Before You Buy a Cedar Barrel Sauna

what is a saunaThe experienced user is quite familiar with the proper definitions of the sauna experience, but the average person can get confused by all the terminology.  Suffice it to say there is much well-intentioned yet inaccurate information out there, especially on the internet.

At Almost Heaven  we want you to make a well-informed decision when purchasing a sauna.  For that reason we provide some very basic explanations to some of the terminology that is often used.  Here, then, are some helpful definitions to help you in selecting the exact experience you want:


According to the dictionary, a sauna is “A bath that uses dry heat to induce perspiration, and in which steam is produced by pouring water on heated stones.”  The true experience involves hot rocks, water and steam, which is what you will experience in an Almost Heaven Sauna.

Wet vs. Dry

People often ask if we produce a dry or wet experience, and the answer is both, as they are one and the same thing.  When you enter the hot room, it is considered dry because there is very little humidity in the air.  When you pour water on rocks, steam is generated that quickly engulfs the room.  The sudden increase in the level of humidity makes it wet.  In other words, wet vs. dry is a measure of whether or not there is humidity in the room.

Steam Room

Saunas and steam rooms are often confused as being the same thing, but they are quite different.  A steam room has hot mist that is created by a steam generator and sprayed through nozzles located throughout the room.  The room is tiled and is often used in conjunction with a shower.


While infrared is often called sauna, it is not an accurate description in the true sense of the word.  Since neither hot stones nor water are used, an infrared room does not meet the definition of a sauna.  Instead, an infrared room generates heat from the infrared portion of the light spectrum.  The whole point of an infrared room is that it delivers heat therapy without getting extremely hot.  Rather than the room getting hot from a central heater, the infrared rays penetrate the body and are delivered from several heaters located throughout the room.