52 Dry Heat Home Sauna Designs (Photos)

Massive gallery of 52 home sauna designs. Our gallery focuses on dry heat saunas instead of infrared. Interior and exterior pictures.
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Home sauna interior with a view of the water

I’d be remiss if I did not extensively cover home sauna designs because I spend an inordinate amount of time each week in a sauna.  While I don’t have a home sauna, I expect to get one some day because there is no better way to end the workday than a few rounds in the sauna.  Saunas are the perfect addition and companion to the home gym.

Because of my passion for using saunas, this article, which is image-rich (typical of this site) also contains more text than usual as well as relevant videos… it’s our go-to sauna page for anyone interested or thinking about a home sauna.

Disclaimer:  Please consult a physician or health care professional before using a sauna.  Moreover, the information in this post is just that – information.  Please do not take it as medical advice… it’s based on my personal experience and research.  The same applies to the research linked to throughout this article and gallery.

Table of Contents

Health Benefits of Saunas
Infrared vs. Dry Heat Saunas
Home Sauna Options

Sauna Buying Tips
Pictures of Saunas

Health Benefits of Dry Heat Saunas

I’ve been preaching the benefits of using a dry sauna for years (I’ve been using a sauna since I was 18), but until recently I couldn’t find any comprehensive studies on the health benefits of saunas.  I always feel great after a sauna session so I knew they offered health benefits – I just couldn’t point anyone to authoritative research on the subject.  However, Rhonda Perciavalle Pattrick, Ph.D published an extensive report which is the best article on the health benefits of dry saunas I’ve ever come across.  In a nutshell, she concludes (based on extensive research) that using dry saunas responsibly benefits:

  • improves endurance (for endurance training)
  • improves muscle growth from weight training
  • suspected increased life span (shown in flies and worms – but not conclusive with humans)
  • increases norepinephrine which “helps with focus and attention… makes your brain function faster, which is key in repairing nerve cell damage.”
  • helps increase the growth of new brain cells by increasing “the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor).

Source: Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing “Drug”?

What else?  This is anecdotal from my experiences using saunas, but I find them very relaxing and a stress reliever.

Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

Other quality sources on the health benefits of saunas:

Infrared vs. Dry Saunas

I’m not going to comb through studies to address the infrared vs. dry sauna – there is plenty of information online you can find quickly.  I’m going to state my opinion based on using both types of saunas.

I’ll be blunt.  There is no way I would purchase an infrared sauna for my home.  I only use dry saunas and would only consider a dry sauna for my home.  I enjoy the heat as well as the sweating.  While you do sweat with an infrared sauna, it lacks the heat element.

What if you like both types of saunas?  Consider a combination infrared and dry heat sauna.

What should you buy?  Some people like infrared saunas and they’re popular for homes and spas likely because they cost less than dry saunas.  However, I urge you try both before spending a nickel and decide based on your preference.

Home Sauna Options

Fortunately there are many options for getting a sauna in your home.  They are:

Saunas for Inside the Home

When constructing a sauna inside your home, you can buy a portable sauna, pre-built or get a custom sauna built.  The following are images of portable and pre-built saunas.

The following saunas would even fit seamlessly into homes featuring a modern minimalist natural wood design, such as the Hu Residence.

Pre-Built-Sauna

Pre-Built Dry Heat Sauna. Source: Saunas.com

Portable dry heat sauna

Portable dry heat sauna. Source: Saunas.com

Outdoor Saunas

The two basic styles of outdoor saunas are huts and barrels.  You can get them pre-built (i.e. a sauna kit) or have a custom outdoor sauna built.

Outdoor-Sauna-Building

Outdoor dry sauna hut. Source: Saunas.com

Outdoor Barrel Sauna

Outdoor Barrel Dry Sauna. Source: Saunas at Amazon

Basic Tips for Buying a Sauna

As stated above, I prefer dry heat saunas over infrared – but I urge you to try both and choose the one you prefer.  In fact, use a sauna several times to find out how you like to use it – lying down, elevated, lounging, etc.

Basic sauna accessories

Basic sauna accessories

Size:

I enjoy lying down in saunas, so I prefer larger models.  This means I require a long bench… so if you’re like me and enjoy lying down, look for a design that offers a longer bench.

Seating:

Perhaps you prefer more of a lounging position.  Fortunately many saunas offer a variety of bench styles, including lounging benches (or wooden accessories that enable you to elevate your head and shoulders).

Another seating feature to consider is how many people it accommodates.  There are saunas of all sizes accommodating one to 12 or more people.

Temperature:

You want to ensure that the sauna you get has sufficient heating power to heat the sauna to your preferred temperature.  Ask the sales person about this.  Again, use saunas before buying and note how hot you like it.

Tiered Seating:

Tiered seating is important.  You want your body above the heating element because heat rises.  I wouldn’t consider a sauna without 2 levels.  I’ve been in saunas with 6 levels which is kind of cool, but I didn’t really notice any advantage above the third tier.

Dry vs. Wet

Most hot saunas (as opposed to infrared saunas) are not designed to be wet saunas.  In other words you do not want to, nor should you spray water on the heating element… unless expressly permitted by the manufacturer of that sauna.  Most saunas I’ve been in are dry heat only.  Traditional saunas heated by hot rocks can have water splashed on the rocks because there isn’t electricity involved.  Therefore, while you may read about wet saunas, they aren’t common with sauna kits because the heat source is electric.  If you like a wet sauna, consider getting a steam bath/shower.

Where can you buy saunas?  You may have a local sauna retailer or you can shop for saunas online.

Pictures of Saunas (Old School and New Saunas)

Below is a collection of sauna photos including fabulous sauna interiors and sauna huts – old school and new.  The first section are sauna interiors and the second section are sauna buildings/huts.

Sauna Interiors

Large three-tiered sauna with windows overlooking the ocean. Windows this large is very unusual for a sauna... so too is the three levels.

Large three-tiered sauna with windows overlooking the ocean. Windows this large is very unusual for a sauna… so too is the three levels.

Inside of a dry heat barrel sauna

Inside of a dry heat barrel sauna. Source: Almost Heaven at Amazon

Traditional sauna hut with table and chairs.

Traditional sauna hut with table and chairs.

The Rustic Log Cabin look above would look right at home in our gallery featuring Log Cabin Designs.

Close up of traditional sauna chairs made from logs with canvas bags on top for padding.

Close up of traditional sauna chairs made from logs with canvas bags on top for padding.

U-shaped sauna with two heating elements in the middle.

U-shaped sauna with two heating elements in the middle.

Three-tiered sauna interior. I particularly like saunas with three levels because your entire body is immersed in the heat while sitting on the third level.

Three-tiered sauna interior. I particularly like saunas with three levels because your entire body is immersed in the heat while sitting on the third level.

Entry hall to sauna

Entry hall to sauna

Large, beautiful two-tier sauna interior

Large, beautiful two-tier sauna interior

Concrete block sauna

Unusual concrete block sauna interior. Source: Zillow DigsTM.

Traditional dry heat sauna in log hut with fold-down bench

Traditional dry heat sauna in log hut with fold-down bench

Staggered tiered sauna interior with arched roof

Staggered tiered sauna interior with arched roof

Sauna built in brick room

Sauna built in brick room

Large triple-level sauna house

Large triple-level sauna house

The above triple-level sauna is impressive, if perhaps a little larger than most homes, home gyms, or even man caves would require.

Two-tiered sauna with benches facing one another which is not a typical design but is nice for facing one another when chatting. This sauna layout also provides more bench space for lying down.

Two-tiered sauna with benches facing one another which is not a typical design but is nice for facing one another when chatting. This sauna layout also provides more bench space for lying down.

Three-level sauna interior with mood lighting

Three-level sauna interior with mood lighting

Two-level L-shaped seating sauna layout.

Two-level L-shaped seating sauna layout.

New sauna with L-shape using two tones of wood for a more intricate interior sauna design.

New sauna with L-shape using two tones of wood for a more intricate interior sauna design.

U-curve sauna bench design

U-curve sauna bench design

Example of sauna benches and design incorporating lattice.

Example of sauna benches and design incorporating lattice.

Example of a small sauna with two-levels. This is perfect for two people.

Example of a small sauna with two-levels. This is perfect for two people.

Another sauna example of a three-level bench set up. This sauna also has larger than average windows.

Another sauna example of a three-level bench set up. This sauna also has larger than average windows.

Old school sauna - similar to one you'd find in the countryside in Finland

Old school sauna – similar to one you’d find in the countryside in Finland

A good sauna design for lying down. Three levels, each bench having a head rest.

A good sauna design for lying down. Three levels, each bench having a head rest.

Typical L-shaped two-tiered sauna.

Typical L-shaped two-tiered sauna.

Unusual U-shaped bench. Single bench is built up off the ground which is good for heat placement. Ceiling is arched.

Inside of a mobile Finnish sauna. Unusual U-shaped bench. Single bench is built up off the ground which is good for heat placement. Ceiling is arched.

 

Aerial view of a round sauna with two opposing benches.

Aerial view of a round sauna with two opposing benches.

Sauna Exteriors

Barrel dry heat sauna

Barrel dry heat sauna exterior picture. Source: Amazon.com

Exterior of a small sauna in private residence in the indoor pool area.

Exterior of a small sauna in private residence in the indoor pool area.

Example of a small sauna built inside a private home

Example of a small sauna built inside a private home

Custom sauna exterior in private home

Custom sauna exterior in private home

Barrel sauna on a floating dock on a lake

Barrel sauna on a floating dock on a lake

A sauna nestled in nature on a large pond or lake would  be a wonderful way to relax.

Sauna hut on dock floating on a lake

Sauna hut on dock floating on a lake

Red sauna hut on dock with deck. A sauna next to a lake is great for cold immersion.

Red sauna hut on dock with deck. A sauna next to a lake is great for cold immersion.

Large log sauna hut

Large log sauna hut

Log sauna hut with immersion pool

Log sauna hut with immersion pool

Traditional aboriginal sauna hut

Traditional aboriginal sauna hut

Small wood sauna hut in the snow

Small wood sauna hut in the snow

Mexican sauna hut

Mexican sauna hut

Very nicely built blue and white sauna hut in the forest

Very nicely built blue and white sauna hut in the forest

Small red sauna hut built on the edge of a lake

Small red sauna hut built on the edge of a lake

Red sauna hut typical of those found in Sweden and Finland build on the edge of a lake

Red sauna hut typical of those found in Sweden and Finland build on the edge of a lake

Old wooden sauna house on the edge of a lake

Old wooden sauna house on the edge of a lake

Small traditional red sauna hut with small front deck in the forest.

Small traditional red sauna hut with small front deck in the forest.

Traditional barrel sauna with deck on the edge of a lake

Traditional barrel sauna with deck on the edge of a lake

Well kept up red and white sauna house in the yard of a private home

Well kept up red and white sauna house in the yard of a private home

Portable sauna hut on the beach

Portable sauna hut on the beach

Click here to see a gorgeous beach front home design!

Barrel sauna in the snow

Barrel sauna in the snow

Ayurvedic sauna treatment

Ayurvedic sauna treatment

Ayurvedic sauna treatment

Ayurvedic sauna treatment

For more information about buying a sauna visit Saunas.com.


(c) 2015









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