At Sauna Fauna, we’d love to work with you on the next steps for finding the custom sauna for your needs.

We’re a local company serving the Coeur d’Alene and Spokane region, with family ties to the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Our saunas are each hand-built and custom-made with milled cedar harvested in the Inland Northwest.

While many major sauna brands are incorporated together to produce prefabricated sauna kits that can also be more expensive, it’s our intention to bring to you a unique and quality Nordic-style sauna that is tailor-made for your needs.

If you're new to the world of sauna, check out the information below to learn more about the history and health benefits of this fascinating tradition!

What is a Sauna?

A sauna is simply an enclosed, wood-lined room in which an intense level of heat is generated. This heat encourages relaxation, perspiration, and relief from any physical aches you may have.

In essence, the purpose of a sauna is to heat the body to bring about a series of benefits (both physical and mental) to the individual using the sauna.

Saunas can vary significantly in regards to the internal design, space/capacity, benches/seating, the level of heat that’s generated, and how that heat is generated. But all saunas are designed to greatly increase the skin temperature of the body.

Specifically, most saunas are heated to temperatures between 120 or 210 degrees Fahrenheit, and can raise skin temperature to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweating occurs when the temperature of the skin rises, and the heart rate will gradually increase as well in an attempt to keep the body cool. This creates numerous health and relaxation benefits, which we’ll get into later.

Types of Saunas


Traditional saunas are designed to heat the air around the body. They are likely what you think of when the word ‘sauna’ comes to mind - a wooden room with a stove filled with hot stones in the middle. When water is poured over the hot stones, moisture is released into the dry air. This can either be done manually or it can be done electrically (the latter are commonly called 'electric saunas').

Traditional saunas can produce very high levels of heat, with most eclipsing 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature can admittedly be overwhelming to those who are new to saunas or heat shock therapy in general. Traditional saunas are usually cheaper to install than infrared saunas.


Infrared saunas use light that can penetrate the skin and heat your body from the inside. In contrast to traditional saunas, infrared saunas typically produce milder heat at around 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and without the humidity of a traditional sauna.

The result is a much milder and drier experience. While infrared saunas do have their perks, a traditional sauna is what will deliver the true sauna experience to you.

A Brief History of Saunas

The sauna as we know it today originated in Finland around two thousand years ago. Saunas were originally intended as a type of bath designed to cleanse the body in a sterile environment. Pregnant Finnish women would even give birth in saunas due to their cleanliness.

Back then, saunas were a little different than they look today. Sauna buildings were made of logs, and rocks in the center of the room were heated using a fire. There were no chimneys in early saunas, as they only used a hole in one of the walls to vent out the smoke. As you can imagine, this created a very smokey environment within the saunas, which is why these kinds of saunas are called 'smoke saunas.' During the Industrial Revolution, metal chimneys were then commonly added to saunas to provide a superior and safer way of venting the smoke.

Electric sauna heaters were first introduced in 1938 and operated much like how traditional electric stoves operated. Electric stoves offered a big advantage in that they made it easier to control the heat to more moderate levels. They also allowed people to pre-heat saunas without having to get a fire going, and a chimney was no longer needed as well.

This also made saunas safe to install and use inside houses since smoke was no longer an issue. Indoor saunas have been popular ever since because they allow people to use saunas without having to leave their homes.

Even though Finland is credited with having invented saunas, other cultures have traditionally relied on saunas and other forms of heat bathing for health and relaxation purposes as well, including Russia, Sweden, Spain, Turkey, and Native American tribes. Saunas remain in common use in Finland to this day, with around one in three Finns using saunas regularly. In fact, there are more saunas in Finland than there are cars! In the United States, there are an estimated one million total saunas in use.

Today, saunas are prized by people across the world for their relaxation, wellness, and stress-relief benefits.

Eight Health and Wellness Benefits of Using Saunas

Here are the top eight primary benefits of regularly using saunas:

1 - Skin Cleansing

Sauna use, and heat bathing in general, is one of the oldest health strategies for the cleansing of the skin. When the body produces sweat during deep sweating, it cleanses the skin by replacing dead skin cells and rinsing out bacteria from the epidermal layer of the skin.

Over time, this will create a softer look to the quality of your skin and help to maintain good overall skin health.

2 - Boost Heart Health

Besides your skin, regular sauna use can also be very beneficial to your heart. This is because your body's core temperature will rise as the temperature of your skin rises. In response, cardiac output and circulation will increase as the blood vessels near your skin dilate.

This can cause your heart rate to increase to 110 to 120 bpm (beats per minute) when you're in the sauna, before falling to a normal 60 to 70 bpm after you exit the sauna. This helps to stimulate the health of your heart, reducing the risk of fatal cardiac incidents, stroke, hypertension, and all-cause mortality.

3 - Flushing Out Toxins

As noted previously, your body's core temperature begins to rise as your skin temperature rises. This causes you to sweat in an attempt to cool your body, and this will help to flush out toxins that our skin absorbs just from daily interaction in a normal environment.

Examples of toxins that can be flushed from spending time in a sauna include copper, lead, nickel, mercury, and zinc.

4 - Enjoy Higher Quality Sleep

Regular sauna use in the late evening can result in higher-quality sleep. Your body temperature will rise during the use of the sauna, but then fall before you go into bed. This will result in a slow decline in the number of endorphins that are released into your body, which will help act as a sedative to facilitate easier and better sleep.

5 - Burn Additional Calories

Saunas are a practical tool to help you burn calories because the process of sweating requires a significant amount of energy. Specifically, as your body temperature increases and your heart rate begins to increase with it the body will require more oxygen. It will then convert more calories into energy. While saunas are not the definitive weight loss tool as some people claim, it is undeniably effective at helping one burn additional calories.

6 - Muscle Recovery

Step into a sauna after your next workout. The heat from the sauna will relax your muscles and help soothe any aches in your joints and muscles you have from the workout as well. When your body is exposed to the heat produced by the sauna, your body will release endorphins that will help to keep pain to a minimum. Your blood vessels will also dilate, allowing for increased blood circulation, which helps to quicken your body's healing process.

7 - Reduce The Risk of Getting The Common Cold or Flu

Sauna medical research from Germany has shown that regular sauna use amongst its participants greatly reduced their overall incidences of catching common colds and the flu. The explanation for this is that the body will produce more white blood cells when it is exposed to the heat from a sauna. These white blood cells are effective at killing viruses to stop the onset of illnesses.

8 - Social Benefits

While a sauna can be a relaxing area of solitude for yourself, it can also be an equally relaxing area in the company of others. Saunas are an opportune environment to engage in open and yet quiet socializing with friends, family, and people who may soon become your new friends.

Why Buy a Hand-Built Sauna from Sauna Fauna?

Besides the aforementioned health benefits, here are four reasons why you should purchase a sauna built by our local Sauna Fauna craftsmen:

1 - Convenience

You'll no longer need to go to a spa or a gym to use a sauna. Instead, you can step right in from the comforts of your own home. The convenience factor is arguably the biggest benefit of having a sauna installed in your own home.

2 - You Get A Custom Sauna All To Yourself

By having a sauna in your home, you and your family effectively get the sauna all to yourselves. You can customize the sauna exactly as you want it, and you won't have total strangers spending time in the sauna either like at the gym or spa.

3 - It's Low-Maintenance

While you may think that saunas require a lot of work to keep them up and running, the truth is that the maintenance required to run a sauna is minimal. All you need to do is ensure you practice good personal hygiene inside of it and wipe the floors and walls intermittently.

4 - It Will Increase The Value Of Your Home

Having a sauna installed in your home will greatly increase the home's value, much like how renovating the kitchen or bathrooms in your home would. If you plan on selling your home later, prospective buyers should be impressed at having a functional sauna inside.


Besides its immense relaxation benefits, using a sauna regularly is one of the best healing strategies for your heart, muscles, and skin. By installing a sauna in your home, you and your family will enjoy the convenience of full-time access to your very own sauna. Installing a custom-made sauna in your home is also a highly effective way to help increase your home’s value as well.