Saunas are a calming and rewarding experience. Visiting it routinely has compounding health benefits such as an improved immune system, increased cardiovascular health, better skin, and could prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Combined with their relieving of sore muscles and joints, it’s no wonder why more and more people use them. Regardless, you may have wondered if it’s safe to install one in your home.
Putting a sauna in your house is safe, however, it needs to be installed and wired correctly. You may also need to vent it depending on the type of sauna and the location. It’s always best to have a professional install and wire it to ensure that everything is up to code.
Having a sauna at home gives you more flexibility to use it whenever you want to. They are a great alternative to saunas at spas and health clubs for those that live busy lives. With indoor and outdoor sauna kits becoming increasingly available, their affordability and ease of installation are improving as well. Continue reading this detailed guide to learn how to use a home sauna safely, where to put it in your home, and the top at-home saunas on the market.
How to Safely Use a Home Sauna
Saunas pose a very minimal risk to your home. They are entirely safe and are installed inside and outside many residential homes without any issues. To use your at-home sauna safely, you should follow the same type of precautions that you would with a public sauna, like in a health club.
Since the sauna is in your home, you might be more inclined to use it more frequently and for longer stints of time because of the ease of access. Here are some of the precautions you should take in your in-home sauna:
- Limit the time in the sauna – If saunas are a new thing for you, limit your first handful of visits to just 5-10 minutes and slowly increment up to 20 minutes stays at the maximum (more on sauna safety in our guide).
- Limit your amount of visits – You can use the sauna twice a day or more, but don’t go hog wild until your body is acclimated to multiple visits
- Use after exercise – staying in the sauna has the same effect on your body as light exercise, to stay nimble for your workout and avoid injuries use the sauna after hitting the gym
- Don’t let your children in it unsupervised – kids six and older can use a sauna but should always be supervised shouldn’t spend more than 15 minutes inside
- Stay out if you’re sick – your body is under enough stress when ill, recover first if you’re sick
- Avoid if you have high blood pressure – saunas can negatively affect those with high blood pressure; talk to your doctor if you have concerns
- Don’t mix alcohol and sauna use – alcohol dehydrates your body, as does the sauna by making you sweat – to avoid injury, don’t “drink and sauna”
- Always hydrate – Always drink plenty of water before and after each sauna session (and during if you wish)
Do you Need to Vent an Indoor Sauna?
A vent in your electric or infrared sauna is not necessary. There will be plenty of air circulation through the door and the heater, so there’s no chance you would suffocate. However, installing a small vent to circulate more air and make it less stale doesn’t hurt.
The vent should be installed on the back wall of the sauna further from the door. You can have an exhaust fan installed in the vent, just a simple grill vent for passive ventilation, or a vent with a slider that you can open or close.
If you have an indoor sauna, you should vent it into your home instead of the outdoors. This is to prevent the backflow of outside air into the sauna. If you are worried about the sauna heating your home or increasing the humidity, you shouldn’t.
Saunas are designed to heat tiny spaces and are insulated well, and they have very low humidity – ranging from 10-30%. As such, they won’t change the indoor climate of your home at all. Note: if you have a wood-burning sauna, you definitely need a vent. There’s always an upper ventilation system that exhausts the smoke into the outdoors.
Where Should You Put a Sauna in Your House?
If you are installing a pre-made sauna kit in your home, the best spot for it would be near a shower, pool, or your home gym. People often enjoy showering and cooling off in the pool right after their sauna session, while others like to go in the sauna after hitting the gym. You’ll also want to pick an area in your home with plenty of space and not an inconvenient or odd location.
For example, you probably wouldn’t want your sauna in your living room or dining area. Some common installation places in homes include the master bathroom, home gyms, basements, and pool houses as well. If you plan to install a sauna in your yard, opt for a place that’s level and close to the door or your pool. Closer to your house is easy to get access to adequate power if you’re installing an electric heater.
Lastly, if you don’t have the floor space or the money for a whole at-home sauna, you can use a blanket or portable sauna instead. These space savings alternatives are great, low-cost ways to get all the same benefits that full saunas provide.
Best Saunas for At-Home Sauna Use
If you’re interested in adding the luxury of a sauna to your home, the marketplace is rift with options. There are low-cost, portable options all the way up to complete, outdoor 8-person sauna kits available. Here’s a list of the best at-home saunas available today:
- Budget options
- 2 to 3 person infrared saunas
- Barrel outdoor saunas