Skip to content
✔️Best Prices - ✔️Manufacturers Warranty - ✔️Expert Support
✔️Best Prices ✔️Manufact. Warranty ✔️Expert Support
Free Shipping
Price Beat Guarantee
Live Customer Support
390+ 5-Star Reviews
Sauna Wood: Top Wood Types and Why it Matters - Topture

Topture would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen. Results of using our products vary on an individual basis and no immediate permanent or guaranteed solutions can be provided. We reserve the right to change, without notice, anything contained within the article. Topture shall not be held responsible for printing variations.

Sauna Wood: Top Wood Types and Why it Matters

The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Wood for Your Sauna

Welcome to the warm and inviting world of saunas—a space where relaxation meets detoxification, and where the choice of wood can make all the difference. In recent years, the popularity of home saunas has surged, with a notable 75% increase in sauna installations within homes across the U.S. alone (Sauna Times, 2023). This boom reflects a growing awareness of the health benefits associated with sauna use, from improved cardiovascular health to stress reduction. But as any sauna aficionado will tell you, the secret to a truly exceptional sauna experience lies not just in the heat, but in the heartwood of its construction. Choosing the right wood for your sauna is not just about aesthetics; it's about your health, comfort, and even the longevity of your sauna. Wood plays a pivotal role in how your sauna operates, how it smells, and how it feels. So, it's not a decision to be taken lightly. Whether you're a seasoned sauna user planning to build your own or a curious newbie embarking on your sauna journey, this guide is your one-stop resource for all things wood. Let's dive into the essence of sauna wood selection and discover how to make your sauna a sanctuary of serenity and health.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Wood for Sauna Construction

Choosing the right wood for your sauna is not just about aesthetics; it's about your health, comfort, and even the longevity of your sauna. Wood plays a pivotal role in how your sauna operates, how it smells, and how it feels. So, it's not a decision to be taken lightly.

Types of Saunas

Traditional Saunas vs Infrared Saunas

Before we jump into woods, let's quickly distinguish between traditional and infrared saunas. Traditional saunas use steam to heat the room, whereas infrared saunas use, well, infrared technology to heat your body directly. This difference impacts the type of wood you should consider.

Essential Qualities in Sauna Wood

Now, let's talk about what makes a wood ideal for sauna use. There are several key qualities you should look for:

Mold Resistance

Because of the humidity, you'll want a wood that doesn't invite mold to the party.

Water Resistance

Water splashing and sweat are part of the sauna experience, so water-resistant wood is a must.

Heat Resistance

Saunas get hot (surprise!), so the wood needs to withstand high temperatures without warping or fading.


You want your sauna to stand the test of time, so choosing a durable wood is crucial.

Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties

To keep your sauna hygienic, opt for wood with natural antimicrobial properties.

Cool to Touch

The wood should be comfortable to touch, even when the sauna is hot.

Lack of Knots and Saps

Knots can be uncomfortable to sit on, and saps can melt, causing a sticky mess.

Recommended Wood Types for Saunas

Let's break down some popular choices:


Poplar is the VIP of sauna woods, especially for those with chemical sensitivities. It's hypoallergenic and has been the go-to choice for health clinics worldwide. Though it's on the pricier side, its benefits for detoxification and tolerance make it a top pick.


Hemlock is a bit of a mixed bag. It offers a traditional wood-sauna experience with a visually defined grain and a nice odor. However, it's not recommended for the chemically sensitive.

Western Red Cedar

Cedar is a classic sauna wood, known for its ability to withstand wet conditions and repel insects. However, it emits a strong odor that can be irritating to those with chemical sensitivities.


Basswood is a budget-friendly option that tries to mimic Poplar. It's not the best choice for those with sensitivities due to its peculiar odor and potential to cause genetic damage.

Spruce / Pine

These are the most affordable but come with their own set of issues, including a strong scent and potential for allergic reactions.

Pod Saunas

Our True North Pod Saunas come in different Wood Types

Additional Considerations

When selecting wood for your sauna, also think about:

Aesthetic Appeal

Wood adds a luxurious touch to your sauna, enhancing its overall look and feel.

Tolerance to Heat

Different woods react differently to heat, so choose one that maintains its integrity and doesn't get too hot.

Suitability for Wet Saunas

If you're building a traditional sauna, pick a wood that can handle the moisture.

Natural Aromatherapy

Some woods, like Cedar, naturally emit a pleasant aroma, adding to the therapeutic experience of your sauna.

True North Saunas outdoor saunas

True North Outdoor Saunas are available in multiple wood types

Sauna Quiz

Sauna Wood FAQs

Cedar vs Hemlock: Which is Better?

Cedar is more robust and durable, making it a preferred choice for many. Hemlock has its charm but isn't as sturdy.

Is Cedar Safe for Saunas?

Yes, but it might not be the best choice for those with chemical sensitivities due to its strong odor.

Can You Use Pine in a Sauna?

You can, but it's not ideal for high-temperature saunas due to its tendency to have knots and potentially burn the skin.

What is the Most Affordable Sauna Wood?

Spruce (part of the pine family) is the most budget-friendly option, though it comes with its own set of considerations.


Choosing the right wood for your sauna is a critical decision that affects not just the sauna's aesthetics but also its functionality and safety. Whether you're leaning towards the hypoallergenic Poplar, the traditional Hemlock, or the classic Cedar, ensure it meets your needs in terms of durability, heat tolerance, and chemical sensitivity. Remember,

the best sauna experience is one that's not just relaxing but also safe and healthy. Happy sauna building!

Previous article Do You Burn Calories in a Sauna?
Next article Infrared Sauna Temperature: A Comprehensive Guide

Other Blog posts

Have a Look at our Best Sellers

Lowest Price Guarantee
Full Manufacturer's Warranty
No Sales Tax
Free & Insured Shipping

(lower 48)

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare