Searching for sauna dealers is a little like looking for good car dealers. You want someone you can trust who will give you the best price, sell you a quality product, stand behind the warranties, and be available if and when you need help.
Luckily for all of us who love saunas, manufacturers sell their products online directly to consumers. They have their own websites to give you complete information and they will also sell through important online market venues such as Amazon and eBay.
Except for top-of-the-line sauna heaters which are made in Sweden and Finland as well as the U.S. and Canada, we recommend and endorse sauna dealers located in North America.
There are some decent cabinets made in Asia but keep in mind that once the 400-lb unit is unloaded off the boat and shipped to your house, you’re on your own. No help, no customer service, no returns.
And with that in mind, we’ve come up with a few questions to ask online dealers of saunas:
Are the heater and controls included?
This sounds like a no-brainer but every dealer prices their units differently and while some material kits are all inclusive others do not come with the heater and controls and must be purchase separately. Ask up front what is included in your purchase.
In addition, the best sauna dealers will have the manufacturer specs to sell you only the exact size and model heater you need depending on the cubic size of your room.
Do they offer choices of sauna types, wood, and accessories?
The better sauna dealers will be offer the finest quality in cedar and hemlock woods, pre-fab and pre-cut kits and modules, and should even include traditional sauna accessories such as the bucket, ladle, rocks and thermometer. You can ask about what options they have for upgrades such as digital controls, etched glass doors, color therapy lighting, and more.
Do they offer assistance with the design and layout of the sauna space?
You can save money by installing a pre-cut sauna kit and doing the wiring and framing yourself. A qualified dealer will be more than happy to assist you with the design schematic for a custom sauna or any special need such as an odd sized space. They will also explain to you the best placement for the benches and heater, go over insulation requirements and so on. Take advantage of this expertise -- it’s included in the price.
If something goes wrong, can you get help?
Many sauna cabinets are now being mass manufactured in China and while the cheap price is inviting, if you buy one of these you may have little to no chance of getting customer service help if you have a problem.
Ideally, you want to find sauna dealers who design, build, and ship their products in North America, as well as those who love the business and who really understand the concepts of proper sauna design.
Chances are you won’t need customer service, but being able to rely on the love and knowledge of sauna enthusiasts who sell their own products is a great advantage.
When comparing sauna dealers, you’ll want to select a group who offer similar styles at competitive prices. Visit each of their websites to see if they list where their manufacturing plant is located, where they obtain their wood, how long they’ve been in business, and so on.
Your sauna is more than a box with a heater; it’s a big investment and you want to be confident that your dealer is willing to share his expertise and work with you to find the right sauna to fit your budget and lifestyle.