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The Complete Backyard Barrel Sauna Buying Guide for 2023

Did you know it has been scientifically proven that spending a good amount of time in the sauna weekly reduces the risks of heart disease and promotes long life? Better still, with a barrel sauna to keep in your yard, you will have easy access to a mini spa without stepping outside your home!

Yet, the decision to purchase a barrel sauna does not happen overnight, which is why this comprehensive buying guide is here for the rescue. 

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of barrel saunas, the factors to think about before investing in one, and the top five picks that we recommend.

Ready to dive in?

Barrel Saunas: Overview, Pros, and Cons

If you are not familiar with the concept of barrel saunas, just know that they are cabin saunas that come in the shape of, you guessed it, a large barrel sitting on its side. 

These days, barrel saunas are available for homeowners to purchase at a price point that’s lower than full-fledged indoor saunas and a bit higher than compact infrared saunas.

To further understand what you’ll get if you buy a barrel sauna, here are some pros and cons to give you the full picture of this nifty creation!

Pros

  • Enhances the aesthetic appeal of your backyard with its unique cylindrical shape and cozy-looking wooden exterior
  • The curvature of this sauna doesn’t let the heat settle at the top, which makes the circulation of the heat more efficient than a normal cabin-style sauna.
  • Heats up much faster than a regular sauna of the same dimensions.
  • Ready with different size options, ranging from two-person to four-, six-, and sometimes eight-person varieties.
  • Doesn’t require a foundation because it’s freestanding.
  • Typically simple to assemble and disassemble for moving.

Cons

  • The roofing might require an additional layer of wood or another material to prevent leaks.  Most of our options come with shingles or a rain cover to protect from this.
  • Most models on the market could use more weatherproofing despite being marketed for outdoor use.
  • Usually needs more insulation.

You can probably tell by now that even if it’s not perfect, a barrel sauna is packed with benefits that make it a good investment. If you’ve come to the same conclusion, well, it’s time to ponder a few key points before settling on a barrel sauna.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Barrel Sauna for Your Home

Because you shouldn’t purchase a barrel sauna on a whim, you must first consider factors like capacity, heating options, the type of wood used, and additional features.

Let us walk you through each one of these points so that you can make a well-informed decision about the best sauna to buy.

Size and Capacity

Ultimately, the right barrel sauna should cater to your needs when it comes to the number of people who’ll be using it.

If you live alone or just with your partner, a small two-person sauna should perfectly work for you. A sauna of this size can also be fitting for people who have limited space in their backyards.

Families of three or four could use a four-person barrel sauna, while larger families will benefit from six- or eight-person saunas. No matter which one you go for, always pay attention to the interior and exterior dimensions of the unit you’re interested in to ensure you have enough room for it in your yard or on your deck.

Heating Options

Next, decide whether your taste leans toward a wood-burning heater vs. an electricity-powered one. While each variety has its fans, one might be more suitable in a certain scenario than the other, so let’s tell you what to expect from these two heating options.

Electric heaters shine in several areas; they’re great for indoor as well as outdoor use, come with different power grades to suit small and large saunas, and give you more automation options. 

Still, keep in mind that these heaters need a licensed electrician for installation.

On the other hand, we like that wood-burning sauna stoves have a better ambiance and give off the same delicious, cozy vibes that you feel around a bonfire!

In addition, wood-burning heaters are a great option for larger saunas because their heat output is huge in comparison to their electric siblings. You can also install them without hiring a professional but remember that they will require you to purchase a chimney.

As for their downsides, it is worth noting that they are only made for use with outdoor barrel saunas so as not to jeopardize your safety indoors.

Type of Wood

After that, consider the type of wood the sauna is constructed from, as it’ll have a significant impact on the overall appearance. More importantly, different wood types come with various properties that could affect your experience as a user.

For example, many barrel saunas are made of cedar, which is the most popular type of wood you’ll find on the market for saunas. People like it because it has a lovely aroma, does not expand or shrink dramatically in hot and cold conditions, and even repels insects naturally!

The color of its grain is also a joy to look at, and it usually complements the aesthetics of outdoor space.

You may also opt for Nordic spruce wood, which is as durable as it is affordable. It has that lovely light color and tight knots that can take your home exterior to a whole new level of elegance!

Extra Features for More Convenience

If you can afford it, we advise you not to skimp on additional features that could make your experience inside your new sauna a more relaxing one.

Some of these useful add-ons include:

Top 5 Barrel Saunas to Calm Your Nerves Without Leaving Your House

Now that you have determined the general direction you want to go in, it’s time to look at our favorite barrel saunas that you can easily order at Nordica Sauna with just a few taps!

1. SaunaLife Model E8 Sauna Barrel (6-Person)

The SaunaLife ERGO-Series Outdoor sauna barrels were designed and engineered by sauna enthusiasts to be themost comfortable, durable, and attractive barrel saunas you can buy.  You can bring up to six people in, so there’s room for everyone! This remarkable barrel was designed for ergonomic sauna bathing experiences

The structure has a spacious 6’-5” interior height and is engineered for simple DIY installation (1-day, 2 persons). You also have a multitude of customization features, so you can choose to add a panoramic window and pick from different heaters according to your preference.

2. SaunaLife E6 Barrel Sauna (3-Person)

Looking for the best budget-friendly barrel sauna on the market without sacrificing quality materials and a solid build? We think you’ll like this one- to three-person sauna by SaunaLife!

Just like the six-person version, this beauty is made from Thermo-Spruce materials (lasts up to 2X longer than Cedar), has a great degree of insulation, and is an incredible sauna at great value. 

3. Dundalk Tranquility MP 6-Person Barrel Sauna

Handcrafted from Eastern White Cedar in Canada, the Dundalk Tranquility barrel sauna should be your go-to option if you want a stylish-looking structure that accommodates six people.

There’s so much to admire about this high-end sauna, starting with its tempered glass front to its back window that’ll make you feel like you’re taking a sauna bath in the arms of nature!

Better yet, you get to choose your heating type, so it caters to the needs of people who either want an electrical or wood-burning heating system. 

Our favorite thing about this sauna is that it’s a breeze to assemble thanks to the detailed instructions that come with it. You can easily put it together since the kit arrives with solid cedar cradles and aluminum bands that all come together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Sure, the Tranquility sauna is the most expensive on our list, but we think the price is fair because of the top-quality materials, large size, and customization options.

4. Dundalk CT Serenity 4-Person Barrel Sauna

If you’re looking for another premium barrel sauna at a somewhat lower price, you can go for this Serenity sauna by the same company. This one works perfectly for a family of four!

Just like its cousin, this sauna is made from Eastern White Cedar, and is a piece of cake to install. However, it’s different in that its front and back are not made of glass, which is ideal for people who prefer a higher level of privacy.

The door still comes with a small glass window, though, to allow you to keep an eye on your kids or pets as they play around in your yard without leaving your toasty spot!

You’ll also admire the lengthy list of accessories you can include in your order. Some of the items you’ll appreciate involve a bucket and ladle, electric light, a bottle shelf, outdoor solar lights, a backrest, a massage brush, and more.

5. Dundalk CT Luna 3-Person Barrel Sauna

Another amazing Dundalk creation is this Luna barrel sauna, which is designed to fit three people comfortably. It may be a great option if you want a middle ground between the Tranquility and Serenity models in terms of price, capacity, and features.

Yet, what makes it unique from the previous two is that its back and front are not round, they are shaped like a rounded square. That’s great news if you want a design that combines the straight lines of a square with the delicate curves of a circle.

For easy assembly, the kit features solid cedar floor joists, bevel siding, and the floor and walls.

Final Thoughts

Putting a barrel sauna in your backyard definitely adds an exciting element to your outdoor area, but it needs careful planning to ensure you’ve picked the right product for your needs.

To reap the many benefits of a barrel sauna and enhance your bathing experience, make sure that its size, heating options, wood type, and accessories are up to your expectations.

Then, browse our list of the top five barrel saunas at Nordica, and you’re bound to find the perfect choice just a few clicks away. Whether you go for the Dundalk CT Serenity, Dundalk Tranquility MP, Thermory Barrel 6-Person Sauna, or others, we’re sure you’ll enjoy your time inside each one and come out refreshed!

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