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If you’re a spa or gym regular, you’ve probably used a sauna to recover from a tough workout or just unwind at the end of a long day. By the simplest definition, a sauna is a high temperature heated room designed to let you sweat your troubles and relax. While there are modern infrared saunas that do not require a heating element, traditional saunas use hot stones to provide the therapeutic dry heat that makes them so popular.
Originally developed by the Finns to stay warm during the long winter months, saunas are used today as a way to reduce stress, aid muscle recovery, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. A sauna may seem like a luxury, but its small footprint and minimal requirements make it an easy addition to your home.
If you’re considering adding a steam room to your home or property, read on for some helpful tips and a host of inspiring ideas to get you started.
1. Develop your bathroom regiment
If you are unsure of exactly where to place your home sauna, consider adding it to your bathroom where your shower is nearby for a sweating rinse. Not only is it ideally placed, but it will also help transform your bath space into a home spa.
2. Ready to use
While a custom sauna is a luxurious addition to any home, there are also some great prefabricated options like this two-seater sauna from Beauty Luxury Spa. Prefabricated saunas come in all shapes and sizes and are easy to assemble and install so you can have that home spa experience without the cost and time of having a custom sauna.
3. Create an outdoor oasis
While a sauna is a great addition to the interior of your home, it can also be a beautiful outdoor oasis like this custom wood-fired sauna from Heartwood Saunas. Place your sauna in your backyard near a pool or hot tub for a full spa experience, or put it away for a more remote retreat.
4. Give yourself a view
What could be more relaxing than sitting in your sauna and watching a beautiful forest or a lake? Adding a glass wall or bay window is a great way to brighten up your serene space. If you don’t have a scenic view, consider a skylight to bring some natural light to your sauna experience.
Although saunas are all about heat, it is highly recommended that you give yourself a place to take a break. This Denizen Works mobile sauna makes room for a covered porch and a chair to sit down, cool off, and enjoy the view after a sweat session or before returning to warm up.
6. Keep things woody
Saunas traditionally have wood interiors because wood does not retain as much heat as other materials like stone and tile, making it more comfortable to sit in a heated space. While cedar is the most commonly used, other wood species like pine also make great interiors like the one shown in the photo above.
7. Mix the materials
Although wood is the traditional material for saunas, don’t be afraid to mix and match other materials to add character to your space. This sauna has a concrete wall that will keep you warm.
8. Lighten up
For that modern Scandinavian aesthetic, use a lighter wood tone or go for planks with a more subtle wood grain and less noticeable knots. Bleached or whitewashed planks also create a modern and serene interior.
9. Add a glow
While some may prefer a darker interior for their sauna experience, lighting can add an extra level to the spa ambience. Consider using soft dimmable LED lights installed in furniture to light your way or place them along the ceiling to wash the light off the walls.
10. High contrast cave
Just because a sauna is warm inside doesn’t mean it can’t have a cool cave-like design. If you prefer a darker color scheme, go for an all-black interior or pair these blonde benches with black walls for high-contrast minimalism.
While some prefer a solo sauna experience, they can be a great place to get together and relax with family and friends. If you’re hoping to accommodate more than one or two people in your home sauna, add an extra tier or two of seating so everyone has room to relax.
12. Why be a square?
One of the best things about a sauna is that it can be as big or small as you want it to be. Make the most of every corner and have a personalized sauna to suit your home like this exquisite design from DEISL Sauna & Wellness.
13. Adapt to your needs
While many saunas have built-in benches, you can also opt for more flexible wooden furniture to tailor your sauna to your exact needs. Consider adding a bench that is wider than a typical bench or casual lounge chair. Keep pillows, balusters, or other supports nearby to further improve your comfort and keep your head and shoulders well supported.