Frequently Asked Questions


Sauna General

Redwood Outdoors is the destination for those seeking a high-quality sauna. The secret to our success is not only our attention to detail but also the way we do business. Here’s what sets us apart…

We are Immersed in Sauna Culture

Finnish sauna culture is thousands of years in the making. Our carefully crafted products pay homage to this time-honored tradition, offering gorgeous saunas that can be set up almost anywhere with ease.

We Pay Attention to Detail

The wood your sauna is crafted from makes all the difference in the world. We choose only high-quality softwoods and work with just a few varieties that are known to be durable, provide a pleasant experience, and look beautiful, giving you a great experience every time. Not every company does this. In fact, many cut corners by using laminates and low-grade lumber. We also use stainless steel bands and fasteners in our saunas, ensuring each one stands the test of time. Plus, our heaters are specially designed for safety and ease of use, allowing you to genuinely enjoy your sauna while soothing away sore muscles and stress.

We Know What Matters Most

As you explore images of our saunas, you’ll see lots of luxurious wood and comfortable seating as well as the absence of metal that might otherwise burn or injure. Although the stainless steel hardware is still there, we’ve taken great care to tuck it all away for your safety. Our tongue-and-groove system also locks the boards in place, yet allows them to expand and contract with temperature changes, giving a tight seal for maximum comfort and efficiency.

We Combine Form and Function

With a multitude of designs to choose from, it’s easy to find a sauna that suits your lifestyle. Each of our barrel saunas is uniquely crafted to blend seamlessly with your space, whether you’re placing it in your backyard or the backwoods.

We Care About Your Satisfaction

All our saunas are made to order and we stand by them 100%. If anything is wrong, just get in touch with us upon arrival and we’ll make it right.

We only sell traditional Finnish-style saunas. These are dry saunas that are designed to be enjoyed at an air temperature of 160F to 185F. With our Finnish sauna heaters, it is also possible to add water to the sauna rocks to create steam, if you prefer more humidity in the air. We do not sell infrared saunas as these saunas run much cooler (around only 130F to 140F) and do not have the same associated health benefits as traditional saunas.

Yes! Water can be gently ladled on to the rocks to create steam or löyly.

When pouring water on the rocks, do so slowly and only when the sauna is at full temperature. The water should evaporate instantly when it hits the rocks. If you notice water coming out the bottom of the heater it means you are pouring too fast or too much. If you like to use a lot of water in the sauna, it is recommended to buy a sauna fountain. These stone fountains sit amongst the rocks and help create steam.

You may add aromatherapy oils to your water bucket to create a scented steam. The classic scents used in Finland are birch, pine and eucalyptus. All aromatherapy oils are formulated differently, so make sure yours does not leave any residue on the rocks. Redwood Outdoors sell Harvia brand aromatherapy oils, which are formulated in Finland.

Traditional Finnish saunas run between 160°F and 185°F, measured at shoulder height when seated on the upper bench (or simply on the main bench if you have single level seating). Heat stacks in a sauna, so it's normal that the floor will be much cooler than at your head. If you find your head gets too hot, you can wear a sauna hat. Sauna hats are made of a wool/felt blend, which helps keep your head cool. This allows you to feel more of the heat sensation on your body.

Traditional sauna bathing is done in ‘rounds’ or intervals. A round involves heating the body up and then cooling it down. A typical round consists of 10-15 minutes in the sauna followed by a cool down period of approximately 5 minutes. If you have an outdoor shower or cold plunge tub, this can be used during your cool down and provides for a much more rapid and effective cool down phase. The goal is to bring your body temperature back down in preparation for the next hot phase.

A typical sauna session is 2 or 3 rounds. Do not skip the cool down phase on your final round. A sauna session ends with a cool down, after which you can take a warm shower.

Excessive heat exposure can be harmful to a person’s health. People with poor health should consult their physicians before using the sauna.

Preheating the sauna typically takes 45 to 60 minutes depending on a variety of factors, including: your heater strength, your sauna size, the outdoor temperature and your desired sauna temperature. It may take longer 60 minutes to heat your sauna to higher temperatures (above 185F) or if you are saunaing in very cold weather (below 20F). Digital sauna heaters can be started remotely via WIFI. Manual control sauna heaters can be set on a delay timer to start at a predetermined time up to 8 hours in the future.

One of the best features of Redwood Outdoors saunas is that general maintenance is minimal. In most cases, the only thing required is a wipe-down of the surfaces inside the sauna to remove dirt, perspiration, and other spots that arise during regular use. Check our "Care and Maintenance" section for more details.

If any part of your sauna breaks, contact us and let us know. We stock replacements of nearly all parts and can get replacements on their way to you quickly, so you can get back to enjoying the heat.

Yes! We offer M3 wood stove heaters with select sauna models. Note that using a wood-fired stove will reduce the available seating space inside the sauna.

If you’re purchasing a wood-burning stove, you will need a chimney that runs through the roof of the sauna to allow smoke to escape. Redwood Outdoors offers chimney kits that fit the Harvia M3 heater. We recommend purchasing a Redwood Outdoors chimney kit as most chimneys in the USA are sized in inches and require an adapter to fit the metric-sized European standard stove outpipe.

This really comes down to personal preference.

An electric heater is considered more "user friendly" because once it is wired, it can be turned on/off easily. You can even use the delayed timer to have the heater get hot right when you arrive home or wake up! Electric heaters are definitely the most convenient option and are purchased more often with our saunas.

A wood-fired heater is a more traditional option and is perfect for anyone who was to take a sauna bath just like they do in Finland. The wood-fired heaters can also get to higher temperatures, so they are a good choice for anyone who likes it really hot!

If you would like to use a wood-fired heater, keep in mind that they take up more floor space than an electric heater. The wood-fired heater effectively uses up two spots in the sauna. So, if you have an 8-person sauna, using a wood-fired heater will turn it into a 6-person sauna (the heater is occupying two slots).

Yes! Visit our warranty page for detailed information on the warranties for our different products.

Shingles are optional, however, we do highly recommend that our customers purchase shingles to use with their barrel sauna.

The shingles will help protect your sauna's wood from the elements, keeping your sauna looking its best for longer than if the roof is exposed.

Additionally, the shingles help waterproof the sauna and prevent any water leaks. The sauna's wood will shrink over time and cracks can appear in your roof. Water can leak through these cracks if the sauna does not have shingles covering the roof.

Shingles can be easily added to your order by clicking the "Add to Order" button on the product page.

The 3 most commonly used accessories are (1) water bucket + ladle, (2) sand timer, and (3) hydrometer/thermometer. You will find these 3 accessories in almost every sauna and we highly recommend that you use them in your sauna as well!

In addition to these three, a very popular accessory is our adjustable sauna recliner as this allows customers to lie across the benches when taking a sauna bath.

Outdoor showers are also a popular option as taking a shower between rounds can be very refreshing and is great for your skin.

Redwood Outdoors offers these and a variety of other sauna accessories. Check out our "Accessories" section to learn more.

Definitely! It is customary in Finland to sauna naked.

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