Hot tips to take your sauna heater to the next level.

Some like it hot, but others like it HOT. Sure, your sauna will have you sweating even on the lower end of the temperature range, but if you want to take it up a notch and get every possible degree of heat out of your sauna, we have some tips for you! All of these points are applicable to increase the temperature of traditional electric sauna heaters, though some can be applied to wood-burning heaters or infrared units.

As a point of reference, regulations in the United States enable electric saunas to heat up to about 185°F. If your heater isn’t getting there on its own, these suggestions should do the trick. Now, onto those hot tips we promised that will help to add a few extra degrees to your sauna experience:

Right to the source: Your heater

Ensure your heater (if you have the KIP), is mounted so the bottom of the heater is about 5-7” from the ground. If it is any higher, the hot air will be less likely to heat the lower part of your sauna.

Harvia KIP electric heater inside barrel sauna
  • Move the temperature sensor lower. The purpose of the high-limit sensor is to shut off your heater if the room gets too hot. Since heat rises, if your sensor is too high, it could trigger the heater shut-off prematurely. We recommend placing the sensor 14"-18" down from the ceiling and 14"-18" away from the heater.  
  • Do not overpack the heater with sauna stones. Each KIP heater comes with a box of sauna stones –– you should have 5-10 stones left over. Fill the heater by starting with the smallest rocks and add stones until the elements are just covered. 
See More Heater Tips on YouTube

Inside the sauna

  • Close the vents. Most Almost Heaven saunas come with a set of vents: one under the heater to pull in fresh air, and a second near the ceiling on the wall opposite the heater to exhaust. We recommend leaving these vents open as the heater is warming up to avoid triggering the high-limit sensor. There is no harm in closing them as you begin your session and opening them again if it gets stuffy. For barrel sauna users, keeping the corks in the drain stave will prevent cold air from entering the bottom.
  • Fan the hot air. Setting up a small fan or waving a towel will help spread out some of the hot air that tends to congregate near the top of the sauna.
  • Add some humidity to your dry sauna! The beauty of a traditional heater is that you can sprinkle water over the stones, creating a burst of steam that dissipates throughout the sauna room. Though dry heat and wet heat are technically the same temperature, the wet heat feels a lot hotter than just dry alone.
Hot water on heater rocks

Outside the sauna

Cover the sauna for extra insulation. This is particularly effective on barrel saunas located outdoors in colder climates. Adding an extra layer to the top of your sauna will help to trap that hot air in tightly. Our recommendations are poly insulation layered on top of an indoor sauna, or a rain jacket on a barrel sauna, as both of these options are able to stay intact while the sauna is in use.

Poly insulation layered on top of an indoor sauna.
Princeton Barrel Sauna with Rain Jacket
Poly insulation layered on top of an indoor sauna.
Rain jacket on a barrel sauna.


  • Tightly seal the sauna. Any gaps between barrel sauna staves or around the door can be releasing valuable hot air. Make sure the hinges on your door are tight to keep the door from slipping. If there are additional spaces around the door, adding a piece of weather stripping will help to increase the temperature in your sauna. As for barrel saunas, ensuring you’ve added as many staves as possible and fully tightened the bands is essential to sealing the sauna well. 

Remember, as you keep those temperatures rising, be sure to take it slow and stay hydrated. Your body will need time to acclimate to higher temperatures. But now that you have the inside scoop, go enjoy yourself an extra-sweaty sauna! 

If you have any questions on how to increase the temperature on your specific sauna heater, give Almost Heaven Saunas a call at 888.355.3050. For those dreaming about temperatures around 175-185° and wanting a home sauna of your own, don’t hesitate to check out our current specials to find your dream sauna!