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The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Garden Saunas: Traditional vs Modern Designs


When it comes to relaxation and wellness, saunas have stood the test of time. From ancient practices to modern spa experiences, saunas have offered comfort, health benefits, and a sense of tranquility. Nowadays, the luxury of enjoying a sauna isn’t limited to public facilities or gyms; you can experience it right in your backyard with outdoor garden saunas. But with so many styles, technologies, and designs available, choosing the right one can be daunting. In this ultimate guide, we aim to provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision, particularly focusing on the differences between traditional and modern outdoor garden saunas.

The Timeless Appeal of Traditional Saunas

What is a Traditional Sauna?

A traditional sauna, often known as a Finnish sauna, uses a stove to heat up rocks, which then radiate heat to warm up the space. The air is dry, with humidity levels ranging from 10-20%. You can pour water onto the rocks to increase humidity momentarily, allowing for a “steam shock.”


Traditional saunas have a long history, with roots in Finland dating back over 2,000 years. The dry heat promotes relaxation, better sleep, and various health benefits such as improved circulation and detoxification. The ritualistic elements of a traditional sauna session can also add a cultural and spiritual dimension to the experience.


While the designs may look rustic, traditional outdoor garden saunas require proper maintenance to keep them in top condition. This includes keeping the wooden interiors clean, inspecting the heater and stones, and performing regular safety checks.


The Rise of Modern Saunas

What is a Modern Sauna?

Modern saunas utilize newer technologies like infrared heaters instead of traditional stoves and stones. Infrared saunas heat the body directly rather than warming the air around you. This results in a lower overall temperature but achieves similar sweating at a quicker rate.


Modern saunas offer the benefits of convenience and lower operating temperatures. The infrared technology allows for faster heating, which means less waiting time and lower energy costs. Many people find the direct heat more comfortable and the design often sleeker, fitting well in contemporary homes.


Modern saunas usually require less maintenance compared to their traditional counterparts. With fewer mechanical parts and no need for a water supply, they are often easier and cheaper to maintain.


Traditional vs Modern: The Pros and Cons


Initial setup costs can vary widely, but traditional saunas generally cost more upfront due to the need for a robust heater and quality stones. However, modern saunas usually require a dedicated electrical circuit, which can add to the installation costs.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy usage, modern saunas are generally more efficient due to quicker heat-up times and lower operating temperatures. This could lead to lower electricity bills in the long run.

Health Benefits

Both types offer similar health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, stress relief, and skin cleansing. However, traditional saunas provide the added benefit of humidification, which can be beneficial for respiratory issues.


When it comes to installation, modern saunas are generally easier and quicker to install. Traditional saunas often require more planning, especially for elements like ventilation and electrical wiring.

Customization Options

Whether you prefer a rustic, traditional look or a sleek, modern design, customization options are plentiful for both types. From wood choices to lighting and sound systems, you can tailor your sauna to fit your personal style and needs.

Making the Decision

When it comes down to choosing between a traditional and a modern outdoor garden sauna, it’s ultimately about personal preferences, lifestyle, and what you aim to get out of your sauna experience. If you value a historical, time-proven ritual with a higher heat range, a traditional sauna may be for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a convenient, lower-maintenance option that fits seamlessly into a modern lifestyle, a modern sauna could be your best bet.

Final Thoughts

By understanding the key differences between traditional and modern saunas, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision that suits your needs and enhances your well-being. Remember to consider factors like initial costs, ongoing maintenance, and what health benefits are most important to you. Whichever you choose, make sure to explore the quality outdoor garden saunas we offer, designed to meet a variety of needs and lifestyles.

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