Whether you are buying a sauna for the first time or thinking to replace the old one, it is important to take expert advice. Because buying a high-quality sauna means you’ll have a stress-free and relaxed time. But if you end up with a low-quality sauna, then it will only be a waste of your money and time.
We all argue that having a home sauna heater is the best way to pamper yourself, especially on cold nights. So, if you are looking for the best and reasonable sauna heater, then you are reading the right sauna guide.
We have come up with the 11 best sauna heaters and we will discuss each product’s features, pros, and cons to help you choose the perfect one.
Types of Sauna Heaters
The three primary types of sauna include – wood, gas, and electric.
However, there’s another kind called “infrared sauna heaters“. Though, the major sauna societies, including the Finnish communities which is the sauna’s birthplace, do not recognize this trend.
We will address each one of these heaters in-depth and their respective pluses and disadvantages.
We have listed, measured, and reviewed 11 of the industry’s best sauna heaters in this report, and each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, without further ado, scroll down and learn more about sauna heaters in detail.
Traditional Sauna Heaters (Wood)
This sauna heater is easy to assemble because wood is burned to produce heat for an incredible sauna bath experience. The best thing about it is the scent of the wood, an adamant element in a sauna bath for sauna lovers.
There are high running costs for these home sauna heaters, although they may initially come cheap. Traditional sauna heaters are a perfect option to be kept in those areas where no electricity is found.
Although these heaters are unable to control heat production, the experience is always better than an electric sauna.
Many businesses outfit it with hot water tanks to double the user’s experience.
Gas Sauna Heaters
Gas sauna heaters are perfect for those areas with LP gas or natural gas in abundance.
As they are essentially designed for commercial purposes, they are mainly found in gyms, hotels, and spas.
Their high cost of original, operating, and maintenance makes them not very suitable for home use.
However, these saunas can turn out to be the most cost-effective alternative in commercial areas where 8-12 hours of regular heating is required.
Another big downside is the difficulty of installation and of routine maintenance.
You will need to have a trained technician, especially for its routine repairs to ensure its good condition.
Electric Sauna Heaters
Electric sauna heaters are the ones in high demand on the market, and there is a very compelling explanation for that.
They are inexpensive, easier to run and maintain. Apart from that, this type of heater offers a wide variety of phenomenal features and specifications.
For example, by programming it or controlling it from your mobile, you can skip the sauna’s waiting period to heat up. However, you must invest in a reliable electric sauna heater for this.
For indoor saunas, electric sauna heaters are the most appropriate. All you have to do is plug the switch in and wait to heat up the sauna.
The great downside of this type of sauna is energy consumption. Your electrical bills would significantly increase when using it.
Infrared Sauna Heaters
Infrared sauna heaters have completely different operating modes than the rest of the saunas that are mentioned above. Instead of heating the air around it, they directly heat the body.
Thanks to their reduced operating cost and simple installation, the infrared sauna heaters are rapidly gaining popularity.
Most of the time, the infrared heaters can be found from indoor saunas. It has a more intense performance in a low-temperature range.
Top 11 Sauna Heaters in 2021
Ideal For: 7-8 person sauna
The VEVOR 2kw sauna heater is a small device with an even smaller price tag! It’s our favorite low-budget option when you have a limited room to heat up. Just keep in mind that, at this price, it is not the most impressive. Because it takes time to heat the room especially if your place is big.
However, it has the same features as the leading sauna heaters, such as wall mounting, construction of stainless steel, and the start and dial controls for adjusting the timing and temperature control of the sauna. But the only problem with these types of heaters is that this model doesn’t have any sauna stones making it less considerable.
Theoretically, you can purchase multiple VEVOR sauna heaters to use, but we don’t suggest this method. If this heater is too small for your room, it’s smarter to get a higher-powered model for faster and more efficient performance.
Ideal For: 4-5 person sauna
One of the most appealing heaters you’ll find is the M3 wood-burning sauna heater. Its matte black unit comes with a glass door, covered with stainless steel panel and smoldering logs, so you can have an amazing steam experience when pouring water on it.
Installation of this sauna heater requires more preparation, from choosing an inflammable floor shape (tiles) to burning through wood logs to get the temperature up to where you need it.
The chimney components of this sauna are also included in Harvia, as you will need to connect the tubes to direct the smoke out of the room.
Among all the heaters which are mentioned in this list, we love this magnificent and beautifully designed wood-burning sauna heater due to its calming and natural aesthetic. Moreover, it is perfect and desirable for showing to the guests.
Ideal For: 7-8 person sauna
This TURKU model is your high-tech alternative to the amazing Finlandia model, which, given the price gap, is incredible! This outdoor sauna helps you regulate the sauna’s temperature from outside with the help of a digitally displayed sauna area.
It also has a tech side. If it senses abnormally high temperatures within the device, the overheating protection system automatically cuts the electricity. All credit goes to the ventilated unit nature and the coordination between sauna rocks and heating oils. That is how this electric sauna heater heats up very quickly (you can still sprinkle water on them for extra steam). However, overheating could be a problem with this sauna if you surpass the limitations. It is a fast and easy-to-use sauna heater once you install it.
Ideal For: 4-5 person sauna
Saying that Finlandia is a renowned brand for having excellent saunas wouldn’t be wrong. If you want to buy a high-quality and reliable sauna heater, then this is it. It’s small but strong, and for a lasting warmth, it involves all the requisite sauna rocks.
It is manufactured in Finland, following traditional techniques of sauna stoves, but made of state-of-the-art interior stainless steel and heating components. Built into the base of the heater, the controls are simple to use and allow you to pre-set the future heating start time several hours in advance. Just imagine spending a relaxing time in a sauna after having a tough day at work. Sound amazing, right?
Ideal For: 3-4 person sauna
This is the best sauna heater for you if you own an Aleko sauna, as the Coasts brand was built to be completely compatible with all of Aleko’s products. Rest assured that it is also compatible with other sauna brands for most small to medium saunas, as well.
By using the Aleko Coasts Sauna heater, you will feel more relaxed and pleasurable. So, if your concern is to stay green, we would recommend you to try out this amazing heater. Plus, this heater is certified for energy maintenance and preservation. Not only that, it has a built-in temperature control that cuts-off automatically, so in case anything goes wrong and the sauna overheats, it will starts shutting down itself.
Suitable For: 4-5 person sauna
The best electric sauna heater across the mainstream markets – Harvia Cilindro 7 heater. This model has grabbed the attention of almost every individual due to its outstanding and sensational specifications and operations.
This heater’s cylindrical shape is a significant break from the saunas on the market. Without losing heating power, the compact design helps it to save space. It can also hold stones of up to 200 lbs and needs minimal effort to service and run.
This model does not have timer control knobs and mechanical temperature regulators, but users can get a treat in the form of a digital controller.
The controller performs a similar role, but the use of knobs is more convenient.
In a nutshell, Harvia electric heater provides two kinds of steam.
- Soft Steam – In this type of steam the water is propelling on the sides.
- Extreme Steam – In this type of steam, the water is poured on the top.
Hence, Harvia electric heater is a win-win option for making your experience enjoyable and unforgettable. It is also an ideal steam sauna to be used at home.
Ideal For: 1-2 person sauna
The Turku Mini sauna heater has gained popularity due to its eye-catching and extravagant specifications. This phenomenal electric heater is a perfect selection for 1-2 person saunas. Furthermore, this type of heater is easier to install, operate, and maintain.
To run it, you don’t need any specific circuit or wiring. What you need to do is plug the switch in and you can use the heater. However, it will not run after an hour is passed.
Turku has taken particular care of it in all its goods as far as the built quality is concerned.
The construction of stainless steel is resistant to high temperatures and, in particular, corrosion.
The heated element coated with Teflon heats up the stones and eventually the sauna effectively, while the vents inside ensure the proper circulation of air.
It also consists of an installed safety mechanism, so if the sauna reaches intolerable extremes or the temperature is too high, the heater shuts down immediately.
Ideal For: 7-8 person sauna
This Tylo Sense model is one of the best sauna heaters for large sauna rooms and is ideal both for commercial saunas and home saunas. Apart from that, Tylo electric heater can heat up to 420 cubic feet of space efficiently, making it essential for even the most generous of saunas. Moreover, this model has been fortified with timer controls and integrated thermostats.
Tylo electric heater is protected by a thermosafe covering so that you can enjoy your sauna experience without any problems. All in all, the components and craftsmanship are so top-notch quality that you can be sure that your sauna stove can be enjoyed for a long time.
So, if you plan to shop for a sauna heater, which provides reliable operations, we strongly recommend you to go for the Tylo sense electric heater to make your sauna experience enjoyable.
Ideal For: 6-8 person sauna
Finally, if you think one that runs on a gas flame is the perfect sauna heater, then this one is for you. Up to 40,000 BTU can be reached by this super-efficient sauna stove using its liquid propane fuel. This gas heater is easy to operate and safe to use.
The most distinctive feature of the 240-Vico Ultra gas sauna heater is that it has an intelligent feature that can cut-out the power of the heater when it becomes agitated and over-heated. Moreover, due to the sturdy made body, Vico electric heater can withstand high temperatures. You should be assured for the long term that this one is very stable.
Ideal For: 5-6 person sauna
The Nature 9KW sauna heater is next in the line. People with large families must get this sauna as it is known for its heat strength.
The Coast sauna heater is very strong, as mentioned above. This 9KW, 240V sauna heater can easily heat up bigger places efficiently and effectively without any problems. It is capable enough to heat up a room with at least 450 cubic feet.
The durable and sturdy design of the Nature sauna heater helps the coasts to warm-up rapidly at a maximum of 194 F. Plus, due to its rigid design this type of electric heater is highly in demand for both industrial and residential purposes.
Heating components made of stainless steel are installed in the heater itself. These elements are highly efficient and offer the sauna a CE certification that saves energy. The inner tank is constructed from a high-temperature-resistant galvanized board. Besides that, the heater’s exterior is made of galvanized sheets coated with fluorocarbon.
In the Nature Sauna heater, you will find time and temperature sensors at the bottom of the radiator. Like most high-end heaters, it will automatically turn off itself when it reached its highest temperature. This feature is very useful and difficult to find in other regular electric saunas. Not only that, but this electric sauna has also been fortified with an external controller, which means you can organize and set the sauna before entering the room.
The last sauna heater we have on our list comes from a new brand, not the tested one – Finland, VEVOR, or Coasts but called Happybuy. This sauna heater comes with a unique sleek stainless design making it an ideal option to use for home or industrial purposes. Apart from that, this electric heater has an external controller which makes it a great option.
The Happybuy 9KW electric heater is asthenic and delicate. Although this heater is not highly-efficient, you have the same basic features such as dials, an external control pad for the wire to the wall, wall mount, stone-compatible sauna, and many more. It takes some time to heat up, so we will recommend it for smaller rooms that need to be heated at lower temperatures.
Buyer’s Guide Before Getting The Best Sauna Heater
This thorough shopping guide will help you to stay clear of making wrong decisions.
If possible, while you are searching for a sauna heater to buy, make a checklist of these features.
The most important factor to check when buying a sauna heater is to check how it is constructed. A good sauna is made of stainless steel as it is robust, sturdy, and resistant to rust.
The sauna’s size is mainly dependent on the people it is intended to use for.
The bigger the size of the sauna, the bigger the heater you’ll need.
- Type of Heat Source
There may be three separate heat sources for the heater, as discussed earlier: electricity, gas, and wood.
Choose whatever your preference is. Electric heaters are the most convenient and also the most efficient to use.
- Heat-up time
It takes more than an hour to heat the wood heaters, and they are challenging to maintain.
Gas heaters are ideal for commercial purposes, but they generally take more time to warm up the sauna. On the other hand, electric heaters usually take lesser time than other sauna heaters. Apart from that, they can be regulated.
And you can also miss waiting for 15-20 minutes until the sauna heats up.
- Capacity Stone
One way of calculating a sauna heater’s power is to find out the potential of its stone or rock.
To put it in simple words, the stone power means that the sauna heater is capable of heating up a specific equivalent of the weight of the sauna stones.
The more efficient a sauna heater is the higher its capacity.
The cost of sauna heaters primarily depends on their heating ability, the type of heat source, and its body.
The most expensive is gas sauna heaters, while the most economical are electric sauna heaters which are ideal for home uses.
Wood heaters can initially come cheap, but they have high operating costs.
There is no doubt that a worthy investment choice for home saunas is the electric sauna heater. All the manufacturing companies of luxury sauna heaters provide guarantees for their goods.
Spending a significant amount of money means that you should choose a sauna heater that comes with at least 2 years of warranty.
Typically, sauna heaters require manual assembly. In some circumstances, mounting the heaters involves specialized skills and expertise. Pre-assembly heaters should always be chosen when given a choice.
You usually get the programmability function with electric sauna heaters.
They also give users the ability to use a smartphone to monitor the sauna.
On the other hand, wood-burning sauna heaters provide tanks of hot water as an extra.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the ventilation arranged when an electric sauna heater is installed in the sauna?
Traditional or natural ventilation that uses the hot air’s natural flow. An inlet of fresh air under the radiator and an outlet high up on the opposite wall of the ceiling. This gives the floor and the lower benches a decreased temperature. It is usually used with heaters for wood burning, but it can be used for all heaters.
Forced mechanical ventilation is based on the fresh air intake right above the heater or above the heater in the cell. This gives the sauna a more uniform temperature. This ventilation technique cannot be used for Tylo Sense heaters as they contain traditional ventilation.
How to calculate the volume of the sauna when fitting an electric sauna heater?
Multiply the width and length by the height. After that, add the volume of cold surfaces, such as to measure the stone, and the surface of the glass is and then multiply by 1.5. The effect is a cubic meter, which you then add to the sauna’s volume. Pick the performance of a sauna heater according to the outcome.
Which is the best stone for sauna heaters?
You can always get to know about the best stone of the sauna heaters with the help of its manufacturer. For example, Tylo heaters suggest vulcanite mineral, which is ideal for the sauna heater and safe for this stone consistency. Always make sure to go through the instructions before buying the stone for the sauna heater.
Do I need to have stones in my heater?
Most heaters come with an optional characteristic of how many stones are appropriate for that heater. For your chosen heater, please see the technical specifications.
How often should I reset the sauna heater stones in regular use?
For stone resetting, you should adopt these rules.
- If you use the sauna once a week, reset the stones at least once a year. Similarly, if you use the sauna twice a week, replace the stones twice a year.
- When rearranging the stones, cracked and sand-surfaced stones are eradicated and substituted by new ones. Hence, it is essential to re-stack the stones regularly to allow the air to flow freely amidst stones.
- Check the stone compartment at least once a month and replace the stones if necessary.
How frequently should the stones in a sauna be swapped?
This relies heavily on how much the sauna is used. The stones should be swapped at least once a year if it is a private sauna. Good air ventilation is important to make sure the heater works appropriately and improves the life of the heating elements. Apart from that, it is suggested to examine the stone compartment at least once a week or twice a month.
What happens if I pour water on top of the heater?
You can pour water over the stones when your heater is hot enough to improve the sauna’s humidity. The water quantity that you pour each time on the stones will depend somewhat on the heater size. One scoop of water, 15 cl. or so, is perfect. If the water flows out of the heater’s rim, it means you’ve poured too much water, or it doesn’t make the stones hot enough.
What factors should I look for when my heater suddenly stops working?
First of all, check if the circuit breaker has tripped or the fuse of the heaters has blown. If that’s not the reason, the heater could have been switched off by overheat security. Tylö’s sauna heaters come with a temperature regulator at the bottom of the furnace built into the switch case. If there is some danger of overheating, it activates automatically. Always contact a licensed electrician to reset the temperature regulator if you can not reset it outside of the heater.
What are the supposed benefits of infrared saunas?
The supposed benefits of infrared saunas are almost similar to those of traditional saunas. These include:
- Relief from sore muscles
- Clear and tighter skin
- Weight loss
- Improved circulation
- Relief from joint pain such as arthritis
- Help for people with chronic fatigue syndrome
- Better sleep
Of all the heaters we have mentioned above, the most stylish and efficient is the Tylo Sense Sport 8 Sauna Heater.
It matches all the requirements of a good and reliable sauna heater. Tylo is known as one of the best and reliable brands for purchasing sauna heaters.
But the ultimate decision lies with you, though. Select what suits your requirements. Also, don’t forget to read the buyer’s guide mentioned above as it will help you to decide which sauna heater would be perfect for you in a long time. Choose wisely before making an investment.