Skip to Content

Sauna in Backyard vs Inside the House (What’s Better and Why?)

Both indoor and outdoor saunas provide lots of benefits but which one is better? In this article, we'll discuss their differences so you can choose the better option for you and your family.

Interior of a sauna with stone accents.

There is a Finnish proverb that indicates the importance of a good sauna session. It goes: “A sauna — the poor man’s pharmacy.” There are many health benefits to saunas, and they’re great fun too. Finnish people love spending time in saunas, and they prefer them outside, from what I could gather. I agree with the Finns, a real sauna should be outside. 

If you’re not convinced yet, stick around because I’ll explain exactly why an outdoor sauna is superior to an indoor one.

Although I feel that the thrill of going out in the cold to steam in a sauna is the best reason, I’ll provide other motivators as well.

Related: Sauna Ideas and Designs | Sauna Dimensions and Layouts | The Art of Sauna | Types of Sauna

Possible Benefits When Using a Sauna

A group of friends enjoying sauna.

A sauna can be beneficial no matter how it is heated or what humidity level it’s enjoyed at. When you sit in a sauna, your heart rate increases, and your blood vessels widen. Your blood circulation increases as well, just like it would with low or moderate exercise.

This effect has many benefits on your body, such as:

Eases Pain

When you’re enjoying a sauna outside, the increased blood circulation can help reduce soreness in your muscles, ease arthritis pain, and improve your joint movement.

Lower Stress Levels

Sitting in your sauna in the privacy of your backyard, you can let the world’s worries just fall off your shoulders. Very relaxing and good for lowering stress levels. This can also improve your heart health in the long run.

Help with Skin Problems

It has been found that a dry sauna can help dry your skin and improve the health of your skin. Although there is no solid proof of this, I believe that my skin is a lot smoother and softer after chilling (hah!) in the sauna in my backyard.

Relief Asthma

Because of the heat, saunas can help open your airways and loosen phlegm, which can provide relief from some asthma symptoms. It’s not a cure or anything, but a bonus effect.


Woman enjoying sauna.

Although I’m all for saunas, you have to keep in mind that there are a few things to consider if you’re using them often.

Spending time in a sauna can lead to a drop in blood pressure, there is a risk of dehydration, and you could experience dizziness or nausea because of the increased temperatures.

It’s best to gradually increase the time you spend in the sauna so you get used to it rather than experience the heat all at once.

Also, never drink before getting into any kind of sauna. Doing so could lead to arrhythmia, hypotension, and dehydration, and can even cause death.

What is the Difference Between an Indoor and an Outdoor Sauna?

An outdoor sauna adorned with manicured plants.

Source: The Ice Bath

Indoor saunas are typically built into the infrastructure of a spa or home. You can also buy one of those that looks like a weird cloth-like cubicle that plugs into the wall. 

Outdoor saunas are typically located near pools or lakes. There is no limit to how much space the sauna can take and there are many different designs to choose from. You can choose from so many different sizes and shapes. There are raindrop-shaped, barrel-shaped, and even cabin-shaped outdoor saunas, to name just a few.

You can even design your own sauna if you want to! That way, you can add windows near the seating areas so you can enjoy the view of your backyard while you steam.

With outdoor saunas, you can integrate your landscape design and pool to create a wonderful backyard oasis. And once you’re done sweating, you can jump straight into the pool for instant refreshment. (Only do this if you don’t have blood pressure problems)

What could be better than that?

Outdoor Suana: Why You Need One

An outdoor sauna with barrel-shaped designed.

The benefits of outdoor saunas are plenty, but I’ll keep things brief and only discuss the main ones. You may even have reasons of your own for finding that a backyard sauna is superior.

Even the beauty Gigi Hadid knows that saunas are wonderful. She once said: “I stretch in the morning a lot and I do a lot of saunas and steam rooms during fashion week just to keep my blood flowing.”

If she makes use of a sauna, ordinary folk like me absolutely need to! 


Outdoor saunas are located close to nature, so you can reconnect with Mother Nature. You can inhale the (hopefully) fresh air right before stepping inside and once you’re done, you can put your feet on the grass and experience gratitude for life and everything you have. It’s quite a spiritual experience if you do it right!

Backyard saunas tend to be more private and you get to spend time on your own away from other people. That’s a big bonus, in my opinion.

Natural light

Unlike indoor saunas, you may have to use natural light for backyard saunas because of a lack of electricity. That’s great because you can use it as an excuse to have many windows that let in the sun’s rays.

You can also use colorful LED lamps or even hurricane lamps to create a specific mood inside your sauna. Just remember to never leave lamps unattended.

Fewer Restrictions

One of the main reasons I love backyard saunas is because your only limits are your imagination, creativity, and your backyard. You will have to build a foundation to ensure stability, but then the fun starts and you can design the perfect sauna for you and your family. 

Outdoor Sauna for the Win

A woman enjoying sauna with backyard views.

I’m sure you can see now why I think outdoor saunas are the greatest thing ever. They are fun, offer many health benefits, and are better enjoyed in your backyard than indoors. Now, what are you waiting for? Go get your own backyard sauna and start sweating!