14 Sensational Outdoor Saunas

These poolside, lakeside and beachside saunas can heat up your options for outdoor relaxation and help you fight stress.

Photo By: Lucy Tuck, Outdoor Craftsmen

Photo By: Lucy Tuck, Outdoor Craftsmen

Photo By: Lucy Tuck/Outdoor Craftsmen

Photo By: Paul Dyer, Gast Architects

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Surf Sauna

Photo By: Surf Sauna

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Photo By: Julia Auerbach Photography/SaunaTimes.com

Earth House

Stone walls and log timbers show off the skilled craftsmanship in this stunning woodsy sauna by Outdoor Craftsmen in Colorado. The sauna door opens onto a stone bridge that crosses over a water feature. The planting design is enhanced with colorful container arrangements.

Adult Playground

An outdoor sauna and hot tub are part of a "healing, restorative landscape with connections to nature" say the experts at the Colorado-based Outdoor Craftsmen.

Stone Sauna Aglow

The "Earth House" sauna is constructed with stone, log timbers and a green roof, which hosts a combination of dwarf evergreens and ornamental grasses. The stone walls give the sauna a solid, grounded appearance and an artistic, craftsman quality. It was built by Outdoor Craftsmen, a Colorado company.

Rooftop Retreat

A rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and other Bay Area landmarks features an outdoor sauna for these California penthouse owners. Gast Architects integrated the sauna into the structure of the stairs. The wall is made of terra cotta accent stone from Realstone Systems.

Lakefront Leisure Spot

Talk about a room with a view. This outdoor sauna on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minn. is positioned perfectly for rest and relaxation.

Cozy Sauna

When building a sauna, Glenn Auerbach of SaunaTimes.com suggests making the hot room portion of the sauna only 6-by-8 feet or 7-by-7 feet, the optimal dimensions for heat efficiency. A too-large hot room means it will take too long to get hot, rising steam may not reach users and there’s a greater potential for cool drafts. This cozy outdoor sauna is built with cedar and features a hip roof that increases its connection to the wooded surrounding.

Deliberate Design

A rectangular window placed higher up on this outdoor sauna acts as a transom window to bring in light. Glenn Auerbach, a Minnesota sauna builder who blogs at SaunaTimes.com, says a transom also gives sauna users a panoramic view.

For Surf or Snow

A portable sauna is made of western red cedar that is naturally rot resistant and antimicrobial. The Surf Sauna is built to accommodate two to eight people and although it's built for winter surfers, it can be used for other activities beyond surfing. The hardware and chassis are made from galvanized and stainless steel, according to the New Hampshire-based company.

Cedar Sanctuary

The interior of the Surf Sauna is outfitted with aromatic red cedar and a propane stove. The maker, Surf Sauna, is based in Portsmouth, N.H.

Relaxation Spot

Western red cedar is often used for saunas, including those built by Glenn Auerbach in Minnesota. He says in Scandinavia, many saunas are paneled with white spruce. Auerbach advises staying way from pine and if you need to save money, look for recycled cedar to use in an outdoor sauna. Pine should be avoided because it gets too hot to the touch and cracks from expansion, says Auerbach who adds, "cedar is a nice soft wood and many dig the aromatic element to western red cedar, a species fairly readily available in North America."

De-Stress with a View

Using a window can reduce some of your materials costs in a sauna. You're not only using less wood and adding to the design of the outdoor sauna, but you will use shorter boards around the window. That means you have flexibility when using recycled wood, such as cedar, because you can cut out any bad or warped spots and still use the quality material, according to Glenn Auerbach of SaunaTimes.com.

Cedar Details

Cedar tongue and groove is used throughout this sauna. The "candle window" is an extra feature that Glenn Auerbach, an outdoor sauna builder who operates SaunaTimes.com, says can create a feeling of openness in an outdoor sauna.

Amenity-Rich Sauna

Using cedar tongue and groove can create a gorgeous outdoor sauna space for the ultimate in relaxation. Glenn Auerbach, who also blogs at SaunaTimes.com, often uses western red cedar for the saunas he builds in Minnesota.

Sauna in the Woods

Saunas come in a variety of styles. This outdoor sauna exudes rustic character with its unique roof pitch and hunter green door accented with a charming four-pane window.

Screened Space

A screened porch welcomes people to this rustic outdoor room in northern Minnesota that holds a sauna, changing room and sleeping area. The 12-by-16 foot outdoor space is located among birch and pine trees, along the eastern shores of Pine Island on Lake Vermilion.

The Right Size

This backyard building looks like a shed, but it's actually a sauna. The 8-by-12 foot structure is the best size for an outdoor building that houses a sauna, according to Minnesota sauna builder Glenn Auerbach. His saunas include a changing room and sauna room and a pitched roof. 

Cedar Beauty

A sauna may be known as a "hot box," but you can make the outdoor space not only functional but interesting with features such as windows and wood types like cedar, with boasts an array of patterns.