Buying a sauna for the home is a big investment to make so you want to make sure you get one that is the best fit for you and your home. With so many benefits to be derived from its use, it is no wonder buying saunas for home use is a growing trend. So what should you look for in a home sauna and what drawbacks can you expect from it when compared with the expensive alternatives offered at hotels and spas?
A good home sauna, although much cheaper, should offer the same the benefits that bigger saunas in spas offer. Home saunas are obviously much smaller than commercial ones but that should not equate to a lose of functionality. When buying a home sauna you should look for units that not only offer great functionality and a similar experience to the more expensive commercial units but it should have adequate insulation to ensure you get deep pore cleansing for skin refreshing.
Let’s take a look at what you need to consider before buying a sauna for your home and review some of the best sauna options available on the market.
- Know What You Want From Your Sauna
- Health Benefits & Risks of Sauna Usage
- The Heat Panel
- Installation, Support & Warranty
- Additional Features
Know What You Want From Your Sauna
Just like other big buys for the home and garden a little bit of research and thought is always a good thing to do before a purchase.
This research starts with looking at the design of the sauna as well as the size and overall purpose of it.
How big is the space in your home?
Do you intend a sauna for one person or multiple people? Will they use it at the same time or just one person at a time.
Unless you have an unlimited budget you should be prepared to compromise on some functionality the bigger the sauna you get.
Saunas come in various sizes so the need to determine the size that is best for you is obviously important.
You need to consider how much space there is in your home as well as how many persons you want to share the experience with when choosing a sauna.
People who live in a small apartment would have to make do with a sauna for one as a result of limitation of space.
There are some fantastically priced single person-use saunas on the market that offer almost identical functionality to high-priced commercial units.
Of course there are larger home saunas that are equally as good but as the size of the sauna increase the price increase exponentially. If you have the budget that is great but do be prepared to pay to the extra functionality of being able to have a sauna with other people.
By far the most important part of any sauna is its seating. Surprisingly many people who look for home saunas fail to consider the seating.
Even if a sauna has all the bells and whistles and is a great alternative to a commercial unit if it has poor seating it will uncomfortable to use.
Construction Materials and Insulation
Likewise, it is also important to ensure that the quality of a sauna’s furniture complements its design while providing adequate insulation.
Not only is size an important point to consider before you get a home sauna but its usage should also be considered. For example, how many people will be using the sauna at any one time?
You may have room for a large sauna but will only one person be using it?
You may have limited space and budget but do you want a sauna that you and your partner can enjoy at the same time?
While shopping may be fun, making a large purchase can be stressful; you want to get it right first time.
Therefore getting a sauna that will serve for a long time should be a priority for you. Before you become enamored with functionality make sure that the materials used in the construction of the unit are good enough to last.
This is why western red cedar or vertical grain hemlock are one of the most preferred choice. Canadian cedar also offers beauty and is a durable wood that serves as an excellent heat insulator.
These are certified woods which do not only last but add to the beauty of a room and are excellent construction materials fro saunas.
There are saunas that use cheaper materials but the above mentioned woods are superior and offer not only better insulation for a better sauna experience but will also last longer.
Health Benefits & Risks of Sauna Usage
The health benefits of using a sauna are well known.
Sauna use benefits
Here are just a few of the many benefits you can expect to get from using a sauna regularly:
- Saunas relieve stress.
- Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints.
- Saunas flush toxins.
- A Sauna cleanses the skin and cleans the pores.
- Saunas can induce deeper sleep.
- Saunas improve cardiovascular performance.
- Saunas burn calories for greater weight loss.
- Saunas can help fight illness.
- Saunas are fun and feel good.
As you can see there are many benefits to using a sauna and when you get a home sauna it should be able to offer the same benefits.
The risks of cheap saunas
However, what is less well known is that using a sauna that has been constructed with cheap materials and cheap construction methods can actually be detrimental to your health.
Poisonous air has been known to cause a list of different illnesses and using a sauna constructed with glue will mean you run the risk of experiencing some of them.
When glue is heated it emits unhealthy gas in the sauna.
So, you should avoid buying any sauna that uses glue or other chemical adhesive materials.
A good sauna should be constructed with joints and screws that fit tightly together without the need for any other substance.
Although a sauna constructed with detailed craftsmanship may appear to be expensive, it beats putting your health at risk with cheaper models and such a unit will also last many more years than an inferior cheaper alternative.
The Heat Panel
With the best saunas you will usually have an option to choose from ceramic or carbon heat panels and infrared heat emitters.
Carbon or ceramic?
While each serves its purpose, carbon heat panels are superior in design and output.
These panels are able to manage heat absorption better, distribute heat over more surface, heat faster, and can be leaned against because they are not too hot to burn your skin.
A ceramic panel, although usually the cheaper option, is an adequate alternative but does not offer the same benefits.
In addition to the construction material of the panels buying a sauna with multiple heat panels, rather than just one, is important because multiple panels help heat the sauna quicker and distribute heat through the unit more evenly.
Installation, Support & Warranty
Installation of a sauna is an important thing to consider especially if you plan to take advantage of the cheaper prices offer online.
Ask if the company selling the sauna is willing to have it installed for you. This will save you the stress associated with installing the sauna yourself.
Installing the unit yourself
If the company selling the sauna is not willing, or able, to install the unit for you then you may want to install it yourself.
Be aware that modern saunas are not that difficult to install even for the novice.
However, before you make the purchase do a little research into the installation of the unit. This can be as easy as downloading the installation guide or, better still, checking out a few YouTube videos.
So, be sure the installation is not so complicated that you feel you will have problems setting the unit up without professional help.
Of course you could always trawl a website like Craigslist for a tradesman who can install it for you.
It is important to know that you have good support after your purchase.
This means you should have some way of contacting and getting help from the seller should you run into problems, have missing items from your unit or should anything go wrong during the installation.
So make sure you know that such service support is available, even if it is only by phone, before you make the purchase.
With a warranty in place, you will have peace of mind while enjoying your sauna.
Although the warranty of mechanical parts of the unit will be much shorter than the construction materials make sure the warranty offered is at least inline with similar products offered by other manufacturers.
There are pros and cons to buying your sauna online and pros and cons to buying it from a local store. Let’s look at these now.
Online warranty benefits
If your choice is to install the sauna yourself, you may want to buy one over the Internet so you can take advantage of cheaper prices.
While this may be cheaper, it comes with so many challenges such as returning faulty parts to the manufacturer among others so be sure to buy only from an accredited online seller.
If you buy a sauna online you may have the added warranty and guarantee offered by the online platform you are buying from as well as the warranty offered by the manufacturer.
The drawback to this, is of course that you cannot physically interact with anyone and most communicate entirely via digital or telephone methods.
Benefits of buying local
If you choose to source your sauna via a local seller then you have the obvious benefit of being able to interact with a real person in real time.
Should you encounter any problems it is then just a matter of visiting the store and speaking to someone about it in person.
The drawback to this is that you do not get any additional warranty or guarantee cover that is often accompanied by buying from a third party online and you will usually have to pay more for the sauna.
Saunas are usually a one-time investment, or at the very least an investment that should last a least a decade or longer.
For this reason it is often better to spend a little extra to get those creature comforts that can make your sauna experience just that little bit better. After all you will be using this unit for many years to come.
So, you should consider some additional features that you may make your sauna time a bit more fun.
Internal lighting in your sauna may not be something you initially think of but should be something to consider especially if you want a closed sauna with a solid door.
Even if you get a sauna with a clear windowed door it will not offer much internal light if you place it in an area that is dark or shadowed.
In addition the steam inside the unit can also block a large portion of the light coming from the surrounding outside area making internal lightening pretty much essential if you want to see during your sauna time.
Although most saunas come with interior lighting, some units offer extremely poor lighting while others offer great illumination.
Of course you may not need very bight lighting and only want enough so you can interact with others or with things around you in a tranquil low-lit environment.
Low lighting is great for creating a relaxed space but it’s not good enough to perform other activities such as reading for example.
If you are the type of person who enjoys both activities then you may want to consider a unit that offers light dimming capabilities.
Do not overlook checking for this feature before acquiring a sauna.
Increase the pleasure that you get out of your sauna by considering adding entertainment features to your sauna.
You should not be limited to reading during sauna sessions in an era where saunas support various entertainment options.
For instance, it is easy to fit a DVD Player, radio and music player with digital player ability in order to enjoy some good music while in the sauna.
A sauna with fitted entertainment features ensures a much more pleasurable experience overall.
Be sure to get an entertainment system that can be easily controlled from within the sauna itself without running the risk of damaging your input equipment. Although many saunas come with built in speakers do you really want to take your iPhone into a steamy environment with you?
With the help of the tips above, you will save yourself a lot of hassles when shopping for a sauna to relax in.
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