Home & Kitchen

Indoor vs. Outdoor Sauna: Which is best?

Having your very own sauna at home is a dream come true for many people. You get to relax, dae-stress, and detoxify in the comforts of your own home. If you’re planning to have a sauna installed, you may be wondering if an outdoor or an indoor sauna is right for you. Choosing one depends on the climate, your budget, and your space. In this guide, we’ll help you understand the different benefits and disadvantages of both.

Why an Outdoor Sauna is For You

An outdoor sauna might be for you if you have a big family. Outdoor saunas can accommodate larger numbers of people because outdoor spaces are typically larger than your bathroom, where an indoor sauna is usually installed. Outdoor saunas typically accommodate 4 adults at any given time, so there’s more freedom in terms of the size of your sauna.

If you live in a place with a moderate climate, then an outdoor garden sauna and Jacuzzi are ideal for you. This is because the weather in your area is rarely in the extremes: it neither gets too hot nor too cold, which helps to extend the longevity of your sauna. A Jacuzzi is also a great touch to an outdoor spa area. If you live in a place with tropical weather, a typical wooden barrel outdoor sauna will deteriorate faster. Frequent sun exposure can make wood crack, and long-term exposure to rain can cause molds and mildew, decreasing your sauna’s longevity.

And lastly, if you prefer a wood-fired sauna, then an outdoor barrel is perfect for you. Because you’ll be dealing with burning wood, there’s plenty of space for the smoke to vapourize. There’s no need to worry about your home becoming humid and smoke getting trapped inside your home.

Why An Indoor Sauna is For You

Now that you know the advantages and considerations of outdoor saunas, it’s time we discuss why an indoor sauna may be ideal for you. If there are only 1 to 2 people who will be using your sauna, then an indoor sauna is perfect. A bathroom is the best place to install an indoor sauna because, according to bathroom fitters, there’s instant access to electricity and water supply.

If you live in the tropics or an extremely cold climate, an indoor sauna will be free from the elements that can cause it to decay faster. With no exposure to direct sunlight and rain, you’re keeping your sauna safe and protected. It also allows for more privacy, whereas an outdoor sauna can expose you to curious neighbors. However, you’ll be needing good ventilation in your bathroom because the smoke from your sauna needs to escape. And if you don’t have proper ventilation, it will circulate inside your home, making the environment humid. You can remedy this by using a dehumidifier or by placing proper ventilation fans around your sauna.

Summary of the Benefits and Disadvantages of an Outdoor or Indoor Sauna

Outdoor Sauna


  • Accommodates more people since outdoor saunas can be large in size
  • Can be wood-fired, which is the most traditional type of sauna
  • No worries about adding humidity to homes


  • May need to have proper foundation
  • Access to water and electricity needs to be set up
  • Exposure to natural elements lead to faster deterioration

Indoor Sauna


  • No need for additional set-up of foundation or installation of water and electricity
  • Can use infrared or electric heat
  • Less exposure to natural elements, making it last longer
  • Privacy and Security


  • Tends to be smaller in size
  • Wood-fired saunas can make bathrooms humid

The Bottom Line

So is an indoor sauna better than an outdoor sauna? The answer depends on where your home is located, who’s going to use the sauna, your budget, and your personal preference. Some homeowners situated in very cold weather such as in Scandinavian countries love having outdoor saunas while in some tropical countries, indoor saunas are popular for the privacy they entail.

So take a moment to check your budget, your preferences, needs, and current house conditions to choose between having an indoor or outdoor sauna installed in your home.

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