Relaxation and health benefits are the prevalent reasons why many people have saunas installed in their homes. But with the different types of saunas available (all with different features and prices) choosing the right one can seem like a daunting task. As such, we’ve come up with this list of sauna types to help you with your decision-making process.
What are the different types of saunas?
Saunas come in various types, styles, and designs. They can also fall into different categories depending on how to use the sauna or what features it has. Below you’ll find the 10 most common types of saunas, most of which can be installed right in your homes.
1. Traditional Wood-burning Sauna
Wood-burning saunas are considered to be the original and most authentic type of saunas. As the name suggests, these saunas make use of wood which is fed into a stove to heat the stones above it. Water is then poured onto the rocks to generate steam and control the humidity inside the room. Wood-burning saunas are seldom used nowadays because of complaints about smoke coming out of the stove which can irritate the eyes.
2. Electric Heated Sauna
Saunas powered by electric sauna heaters are the more modern and convenient sauna types. With these, you don’t have to worry about constantly feeding wood into the stove to keep the rocks heated. You also don’t have to worry about smoke coming from the burning wood. It is also much easier to regulate the temperature inside the room, which can be done by pushing a few buttons or even using a remote control.
3. Wet Heat Sauna
Wet heat saunas are what come to mind when people talk about saunas. Fueled by wood or powered by electricity, wet saunas use stoves to heat rocks or stones where cold water is poured onto to generate steam. The sauna rocks used here are not your ordinary rocks but the heavy and tough igneous rocks. These are better because they don’t crack or break when exposed to extreme temperatures.
4. Dry Heat Sauna
Dry heat saunas can be equipped with either a wood-burning or electric stove to heat the stones on top, but unlike wet saunas, you don’t pour water over them to generate steam. You won’t be utilizing any form of steam here, but will instead be baking from the heat emanating from the heated rocks. Nonetheless, you will still sweat in a dry heat sauna so you should still be able to reap the health benefits associated with using a sauna.
5. Infrared Sauna
Infrared saunas are becoming more and more prevalent nowadays and can be found in spas and gyms all over the world. Unlike other types of saunas that heat the room (which then makes you sweat), infrared saunas work differently by emitting infrared lights to heat your body directly. So basically you’re still sweating and thus reaping the related benefits but without the stove and the steam. Also, some infrared saunas are more affordable than other sauna types, which is something to consider if you’re working on a budget.
5. Portable Sauna
Portable saunas are sold all over the world and are a favorite among those who can’t afford to have a sauna built in their homes. These types of saunas are pretty compact and don’t take up much floor space so they can be used virtually anywhere.
Setting up these portable saunas are easy. Simply unfold the unit and place the chair inside. Then attach the heat generator to the unit and put water in the steamer. Once done, you can now go inside the unit, poke your head out of the designated hole on top of the unit and you’re all set.
6. Sauna Blanket
Infrared sauna blankets are pretty new in the industry, though they’ve been around for years now. These blankets look and work much like a sleeping bag, which means that to use them you simply need to get inside the unit and turn it on.
Sauna blankets make use of infrared lamps to heat you, and because you are encapsulated you are bound to feel much hotter than you would in a normal sauna. As such, expect to sweat profusely and your heart rate to spike up which is, of course, the purpose of using a sauna in the first place.
7. Single Person Sauna
Those who are looking for a sauna that will fit small residences should opt for these sauna types like the 1-person infrared sauna. As the name suggests, these saunas can only accommodate a single person at a time, which makes it perfect for those who aren’t keen on sharing or using a sauna with others. It also makes for a nice and quiet private time. Compact, economical, and convenient, these saunas are often the preferred choice for many.
Related Review: 1 Person Infrared Sauna
8. Barrel Sauna
Some saunas are shaped like a barrel, though they do the same thing as a regular sauna. The difference only would be on the design, which is something that homeowners and commercial establishments will want to consider. Barrel saunas can certainly add a charming, country-inspired theme to your place if you choose to go this route.
9. Steam Shower
Many may contest that a steam shower is not a sauna, but they do have similar features and offer the same kind of benefits. A steam shower looks like an ordinary shower, except that it is fully sealed to trap the steam inside. The steam comes from a steam generator that generates high temperatures and complete humidity. As the bather is shrouded in mist, he or she will be able to enjoy certain health benefits like detoxification, circulation, skin rejuvenation, and others. Essential oils can also be used with steam showers, thus treating the bather to the benefits of aromatherapy as well.
10. Russian Banya
Russian banya is pretty similar in design to other types of saunas complete with steam and wooden benches and sauna backrests around the room. Wood or logs can be used to heat the stones, though modern banyas make use of electric heaters as well. It is the experience though that makes the Russian banya different.
For one, in banyas, there are things called Venice, which are small brooms or twigs of leaves. These are dipped in cold water and then smacked briskly all over one’s body, which accordingly provides you with a unique type of massage. Second, as soon as your body feels hot enough, you pour cold water all over yourself right away, or if it’s snowing outside go out and jump right into a pile. Accordingly, the sudden temperature change will leave your skin feeling clean and taut, as well as loosen your muscles.
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A sauna is a wonderful thing to own, providing you with a lot of health benefits as well as giving you some quality relaxation time. And you don’t even have to spend much because there are affordable types of saunas in the market nowadays. Just be sure to do your research before you decide which sauna types you want in your home.
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