Published Jun 7, 2022 2:00 PM
Portable saunas can provide all the health benefits of their larger counterparts. Those benefits include stress relief, muscle recovery, improved circulation, and detoxification. Once relegated to the realm of gyms and spas, saunas have exploded in popularity as medical studies demonstrated that they can relieve pain and promote relaxation. As brands create increasingly compact products, you can now bring the feel-good sauna experience home whether you live in a single-family home or one-bedroom apartment—no permanent installation required. And, unless you get one of the high-end models, portable saunas are more affordable than traditional saunas. Our favorite at-home saunas are comfortable to sit (or lay) in and easy to set up and break down. You’ll find a variety of styles out there, from full-body infrared saunas to sit-in steam saunas to sauna bags. This list of the best portable saunas for wellness and recovery will help you choose the best option for your home and your needs.
Best overall: SaunaSpace Luminati Portable Infrared SaunaBest sauna kit: SereneLife Full Portable Sauna Best infrared: Radiant Saunas Harmony Deluxe Oversized Portable SaunaBest for home: Clearlight Curve Sauna DomeBest small: HigherDose Infrared Sauna BlanketBest budget: Durasage Oversized Portable Steam Sauna
How we chose the best portable saunas
Portable saunas come in an array of styles, and we wanted to reflect this diversity while being mindful of price and durability. We searched through dozens of portable sauna products and narrowed down our list to include ones that are the highest quality possible within their price range. For example, we wanted to ensure the budget option came with a warranty in case any of the components fail.
When selecting the best portable saunas, we also considered the materials and power output to find energy-efficient options that won’t send your power bill skyrocketing. We also considered whether or not the portable sauna was aesthetically pleasing because it will become a staple in your home.
During our review process, we scoured reviews across multiple sites. Once we decided on a product, we cross-referenced multiple sites and retailers to ensure the product stood up to dozens of user reviews.
Things to consider before buying one of the best portable saunas
Type of heat
Portable saunas come in three varieties:
Dry saunas are the most traditional and use heating panels to warm the air without increasing the humidity. These saunas can reach higher temperatures than steam saunas Infrared saunas use infrared lighting panels to heat your body in an effort to aid muscle recovery. Because they use light to heat your body instead of heating the air around you, they generally don’t get as hot as traditional dry saunas (so you can spend more time in them). They’re a great option for sauna users who can’t tolerate the humidity of steam saunas or high temps of dry saunas. Steam saunas use—you guessed it—steam to warm the air and allow you to work up quite a sweat. Unlike dry saunas, steam saunas use a heater with water to warm up your space. They take a bit longer to heat up but provide a more classic experience similar to Finnish steam rooms.
You can find portable saunas that encapsulate your entire body or smaller options that you sit in from the neck down. If space isn’t an issue and you don’t get claustrophobic easily, you may want to choose a full-body personal sauna. However, the neck-down, collapsible saunas can be a great option for people who prefer to multi-task and read a book while relaxing. If you deal with chronic pain and have trouble sitting upright for long periods of time, a reclined sauna or sauna blanket could be a good fit.
Size and weight
Consider where you’re going to put your sauna and how often you’re going to use it. More spacious saunas will be more comfortable, especially for taller or larger users, but smaller saunas are better for saving space. If you plan to break it down after every use, you can opt for a foldable sauna with a larger footprint. Some portable saunas require a more elaborate setup and are best for users who aren’t ready to install a permanent indoor sauna but can leave a portable sauna up for longer periods of time.
Best portable saunas: Reviews & Recommendations
Best overall: SaunaSpace Luminati Portable Infrared Sauna
Why it made the cut: This beautifully designed, minimalist sauna is made of high-quality materials and creates a pleasant environment.
Dimensions: 52” x 52” x 63”Weight: 50.3 pounds Materials: North American basswood, bamboo, stainless steel, and canvas
Aesthetic design so you don’t need to break down after each use Walk-in style provides a full-body experienceHigh-quality, durable materials that are backed by a 10-year warranty
Heavy and may take two people to set upThe high price tag might be a deterrent for some buyers
Part of the sauna experience is the atmosphere: the lack of visual distractions and the smell of untreated wood. And this portable, full-body sauna allows you to immerse yourself in a relaxing environment. The wooden components, like the base and the stool, bring in elements of a traditional sauna without the heavy weight and elaborate installation. While some infrared saunas come with the risk of EMF exposure, SaunaSpace uses advanced technology to keep these levels low. (While some people may prefer to limit their exposure to EMFs, no research exists to support that low levels of exposure are harmful.)
The high-quality, sustainable materials take this personal sauna above and beyond the competition. The canvas comes in multiple colors—like indigo, stone, and hand-dyed turmeric—so you can match this sauna kit with your current wall color or room’s aesthetic. Although it is more expensive than most portable saunas, it is a beautiful, well-crafted addition to a home and comes with a 10-year warranty. If after the 100-day trial period you’re not satisfied, you can return it for a full refund.
Best sauna kit: SereneLife Full Portable Sauna
Why it made the cut: This portable sauna is tall enough for most adults to stand up in, creating a more comfortable home sauna experience than its competitors.
Dimensions: 35.4” x 35.4” x 70.9”Weight: 37 pounds Materials: Cloth, plastic
Full-size design allows you to reap full-body benefits Heats up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit Packable design lets you stow away when not in use
Set-up instructions can be confusingTaller people may not be able to fully stand inside
As one of the only full-sized, fully portable saunas on the market at this price point, the SereneLife is at the top of our list for best portable sauna kit. While most portable saunas require you to stick your head and neck out of a hole at the top, this is completely enclosed so you can get the infrared benefits on your face, head, and neck. It comes with a folding chair so you can sit comfortably inside and a heating pad for your feet.
After you set up this sauna for the home, just set your desired temperature and timer up to 60 minutes on the remote. It takes a while to heat up, but once it gets going, it can reach temps around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, mimicking your favorite gym sauna. Additionally, this model comes in both infrared and steam versions depending on the type of heat you prefer.
Best infrared: Radiant Saunas Harmony Deluxe Oversized Portable Sauna
Why it made the cut: It’s energy-efficient, spacious enough for people up to 6’5”, and portable enough to use for car travel.
Dimensions: 32” x 33” x 41”Weight: 24 pounds Materials: Polyester and beech
Roomy for a sit-in design sauna Incredibly energy efficientAll the components feel high quality and are backed by a 1-year warranty
Pricier than similar products Maximum timer length is 30 minutes
Tent-style portable saunas may look goofy, but they’re ideal for those with minimal space or people who want a lightweight option. This home sauna has a sturdy frame that makes it easy to get in and out, interior zippers for your hands, and a pocket for the handheld remote or a phone. Using the remote, you can control the temperature for both the sauna and foot pad, and set the low-EMF carbon fiber heating panels up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
The set-up and break-down processes take less than a minute, and the carrying handle makes transport easy so you can find relaxation anywhere. Plus, the quilted polyester fabric is moisture-resistant and looks nicer than many of the tent-style saunas. The complete sauna kit comes with two soft neck collars for optimal comfort and a padded floor mat that will help soak up moisture when the sweat builds. Although this personal sauna is on the higher end of the price range for his style, you’ll save money on power bills because of the energy-efficient carbon heating panels.
Best for home: Clearlight Curve Sauna Dome
Why it made the cut: Achieve full relaxation mode in this personal lay-down sauna.
Dimensions: 69” x 28” x 18”Weight: 80 pounds Materials: Organic hemp cloth, wood, memory foam
Memory foam pad is super plush and comfyLow-EMF infrared heat Comfortable, reclined design is great for users who can’t sit for long periods
Not as portable and space-efficient as others on this list Very heavy
Not everyone has the space, money, or time for a full-scale sauna installation. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. The Curve Sauna Dome allows for a high-quality experience without the hassle of a permanent home sauna. With a memory foam infrared pad and multiple heat level adjustments, this indoor sauna is one of the most comfortable options on our list. Simply set the timer, lay down, and relax. When you’re finished, slide the two domes together for easy storage.
The model uses far-infrared light, which is known for its wellness benefits including increased circulation and boosted immunity. It also comes with a lifetime warranty so you can buy in confidence knowing your purchase is protected. However, this sauna is a more serious investment than others on this list: it’s heavier, less space-efficient, and not travel-friendly.
Best small: HigherDose Infrared Sauna Blanket
Why it made the cut: Just about everything is better in bed and sauna sessions are no exception.
Dimensions: 71” x 71” Weight: TK pounds Materials: Waterproof Polyurethane fireproof cotton
Short pre-heat time of 10 minutes Non-toxic materialsFully adjustable with a handheld controller
Maximum interior circumference of 65 inches may be too small for some usersRequires more frequent cleaning
If the thought of being trapped inside a pop-up structure with your head sticking out the top gives you the heebie-jeebies, the HigherDose Sauna Blanket is the answer. This sauna bag provides all the benefits of a portable sauna, yet is thin, lightweight, and convenient. You can use it on any heat-resistant surface like your bed or a yoga mat, and you have the choice of wearing a layer of clothing or using HigherDose’s towel insert. However, you can expect to sweat a lot, so the manual emphasizes the importance of preventing any skin-to-mat action.
This product is just really thoughtfully designed. Charcoal and clay layers beneath the infrared panels balance the heat. Of all the options, this is one of the easiest to store, which can come in very handy if you’re extremely limited on space. It also makes it one of the easiest models with which to travel.
Best budget: Durasage Oversized Portable Steam Sauna
Why it made the cut: This affordable steam sauna leaves room in your budget for actually traveling.
Dimensions: 31.5” x 33” x 41”Weight: 15.8 pounds Materials: Polyester and PVC tubing
Two large pockets on the front can fit a tablet or bookGreat price 1.5-year warranty
Chair is flimsy and can only support up to 20 lbsClumsy frame design makes it hard to get in and out
This portable, sit-in steam sauna is great if you just want to test the waters of a home sauna or don’t have the cash to make a bigger investment. With the pop-up sauna tent and a foldable chair, this sauna kit has everything you need to start a regular sauna routine. (However, you may want to replace the flimsy chair with one of your own. Just make sure you don’t need it for other purposes—it will get sweaty!) This portable sauna also has dual pockets for a book or e-reader and easy-to-zip hand slots.
We like the budget-friendly price tag, but what we love best about this portable sauna is that you can add fragrances like herbs or oil to the plastic container on the side of the steam generator. The scent of lavender or jasmine will elevate your experience, and you can’t do this with an infrared sauna.
Q: How much do portable saunas cost? Portable saunas cost between $100 and $3000 dollars depending on the style, brand, and quality. If you want a reliable personal sauna, you should expect to spend at least $300, although you can find lower-quality options for cheaper.
Q: What are the health benefits of a portable sauna? Portable saunas are known for their health and wellness benefits including relaxation, improved circulation, pain relief, and reduced risk of disease, including hypertension. Research about sauna benefits used to be scant, but in the past five years, multiple studies have implied that sauna bathing can offer health and wellness benefits for many regular users.
Q: How long do portable saunas last? The lifespan of a portable sauna can vary widely. Just like any product, it depends on the quality of your purchase. While you can find dozen of budget options online, these may have a shorter lifespan than high-quality home saunas. Some portable saunas, like the Curve Sauna Dome, come with a lifetime warranty.
Final thoughts on the best portable saunas
For those who can afford it and have the dedicated space, the SaunaSpace Luminati is one of the best portable saunas available. The ThermaLight technology allows you to enjoy the benefits of infrared heat without the added risk associated with EMFs, and the organic canvas and bamboo components are minimal yet aesthetic enough to leave installed in the home.
Source : Popular Science