What's the Best Outdoor Sauna in 2023?

Are outdoor Saunas Worth It? And Our Top Picks of Outdoor Saunas for 2023

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At Clearlight Saunas, we believe that spending time in nature is essential for our physical and mental health. That's why we've compiled a comprehensive guide to the best saunas of 2023 for outside your house, based on our extensive experience.

Whether you're looking for a traditional sauna or a modern infrared sauna, we've got you covered. In this blog, we'll share our top picks and explain why they stand out from the competition.

We Reviewed the Best Outdoor Sauna Range of 2023: Our Top Picks for Relaxation and Wellness

Let's first talk about the advantages of outdoor saunas vs indoor saunas before we move on to our favourites. Sauna clinical studies suggest that using a sauna regularly can enhance blood flow, strengthen the immune system, alleviate stress and anxiety, and minimise the chance of developing cardiovascular illness.

You can enjoy fresh air, natural light, and scenic views while using an outdoor sauna. Furthermore, you can have a spacious and private sauna experience with friends and family.

The Methodology: How We Chose the Best Outdoor Sauna Range

To select our top picks, we considered several factors, including:

  • Performance: How well does the sauna heat up, maintain temperature, and distribute heat evenly?
  • Design: Is the sauna well-built, aesthetically pleasing, and user-friendly?
  • Features: Does the sauna offer useful features such as Bluetooth speakers, LED lighting, and digital controls?
  • Price: Is the sauna a good value for its price range?
  • Customer reviews: What do other customers say about the sauna's performance, design, features, and customer service?

1. Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna

The Clearlight Outdoor Infrared Sauna is an ideal option for both residential and commercial settings, offering all the benefits of a traditional sauna and allowing users to experience the outdoors while using it. This sauna features a robust Cedartec® shell that ensures longevity, and its ultra-low EMF and ELF emissions make it safe for regular use.

Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna stands out from other saunas on the market because it comes with unique add-ons and customizable options. Additionally, this sauna is backed by a lifetime guarantee, which shows Clearlight's commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Our Total Score = 4/5 stars. The only downside to this Outdoor Sauna is its premium price tag!

2. Infrared Outdoor Barrel Sauna

An Infrared Outdoor Barrel Sauna is our 2nd pick for the next best modern infrared sauna. This sauna uses far-infrared technology to penetrate deep into the body and stimulate detoxification, relaxation, and pain relief. Its unique barrel shape will stand out in larger outdoor settings, perfect for rural and paddock settings.

What is nice about this barrel sauna is that its large cabin size with modern technology allows for similar features of a Clearlight® Sauna with the rustic feel of a traditional sauna.

Our Total Score = 3/5 stars. Additionally, the sauna is costly and its design quality creates difficulties in incorporating it into sophisticated outdoor designs; it also has limited versatility.

3. Barrel Saunas Traditional and Steam

The Traditional Barrel Outdoor Sauna is a stylish and unique type of outdoor models that ranks third. It has a barrel-like shape and can easily accommodate up to eight individuals. With an electric stove, it heats up quickly. Unlike other types of saunas, it uses electrically heated sauna stones for traditional heating.

Our Total Score = 2/5 stars. The traditional or steam barrel sauna does not have the modern features found in an infrared sauna. Additionally, its design quality makes it challenging to integrate into elaborate outdoor designs, limiting its flexibility. Furthermore, the sauna tends to be expensive.


8 tips to get the most out of your Infrared Sauna

Discover proven ways to supercharge your infrared sauna experience.

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5 Benefits of the Clearlight® Outdoor Sauna

  1. Health Benefits: The Clearlight Outdoor Infrared Sauna is designed to raise your core body temperature for a more intense sweat, unlike traditional saunas that heat the air around you. This feature ensures a deeper detox that decreases inflammation, relieves pain, and supports weight loss. The True Wave® infrared sauna heater used in Clearlight® Saunas has far infrared heat, which has been shown to unlock the deeper benefits of infrared therapy, such as improved blood circulation, cardiovascular function, and mental health. Additionally, the infrared waves produced by the sauna can reduce joint pain and sore muscles, improve skin quality, and remove toxins from your body.
  2. Durable Cedartec® Shell: The Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna is built with a durable Cedartec® shell that ensures a long-lasting, weather-resistant, and durable build. This shell keeps the sauna protected from moisture and other environmental elements, allowing you to enjoy your sauna outdoors and indoors. The design of the sauna is also perfect for any outdoor or indoor space, thanks to its elegant exterior and lighting accents that make it stand out among your entertainment areas.
  3. Add-Ons: A Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna is an investment in your overall health, and the sauna can be customised to suit your needs. In addition to Full Spectrum Heaters, the sauna can be equipped with add-ons such as Vibrational Resonance Therapy, Red Light Therapy, Halotherapy, and Aromatherapy. The saunas also come with a medical-grade Chromotherapy lighting system that enhances relaxation and helps balance your chakras.
  4. Low EMF and ELF: A Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna is the world's leading sauna maker that exclusively uses EMF shielding technology to reduce electromagnetic radiation during sauna use. This industry-exclusive technology ensures the lowest levels of EMF and ELF while maximizing the benefits of the far infrared waves.
  5. Lifetime Guarantee: Clearlight® is committed to providing you with the best sauna experience, which is why they offer a lifetime guarantee with every Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna. This guarantee covers all parts, construction, and workmanship.

What's the best heat source for an Outdoor Sauna?

When deciding on outdoor infrared saunas vs traditional saunas, consider the heating elements. There are three main types of heating elements:

  • Infrared heaters
  • Steam heaters (electrical)
  • Traditional (wood-fire) heaters

Each type of heat has its own characteristics. An infrared sauna heats you up with direct contact with infrared light and the skin. This dry heat is extremely efficient, cost-effective and an amazing provider of the full list of health benefits.

A steam heater is a wet heat that uses the moisture in the air to make the cabin hot. They require more energy and electricity, and are harder to maintain, however, they provide extremely hot cabin temperatures.

Wood-fire saunas are also dry saunas, however, they work by heating the air to extreme temperatures and also utilise variations of hot rocks and steam.

Outdoor Infrared Saunas Vs. Hot Tubs

Another luxury wellbeing tool that people have in their backyard is hot tubs. The hot tub can be a great option for the entire family, offering health benefits such as relaxation, improve blood circulation, increase heart rate and joint pain relief.

What you'll notice is that the benefits of a hot tub are similar to a dry sauna and steam sauna, and that's because it is another form of heat therapy.

Benefits of a hot tub for the backyard

Hot tubs are great for the porch or space outside of the house, and come in a range of sizes, from four people all the way up to six people spas are common. While the range of benefits isn't as amazing as sauna's wellness benefits, they are still a great way to relax. If you are choosing between a hot tub vs sauna, then we believe an infrared sauna is a better investment for your outdoor area.

11 things you need to know before buying into infrared sauna brands

When it comes to buying an infrared sauna, there are a few things you need to know before making your purchase. Here are the 11 most important things to keep in mind when shopping for an infrared sauna:

1. Not all infrared saunas are created equal

Australian design, Italian luxury, that's what you get with a Clearlight® Outdoor Infrared Sauna. The perfect addition to any backyard because of its durable Cedartech® Shell that replicates the charcoal timber of the Australian landscape. These a truly are a sauna built to last.

Tip* Ask if they are built to Australian standards and get a copy of the certifications to make sure.

2. Outdoor infrared saunas are great to compliment your surrounding

Let's face it, you want an outdoor sauna to take in the beautiful surrounding, you want it to feel open and welcome. You want the beautiful local environment of Australia in your sauna space. This can only happen if your very own sauna has a full glass front for this immersive experience. When you compare Australia to the world, we have some of the best sun exposure and fauna than anywhere else. You won't get the same experience if the front wall and door are made from only cedar wood. Any other brand might think it's ok to have a tiny window for light, but we know what's best when it comes to style the whole family can enjoy.

Tip* Get clear on why you want an outdoor sauna in the first place and don't settle for mediocre.

3. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of radiant heat outside

An indoor sauna session is amazing if you have floor space in your home. But there's something truly special about getting the many benefits of heating the body and sweating outside. Your health may improve in any session due to increased blood circulation, toxins removal, reduced stress, skin purification, lowered blood pressure, and muscle and joint pain alleviation. Other infrared heaters aren't tested to the degree that ours are, and we have patented True Wave® sauna heaters that are low emf, high power, and offer a full range of infrared wavelengths.

Tip* Don't be afraid to talk about the certifications and testing of the infrared heater panels.

4. Outdoor saunas are a great addition to any home all year round

Get your sauna on in style, either under the sun or the moon. Australia has some of the harshest sun rays in the world and the market for outdoor entertainment is closely tied with our culture. Indoor saunas just don't scratch that itch. Our durable Cedartech® Shell can withstand all climates in Australia and follows the cedar wood aesthetic to complement any backyard. Our interior cabin is made from Canadian western cedar wood which is one of the best wood for a sauna that you could use. Some sauna brands opt for cheaper Canadian hemlock to save costs, but if you ask the internet you'll find that cedar is the best option for any sauna.

Tip* Make sure the aesthetic of your sauna is up to par with how you want to entertain in your backyard.

5. Choose a safe outdoor sauna

Overseas brands that sell cheap saunas most definitely only have one thing in mind... sales. Chances are they aren't too worried about your body or personal health. A fairly new health-conscious choice to make is low emf (electromagnetic frequencies). Maybe you've heard about mobile phones emitting high levels when plugged in on the charge, or you've felt some level of radiation from being too close to power lines. An analogy that we like is to ask yourself, would you sleep on a wifi router? If the answer is no, and it's because of radiation, then you probably don't want to be exposing yourself to this same high-level radiation of emf while in your outdoor sauna. Clearlight® Saunas are the world leaders in low emf technology, and our patented technology has such low-level radiation or emf that it is virtually zero. Our range of emf exposure is so small when in use, and that is purely by design and innovation, that no other saunas on the market have the same range of emf levels.

Tip* If emf is important to you, ask for third-party testing certificates and make sure they're testing the cabin when it's turned on.

6. A one-stop shop for a range of add-on wellbeing products

Quality saunas and quality service shouldn't be the only thing on your mind when choosing a sauna brand. Saunas produce radiant heat to relax and rejuvenate your body through sweat, but why stop there? Being able to shop for complimentary products and add-ons is an amazing feature after you've had your sauna for a while. Clearlight offers a range of integrable add-ons to further enhance your skin and body experience past only sweat. You can shop for what we have already on our website.

Tip* Don't just settle for heat, ask about what range of sauna products they have other than just saunas.

7. Do you have questions about how to use and care for your outdoor sauna

Unlike a traditional or steam sauna, infrared saunas require power and have electrical components. For this reason, you're going to want a local customer care team that you can talk to when things go wrong. Maybe the temperature isn't rising, maybe the power has been cut, maybe the heaters have stopped, whatever the reason, knowing there is a local team to help you make a huge difference in a lifetime purchase. Clearlight also provides a lifetime warranty on every sauna - so if another brand matches that warranty you'll want to know that they will be around to deliver on those promises.

Tip* Ask about their customer care team and service promises.

8. Utilise resources to optimise your experience

Heating your body for health benefits sounds easy right? Simply turn on the power of your sauna, heat the temperature to a high range, let the heaters directly contact your body, and sweat it all out. This is true for the most part. But there is a world of tools, tips and tricks you can use to maximise the sauna experience for your body. A sauna brand you invest in should know how to best use their saunas for multiple therapeutic benefits, and they should be able to provide helpful resources. Do they have a podcast, eBooks, how-to guides and more? These are all valid questions to ask.

Tip* Take the time to see what additional guides and resources are available from your sauna brand because saunas should be a holistic approach to improving your health just as much as they are a luxury addition to your home.

9. Outdoor saunas are a higher-end product than an indoor sauna

Outdoor sauna models are expensive, and that's before you landscape your space outside. What you don't want is to add additional running costs to that price tag. Lots of saunas have inefficient heater placement. The counts for indoor saunas as well. Look for how high the heaters in the cabin space are, and if they are higher than shoulder height, chances are the running costs per hour will be higher than one that isn't. Infrared heaters work similar to the sun, if you're in the sun or have direct contact with sun, it's much hotter than if you're in the shade. The same is true for infrared heaters, if they're not directly facing your body then they aren't doing much to heat your core body temperature. This inefficient heating uses power in the heaters to heat up empty space - something that infrared isn't as good as traditional or steam saunas are. Clearlight® Saunas have specifically designated heater placement to keep operation costs to a minimum - about $1 per hour.

Tip* Check where the heaters are!

10. Are they a sustainable brand

Sustainability is important for many reasons. Both environmentally and also as a business. After all, what's the point of a 10yr warranty on saunas if the brand isn't around to warrant it? At Clearlight® Saunas, everything done as a business reflects sustainability. The wood used is FSC-certified, red western cedar wood, and for each of our saunas sold we save 2m2 space of rainforest here in Australia, plant 5 trees in India, and provide a family in need 5 days of solar lighting and rescue 1kg of food waste. Clearlight® Saunas is more than your traditional brand and ensuring our saunas are sustainable for the future is somewhat - traditional to us.

Tip* Ask about their corporate social responsibility and see if their values align with yours

11. Do they have sauna reviews

Saunas are a large market for homeowners in 2022, so taking your time to compare customer reviews, and the points above are crucial not only for outdoor saunas but for indoor saunas also. Look to see if reviews are genuine and from real people, browse their ambassadors and influencers and see if you resonate with those people - chances are the people who choose to represent them have the same values as yourself. Remember that your sauna is an extension of your backyard, your home and your health.

Tip* Google, google and more google!

An outdoor infrared sauna is all the rage, and for good reason - they offer a wealth of benefits. However, not all outdoor saunas are created equal. Make sure to ask the right questions before investing in a brand, such as whether they have helpful guides and resources available if their heaters are placed efficiently, and how sustainable their business is. Checking reviews is also a must. With the right research, you can find an outdoor infrared sauna that is perfect for you and your backyard.

Saunas in Nature: A fun way to create your own style outdoors

Here are our top picks for the best outdoor infrared saunas in 2023 that are suitable for the entire family. Thank you for reading about our three favourite options. If you're still wondering where to put your infrared sauna we have a range of blogs that can help you.

Infrared Sauna Competitor Comparison

A review of the top Infrared Sauna brands in Australia

Want to know more?

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