10 Best Sauna Heater: Electric, Gas, Wood

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35 Models Considered

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85 Hours Research

65 Reviews Analyzed

A sauna is as good as its heater. 

Without a good heater, a sauna session can quickly become frustrating which is the opposite of what you want to experience in a sauna.

To find the perfect sauna heater, we scoured through dozens of online stores, spent 85 hours researching and evaluating reviews. 

After evaluating 35 products, their construct quality, cost and offerings like heat source type, stone capacity, and size, we found what we think is the best model heater of heater for most people – and if you want to save time, we think that’s the Vevor Sauna Heater

That said choosing an ideal sauna heater depends on your personal preference, budget and where your sauna is located. 

In this article, we have identified, assessed and reviewed in detail 10 of the best sauna heaters. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages – all of which we have discussed in below. You are welcome to jump directly to the full review section by clicking here

Busy and no time to read extensive reviews?  Here’s a quick look at the top sauna heaters.


Our Pick – Top 5 Sauna Heater Comparison


VEVOR Sauna Heater 9KW Dry Steam Bath Sauna Heater Stove 220V-240V with Internal Controller Electric Sauna Stove for Max.459 Cubic Feet Home Hotel Sauna Room Spa Shower Bath Sauna

VEVOR Sauna Heater (Electric)

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✓ Largest size offers maximum heating capacity, perfect for 7-8 people.
✓ Stainless steel shell ensures durability and rust-resistance.
✓ The heating coil made of stainless steel fast-tracks heating while also being power-efficient.
✓ Comes pretty much pre-assembled so installation is a breeze.
✓ 2,3,6 and 9kw units available

Rated #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5 out of 5


TURKU TU90WD-OD - Residential 9KW Wet & Dry 240V Sauna Heater Stove External CON5 Digital Controller

Turku Sauna Heater (Electric)

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✓ Perfect for commercial use, can handle 7-8 people.
✓ Comes equipped with an overheating protection unit.
✓ External digital controller allows you to manage temperature & timing without touching it.
✓ 9KW of heating power

Rated #2
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5 out of 5


Harvia M3 Woodburning Sauna Heater

Harvia M3 Sauna Heater (Wood Heater)

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✓ Comes in a jet black finish which is sure to impress your guests.
✓ Unique design with a glass door at the bottom.
✓ Stainless steel built protects against rusting and promotes durability.

Rated #3
⭐⭐⭐⭐
4.5 out of 5


Finlandia FLB-60 Sauna Heater, 6kw 240v/1ph, Maximum 300 cubic feet

Finlandia FLB-60 Sauna Heater (Electric Heater)

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✓ Enables presenting sauna timer so you don’t have to wait for sauna to heat up.
✓ Light weighted heater, perfect for 4-5 people.
✓ Stainless steel exterior ensures corrosion resistance and durability.
✓ 6kw of heating available

Rated #4
⭐⭐⭐⭐
4 out of 5


Harvia Cilindro 7 Sauna Heater, 6.8kw 240v/1ph, Maximum 354 cubic feet

Harvia Cilindro 7 Sauna Heater (Electric Heater)

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✓ Unique and stylish cylindrical design allows it to save space without compromising heating capacity.
✓ Generates both soft and intense steams.
✓ Requires minimal effort to service and operate.
✓ 6.8kw of heating available

Rated #5
⭐⭐⭐⭐
4 out of 5


Types of Sauna Heaters


Sauna heaters come primarily in three main types: electric, gas and wood.

Another type, infrared sauna heaters, though in trend these days is not recognized by major sauna societies including the Finnish societies—the birthplace of sauna. 

We will discuss each one of these heaters in detail and their respective pluses and drawbacks –

Wood, gas and electric sauna heaters
— Wood, Gas & Electric sauna heaters

1. Traditional Sauna Heaters (Wood)

They have a pretty simple assembly: wood is burned in an enclosed steel frame to generate heat for a sauna bath.

The best thing about it is the aroma of wood which for the sauna purists is an uncompromisable feature in a sauna bath.

These home sauna heaters have high operational cost, though they may come cheap initially.

Best suited for outdoor saunas, these heaters become the only option in areas where there is still no electricity. 

The heat produced by these heaters is  unregulated, however the experience will be better than an electric sauna stove.

To get the users dual advantage, many companies equip it with hot water tanks. 

2. Electric Sauna Heaters

Electric sauna heaters make the bulk of sauna heaters sold these days and there is a very convincing reason for it.

They are cheap, easier to operate and maintain. Plus, they have a number of exciting features. 

For instance, you can skip the waiting time for the sauna to heat up by programming it, or by managing it through your smartphone.

However, you will have to invest in a good electric heater for it.

Electric saunas heaters are most suitable for indoor saunas. All you have to do is to plug in the switch and wait for the sauna to heat up.

The only major drawback of the electric heaters is the operational cost which would contribute heavily to your utility bills. 

3. Gas Sauna Heaters

Gas saunas are best suited for areas which have natural or LP gas in abundance.

They are mostly used in gyms, hotels, and spas as they are in essence made for commercial purpose. 

Their high initial, operational and maintenance cost makes them a poor choice to be used at homes. 

However in commercial areas where there is need for 8-12 hours regular heating, these saunas may turn out to be the most cost effective option.  

 Another major drawback is the complexity of installation and of regular maintenance.

Unless you are a technician yourself, you will have to hire a certified technician even for regular maintenance. 

Infrared sauna heater panel inside a sauna
— Infrared sauna heater panels inside a sauna

4. Infrared Sauna Heaters

Infrared sauna heaters have an entirely different mode of operation than the other saunas we discussed above.

They directly heat the body rather than heating the air around it. 

They are fastly gaining popularity due to their low operational cost and easy installation. 

You will find most infrared heaters in indoor infrared saunas. They provide a more intense while operating at low temperature. 


How to Choose A Sauna Heater?


This comprehensive buying guide will help you steer clear of making the wrong choices. 

If possible, make a checklist of these features whenever you are out looking for a sauna heater to buy. 

1. Quality

The first and foremost feature to look for is the construction of the sauna heater. This should preferably be made of stainless steel which is strong, durable and rust-resistant.  Don’t forget that you will be pouring water on this heater so rust resilience is extremely important

2. Heater Type

Size

Heater size is dependent on your sauna size and capacity – the larger the size of the sauna, the larger the size of heater you will need.  A good rule of thumb is 50 cubic feet = 1 kilowatt. So if you have a 400 cubic ft sauna room, you will need an 8-kilowatt heater.

Heat source

There are three main heat sources for the type of dry heat that you’re after for a sauna – electric, gas and wood.

The choice of any of them is a personal preference. However, the electric heaters are the most convenient to use and also the most reliable.  

Heat up time

The wood heaters take more than an hour to heat up, and are difficult to maintain, but on the other hand they have that rustic feel and are the closest to a ‘traditional sauna experience’ if that’s what you’re after.

Gas heaters are more suitable for commercial purposes, and they also take a considerable amount of time to heat up the sauna. 

Electric heaters take less time than others to heat up the sauna, and most importantly, they can be put on a timer so the sauna is nice and toasty when you arrive home from work. 

Stone capacity

One way to measure the power of a sauna heater is to find out its stone or rock capacity.  In a nutshell, the stone capacity means the sauna heater is capable of heating up a certain weight equivalent of sauna rocks. The higher the capacity the more powerful a sauna heater is. 

3. Cost

The cost of sauna heaters depends mainly on its heating capacity and heat source type. The gas sauna heaters are the most expensive, whereas the electric sauna heaters are the most affordable for home saunas. 

The wood heaters may come cheap initially, but they have a high operational cost – unless you own your own trees you can cut down for wood and then it becomes very economical.

For home saunas, for my money the electric sauna stove wins hands down.  All the premium sauna manufacturing companies offer warranty and stand by their products and most offer a 2 year warranty.

4. Look

The design and look of a heater has nothing to do with how it works, but who doesn’t want to have an aesthetically pleasing heater in the sauna? Most preferably, the heater should be compact and is of color that matches the interior decor of the sauna. 

5. Assembly

Sauna heaters usually require manual assembly. In most cases, it requires a certain level of expertise to install the heaters. Electric heaters should always be connected to the electricity by a qualified electrician. After all, you will be pouring water on this heater – you need to know it’s safe.

When given an option, the preassembled heaters should always be preferred. 

6. Extra features

Electric sauna heaters and usually programmable and some even have a smartphone app. Wood burning sauna heaters, on the other hand, offer hot water tanks as an extra.


What are the Best Sauna Heaters?


VEVOR Sauna Heater 9KW Dry Steam Bath Sauna Heater Stove 220V-240V with Internal Controller Electric Sauna Stove for Max.459 Cubic Feet Home Hotel Sauna Room Spa Shower Bath Sauna

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 7-8 person sauna

Vevor is the best sauna heater we have come across. Vevor sauna heater is a treat to the eyes thanks to its elegant design and stainless steel finishes. 

The company offers heaters with varying heating capacity.

The model we are reviewing here is of maximum heating capacity that is enough for a 7-8 person sauna.

This 9KW sauna heater can be used for commercial purposes. 

To start with, it comes packed in a stainless steel shell which, in turn, is known for its durability and rust-resistance.

The heating coil is of the same material with an advantage of fast heating and power-efficient design. 

Though the heater cannot be connected to a smart device, you can manually maneuver the setting via the controls at the front. 

The mechanical knobs offer temperature and time adjustment and are pretty handy.

Last but not least, it arrives pretty much pre-assembled and so the installation is a breeze.

PROS

✓ Visual appeal and the sturdy design
✓ Heavy duty heater, best suited for commercial purposes
✓ Easier to install, convenient to operate & maintain

CONS

✗ Sauna rocks and power cord are not included in the deal
✗ No warranty

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TURKU TU90WD-OD - Residential 9KW Wet & Dry 240V Sauna Heater Stove External CON5 Digital Controller

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 7-8 person sauna

Turku Sauna Heater is the most affordable heavy duty sauna in our list.

In many of its features, it is similar to the Vevor model we discussed above. 

They both allow for wall mounting; they both are high power heaters and lastly, they both are suitable for commercial purposes as they can handle 7-8 users, and even more, at a time. 

Apart from the cheap price tag, the one obvious benefit of this heater is the external digital controller.

It allows you to control the temperature and timing of the heater without having to touch it. 

The sauna heater can fill upto 30-40 lbs stones, and can provide for both wet and dry heating sessions

To keep users on the safe side,  it is equipped with an overheating protection unit.

It promptly shuts down the heater if the temperature inside the home sauna rises to abnormally high level.

PROS

✓ Affordable
✓ Easier to maintain & use
✓ Digital controllers for convenience of users

CONS

✗ Unimpressive design

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Harvia M3 Woodburning Sauna Heater

Type: Wood burning
Ideal For: 4-5 person sauna

Harvia is the leader in the sauna manufacturing industry. This M3 sauna heater attests to the quality and class of Harvia products. 

To begin with, this wood burning sauna is a little heavy and larger in size than its electric counterparts.

However, the overall design doesn’t fail to impress you. 

The Harvia sauna heater is made up of stainless steel that is protected against rusting

The glass door at the bottom allows for the warm glow of the fire to complement the sauna atmosphere.

The M3 sauna heaters are fairly cheaper than the electric sauna stoves of the same size and capacity, however, it requires more effort to maintain and has high operational cost. 

You must take into consideration that wood burning heaters have usually unregulated heat and take more time to heat up sauna rooms.

On the plus side, you will enjoy an intense heating session.

PROS

✓ It is easier to install
✓ Free sauna stones with purchase

CONS

✗ Require more effort to maintain
✗ No warranty with the product

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Finlandia FLB-60 Sauna Heater, 6kw 240v/1ph, Maximum 300 cubic feet

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 4-5 person sauna

Finlandia is another reputable brand in the sauna manufacturing industry. 

If you are looking for a lightweight sauna with an average heating capacity, this sauna is the best option for you.

You will get sauna stones with the purchase.

The most striking feature in this heater is its programmability.

You can set the timer precisely 8 hours prior to the sauna bath so you won’t have to wait for the sauna to heat up.

The timer can be set using mechanical knobs at the front, there is no digital controller for it. 

This 6kw sauna heater is enough for heating a sauna with 4-5 person maximum capacity.

The heating filament is of professional grade and has reasonably high heating power. 

The exterior is of staMost affordable heavy duty sauna, perfect for commercial use, can handle 7-8 people. Comes equipped with an overheating protection unit which ensures you have a worry-free peaceful sauna session. It’s external digital controller allows you to manage temperature and timing without having to touch it. inless steel to ensure corrosion resistance and durability. It can be mounted on the wall.

Last but not least, Finlandia sauna heaters are approved by all major European and the US authorities for its conformity with health, safety and environment protection standards. 

PROS

✓ Durable, corrosion resistant built is its major strength
✓ Power efficient, suitable for home saunas
✓ Programmable timer

CONS

✗ No warranty with the purchase

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Harvia Cilindro 7 Sauna Heater, 6.8kw 240v/1ph, Maximum 354 cubic feet

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 4-5 person sauna

With Cilindro 7, Harvia has come up with the best electric sauna heater. 

This heater’s cylindrical design is a major break with the normally found saunas in the market.

The compact design allows it to save space without compromising on heating capacity. 

Also, it can carry upto 200 lbs stones and need minimal effort to service and operate.

Mechanical knobs to control temperature and timer are absent in this model, however users will get a treat in the form of a digital controller.

The controller performs the similar function but it is more convenient to use than knobs. 

Lastly, its design lets you generate two kinds of steam: soft steam by throwing the water on sides and an intense steam by pouring the water on the top. It’s perfect for your home steam sauna.

PROS

✓ Compact cylindrical design
✓ Free sauna stones

CONS

✗ Cannot be mounted on wall

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ALEKO Coasts AM60MID4 Sauna Heater 6 kW 240V CON 4 Digital Controller Galvanized Sheet Shell for Spa Sauna Room

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 3-4 person sauna

This Aleko Coasts sauna stove is famous for its durability and affordability.

For those who are on a shoestring budget, and still want to have a reliable home sauna heater, this one is highly suitable. 

Not that this heater offers something extraordinary than others in our list but the fact that it offers them in a limited budget is striking. 

It has a stainless steel frame that is resistant to rusting, corrosion and high temperature

To control the temperature and timing of the heater, you can use both the mechanical knobs at the front and the digital control panel that is included in the package.  

Other striking features of this sauna stove include  energy efficient coil and the internal safety mechanism.

It automatically shuts off when the temperature in the room rises to dangerously high levels.

Lastly, it takes little to no effort to install.

With regular tools and a little know-how of electric circuits, you can easily install it within minutes.

PROS

✓ It is highly affordable
✓ Easier to install and maintain

CONS

✗ You would have to buy sauna stones separately

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TURKU 2000W 110V 90 Cu.Ft. Mini Type Electric Sauna Heater Stove Built-in Control for Traditional Sauna

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 1-2 person sauna

Turku Mini sauna heater is one top of the line electric heater that is suitable for 1-2 person saunas.

This is the second product by the same company in our list, and has a lot in common with its heavy duty counterpart. 

The key advantage of this heater is the ease of installation.

You don’t need any special cricut or wiring to operate it.

All you have to do is to plugin the switch, and the heater is ready to be used. However, it cannot operate for more than one hour.

As far as the built quality is concerned, Turku has taken special care of it in all its products.

The stainless steel design is resistant to high temperature and mainly to corrosion.

The teflon coated heated element heats up the stones and ultimately the sauna quite efficiently, whereas the vents inside ensure the proper air circulation

This heater doesn’t come without a safety mechanism installed.

The heater automatically shuts down once the temperature inside it or in the sauna rises to unbearable extremes.

PROS

✓ Power efficient heater
✓ Easy installation
✓ Can be mounted on wall

CONS

✗ Stones not included in the package

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Tylo Sense Sport 8 Sauna Heater, Maximum 420 Cubic feet

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 7-8 person sauna

Not even a single product in our list can come close to this heater, if we take elegance and aesthetics as the only measures of our assessment criteria.

Tylo nailed it, as far as the design is concerned. 

It is encased in a dark thermosafe casing. The chances of getting hurt by accidently touching the heater are minimized. 

On the inside, there is a stainless steel body with a vented design.

There is a small opening on the top to ladle water and to add aromatherapy fragrance.

Also, sauna stones are included in the package so you will save a little money in the deal.

Sense Sport 8 heater has been approved by top quality assurance authorities in the US and Europe.

It is certified for safety, health and environmental protection. 

The Tylo sauna heater is a large sized heater and draws maximum power while running at full capacity.

Therefore, it is not a good choice to be used at home.

Its installation requires special circuit and wiring, and it takes an electrician to do the job.

PROS

✓ Elegant design
✓ Thermosafe casing
✓ Dependable heater

CONS

✗ No digital controller despite the high price

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Amerec Sauna Heater with Rocks and Pure 2.0 Control Included (Sauna Designer Trend 8KW)

Type: Electric
Ideal For: 5-6 person sauna

Amerec is offering this sauna heater in three different models. They have the same design but different capacity.

The largest of them, the 8 kW model is the product we are reviewing. 

The major benefit of this sauna heater is the digital remote control.

You can control the temperature and timing of the heater with the ease of a single press.

There are no mechanical knobs on the heater.

There are little chances that you get impressed by its looks.

The heater is a little heavy and the manufacturer chose a very poor color scheme.

However, the construction is sturdy enough to withstand high temperature and rusting

Furthermore, being a high power heater, it needs special wiring and a separate connection.

You would have to hire an electrician to properly install it. 

Last but not least, it comes with 50 lb sauna stones making it a worth investing heater.

PROS

✓ Affordable
✓ Stones included
✓ Digital remote control

CONS

✗ Bulky and old-fashioned

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10. Vico Sauna Heater

240-Vico Ultra Gas / Propane Sauna Heater BTU 40,000

Type: Gas
Ideal For: 6-8 person sauna

Vico sauna heater is the only gas heater in our list.

Gas heaters should be preferred where natural or LP gas is in abundance, whereas this model by Vico is most suitable for large saunas in gym, hotels and spa.

This model has all in all stainless steel design which is treated to protect it against corrosion and high temperature.

Through the wall flue cap venting ensures proper air circulation so you get an intense steaming session. 

Most people are wary of the safety of the gas heaters, and it is right to be concerned.

Gas heaters are the most dangerous type after the electric ones, and therefore they should be equipped with an internal safety mechanism.

Vico has installed a built-in thermal cutout in this heater to protect it against overheating

Lastly, this gas heater is built to last for years.

It is easier to install and maintain, and if used commercially, have low operational cost.

PROS

✓ Include high density stones
✓ Built-in safety cut-out
✓ Huge stone carrying capacity

CONS

✗ Some users reported issues with the ignitor

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Final Thoughts


Of all the heaters we have discussed above, Tylo Sense Sport 8 Sauna Heater is the most stylish and reliable.

It checks all the boxes of a good home sauna heater.

Tylo is recognized as one of the best sauna heater brands out there making it a trustworthy product. 

But the ultimate choice, however, rests with you. Choose what fits your needs. 


FAQs

What is the best sauna heater?

The best sauna heater is the Vevor Sauna Heater. We compared it with 35 models. Read our review on Vevor here

How do I choose a sauna heater?

To choose a sauna heater, you need to consider the size, cost, quality, design, heat sources, heat up time, stone capacity, and extra offerings. Learn more about how to choose a sauna heater.

How much does a sauna heater cost?

A sauna heater may cost something between $200-1200. That said, the cost is just one of the criteria you should consider when you want to buy a sauna heater. Learn about all the things you need to consider when choosing a sauna heater.

What size heater do I need for my sauna?

To figure out what size of the heater you need for your sauna, you need to follow a formula which is – 50 cubic feet = 1 kilowatt. Say, you have a 400 cubic feet sauna room, you need an 8-kilowatt heater.

How long do sauna heaters last?

Sauna heaters can last for upto 20 years but it comes down to how well the heater was made and how you are taking care of it. Most sauna heaters come with a warranty of 1 to 5 years. 

What is the best sauna heater for my sauna rooms?

The best sauna heater is the Vevor Sauna Heater. We compared it with 35 different models and Vevor came up on top. But it might not be best suited for you. Check out our post on how to choose the best sauna heater.

Is it safe to put water on an electric sauna heater?

No, it’s not safe to put water on an electric sauna stove. It’s dangerous. Water may cause short circuits which can lead to a fire. 

What is the difference between an electric and an infrared sauna heater?

The biggest difference between an electric and infrared sauna is the heat they produce. Unlike an electrical sauna, infrared saunas is equipped with heating elements that causes the body to sweat at a low temperature. Moreover, the electric heater heats the air which in turn heats the body. Infrared heater on the other hand, heats the body directly but at a low temperature. 

Are sauna heaters safe?

Yes, sauna heaters are safe. Manufacturers ensure that their product is not harmful to their customers. Even then, you should follow basic measures like not touching the heater when it’s hot, not pouring water over an electric heater, etc.

Found the best sauna heaters of your sauna rooms, or do you need more help? Leave a comment below with all your doubts and queries. We’ll get back to you asap.

2 thoughts on “10 Best Sauna Heater: Electric, Gas, Wood”

  1. Question – I notice that all of the Vevor heaters say “dry” instead of “wet or dry”. Does that mean you can’t pour small amounts of water on the rocks to produce steam, as you might be able to do with other heater brands that specifically say “wet or dry”? My sauna space is very small (~200 cu ft) and I am primarily looking for a dry heater. But I do not want to limit myself to not being able to produce steam. Would you advise against Vevor for this reason? I noticed in your review of Turku that you specifically mention “wet or dry heating sessions” but I am unclear of the exact difference since all of these heaters look basically the same.
    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    Reply
  2. Apologies for the late reply. The Vevor heater is wet and dry one. It says “dry steam bath sauna”. So that means, it’s a dry sauna where you take steam baths (i.e. you can throw water on the rocks). I hope this helps 🙂

    Reply

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