Outdoor vs. Indoor Sauna


The sauna is a place where we can relax, de-stress, and improve our health. There are two main types of saunas: indoor and outdoor. Indoor saunas are typically located in a home or apartment and can include steam saunas, dry saunas, and infrared saunas. On the other hand, outdoor saunas are typically standalone buildings placed outside, such as in a garden or backyard, and can take various forms, from a traditional Finnish sauna to a steam sauna.

Comparing indoor and outdoor saunas: Cost, energy efficiency, and experience

Choosing between an indoor and an outdoor sauna depends on various factors. Cost is one of them. Indoor saunas are usually cheaper to install but might require additional costs associated with ventilation and insulation. Outdoor saunas might be more expensive to build, but they can offer a more authentic sauna experience, especially if you choose a traditional Finnish wood-burning sauna.

In terms of energy efficiency, indoor saunas are usually more efficient as they take advantage of the existing home infrastructure, such as heating and electricity. Outdoor saunas might require more energy for heating, especially in colder months, but they can also use alternative energy sources, like wood.

When it comes to the experience, outdoor saunas often offer a more authentic sauna experience, with the opportunity to cool down in fresh air between sessions. Indoor saunas might be more convenient, but they might not offer the same sense of escape from everyday life.

If you’ve already decided on the type of sauna, that also removes a lot of questions. For example, you don’t have to build a separate room for an infrared sauna. You can buy a prefabricated cabin for 1 or 2 people and install it in your apartment. The same applies to the electric sauna: if it won’t be used by more than 2 people at the same time, you can build a small sauna directly in the room and install a low-power 230 V heater.

How much space do you need for a sauna

The space you have available is a key factor in choosing between an indoor and outdoor sauna. Indoor saunas are ideal if you have limited outdoor space but have an extra room or corner in the house that can be converted. They can also be a good solution for those living in apartments who don’t have access to an outdoor backyard.

Outdoor saunas require more space but offer more flexibility in design and can be an attractive landscape feature. If you have a large garden or backyard, an outdoor sauna could be the perfect addition.

Choosing between an indoor and outdoor sauna

The choice between an indoor or outdoor sauna depends largely on your personal preferences, budget and available space. If you value convenience and economy, an indoor sauna can be a good choice. It can be easily integrated into an existing house or flat and is usually more energy efficient.

On the other hand, if you dream of an authentic sauna experience and have access to an outdoor space, an outdoor sauna may be the ideal solution. While it may require a larger initial outlay, it offers a unique experience that may be worth the extra cost.

It is important to think carefully about your needs and capabilities before making a decision. Whichever type of sauna you choose, remember that regular sauna use can have many health and wellness benefits.

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Since 2011 I have had my own business selling sauna building materials, sauna cookers and sauna accessories. I know all about building a quality sauna!