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Compare Sauna vs Hot Tub Costs

Saunas Overview

Saunas offer a great way to relax and unwind. There are also therapeutic benefits. The heat and humidity soothe sore muscles and joints, and relieve stress.

There are two basic types of saunas: wet and dry. Wet saunas, often referred to as steam rooms, operate at lower temperatures with more humidity. Dry saunas are much hotter but have almost no humidity. There are therapeutic benefits to both, so the decision often comes down to personal preference.

The majority of saunas are made out of wood, which creates a soothing scent when heated. Many saunas also feature some sort of fragrant rocks that release aromas when they are splashed with water.

How Much Do Saunas Cost?

The price of a sauna depends on several factors, including size, the species and quality of wood, and any optional features and equipment.

Indoor saunas that seat two to four people usually cost $1,500 to $3,000. However, that cost is doubled when you factor in installation. You’ll need to pay for the sauna to be vented, nearby areas to be protected from heat and moisture, and electrical work. Indoor saunas that seat five to seven people cost about $3,000 to $5,000, plus an additional $2,000 to $4,000 for installation.

Outdoor saunas tend to be less expensive because the installation is much easier. An outdoor sauna that seats five to seven people can be purchased for $2,500 to $3,500, plus an additional $1,000 to $1,500 for installation.

Saunas Pros

  • Less expensive - Saunas tend to be slightly less expensive than hot tubs. They’re also cheaper to operate because saunas only need to be turned on when you’re using them and they don’t require any water.
  • Easier to maintain - Saunas are easier to maintain than hot tubs. There are no chemicals to add. Simply clean the sauna on a regular basis.
  • Sanitation - If you’re a germaphobe, you might not like the idea of sitting in a tub of water shared by multiple people. Hot tubs can be completely sanitary if properly maintained, but some people are simply uncomfortable with the idea.

Saunas Cons

  • No “weightless” feeling - Some people with muscle and joint pain swear by the weightless feeling that soaking in water provides. Combined with the heat and the jets, the effects are soothing.
  • No massaging features - Most hot tubs feature jets that act as built-in massagers. You won’t find that in a sauna.
Sauna vs Hot Tub

Hot Tubs Overview

Soaking in a hot tub is another great way to relax and unwind. Like saunas, hot tubs help relieve stress and soothe sore muscles and joints.

There are many types of hot tubs, from portable tubs that seat just one or two people to custom, in-ground models that seat 15. The vast majority of hot tubs sold are above-ground, acrylic models. These are likely what you picture when you think of a hot tub.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?

Hot tubs vary widely in price, depending on the type of tub, the size, features and options, and the difficulty of installation.

Portable hot tubs that seat one to four people go for as little as $500, while custom, in-ground spas could cost $15,000 or more. The average price for above-ground, acrylic models is $4,000 to $7,000.

Hot Tubs Pros

  • Buoyancy - Some people prefer hot tubs because of the weightless feeling water provides. Those who suffer from chronic muscle and joint pain tend to find greater relief from a hot tub.
  • Massaging features - Most hot tubs feature a variety of therapeutic jets that act as massagers. You won’t find that in a sauna.

Hot Tubs Cons

  • More expensive - Hot tubs tend to be more expensive than saunas, particularly when you factor in long-term energy costs. You’ll have to pay to fill the tub with water and keep it running constantly.
  • Harder to maintain - Hot tubs require more maintenance. They have to be cleaned on a regular basis and chemically balanced to maintain proper sanitation.

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