While we love the routine of a wood-burning sauna, there’s no denying that the good electric sauna heaters are more convenient, clean, and consistent.
We’ve researched over 50 of the best electric sauna heaters, then tested and reviewed dozens – and for the most part the market is what you might expect. There are a lot of good, basic sauna heaters that get the job done. They vary in quality, rock capacity (very important!), features (like WIFI thermostats), and customer support.
This year, we decided the best electric sauna heater is not the boxy model made by Harvia, Finlandia, SaunaCore, Polar, HotAss Saunas, and everyone else. Our pick is an electric sauna heater with so much thermal mass that the heat is difficult to distinguish from a wood burning stove (even a really good one).
Best Electric Sauna Heater – HUUM HIVE
A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF STONES
Easily, our choice for the Best Electric Sauna Heater in 2022 is the HUUM HIVE. From Estonia, the HUUM HIVE is finally available in the US and throughout Europe. Here’s our review.
The entire line of HUUM Sauna Heaters are unique, elegant, and modern looking. The HUUM Hive is our favorite because it has such a nice ‘built in’ look that can be built into the sauna floor or bench, when used with the flange. Speaking of accessories, it’s rare to find a safety feature that improves the look of a product, but the optional wood safety railing does just that for the HUUM Hive.
What sets the Huum electric sauna heaters apart is the UKU wifi thermostat in different colors. The UKU is as elegant and modern looking as the heater, and the app is wonderful.
The other best part is the rock capacity. Stones provide the thermal mass that makes a sauna feel like a hug. Without enough rocks the heat will be harsh and not as comfortable. The HUUM design is the first that (in our opinion) makes it nearly impossible to tell the difference between electric and wood stoves by the quality of the heat.
We liked the HUUM stoves so much we became dealers in the US. You can now buy a HUUM sauna stove that will ship from America to your door, directly from Sauna Marketplace. We make sure you are getting the best possible price, and will support you all the way. Check a few out here:
Best Sauna Heater Runner-Up – Harvia Cilindro
Before we get to the basic electric sauna heaters, there’s one more on the market that looks awesome, holds a ton of rocks, and saves precious sauna space. The Harvia Cilindro is a proven stove that is usually in stock (rare in 2022!).
The Cilindro Half Series 6kW (PC60) Sauna Heater is a uniquely sleek, modern electric heater that packs an impressive amount of stones in a small cylinder. Once you get the hang of a Harvia Cilindro, you’ll be able control your hot room with a soft heat by throwing water along the side, or harsher heat from dropping from above.
The PC60 has built in sauna controls, saving the time and expense of adding an external control.
Best Basic Electric Sauna Heater – Finlandia FLB-60
We consider the Finlandia FLB-60 (other sizes available) to be the original electric sauna heater.
It’s the standard home sauna design the looks good and does the job. There are many heaters on the market that look exactly the same, but we would go with the Finlandia (though it’s not cheap) because we know it will last.
We’ve seen these in home saunas that are over 10 years old and going strong
Best Cheap Electric Sauna Heater – Vevor
The VEVOR Sauna Heater is a popular Chinese version of the boxy sauna heaters made by well, everyone. They are a fraction of the price of the name brand versions from Finlandia, Harvia, Tylo Helo, etc. The surprising thing is that they perform just as well as any other box shaped electric sauna heater.
How do we know? We’ve been testing a Vevor 9KW electric sauna heater in our shipping container sauna for almost a year now. It’s a fairly harsh heat, and is not as good as a HUUM or Harvia sauna experience but you get better at “softening” the heat with water over time. Plus, it was well under $500.
Vevor Sauna Heater Review
Our Cheap Vevor Electric Sauna Heater was purchased as a baseline to compare with more “professional” sauna heaters that we sell.
We were shocked it performed better than some models, and is still going strong.
We still don’t sell them, but no judgements if you want to save some money and pick one of these up on Amazon like we did.
The built in heat guard is one of the best we’ve tested, you can safely touch it shortly after use, and it likely wouldn’t even burn you (but do not try it).
The heat is absolutely more harsh than a good Harvia or HUUM stove, but that’s mostly due to larger stone capacity. The unpleasant sharpness is mostly noticeable over 180 degrees, so we keep it down there.
However, for heat lovers the thermostat on the 9KW model goes all the way up to 221F, hotter than any US approved Harvia heater.
The heating elements are solid and haven’t degraded in heating capacity.
If you are looking for a cheap sauna heater, this is the cheapest sauna heater on the market and it works just fine. We’ve been in several home saunas with cheap VEVOR sauna heaters and honestly, if you are getting a boxy sauna heater that looks like this, you might as well save some money here.
Available in 6KW, 9KW versions for most home saunas, but they also have 2KW (110v!) and 4KW for very small closet saunas.
Best Commercial Sauna Heater
If you have a sauna in a hotel, gym, or other common space we highly recommend a stainless steel sauna heater that was made for commercial applications.
These saunas get used and abused, and painted sauna heaters will start showing spots from ‘who knows what’ is getting tossed on the sauna. Even hard water can make sauna heaters look aged within months.
The SaunaCore stainless steel commercial sauna heaters will look best the longest.
Second Best Cheap Electric Sauna Heater (Basic) – Nature
The Nature line of electric sauna heaters are popular on eBay. For the price they are really impressive. We’ve seen them in neighborhood saunas and they work well and look nice. They are very compererble to the classic Finlandia FLB line for half the price.
Nature sauna heaters on eBay check all the boxes…
- Looks great
- CE Certified
- ISO9001 Certified
- Adjustable Wall Bracket
- High quality materials
Sauna Stove Electric Requirements
Get your electrician involved early in your sauna plans. It’s often much easier to rough in the sauna stove electric lines before building the sauna itself, and could save you a lot of money.
Most sauna heaters are 220v and require a double pole breaker. Even with a 110v sauna stove you are probably not able to use existing wiring in your home because the circuit will be extremely overloaded. Always plan on running a new line to your electric panel that is only used for the sauna heater.
When in doubt, oversize the wiring. The wiring gauge can’t be too big, and will provide more options in the future if you decide you need a stove.