SaunaTime® blog


Make a Daily Escape from the Brutal Winter – The benefits of a home sauna or steam shower.

From conversations to Facebook and Twitter posts to the national news, the winter of 2013-2014 has been the most constant story of the season. Every state in the continental US has experienced a snow or ice storm, and this has more people longing for the heat of summer. For those of us with sauna or steam showers, we get to go on vacation at the push of a button.

While many people love heat bathing while on vacation or at the spa, they are unfamiliar with the advances in the sauna and steam industry that have made installation of heat bathing products easy to install and enabling a homeowner to install some saunas in as little as an hour and enjoying tropical heat minutes after the room is installed. Let’s review the types of heat bathing available and the approximate installation times and type of heat bathing environment created:

Traditional Sauna – 30 to 45 minutes for pre-heat, though some heat storing heaters have a room ready in 5 minutes.

Traditional saunas are available in a variety of options, from the Finnleo Passport series, designed to install in less than an hour with some plug-in models available, to exquisitely designed Designer series panel-built rooms which are assembled in 4 to 6 hours, and custom-cut rooms, which can be installed in a couple days. Most versions of traditional sauna have the option to add Infrared panels to create an infrasauna (more later).

Passport Saunas are an excellent option for homeowners and renters alike. Because the sauna is easily assembled and disassembled (with some plug-in designs), the sauna can be moved within the home or even taken with you should you decide to move. For those who are going to a cabin for a winter getaway, the Passport can be disassembled and taken to the cabin and used to warm-up after an afternoon of cross-country or downhill skiing or other fun winter activities.

Designer Series saunas capture the imagination and create an ambiance described by the name. Rooms like Reflections, Solace, Serenity, and Seaside were carefully designed to help elicit a sense of escape. Though these rooms generally take a few hours to install and require the heater to be hardwired, the craftsmanship and added amenities of the Designer series rooms are worth the investment.

Custom-cut saunas are ideal when a basement, master bath, or home gym is being finished, remodeled, or built. Because the custom-cut is built into the home, it requires a higher level of skill and generally requires a few days to install, but when finished, the sauna is customized to the exact needs of your home, utilizing every inch of available space, even in locations thought to be relegated to storage only.
View of Sauna from Steam Shower

Infrared Sauna – Though many bathers like to wait 10 minutes to have a warmer room to begin, an infrared can be used immediately.

S840 Over the last decade, infrared saunas have enjoyed a tremendous growth in popularity. The infrared sauna operates at a lower air temperature than a traditional sauna, but because it heats the body directly, a bather perspires as profusely as he does in a traditional sauna; however, unlike a traditional sauna, no humidity can be added to the room by using water.

Fueled by an increase in awareness of health benefits of heat bathing, infrared saunas received a tremendous boost when featured by Dr. Oz on the Oprah show several years ago. Besides the numerous health benefits, infrared saunas are ideal for people new to heat bathing who want a low temperature, easy to install room that is affordable and filled with amenities like radio and chromotherapy. Most prefabricated saunas can be assembled in less than an hour and plug into a standard 15 or 20 AMP outlet. Like the Passport rooms, the ease of assembly and use of standard outlets make infrared saunas relatively portable. For those interested in larger room or utilizing an unconventional space for infrared, custom infrared rooms are also available.

InfraSauna – Best of Traditional and Infrared sauna, without compromise


InfraSaunas are unique to Finnleo and combine traditional and infrared saunas into one room. Through our design and safety listings, we have developed a system that allows both types of heat to be installed in one room while ensuring only one heat source is utilized at a time. InfraSaunas can be installed in a variety of room styles, from Passport to Designer series to custom-cut, and they are ideal for families wanting to enjoy both types of heat but not wanting to have two separate spaces. For athletes, the InfraSauna allows them to use infrared as a pre-workout warm-up, and the residual heat from the infrared session can be used to speed the pre-heat time when the sauna is switched from infrared to traditional.

Steam Showers – Preheat is typically 10-15 minutes, though warm start greatly reduces this time

Woman in steam room

Steam showers are a great way to add heat bathing, especially to small bathrooms and homes because they utilize the same space as an existing shower. Like custom-cut saunas, steam showers require more labor to install, but the results are worth it. To install a steam shower, the shower must be fully enclosed with a tight sealing door and waterproof walls and ceilings. Additionally, some tile, plumbing, and electrical work are required, so this is a project that usually takes a few days, depending on how much work is required. When finished, the shower is transformed into a tropical rainforest complete with aromatherapy and the options of chromotherapy. When the steam shower is done, simply turn on the shower and rinse off without having to leave the warmth of the steam bath.

So…which one is best?

That is a matter of personal choice, because the best one is the one you will use. Each form of heat bathing will help you detoxify through perspiration and will help to reduce stress, relax, and induce a deeper, more restful sleep. When you are ready to start your daily vacation, contact your local Finnleo dealer to learn which one is best for you.

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