Skip to content

Wood for Your Sauna: A Brief Guide

Thinking of building a sauna? You might want to consider your choice of wood.

Of all the variables that should be considered before building a sauna, the choice of wood is most important.

But how should you go about it? What type of wood is suitable for building saunas? And what are the qualities you should look out for in the wood for building a sauna?

In this blog, we will answer these questions and guide you into buying suitable wood for your sauna solution.

But first, let’s understand the type of sauna you are looking to build.

The Type of Sauna (Traditional vs Infrared)

Traditional saunas and infrared saunas employ different heating methods. Therefore the choice of wood should also be different.

Traditional saunas use steam to heat the cabin and help us sweat. A traditional sauna has a bucket of rocks that are heated using wood, fire, or an electric heater. When these rocks are heated, the temperature rises.

A traditional sauna also has a bucket of water and a ladle to sprinkle the water over the rocks. This helps produce steam and cool down the rocks for a while, thus maintaining an ideal temperature.

An infrared sauna, on the other hand, mimics the sun. They use infrared lights to heat up your body directly instead of heating the air around you.

We are mentioning this because the heating method determines the choice of wood for the sauna.

For traditional saunas, you want the type of wood that can withstand heat and moisture. For traditional saunas, you want the type of wood that enhances your heat sessions and can manage the high temperature.

Now that we have understood the requirements for traditional and infrared saunas let’s take a look at the qualities you should look out for in your choice of wood.

What Qualities You Should Look for in Wood for Sauna

There are several types of wood available in the market, each with its unique characteristics and strengths. Let’s look at the most desirable characteristics you need in the wood for a sauna.

Mold Resistance

While traditional saunas offer dry heat, they can still reach a humidity level of up to 45%. So, you need to choose a wood that can withstand humidity without giving in to molds or any other issue associated with regular humidity.

For infrared saunas, humidity and mold resistance wood are not that essential as they heat up the body directly.

Water Resistance

As we mentioned earlier, traditional saunas have water to be poured on rocks for steam generation. Water may often splash across the wall or spill on the floor. Moreover, you will also be sweating in a sauna, and you don’t want the wood to absorb all the moisture.

Make sure to choose a water-resistant wood for your traditional sauna.

Heat Resistance

This goes without saying that the wood you choose needs to be heat resistant. The temperature in traditional saunas can reach up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a wood that can withstand a high amount of heat over prolonged periods of time without discoloring or degrading in quality.

Infrared saunas don’t heat up to such high temperatures. But it’s always better to use heat-resistant wood for assured safety.

Looking for such infrared sauna wood?
Our list of cedar for sauna also has the best wood for infrared sauna.
Previous article Questions and answers about saunas
Next article Sauna use can increase your athletic abilities