If you’ve seen my sauna reviews before, you now I’m a stickler for details. And when it comes to outdoor infrared saunas, the biggest thing is the elements. You’re asking an independent structure to perform like a house, but people don’t realize most indoor saunas are un-insulated.
This also creates a problem with most infrared saunas, because the sauna itself will always be fighting the ambient temperature of the outdoors.
Bottom line: only buy an outdoor sauna that was built to be an outdoor sauna.
This means you need an actual roof (not a cover), insulated panels, and enough power on tap so it doesn’t take hours to preheat. (especially if you live in a northern climate)
The #1 Outdoor Infrared Sauna
- If you happen to be looking for an indoor sauna, you’re in the wrong place. Check the list of Certified Saunas for that.
- All Clever Leverage readers can use coupon code “matt-justice-500” to get $400 – $600 off your sauna purchase. See the sauna sale page for up date discount details.
The Best Outdoor Infrared Sauna Designed For The Elements
Clearlight Jacuzzi makes the best outdoor infrared sauna on the market. It comes pre-designed with a complete roofing system, so you never have to worry about water seeping in like in a barrel sauna without an additional pergola roof kit.
Both the Sanctuary 2 and 4 – 5 person models, have insulated panels for fast preheat times no matter the temperature outside, and also feature Clearlight’s patented low emf heaters.
- iOS/Android Smartphone Control (optional).
- Medical Grade Chromotherapy Included.
- Bluetooth/MP3/Aux Audio with USB charging connection.
- Distinctive door handle/smartphone cradle for easy media viewing.
- Recliner/Flat bench
- Reservation mode so you can set your sauna to turn on up to 36 hours in the future.
- True Wave carbon/ceramic low-EMF far infrared heating technology on the back wall, side walls, and in the floor and our low EMF full spectrum front heaters.
- ELF shielding with the lowest ELF levels in the industry.
- Flawless “furniture grade” cabinetry with thick double pane glass.
- Beautiful unique design.
- Comprehensive 5 year warranty on the sauna cabin and Limited Lifetime Warranty on the components and heaters.
- Easy Installation (normally about 90 minutes).
- Much More…
Clearlight Sanctuary 2 Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna
- 2 Person Model Details
- click here, then be sure to select 2 Person Outdoor on the menu to see dimensions and specs
Clearlight Sanctuary 4 – 5 Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna Model
- 4 – 5 Person Model Details
- click here, then be sure to select 4 Person Outdoor on the menu to see dimensions and specs
The Only Outdoor Sauna Designed For Snow, Rain, & Sun
This is the only outdoor sauna model lineup I know of, where I haven’t heard of Northern climate customers complaining about the sauna preheat times.
Usually, barrel sauna owners, shed sauna owners, etc… all typically complain about how long it takes the sauna to heat up. Most of those saunas are board on board, without any insulated panels separating your sauna cabin from the elements.
These outdoor infrared saunas fix that, with heat emanating from all four sides around you, it doesn’t take nearly the temperature to start giving you a good detox sweat even in snow.
Beware Of The “Best Rated” Outdoor Saunas Listed Elsewhere
Another reader sent me this screenshot, and asked if this sauna would be a good outdoor unit.
This is an indoor sauna, being sold as an outdoor model without a weatherproof roof. There is no way this will last in the elements, it doesn’t matter how you cover it. It’s not built to handle moisture, and will never heat up in a cold climate because the panels aren’t insulated at all.
These 2 Person Indoor Saunas Being Marketed As Outdoor Saunas, Are A Scam
Some websites just don’t care if they have accurate product info at all, so long as you buy! Shame on them.
P.S. – how do I know this for sure, even though there is a happy girl in the photo?
I bought this sauna.
Here’s my review.
You Can’t Simply Slap A Cover On It And Call It “Good” In The Elements
Some sauna companies sell outdoor sauna covers, that supposedly will protect your sauna from the harsh sun and elements.
Trouble is, these people selling this stuff, have obviously never lived up North.
No Sauna Cover Is Going To Fully Protect Your Indoor Sauna
If I took my sauna cover off, heated up my sauna, and then sat in there during the middle of winter, there would be so much snow on top of it by the time I got done, that I’d be getting a ladder to shovel it off just to fit the cover back on again!
You Want An Outdoor Sauna With A REAL ROOF!
No I’m being funny here, because the reality is the sauna would begin to melt the first layer of snow while I’m sitting inside, that would leak down through the plain wooden roof, and most likely short out the electrical before I would even be done with my sauna session.
All kidding aside, do not put an indoor sauna outside in a northern climate. It will not work. (literally, without insulation, it’ll never heat up.)
The Only Other Alternative Is A Barrel Sauna
I really like the idea of a barrel sauna. So much so, I almost ordered one for my grandmother’s cabin in Maine. I love the idea of sitting in the woods in my barrel, and enjoying a nice hot sauna session in the middle of winter.
However, I figured that the barrel design itself, could support as much snow as mother nature could send her way. (generally arches can carry a large weight load because of the way they distribute it)
I started looking around, and was pretty much settled on an Almost Heaven barrel unit. I just assumed that the wood would be pretreated to handle the outdoors, until I came across this review that stopped me in my tracks…
Almost Heaven Barrel Sauna Review (Without Roof Kit)
Review by NBMK On Costco.com
I got this sauna installed 4 months ago. I did 2 coats of stain so that the outside of the sauna is protected. After the first rains, the sauna had a lot of water coming in from the top and since we were out of the country for few weeks, the water ended up staying in and eventually mold grew. The manual does say that it may need tightening after first rains. So I did that and waited for the next rains. Same story repeated. This time I reached out to the customer service (which is excellent). They said some water can creep in and that it should not drip a lot. She also mentioned that they do have a solution for the case it does happen. They sell a roof kit which is supposed to stop the water from coming in (for cases like mine). The fact that they sell a separate product for this implies that water can come through on some saunas. They were nice and they sold me the roof kit for a discounted price. So the wife and I installed the roof kit last week. When I was installing it I realized that the felt sheet that they provide does not cover the entire top and suspected that it may not do the job correctly. In addition the kit itself (which is wood slats + felt sheets) does not cover the entire top half of the sauna. After this weekend’s rains, the story repeated. It dripped very little from the top. But it leaked quite a bit from the sides. So the problem is essentially half-solved. To prevent mold growth, every time rain comes, I have to turn on the heater for a couple of hours to ensure the insides is not wet. I would have given this a 5 star rating for the customer service and the sauna itself. But this water leak problem and the fact that I have to pay attention to the sauna when I am not using it is not acceptable for me. When I discussed this costco, they were generous enough to say that I can return it. But I spent a lot of money on getting it installed (including electricity hookup) and also further amount for the roof-kit. At this point, I am stuck with this.
Build A DIY Shed Roof Over My Sauna?
I thought about building a pergola or pole barn style shed roof over whatever sauna I ordered. It isn’t much in materials, but then I realized I’m still not doing anything about the temperature difference in winter.
The sauna is going to be fighting the ambient temperatures outside every time I turn it on, so anything I can do to insulate my barrel sauna would drastically reduce the preheat time.
That said, I’m basically buying a sauna to place inside a second structure I have to build. By the time I get done with all the aggravation of all this DIY stuff, I’ll probably be pulling my hair out wishing I could plug and play even if it costs a bit more.
(I realized I’m have to assemble the sauna on the foundation, before putting up the final wall and roof on. If I ever had an issue with it once it’s done, well…. good luck.)
After horsing around with more DIY sauna shed ideas, I settled on it wasn’t worth the aggravation when I can get something like this already built.
Slab, electrical, and I’m done.
(one of the biggest things I like about these infrareds, is the windows and view you get all across the front, just more comfortable all the way around)
Careful Of Outdoor Sauna Reviews Masquerading As Carbon Indoor Infrared Saunas
A blog reader recently sent me this to ask if I thought these would be good cheaper alternatives to the higher end outdoor saunas.
This is a screenshot of what I saw when I looked at the link for the saunas being marketed as outdoor from Sears.
The Wood Will Warp, Paneling Will Crack, And You’ll Be Wishing You Bought An Outdoor Infrared Sauna From The Get Go
These 2 Person Indoor Saunas Being Marketed As Outdoor Saunas, Are A Scam
Not only are these saunas usually really high EMF, they are also nothing more than an infrared sauna. No roof, no water protection, no insulation, should I keep going? This will end just like the Costco customer review above…. these saunas do not have a protective coating on the outside to make the wood last, even if they’re covered.
Buyer beware, you only cry once for quality.
Clearlight Jacuzzi Outdoor Sauna Pricing
For pricing with shipping to your local area, you will want to call and check current delivery times: 1-800-317-5070 ( I would recommend asking for Jen, she’s super sweet and easy to work with)
You want to make sure you’re all lined up with 220v service if you need it, and be sure you’re through either placing your outdoor sauna on your existing patio, or having a brick paver/concrete pad poured for it if necessary.