7 Best Portable Saunas in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
Saunas can provide you with a host of health and wellness benefits. Plus, they just feel great on tired bodies and sore muscles. But the sauna at your neighborhood gym is probably covered in bacteria and packed with other sweaty bodies that you may not want to rub up against just to work up a little sweat for yourself.
For most, having a sauna at home seems like a dream. But these days, you can get small portable saunas, which won’t take up much space in your home. Most can even be folded into a tiny package tucked into the corner of your closet.
We were trying to find the best portable saunas on the market, so we tested out quite a few. The following seven reviews will compare our findings to spare you the trouble of testing so many!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||SereneLife SLISAU10BK Portable Infrared Sauna||
|Best Value||OppsDecor Portable Steam Sauna||
|Premium Choice||Gizmo Supply Portable Therapeutic Infrared Sauna||
|AW 2L Portable Steam Sauna||
|Radiant Saunas BSA6315 Deluxe Oversized Portable Sauna||
The 7 Best Portable Saunas
1. SereneLife SLISAU10BK Portable Sauna– Best Overall
Of all the brands we tested, the SereneLife SLISAU10BK Infrared Sauna was our pick for the best portable sauna overall. Unlike some of the lower-quality models we tried, this one utilizes comfortable and dry infrared heat that provides you with all of the health benefits that saunas are known to offer.
You can control the temperature inside with a remote control in a pocket on the front of the sauna. Conveniently, two zippers allow you to extend your hands from the device so you can reach the remote and use them to occupy yourself with a book or your phone. Despite being our favorite portable sauna, there were still notable drawbacks to the SereneLife sauna.
First, there is no flap to cover the head hole on top when you’re heating the tent. This means that heat easily escapes. But a quick remedy is throwing a towel over the top to cover the hole and trap the heat. This sauna also doesn’t fold as small as the others we tested. But the infrared heat and overall high-quality construction won us over each time we stepped inside and took a seat on the included folding chair.
2. OppsDecor Portable Steam Sauna – Best Value
We love to get a good deal, and the OppsDecor Portable Steam Sauna earned our pick for the best portable sauna for the money. For about the cost of a 3-month membership at a gym, you can purchase this portable steam sauna and save yourself the trips back and forth. It folds into a small carrying bag that you can easily tuck away in your closet, so it won’t take up much space when it’s not in use.
However, this unit uses steam heat instead of infrared, like the SereneLife in our top position. The steam heat feels great on your skin and muscles, but it doesn’t have all the same benefits as dry sauna heat. Even though we think this is the best portable sauna for the money, there was still a significant drawback that we couldn’t miss.
The chair has a maximum capacity of just 135 pounds, so many adults will likely need to purchase a stronger chair to use this sauna, negating a lot of the savings you get with it in the first place. But considering the helpful features it’s packed with, we think it’s a great deal.
3. Gizmo Supply Portable Therapeutic Infrared Sauna – Premium Choice
One problem we faced with many of these portable saunas was that they weren’t large enough to fit some of our bigger testers. They would end up crammed inside with their limbs practically touching every wall, which is dangerous because the walls can get very hot. The Gizmo XL sauna aims to fix that problem with a more spacious size that can fit larger individuals.
Of course, that extra size comes with some extra cost, making this one of the most expensive portable saunas we tested. We loved the dry infrared heat that the Gizmo sauna uses. It felt great and induced plenty of perspiration without drying our skin. We also really liked the addition of a flap to cover the head hole while you’re heating the sauna.
This made it much quicker to get it up to temperature. However, we noticed that the temperature displayed on the remote was higher than the actual temperature inside, so we had to crank it up to get the best benefits.
4. AW 2L Portable Steam Sauna
Most of the portable saunas we tested for this list were pretty similar. However, the AW 2L Portable Steam Sauna had a unique feature that set it apart from the competition. Most of these saunas had a way for you to extend your hands out of the sauna while you were inside so that you could use them.
But the AW sauna took it further and flipped it around by putting foot holes in their sauna so that you can put just your feet inside and get a foot spa without sweating from head to toe. We found this feature to be pretty nifty and used it several times. Aside from the foot-holes, the AW 2L is a pretty standard foldable spa.
It uses a steam generator for heat, which we don’t like as much as the infrared models. It also takes a long time to heat up because it isn’t as powerful as some of the others we’ve seen. The tent folds up small into a carrying bag for storage and transportation. However, it’s pretty difficult to fold up and can be frustrating.
- Related read: 7 Best Home Saunas in
5. Radiant Saunas BSA6315 Deluxe Oversized Portable Sauna
Since several of our testers had trouble fitting in the cramped spaces provided by many of the portable sauna tents we had been testing, we were excited to try this larger unit. We were pleased with the extra space that the Radiant Saunas BSA6315 provided. Moreover, it has the best chair out of any of the saunas we tested. It’s very stout, able to support 220 pounds with ease, which is much better than the meager 135-pound weight limit of the chairs included with other saunas we tried.
Keep in mind that you’re going to be paying a premium for the extra space and support that this sauna provides. It’s one of the most expensive saunas we tested. But as far as functionality, it wasn’t exceptional. We like that it uses infrared heat, which can give you the health benefits many sauna users seek. But it took a long time to get hot, and we felt we were spending too much time waiting.
6. Body Spa 11083-TENT Foldable Portable Steam Sauna
When it comes to portability, the ultralight Body Spa 11083-TENT Foldable Steam Sauna is one of the lightest we’ve seen, and it folds down to a very small size to fit into the carrying bag. It’s also the cheapest portable sauna that we tested. Of course, that’s partly because it doesn’t include a chair, so you’ll either have to supply your own or sit on the floor, which would make it difficult to get your head out of the hole.
But wait! There’s no heat generator either! No steam generator or infrared emitter is included with this sauna, so it’s really just a tent. Granted, it’s a very lightweight and portable tent that sets up very quickly. Instead of an interlocking frame of PVC or wood, as many other systems use, the Body Spa tent has a wireframe built-in, which is much faster and easier to use. It’s also much less sturdy. But without a steam generator, infrared emitter, or a chair, you’ll have more shopping to do even after you purchase this sauna if you want to get your sweat on.
7. Durherm Personal Therapeutic Home Steam Sauna
Rounding out the bottom of our list, the Durherm Personal Therapeutic Home Steam Sauna was more expensive than many of its competitors, but it didn’t perform quite as well. It uses steam heat, which isn’t as good as the preferable infrared units. However, the steam generator plugs into the tent so the steam can be dispersed through the pipes built into the wall.
This made for a more even and effective heating inside the tent. Well, it would have if the steam generator weren’t noticeably weaker than the ones included with other saunas we tested. This sauna tent is supported by a frame made of PVC pipes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fold as small, so it’s more difficult to store. Considering the higher price of the Durherm, we had too many complaints about it to recommend it.
- Related read: 8 Best Sauna Suits
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Portable Saunas
You’ve most likely experienced the relaxation and release of stress from your muscles after a good sauna or steam room session. While all of the portable saunas we tested for this list were called saunas, the way they generate heat is different, resulting in a different experience between models. Let’s discuss that difference so you clearly understand what you’re getting with a portable sauna.
Both steam and dry heat cause your body temperature to rise. Although they do so through different mechanisms, some of the effects are still the same. The following benefits can be gained from using either type of heating.
A sauna will increase your body’s temperature, dilating your arteries, veins, and capillaries and boosting blood flow. This improved circulation helps relieve fluid retention, bloating, numbness, and more. The benefits will last for hours after your sauna session.
With increased blood flow comes a raised metabolism. Moreover, your body must work harder to get your core back to normal temperatures following your sauna session, which also increases metabolism. Through these two metabolic boosts, you’ll be able to burn more calories and have more energy overall.
Just from sweating so much in a sauna with any type of heat, you’ll release toxins built up in and under your skin. The heat opens up your pores, and the sweat clears the toxins out, leaving you with purified, healthy skin.
The heat can dilate more than just your blood. It also opens up your sinuses and nasal passages. This makes it easier for you to breathe and can even offer relief from a cold or infection.
Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular-Related Death
It may sound incredible, but according to the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, using the sauna can help you stay alive longer. This study found that men who made time for the sauna two to three times each week had a 27% lower risk of death from cardiovascular-related causes. Those who used the sauna most days of the week had a 50% lower risk of death from cardiovascular-related causes than those who didn’t use the sauna at all.
Differences Between Steam and Infrared Heat
Now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits of steam and infrared heat, let’s review their differences. The way that each of these types of heat warms your body and the benefits they provide are different.
Infrared is a dry type of heating that uses emitters that create powerful heat waves that penetrate deep beneath your skin, heating you from the inside out. Because of the way it heats, infrared won’t dry your skin out like other types of dry heat. Dry heat has been shown to stress the body less than humid heat, even when the dry heat is at significantly higher temperatures.
Moreover, the wet heat feels hotter subjectively than the dry heat, so generally, you can get much hotter comfortably in a dry heat environment, which means you’re more likely to experience the health benefits that a sauna can provide.
For steam heat, a steam generator heats water to produce steam. The steam will fill the sauna, raising the temperature and, with it, the humidity. The problem with humidity in the sauna is that it prevents sweat from evaporating.
It also makes the heat feel more intense because your heart has to work harder to circulate the blood since your cooling systems aren’t working well without your sweat evaporating. While this can still feel great for muscles and skin, it’s less effective for the health benefits that dry sauna use has been shown to promote.
After testing so many saunas, our testers seem stuck in a permanently relaxed state. That must mean that at least some of the saunas were effective! Three impressed us, and we feel confident recommending them to you. You’ve read our reviews about them already, but we’ll quickly summarize our recommendations once more so they’re fresh in your mind.
Our pick for the best portable sauna overall was the SereneLife SLISAU10BK Portable Infrared Sauna. We liked the dry infrared heat it uses, the comfortable folding sauna chair, and the quality construction and materials it’s built from. If you’re looking for the best portable sauna for the money, we recommend trying the OppsDecor Portable Steam Sauna.
It’s one of the most affordable models we tested, folds into a small carrying bag for easy storage and transportation, and includes a wireless remote for controlling the heat inside. However, if you want a more premium experience and don’t mind spending a little more, we recommend the Gizmo Supply Portable Therapeutic Infrared Sauna. It utilizes dry infrared heat, has a more spacious interior for larger individuals, and even includes a head hole flap for more efficient pre-heating.