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Barrel Sauna Advantages

At Almost Heaven Saunas, we build the finest steam saunas in the world. While we build all types of saunas, we are best known for our exceptional Barrel Saunas.  There are many reasons why a Barrel Sauna design is superior to traditional square saunas, especially when the sauna is to be placed outdoors.  Combine the inherent performance advantages of a barrel design with the quality and craftsmanship of an Almost Heaven Sauna, and you will understand why we build the sauna of choice for true sauna lovers!

The advantages of an Almost Heaven Barrel Sauna include the following:


The circular design of the barrel allows the room to heat faster and hotter than a square sauna.  That is because a square sauna has more cubic feet of air space to heat, much of which is unused.  The circular design of a barrel eliminates the unused air space, allowing the sauna room to heat faster.


Since heat rises, a sauna is hotter at the ceiling than at the floor.  The circular design causes the rising heat to push the hot air at the ceiling back down into the room, creating warmer temperatures lower in the sauna when compared to a square sauna room.


Cooperage is the term used to describe barrel making, which is essentially pulling notched staves over end sections and drawing them tight with bands; the same as a wine vat.  Properly constructed, a barrel will swell once wet and create a tight seal.  The advantage of a barrel sauna design is the lack of fasteners, the solid and tight construction, and the ability of the staves to swell and contract with the constant temperature changes within the sauna room.


Because of the cooperage design, Almost Heaven Barrel Saunas have solid wood construction.  This is a significant construction advantage when compared with the typical laminate wall construction.  A solid wood design prevents delamination, provides excellent insulating properties, resists the elements, and provides structure integrity.  Plus, only a sauna constructed of solid, thick lumber replicates the authentic and original Finnish sauna experience.


Western Canadian Red Cedar is the preferred wood for saunas for several reasons.  It is naturally resistant to moisture, insects and decay; it is a very soft wood that provides excellent insulation and does not absorb the heat; it has a delightful aroma that is enhanced in the hot steam environment; and the grain and color of the wood makes it one of the most beautiful sauna woods available.  Additionally, Almost Heaven Saunas takes great care in selecting only red cedar that is of a high grade, has minimal knots and coloring defects, and is harvested from sustainable forests.


Our ball and socket lumber profiles allows the staves to nest firmly together in an attractive and functional manner.  The profile allows the wood to swell and contract evenly and without damage to the wood.  Unlike other barrel sauna manufacturers, we mill our staves from 2×4 lumber rather than 2×6, since the narrower board provides a smoother contour to the finished product.

Almost Heaven Saunas provides a lifetime warranty with each of our handcrafted saunas, underscoring the confidence we have in our products.

July 25, 2012 •