Finnmark Designs

Infrared Sauna Manufacturer


What’s the best wood for infrared saunas?

Table of Contents

Choose your sauna wood wisely...

The wood you choose will have an impact on your overall sauna experience.


The only wood that you should ever consider inside your sauna is cedar.  Will other’s argue this? Yes. But the fact is there is no other wood that has more history (centuries) of being better and longer lasting than cedar.  So why do other sauna manufacturers sell other woods?  It’s cheaper and frankly as of recent they can’t obtain cedar like Finnmark Design’s.



We would highly suggest that you make the sauna company send you a sample of this wood before you purchase a sauna full of it.  Finnmark Designs built several sample saunas out of this wood and the smell is horrendous, a combination of forest floor and fungus.  Don’t confuse eucalyptus wood with eucalyptus oil which smells wonderful.  Maybe tricking you is exactly what these sauna companies want to do.  There’s absolutely no history of using eucalyptus in a sauna.  It’s a porous wood that will eventually grow mold, fungus and harmful bacteria.   


Highly porous white wood.  Sauna companies make claims this type of wood is hypoallergenic and non-toxic.  This might be a half true statement in the beginning but woods like basswood absorb sweat like a sponge.  If you actually sweat in your sauna (more on this later) basswood becomes extremely toxic. Overtime this wood has been proven to grow mold, bacteria and fungus.  Basswood is also a very inexpensive wood that is prone to wrapping, cracking and bending when heated and cooled.  Contact us for dozens of photos of white woods growing mold and bacteria in saunas. 


Another very uncommon wood that is now being used for saunas due to the cost of cedar.  Mahogany is a hardwood and like with most hardwoods used in saunas they get extremely HOT.  So hot that sitting on this wood becomes very uncomfortable.  There’s not a long enough track record of using Mahogany in an infrared sauna to make an educated guess to purchase a sauna built from it. 

Thermal Aspen

Thermal Aspen exteriors by Finnmark Designs isn’t new, it’s just unreachable and too costly for our competitors to build their saunas with.  Thermal modification of wood was developed in Finnland in the early 1990’s.  It’s a completely natural process that can take a white wood like aspen and transform it into a wood just as strong and long lasting as cedar.  In fact, the wood is so strong and durable there is a good argument that it will overtake the cedar market entirely in the coming years.  Thermal Aspen is sustainable, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and sworn by the Finns for being the most natural, long lasting wood available especially for outdoor applications.  

With the cost of cedar skyrocketing most sauna brands couldn’t afford to offer cedar.  Instead of investing in the future, like Finnmark Designs did, they chose to build a narrative around a less superior wood and still raise their pricing. 

Western Canadian Cedar

Cedar should be the only wood you ever consider for the interior of your sauna.  Cedar has been used for saunas dating back decades.  Why? 

  • Antimicrobial.  Cedar will never grow mold, fungi, bacteria, or off-gas like less superior woods. 
  • Highly Durable.  Cedar is known to last in harsh environments for decades without warping or cracking. 
  • Non-Toxic.  Cedar sawdust can cause irritation.  Wood planks used in Finnmark Design’s saunas are 100% finished and contain no sawdust. 
  • Cool Benches.  Unlike Mahogany and other hardwoods, cedar stays cool while your sauna stays hot. 
  • Rich History.  Cedar has a long history in the sauna industry as the gold standard of wood. 
Finnmark Designs will never manufacturer an infrared sauna without using cedar for the interior.  Other brands can make up narratives and stretch the truth because their bottom line matters more than the quality of their end product, but we refuse to follow and so should you.  Purchasing a sauna is a long-term investment into your health and wellbeing, don’t fall for tricks and gimmicks on less superior woods.  

Final Thoughts

While Finnmark Designs doesn’t partake in smokescreens and skewed narratives, a lot of other sauna brands do.  Educating yourself should be your number one goal in choosing the wood your sauna is made from.  Finnmark Designs invested heavily into the exterior of our saunas to create a natural but durable alternative to cedar.  Our competitors sat around and made up a narrative to sell you a low-quality wood for more money.  We encourage you to research all these woods, and not on sauna websites or talking to sauna salespeople.  You will find, like we did, both Western Canadian Cedar and Thermal Aspen are the best choice to build an infrared sauna.  

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful in making your decision: 

Non-Toxic cedar

Thermal modification of wood 

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Finnmark Designs

Infrared Sauna Manufacturer


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