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Should You Get a Sauna for Your Home?


Jun 07, 2020 by Maurie Backman

There are numerous features you can invest in that will make your home a more relaxing, luxurious place to live. You could, for example, install a hot tub to soak in after a long, hard day. Or you could put in a sauna for the ultimate spa experience.

The average cost of a home sauna is $4,500, reports HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI), but the amount you spend will depend on the size of your sauna and the features it comes with. But is a sauna worth putting in, or should you spend your home renovation dollars elsewhere?

Benefits of putting in a sauna

Having a sauna at home makes it easier for you to unwind and relax without having to get in the car, drive to a spa or gym, and pay a premium to use that facility. Plus, with a home sauna, you don't have to worry about sharing that space with other people; you'll have it all to yourself, or, at worst, only share it with the people who live with you.

Furthermore, having access to a sauna could help relieve muscle pain and work wonders for your mental health. That alone may be worth the investment.

Drawbacks of putting in a sauna

Saunas take up a fair amount of space, and they're not a universally appealing home feature. A family with young kids, for example, might specifically not put in an offer on a house with a sauna. As such, if you choose to install one, you may not get your money back when you go to sell your home, and you may find that having one is actually an impediment to finding a buyer.

Furthermore, the introduction of a steam sauna into your home could raise concerns about moisture issues. It's a known fact that excess moisture can lead to mold problems, which you certainly don't want. And while proper installation and ventilation can mitigate that risk, it's something to be aware of.

Where to put a sauna

If you're going to add a sauna to your home, you'll need to be strategic about where you put it. If you have a large master bathroom, you may have the option to convert part of it to a sauna, which is convenient since you'll need a water source for your steam. Your basement may also be a good spot for your sauna. Either way, make sure to put it someplace with tile floors, which are unlikely to sustain damage if moisture gets out.

You might also consider installing a sauna as its own structure on your property. If you have a large enough yard, doing so will help you conserve precious indoor space.

Keep in mind that you may have more options, location-wise, if you choose an infrared sauna over a more traditional steam sauna. This is because infrared saunas don't require a water source; they use electromagnetic radiation to generate heat.

Is a sauna right for you?

A sauna may not offer such great return on investment, so if you're going to put one in, ask yourself how likely you are to actually use it regularly. If you don't expect to use it that often, you may be better off saving your renovation dollars for something else and visiting a local spa on occasion.

Another option you might consider is getting a steam generator for your shower instead of a sauna. That way, you're not monopolizing extra space inside your home, but you get a similarly relaxing experience.

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Maurie Backman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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