If you are often hanging out in a sauna, then consider buying one for your home. Although saunas can be pretty expensive, they can be worth it for frequent sauna users.
A sauna inside the home or your backyard would make your trips to the sauna much more convenient. Not only that, but you’d be able to hang out in a sauna more privately, whether alone or with friends.
With this in mind, today, we’d like to introduce you to our top of the best 5-person saunas out there. For private heat therapies with friends or family, a 5-person sauna would be a great option for many people. There’s not much on the market for 5 person saunas, so we also have reviews for the best 2 person saunas, 3 person, and 4 person.
The Best 5-Person Saunas Reviewed for 2020
Up first on our roundup is this feature-rich 5-person sauna by Radiant Saunas. It perhaps has more features that one would need from a sauna, but they might be very interesting to some people.
As a source of heating, this sauna employs 9 low-EMF carbon heaters. We’ll have a look at different types of heaters below, but right now, know one thing – infrared heaters are more efficient and deliver heat to your body much quicker.
The temperature here goes up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is kind of low by sauna standards, but it’s pretty typical for an infrared sauna.
The body of this sauna is made from cedar, a softwood renowned for its heat retention and resistance to warping. Cedar not only makes this sauna durable and efficient but also beautiful – just look at that Canadian red cedar gorgeousness!
The Radiant Saunas infrared sauna also has entertainment capabilities. More precisely, it comes with an integrated audio system, Bluetooth-compatible chromotherapy light controls, air vents, and cedar backrests. For better air quality, this infrared sauna even comes with an oxygen ionizer.
What may also matter to you is that this sauna is compliant with CETL, CE, RoHS, and ISO 9001 standards.
In terms of downsides, we can pinpoint two. First off, as an infrared sauna, the Radiant Saunas sauna offers no humidity control. This actually is a common downside for infrared saunas.
Aside from that, although the tinted front glass of this sauna looks good, there’s too much of it in this sauna. The sauna feels very open and perhaps not as cozy as a traditional enclosed sauna, and not everybody may like this. But this is very subjective.
- Quick infrared heating.
- Integrated sound and light systems.
- Oxygen ionizer for air purification.
- Warp-resistant cedar body.
- Compliant with CE, CETL, RoHS, and ISO 9001 standards.
- No humidity controls.
- Too much glass in the front.
The BSA1323 6-person sauna, although technically not 5-person, will have no issues with accommodating 5 people. Not only that, but it has a couple of advantages over its 5-person counterpart we’ve just overviewed.
Most importantly, this sauna has a much more enclosed design that will probably feel cozier for many people than the open-front design of the 5-person Radiant Saunas sauna.
Other than that, the two infrared saunas are pretty much identical. The BSA1323 sauna again relies on carbon infrared heaters (though there are 10 of them here), is built from warp-resistant cedar, chromotherapy lights, as well as boasts an integrated sound system. And if it matters to you, this sauna is compliant with the same standards as the other Radiant Saunas Sauna.
One thing to keep in mind with this sauna is that it requires 220V power to operate. This might be a problem for US buyers, so be very careful with what you are buying. Though even if you don’t have 220V power, it’s not that difficult to set up.
- Fast infrared heating.
- Integrated sound & light systems.
- Has an oxygen ionizer for air purification.
- Warp-resistant cedar construction.
- Accommodates 5-6 people.
- Cozy enclosed design.
- Compliant with CE, CETL, RoHS, and ISO 9001 standards.
- No humidity controls.
- Requires 220V power.
Finally, we have the ALEKO SEA5JIU sauna, which is a traditional sauna with an electric heater. Though electric heaters don’t warm you up as quickly as infrared heaters, they achieve higher temperatures.
Aside from that, traditional saunas allow you to control the humidity inside by sprinkling water on sauna stones. Speaking of stones, SEA5JIU comes with 44 pounds of sauna stones to allow you to get started quicker. Other accessories are also included with this sauna – a wooden bucket, scoop, thermometer/hygrometer, and a clock.
This traditional sauna is fairly spacious as well – it accommodates up to 6 people and has an open glass front that makes this sauna feel less restricted. On the other hand, you might not be getting the traditional cozy sauna experience from this thing due to the open front.
When it comes to the build, the SEA5JIU sauna is made from Canadian hemlock wood, which is a pretty decent choice of wood, but not as good as cedar. Most importantly, it’s harder and not as warp-resistant as cedar.
The SEA5JIU is also CE- and ETL-compliant, which may matter in your area.
So all in all, the SEA5JIU sauna delivers a more traditional sauna experience, which will be more to the liking of many people. However, there are a few downsides to talk about. We’ve already talked about the downsides of cedar and how we don’t like the open front of this sauna, but there are a few other things.
The shipping is the biggest issue – it’s pretty costly. This may change in the future or differ from retailer to retailer, but it should be kept in mind nonetheless.
Aside from that, this thing requires 220-240V power, and you’ll probably need to hire an electrician for wiring.
- Offers more traditional sauna experience.
- Allows for temperature and humidity control.
- Accommodates up to 6 people.
- Comes with 44 pounds of sauna stones.
- CE- and ETL-compliant.
- Cumbersome shipping.
- Requires 220-240V power.
- The front is too open for our liking.
How To Pick The Best 5-Person Sauna
A 5-person sauna is a big investment, and you don’t want to make a mistake when shopping for one. With that in mind, let’s talk about the key things that you should be paying attention to in a 5-person sauna.
The tips below apply to any sauna size, but we’ll also talk about some things that you may want to consider with a 5-person sauna.
Traditional vs infrared
Depending on how saunas provide heat, they can be traditional or infrared. Both types have their pros and cons, which we’ll talk about right now.
In traditional saunas, heat is produced by an electric heater. Electric heaters are filled with rocks – you may pour water on these rocks to create steam and increase the humidity inside the sauna.
The air in traditional saunas usually gets up to 150-185 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, you’ll sweat a lot in a traditional sauna.
The biggest advantage of traditional saunas is that they allow you to control both the air temperature and humidity, whereas infrared saunas only allow you to control the temperature. Due to this, traditional saunas are more popular among those who prefer wet saunas.
With that said, traditional saunas take a long time to warm up to the desired temperature. Depending on the selected temperature, it may take up to an hour for a traditional sauna to heat up. But once the sauna’s temperature is where it needs to be, you’ll have plenty of control over the sauna conditions.
Infrared saunas employ the idea of infrared heating. Infrared heaters transfer heat to a body via electromagnetic radiation, which means that no medium is required between the heated body and the heat source.
In other words, infrared heaters do not heat the air and instead transfer heat directly to your body.
Due to this little detail, infrared saunas typically do not have rocks upon which you may pour water. Consequently, you do not have control over the humidity level in an infrared sauna. As mentioned above, the only thing you can control in an infrared sauna is the temperature.
Speaking of temperatures, infrared saunas are cooler than traditional saunas – their temperature tends to be between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the temperatures in infrared saunas are lower, you will still sweat a lot.
Infrared saunas provide heat much faster than traditional saunas. Typically, infrared saunas heat up twice as fast. This allows for energy savings that can be quite significant with frequent sauna use.
Besides, infrared heaters usually consume far less energy than electric heaters – expect to pay 5-10 per minute to run an infrared sauna, while a traditional sauna will cost 40-50 cents.
Infrared heater type
With infrared saunas, you should also pay attention to the type of heater used. There are three main infrared heater types:
- Ceramic. The ceramic heater is an older type of infrared heater, and it isn’t very popular today. Although ceramic radiates infrared better than many other materials, it gets very hot – up to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. An infrared sauna with ceramic heaters will thus become uncomfortably hot pretty quickly.
- Carbon. Carbon is more malleable than ceramic, which allows manufacturers to easily expand its surface area. This results in a decrease in temperature down to 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough for a good sweat but might be too cool for some people. Although carbon doesn’t radiate infrared as well as ceramic, it’s a more well-rounded type of infrared heater due to the lower temperatures.
- Carbon/ceramic. A combo of carbon and ceramic, this type of heater offers the best of two worlds. You have perfect wavelengths, balanced temperature (200 degrees Fahrenheit), and experience that’s more reminiscent of what you’d get from a traditional sauna.
Far-infrared vs near-infrared saunas
Also keep in mind that infrared saunas can be far-infrared and near-infrared. Far-infrared saunas deliver long-wavelength infrared, while near-infrared saunas deliver short-wavelength infrared.
The main difference between the two sauna types is that far-infrared saunas make you hotter. Aside from that, the health benefits of far-infrared saunas are better documented – you will have a very hard time finding research into the benefits of near-infrared saunas.
Until more data on near-infrared saunas is available, you should probably stick to far-infrared saunas.
Hands-down, the best wood for saunas is cedar. Cedar is a softwood, and it easily expands and contracts in response to heat and humidity. This makes cedar a durable wood that can be used in repeated sauna sessions.
Cedar remains relatively cool to the touch as well, which makes it a safer wood to sit or stand on. It’s also thought that cedar oils have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which allows this wood to resist microbe growth in the sauna.
Some people also like the smell emitted by cedar, but a few people may be allergic to it.
Cedar is a pretty expensive wood, so alternative choices of wood have appeared on the market for buyers on a limited budget. Among the woods that you should know about are:
- Hemlock, spruce, or pine. Hemlock is a harder wood, so it’s not as resistant to warping as cedar. Aside from that, this wood will become hotter to the touch due to its hardness. With that said, since it’s cheap, it’s probably a good wood for saunas that won’t be used very frequently. The above also applies to spruce or pine, but these aren’t as frequently used in saunas as hemlock.
- Basswood. Basswood is also a hardwood, so it’s again not as durable as cedar. But unlike cedar and hemlock, basswood doesn’t release any allergens. When treated properly, basswood becomes hypoallergenic.
- Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus isn’t used in saunas very often, but it grows fast and thus is pretty cheap. It’s again harder than cedar and isn’t as warp-resistant, but it emits no fragrances. Another advantage of eucalyptus is that it’s easy to stain, so you can find it in many colors.
Unless you have very specific reasons not to go for a cedar sauna, cedar will work the best.
Indoor vs outdoor saunas
When dealing with 5-person saunas, an outdoor sauna will probably be the more reasonable option for most people. You need to have plenty of room for an indoor sauna.
Outdoor saunas tend to be larger than indoor saunas, and since they are intended to be used standalone, they look better as well. On the other hand, outdoor saunas are difficult to set up, mostly because you may need to run new plumbing and electricity to such a sauna.
Indoor saunas are much convenient. First off, they are easier to install. Secondly, you can pay a visit to an indoor sauna without leaving your home. What matters to some people as well is that indoor saunas offer more privacy than outdoor saunas.
5-person saunas can get pretty big and heavy, and this might imply increased shipping costs. You might find retailers or manufacturers that ship their saunas for free, but such saunas may come with a steeper price tag.
You won’t necessarily have to pay for the shipping of the desired sauna, but when ordering a sauna, pay attention to whether its shipping is free or not.
Finally, pay attention to what kind of entertainment features the desired sauna comes with. The most basic saunas will have nothing, but if you are ready to pay more money, then you can get a 5-person sauna that has music playback capabilities, for example.
Avoid Cheap 5-Person Saunas
5-person saunas can get pretty expensive, and they can be a big investment. What makes matters more difficult is that the prices on 5-person saunas can vary vastly. You can find plenty of very cheap 5-person saunas out there, and it will probably be very tempting for you to buy one and save money.
You’ll save money, but what are the long-term implications of a cheap sauna?
A 5-person sauna will not be cheap without a reason. It may be cheap due to the choice of the wood, the number and quality of the heaters, or the quality of the build. And as you could’ve probably guessed, a cheap sauna won’t have high-quality & durable wood, it won’t be as good at heating, and it probably won’t have good build quality.
We strongly suggest that you avoid very cheap 5-person saunas and go for something more expensive. They will be less pocket-friendly upfront, but in the long term, a very cheap sauna would probably cost you much more than a pricey sauna.
Mainly, this will be due to the lower quality of the wood. Cheap saunas rarely use cedar, which, as you know, easily withstands repeated temperature and humidity changes. More often, they’ll use hemlock or basswood that, albeit decent, won’t have good longevity.
Hopefully, our guide helps you make the right choice!
As we’ve stressed a few times throughout our post, a 5-person sauna is a serious investment. So do make sure that you are investing your money the right way.
And if you feel that our roundup didn’t provide you with options that are good for your needs, then feel free to do extra research. And don’t rush a decision – carefully consider the available options and make a purchase only if you are sure that it will work for you.