We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Style of Sauna Heater Should I Install in my Sauna?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The are four basic styles of sauna heater: gas, electric, infrared, and wood fired. Each has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when installing a sauna heater. In all cases, you should have a sauna heater professionally installed if you are uncertain about any part of the process, and you should make sure that the sauna is adequately ventilated. Once you have narrowed your choice down to a type of sauna heater, check to see how much clearance it requires, as this may have an impact on whether or not it will work in your sauna, and also make sure that the heater is large enough to heat the entire sauna. In most cases, the packaging for a sauna heater will include information about the square feet of coverage that it provides.

A woodstove is the traditional sauna heater. A fire can be laid with aromatic wood, and quickly brought up to a high temperature that will heat the sauna and sauna rocks, which will help distribute the heat. Woodstoves can typically be used wet, meaning that they can be sprinkled with later to create löyly, sauna steam. However, they do have disadvantages, including the large clearance needed to reduce the risk of fire. It is much more difficult to control the temperature, and the woodstove will need to be fed by the sauna bathers with additional fuel so that it will continue to heat the sauna. There are also issues associated with fire risks, pollution caused by burning unclean fuel, and acquiring fuel for the woodstove.

Many saunas come with electric sauna heaters, which are turned on using a timer. The heat level can be more precisely controlled, and the sauna can get formidably hot if a sauna heater of the right size is installed. Not all electric heaters can be used wet, so if you want löyly, check with the manufacturer about whether or not the sauna heater can be wet. Electric heaters carry a low fire risk when installed properly, and do not require ventilation, as they should not release gas. They can also be used in small saunas, as they have a minimal clearance. However, they are not terribly attractive, although the top can be covered with sauna rocks to make their appearance more pleasant.

A gas sauna heater can be fired with natural gas or propane, and is a good choice for a large, frequently used sauna. Gas can be less costly than electricity, and the sauna heater's temperature can be controlled, just like with an electric sauna heater. Once again, not all gas heaters are safe to use wet, and they also require professional installation to reduce the risk of fire. The sauna will need to be ventilated, and a gas heater requires more clearance than an electrical heater.

Far Infrared (FIR) sauna heaters, also known as infrared heaters, are another option. These heaters heat the body, rather than the sauna, so they take less time to warm up. However, a FIR heater cannot be used to create löyly, and some sauna bathing enthusiasts believe that the effects of a sauna are not as beneficial with an infrared sauna heater. The overall temperature will also be lower, allowing sauna bathers to stay in longer, but the experience will not be the same as a traditional sauna.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.