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Are you ready for World Sauna Forum 2022 in Tampere Finland?

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On the heals of Sauna Days in Two Harbors, Minnesota, we are pleased to present the World Sauna Forum which is happening June 6-8 in Tampere Finland.

The Sauna Capital of the World

What better locale to be hosting this year’s World Sauna Forum than Tampere, Finland? Sure, the city of Tampere is the number one travel destination for Finns in their home country. Tampere is known as a progressive university town, second to Helsinki in terms of Finland’s largest urban population. Yet Tampere, Finland is most recognized as The Sauna Capital of the World. And guests will be able to visit some of these saunas in conjunction with this years World Sauna Forum.

The World Sauna Forum event takes place June 7, 2022. A few tickets are still available. Finn Air through Chicago or New York City or Iceland Air through Minneapolis or New York City are your best air options from the US.

A global presence

There are over 300 guests from 14 different countries signed up for this year’s World Sauna Forum. There is a full day of speakers and activities planned, including a sauna and wellness market of exhibitors.

World Sauna Forum roundtable discussion from 2019

Sauna words, meaning, and tradition

As we know, “Sauna” (no matter how you pronounce it) is currently the only Finnish word to be adopted into the English language. And this is a testament to the growing interest in sauna as an enjoyable relaxing experience for people all over the world. As people become more interested and aware of sauna, as a noun and a verb, there are budding possibilities that the words löyly and sisu are working their way into the global nomenclature. And let’s not forget lämpömassa. This conference will be full of Sauna Talk with sauna professionals from all over the world, all who respect the meaning and importance of this cherished, healthy, cultural tradition.

Urban sauna action into the night at the World Sauna Forum, Tampere, Finland.

SaunaTimes would like to hear from you!

I will be attending this year’s World Sauna Forum. I am a panelist for discussion about “the future of sauna business.” Please write in comments sections any topics or questions you think relevant for this meeting. I am debating whether to wear a NATO shirt or not, but either way, i’ll be waving the good heat flag on behalf of you and all of us who appreciate all the goodness that good sauna brings.

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37 thoughts on “Are you ready for World Sauna Forum 2022 in Tampere Finland?”

  1. Been using sauna for many years, now it’s time to build or potentially buy my own. I am all about quality but also am not rich. No matter what size and dimension I’m looking for quality components that will be fire driven. Currently not a lot of room for a huge build out but that will change some day. Am in the Boston area.
    Grateful for what you do

  2. I would like you to ask if Finland has funding streams (like our NIH) to further large scientifically sound research on high quality sauna outcomes? I would assume you are going to be asking something like this give the research institute. I am referencing your last podcast which effectively ended as to do such a large and costly study here it would require philanthropy.

  3. I really want to know about using medicinal plants on the rocks or in the sauna in general. Which plants are used? How are they used? And for what purpose l? Thanks 🙏

  4. Dave,

    Thanks for your thoughtful question. Yes, separate from World Sauna Forum, I’ll be visiting with Jari and others regarding Sauna Research Institute initiatives. Regarding the podcast with Dr. Jonathan Bricker, yes, i was shocked at the $1mm plus figure he shared with us. Candidly, if cash isn’t the constraint, it is administration. SRI is a non profit, ie. nobody on the payroll. So it’s a lot of chicken/egg in order to find reputable people/organizations to manage and do the work. Hashtag: not easy sledding.

  5. My question is this: how important is it to place the sauna heater/stove on the same wall as the door? Is this practice simply based on tradition or does it affect the airflow and heating process of the sauna? I always thought the heater/stove should be on the same wall as the door but I keep seeing new saunas where the heater/stove is in the middle of the room, mounted on a side wall, or placed opposite the door. Is this just the result of ignorance of proper sauna design or does it really not matter that much where the heater/stove is placed?


  6. Hi Glenn!

    I’m a big fan of your work with Sauna Times and have purchased your e book and am planning on using it as a very important resource and guide for our second sauna build in North Idaho!

    I’m curious to know, being a hockey fan and sauna fan…did the Finnish National Ice hockey team have a sauna regimen during the recent 2022 IIHF World Championships that allowed them additional recovery during the tournament and was that a contributing factor in them winning the Gold Medal on home ice this year? Someone in Tampere has to know and I believe the tournament recently concluded in Tampere.

    Thanks again for your work with Sauna Times, keep it up!!!


  7. Glenn,

    I sauna alone in the nude. But, with others, we all wear bathing suits.

    I’d be interested to know:

    a) The opinions of nude vs. bathing suits

    b) If many prefer nude, then some advice on how to introduce it, encourage it, etc.

    Safe travels~

    Billy Scrantom

  8. Is there a way to increase the humidity level in the sauna without pouring water on the rocks?

  9. As a “Half Finn” who took Weekly Saunas with my “Mummu”/grandmother and her cohort of Elderly Finn women, from the time I fit into the wooden Sauna Water Bucket, I need to know if the Health Benefits that seem to be emerging (along with SISU) from the “Sauna Experience”, planet-wide, are as hopeful and healthful as “advertised” and not mere promotional “tips and tricks”. What about all those babies, birthed in Saunas? I think I’m hoping to learn and share some “Naked Truths”!!
    Kitos, paljon!
    Peter “Pikku Pekka” Parsons

  10. Could the sauna community be doing a better job of providing people with the knowledge and resources required for enthusiasts to construct their own integrated saunas in their homes?

    Background on the question: A lot of publications and reference material is geared toward constructing free standing outdoor saunas. However, free standing saunas come with a higher cost than most can afford, and it creates an extremely high barrier to entry. I think a lot of people give up on their home sauna dreams because free standing outdoor saunas are simply out of their price range. In doing so they also never realize their aspirations of taking sauna on a regular basis and reaping the full benefits that you can only get with routine use. I think more people could be enjoying sauna routinely at their own homes, for a lower cost, if there was a greater amount of quality information out there regarding smaller, integrated saunas.

  11. I am hoping to see/hear information about the most efficient ways to heat a sauna. I live in a rural area of Southeast Alaska. Wood is plentiful but is it the cleanest & most efficient? I will be building a sauna and outdoor shower and would like to have guidance for unique designs, custom looks and recommendations for heating. I like learning about seating, back rests & more. Thank you!

  12. Hi Glenn, I’d like you to keep a lookout for some of the things that so-called “experts” in other countries are always bashing on about: lower benches that are slightly below the top of the stove, for example. Maybe ceiling heights that are less than eight feet. I think people in other countries are getting a bit dogmatic and presumptuous when they talk about things a “real Finn” would never do. It seems to me all the pointing out of mistakes by others, especially those who aren’t Finnish themselves, kind of ruins the fun. How about pointing out some of the real variabilities? Some folk would have us believe that all Finnish saunas are scientific wonders of perfect heat flow and that every Finn is born with “the knowledge”. I suspect it’s more the case that they’re pretty much a small room with a huge stove. Are there any barrel-saunas in Finland? At what point are some Anglo/American so-called “experts” actually talking out of their asses?

  13. Keith:

    Exactly. I appreciate your spirit and thinking. I have my dual metric/imperial tape measurer and will report back. I was going to also bring with me to Finland a referee uniform and yellow and red cards in breast pocket to point out all the infractions I see in Finland, trying to keep up with the so called Anglo/American “experts,” but a “real Finn” would never do such a thing.. haha.

  14. The University of Eastern Finland is doing sauna studies along these lines. Particulate emissions, etc. I am in touch with the head professor of the project, and hope to have some collaborative information to report back, Jennifer. The EU is clamping down on wood stoves, and clean burning is an important thing right now.

  15. Jacob:

    Very good. I like it. For DIY interior home sauna building, top of the list, two critical things are:
    1. ventilation. You have to design for fresh air intake and steamy used air outtake.
    2. electrical. 220v needs its own circuit and attention to length/gauge of wire.

    #1 – most mess this up. And for saunas adjacent to bathrooms, there is possibility to use existing bathroom mechanical ventilation, but it’s not always a slam dunk (ie, distance from hot room door to vent, etc.). And there’s still the issue of fresh air.

    #2 – It can be costly to hire a licensed electrician, but it’s not the end of the world.

    In Finland, you have 5.5 million people, 3 million saunas, and 100,000 lakes. The DNA in Finland is for sauna in nature (it’s bigger than all of us), but the improvement of electric sauna heater performance (“ahhhh”, when tossing water on the rocks), as well as changing demographics (push button on screen, play now) is making for more indoor home sauna action.

  16. Thanks Peter!

    In other words, could the origins of happiness and health of the people from the happiest country in the world (5 years running) begin at birthing in the sauna, and then extend at infancy to splashing around in the löyly bucket? If yes, what I like about where you’re going with the thinking is that sauna and the health benefits aren’t something you buy or invest in, but is more a lifestyle choice, genetically, or family traditionally.

    If that’s your thinking, then I am right there with you and am reminded of this article from 2019:

  17. Thanks Billy. Nudity and sauna seems to follow along different lines, depending on nationalities, generally.

    Again, generally:
    1. Finns sauna separate gender naked. (except public co-ed saunas are with bathing suits).
    2. Americans sauna co-ed with bathing suits. (except Burning Man and Archimedes Banya in San Francisco, where there is a hippy liberally aligned support of nude-ing up).
    3. Germans sauna co-ed naked. (and have timers and Kraftwerk posters on the wall).

  18. Mike:

    I can take this one, but rest assured, if you type “ventilation” into search bar above, you’ll be drawn into a major league ventilation rabbit hole.

    General summary:
    1. wood burning sauna: air intake down low, crack along hot room door. Vents (with chutes) 1′ from ceiling opposite wall from stove.
    2. electric mechanical ventilation: intake vent above the rocks, outtake vent opposite wall, down low.
    3. electrical non mechanical ventilation: see #1 above.

  19. Hi John:

    Thanks for the kind words. I’ll dig around on Finland national team and sauna as I’ll be staying a short walk from the Tampere ice arena where Finland won the World Championships. Additionally, I’ll be having lunch with Dr. Jari Laukkanen this week, and I’ll try to read your note to him. I’m sensing we’ll get a good chuckle out of your note above. Also being a hockey fan and a sauna fan, I feel your sequitur.

    Some of my best Minneapolis backyard winter saunas I’ve had over the years were after an invigorating pick up outdoor hockey game at the nearby park rink.

    Thermal goodness isn’t just about feeling good. There’s a powerful connection of avanto (ice swimming) as, at minimum, empowering the psychological fortitude (sisu) to be one with the ice. (woo woo, yes, but you know what I mean).

  20. Hi Streve:

    The older I get, the more convinced I am that the holy trinity of good sauna is heat, steam, and ventilation. Temperature is only one measurement of heat (the air), but temperature is variable depending upon steam and ventilation.

    The best climate in the hot room is one in which after exiting the hot room, one’s body is heated throughout. As Jim James would say “eternally even.”

    We’ll see what they have to say at the World Sauna Forum regarding temperature variant pros and cons. I may be met with frowns, or deer in headlights, or big knowing commiserating smiles (from the happiest country in the world).

  21. Hi Devin:

    Good one. This doesn’t exactly answer your question, but with wood burning saunas, locating the stove to the left or right of the hot room door is a practical good move. The walkway in and out of the hot room doubles as an access location for opening and closing the sauna stove door to add wood. With the Kuuma, the clearance off the front of the stove to combustibles is 48.” So, the walkway helps give us ample clearances.

    Now where does this 48″ come from? I tell you where this number comes from. UL certification inspectors loading firewood into a Kuuma. That’s where that number comes from. And anyone who has ever loaded firewood into a fired up Kuuma knows that it’s f***’ing hot! Kuuma hot. So, the UL inspector probably said “48” because he was charting all this in his UL certification uniform, not nude’d up ready to take a sauna round.

  22. I would like to build a savusauna and would like to know if this type of sauna is gaining any popularity among enthusiasts, or am I one of the rare few who finds the savusauna experience absolutely amazing?

  23. Hi Darren:

    During my trip, I will be reconnecting with Kimmo. Check out article here. He is working on a DIY savusauna ebook (parallel universe to mine), and i’m helping him out.

    Yes, I find the savusauna experience amazing. Right with you, brother!

  24. Glenn,
    I am also interested in ceiling heights in Finland. I am learning that higher ceilings are better as long as the top bench is near enough to the ceiling.
    Another thing I want you to look for is with regards to ventilation in electrically heated saunas. I understand that mechanical, as in ducted fan driven, ventilation is superior, with the air intake well above the heater and exhaust on the opposite wall, below the benches.

    Hyvää Matkaa ja terveisiä Suomelle!

  25. For those who also have a swimming pool which serves as their relatively cool, quenching body of water to then return to the sauna (works great in the winter), I would assume a salt water pool Vs a chlorine pool would be better to avoid the passage of toxins into the open pores of the skin. Is there a known list of the various pool chemicals a person should avoid (algicides and so forth…) which present greater risks of toxin exposure for the sauna-pool-sauna user?
    Thank you

  26. I have black Finnish volcanic stones from previous sauna stoves and I’ve also collected river rocks over the years for sauna use. Ive always had wood burners, and recently got a Kuuma. I know its an on-going debate, but which rock are preferred…and why?

  27. Hi Allan,

    You got it! Sauna rocks are an ongoing debate. olivine diabase, bassalt are preferred here in Finland. If you type “rocks” in search bar above, you’ll find a couple articles that dive into this in more detail. Cheers.

  28. Hi Edwin:

    Yes! And I think I outlined ventilation as 1, 2, 3 above. With mechanical, you got it. Air intake JUST above the rocks, and as you mention, exhaust opposite wall down low.

  29. Hi Glenn, Have a good time in Finland!
    I am in Long Island NY, and need help to build a Russian Bana in the basement. I want to know about electric heaters, your recommendation for dimensions etc…
    Can we have a zoom meeting? Please let me know your availability.
    I am looking forward to speak with you.
    Thank you.

  30. I’m a Finn on my mothers side but Canadian born and raised. The one thing that I inherited by rights is my love / obsession with sauna. I am an engineer and I work on climate change issues for the built environment professionally.

    A life-long dream is finally coming true and we are designing and build a back yard sauna and the choice between daily convenience and ability to have multiple sauna’s per day if desired and daily is a strong factor.
    Of course the wood-fired option has benefits such as experience, but more importantly, the ability to use it during power outages, natural disasters that have otherwise shut down the power grid to bathe and do other household things including staying warm if such an outage happens during the winter.

    With increasing frequency and scale of storms due to the climate crisis, are there any companies that supply a wood-fired AND electric combo so that you could use wood when the power is out or you want the experience but electric when that is more practical / expedient?

    I understand the added expense for designing and certifying (for the company), city bylaw/electrical install hassle, and space sacrifice are not insignificant, but honestly, I thought someone might have thought of this? (I see no reason why it couldn’t be technically feasible, I haven’t found anything to date though!) The wood-fired option would enable you to have hot water for bathing as well which is something you don’t need all the time when it’s at your home but as I said there are times when it could be extremely valuable.

    Love to have further discussions, hear about boutique companies that might be interested in taking this idea further, and any other thoughts!

  31. Hi Briana:

    Dual electric/wood sauna stove/heater. It’s good thinking and there is opportunity for it. The main hassle can be distilled to two letters: UL.

    UL (CSA in Oh Canada) wields an important and yet difficult stick in that without UL/CSA certification, the homeowner, dealer, manufacturer may all be hung out to dry if there’s an issue. And it’s only time here in the litigious US and A (Borat) whereupon a lawyer will come chasin’ if the UL sticker isn’t stickin’. And it’s a $30k 2 yr tooth pulling dental chair process to get that sticker.

    What a buzz kill to a great idea, isn’t it?

  32. Edwin:

    44″ (or centimeter equivalent) from ceiling to top bench is the magic. And this is what allows for two fists over your head to fit from top of your head to the ceiling. I think this is universally accepted as really good.

    Yes exactly on the ventilation plan you laid out for electric heated hot rooms.

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