and the heat source is operating efficiently. This will provide you with the maximum enjoyment and safety while using your sauna.

sauna buying guide - women in a home sauna

Your Ideal Sauna Awaits – Shop Saunas at Paradise Valley Spas

By understanding these important aspects, you can make an informed decision that perfectly suits your preferences and needs.

At Paradise Valley Spas, we understand that creating your personal sauna haven is an investment in both your health and happiness. From Prefab saunas for the ultimate portability, to pre-cut saunas for a seamless custom install, we’ve got just what you need.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your wellness journey, our qualified professionals are here to guide you every step of the way.

Don’t settle for anything less than the perfect sauna for your space. Visit your nearest Paradise Valley Spas showroom today to discover how you can transform your home into a luxurious retreat and enjoy the amazing benefits that saunas have to offer.

Top Sauna FAQs

Which sauna type is better: traditional or infrared?

The choice between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna depends on personal preferences and needs. Traditional saunas provide a higher temperature and a more immersive experience, while infrared saunas offer the advantage of heating the body directly for a deeper penetration of heat.

Do saunas require a lot of maintenance?

Maintaining a sauna is relatively easy. Regular cleaning, servicing, and monitoring of temperature and humidity levels are essential. While some maintenance tasks can be done by the sauna owner, it is recommended to seek professional assistance for certain maintenance tasks to ensure optimal sauna condition.

Can I customize the design of my sauna?

Yes, you can customize the design of your sauna to create a retreat that matches your personal style and complements your home’s decor. Choose from various designs and materials to create an inviting sauna environment perfectly tailored to your individual needs.


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