Safety is a huge concern for us when using a sauna. Many users look to Therasauna® for health and detoxification purposes, so we want to make sure our saunas are made of the safest components to enhance the benefits of infrared, rather than hinder it. This is why our saunas are hand-crafted in the USA; we have an attention to detail that we feel is important when making saunas and it cannot be acheived by cookie-cutter production.
Infrared energy heats objects directly and penetrates up to 2 inches below the surface. This means the infrared heat also penetrates the sauna wood in addition to your skin, so the wood that a sauna is made of is very important. Cedar and redwood contain a natural insecticide within these wood called terpenes. When a sauna made of cedar or redwood is turned on, these naturally occurring oils within the wood become heated and gas off a substance called cedrine. Cedrine attacks the central nervous system of insects and kills them. In some cases, it can also cause vomiting and convulsions in humans.
TheraSauna® is made of aspen hardwood, which is a clear wood grown at elevations where the trees do not produce an insecticide. Our aspen wood is carefullty chosen, and we make sure that all of our aspen wood is furniture grade. Other saunas have thinner wood and are much less durable, where Therasauna® uses only the thickest and most durable wood, 2-3 times thicker than our competitors.
Health Concerns Related to Different Types of Woods Used for Saunas
Here's a summary of health effects from typical woods saunas are made from:
- Aspen – No health effects.
- Cedar – Asthma, allergic contact dermatitis sensitizer, decrease in lung function, eye irritation, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, convulsions, vomiting and effects on the central nervous system.
- Hemlock – Skin irritation, decreased lung function, rhinitis.
- Basswood – Skin irritation.
- Birch – Irritant dermatitis.
- Spruce – Skin irritation, wood pulp workers disease.
- Oak – Nasal Cancer.
- Pine – Skin Irritation.
- Poplar – Contact dermatitis, rhinitis.
Sauna Wood Chart
Health Effects Reported with Various Types of Woods
|Wood Type||Found||Use||Health Effects|
(common, black, red)
|Europe, North America (red)
|Toys, general turnery, broom and brush backs||Dermatitis associated with black alder, no reports with red
alder, decrease in lung function (red alder)
|Aspen||North America||Furniture, strandboard, pulp and paper||No health effects reported|
|Beech||Europe||Furniture, bobbins, brush backs, handles, domestic woodware, flooring, plywood manufacture, instruments||Dermatitis (wood cutters’ disease) due to lichens growing on the bark of beech trees, rhinitis, asthma, nasal cancer|
|Birch (paper, white)||US and Canada (paper birch)
Europe (white birch)
|Furniture, decorative objects, pulp and paper||Irritant dermatitis|
|Cedar, Western Red||West Coast of North America||Building construction material, boats, planking, framing||Asthma, allergic contact dermatitis, sensitizer, decrease in lung function, eye irritation and conjunctivitis, rhinitis|
|Douglas Fir||West coast of North America,
|Interior and exterior construction, flooring, boats, veneer, furniture||Contact eczema, decrease in lung capacity|
(grand, balsam, silver, alpine)
|US and Canada
Europe (silver fir)
|Interior construction, joiner, plywood||Skin irritation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, possible
decrease in lung function
|Hemlock||North America||Furniture, cabinetry||Skin irritation, decreased lung function|
|Larch||Europe, North America||Construction, frame work, boats, flooring||Allergic dermatitis from European larch, no reports with western larch|
|Mahogany||Africa||Furniture, cabinetry, boats, mouldings, etc.- all purpose wood, used where good quality wood is required||Dermatitis, sensitizer|
|Maple||Europe, North America||Furniture, interior construction, cabinets||Rhinitis, asthma, Maple Bark Strippers’ Disease (mould
spores in bark)
|Oak||Europe, North America||Furniture, decorative veneer||Nasal cancer|
(white, lodgepole, jack)
|Europe, North America||Interior and exterior construction, pulp and
|Skin irritation, contact dermatitis, Wood-Pulp Workers’ Disease (mould in bark), rhinitis, and asthma|
|Poplar||Europe, North America||Plywood, matches, toys, pulp and paper||Contact dermatitis (with sawdust contact), rhinitis|
|Rosewood||South America, Asia||Decorative veneer, furniture, cabinets instruments||Eczema, allergic contact dermatitis|
|Spruce||Europe, North America||Interior and exterior construction, furniture, pulp and paper||Skin irritation, Wood-Pulp Workers’ Disease (mould spores in bark), decrease in lung function|
|Teak||Asia, Africa, West Indies||Ship building, interior fittings and mouldings,
|Toxic, dermatitis, sensitizer|
|Walnut (black)||Europe, US||Veneer, cabinet making, furniture, decorative paneling, gun stocks||Skin irritation, rhinitis, possible asthma|
|Yew||Europe, Asia, North Africa||Carving, veneer, cabinet making||Irritation of skin, dermatitis, toxic|
Visit The Wood Database for more detailed information on wood types.