Adam Rang

Oct 23, 2020

15 min read

How To Build A Sauna #1: Choosing the right sauna stones

You can’t have a good sauna without good sauna stones.

Introducing the ‘How To Build A Sauna’ series by Estonian Saunas

Anni Oviir & Adam Rang, EstonianSaunas.com
  1. Which types of rock are most suitable as sauna stones?
  2. Can I use decorative rocks in the sauna?
  3. What size and shape of stones are best for sauna stoves?
  4. Do rounded or split-faced stones produce better heat and leil?
  5. How can I check my sauna stones are safe?
  6. What’s the best way to arrange stones in my sauna stove?
  7. When should I replace my sauna stones?

The rocky history of heating saunas

The oldest sauna ever discovered. Photo by University of Reading.
A native American sweat lodge with the stones heated outside.
Covered up sauna stoves are an unfortunate design trend.
Sauna stoves became over-industrialised in the 20th century, but stones are now becoming the central design focus again.

Frequently Asked Questions about sauna stones

1. Which types of rock are suitable as sauna stones?

Follow Cedar & Stone Nordic Sauna on Instagram

2. Can I use decorative rocks in the sauna?

White sauna stones are popular with some sauna builders.

3. What size and shape of stones are best for sauna stoves?

  • Drop electric stoves (all): 60 kg of 5 to 10 cm diameter stones.
  • Hive electric stoves (6 & 9 kW) without air tunnel: 120 kg of 10 to 15 cm diameter stones and 30 kg of 5 to 10 cm diameter stones.
  • Hive electric stoves (6 & 9 kW) with air tunnel: 80 kg of 10 to 15 cm diameter stones and 30 kg of 5 to 10 cm diameter stones.
  • Hive electric stoves (12, 15 & 18 kW) without air tunnel: 220 kg of 10 to 15 cm diameter stones and 30 kg of 5 to 10 cm diameter stones.
  • Hive electric stoves (12, 15 & 18 kW) with air tunnel: 180 kg of 10 to 15 cm diameter stones and 30 kg of 5 to 10 cm diameter stones.
  • Hive wood-burning stoves (13 kW): 90 kg of 5 to 10 cm stones.
  • Hive wood-burning stoves (17 kW): 100 kg of 10 to 15 cm stones and 30 kg of 5 to 10 cm stones.

3. Do rounded or split-faced stones produce better heat and steam in the sauna?

Rounded and split-faced sauna stones.
Split-faced stones in a HUUM sauna stove

4. How can I check my sauna stones are safe?

5. What’s the best way to arrange stones in the stove?

A Hive electric sauna stove by HUUM, before and after adding stones.

6. When should I replace my sauna stones?

Thanks for reading