Saunas: The Sensory Experience

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The use of the sauna has long been known for its health and wellness properties, but over the last several years in particular, mounting evidence has confirmed those assertions. Just last year, a study from the Mayo Clinic found a link between sauna use and lowered risk of vascular diseases, neurocognitive diseases and nonvascular conditions like pulmonary diseases, among a host of other benefits.

With health benefits well established, sauna manufacturers are finding consumers are increasingly interested in ways they can tailor their sauna purchase to meet their preferences and needs.

“New studies certainly continue to come out on the humongous benefits of sauna,” says Mark Raisanen, general manager at Finnleo. “Now, though, a lot of things are stemming from the sauna experience itself.”

Today’s sauna is no longer just about the temperature and humidity in the room. It’s becoming a multi-sensory experience.

RELATED: 11 Tips for Better Sauna Sales

“Now, it is about the aromas. It’s about the essential oils and blends,” says Logan Ross, director of operations at Nordic Sauna. “It’s the aroma of the wood and the different types of wood. It’s about the sounds to create an experience of being in a forest or listening to running water or music.”

Ross also says customers are interested in visual aspects of the experience, such as LED lights for both aesthetics as well as therapeutic purposes like chromotherapy.

Chromotherapy, otherwise known as color therapy, is a method of using colors to help create balance in the body. Different colors yield different bodily responses; a strong green color, for instance, is said to provide anti-infectious, antiseptic and regenerative properties. According to Jacuzzi, the use of chromotherapy can lead to pain relief, accelerate healing and promote mental health, especially for those who have seasonal affective disorder.

As customer needs change, the sales process changes, too. It’s imperative for dealers to invest in training to sell more effectively.

“More and more retailers should make sure they are educated and that their sauna reps are educated on proper sauna etiquette and the benefits of doing one [sauna] versus the other,” Ross says.

Raisanen agrees. “People come in nowadays after having done research on the internet and if you aren’t educated yourself, you are not going to get the sale,” he says.


Technology advancements have made it possible for customers to control and regulate their saunas from their digital devices. Safety regulations currently warrant that to do so, users must be logged-on to their home Wi-Fi.

“Currently, there is the option to turn it on remotely,” says Kim Temme, CEO of Nordic Sauna. Nordic offers the Tylö sauna app, which allows sauna users access to all the functions of the sauna or steam bath from anywhere on their property.

Finnleo offers FinnleoHeat, a phone app that runs on Android or Apple. “The phone app has 24-hour programmability, with options to adjust the temperature right from your phone or turn your sauna on and off,” says Mark Raisanen, general manager at Finnleo. The app has the same safety requirement: homeowners must use the app at home.

While sauna owners might want the convenience of turning on their sauna from work or driving in their car, the risk is simply too high. “Maybe they go to turn on their steam bath with the shower door open and all of sudden they have steam pouring out into their house,” says Raisanen. “Or there might be a danger that people turn on their sauna with a plastic bucket on the rocks.”

So while the technology is limited to the home environment, it still adds a luxurious, modern touch to the sauna experience. Whether from their master bedroom or their favorite lawn chair, customers can have their sauna at their fingertips.


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