How to Buy an Outdoor Sauna on a Budget: Tips and Tricks

An outdoor sauna can offer a serene escape and numerous health benefits. However, the expense of installing one may seem daunting. This guide will outline key strategies to help you own an outdoor sauna without breaking the bank.

Understand Your Sauna Needs

Before diving into purchase decisions, consider what type of sauna meets your needs and budget. There are mainly two types:
1. **Traditional Saunas**: These use a wood stove or an electric heater to warm the room. Prices generally range from $3,000 to $6,000.
2. **Infrared Saunas**: They use infrared heaters to warm your body directly. These tend to be more cost-effective, with prices starting from about $1,000 to $4,500.

Opting for a DIY Sauna Kit

One of the most effective ways to reduce costs is to consider a DIY sauna kit. These kits include everything you need, from wood, heaters, and insulation to benches and doors. By assembling the sauna yourself, you can save on labor costs, which can be significant.

Prices for kits vary depending on the size and type of sauna but typically range from $2,000 to $5,000. The process of building the sauna yourself can be gratifying, and there are plenty of resources available to help you through the setup process.

Choosing the Right Materials and Features

The choice of materials has a huge impact on costs. Cedar wood, for example, is traditionally used due to its resistance to moisture and decay but comes at a premium. Alternatives like hemlock, fir, or even outdoor-appropriate plywood can be more affordable and still provide durability if properly treated and maintained.

When it comes to features, basics are best if budget is your main concern. Extras like sound systems, mood lighting, or automated controls can significantly increase the cost.

Look for Deals and Discounts

Seasonal sales, closeouts, and discounts can make a big difference. Local dealers sometimes offer discounts on last year’s models, or during particular seasons. Additionally, shopping around for sales around major holidays like Black Friday or Memorial Day can also yield good deals.

Consider Pre-Owned Saunas

Buying a used outdoor sauna can also be a budget-friendly option. Platforms like Craigslist, eBay, or local Facebook selling pages are good places to start looking. Just make sure to inspect the sauna thoroughly for any signs of wear or structural damage that might compromise safety or performance.

Installation Considerations

Proper installation is key, not only for performance but also for longevity. Hire professionals if your DIY skills are not up to the mark, as poorly installed saunas can incur increased costs in the longer run due to materials’ degradation or the need for repairs.

Energy Efficiency and Long-Term Savings

Opting for an energy-efficient design and installation can save money over the sauna’s lifespan. Consider:
– Insulation: Proper insulation ensures less heat escapes, which in turn uses less energy.
– Heater Type: An appropriately sized heater is crucial; too large, and you’ll waste energy; too small, and it’ll overwork to maintain temperatures.


Purchasing an outdoor sauna doesn’t have to drain your finances. With careful planning, consideration of what type of sauna suits your needs, and a bit of elbow grease, you can install an outdoor sauna that fits both your home and budget. Remember, a sauna is an investment in your wellness and your property, so shop wisely to enjoy the benefits for years to come.