Rent a state-of-the-art mobile sauna in your backyard. Get the full platza experience at an old world banya. Have a sauna tent with catering delivered to your local park. Yes – there’s a Chicago Sauna for you.
Chicago is home to some of the most iconic old world saunas in America – some going back to 1906 and still operated by immigrant families from Poland, Russian, and Ukraine.
The Chicago Sweatlodge and the Chicago Bath House in particular have a storied history to go with a world class bathing experiences (more on those later).
But what we’re most excited about is the introduction of an authentic mobile sauna on the cold shore of Lake Michigan, and how it came to be.
The Sauna Club – the first authentic mobile sauna in Chicago
Ryan is a sauna enthusiast who started inviting friends and neighbors into his backyard sauna. This organically became ‘The Sauna Club’ and quickly outgrew Ryan’s backyard.
He wanted to share authentic mobile sauna, and show his kids that you can build a business doing what you love.
So in the summer of 2022 Ryan purchased a state-of-the-art mobile sauna from Voyageur Saunas in Minnesota and began offering mobile sauna deliveries and sauna sessions at public spaces.
Ryan partnered with SaunaShare to get the website and booking platform up and running, and launched in September at Scandinavian Days.
Portable Sauna Chicago – Offering Sauna Tents, a Mobile Barrel Sauna, and Catering
It’s no surprise that the Chicago sauna scene has always been intertwined with food. Several of the old world bathhouses offer excellent Eastern European meals and host events.
Portable Sauna Chicago takes this tradition to the next level.
Offering full catering for events and small gatherings, this company has merged sauna and food in a brilliant way.
When you rent a sauna tent from them, you have the option to a full menu of barbecue and authentic Ukranian and American dishes.
Portable Sauna Chicago offers 3 different sizes of tent sauna (the largest fits up to 12 people!), and a mobile barrel sauna (fitting up to 8 people).\
The barrel sauna comes with a wooden cold water tank to refresh between rounds.
Let them set up and stoke the sauna at your favorite park, and enjoy the special occasion with top notch catering all from the same vendor. What more could you ask for?
Check them out at portablesauna.co/
The Chicago Bath House Sauna
The Chicago Bath House is the oldest continuously operating sauna in Chicago, and one of the few old world saunas still operating in the US.
The hot rooms have brick or granite ovens, and more thermal mass than you’ve probably ever experienced.
Aire Ancient Baths
Want to relax like an ancient Roman in a restored factory in the West Loop of Chicago? The Aire Ancient Baths is your place for that.
Aire is more than a spa, but it’s not a traditional sauna. Yet we can’t get over the one-of-a-kind fusion with exposed wood beams, industrial columns, and exposed brick of an old factory with magical saltwater pools within.
Quite the place to kill a day alternating between bathing and massage in Chicago.
Book a sessions here.
What About Infrared Saunas and gym saunas in Chicago?
Chicago certainly has plenty of infrared saunas and gym saunas. By all means, get into a routine that works for you – but it’s our mission to get you to try an authentic sauna or bath house experience.
There really is very little comparison between a sauna that is 200 degrees with thermal mass and steam, and an infrared sauna or dry sauna you find at the typical gym.
Several gyms, especially crossfit gyms, are starting to put authentic wood fired saunas outside their space for a true sauna experience – but so far there are none in Chicago.
Chicago Sauna Builders and Where to Buy
Finnish Sauna Builders in Highwood, IL is in the business of importing sauna kits, stoves, and accessories from around the world. They are a dealer of Harvia (Finland), Almost Heaven (Michigan), Dundalk (Canada), HUUM (Estonia), Thermory (Global), and Tylo Helo (Finland).
Finnish Sauna Builders also has their own line of sauna kits and do custom installations and consulting in Chicago and much of the Midwest.
We’ve heard good things about working with them.
Accurate Industries, a part of Bathing Brands, is a major distributor of sauna products with a substational design and build department. They are mostly focused on large gyms and spa saunas but they do residential sauna build and design as well.
Their Chicago showroom and warehouse is in Wheeling, IL.