Saunas offer plenty of benefits to our bodies in terms of relaxation, pain relief, and rejuvenation.
There’s something about sitting in the heat and being able to let go of the day’s worries. It’s almost as if you get to be in a spa in your home every single night. It’s also pretty great for those cold winter nights. We searched far and wide for the best sauna heaters and also created a handy guide that will let you know what to keep in mind while buying.
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Best Sauna Heater- Reviews
Finlandia is considered to be one of the most trusted and best electric heater brands in the industry. The FLB -80 is our top choice as the best electric sauna heater. It is easy to install and easy to use.
The electric sauna heater is constructed from top-grade sturdy stainless steel which is a key component when looking for a long-lasting sauna heater. The sauna heater comes with a detailed manual so all you need to do is follow the instructions and you’ll be able to set it up. The sauna stones are secured safely by a metal frame at the top and they are included in the purchase.
Finlandia Harvia sauna heaters feature a one-hour timer and a countdown feature so you no longer have to worry about watching the time while in the sauna room.
The TURKU TU90WD is one of the best electric sauna heaters that allows you to control the temperature of the sauna from outside the sauna room with a digital display.
The electric sauna heater has an overheating protection system that automatically cuts the power if it detects abnormally high temperatures inside the unit. The ventilated unit design and the direct contact between the heating coils and the sauna rocks makes it heat up fast. This is something to look out for as overheating can definitely happen. The electric sauna heater allows for wall mounting and is a high power heater. It can be used for home sauna and commercial purposes as it can handle 7-8 users at a time. One great feature of this heater is that it has an external digital controller which allows you to control the temperature and timing of the heater without having to touch it. The sauna heater can fill up to 30-40 lbs of sauna stones and can provide for both wet and dry heating sessions.
The Harvia M3 is the best sauna heater for those after the traditional wood sauna experience. The sleek matte black unit with the glass door to show off your smouldering logs and stainless –steel is topped with large sauna stones (included in your purchase) that produce that great steam when you pour some water on them.
The M3 sauna heaters are fairly cheaper than the electric sauna heaters of the same size and capacity however it takes more effort to maintain and has a higher operational cost. It is also important to remember that wood-burning heaters usually have unregulated heat hence they take more time to heat up sauna rooms. However, when they do heat up, the session is usually more intense.
The Harvia sauna heater is designed for sauna rooms that are 159 to 459 cubic feet in size. The sauna heater produces heat and steam cycles that are soothing and long-lasting. The glass door allows users to enjoy the warm glow of the fire as they relax. The stone capacity is 100 pounds.
The SereneLife is a portable sauna with an infrared heater. It is definitely a new type of experience as it is a fabric/constructed box with a simple chair inside. You zip your body in with your arms and your neck and head are left sticking out as you let the sauna get to work. The controls are on a wire so you can monitor the temperature from the outside. It comes with a footpad heating mat allowing your feet to remain heated as your body absorbs the heat. The heat is felt more intensely on your back. It is ideal as a home sauna.
The Vevor Sauna Heater 9 KW is for rooms that are around 317.8 to 459.1 cubic feet. The sauna heater can be used for home and commercial purposes as it has a maximum heating capacity that is enough for a 7-8 person sauna.
The sauna heater comes packed in a stainless steel shell which is known for its durability and rust resistance. The heating coil is of the same material and comes with the advantage of fast heating and power-efficient design. The sauna heater comes pretty much pre-assembled which makes the installation easy. The mechanical knobs offer temperature and time adjustments which can be pretty handy when needed.
The sauna heater is designed to be wall-mounted which is great as it can save on floor space. It is also ideal for dissipating heat.
The Vevor sauna heater comes in different variations: 2 KW, 3 KW, 6 KW, and 9 KW. The 2 KW sauna heater is ideal for sauna rooms that are around 70 to 106 cubic feet while the 3 KW option is best for rooms that are around 70.6 to 141.2 cubic feet. The 6 KW heater is ideal for sauna rooms that are around 176.5 to 317.8 cubic feet.
What To Consider When Buying A Sauna Heater
a) What Size Sauna Heater Do I Need
You need to determine the space you have for the sauna heater. For example, if it needs to be wired in, then that will limit where you can place it and you need to plan around your existing space.
You also need to consider the size of the room. It would be completely useless, to get a sauna heater that can’t warm up the room you intend to place it into, the levels you would it like it to. Remember, the larger the size of the sauna, the larger the size of the heater you will need.
It's important to know the size and dimensions of your sauna room before you make a purchase otherwise you’ll end up with an under-heated or overheated room. You can refer to the sauna heater’s product description to check if the manufacturer has provided any information about its heating capacity.
b) Types of Sauna Heaters
- Wood burning heaters
Many traditional sauna users consider wood burning heaters the most authentic sauna experience. They are ideal for an outdoor area or places where electricity is either limited or not available.
Wood burning sauna heaters use wood logs and create high temperatures in the sauna. A bed of rock is arranged on top of the heater in order to heat up. Water is then poured onto the rock in order to provide hot steam into the sauna. Due to the smoke, they cannot be indoors. Something to consider is that they are not necessarily eco-friendly as they require an ample supply of firewood and the CO2 production. You should consider wood-burning sauna heaters if you are after a traditional or authentic sauna experience.
- Electric Sauna Heaters
Electric sauna heaters are a lot popular and this is because they are very convenient. They are usually designed with stainless steel and integrated with heating coils. The modern ones now offer a number of refinements such as compact designs, built-in heater fences, digital controls, lighted controls and more. They cost more but are relatively inexpensive to operate. Electric sauna heaters are ideal for those who use their sauna 3 or more times a week. Most electric heaters come with deflectors which increase heat distribution and something else that’s pretty great is that they’re eco-friendly.
- Gas heaters
Gas heaters are efficient, quick, simple and easy to operate. You can use your home’s natural gas line and sometimes you can even connect it to a propane tank. Most gas saunas come with triple walls in order to reduce surface temperature for reliability and safety.
Gas heaters are covered with a bed of rocks above the heater and they create steam once water is poured onto them. They are ideal for areas where electricity is limited or unavailable but instead natural or liquefied petroleum (LP) gas is available. Out of the three, gas heaters are the most expensive and they are also not eco-friendly.
- Infrared Sauna Heater
Infrared heaters are a lot more expensive than electric heaters. They heat objects and people in the room instead of heating the air which in turn would heat you. This means that you can sit anywhere in the room and feel the effects of the infrared heater and there won’t be any steam. You can buy an infrared sauna heater if you have an infrared sauna. It may have higher maintenance costs compared to other types of heaters, but it is the only model that is compatible with such a sauna.
c) Heat-up time
Some sauna heaters take longer to heat up compared to others. It all depends on the material used as some heaters can have more temperature inertia which basically means that the heater is likely to have better heat retention even though it takes a while to heat up.
The best sauna heater should be balanced in terms of how long it takes to heat up and the amount of time it can retain its heat.
Wood sauna heaters can take more than an hour to heat up and are a lot more difficult to maintain.
Gas sauna heaters tend to be more suitable for commercial purposes i.e hotels or gyms and they take a considerable amount of time to heat up the sauna.
Electric heaters take less time than the other two and the best part is they can be programmed.
d) Stone Capacity
Stone capacity refers to how capable the sauna heater is at heating up a certain weight equivalent of sauna rocks. This is one way to measure the power of a sauna heater. The higher the capacity the more powerful the sauna heater is.
Features such as the controls, whether it is wall-mounted, the power rating of the sauna and many more are important things to look out for. The space you have available should help you decide if you want a stand-alone or wall-mounted heater. Wall-mounted heaters are great for small saunas and should be considered if you are dealing with space constraints. It is also important to set some time aside and discuss features such as power ratings with a professional. You can also check if your heater comes with programmable controls for added convenience.
The cost of sauna heaters depends on its heating capacity and heat source type.
Electric sauna heaters are the most affordable and are ideal for home saunas. Gas sauna heaters are the most expensive and are mostly used commercially. Wood sauna heaters may be cheap initially but they have a high operational cost.