The Best Sauna Wood Types: Why It Matters?

Sauna Wood Types | Audacia Decor Inc.

One of the most frequently asked questions asked with the aid of our customers whilst making a home sauna buy is what sort of sauna wood they have to get. often, the consumer will be restricted in options relying on the exact model they may be searching at, however that said, there are once in a while a few exceptional options.

Here, we will discuss the most famous types of Clearlight outdoor sauna woods, and discuss the health benefits and negatives of each. At the end, we will list what is, in our opinion, the most types of wood for a home sauna.

Why The Sauna Wood Type Matters


Everyone making an investment in a home sauna is going to want it to stand the test of time. Given this, having a sauna that makes uses a wood that is rot and mold resistant is key. While some types of wood may appear, on face, excellent looking – they may not have this essential features. Which should disqualify them from consideration.

Heat Conductivity

A second element to consider when choosing a wood for your home sauna is heat conductivity. Whatever wood you pick out must be able to absorb the heat effectively. No effect on the internal properties of the wood. Otherwise, if the wood cannot absorb the heat. It may become deformed and your saunas life cycle will be cut short.


Especially important for outdoor sauna models is the firmness of the wood. If your sauna is going to go indoors, it may not matter as much. But nevertheless, it should always be a consideration. Having a wood that is sturdy is an obvious requirement of having a sauna.

Now that we have discussed why your choice of home sauna wood is important, we will now discuss some various options!

The Most Popular Woods We Provide for Use in the Sauna | Audacia Decor Inc.

Cedar Wood For a Home Sauna

Cedar wood is firm, strong, and LED light, making it our choice for the top sauna wood. It is considered a “soft wood”, meaning that the woods temperature will not change significantly.

One thing to consider: if your are considering purchasing an outdoor sauna, you may want to research and invest in a exterior UV ray blocking coating in order to prevent the wood from going grey over time.

Interestingly, cedar is a soft wood that has has a very low wood density, meaning that it does not absorb a large amount of the sauna heat. This means that the inside of your sauna will be very quick to heat up, and very quick to cool down – making cedar wood an exceptional insulator.

This is beneficial in providing a sauna that heats up faster, but also it is the most comfortable to sit against. High density woods that retain heat become very hot and can burn you to sit agains them.

Additionally, because it is low density – the sauna will not “expand” when it heats up, which helps to provide for a high level of sturdiness. Other types of woods that deform when exposed to heat can become deformed over time and consistent use.

Most importantly, cedar wood is very resistant to decay, moisture, and fungus, making it our choice for the top sauna wood for longevity purposes.

Basswood For a Home Sauna

Lighter in aesthetic color than Cedar, basswood is a favourite for customers who prefer a lighter coloured wood. Basswood is considered a soft wood like cedar, but it is not as soft. This means that it will absorb more of the heat than the cedar – making it slightly hotter to touch, and it may also mean your sauna takes a little bit longer to heat up inside. However, it is still a softwood and much softer than many others, making it our second highest choice for a home sauna wood!

Basswood will also lack the scent of cedar, but for individuals with sensitivities and allergies to certain types of woods, Basswood will almost certainly be an excellent selection.

Another benefit of basswood being a softwood is that it is considerably unlikely that it will bend or warp with exposure to heat. Further, while containing many of the same benefits of cedar (other than the scent and color – if you prefer dark), it is usually significantly cheaper. All of our Clearlight Saunas are available in both types of wood. See here.

Hemlock Wood For a Home Sauna

Hemlock also has many of the above characteristics, but to somewhat of a lesser degree. For starters, Hemlock is not as resistant as cedar to decay and fungi. While you will likely be fine for the considerable future, if you are truly planning on making your sauna a lifelong investment, there are better options.

It is important to note that Hemlock can also be far more cost effective. We would recommend asking yourself how long you see yourself using your home sauna, seeing the warranty policy on the model you are interested in, and making a decision based upon these factors.

Eucalyptus Wood For a Home Sauna

Currently, we do not carry any saunas that are available in eucalyptus wood. However, Sunlighten infrared saunas offers it as an option, and from what we can tell, some of their customers do like it. 

Thermo Wood For a Home Sauna

Thermowood is not a type of wood like Cedar or Basswood. But rather, it is a process that is done to woods to create internal properties favourable for sauna use.

Thermal treatment of wood at extremely hot temperatures over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It makes acquire unique internal properties that makes it virtually indestructible. Wood that has undergone this treatment does not rot, crack, and cannot absorb any moisture – making it very resistant to fungi and bacteria.

Oak Wood For a Home Sauna

Certain hardwoods, such as Oak, may overheat if exposed to hot temperatures for an exceedingly long period of time. While hardwoods are sturdy, they may become hot to touch after prolonged exposure to heat.

This makes it essential that you have a cushion or backrest to lean on if you plan on having sauna sessions that are longer in length. There are certainly worse options, but in our opinion, there are better options as well. One of our saunas that uses Oak is the beautiful Sunray Westlake 3 Person Traditional Sauna.


The High level overview of many of the most common options for home sauna wood types. We have briefly discussed why this is such an important decision, along with reasons supporting the various wood characteristics. To summarize:

  • Cedar and Basswood are excellent soft woods, but Cedar will have a nice scent, and is usually darker in color.
  • Soft wood is less resistant to heat absorption making it less hot to touch
  • Soft wood will not heat up as much, making it less resistant to expansion
  • Stay away from soft sappy woods, such as pine.
  • Stay away from hardwoods.

Overall, our most home sauna wood recommendation would be cedar. However, cedar can be expensive, so if you are looking for a more cost effective option, we would recommend basswood.