Authentic Sauna Blog

Wood or Electric sauna stove?

I have had many emails on this question.

  • “I’m building a sauna and can’t decide whether….”
  • “Glenn, you mention an outdoor wood burning sauna but we have an ideal place in our basement for….”
  • “My husband wants a wood burning sauna, but i’m worried about…”
  • “I grew up with an old school wood burning sauna, and now it’s my turn to build my own….”
  • “Glenn, I have plenty of access to wood, and enjoy the wood cutting experience, yet I’m concerned that my wife won’t want…”
  • “What about the smoke, will my neighbors…”
  • “I’ve heard that a wood stove can take hours….”
  • “I can hook up 220v heater because we finally pulled out our hot tub bacteria petri dish…”

In defense of electric heated sauna stoves:

  1. Easy to use: Flip a switch, or use the programming device.
  2. Easier to install, no chimney stack.
  3. No red tape with insurance company or fidgety building inspector.
  4. Sauna stoves heat rocks, who cares how they’re heated?
  5. Cleaner, easier to maintain.

In defense of wood heated sauna stoves:

  1. Authentic, natural way to heat.
  2. Brings forward the ‘up north’ cabin vibe.
  3. Promotes and outdoor experience and the concept of escape.
  4. Negative ions are realized through wood burning.
  5. Wood burning saunas vent better, more naturally.
  6. More radiant heat for better “ahhhh” loyly production.

I didn’t list that electric sauna stoves heat quicker, as I can personally attest that my wood burning saunas (all three) heat up about the same time as electric sauna stoves.  Nate’s Firestarters help, custom made by a Barton School student.  They are so easy, an 11 year old can do it.

Wood, electric, let’s not debate forever:


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