Skip to content
Relax & Relieve Stress 😌 100% Rest Easy Guarantee | Free Shipping Available on All Saunas
Relax & Relieve Stress 😌 100% Rest Easy Guarantee | Free Shipping Available on All Saunas
DIY Sauna A Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Sanctuary of Relaxation

DIY Sauna: A Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Sanctuary of Relaxation

Building a DIY Sauna is no small feat. It requires dedication, effort, and creativity. But once you've constructed your personal wellness space, you'll see it was worth every moment spent. This comprehensive guide to building your own sanctuary of relaxation will equip you with the knowledge to create a soothing retreat right in your home.

Understanding the Basics of a Sauna

Originating from Finland, saunas have become a global phenomenon because of their restorative effects. A sauna is a small, warm room or building designed to induce sweating and promote relaxation.

Benefits of Sauna

The heat from a sauna — whether dry or steam — has many health benefits. Regular use has been found to:

  • Ease muscle tension
  • Boost circulation
  • Promote cardiovascular health
  • Facilitate better sleep

Types of Saunas

Each type of sauna has its own charm and benefits. The two main types are the traditional and infrared sauna.

Finnish saunas are the most traditional. They use high temperatures and dry heat.

Traditional Finnish sauna

  • Heated by wood, electricity, or gas.
  • High temperatures of 150-195°F with low humidity.
  • Often involves pouring water over heated rocks for steam.

Infrared saunas use infrared heat. DIY infrared saunas are safe when constructed and used according to proper guidelines and safety standards.

Infrared sauna
  • Uses infrared lamps to warm the body directly.
  • Lower temperatures of 120-140°F with low humidity.
  • It can be easier for people who struggle with higher heat.

DIY Sauna: How to Build Your Sanctuary of Relaxation

1. Choose the Perfect Location for Your DIY Sauna

Barrel sauna outdoors

Deciding where to place your sauna will influence your overall experience. Here are some suggestions for choosing the perfect spot in your home:

  • Space: The size of your sauna will largely depend on the available area. Remember that sauna kits can be customized to fit various spaces. If you have ample room in your yard, a DIY outdoor sauna may be a more practical choice.
  • Accessibility: Your sauna should be in a place that's easily accessible. Think about the flow of your home and where a sauna would make the most sense.
  • Insulation: Both indoor and outdoor saunas require good insulation. For a sauna DIY project, insulation will help keep the heat where it should be.
  • Ventilation: It's also essential to ensure adequate ventilation in your chosen space. This will not only improve the safety of your sauna but also enhance the sauna experience.

An indoor sauna is an excellent choice if you have plenty of indoor space and want year-round accessibility. Outdoor saunas, on the other hand, offer a unique experience where nature and sauna bliss can coexist. 

2. Pick the Right Materials for Your DIY Sauna

Right Materials for Your DIY Sauna

Building a sauna that stands the test of time starts with choosing the right materials. From the type of wood to proper insulation and heaters, here's what you need to know:

  • Wood: When building your DIY sauna, wood is a key player. Cedar is famous for its resistance to moisture and natural insect-repelling properties. However, Hemlock and Aspen are also excellent alternatives. Whatever your choice, ensure it's durable and can withstand high temperatures and humidity.
  • Insulation: A well-insulated sauna will require less energy to heat up and maintain the temperature.
  • Heaters: There are several types of sauna heaters, such as electric, wood-burning, and infrared. Electric heaters are common for indoor saunas. Wood-burning heaters give authentic traditional vibes. Infrared panels offer a unique, direct heating experience. Consider your preferences and constraints while selecting your heater. 

3. Choose Your Essential Sauna Equipment

Essential Sauna Equipment

Outfitting your newly built sauna with the proper equipment will take the experience from ordinary to extraordinary. Here's your essential sauna equipment checklist:

  • Benches: Your sauna's seating layout plays a critical role in your comfort level. Choose wood that can withstand high heat and moisture without warping or cracking.
  • Sauna door: A tempered glass door is often preferred for its ability to withstand high temperatures and provide a view outside the sauna.
  • Lighting: Low voltage, waterproof LED lights create the perfect, relaxing ambiance in a sauna. Stay away from overly bright lights.
  • Accessories: From sauna buckets to ladles, headrests, cup holders, and thermometers – these little details enhance your sauna experience. 

4.    Step-by-Step Building Guide for Your DIY Sauna

You've laid the groundwork for your sauna project. Now, how to build a DIY sauna? Let's step into the exciting building phase with this simplified guide:

Step 1: Finalize Your Design. Based on your chosen space, finalize your DIY sauna plans that accommodate your needs and constraints. This includes deciding the size, seating arrangement, and the location of the heater and door.  

Step 2: Prepare Your Space. Clear your chosen area and prepare the foundation. If you're building an outdoor sauna, you may need a concrete slab or reinforced deck.

Step 3: Build the Frame. Use your design to construct the frame for your sauna. Ensure it’s sturdy and level.

Step 4: Install Insulation. Add insulation between the frame's studs to retain heat. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.  

Step 5: Install the Interior Walls. Fasten the wooden planks to your frame, starting from the floor and moving upwards. Choose a suitable wood like cedar, hemlock, pine, or aspen.

Step 6: Install the Heater. Whether it’s a DIY sauna stove or infrared heater, position and secure it properly. Check if it's a safe distance from any combustibles.

Step 7: Build and Install the Benches. Construct your benches using your chosen wood. Install at desired heights using sturdy brackets.

Step 8: Install the Door. Fit the door and make sure it opens and closes smoothly.

Step 9: Install Lighting and Accessories. Add waterproof LED lights and other chosen accessories for a complete sauna experience.

Step 10: Test Your Sauna. Once everything is in place, test your sauna to ensure all systems function correctly. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide and breakdown of building a DIY sauna from Kristi Eramo O'Connell.

Safety Tips for Your DIY Sauna

While building and enjoying your sauna, safety should be a priority. Here are some pointers to guarantee your DIY project and sauna experience stay safe:

During Construction

  • Work with Care: Use tools cautiously. Always wear safety gear such as gloves and protective eyewear when handling tools and materials.
  • Electrical Safety: If your sauna requires electrical fittings, follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you're not confident with the electrical work, hire a professional.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure your sauna has adequate ventilation to regulate the temperature and maintain a steady fresh air flow.

During Use

  • Stay Hydrated: Sauna sessions can lead to profuse sweating, so remember to hydrate before and after each session.
  • Listen to Your Body: Limit your time in the sauna and step out if you feel dizzy or uncomfortable.
  • Always Cool Down: After your sauna session, allow your body to cool down naturally before diving into a cold plunge tub or showering.

Our Bestselling Home Saunas

Our saunas are built with the finest materials and expert craftsmanship. They’re easy to assemble and offer long-lasting performance. Browse our bestsellers to discover the perfect fit for your relaxation needs. 

True North 6-8 Person 9' Long Barrel Sauna

 True North 6-8 Person 9' Long Barrel Sauna

The True North 6-8 Person 9' Long Barrel Sauna embodies classic design elements coupled with modern technology to provide comfort and relaxation. This sauna is intended for both indoor and outdoor use, delivering impressive versatility and performance.

Best Features:

  • Flexible Location Use: Whether nestled in nature or installed indoors, this sauna offers optimal performance in any setting.
  • Quality Material: Choose from Red Cedar, White Cedar, or Pine Wood - all durable and visually appealing.
  • Adjustable Settings: The innovative features like adjustable benches and recessed lighting systems allow for a personalized sauna experience.

Why You Should Buy It:

In addition to the notable features, this sauna is an investment in relaxation and attractiveness as a structure adds value to your property. A mix of tradition and modernity, it's the perfect wellness retreat right in your backyard. 

Dundalk CT HCT Granby Cabin Sauna CTC66W

Dundalk CT HCT Granby Cabin Sauna CTC66W

This 2-4 person capacity sauna, hailing from the Canadian Timber Collection, is masterfully created and delivers a warm, intimate setting for relaxation.

Best Features:

  • Efficient Design: The structure's 1.5" thick walls and roof make heating up quick and efficient.
  • Comfortable Seating: With two-tier benches, the sauna offers lower and upper seating for optimal relaxation.
  • Deluxe Accessory Kit: Included in your purchase are five sauna accessories for an enriched sauna experience.

Why You Should Buy It:

The highlight of this model is the free deluxe accessory kit. Step up your sauna sessions with bucket & ladle, thermometer, outdoor solar light, sauna massage brush, and wall mount sand timer. This truly sets the Dundalk Granby Cabin Sauna apart, offering you a complete, high-quality sauna experience. 

Savannah 3-Person Indoor Infrared Sauna

Savannah 3-Person Indoor Infrared Sauna

Constructed with durable Canadian red cedar, this spacious cabin provides a soothing retreat for the tired soul and exhausted body.

Best Features:

  • Advanced Heating Technology: Features 8 carbon-nano heaters, ensuring quick and even heat distribution throughout the cabin for a truly relaxing experience.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Enjoy movable ergonomic backrests and chromotherapy mood lighting, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and comfort.
  • Convenient Features: Dual interior and exterior keypads, Bluetooth speaker system, and oxygen ionization system for air purification elevate your sauna experience. 

Why You Should Buy It:

The combination of aesthetic appeal, innovative technology, and natural Canadian red cedar make this a top choice for those seeking ultimate relaxation and serenity. 

True North Large Pod Outdoor Sauna

True North Large Pod Outdoor Sauna

Handmade in Ontario, Canada, this sauna is specially developed for outdoor use, withstanding any weather conditions. Choose from different lengths and window options to customize your sauna experience.

Best Features:

  • Long-Lasting Durability: Constructed with Canadian Western Red Cedar, known for its resistance to rot, decay, and insects, ensuring longevity and durability.
  • Traditional Finnish Sauna: Embrace the principles of the traditional Finnish sauna, experiencing the natural benefits of sweating and deep skin cleansing.
  • Flexible Wood Options: Select from Red Cedar, White Cedar, or Pine Wood, catering to various preferences and budgets.

Why You Should Buy It:

The True North Large Pod Outdoor Sauna offers the opportunity to transform your backyard into a luxurious retreat. Create a space for relaxation and meditation with its durable construction. Its traditional sauna elements, and flexible customization option is the perfect addition to elevate your wellness routine. 

Sauna Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is essential to keep a safe environment. It is crucial in preserving the longevity of your DIY sauna. Here are some tips to keep your sauna in top shape:

  1. Clean Regularly: After each sauna session, wipe down the benches and other surfaces to remove sweat and bacteria. Use mild, soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage wood.
  2. Ventilate Your Sauna: After each use, leave the sauna door open for a while. This allows moisture to escape, preventing mold and mildew.
  3. Check the Heater: Regularly inspect your sauna heater for any signs of wear or damage. If you have an electric heater, check the wiring and ensure it functions correctly.
  4. Inspect the Sauna Structure: Over time, look for any signs of warping or damage in the wood, especially near the heater.
  5. Re-treat the Wood: If the interior wood in your sauna starts to look aged, consider re-treating it with a suitable sauna wood oil to restore its luster.


Building a DIY sauna at home is an investment in your residence and wellness. The benefits you can reap from this personal, customized sanctuary of relaxation are numerous.

  • A serene escape right in your home
  • A boost in body relaxation and recovery
  • An enhancement to your daily routine

Which home sauna do you prefer? Indoor or outdoor? DIY Infrared sauna or traditional? Let us know in the comments!

If you're looking for easy-to-install and top-notch home saunas, view our collection.

If you have any questions about our products, our customer service team is on standby.


Previous article Sweat It Out: How Outdoor Saunas Enhance Your Post-Workout Recovery
Next article Harnessing the Heat: Does a Sauna Session Reduce Stress

Leave a comment

* Required fields