Updated April 2023
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Almost Heaven Saunas Huntington 6-Person Traditional Steam Sauna in Cedar
Almost Heaven Saunas
Huntington 6-Person Traditional Steam Sauna in Cedar
Check Price
Premium Choice
Bottom Line

This modern-looking canopy barrel sauna features comfortable seating for multiple people while boasting a stunning vista window.


Crafted from all-natural cedar wood with a natural finish. The two seating benches can accommodate six people comfortably. Electric heat system with 220V output reaches a maximum temperature of 195 degrees F. Large vista window to enjoy outdoor views.


Quite expensive and requires a few hours of assembly.

Best Bang for the Buck
Almost Heaven Saunas Watoga 4-Person Traditional Steam Sauna in Cedar
Almost Heaven Saunas
Watoga 4-Person Traditional Steam Sauna in Cedar
Check Price
Bargain Choice
Bottom Line

This simple barrel sauna is reinforced with stainless steel for a reliable seal, ensuring that you reap the maximum benefits.


Engineered to provide all the holistic benefits with a tightly sealed foundation. Two to four people can fit with ease. Maximum temperature of 195 degrees F. Has two benches for sitting or reclining. Cedar material is rust-, corrosion-, and mildew-resistant. Can be placed indoors or out.


Few reports of challenges with temperature control.

Thermory 4-Person Outdoor Traditional Steam Sauna
4-Person Outdoor Traditional Steam Sauna
Check Price
Classic & Simple
Bottom Line

Made for outdoor use, this smaller sauna is a simple choice for up to four people to relax and detox in.


Constructed from Europe's finest Nordic spruce wood and treated to be moisture-resistant, preventing rotting and wear and tear. Spacious interior features a height of seven feet. Thermo-Aspen benches are 24" deep for ultimate comfort. Designed to be self-assembled by two to three people.


Very costly compared to some other high-quality options.

Dundalk Knotty Cedar Panoramic Outdoor Sauna
Knotty Cedar Panoramic Outdoor Sauna
Check Price

More stores

Best Value
Bottom Line

An outdoor barrel sauna made from 100% knotty red cedar featuring several configuration options.


You can choose between a traditional wood-burning heater or a modern electric heater, and you can also add a porch or a changeroom to give it an elegant look. The base model fits up to four people, but at an additional cost, you can upgrade it to accommodate up to six or eight people.


While it helps protect the unit, some individuals are not fans of the shingled design.

BZBCabins 8-Person Barrel Sauna Kit
8-Person Barrel Sauna Kit
Check Price
Rustic & Relaxing
Bottom Line

This outdoor barrel sauna has a premium build and is excellent for large families as it can accommodate up to eight people.


It has an ample changing room and a sauna room, and you can opt for a Harvia M3 Wood Burning Heater or Harvia FLB60 Heater. Stones and everything else required for assembly are included.


It's more expensive than other models.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

Category cover

Buying guide for Best barrel saunas

The first time you entered a sauna, chances are you were on vacation. After that, you may have joined a gym or pool club just so you could keep experiencing that invigorating rush. Believe it or not, you don’t have to go on vacation or be a member of an exclusive club to reap the benefits of a little heat therapy.

A barrel sauna is an ingeniously designed backyard structure that can transform your home into a luxury resort. If you are unfamiliar with the barrel sauna, it is exactly as it sounds: a huge barrel lying on its side with a door, two benches, and a heat source inside. 

To learn about the potential health benefits of owning a barrel sauna and what you should look for when shopping for one, keep reading. If you would like some quick recommendations for a quality barrel sauna, consider the hand-picked products we spotlight here.

barrel sauna1
Never used a sauna before? The first time you step into your barrel sauna, don't stay in for longer than five minutes.

Key considerations


Of course, you will want a barrel sauna that can hold the number of people you intend to invite into your sauna. Barrel saunas hold anywhere from two to eight people, depending on the model. Another point to consider is whether you intend to lie down in the sauna. If so, you’ll need a bit more room per person. Barrel height can be an issue if you are a taller individual. Note that as size goes up, so does the price.


If you do some investigating, you will discover a plethora of lists that recommend the best woods for hot tubs and saunas. While recommendations vary, you will without exception find some kind of red cedar topping each list. Red cedar naturally resists insects and moisture (rot) and may last as long as 15 to 20 years. Plus, it provides a level of insulation superior to brick, concrete, and steel. Notably, red cedar can be expensive.

Heat source


Wood heaters provide low humidity levels and have the added feature of a pleasant aroma. If there is no electricity, this is your only option. It is important to realize that the temperature of a wood heater is unregulated, and the fuel can be expensive.


Electric heaters offer high temperatures and low humidity. This type of heater is affordable and easy to operate and maintain. It may offer benefits not found in other types of heaters: for example, some electric heaters are compatible with smart devices. The downside is that your energy bill will go up a little.


For the typical home, gas is an undesirable option because installation is complicated and the purchase, operation, and upkeep costs tend to be prohibitive.


Infrared heaters do not heat the air in a sauna; they heat the individuals in the sauna. While this emerging heating solution is currently considered safe, studies have shown that prolonged exposure to infrared light waves can permanently damage the eyes.

While it may not be true that Finland has more saunas than cars, the Nordic country does have an incredible number of saunas. Even the Burger King located in Helsinki features a sauna.



Bench type: A wide variety of bench types are available in barrel saunas. They range from simple, horizontal slats to ergonomically designed benches with back support. If you prefer to lie down in your barrel sauna, make sure the bench you choose can comfortably accommodate that position.

Door: The door is another area where you may have a wide selection of choices. Anything from solid wood to glass is available. Choose the door that best suits your comfort level when it comes to privacy.

Changing room: Finding a barrel sauna that has a changing room is rare. You will likely only discover this feature on a large, high-end model.

Front porch: If you want a place to sit and relax away from the heat, look for a barrel sauna with a front porch.

Accessories: Most barrel saunas come with all the accessories that you need. However, there are items that may not come with your purchase, such as a water bucket, ladle, thermometer, or foot rests. If you want these accessories, make sure they are included. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase them separately.

Hooks and shelves: Hooks to hang robes or towels and shelving to house personal items might not seem like a big deal, but if you purchase a barrel sauna without them, you might be slightly less happy.

Window: If your outdoor space has a beautiful view, you may want to consider a barrel sauna with a window. Even if you don't have the best view, a window can help some people feel a little less claustrophobic when stepping into a barrel.

Décor: While the inside of your barrel sauna will be sparse, the outside can feature anything from flower beds to lights. Some models disguise the barrel shape to make it look more like a cabin than a barrel.

barrel sauna2
Extreme temperature changes can be invigorating, but if you have cardiovascular issues, jumping into cold water after being in a sauna can be extremely dangerous.

Barrel sauna prices

Inexpensive: At the lower end of the price scale, from $5,000 to $6,000, you can get a smaller sauna that may comfortably fit two to four people. At this price, there won't be many extra features.

Mid-range: From $6,000 to $9,000, you will find slightly larger saunas that fit up to six people. Models in this range may have ergonomically designed benches and windows that provide a view.

Higher-end: While barrel saunas can cost over $20,000, those in the $10,000 to $15,000 price range are considered high-end models. These may be large enough to fit eight people and will be customizable, allowing you to choose precisely which elements you'd like to have.

Even when you become a sauna pro, experts recommend limiting your sessions to a maximum of 15 minutes.


Benefits of using a barrel sauna

  • Relaxation: When your body reacts to the heat of a sauna, it also can deliver a feeling of elation.
  • Pain relief: As your blood vessels dilate, blood flow increases. This can help relieve sore muscles and provide comfort to individuals with minor body aches.
  • Potential health improvement: A few studies suggest that sauna use can actually improve heart function in some individuals. However, it is vital to remember that before engaging in this activity, you must first get the okay from your doctor or cardiologist. A study performed in Finland concluded that frequent sauna bathing (up to seven times a week for several years) was linked to a reduced risk of stroke.
  • Social rewards: Spending time alone in an intense environment can have a bonding effect on individuals. The people you choose to invite into your barrel sauna can quickly become your best friends (if they weren't already).
  • Better sleep: After an invigorating sauna bath, levels of endorphins decline, making you feel relaxed. This peaceful feeling can help individuals drift off more easily and receive a deeper, more restful sleep.
barrel sauna3
While it can take three people as little as five hours to assemble a barrel sauna, it might be best to set aside an entire weekend with friends to get the task done.


Q. Why would a sauna be made of a barrel?

A. The shape of a barrel sauna eliminates a great deal of unused air space (the corners), which means the temperature can heat up quickly. The rounded ceiling helps push rising hot air back down, which can keep lower areas of the sauna hotter than they are in other designs.

Q. What happens to your body in a sauna?

A. The temperature in a barrel sauna can climb as high as 170º Fahrenheit. When you step inside, your skin temperature immediately starts to rise. Your body moves into cooling mode, doing everything it can to lower your skin temperature. Your blood vessels dilate, your heart starts pounding, and you begin sweating. All of these functions combine to produce a feeling of elation.

Q. Are there any dangers associated with using a sauna?

A. Yes, there are several risks associated with using a sauna, so it’s important to be cautious and talk to your doctor before using one. A few of the risks include dehydration, a drastic change in blood pressure, reduction in sperm count (for men), and elevating your core body temperature above safe levels.

Q. Can a sauna help me lose weight?

A. Unfortunately, any weight loss you experience from using a sauna is temporary. As you sweat, you lose fluid weight, which will be rapidly replenished as soon as you eat or drink. The best way to permanently lose weight is to eat right and exercise.

Q. Is using a sauna a good detox method?

A. While some evidence suggests that sweating helps remove heavy metals and some harmful chemicals, such as BPAs and PCBs, from the body, the purpose of sweating is to keep your body from overheating. The liver and kidneys are the organs responsible for detoxifying your system. Notably, the liver and kidneys are also two organs that can be damaged by heat.


Our Top Picks