What Is the Best Wood for an Infrared Sauna?

Last Updated on September 16, 2020 by James Matthews

Why would you need an infrared sauna at home?

Because it can help you lose weight, detoxify your body, and sleep better. It’ll also improve your blood circulation and relieve your sore muscles.

But what’s the best wood for infrared saunas? Which one suits you the most? Let’s go through the best types of wood for saunas. Then we’ll recommend some brands.


Basswood has a light brown color and is smooth to touch because it has few knots. This wood can also handle high temperatures, which is what you’re looking for in a sauna.

Basswood’s density is about 25 pounds per cubic foot and it has a high strength to weight ratio, which makes it a durable option. 

Moreover, this type is perfect if you have sensitive skin or allergic reactions, since it’s hypoallergenic and completely odorless.


The red cedar wood is commonly used in saunas since it’s able to withstand infestation, which means that it’ll last a lifetime.

Cedar has a unique odor that’s composed of cedrene and cedral; those two components are used in the manufacturing of insecticides.

Another advantage of cedar is that it’s resistant to moisture, as well as withstanding different temperatures without bending.

Plus it has a soothing aromatic smell. What do we use that for? Yes, Aromatherapy. This yields a lot of benefits; better sleep, stress relief, and an overall calm temper. However, this might not suit you if you have sensitive skin.

Also, bear in mind that cedar comes in flashy color grades, from red to violet. It’s beautiful, but it doesn’t blend well in every house.


Hemlock is one of the most affordable options. It has a strong soothing odor. The scent of hemlock can’t be the best pick if you’re sensitive to strong scents, though. We have to say that Hemlock is not for every taste; it has knots and its color isn’t very consistent, yet it looks nice.

Hemlock is less durable than basswood or cedar, but it’s commonly used because it’s more affordable. It won’t last a lifetime, yet it could last for decades.

The only issue here is that you can’t use it outdoors since it can’t withstand decay. However, it’s an affordable choice if you’re looking for an indoor infrared sauna.


Aspen wood is a safe choice for your health. It’s not toxic and it’s odorless, which makes it a convenient pick for sensitive skin. It has a light color and a fine texture.

Aspen wood is easy to work with, also it doesn’t get contracted or expanded by temperatures and it’s resistant to moisture.

Besides, it ages nicely, which means that it’s durable and it’ll last.

Our Products Recommendations

Let’s take a look at 2 of the finest wooden infrared saunas on the market.

For Hemlock: DYNAMIC SAUNAS Barcelona 1-2 Person Far Infrared Sauna

This sauna has 6 low EMF carbon heaters that are larger than ceramic-tube heated saunas by 30% and they penetrate the skin 40% better than them, according to the manufacturers. The praise it gets from reviewers supports this claim.

Moreover, its exterior is made of double-walled hemlock, this results in increased durability, and higher heat retention.

The sauna measures 39.2 x 35.3 x 72.5 inches exterior-wise and can accommodate 2 people. Speaking of accessories, it comes with a towel rack, a magazine holder, and a remote controller for the lighting options.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Features a chromotherapy light system
  • Easy assembly
  • Features built-in aux connection & speakers


  • Advertised EMF values aren’t always accurate

For Cedar: Yukon 2 Person Cedar Infrared Heatwave Sauna

This luxurious indoor sauna will provide you with all you need to relax. It has a built-in stereo system and it also has cup holders, a magazine rack, and a towel hanger.

The sauna provides a chromotherapy option. It’s durable and it also comes with a 5-year warranty on the heaters, structure, and electrical parts.

The outside dimensions are 47.25 x 39.5 x 75 inches. It has 6 carbon heaters so that you can adjust it to your preferred heat degree.

In addition to all that, the sauna has an oxygen ionizer for breathing and dual-LED controls to make things easier.


  • The control panel is easy to use
  • It’s easy to assemble


  • It needs better heat distribution for the foot and bench panels

What’s the Difference Between an Infrared Sauna and a Traditional Sauna?

While both use heat to rid your body of toxins, they have some important differences. Traditional saunas can reach up to 195 degrees, while infrared saunas won’t reach more than 150 degrees. That might make an infrared sauna more comfortable.

Speaking of heat, infrared saunas take less time to heat, so they’ll save your time.

The method of heating is the key difference, since a traditional sauna uses rocks and stove, while an infrared sauna uses infrared heaters.

What Are the Benefits of Infrared Sauna?

The main and obvious benefit is detoxification. The sweating makes your body release all the toxins. That’s not the only important benefit, though.

Stress-relieving is another benefit as well. Saunas can help you get relaxed. Also, they can soothe your sore muscles or joints and relieve the pain, leading to more comfort.

Saunas can also help you lose weight and can boost your immune system. Moreover, they’ll provide you with a much clearer and more refined skin, and they’ll reduce the cellulite.

Saunas have been known to help with some diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. They’re really beneficial and having one at home will allow you to get the best use of it whenever you want.

What to Consider When Buying an Infrared Sauna? (Wood-Wise)

There are some factors you might want to consider first before purchasing any of the mentioned products.


The main goal for the sauna is detoxifying, which means that when choosing a type of wood, you have to be sure it’s not toxic. Less processed wood is always better.

Wood is mainly considered toxic for its dust, but some types also remain toxic after the finishing like; Blackwood and Ebony. I’d recommend you check the list of toxic types.


Since we’re talking about indoor infrared saunas, then you should obviously choose the design and color that goes best with your house interior design. You don’t want your sauna to look odd.


If you have an allergic response to strong odors, then I’d recommend you opt for Aspen or Basswood. Wood with a scent, even if nice, will only make things worse for you.


You’d also want to know how the wood ages. Will it last for years? Is it more subject to decay? This wood will probably experience high degrees of heat frequently so it has to be durable.

We wouldn’t recommend a wood type that can’t last and function for ages. It’ll be a waste of money.

Why Are Saunas Made of Wood?

The most obvious answer to that will be that wood can’t conduct heat and it doesn’t get affected by it, but there are more reasons.

Wood is considered a hygienic material that’s easy to maintain. Most good types can withstand insects or bacteria, making it a convenient option for your health.

Wood can also freshen and clear the air since it’s odorless. Even when it’s scented, the scent is natural, so it’s not harmful unless you’re sensitive to it.


Q: How long should I sit in an infrared sauna?

A: If it’s your first time, try using it once or twice a week. Start with 10-15 minutes sessions. Later, you can add minutes gradually. Never stay for more than 40 minutes.

Q: Who can’t use an infrared sauna?

A: If you have chronic diseases or major health issues, you should check with your doctor first. Pregnant women and women while menstruation shouldn’t use it, as well as kids.

Q: What do I have to do before going into the infrared sauna?

A: The most important thing is to drink water. You’ll sweat a lot, and you’ll be dehydrated so you need to drink water before.

Q: How can I clean my infrared sauna?

A: Don’t use any chemical products to clean it, as this would defy the main purpose of the sauna; detoxifying. Instead, you can just use a damp cloth to clean the surface of the wood.

Summing Up

Wood is the first thing to keep in mind when buying your infrared sauna. After seeing all the options, I think I’d go for Aspen.

It’s the safest choice when it comes to toxicity, it’s odorless so you don’t need to worry if you have sensitive skin, and it’s also affordable.

Besides, the Essential Aspen 2 Person Infrared Sauna is well designed so it’s a win-win.

If you’re sure that scents won’t cause any sensitivity then you might opt for cedar since it has a pleasant soothing scent, and it’ll make you feel like you’re in a real sauna.