The 5 Best Portable Saunas for Recovery and Relaxation

Updated: May 08, 2024

The best portable saunas let you bring the joys of the spa home without breaking the bank. Our editors put a range of sauna blankets and tents to the test to find you the very best options.

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After a long day of work or an intense workout, there’s nothing quite like a sauna session. Warm, comforting and packed with health benefits like cardiovascular improvements and reducing arthritis pains, saunas are an exceptionally pleasant way to unwind. But, not everyone can afford a spa membership or have the room for an indoor or outdoor home sauna. Rather than go without, the Family Handyman team went out to find the best portable saunas that’ll save you money and space.

Tatdol Portable Home Steam Sauna Box Caroline Stanko Ssedit

Best Overall

Tatdol Portable Home Steam Sauna Box


  • Easy to assemble
  • Spacious
  • Chair and foot massager included
  • Velcro strap to hold the door open
  • Runs up to 2 hours
  • Auto shut off
  • Dries quickly


  • Strong odor out of the box
  • No storage

Tatdol Portable Home Steam Sauna Box Caroline Stanko Ssedit B

For the closest thing to a classic home sauna, turn to the Tatdol portable steam sauna box. As our pick for best portable sauna, the 31.5 x 31.5 x 70.87-inch station is tall and roomy enough to easily fit the included steam box, folding chair and textured footrest with space to spare. The unit was still compact enough to be set up in the (infrequently used) dining room of my 1-bedroom apartment.

Once I had all the pieces laid out, the sauna was easy to assemble in under 30 minutes and I let the sauna air out for 24 hours. The tent’s waterproof fabric had a strong plastic smell that took a while to dissipate. The setup instructions also recommend running the steamer twice before you plan to use it to help with the scent.

I set the temperature to the middle of the scale (the temp ranges from 104-122°F) and time for 30 minutes (can run for up to 2 hours), then I hopped in and almost instantly relaxed. The folding seat (which looks like a camping chair) was comfortable and the included footrest/massager was a real bonus. The inside of the sauna gets very steamy, so it’s nice that there are zippered windows on three sides that let in a lot of light (even if you can’t exactly see out due to the steam). They can also be used to quickly vent the sauna if the heat becomes too much.

The Tatdol sauna box also dried quickly. Once I was done steaming, I left the entrance unzipped and hung it open on a convenient Velcro strap on the next panel. After a wipe-down with a microfiber towel, the box was fully dry in 10 minutes. Beyond the initial strong plastic smell, the only downside is that there isn’t any storage for all the pieces when the sauna is disassembled. There are a lot of pieces to this sauna, so you’d probably need to invest in a storage container to hold them all.

Fhma24 Mihigh Sauna Blanket Mary Henn 04 Ssedit

Best Blanket Sauna

MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket


  • Easy to use and clean
  • Very relaxing
  • Portable, comes with a carrying case
  • Waterproof
  • Zipper closure


  • Pricey
  • Controller has limited heat and timer settings

Fhma24 Mihigh Sauna Blanket Mary Henn 05 Ssedit A

Instead of dispensing hot steam, the MiHIGH sauna blanket uses infrared heat to warm you from your shoulders to your toes. Editor Mary Henn wrote a full review of the MiHIGH sauna blanket a couple of months ago and said, “This thing is like a weighted sleeping bag meets a heating pad.”

Mary used the blanket, which has nine temperature settings and a 30-60 minute runtime, on the floor, couch and bed and found that it was most comfortable on a cushioned surface. The infrared sauna relaxed her muscles, which is likely why it’s endorsed by sports organizations like the UFC.

The sauna blanket was so relaxing, it often made Mary drowsy. “My favorite time to use the blanket is right before bed, post-shower or post-workout, after a long day,” Mary says. “It’s incredibly soothing and de-stressing.” While Mary got her zen on in the MiHIGH, she didn’t notice the other mighty benefits the product’s website purports like burnt calories and clearer skin. While the $499 price tag is on the higher end, the infrared blanket goes on sale from time to time, and is still significantly cheaper than a permanent sauna, like a barrel sauna.

Serene Life Portable Sauna Sheri Kaz Ssedit

Best Budget

Serene Life Portable Sauna


  • Affordable
  • Heats up quickly
  • Easy to assemble
  • Compact size
  • Remote control


  • Steam doesn’t evenly disperse

Serene Life Portable Sauna Sheri Kaz Ssedit A

Coming in under $110, the Serene Life Portable Sauna is the best portable sauna on our list for those on a budget. It’s a tent-style steam shower with an opening at the top for your head and zippers on the front to free your arms to read, scroll on your phone or change the TV channel.

Sheri Kaz, Family Handyman associate product reviewer, found the sauna to be quick to set up, though she had to use some force when zipping the tent over the frame because of the snug fit. The Serene Life sauna is small and lightweight, so once the cover is on, it’s really easy to move around your finished basement or workout area.

The steamer works quickly and can be adjusted for temperature and duration. Sheri felt the included chair was comfortable and liked that the sauna is a convenient and quick way to sweat out toxins or warm up on a cold night. However, Sheri wished the steam hose connection was in the middle of the back panel instead of on the side. Sheri had to be sure to position her leg so the hot steam didn’t blow directly on her and noticed that the steam didn’t evenly disperse on both sides of her body.

Steupoek Single Person Sauna Pamela Bondurant Ssedit

Best Pop-Up

Steupoek Single Person Sauna


  • Fast set-up
  • Multiple steam levels
  • Can be used with essential oils
  • Has remote
  • Stainless steel basin


  • Challenging to get back into storage bag
  • Hoses were hard to attach to sauna

Steupoek Single Person Sauna Pamela Bondurant Ssedit A

The Steupoek Single Person Sauna is a compact steam sauna with built-in support so it pops open, similar to some kids’ playhouses. That means your sauna can be set up in a snap. Though Pamela Bondurant, Family Handyman product reviewer, found it a little trickier to get the folded sauna back into the included carrying bag.

Overall, Pamela got a kick out of this small-but-mighty sauna. “It was like opening up a hot dishwasher and that’s a good thing,” says Pamela. “I actually found the steam to be too intense at its highest setting (though I am in humid Florida) and found the middle range setting to be just about right.” The Steupoek sauna has 9 temperature settings (and can run for up to 90 minutes), so you’re sure to find the level that best suits you.

Plus, you can add essential oils to the steam box (not the generator) for an experience that feels even more like a spa visit.

Sun Home Sauna Infrared Blanket Caroline Stanko Ssedit A

Best Splurge

Sun Home Sauna Infrared Blanket


  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Low EMF
  • Carrying case included
  • Can adjust heat in 5-degree increments
  • Heavy-duty zipper
  • Bamboo blanket absorbs sweat


  • Pricey
  • Remote is in Celsius

Sun Home Sauna Infrared Blanket Caroline Stanko Ssedit B

For a luxurious sauna experience, try out the Sun Home Saunas Infrared Blanket and bamboo insert. The infrared blanket has a leather-like exterior, waterproof interior lining and EMF-shielding technology for safe and gentle heat. I tried this sauna blanket myself and loved the look and feel of both the sauna and the bamboo insert (which is sold separately).

After plugging the controller, which allows you to adjust the temperature and time, into the blanket and then an outlet, the sauna is ready to be used. It’s a good thing the blanket is so user-friendly because my unit didn’t come with an instruction booklet. To get the sauna going, I set my temperature to 40° Celsius (for reference, the temperature display is only in Celsius), time setting to 40 minutes and let the sauna preheat for 10 minutes. The temperature and time can be adjusted in 5-degree and 5-minute intervals, respectively, so you have a lot of freedom with the settings.

Once warmed, I opened the sauna with its heavy-duty zipper, slid in the bamboo insert and then myself, and zippered myself in. I really liked that the zipper goes all the way down and around your feet area because it made it super simple to enter and exit. After I zipped up, I adjusted the shoulder flaps so I was completely sealed in.

This sauna blanket’s heat is consistent—both around the sauna and as I used it. The heat relaxed my muscles and joints and felt particularly great on my sore back and hips. After my 30-minute lay, I felt rejuvenated and like some of my muscle knots loosened. It’s not a surprise to me that this sauna blanket is used by athletes in the NBA, NFL and MLB for recovery.

Any sweat I had was absorbed by the bamboo, terry cloth blanket, but if you don’t make that additional purchase, I imagine the sauna would only need a quick wipe-down to be cleaned.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Sun Homes Sauna Blanket. It’s certainly an investment at $499, plus $75 for the bamboo insert and $25 for the Sun Home cleaning spray, but I feel it’s worth it if you’re going to use it consistently. The sauna also comes with a carrying case that is large enough to fit the sauna and bamboo insert, which is an added bonus.

What To Consider When Buying a Portable Sauna

There are several big considerations when shopping for the best portable sauna. Here are the top things you should keep in mind:

  • Heat type: There are several types of saunas, most of which can be categorized as either a dry sauna or wet sauna. Dry saunas use infrared or a heater to warm the air and whoever is sitting in the sauna. On the flip side, a wet sauna produces heated steam to fill the air. Both heat styles provide a relaxing experience, it’s just a matter of what level of humidity you enjoy.
  • Size: Portable saunas still come in a range of sizes and capacities. The most compact are blanket saunas, which are the approximate size of a sleeping bag. These saunas can be folded or rolled up to be stored or to travel with and only fit one person at a time. There are also tent saunas. A tent sauna is a cloth or plastic shell that is supported by a built-in or separate frame. They then are filled with wet or dry heat with a heater that is placed in the tent or connected to it via piping. All of the tent saunas on our list fit one person, but some brands offer a two-person portable sauna. If you’re looking for space to fit multiple people, you might be better off with a more traditional home sauna.
  • Price: One of the biggest considerations for a sauna is how much you’re willing to pay. The most affordable portable sauna on our list is the Serene Life Portable Sauna, which is just over $100. Portable saunas, however, can cost over 5 times that much, like each of the sauna blankets on this list. This is still significantly less than a permanent sauna, which can cost thousands.

Why You Should Trust Us

Family Handyman has been in the DIY and home improvement space for decades. And it’s always been our goal to help our readers transform their homes into beautiful, functional and relaxing spaces.

When it comes to wellness at home, we’ve put in the time to test and review products and plans so you can get the most bang for your buck. We can even teach you how to build your own sauna! For this piece, each product listed was tested at home by our editors and product testing team to find their unique features and pain points to help inform your purchase.

How We Found the Best Portable Saunas

To find the best portable saunas, we searched online retailers for the highest-rated and most talked about blanket and tent saunas. From there, we chose both wet and dry heat saunas to test.

Our editors and product testers put these saunas to use in their homes over several uses. They took note of how easy or difficult the sauna was to set up, the heat and time settings, extra features, the sauna experience, price and more. The testers also evaluated the ease with which the sauna could be broken down and moved.


What is better: infrared or steam?

As mentioned before, the benefits of infrared and steam heat are largely the same. Typically, dry heat can reach a higher temperature than wet heat, though you might feel the heating effects more in a dry sauna.

Portable steam saunas tend to take up a bit more room than infrared since they’re powered by a separate steam generator, but they usually cost less.

What are the benefits of a portable sauna?

Portable steamers pack all of the health benefits of a traditional sauna into a more compact and movable design. Rather than taking up precious space in your home or garden, portable saunas can be broken down, or rolled up, and stored when not in use.

Blanket saunas are even easier to move around and travel with since they’re roughly the size of a large sleeping bag. That makes them a great option to soothe muscles and joints when you’re on the move.

How do you clean a sauna?

It varies a bit depending on which specific unit you go with and what materials it is made of. But there are some commonalities. Chiefly, you should always allow your portable sauna to dry completely in between uses and before packing it away to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

It’s also a good idea to wipe down the inside of the sauna with a gentle cleaning solution to kill any germs and bacteria. Just check with your manual or the company’s website to learn which solutions are safe for the material the sauna is made of.

If your steam sauna utilizes piping, give them a wash regularly and ensure they’re dry before storing.