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    Sauna Sizes For Home Use & Healing- Choosing The Best Size For You

    Are you thinking about getting a home sauna? Now is a great time to take care of yourself! Saunas promote relaxation, sweat out pollutants, calm fatigued muscles, and relieve tension. Who doesn’t need that?! This article will take you through what you need to do to have your very own home sauna.

    Building A Sauna

    First, decision: Indoor or outdoor? A closet or bathroom could be turned into a sauna. A home sauna can be installed anywhere with access to 120 volts for the heater or infrared lighting. Infrared or electric heating work best inside saunas.


    An outdoor sauna can be installed on an existing porch or deck or independently. Wood-burning or steam work best for outdoor saunas. 

    Types Of Wood For Building A Sauna

    Because saunas can reach temperatures of 150 degrees F or higher, the wood used should be flexible and resistant to moisture and heat.


    Cedar saunas are popular because of cedar's lovely aesthetic and anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and pleasant-smelling properties. Poplar and basswood are hypoallergenic and odorless. Hemlock is good and an affordable sauna wood.

    Does Size Matter?

    Sauna heaters come in a variety of sizes depending on the heater you want and how many people will want to use it at the same time. Most saunas have an upper and lower bench. The upper bench is usually 18 to 24 inches wide and 36 inches high; the lower bench is about 18 inches high.


    The average sauna is about 6 X 5 feet. A good rule of thumb is that for each person there should be 2 square feet of seat room. If you don’t like being, “boxed in” a great tip is to add a glass door. This can open up a sauna and let in more natural light.


    In private homes, saunas can accommodate one to four people, though two is most common. Traditionally, commercial saunas are much larger and can accommodate 6-12 persons.


    The most typical custom sauna arrangement is L-shaped, with two levels on each bench arm. An L-shaped layout is nice for groups and conversation.

    Sauna Dimensions

    The size and height of your sauna will determine how many people can fit inside, the heater's power capabilities, and where you install it. If you're considering constructing a new sauna make sure you have these decisions already made. Keep in mind that larger saunas take longer to heat and require more power to maintain.

    Temperature

    Consider the sauna's location first. Most single use saunas are 1.8m x 1.8m x 2.1m. This size sauna will fit a top and bottom bench and heater. The larger the room, the larger the heater you will need. 


    Height determines the effectiveness of the sauna. Because hot air rises, a high ceiling will make your heater work harder to keep lower levels warm. Underpowered gas and electric models may trip the emergency cut-off switch. Any ceiling higher than 2.1m (7ft) is wasted space. Smaller rooms make saunas more efficient.

    Pre-Sauna Planning

    Sauna makers provide detailed instructions on how to install the sauna and what is needed for set-up, such as the space, framing, insulation materials, etc.


    The sauna room's ceiling should be well-insulated. Use fiberglass insulation and an aluminum foil vapor barrier.


    Sizes of 1.5 to 15 kW heaters and 15 to 60 Amp breakers are common. Always follow heater instructions and hire an electrician. As part of pre-construction preparation, have an electrician check your breaker panel's power.

    Location

    Three variables decide the location of a home sauna: accessible space, proximity to a shower (existing or new), and closeness to a cooling down area. The most common sauna setup in the US is in a basement gym. Master bath suites are another popular and convenient location. Other options include a garage, converted spare bedroom, or completed or unfinished basement without a gym. Outdoor saunas are becoming more popular around pools, on pool decks, on patios, and in backyard landscape plans.

    Standards

    A sauna needs a smooth, level, and waterproof floor. Tile, concrete, or vinyl, (not carpet) work well. To maximize space and achieve a balanced temperature, sauna rooms should have a 6:4 wall-length ratio. Longer walls are preferable if you want swinging doors. If you enjoy laying down in the sauna, a 6-foot-wide sauna is ideal. The main top bench is usually placed along the sauna's longest wall. 

    Ventilation

    The sauna needs in-and-out ventilation. Ventilation is an often-overlooked sauna design aspect. A robust ventilation system ensures enough fresh air in the sauna, making it feel more open and comfortable and preventing lightheadedness.


    The air input (usually 4" x 6") should be around floor level on the heater wall (commonly just below a wall-mounted heater), and the outlet should be on the opposite wall just below the top bench.


    What Size Sauna Is Best?

    Home saunas can provide wonderful health benefits. They can even boost your home's resale value. Also, they require less maintenance than a pool or hot tub.


    After selecting to build or install an indoor or outdoor sauna, the first step is determining its size.


    A 2-person sauna is great for couples or those who wish to lie down during their sauna session.


    Traditional 2-person saunas are 4 by 4 feet and 6 feet high. 


    An indoor infrared sauna is usually about 40 by 48 inches. A 2-person outdoor sauna is closer to 48 to 60 inches.


    Saunas are ideal for entertaining family and friends. They boost the immune system, so it's a terrific method to cultivate healthy habits and protect youngsters and the elderly from disease.

    Home Sauna Selection:

    Choose a suitable sauna - Depending on your demands, either a regular or infrared sauna. Sauna heating methods vary. A typical sauna is heated using a heater covered with pebbles while an infrared sauna is heated using infrared light technology. 


    Decide where to put the sauna - If you want an outdoor sauna, you need one that fits. Measure where you want your sauna to be located to determine its size.


    Consider sauna users - Consider how many people will use the sauna to choose a sauna with enough bench space.


    Consider the sauna's wood - Different wood varieties are utilized to make saunas, so choose your favorite. Plywood, cedar, spruce, etc. are sauna materials. Most installers prefer cedar for shrink and split resistance.

    Dimensions:

    A personal sauna can be from 3x3 to 8x12 feet. Each person should have 2 feet to sit on. A glass door can open up a sauna and let in more natural light.


    Two-person saunas should be 4' x 6' to 5' x 7'. Sizes can go up to 12' x 12'.

    Where should a sauna be located in the house?

    Saunas can fit in most basements but if you are without one, try a shed, or deck. Any place with appropriate electricity for heat and sturdy flooring will work.

    Can a sauna be installed indoors?

    Great news! You don’t need permits for installing a prefabricated indoor sauna. All residential building rules still apply. There are some that install in as little as one day.

    Is a bathroom sauna possible?

    To construct a sauna in your bathroom, boost the water temperature and seal the area so steam may build up. Heat your water to 140 degrees Fahrenheit then turn it off to avoid burning yourself. Enjoy the effects. Some people like to do this and add eucalyptus or other herbs for a fragrant sauna experience.

    Where should my sauna heating unit be located?

    In rare cases, the heater may be positioned on a side wall near a door. Install the heater 170 mm above the floor, obeying minimum wall distance rules.

    How many people will be using it at home?

    Recessed lighting can be installed on a sauna's ceiling, wall, or bench. Because of their near-flush trim, stylish stainless steel fasteners, frosted glass lenses, and compact construction, home bathers and commercial facilities prefer recessed vapor-proof sauna lights.

    How many people will be using it at home?

    In private homes, saunas can accommodate one to four people, though two is most common.

    How long it takes to heat up?

    Traditional saunas heat in 30 to 45 minutes. Infrared saunas are ready in 10-15 minutes. 

    Benefits of Sauna Sharing: 

    • Build community and relationship
    • Reduce Stress
    • Boost immunity
    • Increase weight loss
    • Improve sleep
    • Revitalize skin

    Drawbacks of Sauna Sharing: 

    The microorganisms can cause fungal or yeast rashes, impetigo, and other skin illnesses. Showering after use is important.

    Infrared Sauna Benefits: 

    • People who suffer from sleep difficulties report better sleep after using infrared saunas. When you step out of the sauna and into cooler air, your brain releases more melatonin, the sleep hormone your body naturally makes. 
    • Infrared saunas are cooler than traditional saunas but have the same effect. Traditional saunas are 150 to 180 degrees F, while infrared saunas run about 120 to 140 degrees F. If you can't tolerate high temperatures but want the benefits of heat therapy, try an infrared sauna.
    • Infrared saunas have been demonstrated to reduce chronic and localized pain. It can relieve arthritis, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, muscle strains, sprains, and stiffness.
    • Sweating releases pollutants and toxins from pores. This happens in both standard and infrared saunas.

    Dr. Candy's Recommendations 

    For At Home Saunas

    I have had the pleasure of trying many different saunas. For my sauna therapy programs, I did in depth research into the operation and technology of home saunas. Depending on your medical needs, I have highlighted the features that bring a great experience and tons of health benefits. Check out my recommendations below for home therapy products and sweat your way to less pain and better health.

    Best Outdoor Sauna For Infrared Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for: autoimmune conditions, skin health, and boosting mental health
    • Designed by doctors for ultimate healing and fitness
    • Tough exterior and lifetime warranty protect your health investment & adds $ value to your home

    Health Benefits:

    • Relieves pain 
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Improves sleep and mood balance
    • Beautiful, glowing skin
    • Boosts the immune system

    Best Indoor Sauna For Infrared Sauna Therapy At Home

    HigherDOSE 2-Person Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for: Deep relaxation, boosting mental health, athletic recovery, autoimmune conditions, fast pain relief
    • Designed by doctors for ultimate healing and fitness
    • Powered by Clearlight(R) state of the art low EMF heaters

    Health Benefits:

    • Accelerated pain relief
    • Detox for liver and full body
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Boosts your immune system
    •  Decreases inflammation and swelling
    •  Boosts mood and improves sleep

    Best Cedar Infrared Sauna For Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for: Deep tissue/muscle relaxation, Foot and leg medical conditions, Removal of inflammation, Arthritis conditions, Back pain
    • Built with beautiful reforested Canadian red cedar
    • Simple clasp assembly

    Health Benefits:

    • Accelerated muscle recovery
    • Detox process helps reduce joint pain long term
    • Helps relieve stress and stabilize moods 
    • Promotes healthy sustained weight loss
    • Boosts circulation to brain and extremities
    • Decreases swelling and edema
    • Can help combat insomnia

    Best Mahogany Sauna For Infrared Sauna Therapy At Home

    Mahogany Clearlight® Sanctuary™ 2-Person Full-Spectrum Infrared Sauna

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Autoimmune conditions, Insomnia, Skin health, Tone and radiance, Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. 
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world

    Health Benefits:

    • Awesome energy all day
    • Relieves nerve and joint pain 
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Increased collagen production
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Improves sleep and mood balance
    • Beautiful, glowing skin with improved elasticity
    • Boosts the immune system to fight off colds and flu

    Best Hemlock Sauna For Infrared Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Headaches & migraines, Immune system conditions, Insomnia, Chronic pain, Hot yoga or exercise, Mental health and stress
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world
    • Roomy inside for multiple users, laying down, or stretching

    Health Benefits:

    • Decreased stress and anxiety
    • Fights fatigue
    • Improves sleep and mood balance
    • Awesome all day energy
    • Relieves joint pain and swelling
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Clears brain-fog
    • Increases collagen production
    • Boosts the immune system

    Best Basswood Sauna For Infrared Sauna Therapy At Home

    Basswood Clearlight® Sanctuary™ 2-Person Full-Spectrum Infrared Sauna

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Autoimmune conditions, Insomnia, Skin health, Tone and radiance, Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world

    Health Benefits:

    • Awesome energy all day
    • Relieves nerve and joint pain 
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Increased collagen production
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Improves sleep and mood balance
    • Beautiful, glowing skin with improved elasticity
    • Boosts the immune system to fight off colds and flu

    Best Barrel Shaped Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Chronic pain, Brain fog and mental performance, Autoimmune diseases, Arthritis (esp with stiffness), Depression and anxiety
    • Traditional barrel design for a European experience
    • Great for multiple people
    • Tinted acrylic dome window for a full view of nature
    • Tough exterior protect your health investment & adds $ value to your home

    Health Benefits:

    • Quickly relieves nerve and muscle pain 
    • Supports weight loss and healthy weight maintenance
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling of joints
    • Improves sleep and anxiety
    • Young looking firm glowing skin
    • Boosts critical immune function

    Best Corner Shaped Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for: Muscle cramps and tightness, Headaches & migraines, Strengthening your immune system, Chronic pain (esp nerve and muscle pain), Hot yoga or exercise, Relaxing your mind for better mental health
    • Corner shape fits out of the way in your home
    • Roomy inside for multiple users or stretching

    Health Benefits:

    • Reduces stress and anxiety
    • Fights afternoon fatigue
    • Improves sleep and mood
    • Plentiful all day energy
    • Relieves muscle and joint pain
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Clears brain fog, can improve memory
    • Healthy skin and cartilage

    Best L-Shaped Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    *Full L-shaped saunas are usually quite large, high quality saunas in this shape are usually traditional steam saunas since infrared technology would have a hard time heating up a large area. Infrared heating panels or lights can be added to any sauna system.

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Tight or sore muscles, Autoimmune conditions such as Lupus, MS, Hashimoto’s and more, Insomnia, jet lag, Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, Athletic recovery
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world
    • Packed with bonus features

    Health Benefits:

    • Awesome energy all day
    • Decreased nerve sensitivity
    • Increased circulation
    • Relieves nerve and joint pain 
    • Drain lactic acid from overworked muscles
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Quickly heal diabetic ulcers
    • Increased collagen production
    • Beautiful, glowing skin with improved elasticity

    Best Sauna Blanket - Higher Dose

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Tight or sore muscles, Relaxing after a hard day, Radiant skin health, Poor circulation in feet and legs, Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, Athletic recovery
    • Super easy to use
    • Exposed head and neck reduces chance of overheating
    • Luxuriously comfortable heat settings

    Health Benefits:

    • Sleep better, wake up refreshed
    • Maintaining energy through the whole day
    • Decreased nerve sensitivity
    • Increased circulation
    • Relieves nerve and joint pain 
    • Drain lactic acid from overworked muscles
    • Quickly heal diabetic ulcers
    • Beautiful, glowing skin

    Best One Person Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Removing inflammation, All autoimmune conditions, Insomnia, anxiety, depression, skin health, tone and radiance, weight loss, super fast pain relief
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world

    Health Benefits:

    • Relieve acute and chronic pain
    • Full energy all day
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Increased collagen production
    • Detox of liver and body
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Better sleep and stable mood
    • Stronger immune protection from bacteria and viruses
    • Youth-full, glowing skin

    Best 2-Person Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for: Boosting mental health, athletic recovery, autoimmune conditions, fast pain relief
    • Designed by doctors for ultimate healing and fitness
    • Powered by Clearlight(R) state of the art low EMF heaters

    Health Benefits:

    • Accelerated pain relief
    • Detox for liver and full body
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Boosts your immune system
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Boosts mood and improves sleep

    Best Three Person Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Headaches & migraines, immune system conditions, insomnia, chronic pain, hot yoga or exercise, mental health and stress
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world
    • Roomy inside for multiple users, laying down, or stretching

    Health Benefits:

    • Decreased stress and anxiety
    • Fights fatigue
    • Improves sleep and mood balance
    • Awesome all day energy
    • Relieves joint pain and swelling
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Clears brain fog
    • Increases collagen production
    • Boosts the immune system

    Best Four Person Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for: Deep relaxation, boosting mental health, fast pain relief, athletic recovery, autoimmune conditions (esp. Psoriasis, Lupus, Dermatomyositis, Vitiligo and Pemphigus)
    • Designed by doctors for ultimate health benefits
    • Infrared technology with little to no EMFs

    Health Benefits:

    • Fast and functional pain relief
    • Detox internal organ systems
    • Improved mindfullness
    • Promotes weight loss or weight management
    • Relaxed muscles
    • Better circulation
    • Boosts your immune system
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Boosts mood and improves sleep

    Best Five Person Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Sore or tight muscles, headaches & migraines (esp. tension or hormonal), strengthening your immune system, chronic pain and pain syndromes, hot yoga, stretching, or exercise, relaxing your mind for better mental health
    • Spacious design for team mates, family, or friends
    • Solid walls for insulation and seclusion
    • Tons of bonus features (bluetooth, chromotherapy, charging station)

    Health Benefits:

    • Reduces stress and anxiety
    • Break the cycle of daily fatigue
    • Sleep deeper, stay asleep longer
    • Balance your hormones
    • Relieves muscle and joint pain
    • Promotes weight loss
    • Clears brain fog, can improve memory
    • Reduce frequency of hot flashes

    Best ADA-Compliant Infrared Sauna For Sauna Therapy At Home

    What I Like:

    • Perfect for:  Removing swelling and inflammation, all autoimmune conditions, insomnia, anxiety, depression, infections or diabetic ulcers, detoxing after surgery or medication, pain relief (esp. joint and muscle pain)
    • Designed by doctors, used by high performing athletes all over the world
    •  Mobility ramp for safe sauna entry
    •  Wider glass door and removable benches make it wheelchair compliant
    •  Control settings from your phone
    •  Modern chromotherapy for mood and stress support

    Health Benefits:

    • Relieve acute and chronic pain
    • Full energy all day
    • Supports weight loss
    • Increased collagen production
    • Detox of deep body tissues
    • Decreases inflammation and swelling
    • Improved sleep quality
    • Stronger immune protection from bacteria and viruses

    Resources: 

    1. Daly, E. R., Talbot, E. A., Smith, J. C., Ritter, T., McCormic, Z. D., Fay, K., Raphael, B. H., Kozak-Muiznieks, N. A., Levinson, K. J., Bean, C. L., Wilson, R. T., Morse, D., Scacheri, A., Linxweiler, J., & Chan, B. P. (2022).


    2. Community outbreak of legionellosis associated with an indoor hot tub, new hampshire, 2018. Journal of Environmental Health, 84(10), 16-24.


    3. Hopkins, R. S., Abbott, D. O., & Wallace, L. E. (1981). Follicular dermatitis outbreak caused by pseudomonas aeruginosa associated with a motel's indoor swimming pool. Public Health Reports (1974), 96(3), 246-249.


    4. Yaşar, S., & Canıyılmaz, A. (2022). Effect of densification of heat-treated brutian pine (pinus brutia ten.) wood on some physical, mechanical and chemical properties. Turkish Journal of Forestry (Online), 23(4), 320-327. https://doi.org/10.18182/tjf.1181308


    5. Gunduz, G., & Aydemir, D. (2009). Some physical properties of heat-treated hornbeam (carpinus betulus L.) wood. Drying Technology, 27(5), 714-720. https://doi.org/10.1080/07373930902827700


    6. Podstawski, R., Borysławski, K., Clark, C. C. T., Choszcz, D., Finn, K. J., & Gronek, P. (2019). Correlations between repeated use of dry sauna for 4 x 10 minutes, physiological parameters, anthropometric features, and body composition in young sedentary and overweight men: Health implications. BioMed Research International, 2019, 7535140-13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7535140


    7. Ainiyah, N., & Martining Wardani, E. (2021). Implementation of diabetic foot spa and sauna bathing on quality of sleep and blood glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Jurnal Ilmiah Kesehatan, 14(1), 21-26.  https://doi.org/10.33086/jhs.v14i1.1750


    8. Laukkanen, J. A., & Laukkanen, T. (2018). Sauna bathing and systemic inflammation. European Journal of Epidemiology, 33(3), 351-353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-017-0335-y


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