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Saunas Heat it Up

Saunas are a viable addition to your wellness- and relaxation-focused lifestyle

If there’s one product that might be hotter than hot tubs in this industry, it’s saunas.

Given the numerous health benefits studied surrounding saunas, it’s no surprise hot tub dealers across the country are marrying the two categories.

“The hot tub industry is the most important trade category within North America for our company,” says Mark Raisanen, general manager of TyloHelo Inc., a worldwide sauna manufacturer of several popular brands including Finnleo, Amerec, Tylo and Helo. “It’s the perfect product that fits in well with hot tubs.”

The power of heat

In all three locations of New England Spas in Natick, Massachusetts, owner Norm Coburn offers saunas right alongside hot tubs. To say he’s a believer in the power of a sauna would be an understatement, considering his company has been selling saunas and hot tubs since the ’80s.

“It’s a great combination with a lot of commonality,” says Coburn, who also has his own sauna at home. “There are common benefits in disconnecting from life and the internet and problems — being able to be still. Stress reduction has got to be the No. 1 benefit from both activities. It’s a healing benefit.”

Another type of heat therapy

Wellness trends are only expected to continue rising, so a sauna is a great option. With three options like portable (plug-and-play), mid-range (custom or modular) and high-end designer styles, offering multiple price points is a must for buyers considering a sauna purchase.

“There’s a sauna for every taste and budget,” Raisanen says.

Nadine Nuzzo, retail division manager of Arvidson Pools and Spas, likes to set the ambiance in the showroom. She keeps a couple of saunas plugged-in for customers to sit inside and try in a quieter area. Nearby, she’ll usually have a diffuser purifying the air with eucalyptus or lavender essential oils.

“It creates that relaxing, calming space,” Nuzzo says. “It’s a nice complement to our offerings. [Saunas] are really up and coming in the news and becoming more popular among customers.”

Minimal maintenance and installation

Saunas are easy to fit into most living situations, which can ease customer concerns of where to put it. That’s especially the case for the higher-end customizable saunas.

“They can go anywhere — in a closet under the stairs or in spaces people aren’t using,” Nuzzo says. “They don’t take up a lot of space. It’s an easy add-on.”

Look for a spa retailer who will do sauna installations, so they can measure the space you want to put the sauna in and make sure you have a perfect fit. Portable options require about an hour of installation time, but more customizable designer rooms usually take a day to install.

As an added bonus, there’s no regular maintenance needed with a sauna. You don’t have to add new filters or change the water every three to six months like with a hot tub.

It is, however, important to take good care of saunas. That includes protecting wood benches by using a towel, scrubbing non-wood bench surfaces, mopping up customized tile floors and replacing rocks and heating elements every five to 10 years. It’s a minimal commitment for a quality wellness product.

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