3 Best Outdoor Infrared Saunas Review | Spacious!
In theory, outdoor infrared saunas are better in most ways than their indoor counterparts. They certainly have the potential to be, sidestepping one of the main issues with infrared saunas (the indoor space requirement some might not be able to meet), and the idea of listening to the pounding rain on the roof of your sauna while you just lay down and relax is incredibly tempting.
Unfortunately, pickings are slim, leaving us with only a few options to choose from. If you’re in a rush, have a quick glance at my top pick, but if you have a bit longer I’ll go over the basic criteria I have for choosing these items down below.
My Top Choice
Canadian Red Cedar
3 Person Backyard Sauna, FIR Far Infrared Spa
- Waterproof Shingled Roof Included
- Warranty: 5 years structure and 1 year electronics; parts only.
- UL-approved 6.5-ft electric power cord with built-in safe
- Includes: MP3/Auxiliary Audio Input with Stereo System
Top 3 Outdoor Models
How to Choose
The criteria here are pretty much the same as for the indoor models, with the main things to look out for being theconstruction (and materials), amenities, and price.
Construction And Materials
The standard here is Canadian Hemlock (which two of the below options are made of), but higher quality woods do exist, with our winner being a great example of a sturdy outdoor wood (red cedar).
On top of that, you’re looking for something that is easy to assemble (all three of these are tongue and groove assembly with bolts) but stays together and is waterproof.
Finally, we’re (as usual) looking for carbon fiber heating panels, which unfortunately two of the three options today fail to provide.
The extra little things that add to the experience are pretty well standardized by now. At a basic level we’re looking for three things: an oxygen ionizer, a chromotherapy (or mood lighting) system, and a stereo system, CD player, or other music playing device with speakers.
Anything on top of that is gravy, like reading lamps or more comfortable seating.
This one might be the real sticking point. Duee to needing to be far more up to code (being an electronic device to be used outdoors), outdoor options are about $1000 more expensive than their indoor equivalents on average, usually costing around $2500.
I personally think it’s worth it for our top pick (it’s a great model), but it’s a significant amount of extra money if you don’t need to remodel to install the indoor one (which would usually even out the cost).
All right, that’s out of the way, so on to the saunas!
Top Models in the Market
1. Canadian Red Cedar
A beautiful, high quality infrared sauna.
Starting us off, the Canadian Red Cedar construction here isn’t just for show (though it is quite nice), it’s also a very sturdy wood, and far more so than the standard Hemlock construction of the other two on this list.
On top of that, everything else is up to high quality standards as well. Most notable is this one has carbon fiber heating panels, which the others lack, preferring the less efficient, more uncomfortable, and usually more expensive ceramic panels. On top of that it has a solid sound system (aux inputs and quality speakers), plus a remote controlled chromotherapy (mood lighting) system and oxygen ionizer (which this one refers to as an ozone generator).
While it seats three, it really only COMFORTABLY seats two; I say this mostly as a reminder (all models basically just comfortably seat X minus 1 people with room to awkwardly squeeze an extra in there) and not to detract from the otherwise great option.
As expected it is waterproof, though should be covered with a weather cover or tarp when not in use (that goes for all of these). For the over $2700 asking price it has everything you could want, making it the best outdoor infrared sauna around.
2. Cayenne 4 Person
A fine, spacious offering.
At first glance, this model is as good or better than our winner, and about $200 cheaper, plus seats one extra person.
It has the sound system (this one even has a leg up, being an FM radio and CD player as well instead of just speakers with an aux input), chromotherapy lighting, and oxygen ionizer, plus an added reading lamp (perfect on a slightly drizzly day to relax with a book and soak in the heat) and can comfortably seat up to two of your friends or loved ones.
It also has cup holders, which are always a plus (and are a surprisingly rare addition; you’d think they’d be standard).
The main issue is: it uses ceramic heaters.
That means they’re less energy efficient and far less comfortable to sit around. Ceramic heaters also heat the air of the room (though not as much as a traditional hot rock sauna), partially negating some of the benefits of an infrared sauna over a traditional steam sauna.
It’s still good, and if you need to save a bit of money it’s still a good option, but in most circumstances, the first option is the best.
3. Western Pacific 4 Person Weather Resistant Hemlock Wood
I wish I could recommend this one, because it’s my favorite LOOKING of the three, made of Canadian Hemlock and boasting a nice octagonal shape that would make it a little easier to seat more people in it than the rectangular options above.
Unfortunately, while it has most of the same amenities (CD player, oxygen ionizer, reading lights, and chromotherapy system) it has a double whammy of downsides.
The first is that it not only has ceramic heaters (the only major downside of the above), it has less of them (6 versus 8), making the heating less even.
I cannot overstate how huge of a difference that makes: ceramic heating panels are already less energy efficient and just worse at heating you up while keeping the space comfortable than the carbon fiber panels, and at least for me (living in a humid climate) I honestly don’t see a real difference between a steam sauna and this at that point; you’re still hot, sticky, and bathing water.
Reducing the number reduces the coverage, making it even worse at getting you to the desired temperature.
On top of that, it’s just as expensive as our winner, so it doesn’t even win out in the expense bracket, making it an all-around poor buy compared to our other options. Avoid unless you can get it on a significant discount.
Canadian Red Cedar
3 Person Backyard Sauna, FIR Far Infrared Spa
There is, unfortunately, a steep sliding scale of quality here going from great at our winner (the Canadian Red Cedar model), to pretty decent with the second place option, to pretty much just bad with the third. The only real justification to buy the middle option is if you REALLY need a model that seats four, which is a pretty niche upside for the downside of having ceramic heating panels.
Stick with the top model, wait for deep sales, or just wait for better products to become available.