How to build a barrel sauna?

If you are looking for a traditional sauna experience, look no further than a barrel sauna. These compact and efficient saunas are ideal for small spaces and can be built relatively easily with some basic carpentry skills. Whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor sauna, you can never go wrong with a barrel sauna. They are also cheaper and simpler to build than a traditional sauna, making them a great option for your next DIY sauna project. So if you are ready to build your very own barrel sauna, here is everything you need to know.

What are barrel saunas?

Barrel saunas are a type of Finnish sauna that is built in the shape of a barrel.

As the name suggests, these saunas are typically made out of western red cedar wood, although some models may also be made out of other materials such as plastic or metal.

It is a type of backcountry sauna that has been around here for hundreds of years.

They are very simple to build and don’t cost as much as the traditional saunas. Barrel saunas are beautiful and can add value and appeal to your home.

For example, a panoramic barrel sauna will give you a stunning 360-degree view of your surroundings and make your house look like a million bucks.

The most important thing to remember when building a barrel sauna is that it should be airtight so that no steam escapes. This will help to maintain the temperature and make sure that the sauna is effective.

What are barrel sauna kits?

Similar to any other type of sauna, you can buy a barrel sauna kit that will have everything you need to build your sauna.

The great thing about these kits is that they usually come with easy-to-follow instructions so that even beginners can put them together without any problems.

Additionally, most kits will include all of the necessary materials and hardware so that you don’t have to go out and buy anything separately.

How much does a barrel sauna kit cost?

Now when it comes to cost it depends on the size and style of the barrel sauna that you want to buy.

For instance, a small 2-person sauna will cost around $2000 while a larger 8-person sauna can cost upwards of $8000.

Of course, these prices can also vary depending on the quality of the materials used and whether or not you need to buy any additional accessories like a sauna door or a hot tub.

Depending on your preference, you can find a kit that fits both your budget and your needs.

Different types of barrel saunas

Here are some of the most popular types of barrel saunas that you can buy:

1. Infrared sauna

Maybe infrared saunas are a bit pricy but they come with a lot of features that make them definitely worth the investment.

These saunas use infrared light to heat the body directly without having to heat the entire room. This makes them more efficient and quicker to heat up.

Additionally, they are also said to be more effective at detoxifying the body and providing other health benefits.

2. Wood-fired sauna

Wood-fired saunas use a wood-fired heater to heat the room. These heaters are usually built into the wall of the sauna and use wood as fuel.

The wood-burning stove not only provides heat but also creates a more authentic sauna experience.

One of the benefits of these saunas is that they can provide a more authentic sauna experience. Additionally, the wood smell can also add to the relaxation. It might take some time to heat the room but it’s definitely worth the wait.

3. Electric sauna

Electric saunas are the most common type of saunas and they use electric heaters to heat the room.

You can find electric saunas in gyms, spas, and hotels. They are very easy to use and maintain and can be used indoors or outdoors.

The only downside of electric saunas is that they can be quite expensive to run since they use a lot of electricity.

4. Portable sauna

Portable saunas are great for people who don’t have a lot of space or who want to be able to take their sauna with them when they travel.

These saunas are usually made out of fabric and can be set up and taken down quite easily. They are also very lightweight and easy to transport.

The only downside of portable saunas is that they might not be as durable as some of the other types of saunas.

How to build a barrel sauna?

So now that we have covered the basics of barrel saunas, let’s get into how you can build your sauna.

Building a barrel sauna is not as difficult as it might seem. If you’re using sauna kits, then the instructions should be pretty straightforward.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose the location for your sauna

The first thing you need to do is choose the location for your sauna. It’s important to find a place where the sauna will be protected from the elements like wind and rain.

It’s also important to make sure that the location is level so that your sauna doesn’t wobble when you’re using it.

If you are building it outdoor, then you might want to consider putting it on a concrete pad.

2. Start with the floor

The next step is to start with the floor. If you’re using a sauna kit, then the floor should already be included.

If not, then you’ll need to build a wooden floor that is elevated off the ground. This will help to prevent moisture damage and rot.

You can use 2x4s or 4x4s to build the frame of the floor and then cover it with plywood.

3. Assemble the walls

Once the floor is done, you can start assembling the walls. Again, if you’re using a sauna kit, then the walls should already be cut to size.

If not, then you’ll need to cut the lumber to size and then assemble the walls using screws or nails.

Make sure that the walls are sturdy and that there are no gaps between the boards. The tongue and groove joints must be tight. Also, each bead and cove joint should be caulked.

4. Install the door

The next step is to install the door. Fitting the door is fairly simple. Just put the door in place and start nailing or screwing it into place.

Make sure that there is not any gap around the door so that heat can escape. You can use weather stripping to seal any gaps.

5. Install the heater

Depending on the type of heater you are using, the installation process will vary.

For wood-burning saunas, you’ll need to build a firebox and then install the stove. For electric saunas, you’ll need to wire the heater and then install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Most DIY kits include the necessary instructions for installing the heater. So make sure to follow those instructions carefully.

6. Install the accessories

The last step is to install the accessories. This includes things like benches, racks, hooks, and shelves.

Again, the installation process will vary depending on the type of accessory. But most of them can be easily installed with screws or nails.

Take your time and install all the accessories without damaging the wall and the floor.

7. Test it out

Once everything is installed, it’s time to test out your sauna. Start by heating the sauna to the desired temperature.

Then, step inside and see how comfortable it is. Make sure that there are no drafts and that the temperature is evenly distributed.

If everything looks good, then you’re ready to start using your sauna. Enjoy!


Building a sauna from scratch might seem like a daunting task. But if you take it one step at a time, then it’s not that difficult. Saunas are a great way to relax and unwind. And with a little effort, you can easily build your own sauna. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!