If you frequently have sauna visits, the costs of the sessions can add up quite a bit. Within a single year, depending on frequency, you and your buddies might spend a few thousand dollars on your sauna sessions. For so much money, you could buy your own sauna!
Well, if you’re indeed spending a lot of money on sauna visits, then strongly consider buying a sauna for your home. Saunas can be pretty expensive, but in the long run, they can be worth it.
If you just so happen to be looking for a 6-person sauna, then we have a few options to offer. Not only that, but to hopefully help you pick the best 6-person sauna, we’ll also talk about the things that you should be looking for when shopping for one.
SEA5JIU belongs to the so-called traditional saunas that employ electric heaters to deliver heat. As such, this sauna will deliver higher temperatures that are perfect for heat therapy.
Aside from that, as a traditional sauna, the SEA5JIU sauna allows you to adjust the humidity inside – you do this by sprinkling water onto hot stones. And remarkably, ALEKO includes 44 pounds of sauna stones with this unit, so you can get started quicker.
Aside from the stones, you are getting a few must-have accessories with this sauna, including a bucket, thermometer/hygrometer, a scoop, and a clock.
Wood-wise, this sauna is made from Canadian hemlock, which is a fairly decent wood choice for a sauna, but it can’t boast the heat retention capabilities and warp resistance of cedar. Cedar, if you didn’t know, is widely considered to be the best kind of wood for a sauna.
SEA5JIU is an indoor sauna and thus requires a lot of interior space. With that said, it’s pretty roomy, so if you have enough indoor space, SEA5JIU should be a very comfortable sauna to hang out in.
What may particularly matter to some people is that this sauna is compliant with CE and ETL standards. For US residents, the latter may be particularly important.
All in all, SEA5JIU seems like a pretty solid sauna. However, it has a few cons that you should know about.
First and foremost, it’s shipping might be pretty expensive. Though this may change in the future, at the moment of this review’s writing, you’d have to pay a sizable amount of money for shipping.
Aside from that, keep in mind that this sauna requires 220-240V power, which may not be readily available in US homes.
And finally, we personally don’t really like the open front of this sauna. The open front takes away from the sauna’s cozy experience, though this is purely subjective and may not apply to you.
The BSA1323 sauna by Radiant Saunas is a very interesting unit.
First and foremost, this sauna employs infrared technology to deliver heat. Infrared waves do not heat the air and instead directly transfer heat to the bodies in the line of sight. This allows for faster warmup – usually, infrared heaters heat up the sauna twice as fast as electric heaters.
For even heat distribution, the BSA1323 sauna is equipped with 10 infrared carbon heaters. These heaters provide heat up to 141 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a bit low by sauna standards, but it may be just right for some people.
For increased temperature resistance, this sauna is built from cedar. Cedar resists warping and is excellent at retaining heat, which ultimately means increased efficiency.
BSA1323 has entertainment capabilities as well – namely, it comes with an integrated sound system. Aside from that, it comes with an oxygen ionizer for air purification, as well as chromotherapy lighting that’s claimed to provide relaxation.
We also like the enclosed body of this sauna – in our opinion, this allows for a cozier experience.
As for shortcomings, the BSA1323 sauna has two. First off, it has no humidity controls, which is a common downside for most infrared saunas. Secondly, this thing requires 220V power, which probably is set up only in a small number of US households.
Quick infrared heating.
Integrated sound & light systems.
Oxygen ionizer for air purification.
Made from warp-resistant cedar.
Cozy enclosed design.
Compliant with CE, CETL, RoHS, and ISO 9001 standards.
Finally, we have this barrel outdoor sauna by BZBCabins.com. Being a pretty huge outdoor sauna, this thing is very expensive, but for some people, it will provide better sauna experience than the so far reviewed saunas.
Notably, this barrel sauna relies on a wood-burning heater to produce heat. There seems to be a sauna variant that comes with an electric heater, but this particular unit comes with a wood heater.
BZBCabins also claims that the cylindrical shape of this sauna allows for “natural circulation of air”, ensuring longer steam cycles and allowing for energy savings.
Lighting fire will make for much of the charm of this sauna. On the other hand, you’ll have to deal with smoke and ashes, which certainly isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world.
As an outdoor sauna, this barrel outdoor sauna doesn’t have to be constrained like an indoor unit. This thing is truly huge – so huge that it even has separate compartments for changing and steaming. The changing compartment will be particularly nice in winter since you won’t have to make your way towards the sauna half-naked.
In spite of its grandeur, this sauna seems not to be too difficult to assemble. BZBCabins.com writes that two adults will complete it in a day or two. But if you want, you can order expert assembly.
But what might be a challenge is running water and electricity to this barrel sauna.
Overall, this barrel unit is a remarkable piece of a sauna. Although it’s very expensive and will not be very easy to fully set up, it might be able to deliver the most remarkable sauna experience that you’ve ever had.
Offers a very traditional sauna experience.
Not that difficult to assemble.
Separate compartments for changing and steaming..
The wood-burning heater will produce a lot of waste.
How To Choose The Best 6-Person Sauna
So which 6-person sauna is going to be the best for your needs?
It can be pretty difficult to pick the right sauna. If you are at a loss even after our reviews, then let’s talk about the important features of saunas a little more in-depth. We’ll talk about what you should be paying attention to, as well as will cover any caveats that you might come across.
Indoor vs outdoor
Which kind of 6-person sauna would be a better choice – an outdoor or indoor sauna? This will depend on your preferences.
On one hand, indoor saunas allow for:
Better privacy. Since they are installed inside your home, indoor saunas keep you out of sight and allow you to enjoy your sauna sessions more privately.
Easier installation. Although both indoor and outdoor saunas require electricity and sometimes water, indoor saunas are a little easier to install because water and electricity are readily available indoors.
Money savings. Since installation isn’t as cumbersome as with outdoor saunas, indoor saunas can be cheaper to set up. Not only that, but they also tend to cost less up-front.
On the other hand, outdoor saunas:
Aren’t constrained by your home’s size. The benefits of indoor saunas are pretty attractive, but can you even fit an indoor sauna inside your home in the first place? If you don’t have enough space, then a 6-person indoor sauna may not even be an option for you. Outdoor saunas aren’t constrained by the size of your home. Of course, they are constrained by the size of your backyard, but people are much more likely to have limited indoor than outdoor space.
Provide more space. Since outdoor saunas don’t have to be built compactly to fit inside homes, they get pretty big. As a result, they tend to be much roomier and a little more comfortable than indoor saunas.
From our reviews, you could have noticed the points that we listed.
Keep in mind that size-wise, both indoor and outdoor 6-person saunas can be pretty big or small. If you have plenty of room indoors and want a spacious indoor sauna, then you should be able to find one. But outdoor saunas can get much bigger because they don’t have to be built small.
To determine which sauna type is right for you, answer the following questions:
What do you want from your sauna – privacy, comfort, affordability, or something else?
If you want an indoor sauna, how much space do you have? Can you find a 6-person indoor sauna that’s sized just right for the available space?
What is your budget? How much are you ready to spend on the sauna, its shipment, and assembly?
If you know the answers to these questions, you should be able to pretty easily choose the right 6-person sauna.
Traditional vs infrared
Based on the used heating appliance, saunas can be traditional or infrared. Nowadays, traditional saunas use electric heaters, though you may also find saunas that use wood-burning heaters. Infrared saunas, as you could’ve guessed, use infrared heaters.
Infrared and traditional saunas are very different when it comes to heat sensation, sauna conditions, convenience, and cost. Below, let’s talk about the good and bad sides of each sauna type.
As mentioned above, traditional saunas mostly use electric heaters, though some may come with a wood burner. Unless you have specific reasons to opt for a wood-burning sauna, go for an electric sauna – the experience will be very similar, and you won’t have to deal with any wood waste.
When it comes to the sauna experience, many people prefer traditional saunas to infrared saunas. In the average traditional sauna, the temperature gets up to 150-185 degrees Fahrenheit, which will make you sweat profusely. This is in contrast with infrared saunas whose temperatures tend to be below 150 degrees.
Aside from that, traditional saunas allow you to control the air humidity by sprinkling water on hot stones. Infrared saunas usually do not have such functionality.
On the other hand, traditional saunas take up to an hour to heat up to the desired temperature. Besides, running a traditional sauna can be pretty expensive – expect to pay 40-50 cents per minute for a traditional sauna and 5-10 cents with an infrared sauna.
Infrared heaters have an interesting feature – they do not heat the air. In a traditional sauna, the heater first heats up the air, and then the heat from the air is transferred to your body. This is called convection.
In contrast, infrared heaters heat your body directly, bypassing air. This allows for much quicker heating – infrared saunas typically provide the desired temperature twice as fast as traditional saunas.
And as mentioned above, infrared saunas also tend to be cheaper to run than electric saunas.
Of course, infrared saunas have some downsides. Perhaps most importantly, infrared saunas don’t allow you to control humidity. This makes this type of sauna a more suitable option for those who prefer to take dry saunas.
Aside from that, infrared heaters may distribute heat unevenly. This is because they don’t heat up the air around you. To deal with this issue, sauna manufacturers install several infrared heaters throughout the sauna to ensure more even heat distribution. So when shopping for an infrared sauna, pay attention to how many heaters it has.
All in all, if you don’t mind dry saunas, then an infrared 6-person sauna would be more efficient and cheap to run than a traditional sauna.
By the way, know that you can convert a traditional sauna into an infrared sauna, and vice versa. You may also have both heater types installed and use one or the other based on your or your companion’s preferences.
Infrared heater types
Infrared saunas use two different types of heat panels on the carbon or ceramic panels. So when selecting an infrared sauna to use at home go for a sauna with carbon heat panels.
The carbon heat panels heat up faster and have a broader heat distribution, unlike the ceramic heat panels.
Number of heaters
Infrared heaters can be of different types. Of interest to us today are these three kinds of infrared heaters:
Ceramic heaters. Ceramic heaters aren’t very popular today. This material radiates infrared very efficiently, but its surface temperatures reach 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body temperature won’t reach these numbers, but you can become uncomfortable very quickly in a sauna with a ceramic infrared heater.
Carbon heaters. Even though carbon heaters don’t radiate infrared as efficiently as ceramic heaters, they are much more popular these days. Carbon is a more malleable material, which allows manufacturers to easily expand its surface area. The increased surface area results in much lower temperatures – usually up to 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit. This isn’t as hot as in traditional saunas, but it’s much more bearable than in ceramic heater saunas.
Carbon/ceramic heaters. Some infrared saunas use carbon/ceramic heaters. This kind of heater combines the benefits of the two infrared heater types. Thanks to this, you are getting temperatures around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more like what you’d get from a traditional sauna.
Infrared heater wavelength
The wavelength of infrared heaters seems to be a hot topic these days. Wavelengths in saunas may cause some confusion in people new to infrared saunas, so we should cover them as well.
Without diving into physics, let’s say that far-infrared saunas have been shown to provide many health benefits to users, especially for people with cardiovascular and rheumatological conditions. The health benefits of far-infrared saunas are pretty well-established.
But lately, sauna manufacturers have been coming up with near-infrared saunas, claiming bigger health benefits and increased safety. This might be true, but sauna types other than far-infrared aren’t yet well-researched.
For the time being, you should probably stick to far-infrared saunas and not think about wavelengths at all. But as near-infrared saunas get better scientific coverage, you may switch to them (but only if they indeed are healthier and safer than far-infrared saunas).
You might’ve never thought about it, but the wood type used in saunas is very important as well. The wood can impact your sensations while taking a sauna, and it also determines how durable the sauna is.
Let’s have a look at the most common wood types used in saunas:
Cedar. Cedar is very widely used in saunas due to its resistance to warping. As a softwood, cedar easily expands and contracts in response to heat and humidity. This allows softwood to serve for a long time without warping or cracking. Cedar also emits a wood smell that is liked by many people. However, the smell may cause allergy in some individuals. Due to its desirable qualities, cedar is quite a pricey wood. So unless you don’t like aromatic woods, cedar will probably be the best wood option for a 6-person sauna.
Basswood. Basswood is a hardwood and thus isn’t as resistant to warping and cracking as cedar. However, it doesn’t release allergens and is a great choice if you want a hypoallergenic wood in your sauna. But keep in mind that the hypoallergenic qualities of basswood depend on how well it has been treated.
Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus also doesn’t emit any fragrances, so saunas with this wood should be hypoallergenic. With that said, eucalyptus tends to cost less than basswood because it’s easy to grow. Eucalyptus again isn’t as durable as cedar. But it’s valued in sauna-making for its consistent color, which makes it easy to stain.
Hemlock, spruce, or pine. These are pretty cheap hardwoods that are typically used in inexpensive saunas. They are more likely to warp and crack than the other listed woods, especially in extreme temperature fluctuations. Due to this, these woods might not be the best choice for heavy sauna use.
All in all, unless you have very specific reasons to avoid cedar, cedar will probably be the best wood for a sauna. It’s durable, easily withstands temperature and humidity changes, and creates a pleasant ambiance.
6-person saunas are expensive by themselves. What may make them cost even more is shipping costs.
Usually, sellers ship saunas for free. 6-person saunas are pretty expensive already, and their steep prices can cover shipping costs for the seller. However, some saunas may not ship for free.
Of course, shipping costs won’t be a surprise for you – you’ll see them at checkout. However, when comparing different saunas with each other, you should pay attention to the shipping costs as well.
Easiness of assembly/disassembly
When dealing with 6-person saunas, you might also want to pay attention to how easily the desired sauna is assembled and disassembled. In fact, disassembly might be more important than assembly.
If you move from your home, you should be able to take your sauna with you. If you could easily disassemble your sauna, this wouldn’t be a big problem.
Saunas generally do not come in one piece, so you can indeed assemble and then disassemble them if necessary. With that said, to be on the safer side, you should get a sauna that has a more modular and easy-to-assemble design.
Considering how big of a purchase a 6-person sauna can be, do think over the available options well. Be sure to buy the best 6-person sauna you can for your budget and needs.
Don’t rush to make a purchase and don’t get too excited if you find a very cheap sauna. Saunas cost a lot for a reason, and you shouldn’t scrimp when shopping for one. Otherwise, you will be sacrificing comfort, quality, and durability.
The guidelines provided above should give you a good place to start. Besides, consider buying one of the reviewed 6-person saunas – they are all very decent choices for their price. But if they don’t seem like the best options for you, then feel free to do some additional research of your own.