The best traditional steam sauna can be easily found in Finland where the first ever recorded evidence on saunas dates back to 1112. Saunas play a significant part of the country’s culture until today. In fact, it is a common form of courtesy, so it is not surprising that saunas are not just an intimate place for personal relaxation but can also be a setting for business meetings.
Finland has an estimated number of 2 million saunas for a population of 5.3 million. However, you no longer have to travel to Finland to get the best and most authentic experience as you can already have this extremely relaxing and health-boosting installation in the comforts of your own home.
How Does it Work?
There are currently different types of saunas available in the market: portable steam sauna, steam shower, and outdoor sauna. All of them works similarly; they heat up a room to a certain temperature, usually around 110℉ to 190℉. Some of the traditional saunas are heated by wood being burned in a stove. The burnt wood is then placed inside a room, allowing the ember to heat the room.
You can make a simple Outdoor Sauna
Benefits of Using a Sauna
Saunas are known for its many health benefits, and below are just some of them:
It can help with mental fatigue or stress.
Sauna rooms, or also known as dry rooms, can help lower stress. Being in an environment which temperature is higher than usual creates heat stress to the body; thus, it releases dynorphin. To counter that, the brain activates the production of endorphins, a type of chemical that creates a positive feeling to the body.
It increases blood flow and relaxes the muscle.
As the body releases endorphins, this gives the body a tranquilizing effect. The heat from the sauna increases the body’s core temperature. This causes the blood vessels to dilate, which increases the blood flow. This also speeds up the natural healing effect of our body.
It gives you a healthier complexion.
When you produce sweat because of the steam, it opens up your pores. Sweating removes the bacteria from the upper layer of the skin and the sweat ducts, which makes the skin soft and glowing.
It induces better and deeper sleep.
Because of the high temperature in the sauna, the sudden drop in temperature in the environment, especially at night, reduces the endorphins being released, creating a calming effect to the body. Because of this, you will have a better sleeping experience.
It releases toxins.
The major organ for detoxification is the skin. Numerous studies have been published that clearly showed the relationship between frequent sweating and detoxification. Another study showed significant reduction of symptoms of chronic illnesses caused by methamphetamine exposure of police officers after regular sauna sessions.
Addressing the Controversies
Sauna aiding weight loss has been a subject of debates and discussions among skeptics and sauna users, for a good reason. Yes, it does help with weight loss, but only to a certain extent. Overheating causes the body to work harder as it tries to regulate the body’s temperature, thus the sweat. A well-hydrated body effectively eliminates excess water; however, the increased salt percentage in the body causes water retention in the cells, resulting in water weight gain. Sweating helps shed this excess salt.
Other health benefits claimed for using sauna are boosting the body’s metabolism and assisting in muscle growth, but there few to no evidence to support these claims.
Lastly, there is the concern on athlete’s foot. Some claim that using a sauna can cause athlete’s foot; however, this is more on if the room is cleaned properly on a regular basis and not by the use of the room itself.
Do’s and Don’ts in Using a Sauna
Here are some sauna etiquettes and safety tips:
- Rehydrate after use since you lost a lot of water through sweating. It is also recommended to stay no longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take a cold shower before and after using a sauna. This removes the sweat and helps your body relax with the sudden temperature change.
- Do not wear any jewelry or bring electronics gadgets. The jewelry may heat up and burn the skin, and the electronic gadgets may get issues due to the heat and steam.
- Do not eat or drink alcohol before going in. This will cause the blood pressure to drop, which might cause nausea.
What to look for in a sauna?
Here are some tips to look for when purchasing a sauna for your home:
Indoor or Outdoor
Indoor saunas are typically located near the bathroom of the home. It doesn’t require proper insulation but requires proper ventilation. Outdoor saunas are typically located near the pool or garden. It requires proper insulation and foundation, on top of power connection and water supply fixings.
Currently, there are two major types of saunas: the traditional saunas and infrared saunas. The heat in a traditional dry-wet sauna comes from either an electric or a wood heat source. Infrared saunas are relatively new with two types, namely carbon far infrared and ceramic far infrared. Carbon panels can bring the temperature up to 140℉ in 10 minutes, but the ceramic panels can deliver a long-lasting heat as compared to carbon panels. These features make these type of saunas more affordable to operate than traditional saunas.
Modern saunas have moved way past from its wooden origin. A modern-day traditional sauna steam room uses electricity by heating a basket of rocks. Moisture and temperature can be raised by sprinkling water over the rocks; however, it takes 20 to 35 minutes to heat. Its counterpart uses a heating element that radiates heat and takes lesser time to heat up the place.
Sauna interiors are made of softwoods that absorb steam and remain cool, making the room cozy and comfortable. Hemlock, a light-colored hardwood and is naturally stain-resistant, is a good choice for people with allergies since it’s less aromatic. Cedar, long-lasting and aromatic, is naturally resistant to insects, which makes this material a good option for an outdoor home steam sauna. Aspen is usually used for indoor saunas because of its affordability.
The Top 7 Best Traditional Steam Saunas
1. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Salem 2-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
Almost Heaven is hailed as one of the most trusted traditional steam sauna brands in the market because of their efficient and effective products. The Salem Traditional Sauna is a coveted 2-person sauna among couples.
This is quite affordable, generate satisfying, powerful heat, and is constructed with high-quality materials to meet the user’s need.
- This comes with 40 lbs. of sauna stones that can be heated by a heater that creates really good steam.
- It is also compatible with dry and wet sauna.
- The sauna resembles the barrel shape, making it faster to eat up the entire space.
- Made from Rustic Fir, this sauna provides natural insulation with a classic smooth surface
- You can enjoy a panoramic view outside since a Vista window can be installed as an option.
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Makes use of a KIP heater to heat up the sauna stones
- This heater can be set up to 8 hours of heating.
2. Baltic Leisure Modular 3-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
If the barrel-like sauna is not your thing and you prefer the box shape, then Baltic Leisure’s 3-Person Traditional Steam Sauna is an excellent pick.
This is a rectangle sauna made from solid wood with a beautiful tan finish. The Clear Western Red Cedar Plywood backing also added to the wood constructions durability. With a maximum temperature of 194 degrees Fahrenheit, you will surely sweat a lot and release stress and toxins out of your body.
It is advisable to use this steam sauna indoors only.
- Includes 3 benches inside
- Equipped with a really good vent and easy-to-use control panel
- This sauna offers a 5-year product warranty service.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Safety is not an issue with this one as this is UL listed and CE and ETL certified.
- Delivers gentle yet satisfying heat
3. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Grayson Fir 4-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
This is a beautifully constructed traditional steam sauna made from Grayson Fir plywood. Just like most traditional steam saunas, it is equipped with sauna stones, standard KIP heater, and bucket and ladle.
For a family of four, this sauna is the ideal size that can fit in the entire family inside. There are also benches inside so that users can sit and get comfy while enjoying the sauna.
- Comes with 40 lbs. of sauna stones which can be heated using the KIP heater
- You can add a sprinkle of water to the sauna rocks to create beautiful sauna steam.
- This is a free-standing sauna that makes use of your existing floor.
- Suitable with ceramic, tile, concrete, and vinyl flooring
- With a 5-year limited product warranty
4. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Bridgeport Fir 6-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
Another amazing entry from Almost Heaven is this 6-person steam sauna. This is a spacious sauna that is perfect for big families.
If you love all the features of the Salem and Grayson Fir saunas but want a much bigger size, then this is definitely the one for you.
Please note that this is best used indoors only.
- Made from high-quality solid wood material with Rustic Fir finish
- The maximum temperature is 195-degrees Fahrenheit.
- You’ll have a great view of the outside, thanks to its tempered glass door.
- This amazing sauna is also rust-resistant.
- With lifetime limited warranty on the sauna and a5-year warranty on the heater
- UL and CE certified
5. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Weston Fir 6-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
This is a magnificent barrel steam sauna made from premium solid wood. This traditional sauna is manufactured by Almost Heaven Saunas as part of their barrel saunas collection.
With a lot of space inside, 6 people can enjoy the sauna together. It can heat up to 190-degrees Fahrenheit. It might take a lot of space, but the good thing is that you can put this sauna indoors and outdoors.
- One amazing feature of this sauna is its weather-resistant finish.
- The tempered full glass door allows you to see the panoramic view outside.
- With a limited lifetime warranty on the sauna and another 2-year warranty on the heater
- ETL and CE certified, so you can guarantee that it is safe to use
- Provides a beautiful burst of steam, making the sauna experience even more invigorating
- The heat is gentle yet penetrates deep within the muscles.
Update new product 2019:
6. Premium Saunas Goldstar 4-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
Premium Saunas combines natural solid wood and manufactured wood to create a stunning product. This traditional steam sauna gets its high-quality wood materials from the Philippines, a country rich in natural hardwood and softwood trees.
This 4-person sauna is ideally designed for indoor use.
- The cream finish makes the sauna unique and quite refreshing.
- Really sturdy and can last longer
- It is also easy to assemble
- Provides strong and powerful heat to penetrate the deep tissues in your body
- All the wall panels are carefully assembled and well-insulated.
- Equipped with adjustable vents, powerful E-sauna heater, built-in digital controls, and LED lighting
7. AlekoCED3CMUR 4-Person Steam Sauna
This stunning steam sauna has a modern look but still delivers traditional heating environment. Made from Canadian Red Cedar Wood, you can expect this sauna to last longer.
Moreover, it can seat up to 4 people inside. But the best thing about it is that this is a two-way sauna that can be used both for dry and wet sauna experience.
- High-quality Canadian Cedar wood material
- CE and ETL approved
- Includes an interior lamp inside, a heater fence, touch control panel, and sauna stones
- Improves one’s blood circulation and increase metabolism, thus improving the overall health
- Easy to assemble
- Can warm the sauna up to 194-degrees Fahrenheit
These five best traditional steam saunas are available on the market right now. Considering the details of the reviews, the most recommended sauna is the Dynamic Infrared 2-3 Person Traditional Steam Sauna. It’s not only reasonably priced but also comes with a lot of features. The included therapy lighting system combined with the aroma of the red cedar wood enhances the mood of the users. To help you keep track of the time spent on it, it also comes with a built-in timer. Though it can only seat up to two people comfortably at a time, this can possibly make the social interaction more meaningful.
Another product that should be considered is the Almost Heaven Saunas Weston 6 Person Electric Heater Sauna– that is if you are into pool parties and other social gatherings. This product can comfortably seat six people, and its aesthetic quality can also be a good conversation starter.
- 1 How Does it Work?
- 2 Benefits of Using a Sauna
- 3 Addressing the Controversies
- 4 Do’s and Don’ts in Using a Sauna
- 5 What to look for in a sauna?
- 6 The Top 7 Best Traditional Steam Saunas
- 6.1 1. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Salem 2-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
- 6.2 2. Baltic Leisure Modular 3-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
- 6.3 3. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Grayson Fir 4-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
- 6.4 4. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Bridgeport Fir 6-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
- 6.5 5. Almost Heaven Saunas LLC Weston Fir 6-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
- 6.6 6. Premium Saunas Goldstar 4-Person Traditional Steam Sauna
- 6.7 7. AlekoCED3CMUR 4-Person Steam Sauna
- 7 Conclusion