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Adding a Custom Sauna to Your Outdoor Oasis

Outdoor barrel saunas


Do you look forward to relaxing in the sauna after every workout at the gym? Or are you seeking an easy and convenient way to unwind at home while supporting your mental and physical health? Would you like more ways to enjoy your deck or patio all year 'round? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, a custom outdoor sauna may be the perfect addition to your outdoor oasis!


Whether you have a large property or a smaller deck or patio, a custom outdoor sauna is likely still possible for you! With so many design options available, you are sure to find a sauna that suits your style, space, and personal preferences.  


If you are thinking of getting an outdoor sauna at your home or cottage, continue reading to learn more about some key sauna features you should know about before you start exploring options for getting your own custom outdoor saunas.


What is an Outdoor Sauna

An outdoor sauna is an enclosed room that can reach temperatures of 65 to 90 degrees Celsius and humidity levels between 25 to 40%. The high temperature inside saunas promotes the flow of endorphins and blood, while improving perspiration (to rid the body of toxins), and relaxation to increase overall health and well-being.


Saunas often have unpainted wooden interiors and feature built-in bench seating and backrests that allow users to sit or lay comfortably inside. However, saunas can vary widely in terms of size, style, heating source type, and humidity levels.


There are also so many different custom design options for sauna interiors and exteriors! That's not all, you will also find various sauna accessories available to help you maximize your comfort and showcase your personal style. 


Benefits of Outdoor Saunas

Outdoor home saunas are becoming a popular luxury amenity as more homeowners experience the mental and physical benefits of saunas (and sauna/cold plunge practices). Many people also find that they enjoy the convenience of having a sauna right in their backyard and love the unique aesthetic that it adds to their outdoor living space.


Some of the main benefits of outdoor saunas include the following:

  • Convenience

  • A warm space to enjoy outdoor living in every season

  • Unique, luxury appeal

  • Ease of use

  • Stress reduction

  • Increased circulation

  • Muscle relaxation

  • Improved brain health

  • Better sleep

  • Stronger immunity

  • Reduced congestion

  • Clearer skin

  • Social and cultural benefits

  • …and general enjoyment!

With so many benefits, it is no wonder that so many homeowners are seeking to add a custom outdoor sauna to their deck or patio this year!


woman relaxing in a sauna


Popular Types of Saunas

The most popular types of saunas are:

We explain each of these below.


Traditional Finnish saunas

Finnish saunas are a traditional style of sauna that originated from, you guessed it, Finland! They were first used to combat the region’s frigid winter temperatures but soon became part of the Finnish way of life. Today, almost every family in Finland has a sauna in their home, and spending time in an indoor or outdoor sauna with friends, family, colleagues, and potential business partners is deeply engrained in the culture!


The Finnish-style sauna experience is characterized by high temperatures, usually 80 to 100 degrees Celsius. The all-wood interior features benches at different heights, so users can adjust where they sit depending on their preferences. Typically, Finnish saunas utilize electric heaters or wood stoves that warm stones to bring the room up to the desired temperature. Water may be thrown on the hot rocks to produce steam though humidity levels in traditional Finnish saunas are usually around 20 to 40%.


Dry saunas

Dry saunas are similar to traditional Finnish saunas in terms of design options, but they do not use water to increase humidity. This type of sauna is also usually less hot than Finnish saunas, ranging from 65 to 90 degrees Celsius.


Infrared saunas

Infrared saunas are different than Finnish and dry saunas in that they utilize infrared heat that safely penetrates the body to induce perspiration and relaxation. Typically, infrared saunas are not nearly as hot as Finnish and dry saunas, allowing users to spend longer periods of time inside. Many people find that infrared saunas are suitable for them, even if traditional saunas are too intense. This is because infrared saunas range from 27 to 37 degrees Celsius rather than 80 to 100 degrees Celcius. They can also be a more compact solution compared to traditional models. However, the one catch is that this style is often not suitable for outdoor use.


Barrel saunas

Barrel saunas offer the same benefits as traditional saunas but differ in appearance. Rather than having four walls and a boxy design like other styles, barrel saunas look like a barrel sitting on its side. The cylindrical shape allows the barrel sauna to heat up more quickly and distribute heat evenly throughout the unit. This style is also popular due to its unique appearance.


Cedar saunas

Cedar saunas can vary significantly in design, but the common factor for this style is the type of wood used in the interior – cedar. Cedar wood is ideal for saunas due to its strong, lightweight, and pleasantly aromatic characteristics. Cedar also offers a cooler sitting surface than other woods used in sauna construction. If that's not enough, it is also a wood that naturally repels bacteria and other microbes.


The type of sauna you choose is a personal preference and will depend on how hot and humid you want your sauna to be, the style that suits your outdoor living space, and the design that speaks to you the most.


interior of a modern sauna


Custom Sauna Features

When designing your custom sauna, you will have many options to choose from in terms of interior and exterior design. In addition to choosing your outdoor sauna size, common custom sauna features you can make decisions about include:

  • All-glass fronts

  • Curved glass windows and doors

  • Bench styles and layouts

  • Backrest configurations

  • Wood species

  • Contrasting designs in interior wood

  • Heater placement and design

  • Sound systems

  • Digital controls

  • Aroma diffusers

  • Lighting

  • Steps

  • Door handles

  • Stone type/size/shape/colour

  • …and more!

While a very classic sauna with a simple and minimalist design will help you achieve the same health and well-being benefits as a fully customized outdoor sauna, many homeowners enjoy the ability to incorporate their unique style preferences into their designs.


Saunas can last decades with proper care, so why not have a little bit of fun with your custom project?


wooden pails and ladles with towels in a sauna


Sauna Accessories

In addition to more permanent custom features for saunas, you will also find a wide array of accessories to help you create a comfortable space to relax and unwind. Accessories are also the perfect way to add your unique flare to your outdoor oasis, even if you opt for a more simplistic interior and exterior sauna design.


Sauna accessories and attire include:

  • Sauna pails and ladles

  • Headrests

  • Thermometers

  • Sauna whisks (vihta)

  • Towels

  • Sauna kilts

  • Floor mats

  • Ventilation hatches

  • Sauna light fixtures

  • Light shades

  • Sauna hats

  • Decorative signs

  • Robes

  • Sauna spirit stones

  • Salt panels

  • …and more!

To find the perfect sauna accessories for you, look for an online or brick-and-mortar sauna store. You will be amazed at the selection of niche items that enhance your sauna experience!



In conclusion, outdoor saunas are enclosed rooms typically heated by wood or electric heat sources. They can reach temperatures ranging from 65-100 degrees Celsius. They offer many health and well-being benefits by inducing perspiration, circulation, relaxation, and the development of endorphins.


Custom outdoor saunas are becoming a very popular outdoor living space upgrade for many homeowners – particularly those seeking to support their mental and physical health in a convenient way. The aesthetic benefits of incorporating a functional, unique, and long-lasting feature are another primary reason that outdoor saunas are trending this year. 


There are many different types of saunas available, ranging from traditional to highly customized. When dreaming up your vision for your outdoor sauna, you will love all the design choices available to you! From selecting the size and layout that works best for you to creating one-of-a-kind interior and exterior designs, you truly can make a custom sauna your own. Don't forget to add sauna accessories as well to maximize your overall enjoyment of your outdoor sauna!



Incorporate a Custom Sauna onto Your Deck or Patio with Premier!

Are you excited to start exploring outdoor sauna options available to you? Do you need a new deck or patio to make your vision come to life? Then our team at Premier would love to support you throughout the process!


Our highly professional team has been helping homeowners customize their outdoor living experiences for over 90 years in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and the surrounding areas.


Are you ready to get started on your next big project? Reach out to us today to speak to a sales representative and schedule a no-obligation, on-site consultation!


Dan Boyer at 1:00 PM
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