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Sauna Types and Benefits: Which of the Different Types of Sauna is Right For You?

There are few better investments in your health, happiness, and home than a sauna. These are a great way to relax and unwind after a long day - and they deliver tangible benefits from detoxification to clearer skin, heart health, and more.

However, choosing among all the different types of saunas can leave you stressed out and overwhelmed. Which technology is right for you? Nordica Sauna is here to help with our comprehensive guide to the different sauna types and benefits for each one. Here’s the cliff notes:

  • Traditional Sauna: Uses high heat and low humidity to provide a classic sauna experience with profound relaxation and detoxification benefits.
  • Infrared Sauna: Utilizes infrared light to heat the body directly at lower temperatures with deeper penetration for muscle recovery and pain relief.
  • Hybrid Sauna: Combination of traditional and infrared saunas, giving you the flexibility to enjoy both high heat and infrared therapy.
  • Barrel Sauna: Designed for efficient heat distribution and a unique aesthetic, ideal for outdoor use and space-saving installations.
  • Steam Sauna: Generates moist heat through steam, promoting respiratory health and skin hydration.

We’ll offer more tips on choosing the right sauna style below based on your health goals, budget, space constraints, and more. 

But whether you want to buy barrel sauna, buy infrared sauna, buy traditional sauna, or even buy hybrid sauna, we have you covered. We’ve curated a collection of each style from the top brands in the industry and back them up with world-class customer service.

Want to save yourself time and just get a personalized recommendation? Take our sauna quiz below to eliminate all the guesswork of this decision, or get in touch with our experts today!

Try Our Sauna Quiz To Find Your Ideal Sauna Today


What are the Different Types of Sauna?

Let’s not waste any time unpacking all the different types of sauna technology and styles you have at your disposal. While each has its place, only one is right for you. We’ll help you uncover it below.

Traditional Sauna

Traditional saunas use electric or wood-burning heaters to produce high temperatures, usually between 150°F and 195°F. 

They’re known for their dry heat, though users can pour water over heated rocks to create steam for a temporary increase in humidity. This combination provides a unique, intense experience that many sauna enthusiasts find deeply relaxing and invigorating. 

One of the main advantages is the deep, penetrating heat that promotes intense sweating and detoxification. 

However, they require a longer heating time and consume more energy, leading to higher operational costs. Some users, particularly those new to sauna therapy, may find the high temperatures uncomfortable, too.

Traditional saunas can be a bit more expensive than some of the other sauna types we’ll unpack in this guide, but they’re still a great choice. We carry a variety of traditional style saunas from the top brands - start your search below:

Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas operate using infrared heaters that emit light which is absorbed by the skin to generate heat. They typically function at lower temperatures, between 120°F and 150°F, making them more accessible for those who find the intense heat of traditional saunas overwhelming. 

The key benefit of infrared saunas is the deep penetration of infrared light, which promotes detoxification and muscle relaxation at lower temperatures. 

This type of sauna heats up quickly and is more energy-efficient. They’re also more affordable upfront than their traditional counterparts. So if you’re balling on a budget, an IR sauna could be the perfect pick for you.

But, some users may miss the high heat and steam associated with traditional saunas, and the lack of high humidity can be a downside for those who enjoy a steamier environment. Nevertheless, we’re proud to carry a wide variety of saunas that fall under this category:

Hybrid Sauna

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have the best of both worlds with a traditional and infrared sauna? That’s exactly what a hybrid model offers.

These allow you to choose between high heat with steam and the penetrating warmth of infrared light. This makes hybrid saunas incredibly versatile, accommodating different preferences and needs within a single unit. 

As you can imagine, though, hybrid saunas tend to be more expensive than single-function saunas and require more complex installation and maintenance due to their dual systems. You can learn more about this type of sauna by browsing our different collections below:

Barrel Sauna

Barrel saunas are uniquely designed with a cylindrical shape that promotes efficient heat distribution and offers a distinctive aesthetic appeal. These are often used outdoors and are typically constructed from durable woods like cedar. 

The barrel shape not only enhances the sauna's visual appeal but also allows for quicker heating due to the reduced interior volume. This makes barrel saunas ideal for outdoor settings, and they often heat up more rapidly than traditional rectangular models. 

However, the interior space can be limited, and you’ll need a suitable outdoor area for installation. These saunas also tend to have less insulation, which can lead to quicker heat loss compared to more traditional designs. Similarly, they take longer to heat up, especially during winter when outdoor temperatures are frigid.

Still, they’re an excellent addition to any property - and we’re proud to present one of the most extensive collections online here at Nordica Sauna if this is the style you’re interested in:

Steam Sauna

Last but not least, we have the steam sauna. These create a high-humidity environment by using a steam generator, with temperatures usually ranging from 110°F to 114°F. T

Steam saunas are excellent for individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies, as the steam helps to open airways and improve breathing. The high humidity also promotes skin hydration and opens pores, leading to clearer, more supple skin. 

Just be aware that steam saunas need proper plumbing connections, which can add to the installation complexity and cost. They also require more maintenance to prevent mold and mildew due to the humid environment.

Some users may find the constant moisture less comfortable compared to the dry heat of traditional saunas. This is just a matter of personal preference, which is why it’s a great idea to try both dry and steam saunas to see which you prefer before actually investing in your own.

Which of the Sauna Types is Right For You?

You may already be leaning towards one of these sauna types - but if not, here are some tips on choosing among all the different types of saunas.

Health Goals

As we’ve just explored, there are different sauna styles and health benefits depending on your unique goals. For intense detoxification and cardiovascular benefits, a traditional sauna with its high heat might be ideal. 

On the other hand, if muscle recovery and pain relief are your primary concerns, an infrared sauna could be more beneficial. The infrared light penetrates deeply into muscles and tissues, providing therapeutic benefits at lower temperatures.

But those seeking support for respiratory health and skin hydration may be better off with a steam sauna rather than a dry sauna, as the moist heat helps open airways and improves skin.

Personal Preferences

Beyond your health goals, what you prefer plays a role in choosing the right sauna style too. Traditional saunas offer a classic experience with high heat and optional steam, ideal for those who enjoy a more intense and authentic sauna session. 

Infrared saunas, with their lower temperatures and direct heat, are perfect for those who find high heat uncomfortable but still want to enjoy the benefits of a sauna. 

Meanwhile, barrel saunas offer a unique aesthetic and efficient heat distribution, making them a good choice for those who appreciate outdoor saunas with a distinctive look.

Can’t seem to choose between one or the other? Hybrid saunas cater to varied preferences, providing the flexibility to switch between traditional and infrared heating methods.


In some cases, your budget will be the determining factor in which of the different types of sauna technology you can afford. Traditional and steam saunas can be more expensive to operate due to higher energy consumption and maintenance needs.

Infrared saunas are generally more energy-efficient and may have lower operational costs, making them a more budget-friendly option in the long run. The most expensive option is hybrid saunas, as you’re technically getting two different saunas in one.


Figuring out where you’re going to place the sauna will help you choose the right style, too. Some of the sauna types we’ve explored are considered an indoor sauna while others are better suited as an outdoor sauna.

Infrared saunas are particularly suited for indoor use due to their lower heat output and simpler installation requirements. In contrast, barrel saunas are designed for outdoor use, making them ideal if you have a suitable backyard or garden space.

No Matter Which Sauna Style You Prefer, Nordica Sauna Has the Best Selection Online!

Hopefully you have a clear understanding of which of the different types of sauna is right for you. The only thing left to do now is weigh your options at Nordica Sauna, where you’ll discover all the different styles from the most trusted manufacturers!

Whether you’re drawn to the classic heat of a traditional sauna, the therapeutic benefits of an infrared sauna, the versatile functionality of a hybrid sauna, or the unique design of a barrel sauna, we have the perfect option for you.

You gain access to all the top brands in the industry, including Almost Heaven sauna, Sunray sauna, Auroom sauna, and many more. Each of these brands has a reputation for consistently delivering top-tier products that stand the test of time. 

Our saunas are crafted from the finest materials, including eco-certified Canadian red cedar and natural reforested Canadian hemlock, ensuring durability and a luxurious experience. We offer customizable features like LED control panels, chromotherapy lighting, and ergonomic seating to enhance your sauna sessions. 

With our competitive prices, free shipping on orders over $75, and a comprehensive warranty, we provide exceptional value and peace of mind. Narrow your search below:

We’ve said this a few times already, but the best way to choose the right type of sauna is to simply get in touch with our helpful customer service team or take our intuitive quiz today. Why play the guessing game when you could leverage our experience to make the most informed choice?


Try Our Sauna Quiz To Find Your Ideal Sauna Today

Bringing Our Sauna Types and Benefits Guide to a Close

There you have it - everything you need to know about the sauna types and benefits each brings to the table. Choosing the right style involves assessing your health goals, personal preferences, budget, and placement needs. 

Whether you prefer the intense heat of a traditional sauna, the deep penetration of infrared, the versatility of a hybrid, the unique design of a barrel sauna, or the humid environment of a steam sauna, there's a luxury sauna waiting for you at Nordica Sauna.

Want help finding it? Don’t hesitate to get in touch or take our quiz to streamline the process and put all the guessing games behind you. We’re passionate about helping you elevate your lifestyle through sauna therapy, so don’t be shy!