Best Barrel Sauna Kits for Your Backyard

Add a cozy Finnish-style sauna to your backyard with an easy-to-assemble barrel sauna kit.

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Barrel Sauna
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What Is a Barrel Sauna?

As its name suggests, a barrel sauna is an outdoor sauna shaped like a barrel set on its side. These types of saunas are cylindrical with long staves (lengths of wood with beveled or notched edges) that fit together to encircle the curved front and back walls.

Once assembled, straps wrapped tightly around the circumference keep the staves in place for a stable, tight fit. Some barrel saunas have straight sides to form a classic cylinder, and some are “coopered” so their sides bulge a bit at the center just like a classic wooden barrel.

Barrel saunas almost always require DIY assembly. An all-inclusive kit is a straightforward way to order the structure, stove, lava rocks, windows and door, and even accessories like a water bucket and ladle, wooden foot- and headrests and clothing hooks — all in one click.

We researched the best barrel sauna to add Nordic flair and the luxury of spa-like downtime to your backyard.

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Best Overall Barrel Sauna Kit

The excellent price/quality ratio, spacious interior and durable construction make the Huntington Cedar Electric Canopy Barrel Sauna ($5,520) by Almost Heaven Saunas an overall winner.

The electric heater can produce wet or dry heat and reaches up to 195 F in under an hour. Two long benches stretch the length of the sauna, with ample room for six people seated or two lying down. When the temperature soars, you can take a break outside on the two built-in seats under the canopied entrance.

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Best Wet/Dry Barrel Sauna Kit

This straightforward barrel sauna ($4,895) is a winner for its classic four-person design and affordable price that doesn’t skimp on the heat. The nine kilowatt (kW) electric heater can produce dry heat or, with a splash of water over the hot lava rocks, a burst of sweat-inducing steam.

Keep in mind this pine version has staves that have not been treated against moisture, so you may need to seal or cover the top of the sauna to protect it from the elements.

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Best Compact Sauna Kit

Measuring slightly more than five feet long, this two-person Barrel Sauna W20 by BZB Cabins and Outdoors ($5,490) takes the top spot for packing a hot punch despite its compact size.

Ideal for small yards or patios, the spruce sauna kit comes with a tinted, tempered glass door, choice of a wood-fired or electric heater, and roofing shingles for extra protection against the elements. You can even customize your kit with two square or two round windows, or one half-moon-shaped window on the back wall.

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Best Electric Barrel Sauna Kit

With its powerful six kW heater, this Pinnacle Cedar Four-Person Electric Barrel Sauna by Almost Heaven Saunas ($4,468) stands out from other similar-sized home saunas. The electric heater reaches its maximum temperature of 195 F fast and maintains the heat no matter what the weather is like outside.

Thick cedar staves insulate and their ball-and-socket profiles fit together tightly so you won’t get any heat dispersion. The sauna door is cedar (with a window) rather than tempered glass for further heat retention.

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Best Wood-Burning Barrel Sauna Kit

If you want to go old school, this charming four-person Allwood Barrel Sauna ($5,250) takes top prize with its wood-fired heater designed by the world’s sauna expert: Finland.

The resistant spruce walls don’t bleed resin at high temperatures like pine, and bitumen shingles protect the roof from precipitation. The playful circular cut of the entrance canopy lends the sauna a fairytale look.

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Best Barrel Sauna Kit Splurge

With seating for eight, a separate dressing room and a canopied entrance with two additional built-in seats, this Allwood Barrel Sauna ($6,995) offers lots of perks that more than justify the hefty price tag.

Besides its ample interior and exterior spaces, the sauna comes with a powerful six kW heater. The spruce staves avoid bleeding resin at high temperatures. Water-resistant bitumen shingles to weather-proof the roof are included.

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Best Value

This Aleko Outdoor and Indoor White Pine Barrel Sauna ($4,699) takes top spot for its 4.5 kW electric heater, powerful enough to bring the interiors to optimal temperature without overtaxing your home’s electrical system or driving your utility bills sky-high.

The classic design includes a tinted glass door for additional privacy, but the pine construction isn’t weather resistant.

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Best Igloo Sauna

What do you get when you cut a barrel sauna in half lengthwise? An igloo sauna with a curved top and flat floor that has all the ease of assembly of its barrel-shaped counterparts.

Sauna enthusiasts love the BZB Cabins and Outdoors POD Sauna Igloo Kit 40 ($8,650) for its eye-catching style, excellent quality, and DIY-friendly design. The stellar customer service for troubleshooting during setup makes this sauna company stand apart.

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All prices and links were current as of publication.

Rebecca Winke
Rebecca Winke moved to Italy from Chicago in 1993 and shortly thereafter took a deep dive into country living by renovating a sprawling medieval stone farmhouse and running it as a B&B for 20 years. Today, she spends her time writing about travel, culture, and food (it's Italy, after all!) for publications like The Telegraph and Italy Magazine, as well as pondering the strange winds that blew an urban vegetarian to a farm in Umbria.