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5 Tips to Select an Outdoor Sauna

With easier installation, home saunas are no longer a rare luxury.
With easier installation, home saunas are no longer a rare luxury.
Photo courtesy of Saunatec

Saunas are standard equipment in gyms for their muscle-relaxing heat. Luxury hotels laud the end-of-day-unwinding qualities. And if movies are to be believed -- and why not -- they're also excellent places to seal a business deal.

The Finns have likely been tossing water on sizzling rocks for heat, health, community and ritual for millennia, and for good reason. Sauna treatments can help ease muscle aches, stress and tension, and often leave bathers feeling clear-headed and refreshed. Many people even credit saunas with alleviating conditions ranging from anxiety and depression to arthritis and skin issues.

Once a rare luxury, the home sauna has been picking up in popularity due to lower prices and simpler installation. Outdoor saunas, less expensive than indoor versions and easier to integrate into existing spaces, are in especially high demand.

If you're in the market, you'll find there are various structures, sizes and heating types to choose from, and it can be a bit confusing if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. Here, some tips to help you choose the right outdoor sauna for your particular wants and needs, whether you're going permanent or portable, single-seater or party-ready, traditional Finnish or infrared.

And the first, very important tip is: Make sure you're actually allowed to put one in.