How to build a portable sauna

Updated February 21, 2017

Saunas are a fun and invigorating experience, but they have mostly been available in health clubs, fitness centres and similar venues. To have a sauna installed at a home is a very expensive proposition. Even portable sauna kits that are now increasingly becoming available in large do-it-yourself stores can be very costly. However, there are ways to enjoy the sauna experience at home without spending a fortune. Here is one.

Purchase a small camping tent to act as your sauna building; this has several advantages over the option of building a traditional wooden structure: it is far cheaper, portable, much faster to erect when you wish to use it, and quicker to collapse when you are finished. There are specialised tent saunas available to buy, together with portable steamer equipment; however, a simple camping tent is sufficient for a portable infrared sauna.

Buy an infrared sauna heater to provide your heat. These are ideal for use inside a tent sauna and much simpler than the steam system. The cost can be as low as £195, although the model you buy must put out enough heat for the size of tent you have chosen.

Provide seating for your sauna by buying a low bench or stools. Depending on the shape and size of your tent, individual stools may be an easier option to fit into your sauna than a long bench would be.

Assemble your tent as per the maker's instructions. Some of the newer tents available spring into shape very quickly, which will further reduce the time you need available to enjoy your sauna.

Ensure the heater does not touch the tent wall and that the seating is carefully placed within the tent so as to be a safe distance from the heat source. When using the tent sauna, wait 15 minutes for the tent to heat up.


Keeping an extension cable with your sauna equipment will mean that you can more easily reach an electric output from a variety of sites and make your sauna experience more available to you, regardless of where you are.


Make sure that the heater and other equipment has cooled off sufficiently to handle before you pack it away and dissemble and store your tent

Things You'll Need

  • Camping tent
  • Infrared sauna heater
  • Work bench
  • Extension cord
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About the Author

Peter Matthews has been a freelance writer since 2004 with works published online for UpDown, Bloomberg and other websites. He has more than 30 years experience in financial markets, during which he has penned everything from conference materials to daily comment pages for organizations such as ABN Amro and Tradition. He is FSA-registered in London and holds series 7 and 24 licenses from the SFA.