Ultimate Guide: Wood Burning vs. Electric Sauna Heaters

Ultimate Guide: Wood Burning vs. Electric Sauna Heaters

When deciding on the perfect sauna heater for your traditional sauna, you're met with several choices. The top contenders in the sauna heating game are electric sauna heaters and wood burning sauna heaters.

Each of these options promises to deliver a warm and inviting sauna experience. They're all mighty when it comes to heating, safe for your peace of mind, and compatible with water for those who love a steamy atmosphere.

The way they work is quite straightforward yet effective - they heat up sauna rocks, which, in turn, disperse warmth around the sauna, enveloping you in cozy heat.

Electric Sauna Heater Basics & What You Need to Know

Electric Sauna Heater Basics & What You Need to Know

Electric sauna heaters are all about making your sauna experience as straightforward and effortless as possible. With an electric sauna heater, it’s as easy as flipping a switch. You don’t have to wait long either; these heaters warm up your sauna quickly, getting it ready in under an hour.

They can even be upgraded for the tech-savvy among us, featuring options for WiFi controls to make your sauna experience even more effortless.

When it comes to setting up electric heaters, it’s important to note a few things:

  • Professional Installation Required: To get things running safely, you’ll need a licensed electrician to hook it up, as most units require a hardwire connection to your home's electrical supply.
  • Power Requirements: Expect to need around 220 volts and 30-40 amps of power for the majority of electric sauna heaters, so make sure your electrical system can handle it.
  • No Chimney? No Problem: One of the perks of going electric is there’s no need for a chimney, making it a more straightforward installation.

Electric sauna heaters are best for:

  • Indoor and Outdoor Saunas: They’re versatile enough for both settings.
  • Smaller-sized Saunas: Perfect for personal or family-sized saunas.
  • WiFi Sauna Controls: Upgrade to control your sauna with ease.
  • Convenience: Ideal for those who want their sauna ready quickly and without fuss.

Our Electric Sauna Heater Recommendations

Choosing the right electric sauna heater can transform your sauna experience from good to unforgettable. If you've settled on an electric sauna heater, you're in for a treat with our top picks from Harvia and HUUM.

Harvia Heaters, with its roots in a tiny Finnish workshop, has blossomed over 70 years into a globally celebrated sauna manufacturer renowned for its innovative and quality heaters that pay homage to sauna traditions.

HUUM Heaters combines the timeless Finnish sauna design with contemporary materials like brushed stainless steel, offering both aesthetics and durability.

Whether you lean towards tradition or modernity, these recommendations are sure to meet your sauna heating needs.

Huum Sauna Heater Drop Series

Huum Sauna Heater Drop Series

The HUUM Drop electric sauna heater brings a unique aesthetic to any sauna with its design inspired by the purest element in nature – a water drop. Its rounded shape not only adds a touch of elegance to the classic sauna's angular interior but also packs a significant heating capability.

Power Options

Models range from 4.5 kW to 9 kW


Can accommodate up to 122 pounds (55 kg) of stones


Wall-mounted design for space efficiency


Stainless steel construction for longevity


Designed for operation with UKU controls


Limited 5-year warranty, ensuring peace of mind

Harvia Heater - Kip30-W Series

Harvia Heater - Kip30-W Series

The Harvia Kip30-W Series Sauna Heater is a testament to Finnish ingenuity, designed and manufactured in Finland, EU, to provide an unmatched quality of sauna heat. Engineered from high-grade stainless steel, every detail of the Kip-W Series is assembled with a focus on safety and durability for home sauna use.

The innovative AirFlow Technology (AFT) included in these heaters significantly reduces the time it takes to heat up your sauna room, thus achieving an optimal sauna temperature more efficiently.

Technical Specifications:


KIP30-W Steel Model

Suitable for Sauna Room Size

min.-max. Cu. feet 0-130 (0-3.3 m³)







Required Wire Size





16 x 11 x 24 inch

Wood Sauna Heater Basics & What You Need to Know

Wood burning sauna heaters are the heart of the traditional sauna experience. Imagine the sound of wood logs crackling and the warm glow of flames—it's not just about heating; it's about creating a special ambiance that enhances your sauna session. These heaters are especially good for larger spaces. Think about saunas big enough for a group of friends or family, like 6-person saunas or even bigger.

Setting up a wood sauna heater has its own set of needs:

  • Chimney Kit Required: You'll need to get a chimney kit to safely remove smoke. Check out kits like this from Harvia or this from HUUM for top-quality choices.
  • Outdoor Use Only: These heaters are made for outdoor saunas due to the need for a chimney and the smoke they produce.

Wood sauna heaters are perfect for:

  • Outdoor Saunas: They're designed to fit right in with the great outdoors.
  • Larger-sized Saunas: Ideal for spacious saunas (6 x 6 or 84”) where you can relax with more people.
  • Traditional Ambience: Nothing beats the cozy, crackling fire for a genuine sauna experience.

Our Wood Burning Sauna Heater Recommendations

HIVE Wood Sauna Heater Series

HIVE Wood Sauna Heater Series

The HIVE Wood Sauna Heater incorporates the timeless art of sauna stove creation with today's technological advancements, offering an unrivaled sauna experience. Its flame tamer, crafted from 0.20 in (5 mm) thick stainless steel, manifests exceptional durability, setting a new standard in wood-fired sauna heater construction.

For added convenience, HIVE Wood stoves can be equipped with a firebox extension, enabling the sauna to be heated from another room. This feature, combined with a high stone capacity that is only treated with natural oils, emphasizes the brand's commitment to natural and efficient sauna heating solutions.

All HIVE Wood sauna heaters come with a reassuring 5-year guarantee, underscoring the manufacturer's faith in their product's longevity and performance.


13 kW

Suitable for sauna room size 212-459 ft³ (6-13 m³)

17 kW

Perfect for sauna room size 283-565 ft³ (8-16 m³)

17 kW LS

Ideal for sauna room size 283-565 ft³ (8-16 m³), with a firebox extension

Harvia Linear 22 Green Flame Series

Harvia Linear 22 Green Flame Series

The Harvia Linear 22 Green Flame wood sauna heater combines elegance and modern technology to create a captivating sauna experience. Its distinctive design, featuring a large glass door, brings the beauty of the flames into your sauna, enhancing the atmosphere uniquely.

This model is ideally suited for medium-sized saunas, quickly heating the room with a minimum requirement of 88 lbs of stones (sold separately) to satisfy even the most demanding sauna enthusiasts.



Durable steel structure with replaceable internals for extended durability.


Wood-burning, delivering a potent 15.7 kW of heat.


Suitable for sauna rooms ranging from 317 to 635 cu. ft.


GreenFlame® technology reduces particulate emissions by 20% and carbon dioxide emissions by 70%.


Floor-vertical with adjustable frame legs for stability.


Sleek matte black finish with a large glass door, offering a modern look.


The innovative fire chamber ensures a clean burn and a long service life.


17.72" W x 20.08" D x 30.31" H


2-year warranty for consumer use.

The Takeaway: Which Sauna Heater Is For You?

Choosing the perfect sauna heater can be a tricky decision, but by understanding the key differences between wood burning and electric heaters, you can make an informed choice that suits your needs.

Whichever option you choose, both wood burning and electric sauna heaters can provide the relaxing and healthful benefits of sauna use.

Should you have any further questions or need assistance in choosing the right sauna heater for your home, please don't hesitate to contact us.