I’m not sure what it is, but architects and casual sauna hot room designers are quick to lay out their hot rooms to include L benches. And 90% of the time, at point of construction, we realize that things are getting too tight.
Generally speaking: I’m not a fan of L benches in sauna. Why? Three reasons:
- Corners benches are dead space. You can’t fit your butt in the corner. They do work for laying down, however.
- Knees knock. Two people sitting in the corners, adjacent, need to put their feet somewhere, and they end up knocking knees.
- Standing around space is valuable. L benches take away from standing space. A more generous standing space gives a sauna hot room good flow. Anybody sitting on the benches can come and go without the “excuse me” or “Let me know when you’re ready to go” chatter. Also, it is beneficial to have space to stand and stretch in the hot room, or dump water over your head.
What’s a better way to design our sauna hot rooms?
Go with stadium seating. Like this:
Then, after your sauna build, after a few sauna rounds, you can always come back and after market your sauna with the introduction of more benching, if you think you want it. And more often than not, an added “L” becomes a creatively functional slider, or a free standing removable bench, or perhaps bench cover for wood supply.
How wide should sauna benches be?
24″ is the magic width for sauna benches. Building 24″ wide benches, allow us to lay down comfortably, and we have ergonomically happy depth for sitting. 24″ is especially valuable depth for our upper benches. We like 24″ for lower benches too, yet we tuck under the lower bench 4″ (to avoid ankle twisting when stepping up and down). The exposed bench width of our lower bench is 20.”
Many do better building stadium seating stadium benches for their new sauna builds. Then we can field verify this preliminary layout over the course of a few of our first sauna sessions.
SUMMARY: When designing for our sauna bench layout, like with cowbell, we can always add more later.