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Last updated on November 24th, 2023.

A barrel sauna is a type of sauna with a distinct barrel-like shape. It is typically constructed using wooden staves that form the curved walls of the sauna, resembling the shape of a barrel or a wine barrel. The design of a barrel sauna is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, making it a popular choice for outdoor saunas.

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What is a barrel sauna?

The construction of a barrel sauna involves overlapping the wooden staves and binding them together using metal bands or straps to create a structurally stable and tightly sealed sauna chamber. The front and back ends of the barrel are usually sealed with circular walls, and a door is installed for entry and exit.

Barrel saunas come in various sizes, ranging from small 1-2 person models to larger saunas that can accommodate 4-6 or more individuals. They can be heated using various methods, such as traditional wood-burning stoves, electric heaters, or infrared heaters, depending on the type of sauna experience desired.

Barrel saunas are often placed outdoors in gardens, on decks, or near lakes and other natural settings. Their compact design, energy efficiency, and durability make them well-suited for outdoor use, providing a cozy and relaxing space to enjoy the benefits of sauna bathing while connecting with nature.

Due to their aesthetics and functionality, barrel saunas have gained popularity in recent years, and they have become a sought-after option for sauna enthusiasts and homeowners looking to add a unique and charming feature to their outdoor living spaces.

Key Considerations for Buying a Barrel Sauna

      • Size and capacity. When purchasing a barrel sauna, it’s essential to consider its size and capacity. The size of the sauna should align with the available space in your backyard or desired location. Additionally, you’ll need to determine how many people you want the sauna to accommodate comfortably. Barrel saunas come in various sizes, typically ranging from two-person models to larger ones that can fit six or more individuals. Choosing the right size ensures that the sauna meets your needs while providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all users.
      • Material and construction. The material and construction of the barrel sauna play a crucial role in its longevity, performance, and overall aesthetics. The two primary materials used for barrel saunas are wood and metal. Wooden barrel saunas are more traditional and often preferred for their natural beauty and excellent insulation properties. Cedar and spruce are common wood choices due to their resistance to moisture and insects. Metal barrel saunas, on the other hand, may have a more modern appearance and can be easier to assemble and maintain.

However, they might require additional insulation to match the heat-retaining capabilities of wooden saunas. Carefully assess the materials used, their durability, and the overall construction quality to ensure you’re investing in a long-lasting and efficient barrel sauna.’

      • Heating system and energy efficiency. The heating system is a crucial component of any sauna, including barrel saunas. There are various heating options available, including traditional wood-burning stoves, electric heaters, and infrared heating panels. Each system has its advantages and considerations. Traditional wood-burning stoves offer an authentic sauna experience and a pleasant aroma, but they require manual operation and regular maintenance. Electric heaters are more convenient and easier to control, while infrared heaters provide a milder heat that some users may prefer. Additionally, consider the sauna’s energy efficiency and how well it retains heat. A well-insulated sauna with an efficient heating system will help you save on energy costs and provide a more enjoyable sauna experience.

Remember to thoroughly research and compare different barrel sauna models, read customer reviews, and consider your budget before making a final decision. By taking these key considerations into account, you can select a barrel sauna that fits your needs, lifestyle, and preferences, ensuring years of relaxation and rejuvenation ahead.

The 6 Best Barrel Saunas

What are the benefits?

Using a barrel sauna offers numerous benefits that contribute to overall health, well-being, and relaxation. Here are some of the key benefits.

      • Stress relief. One of the most significant benefits of using a barrel sauna is stress reduction. The heat and steam in the sauna help relax the muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural stress-relievers. Spending time in the sauna can promote a sense of relaxation and help alleviate tension and anxiety.
      • Detoxification. Sweating in the sauna is an effective way to detoxify the body. As the body heats up, it promotes sweating, which helps eliminate toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities from the body through the skin. This process can improve skin health and leave you feeling refreshed.
      • Improved circulation. The heat in the sauna causes blood vessels to dilate, leading to improved blood circulation throughout the body. Better circulation can help deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs, promoting overall cardiovascular health.
      • Pain relief. The heat from the sauna can provide relief from muscle and joint pain. The warmth helps soothe sore muscles, reduces inflammation, and increases flexibility. Many people find relief from conditions like arthritis and muscle tension after using a sauna regularly.
      • Enhanced immune system. Regular sauna sessions can have a positive impact on the immune system. As the body’s temperature rises, it triggers a response similar to that of a fever, which can help strengthen the immune system and make it more effective at fighting off infections and illnesses.
      • Improved Sleep. Using a sauna before bedtime can promote better sleep. The relaxation induced by the sauna can help reduce insomnia and improve sleep quality, allowing you to wake up feeling more rested and rejuvenated.
      • Skin health. The increased circulation and sweating during sauna sessions can improve skin health. It helps cleanse the pores, removing dirt and impurities, and can contribute to a healthier complexion.
      • Social and family benefits. A barrel sauna can become a social and family focal point, providing a space for friends and family to gather and bond. Sauna sessions can be a communal experience, creating opportunities for relaxation and conversation.
      • Weight loss. While a sauna alone is not a weight loss solution, the increased heart rate and sweating during a sauna session can contribute to burning some calories. However, it’s essential to pair sauna use with a balanced diet and regular exercise for effective weight management.
      • Mental clarity and focus. Many sauna enthusiasts report improved mental clarity and focus after sauna sessions. The relaxation and stress reduction can lead to a clearer mind and increased productivity.

It’s important to note that while saunas offer numerous benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. People with certain medical conditions or health concerns should consult a healthcare professional before using a sauna regularly. Additionally, it’s essential to stay hydrated and avoid spending excessive amounts of time in the sauna to prevent dehydration and overheating.

What types of wood are best for a barrel sauna?

The best type of wood for a barrel sauna is typically a combination of durable and rot-resistant wood. Among the various options available, two types of wood are most commonly used and recommended for barrel saunas.

  • Western red cedar. Western Red Cedar is a popular choice for building barrel saunas due to its excellent natural properties. It is highly resistant to decay and insects, making it ideal for outdoor use. Cedar also has a beautiful, distinct aroma that adds to the sauna experience. Moreover, this wood has exceptional insulating properties, helping to retain heat efficiently inside the sauna and contributing to a more enjoyable and energy-efficient sauna session.
  • White spruce. White Spruce is another suitable wood option for barrel saunas. Like cedar, it has good resistance to decay and insects, making it a durable choice for outdoor saunas. White Spruce is a more affordable alternative to cedar while still offering adequate insulation and heat retention properties.

Both Western Red Cedar and White Spruce are lightweight, making them easier to work with during the construction of the barrel sauna. Additionally, they have a pleasant appearance that complements the sauna’s aesthetic.

When choosing the wood for your barrel sauna, it’s essential to ensure that the wood is untreated or treated with non-toxic substances. Toxic chemicals or pressure-treated wood can release harmful fumes when heated in the sauna, negatively impacting your health and the sauna experience.

Ultimately, Western Red Cedar and White Spruce are considered the top choices for barrel saunas due to their durability, natural resistance to elements, and insulating properties. Whichever wood you choose, proper maintenance and regular sealing will help extend the lifespan of the sauna and keep it looking and performing at its best for years to come.

1. Redwood Outdoors: 6-Person Cedar Barrel Sauna

Introducing the Redwood Outdoors 6-Person Cedar Barrel Sauna, a luxurious and spacious outdoor sanctuary designed to elevate your sauna experience. Crafted from high-quality Western Red Cedar, this barrel sauna exudes rustic charm while delivering exceptional performance and durability. The unique barrel shape not only enhances the sauna’s visual appeal but also optimizes heat distribution, ensuring an even and thoroughly enjoyable sauna session for up to six individuals. With its natural resistance to decay and insects, the Cedar Barrel Sauna is perfectly suited for outdoor use, making it a stunning addition to any garden or backyard space.

Key features

      • Generous 6-person capacity. Accommodate friends and family for a shared relaxation experience.
      • Stainless steel bands. The wooden staves are secured with sturdy stainless steel bands, ensuring the sauna’s structural integrity and long-lasting performance.
      • Tempered glass door. The front entry features a stylish and functional tempered glass door, adding an elegant touch while allowing for a clear view inside the sauna.
      • Efficient electric heater. The sauna comes equipped with an electric heater that quickly heats up the interior to your desired temperature, providing a cozy and soothing sauna experience.

Step into the Redwood Outdoors 6-Person Cedar Barrel Sauna and embark on a journey of ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. Crafted with premium materials and attention to detail, this sauna is a testament to both aesthetic beauty and practicality. 

Experience the serenity of sauna bathing in the comfort of your own outdoor oasis, surrounded by the natural elegance of Western Red Cedar, and immerse yourself in a world of soothing heat and tranquility. The Redwood Outdoors Cedar Barrel Sauna is more than just a sauna – it’s a delightful escape to unwind, recharge, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Capacity and price

Up to 6 people and $6,299

2. Dundalk Leisure Craft: Panoramic Sauna

Unwind and experience the ultimate relaxation with the Panoramic View Cedar Barrel Sauna by Dundalk Leisure Craft, a luxurious addition to your outdoor space. These exquisitely crafted barrel saunas offer a stunning panoramic view, allowing you to connect with nature while indulging in the therapeutic benefits of sauna bathing. The saunas are constructed from premium-grade Western Red Cedar, known for its natural durability and resistance to decay and insects. With their eye-catching barrel design, these saunas not only provide a cozy and inviting ambiance but also ensure efficient heat distribution for an unparalleled sauna experience.

Key features

      • Panoramic view design. Enjoy a breathtaking view of your surroundings while unwinding inside the sauna, creating a unique and immersive sauna experience.
      • Western red cedar construction. The sauna is built from high-quality, natural Cedar, providing a warm and inviting atmosphere while enhancing the sauna’s longevity.
      • Effective heating system. Equipped with a powerful electric heater, the sauna quickly reaches your desired temperature for a soothing and comfortable sauna session.
      • Easy assembly. The barrel sauna is designed for straightforward assembly, allowing you to set up your private oasis with ease.

Step into the world of blissful relaxation with the Dundalk Leisure Craft Panoramic View Cedar Barrel Saunas. Immerse yourself in the therapeutic heat, surrounded by the beauty of Cedar craftsmanship and the wonders of nature. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or a social gathering space, these barrel saunas offer the perfect combination of elegance, functionality, and rejuvenation. Elevate your outdoor living experience with the Dundalk Leisure Craft Panoramic View Cedar Barrel Saunas, where serenity and well-being meet in harmony.

Capacity and price

6-8 people and $14,597

3. SunHome: Panoramic Outdoor Sauna

Experience the epitome of relaxation and wellness with the SunHome Saunas Panoramic Outdoor Sauna. This exquisitely designed sauna offers a panoramic view, immersing you in the beauty of nature while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of sauna bathing. Crafted with precision and attention to detail, this outdoor sauna is a stunning addition to any landscape. The sauna’s panoramic design allows you to connect with the surrounding environment while indulging in the soothing heat.

Key features

      • Panoramic view. Delight in breathtaking views of your outdoor surroundings, enhancing the sauna experience and promoting a sense of serenity.
      • Premium construction. The sauna is meticulously crafted using high-quality materials, ensuring durability, longevity, and a visually appealing aesthetic.
      • Outdoor durability. Designed to withstand outdoor elements, the sauna is built to last and provide year-round enjoyment.
      • Quick heating. The efficient heating system allows for rapid heat-up, allowing you to unwind and relax in no time.

Elevate your outdoor space with the SunHome Saunas Panoramic Outdoor Sauna, where nature and relaxation harmoniously converge. Take a moment to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this beautifully crafted sauna. Whether seeking personal wellness or a social gathering space, this sauna offers a haven of rejuvenation and delight. Let the SunHome Saunas Panoramic Outdoor Sauna be your gateway to a world of peaceful rejuvenation and cherished memories.

Capacity and fee

$14,800 for the 4-person and $15,800 for the 8-person

4. SunHome: Cedar Outdoor Barrel Sauna

Introducing the SunHome Saunas Outdoor Barrel Sauna, a splendid addition to your outdoor living space. This barrel sauna offers a unique and visually captivating design that complements any landscape while providing a cozy and relaxing sauna experience. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the outdoor sauna is constructed with premium materials to ensure durability and long-lasting performance, even in outdoor environments.

Key Features

      • Barrel design. The distinctive barrel shape not only enhances the sauna’s aesthetics but also promotes efficient heat distribution, ensuring an even and comfortable sauna session.
      • Outdoor durability. Built to withstand various weather conditions, the sauna is designed to withstand outdoor exposure and provide year-round enjoyment.
      • Quick assembly. The outdoor barrel sauna is designed for straightforward assembly, allowing for a hassle-free setup process.
      • Heated seating. Enjoy the luxury of heated seating, providing added comfort during your sauna experience.

Step into the world of relaxation and wellness with the SunHome Saunas Outdoor Barrel Sauna. With its eye-catching barrel design and top-notch construction, this outdoor sauna promises a rejuvenating retreat right in your backyard. 

Escape the stresses of everyday life and immerse yourself in the soothing warmth of this outdoor oasis, creating lasting memories and cherished moments with friends and family. Elevate your outdoor living experience with the SunHome Saunas Outdoor Barrel Sauna, where beauty, comfort, and wellness harmoniously converge.

Capacity and fee

4-person starts at $9,049 and the 8-person is $10,799

5. Audra 2-4 Person Canopy Barrel Sauna

Introducing the black Almost Heaven Saunas Audra 2-4 Person Canopy Barrel Sauna, a delightful addition to your home or outdoor space. This unique barrel sauna offers a charming canopy design that adds a touch of elegance to your sauna experience. Crafted with precision and attention to detail, the Audra sauna is made from high-quality materials to ensure durability and a visually appealing aesthetic.

Key features

      • Canopy design. The Audra sauna boasts a canopy roof that enhances its appearance and provides a distinct and luxurious sauna experience.
      • Spacious capacity. With room for 2-4 individuals, this sauna is perfect for both intimate gatherings and personal relaxation sessions.
      • Durable construction. Built to last, the Audra sauna is made from premium materials, making it suitable for outdoor use and ensuring years of enjoyment.
      • Quick heating. Equipped with a powerful heater, the sauna quickly reaches your desired temperature, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate without delay.

Step into a world of tranquility and wellness with the Almost Heaven Saunas Audra 2-4 Person Canopy Barrel Sauna. The canopy design adds an elegant touch to your sauna experience, elevating it to a new level of luxury. Enjoy the intimate space with loved ones or indulge in moments of personal relaxation in this thoughtfully crafted sauna. 

The Audra sauna is designed to provide both comfort and durability, making it an excellent addition to your home or outdoor oasis. Create cherished memories and find solace in the soothing heat of the Audra sauna, where relaxation and rejuvenation come together in harmony.

Capacity and fee

Fits 2-3 and fees depend on customizations but we liked the one customized at $9,239. 

6. Red Cedar Panoramic View Barrel Sauna With Porch - 6-8 person

Discover the Backcountry Recreation Panoramic Barrel Sauna Kit, a fantastic option for adding a touch of luxury and relaxation to your outdoor space. This kit allows you to create your very own panoramic barrel sauna, designed to provide an immersive sauna experience with breathtaking views of the surrounding environment. Crafted with quality and functionality in mind, the kit includes all the necessary materials for assembly, making it a convenient and rewarding DIY project.

Key features

      • Panoramic views. The barrel sauna kit is designed with large windows to offer stunning panoramic views, bringing the beauty of nature right into your sauna sessions.
      • DIY assembly. With comprehensive instructions and pre-cut materials, the kit enables easy and satisfying DIY assembly, allowing you to construct your custom sauna.
      • Outdoor durability. Made from durable materials, the barrel sauna kit is built to withstand outdoor elements, ensuring long-lasting performance and enjoyment.
      • Customizable design. The kit provides an opportunity for customization, allowing you to personalize the interior and exterior of the sauna to suit your preferences.

Transform your outdoor space into a tranquil oasis with the Backcountry Recreation Panoramic Barrel Sauna Kit. Embrace the serenity of panoramic views while indulging in the rejuvenating heat of your very own sauna creation. 

Whether you seek a personal sanctuary for relaxation or a social gathering spot with friends and family, this kit offers the versatility and durability to meet your desires. Elevate your outdoor living experience with the Panoramic Barrel Sauna Kit and bask in the harmonious blend of nature and wellness.

Capacity and fee

6-8 people and $9,666

Concluding Thoughts on the Best Barrel Saunas

In conclusion, barrel saunas offer a unique and appealing option for individuals seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating experience in the comfort of their own outdoor space. The six best barrel saunas highlighted in this review demonstrate a diverse range of features and benefits, catering to various preferences and requirements. Whether you prioritize traditional craftsmanship, efficient heating technology, or eco-friendly materials, there is a suitable option among these top-rated barrel saunas.

Investing in a high-quality barrel sauna can provide numerous health benefits, including stress relief, improved circulation, and enhanced relaxation. The rustic charm and aesthetic appeal of these saunas also add an attractive element to any backyard or garden setting. With their durability, efficient heat distribution, and easy assembly, these barrel saunas offer a long-lasting and enjoyable experience for years to come. Whether you are looking for a solo retreat or a social space for friends and family, these top-rated barrel saunas are sure to deliver a blissful and soothing escape right at home.

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