17th April 2024

Guide to Wood-Fired Saunas: A Timeless Classic

It’s undeniable – the idea of relaxing in a sauna is alluring to many people. All the warmth, the quiet, and the simplicity of the experience speak to our deep-rooted desire for tranquility and rejuvenation.

Wood-fired saunas, also known as wood burning saunas, offer a unique blend of rustic charm and natural therapy. It’s one of the many things that sets them apart in the world of modern spa treatments. It’s also why wood-fired saunas hold a special place in our hearts, even with all our years in the sauna business.

But what is a wood-fired sauna exactly and what makes it so great? This article will tell you everything you need to know about the oldest type of sauna existing today.

A wood-fired sauna is a traditional form of sauna that gets its warmth from the heat of burning wood. It’s a great way to honour the saunas from days gone old, before all the hustles and bustles of modern life.

Unlike modern saunas which use technology like electricity or infrared, this type of sauna uses a wood stove. You burn the wood inside the stove and place the stones on top of it. The heat will go up to the stones, which will then radiate warmth throughout the entire sauna.

The result is more natural and authentic, which is a huge draw for hardcore sauna enthusiasts. Plus, the act of adding stones and wood makes for an almost ritualistic experience.

Wood Fired Saunas

What Is a Wood-Fired Sauna?

Benefits of Wood-Fired Saunas

More than just its traditional charm, wood-fired saunas also have plenty of other benefits. Here are just some of them:

Great for your health

Saunas, in general, offer a lot of physical and mental health benefits. This includes better blood circulation, enhanced cardiovascular functions, and improved mental well-being. There’s even evidence to suggest that regularly bathing in a sauna reduced the risk of future psychotic disorders in males.

And if you’re interested in starting a workout routine, you’ll also benefit from the positive effects of saunas for post-exercise recovery.

More eco-friendly

Wood-fired saunas are more friendly to the environment than saunas that use modern technology. With a wood-fired sauna, you won’t have to rely on electricity or other fossil fuels. After all, wood is a renewable fuel source. 

This makes it a good choice for those who lead an eco-conscious lifestyle and don’t want to further add to their carbon footprint.

Genuine sauna experience

Wood-fired saunas are an ode to simpler times. There’s something inherently comforting about the crackling of a wood fire and the earthy scent of its smoke, don’t you think?

The sensory experience that one gets from something like this simply can’t be matched by anything the modern world can offer.

Wood-Fired Sauna vs Other Modern Saunas

Wood-fired saunas are just one of the many different types of saunas that you can get for your home. Here are three other ways to heat up a sauna.

Steam Saunas

Also referred to as Hammams or Turkish baths, steam saunas use hot steam to warm up the body. The moist warmth they provide is great for hydrating the skin, but on their own, they can’t reach the same temperatures as a wood-fired sauna.

Electric Saunas

Electric-powered saunas get their heat from electricity. They heat up quickly, making them convenient for those who have busy lives. That said, without the sounds and the aroma, they don’t have the authentic feel of a wood-fired sauna.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas involve the use of heating lamps to warm the body. They still offer the same benefits as regular saunas, but the experience is wildly different.  

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Wood-Fired Sauna

It can be super exciting to select the perfect wood-fired sauna for your home or business. Let’s get to know the various factors you need to consider when choosing the best wood-fired sauna for you.

Sauna Size

How many people will be using the sauna? Will it fit in the available space that you have? Also include the space needed for maintenance or access?
Heavenly Saunas offer three size options for our wood-fired saunas, the 4-person Essex, the 6-person Seneca, and the 8-person Lewisburg.

Sauna Location

Will the sauna be indoors or outdoors? A wood-fired sauna is typically sold for outdoor use.

There’s more to consider when setting up a wood-fired sauna indoors, specifically, you need to ensure the area has proper ventilation because wood-fired saunas emit smoke. It’s similar to a Coonara whereby a flue is installed to emit smoke.

Sauna Material

What’s the material the sauna is made from? Here at Heavenly Saunas, we use premium Western Red Cedar and tempered glass for our wood-fired saunas to make sure that they can stand the test of time.

Heating efficiency

Is the stove good quality? How’s the insulation of the sauna?

A well-insulated sauna with an efficient stove like the Harvia M3 we use for our wood-fired saunas will heat up faster and retain heat longer.

Our wood-fired saunas are popular with customers who live off the grid or by customers who have solar power but on limited/small solar batteries.

Safety features

What safety features are included in a wood-fired sauna?

Here at Heavenly Saunas, our wood-fired saunas have a durable chimney included to ensure good ventilation. The doors are also easy-open to prevent accidentally overheating.

It’s important to check safety features when comparing products.

What We Love About a Wood Fired Sauna

We love the authentic and traditional wood-fired sauna. There’s just something about the mesmerising crackle of the fire and the gentle, soft heat even at a high temperature.

We truly believe it’s THE ultimate traditional sauna experience.

Final Thoughts

So, is it time to heat things up and unwind in a wood-fired sauna?

Wood-fired saunas are an amazing choice for sauna enthusiasts looking for an authentic and unique experience. Whether you're looking to unwind after a long day, boost your health, or simply enjoy the warmth of a traditional sauna, a wood-fired sauna could be the perfect addition to your health and wellness routine.

If we’ve sparked your Interest in getting one for yourself check out our range of wood-fired saunas and don’t hesitate to call the team on (03) 9100 3550 to learn more!


Are wood-fired saunas safe?

Wood-fired saunas are safe, as long as you purchase from a reputable source. Make sure you check for safety features prior to buying. It would also help to confirm the warranty and after-sales service to determine if your source is reliable.

How long does a wood sauna take to heat up?

How long wood saunas take to heat up depends on the actual sauna and the stove. Generally, it can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, but a sauna with a good stove can be faster and more efficient than an electric heater

How much wood do I need?

Again, this depends on the fire, the stove as well as the quality of the wood - the better quality of wood = less wood. We typically use smaller pieces of wood for faster heating. Another thing that affects how much wood is required is the outside temperature.

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