Choosing The Best Type of Wood for your Sauna


In the past, people would prefer to choose luxurious materials for their sauna because of their quality and to avoid the risks of maintenance. But from the last few years, wood is getting popular for building a sauna. Not only because of its aesthetics but also it gives an antique and natural touch to the whole design making it pleasing to the eyes.

Almost 90% of the sauna is made up of wood including roof, floor, walls, and benches. So, you should be careful while choosing a sauna wood. Here we have discussed some popular woods along with their characteristics that might help you to choose the best wood for your sauna.

10 Best Wood for Sauna

Western Red Cedar

It is also known as Pacific Red Cedar. It is a coniferous tree that is famous for its evergreen nature. This wood type has a rich pleasant aroma. It the reddish in color due to which is called Red Cedar. The color of this wood makes the atmosphere of the sauna appealing and enhanced. It could be a great choice as a sauna wood as it does not secrete any resins. Also, it can withstand the high temperature of the sauna and does not gets overheat. Moreover, it is water repellent which is great to be used in the sauna.

Canadian Hemlock

This wood is from North American coniferous trees. In some places, it is also called the eastern hemlock. This wood has soft with a light brownish yellow color which makes it well suited for the walls of the sauna. It is highly durable and knot-free which doesn’t allow it to wrap easily. Also, it has the ability to disseminate heat equally throughout the sauna.

Common Aspen

This tree can be found in Asia, Europe, and North Africa as well. It belongs to a deciduous family with a smooth texture and light color. This wood type is ideal for the sauna because it does not secrete any resins. It is widely used for sauna benches as it does not gets overheated. The texture can give an exquisite touch to the interior of the sauna.


Some people do not adore the particular scent of the wood. For them, basswood can be a perfect choice. The Basswood has a hypo-allergic property and suits well to people with sensitive skin. The color is light and has a very soft texture without any rough patches. It has high durability due to which it doesn’t wrap. Besides these benefits, Basswood is highly affordable. So, if you are looking for quality on a tight budget, basswood can be a perfect choice for you.


Eucalyptus is a popular wood that has been used for cabinets in the kitchen for centuries. It has the capability to grow faster which makes it affordable. It has no fragrance and is highly durable which makes it a good choice to be used as sauna wood.

Black Alder

Black alder also called common alder is found in Europe, Northern Africa, and Southwestern Asia. It is also used as sauna wood as it has the characteristics to repel water and do not overheat. It has great durability as it belongs to deciduous trees.


Poplar is the most popular wood used for the sauna. It has a smooth appearance and is pale yellow in color. It is widely used for sauna internals and benches, as it does not, gets overheat, and does not secrete any resins. Due to its warm and cozy look, it gives a luxurious touch to the walls of the sauna.

White Ash

It is also called American Ash. It is a deciduous tree that is mostly found in North America. When thermally modified, it turns to a beautiful brown color. It is durable and luxurious at the same time. It can be a great choice if you are looking for something fancy to decorate your sauna.


Due to their strong odor, these woods are used as framing for the saunas. They are inexpensive and durable as well. They have knots that can bend the wood at high temperatures. This makes them less reliable due to which these woods are not highly recommended.


In some places, the magnolia is also called the tulip tree. It has a very delightful appearance of golden and creamy color with a cast of dark patches. Magnolia can be usually found in North America. With the characteristics like durability, delicate texture, and low density, this wood is highly recommended for sauna use. Also, due to its darker hues, it gives a very luxurious finish to the internal atmosphere of the sauna.

Why Choose a Wood for Sauna?

Although there are many materials like glass wool and rock wool that can be used for building a sauna. But wood is the most preferred choice due to the following reasons:

  • The aesthetics of the wood can give a classic and luxurious atmosphere to the sauna at the same time. It makes a person relaxed and provides and a calming environment that is more close to nature.
  • You do not have to worry about selecting different materials for walls, benches, floors, and roofs. This all can be done with a single material by using a plank of high-quality wood.
  • Wood can be used simultaneously for both building and decorating purposes.
  • Wood is highly durable and increases the longevity of the sauna.
  • It is natural and does not involve any toxic materials or chemicals.

Final Thoughts

Now, you are not only familiar with the types of the sauna but also the characteristics of those woods that make them a better choice as sauna wood. Do not go for the cheaper options with low quality because high-quality wood can last your sauna for decades.

Also, try to choose something hypo-allergic, as there are greater chances of bacteria penetration in the sauna so it can create problems for people with sensitive skin. Lastly, heat absorption is a very important point as the wood has to bear high temperatures all the time. Try to go for softwoods as they are not only good with heat absorption but can soak steam as well.

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