Sauna - Cedar or Hemlock?
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Buying a sauna in Brainerd Lakes Country?

Cedar or Hemlock?

This is an important question once you have made the decision that an infrared sauna is for you and your loved ones' health and wellness.

Cedar is the gold standard wood for all saunas. You want to make sure that the wood is clear cedar, no knots (knots are what causes splitting and cracking of the wood). Most of the best cedar comes from Western Canada. Check to see if the model uses clear red cedar. Cedar is very resistant to mold and bacteria growth. Cedar requires virtually no maintenance. A good maintenance policy is to sit on a towel and have a towel at your feet to catch your sweat. Then wash towels regularly and the sauna will look always look brand new. Check to see the warranty; many cedar models will have a lifetime warranty against splitting and cracking.

The only trouble with quality cedar is that it costs up to four times what hemlock or other woods used in sauna applications costs per board foot, but it adds nothing to the efficacy of the sauna. Many non-cedar sauans will use hemlock. Hemlock was once used in flour and sugar barrels as it exudes no toxins or chemicals. Hemlock has no scent, some people find the cedar scent not to their liking although with no knots (the source of most scent) the cedar scent in cedar saunas is far from over powering.

Hemlock is susceptible to mold and mildew growth with regular exposure to moisture (same with all less expensive woods). Hemlock does require some maintenance if you were to sweat directly onto your unit, it would need to be sprayed after each use with a fifty/fifty mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. Again, if you were to sit on a towel and have a towel at your feet your unit would look like new for a very long time. Many hemlock units come with a three year warranty against splitting and cracking.

In the final analysis it really comes down to personal preference. Cedar units cost one thousand dollars more than their hemlock counterparts. The important thing to remember is that choosing cedar or hemlock in no way compromises the performance or efficacy of your sauna and the cost of operation is the same for either unit (less than $10 per month if used daily).

For more information, click here to read what Life State Solutions offers in saunas.

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