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Barrel Saunas: A Buyer’s Guide in a Growing Market

Two Canadian wet steam sauna barrels for two people

When traditional rectangular or cube-shaped saunas aren’t enough, barrel saunas provide a different outdoor aesthetic for sauna enthusiasts. With their iconic curved walls and thick stainless steel barrel bands, these sauna designs attract customers worldwide.

Retailers can use this information and global market data to decide which barrel saunas will meet their discerning customer standards. So, promote the health benefits of these home saunas to your customers while evaluating all the other reasons why it is good to stock these products.

Table of Contents
Barrel sauna market forecast
Choosing barrel saunas
Add barrel saunas to your inventory

Barrel sauna market forecast

Outdoor spruce wood sauna for three to four people

Barrel saunas form part of outdoor sauna sales. Hence, research forecasts the value of this market will reach USD 1.377 billion by 2029, up from USD 1.039 billion in 2022, at a compound growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1%.

Although this growth rate appears relatively low, it is steady and positive, encouraging sellers to add barrel saunas to their inventories due to their unique appeal. Besides, global sauna sales are projected to be worth USD 1.44 billion in 2028, showing even more potential for this market overall. Additionally, keyword searches for barrel saunas also show promising signs of market interest.

Keyword search rates

Internal and external view of a four-person barrel sauna

According to Google Ads, keyword data supports the interest in barrel saunas. In April 2023, people searched for “barrel saunas” 49,500 times. This figure rose to 60,500 in March 2024, an increase of 18.18%. Rates for “saunas” were much higher, with records showing 2,740.000 searches in April 2023 and 4,090.000 in March 2024, an increase of 33%.

Because barrel saunas are a subcategory of saunas, retailers need to use these keywords to their advantage. When advertising barrel saunas online, using both keywords will attract customers looking for all types of saunas and draw attention to these unique barrel saunas as well.

Consumer driving forces

Four- to six-person wet or dry barrel sauna

Consumers appreciate the health benefits of using saunas. However, barrel-shaped saunas add a new aesthetic dimension to these health benefits when sharing sauna sessions with friends and family.

Besides, advancements give customers more choices, with some preferring traditional wood-burning heaters while others opt for gas or electric sauna heaters. Moreover, technological improvements now mean that soft touch controls can be included, increasing convenience and the overall sauna experience.

Choosing barrel saunas

Six- to eight-person barrel sauna with tinted glass window

Sauna types

Far-infrared Canadian red cedar wood barrel sauna

Although the barrel-shaped sauna is seen as traditional and is used with a wood stove, other options are available. Nowadays, customers enjoy the convenience of electric saunas or even gas sauna heaters. These heating methods are often cheaper than wood stoves and easier to use and maintain.

Barrel saunas are manufactured as infrared saunas, other than electric heaters to warm sauna stones. Sellers can even ask for far infrared or full-spectrum infrared sauna customizations in the barrel shape, which generate dry heat like the traditional saunas.

Consequently, barrel sauna types include traditional wood-burning stoves, electric sauna heaters, and infrared heating with ceramic or carbon heating panels. Depending on their customers, sellers can also request barrel saunas with a combination of dry heat and wet steam functionality.

Design styles and applications

Canadian hemlock pointed roof barrel sauna

Strangely enough, barrel saunas are not always just plain barrels. Traditional and modern designs distinguish some, like the one with the pointed roof in the image above. Additionally, manufacturers use roof shingles, stands, window transoms, and clear glass or colored bubble windows to highlight various styles.

Clear glass windows are often included to cool the inner space for aesthetic and practical reasons. Similarly, large colored glass bubble windows protect user privacy while allowing a full panoramic view of the local scenery.

Glass doors and rear windows are other design choices available when placing orders for redwood or cedar barrel saunas. Whatever increases the comfort and convenience of the customer is worth examining when ordering home saunas.

Additionally, the outdoor barrel sauna mostly has a horizontal design, while the smaller one- or two-person barrel sauna is often vertical and designed for indoor use. Despite indoor and outdoor applications, not all indoor saunas can be used outside. Sellers should check these applications with manufacturers to prevent voiding warranties.


Typical woods for barrel saunas include quality red cedar, Canadian hemlock, Finnish pine, spruce, thermos wood, and heat-treated or eco-friendly wood. Treated glass and roof shingles are among the other materials used to make these products.


Small vertical indoor or outdoor barrel sauna

Barrel saunas can be customized for use in homes and commercial settings, but the typical sizes accommodate the following:


Canadian red cedar barrel sauna with radio and USB panel

Because manufacturers are willing to meet seller order requirements, various customizations and accessories are possible. For example, sellers can order a computer control panel and a hand-held remote control for their barrel sauna and add radio and USB capabilities.

Other accessories include a wood-burning sauna kit consisting of an hourglass timer, hygro-thermometer, bucket, and ladle. For infrared barrel saunas, sellers can request LED light strips and even chromotherapy lighting (different calming light colors) for additional health benefits to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and more.

Add barrel saunas to your inventory

Eight- to ten-person barrel sauna with roof shingles

Barrel saunas are unique because of their shape. However, just because they were initially created as traditional saunas doesn’t mean that they haven’t evolved with time. Now, sellers can customize these products with modern designs and convenience, including ordering built-in controls.

Anything is possible, from dry saunas to wet and dry combo products, such as infrared dry steam and wet steam saunas. Sellers can even customize barrel saunas to include chromotherapy lighting for extra health benefits.

After studying all the qualities of barrel saunas, sellers should browse the Alibaba.com showroom to see other available products. From there, it is just a few steps more to building relationships with industry-leading manufacturers for ongoing supplies to meet market demand, which is growing at a steady pace.

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