The Ultimate Buyer's Guide To Outdoor Barrel Saunas

The Ultimate Buyer's Guide To Outdoor Barrel Saunas

The Unique Charm of Barrel Saunas

This comprehensive guide will cover:

  1. Why Barrel Saunas are the Ultimate Backyard Addition
  2. Choosing the Perfect Barrel Sauna: Features, Sizes, and Materials
  3. Installation and Maintenance: Set Up Your Sauna Sanctuary
  4. Accessorize Your Barrel Sauna Experience: Enhance the Indulgence
  5. Conclusion: Transform Your Backyard into a Wellness Wonderland with Barrel Saunas

For those looking to add a touch of luxury and wellness to their yard or outdoor space, barrel saunas are a great choice. In contrast to conventional saunas, these have a distinctive appearance.


A World of Wellness Awaits

Imagine stepping into your backyard and being instantly transported to a haven of warmth, relaxation, and wellness. You can almost feel the gentle heat embracing you, as the scents of cedar and pine mingle in the air. This is the enchanting world of barrel saunas. In this 5-part guide, we'll dive into the magic of these outdoor retreats and help you create your very own backyard sanctuary.

Barrel saunas are more than just a beautiful backyard centerpiece; they offer a range of health benefits that make them the ultimate addition to your outdoor retreat. Regular sauna sessions can help you:

  • Improve cardiovascular health[^1^]
  • Detoxify and rejuvenate your skin
  • Boost your immune system
  • Relieve stress and promote relaxation

To discover more about the health benefits of saunas when used regularly, explore these sauna protocols.


Social and Family Bonding: Create Memories That Last

Barrel saunas aren't just for solo relaxation; they're perfect for bringing friends and family together. Whether it's a weekend gathering or a simple weeknight escape, sauna sessions can foster deeper connections and create lasting memories.The barrel sauna is believed to have originated in Finland, where saunas have been an integral part of daily life for centuries. To learn more about the rich history and cultural relevance of saunas, read our article on Finnish sauna culture.


Merging Relaxation with Nature: The Ultimate Outdoor Escape

A barrel sauna's curved walls and natural wood design invite you to connect with nature in a whole new way. As you step inside, you'll feel the warmth of the sauna envelop you, while the gentle sounds of the outdoors remind you of the world just beyond your door. Discover the perfect sauna for your backyard by browsing our barrel sauna collection.


Key Features to Consider: Find Your Sauna 

When selecting your ideal barrel sauna, it's essential to consider features that cater to your needs and preferences. Some key features to look for include:

  • Heater type (wood-burning or electric)
  • Insulation and energy efficiency
  • Seating capacity
  • Ventilation and windows

In a barrel sauna, the heat is generated by either a wood-fired stove or an electric heater. The heat from the stove or heater warms the stones, which then radiate heat into the sauna. Thus they are designed to be low-humidity environments. The heat from the stove or heater evaporates any water that is splashed onto the hot stones, producing a dry heat. Barrel saunas can reach higher temperatures than infrared saunas, averaging between 160 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Quality Materials for Long-lasting Enjoyment: Durability Meets Beauty

The materials used in constructing your barrel sauna play a crucial role in its longevity, performance, and appearance. Some popular materials include:

  • Western red cedar
  • Canadian hemlock
  • Spruce

Step-by-step Installation Process: DIY Heaven

Barrel saunas are designed for easy installation, allowing you to create your backyard oasis without professional help. For a comprehensive guide to installing your barrel sauna, check out our installation guide.

There are a variety of reputable brands and manufacturers of barrel saunas from which to choose. The industry's most well-known and respected brands for both saunas and heaters include Themory, Almost Heaven, Allwood, Dundalk, Scandia, Aleko, Huum, Leisurecraft, Finlandia, Harvia, Hotass Saunas, and others. These brands offer a diverse selection of barrel saunas, heaters, and accessories with a variety of features for your taste and budget.

Before making a purchase, it is essential to conduct research and make comparisons between various brands and models to ensure that you receive the best quality and value for your money. Don't be afraid to ask questions, read reviews, and comparison shop in order to find the ideal barrel sauna for your lifestyle and budget. With so many options, you are certain to find a sauna that meets your needs and provides a luxurious and relaxing experience for many years.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Are barrel saunas any good?

Yes of course, barrel saunas are a popular and effective option for sauna therapy. Due to their circular design, they provide an immersive and comfortable sauna experience at high temperatures, and they can be customized to suit individual preferences.


Barrel sauna kit or pre-assembled sauna?

When evaluating the purchase of a barrel sauna, buyers must decide whether to purchase a barrel sauna kit, or a fully constructed sauna. Before making a decision, it is necessary to consider a number of factors, as both alternatives have advantages and disadvantages.

An important consideration is the buyer's level of DIY experience. Typically, barrel sauna kits require assembly, which may be easy or difficult depending on the kit and the buyer's level of experience. If the buyer is comfortable with do-it-yourself projects and has the necessary tools and space, a kit may be the best option. The kit arrives with everything one needs to put together the sauna along with clear directions.  However, if a buyer is uncomfortable with assembly or lacks the necessary tools or space, a pre-assembled sauna may be preferable.

The buyer's desired level of customization is another factor to consider. Typically, buyers of barrel sauna kits can select their preferred heating options, finishes, and accessories. This can be advantageous for buyers who desire a specific aesthetic or have specific requirements. Fully constructed saunas, on the other hand, may have fewer customization options, but may also include pre-selected options that meet the needs of the buyer.

Cost is a factor when deciding between a sauna kit and a fully constructed sauna. Kits for barrel saunas are typically less expensive than prefabricated saunas, but may require more time and effort to assemble. Typically, fully assembled saunas are more expensive, but purchasers can save time and have fewer concerns regarding the quality of construction.


Wood-fired, electric stove?

The type of heating system used in a barrel sauna is another important factor to think about. Wood-fired heaters provide a more traditional sauna experience, but they are more difficult to maintain and require a steady supply of firewood. Electric heaters are less difficult to maintain, but they may not produce as much heat as a wood-fired heater. 


What are some common upgrades for barrel saunas?

Aside from the basic features of a barrel sauna, a variety of upgrades and options are available to further customize your sauna experience. Additional seating, dark “onyx” wood exterior stains, enhanced lighting, sturdier hardware, and music systems are among the most popular upgrades.


How long do barrel saunas last?

With proper care and maintenance, a barrel sauna of high quality can last for many years. Cedar, a popular wood used to construct barrel saunas, is naturally resistant to rot and decay and can withstand severe weather conditions.


Why is cedar the most popular wood for barrel saunas?

Because of its natural resistance to rot and insects, as well as its pleasant aroma, cedar is the most popular choice for barrel saunas. Other woods, such as spruce or hemlock, may also be used, but keep in mind that these materials may be more prone to warping or cracking over time.


Would a barrel sauna leak during a downpour?

A properly constructed, high-quality barrel sauna should not leak in the rain. It is advisable however to take additional measures to protect the bare wood.  Some models are sold with roofing pre-installed to protect the sauna.  For others, you can purchase a "sauna rain jacket" for the roof or do your own DIY tin or single roofing.  At the ground level, it is essential  that the barrel sauna is installed on a level surface and has a sturdy foundation to prevent water from pooling underneath it.


What are the reasons why Finnish people wear sauna hats?

Sauna hats are a traditional Finnish accessory worn in saunas. They are typically made of wool and are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, with some resembling baseball caps and others resembling beanies. A sauna hat's primary function is to shield the head and hair from the sauna's heat.

Without proper protection, this heat can cause discomfort and even scalp and hair burns. By wearing a sauna hat, the head and hair are protected from the intense heat, allowing the user to enjoy a longer and more comfortable sauna session.

Additionally, sauna hats can assist in temperature regulation. As the body heats up in the sauna, the scalp's blood vessels dilate, causing the head to release excess heat. Wearing a sauna hat helps retain this heat and prevents it from escaping, thereby keeping the body overall warmer.

Lastly, sauna hats can be utilized for contrast therapy, which consists of alternating periods of extreme heat and cold. Individuals may choose to dip their heads in a cold plunge pool or shower after a sauna session, which can shock the body and cause discomfort. By wearing a sauna hat, the head and hair are shielded from the sudden change in temperature, making the experience more bearable.


What is contrast therapy?

Contrast therapy, in which one undergoes periods of both heat and cold treatment, is frequently used in conjunction with sauna sessions. Contrast therapy is based on the theory that the heat from the sauna will cause blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow, while cold exposure will cause them to constrict and reduce inflammation. This can aid in reducing muscle soreness, accelerating recovery, and promoting overall health and wellness.

Alternating between a sauna and a cold plunge pool is a common method of practicing contrast therapy. The cold water can reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, whereas the sauna's heat can relax muscles and improve circulation.   It is important to remember that contrast therapy is not best suited for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions or injuries. Before beginning any new wellness regimen, including contrast therapy, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. 


What are the best locations for a barrel sauna?

Where you decide to place your barrel sauna on your property is another major decision to factor in. Outdoor barrel saunas can fit in relatively small backyard spaces such as urban environments. Depending on the model you buy, they can arrive unassembled as a kit, allowing passage through to the final installment location. Keep in mind they disassemble just as easily when it comes time to move. 

For those with much more space to work with, we suggest finding a serene location in a private nook of your yard. If you opt for a panoramic window or glass door, keep in mind what you'll be able to see through the glass.

If you go with a wood fired barrel sauna, it opens up a great deal more options for creative placement. We know many homeowners who set them up in far-flung areas of the property for the most immersive experience in nature. Some even install on boats or barges or trailers. Every property is unique and we suggest making the best use of what natural beauty you have to enjoy.  


What is the installation process for a barrel sauna?

Whether you’ve ordered an outdoor sauna kit or something fully constructed, it will be relevant to understand proper placement of your barrel sauna when it arrives. Typically customers will perform the installation themselves, or you may decide to enlist a contractor while you mentally prepare for the barrel sauna experience.

The installation of a barrel sauna necessitates some preparation, particularly with regard to the location of the foundation. Inadequate preparation of the ground can result in unevenness, shifting or settling of the sauna, or even structural damage. Before installing your barrel sauna, it is essential to prepare the ground properly. Here are some actions to take:

Before beginning construction, you must select the location where you will establish the barrel sauna. It should be on a level surface devoid of debris or anything else that could cause damage to the sauna.

Clear the area: Remove any rocks, debris, or roots from the area. Utilize a rake or shovel to create a level base for the sauna using the soil.

Create a base: Create a solid base for your barrel sauna by layering gravel or crushed stone. This will aid drainage and prevent the buildup of moisture beneath the sauna.

Utilize a level to ensure that the base is perfectly horizontal. This is essential to ensuring that the sauna remains stable over time.

To protect the sauna from moisture, it is advised to install a vapor barrier between the base and the bottom of the sauna. This may consist of a layer of plastic sheeting or a sauna pad.

After the base has been prepared and leveled, it is time to install the barrel sauna. Carefully adhere to the manufacturer's instructions and ensure that the sauna is firmly anchored to the base.

 If you're looking to reap the health benefits of a sauna, but also want something truly one-of-a-kind, a barrel sauna may be the way to go. With so many options and features, there's no reason not to include one in your next backyard living project. A well-maintained barrel sauna will provide you and your loved ones with years of relaxation, connection, and wellness.


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