Costco is a VERY popular place these these days. Its stores are full of people stocking up on food and supplies as Americans and Canadians isolate themselves during the Coronavirus outbreak. And you might be surprised what you find there.
Amazingly, Costco is one of the biggest sauna distributors in North America. And they’re only gaining steam (pardon the pun) during these difficult times. In fact, a sauna might be the most important item in your cart, even a virtual one. Whether or not sauna helps prevent coronavirus, we know those with home saunas will be happy they have them in the months ahead.
Instead of taking the easy route with cheap infrared saunas from China, Costco sells traditional electric saunas that would please the most Finnish Finn (though they also sell infrared saunas). And although we don’t advocate for infrared saunas, Costco Infrared Saunas are the best of the bunch. They are low EMF, and don’t have sensational claims.
Unlike other sauna distributors, Costco infrared saunas are clearly marked so there is no confusion.
Remember, if you want an authentic sauna experience with proper heat, humidity, and the ability to pour water on the rocks to create steam you need a traditional Finnish sauna (not infrared). This is not to be confused with a steam shower, which is very different.
Finnish saunas offer proven health benefits that sound super exaggerated until you see the studies.
Most retailers only offer infrared saunas that are cheaper, lighter, and have less installation risk because they don’t use steam or require a special electrical hook up. Luckily, Costco makes the true Finnish sauna experience accessible to anyone US and Canada. In fact, they have global shipping for many of their best selling saunas.
Costco Canada certainly has more options, including outdoor Pod Saunas.
Although they rarely showcase the saunas at their stores, online shoppers can get free delivery and steep discounts with their memberships. While Costco saunas offer great value, they’re not the best option for everyone. We recommend looking at several alternatives including local sauna builders, Amazon, eBay, Dundalk, and other regional sauna companies depending on where you live.
We’ll show you some great options with reviews below.
If you are looking for the cheapest sauna, you’ll probably be better off with a Toule barrel sauna or another alternative (see below for more recommendations and reviews).
If you value craftsmanship and are willing to pay more, we recommend looking for a local sauna builder or craftsman (like these ones in Minnesota) who will completely assemble and deliver the finished product. Remember, Costco saunas require significant assembly. Most people will not have trouble doing it themselves but if you’ve never pickup up a hammer, you may want to hire a handyman to assemble it.
Here are Costcos current sauna offerings, check their Sauna Page for the latest Costco sauna prices.
Not a Costco Member? If you’re in a sauna from Costco.com you will still be able to purchase them for an extra 5%. However, you will actually save money immediately by becoming a member for such a high dollar purchase.
Almost Heaven Bluestone 3-person Steam Sauna
This is Costcos highest rated sauna based on customer reviews. It is an indoor electric sauna with a 4.5 kw heater with with Fir. This is an excellent option for anyone considering an indoor infrared sauna because they aren’t aware they can get a real traditional sauna in the same footprint.
Like all of Costcos traditional saunas, the heater will require a licensed electrician unless you are handy and can pull permits where you live. Make sure your electric panel has room for the additional 220v 30 Amp breaker.
Also keep in mind these are all sauna kits that require significant assembly. Average assembly time for Costco reviewers was 2.5-3 hours.
Its online price at Costco.com is usually around $3,000 USD.
Reviews, pros, and cons from Costco.com for Bluestone sauna
- Helpful customer service at Almost Heaven
- High quality construction
- Minimal heat/moisture leaking into room (see why that can be a problem here)
- Sturdy, easy to assemble.
- Heats up to 195F easily.
Let’s compare the Bluestone 3 Person Sauna to the Almost Heaven Madison 3 Person Sauna:
The Madison 3 Person sauna is very similar, but has less windows. The Bluestone actually has too many windows in our opinion, and doesn’t offer any privacy.
You can also get these DIY indoor sauna kits that will give you the best result. Honestly, they aren’t that much more work either…
Almost Heaven Fayette 6 Person Barrel Sauna
Along with the 4 Person Morgon model, these are the industry standard barrel saunas, with quality materials and consistent cuts. It has a tempered glass door, two full length benches, and is the best selling outdoor sauna Costco sells. There is room for 6 (cozy), or for two to spread out and even lay down on the benches.
This sauna uses Canadian Western Red Cedar of relatively high grade compared to other companies. The fasteners and hardware are stainless steel and will outlast the wood.
It comes with a 8kW electric heater from Harvia/Finlandia. Many barrel saunas of this size only have 6kW heaters so this will warm up faster and ensure you reach sauna temperatures and humidity levels even on the coldest days. This sauna can reach 190 degrees F with ease.
With the electric heater and all natural materials, this sauna can also be used indoors. We recommend a roofing material or covered space when placing barrel saunas outdoors to make them last longer, though the 5 year warranty is pretty nice.
Remember these require 40amp 220v electricity, so make sure you have a plan and/or electrician for the job.
Keep in mind what this is actually a barrel sauna kit that requires significant time and effort (and tools) to assemble. Learn more about what’s required to assemble a barrel sauna kit here.
According to reviews, average time to assemble is 4-5 hours. Occasionally warped staves or missing pieces are reported but resolved by Almost Heaven.
Barrel saunas are also excellent for portable saunas, easily riding on utility trailers, boat trailers, or even pontoons. Other barrel saunas to consider can be found here, as well as information about why barrel saunas are so efficient, encompassing, and popular.
The Almost Heaven Morgan 4 Person barrel sauna is also available at Costco US. It’s the most popular outdoor sauna Costco sells. Sometimes you can find them on eBay for less. It gets a little confusing because Almost Heaven seems to have different names for their Costco products, probably so you can’t compare prices easily.
We’re pretty sure the Almost Heaven Morgan is comparable to the Almost Heaven Pinnacle, and the Almost Heaven Fayette (Costco) is comparable to the Almost Heaven Princeton below…
Almost Heaven Costco Barrel Sauna Reviews
Key Themes, Pros, Cons, and Complaints from Costco Reviews for both Morgan and Fayette models.
- “Wood quality is amazing, smells good too!”
- “Take time to properly align the staves”
- “Make sure you’re ready to put it together, as staves may warp in storage”
- “Light switch in worst position possible, under heater”
- “Excellent customer service”
These barrel saunas offer an excellent value. They come with a free electric heater. We’ve been recommending them for a long time and have only heard positive reviews. Pricing starts under $2,500 USD which is significantly cheaper than Costco barrel saunas by Almost Heaven which list for nearly $5,000!
Almost Heaven Braxton 6 Person Indoor Sauna
Do you have a big family? Or maybe you just want room to spread out, lay down, or do yoga in the sauna. A big brother to the 3-person Bluestone sauna, the Braxton 6-person Sauna from Almost Heaven is a great indoor electric sauna for those who want a traditional Finnish sauna experience in their home. And you can buy one at Costco!
Borrowing from the convenience of indoor infrared saunas, the Braxton is easily assembled anywhere in your home and takes up the space of a large closet. If you have a small room or specific area you want to convert to a sauna, we recommend getting it custom built or ordering a custom sauna kit.
The Braxton is made with Fir and is only intended for indoor use, though its 8KW Harvia electric heater could certainly handle an outdoor location year round.
Like other Almost Heaven saunas, the Braxton comes with a 5 year warranty.
The Braxton Sauna is a pretty good deal, and there aren’t a lot of other options for very large saunas that fit 6 people indoors. It’s a pretty good choice, but here are a few XL saunas to consider:
Small One Person or Two Person Saunas:
The only small saunas at costco are infrared saunas, which is disappointing. Since most of our readers are interested in Finnish saunas, here are a few small 1 or 2-person saunas that have great reviews:
- Polar 2.2 KW Sauna Room – Simple, pre-built personal sauna that will fit nicely in almost any room (and some closets). Comes with 24 hour digital controls, Stereo, and Spectra lighting. Made with Canadian Hemlock.
- Avalon Pre-cut sauna room – For rooms that you already have studded and insulated, these pre-cut sauna rooms make installation a breeze. Over 30 sizes and configerations to choose from. Some have upper and lower benches.
Costco Infrared Saunas
Costco also offers several infrared saunas that claim to have low EMF ratings, which is very important for near and far infrared saunas.
Costco offers five different size infrared saunas from Dynamic Direct Saunas, who claim to be North America’s best selling saunas (we’re not so sure). These are well built sauna kits with mostly good reviews on Costco’s website.
Benefits of Costco Dynamic infrared saunas are they heat up faster, make you sweat more than traditional saunas, and don’t require as much power or electrical work to wire.
If you’re concerned about EMFs, we recommend looking at SaunaSpace near infrared models.
Where else can I buy saunas?
- Wayfair is an online retailer with a large selection of traditional and infrared saunas for sale.
- Ebay is a hub of small and large companies offering sauna kits including barrel saunas, wood burning saunas, outdoor saunas, infrared saunas, portable saunas, and more.
- Amazon has a few good options but be careful and look at customer reviews. Though lacking with the big stuff, Amazon is getting better and is a great source for wood burning and electric sauna heaters.
There are a lot of local builders in Minnesota, many of which ship throughout the US or Canada. So if you’re looking for a custom outdoor sauna we recommend our Minnesota Saunas page.