Ultimate Guide: Hemlock vs Cedar Sauna - Choosing the Best Option for Your Needs

Ultimate Guide: Hemlock vs Cedar Sauna - Choosing the Best Option for Your Needs

When stepping into a sauna, the immediate warmth enveloping your body is just part of the allure; the subtle, soothing scent wafting through the air is equally integral to the experience.

This sensory pleasure largely hinges on the type of wood used in the sauna's construction. Among the myriad options, cedar and hemlock stand out for their popularity and remarkable qualities.

Both woods boast excellent heat retention and insulation, ensuring the sauna remains at a perfect temperature for unwinding. However, despite these shared benefits, cedar and hemlock saunas have distinct differences in performance, cost, and maintenance requirements.

Join us as we explore what sets cedar and hemlock saunas apart, guiding you to choose the right one for your ultimate relaxation.

Why Does Picking the Right Wood for Your Sauna Matter?

Why Does Picking the Right Wood for Your Sauna Matter?

Choosing the appropriate wood for your sauna is not just about aesthetics; it’s crucial for ensuring the space is safe, durable, and offers the best possible experience. Given that sauna temperatures can reach up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it's vital to use materials that won't warp or crack under such extreme heat. Such damage not only shortens the lifespan of your sauna but could also pose safety hazards.

The ideal sauna wood must be able to withstand high temperatures while remaining comfortable to the touch. This means selecting wood types that don’t release any toxic vapors or chemicals when heated, as exposure to these can lead to health issues like respiratory irritation. This consideration is crucial for your health and well-being, ensuring your sauna sessions are both safe and enjoyable.

The wood lining plays a key role in enhancing this experience; by absorbing excess moisture, it prevents condensation build-up and maintains balanced indoor humidity. This characteristic is essential for a comfortable environment and also mitigates the risk of bacterial growth. Woods such as cedar and Nordic spruce are preferred options since they naturally contain oils and resins that possess antibacterial properties, helping to keep the sauna clean and hygienic.

The sauna wood must be durable enough to withstand the weight of users without compromising the structure's integrity. This aspect is particularly important for public or commercial saunas that accommodate multiple users. The wood used should be dense and resilient, capable of handling both the thermal stress and the physical load applied by users. This ensures the sauna remains a safe and welcoming place for relaxation over years of use.

Hemlock vs Cedar: What is The Difference Between Them?

Hemlock vs Cedar: What is The Difference Between Them?

Cedar has long been the top choice when it comes to constructing home saunas and outdoor projects, thanks to its durability. Recently, however, hemlock has emerged as a greener choice, winning over hearts with its eco-friendly credentials.

But how do these two woods really differ from each other?


When it comes to keeping the warmth in, not all woods are the same. Cedar wood is especially great for saunas because it traps heat better. Its special structure has tiny pockets that hold onto heat, helping to keep the sauna cozy and use less energy.

Hemlock does a decent job, too, but it doesn't keep the sauna as warm as Cedar does. This makes Cedar a go-to for those looking to get the most out of their sauna experience.


Cedar wood is like the superhero of sauna materials because it's super strong and can fight off bugs and rot all by itself. This makes it last a really long time, sometimes more than 30 years!

Hemlock is also pretty tough, but it doesn’t naturally resist decay and insects like Cedar does. That means it might not last as long if it's left outside in bad weather.

But, if you give Hemlock a little help with some protective finishes, it can stay strong for a longer time, too.


When it comes to building saunas, you need wood that won't get all bent out of shape with the changing temps and dampness.

  • Cedar is pretty steady, not moving around much, even when it gets hot and steamy.
  • But hemlock is the real MVP here, being super dense and strong, both in squeezing and bending.

This means if you're using your sauna a lot, a hemlock sauna is less likely to warp or twist, keeping its cool shape for a longer time.


When it comes to how your sauna looks, the type of wood you pick really matters.

Cedar is known for its beautiful red and gold colors that make any sauna feel warm and inviting. It's pretty smooth, too, with not a lot of knots or sap, which means it looks nice and even.

Hemlock, on the other hand, has a lighter color and shows off its natural grain, giving your sauna a calm, earthy vibe.

Both woods have their own unique beauty, so it really comes down to the look you want for your sauna.

Mold Resistance

Cedar is awesome because it has natural oils that keep mold away, even when it's really damp or humid inside your sauna.

Hemlock, though, likes to soak up water, which means mold might start to grow if you’re not careful.

This makes Cedar a better choice if you're worried about mold in your sauna.


Cedar is often pricier because it's tough stuff, standing up to water, mold, and bugs without breaking a sweat.

On the flip side, hemlock is easier on your wallet and still brings a lot to the table, keeping up with durability and style.


Cedar smells nice and earthy, a lot like being in a forest, which makes a lot of people feel super relaxed and happy.

Hemlock doesn’t really smell much, so it’s a good pick if strong smells bug you.

Allergic Potential

When it comes to avoiding an itchy situation or a sneeze fest in your sauna, remember that not all woods are created equal.

  1. H. Ayars and other researchers have found that cedar, despite its many perks, could stir up allergies in sensitive folks because of its bold scent.

On the other hand, hemlock stands out as the hypoallergenic hero, posing fewer risks for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

This makes hemlock a safe haven for those seeking a sniffle-free sauna session.


Cedar wood is really easy to take care of because it doesn't warp or crack when it gets super humid. It also doesn't easily get moldy or grow mildew, which means keeping it clean is a breeze.

Hemlock, though, needs a bit more TLC. It can get dents and scratches and might attract bugs, so you've got to protect it more from moisture, heat, and pests.

But, since hemlock has a smooth and even grain with hardly any knots, cleaning it is pretty straightforward.

Our Best Options For You

Maxxus 2 Person Near Zero EMF FAR Infrared Sauna - Canadian Hemlock

Maxxus 2 Person Near Zero EMF FAR Infrared Sauna - Canadian Hemlock

This two-person sauna combines the beauty and resilience of Natural Canadian Hemlock with a sleek design that includes a tempered glass door and two full-length side windows, creating an immersive and stylish wellness space. It's the perfect way to unwind after a long day, with added features like a roof vent and intuitive LED control panels both inside and out for ultimate comfort and ease of use.

  • Full 2 Person Capacity & Spacious Design: Offers ample space with exterior dimensions of 50″ x 42″ x 75″ and interior dimensions of 45″ x 37″ x 68″, ensuring a comfortable fit for two people.
  • Natural Canadian Hemlock Construction: Not only does it look stunning, but it also guarantees durability. The tempered glass door and full-length side windows enhance the visual experience, making it an elegant addition to any space.
  • Advanced Heating & Lighting: Equipped with 6 Carbon PureTech™ Near Zero EMF Heat Emitters for efficient warmth distribution, and interior color therapy lighting to create a soothing ambiance that enhances your sauna experience.
  • Entertainment & Easy Control: Features an FM Radio with Bluetooth, MP3 auxiliary, SD, USB connection options to play your favorite tunes, and interior/exterior LED control panels for easy customization of your infrared sauna session.

Roslyn 4 person Indoor Infrared Sauna - Canadian Red Cedar

Roslyn 4 person Indoor Infrared Sauna - Canadian Red Cedar

The Roslyn offers a comfortable space ideal for relaxation with your closest ones, featuring a generous two-bench configuration that allows you to sit side by side. This four-person sauna not only heats up quickly thanks to its 10-carbon nano heaters but also ensures the heat is evenly spread across the cabin, so everyone feels the warmth.

  • Ergonomic Comfort with Added Features: Comes with ergonomic backrests for ultimate comfort, 7-color CHROMOTHERAPY lighting to set the mood, and an oxygen ionization system to keep the air fresh and clean.
  • Leisure and Control: Equipped with an FM Radio that includes CD and MP3 capabilities, along with Bluetooth and a speaker system for enjoying your favorite music. The dual LED control pads, both inside and outside, make it easy to adjust settings to your liking.
  • Convenience at Its Best: Features such as the adjustable air vents and reading lamp provide personalized comfort, while the included cup holders keep your hydration needs within reach.
  • Simple Assembly & Elegant Design: Designed for easy assembly, the Roslyn seamlessly blends into any decor with its all-natural Canadian red cedar construction, offering not just a sauna experience but an enhancement to your home's aesthetic.
  • Health and Wellness: Roslyn’s advanced features, like the oxygen ionizer and CHROMOTHERAPY lighting, add a health and wellness aspect by purifying the air and promoting relaxation through light therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hemlock Wood Good for Saunas?

Yes, hemlock wood is a solid pick for saunas. It's tough, lasting a long time and holding up well under the sauna's hot and steamy conditions, without getting warped or cracked. Plus, its light color and smooth texture mean you can easily paint or stain it to make your sauna look just how you like.

How Long Do Cedar Saunas Last?

Cedar saunas are super durable, especially when you keep them in good shape with regular care. If you go for cedar, you're looking at a sauna that can chill with you for 15-20 years, thanks to its top-notch quality for outdoor use.

Does Hemlock Last Longer Than Cedar?

When it comes to lasting a long time, both hemlock and cedar can be pretty similar if you take good care of them. Hemlock is really strong and doesn't rot easily, especially if it's properly treated, while cedar is great at fighting off mold and mildew. However, cedar might last a bit longer in saunas because it handles dampness better.

The Takeaway: Making the Right Choice for Your Sauna

The Takeaway: Making the Right Choice for Your Sauna

Choosing between hemlock and cedar for your sauna comes down to what you like and how much you want to spend. If you want something fancy with great heat and easy care, go for hemlock. But if you love that woodsy smell and need something tough against moisture, cedar is your pick.

Think about where your sauna will be and what's important for that spot. Outside places might be better for cedar, but inside spots work great with hemlock. Always good to talk to someone who knows a lot about saunas to help you decide.

Both hemlock and cedar have cool things to offer, depending on what you're looking for - whether that's the look, the feel, or how long it'll last. Most of all, make sure your sauna is a place you can chill out and feel good.

For any extra details, just contact us – our friendly team is here to answer all your questions and guide you to the ideal sauna that's just right for you.