Do you want to build or install a sauna? First you need to determine the size of the footprint (i.e. how big the sauna will be). Second, you need to choose a sauna seating layout. This diagram sets out 11 common sauna layouts with dimensions and sizes and sets out how many people each layout and size can accommodate.
Below, we’ve provided an extensive diagram detailing 11 common sauna layouts with the dimensions set out for each layout. We also specify roughly how many people each sauna seating layout and sauna size can accommodate.
In personal residences, saunas are typically smaller than those found in commercial locations, ranging in size accommodation from one to four persons, though a two person sauna is most common. In commercial settings, a traditional sauna is typically larger. These saunas range in seating capacity from six to over twelve people.
The most popular custom sauna layout is the L-shaped sauna layout, where both arms of a bench have two levels, an upper bench and a lower bench. The L-shaped layout facilitates speaking with other people more than the sauna layout with only one long straight bench.
Another popular sauna dimension involves space for one long sauna bench, which typically spans at least seven to eight feet so that users can fully lie down inside the sauna room.
Check out the graphic below. In it, you’ll see that small saunas start at capacity for a 48 inch wood bench, and expand into huge 12 foot long U shape saunas. There are also custom sauna sizes and shapes everywhere else in between these sauna dimensions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Saunas
What is a sauna?
A sauna is a heated room that uses hot air and/or steam to clean and refresh the body, usually after physical exercise or as a method of relaxation. A sauna that uses steam is also called a steam room, and a sauna that uses only hot air is called a dry sauna.
Saunas are commonly found in resorts and hotels, gyms, community centers, spas, and luxury homes, among other places. These rooms are usually lined from top to bottom with wood planks, usually cedar wood. This type of sauna is also called a cedar sauna. Some places can have an outdoor sauna, which is typically housed in its own building.
In Finland, where the sauna originated, there is a home sauna present in almost every house.
What are saunas used for?
The sauna experience can be incredibly restorative for those who use saunas. Sauna use is tied to a decrease in stress among regular sauna users, which can then decrease instances or severity of stress-related diseases. This decrease in stress can be attributed to many different aspects of a sauna session, including the fact that it is a warm and quiet space that is free from the distractions of the modern world. Additionally, the heat from the sauna relaxes the muscles of the body and improves blood circulation.
Because a sauna is a quiet and small space with a door, even a larger sauna can be an ideal location for gatherings of friends and acquaintances. This is especially true for rooms with sauna bench space that seats more than one person. Connecting with others is another excellent method for combating stress.
How is a sauna built?
This depends on many different factors, including what type of sauna is desired, and whether it will be an indoor or outdoor sauna.
An indoor sauna can be converted from an existing closet or bathroom. An indoor home sauna can also be built in another location in a home, as long as one has access to 120 volts for the heater or infrared lights. The best types of saunas for indoor spaces are infrared or electric heater saunas.
An outdoor sauna can be built on an existing porch or deck, or it can be built separately in its own structure. When it comes to outdoor saunas, wood-burning or steam saunas are ideal.
Because saunas can be heated to 150 degrees or hotter, the wood used in a sauna should be a flexible softwood that is mostly impervious to damage from moisture and warping from the heat. Cedar saunas are the most popular because of the beautiful look of cedar wood, but also because this wood fits those criteria and is also pleasant smelling, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Poplar wood and basswood are other popular choices, because they are hypoallergenic and virtually odorless. For those worried about the sauna cost, hemlock is a popular budget-friendly wood choice.
Sauna size depends on the type of sauna heater and the number of regular sauna users. The most popular sauna seating layout involves the presence of an upper and a lower bench. The upper bench is usually 18 to 24 inches wide by 36 inches high, while the lower bench is typically 18 inches high.
The typical sauna size is anywhere from three feet by three feet to eight feet by twelve feet. There should be two feet of bench space for each person to sit. Additionally, a glass door can make a sauna feel more open and can let in more natural light to illuminate the sauna room.