Most Popular Types of Saunas: Pros and Cons

Most Popular Types of Saunas: Pros and Cons

The world of saunas is diverse and fascinating, offering a range of experiences from the traditional to the modern. Whether you're a sauna aficionado or new to this wellness practice, understanding the different types of saunas and their unique attributes can enhance your experience. Let's dive into the various sauna types and explore their pros and cons.

Traditional Finnish Sauna (Wood-Burning)

The epitome of the classic sauna experience, Finnish saunas use wood to heat stones, creating a dry, intense heat.

  • Pros: Authentic sauna experience, therapeutic woodsy aroma, deep, penetrating heat.
  • Cons: Requires regular wood supply and maintenance, longer heat-up time, more effort in cleaning.

finnish sauna

Electric Sauna

A modern twist on the traditional sauna, these use an electric heater for convenience.

  • Pros: Easier installation, precise temperature control, suitable for indoor use.
  • Cons: Higher electricity costs, lacks the traditional wood-burning ambience.

electric sauna

Infrared Sauna

Utilizing infrared panels to directly heat the body, infrared saunas are a contemporary innovation. See the Jaquar Solo Infrared for example!

  • Pros: Energy-efficient, lower operating temperatures, direct body heating.
  • Cons: Different experience from traditional saunas, less ambient heat.

Infrared sauna

Smoke Sauna (Savusauna)

A traditional Finnish variant, these saunas have no chimney and are known for their distinctive aroma.

  • Pros: Unique and immersive experience, rich in tradition.
  • Cons: Time-consuming to prepare, requires thorough ventilation and cleaning.

Steam Sauna (Steam Room)

Also known as wet saunas, these rooms are filled with steam, offering a humid experience.

  • Pros: High humidity is great for skin and respiratory health.
  • Cons: Potential issues with mould, not suitable for those who prefer dry heat.

Barrel Sauna

Shaped like a barrel, these outdoor saunas offer a charming and efficient design.

  • Pros: Good heat distribution, visually appealing, outdoor usage.
  • Cons: Space can be limited, requires sufficient outdoor space.

barrel sauna

Mobile Sauna

These saunas offer the ultimate flexibility, being built into trailers or vehicles.

  • Pros: Portable, enjoy sauna experience in various locations.
  • Cons: Size and heat generation can be limited, dependent on portability.

Bio-Sauna (Soft Sauna)

A milder sauna experience, these offer a combination of gentle heat and humidity. See our Artize Bio Sauna for example.

  • Pros: Less intense, suitable for those who find traditional saunas too harsh.
  • Cons: May not satisfy those seeking high heat levels.

bio sauna

Turkish Baths (Hammam)

More focused on water than steam or dry heat, these offer a unique cleansing experience.

  • Pros: Hydrating, multiple rooms for varied experiences.
  • Cons: Extensive space and plumbing requirements, different from traditional sauna heat.

Ice Sauna

Offering a stark contrast of hot and cold, these saunas are built from ice.

  • Pros: Unique and invigorating experience.
  • Cons: Challenging to maintain, especially in warmer climates.

Outdoor Sauna

These can be any type of sauna but are located outdoors, integrating with nature.

  • Pros: Beautiful addition to outdoor space, natural integration.
  • Cons: More maintenance due to weather exposure, dependent on climate.

DIY Sauna

Custom-built saunas tailored to personal specifications and spaces.

  • Pros: Highly customizable, potentially cost-effective.
  • Cons: Requires DIY skills, potential safety risks if not built correctly.


From the intense heat of a traditional Finnish sauna to the gentle warmth of an infrared sauna, and the humid embrace of a steam room, each sauna type offers its unique set of benefits and considerations. Your choice should align with your personal health goals, space availability, and lifestyle preferences. Saunas are not just a luxury but a pathway to improved well-being, relaxation, and a unique cultural experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What Type of Sauna is Best?

The "best" sauna depends on individual preferences and needs. If you seek a traditional experience with intense heat, a Traditional Finnish Sauna might be ideal. For those preferring a gentler heat with direct body warming, an Infrared Sauna is a great choice. It's important to consider factors like personal health, space availability, and the experience you desire.

2. How Many Types of Saunas Are There?

There are several types of saunas, each offering a unique experience. Key types include:

  • Traditional Finnish Sauna (Wood-Burning)
  • Electric Sauna
  • Infrared Sauna
  • Smoke Sauna (Savusauna)
  • Steam Sauna (Steam Room)
  • Barrel Sauna
  • Mobile Sauna
  • Bio-Sauna (Soft Sauna)
  • Turkish Baths (Hammam)
  • Ice Sauna
  • Outdoor Sauna
  • DIY Sauna

Each type has its distinct characteristics and benefits.

3. Which is Better: Dry Sauna or Infrared?

Choosing between a Dry Sauna and an Infrared Sauna depends on your health goals and sauna preferences. A Dry Sauna offers intense heat and a traditional sauna experience, which is great for muscle relaxation and intense sweating. An Infrared Sauna provides a milder experience with direct body heating, suitable for those sensitive to high heat or who prefer a more modern approach. Infrared saunas are also known for their energy efficiency.

4. Is Steam or Dry Sauna Better?

The choice between a Steam Sauna and a Dry Sauna boils down to personal preference and health considerations. Steam Saunas, with their high humidity, are excellent for skin hydration and helping with respiratory issues. However, they might not be suitable for those who prefer dry heat or are sensitive to high humidity. Dry Saunas, offering lower humidity with intense heat, are great for deep sweating and can be more comfortable for those seeking the traditional sauna experience.

Remember, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new wellness regimen, including regular sauna use.

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