You don’t need us to tell you life is better with a sauna. Just look at Finland. There’s a reason those dewy reindeer herders end up near the top of all those world’s happiest countries lists.
Since you’re not going to build your own — you would have done it already — there’s the Grandview Barrel Sauna. It’ll give you the satisfaction of bragging about your construction skills (it’s shipped in pieces, assembly required), but is as easy as anything from IKEA (though you’ll need a helping hand from an electrician).
Of course, the barrel shape is the reason we’re all here. And its benefits are three-fold.
Aesthetically, it’ll become a talking point whether you put it in your backyard, at your cabin or waterside for the classic sauna-to-swim dash. Functionally, the cylindrical shape allows for even and efficient heating. Symbolically, one look at a giant barrel after a bender is all the reminder you need to down some fluids and sweat out those toxins.
Barrel Sauna (5 images)
This design comes from Almost Heaven Saunas, who have been making cedar barrel saunas for 40 years. But the Grandview is a full 12” larger in diameter than their standard design, which apart from reducing the chance of hitting your head on the way in, allows for wider benches and flat duckboard flooring as opposed to the natural curve of the barrel.
Other features include soft LED lighting, thermometer/hygrometer and Finnish Harvia heaters that get the temperature up to 190-195°F in under an hour. The default is an 8kw KIP electric, but for an extra $1,195 you can get the traditional M3 wood-burning stove, chimney and all.
Go with the standard issue and you’re looking at a price tag of $8,300. But with upgrades like a canopy design, four lumber choices (spruce, fir and two types of cedar) and wood-burning heater — you could push that to $12,694.
Should you prefer your sweating sans the unorthodox design, Almost Heaven Saunas recently released three more traditional (read: boxy) setups.