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Top 5 Sauna Rocks in 2022 (How to Choose, How They Work, Buying Guide, etc)

Having spent 40+ hours reviewing stones, we found that the Replacement Sauna Heater Rocks offer a combination of high-quality and budget-friendliness. So that’s our top pick. Go for it.

But if Replacement Sauna Rocks doesn’t meet your need, there are plenty of others to choose from. In this article, we have covered a brief history of sauna stones, how to choose stones for your sauna, and the best rocks available in the market today. Dive right in.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick comparison –

sauna rocks piled together

Our Top Pick

Replacement Rocks

🔹 Heats up fast
🔹 Free of nasty smoke
🔹 Non-porous and durable
🔹 Retains heat for a long time
🔹 Large and medium-size rocks

sauna rocks piled together

Editor’s Choice

Midwest Hearth Stones

🔹 Comes in various size
🔹 Beautiful round shape
🔹 Withstands extreme heat
🔹 Comes clean, no need to wash

sauna rocks piled together

Best Value

American Fireglass Sauna Rocks

🔹 Durable
🔹 Odorless
🔹 Comes in various size
🔹 Retains heat for a long time
🔹 No maintenance required


What are Sauna Rocks?

Sauna rocks are special kinds of rocks that are used to produce steam (also called leil or löyly) in a traditional sauna.

Löyly

Löyly‘ is a Finnish word and it is used to describe sauna steam. Löyly is produced by pouring water over heated rocks. In Finland, löyly is a common topic of discussion among sauna enthusiasts. “Was the löyly any good?” is commonly asked when someone visits a public sauna or builds a new home sauna. There is a reason why löyly receives such attention. According to professor Niilo Teeri (University of California), steam produced by pouring water on hot rocks results in a greater sense of rest and well-being. Löyly contains negative ions and the more negative ions are present in the air, the fresher you tend to feel.

Quick History of Sauna Rocks

Sauna rocks often provide insight into how saunas were operated in the past. For instance, in 2010, archaeologist Jim Leary from the University of Reading found remains of an ancient sauna close to the Hedge Stones in England. Interestingly, outside the building, they found a fire pit where the ground was scorched and littered with fragments of rocks that were heated at some point in time. They concluded, that the rocks were heated outside and then bought inside the sweat lodge. This is not surprising. Before the chimney was invented in the 12th century, it was common to light a fire outside the sauna room.

a bird's eye view of an archaeological digging site
Remains of a very old sweat lodge type building (source)

Research suggests that people used wood way before they learned to use stones for heating the sauna. But rocks quickly gained popularity because they were readily available everywhere and were very convenient to use.

Although sauna stones were a central design focus in traditional sauna houses, today there is a trend towards covering up the sauna stones. Reasons for this shift include the invention of electrical stoves or heaters and a preference for chimney saunas and infrared saunas.

Luckily, there is also a reverse trend gaining popularity in which people are looking for an authentic sauna experience and they are investing in minimalist “Instagrammable” sauna design with stones as a central focus. Manufacturers are building high-quality sauna heaters to hold minimal stones and produce superior heat and steam.

How to Choose the Best Sauna Rocks

To choose sauna rocks, you need to consider the following:

1. Types of rocks: Dark and dense (or non-porous) rocks are ideal for sauna. Dark igneous rocks (also called lava rock for sauna) are excellent heat retainers. 

2. Size of the rocks: Small rocks are unable to retain heat for long. And large rocks can take a while to heat up. Therefore, medium-sized rocks (the size of a golf ball) are ideal sauna rocks. But if medium size rocks are hard to find, then go for a combination of small and large rocks. 

Wondering whether you need to consider the sauna stove before buying rocks for sauna? Don’t worry, most sauna stones can be paired with any kind of heater (electric, gas heater, or wood).

Sauna Water

Upfront disclaimer: There is no such thing as sauna water. There is no special type of water for saunas. You can pour normal water over sauna stones and that would produce humidity which will help you perspire and deep cleanse your body.

If you have questions about using ladles or sauna temperature or anything related to water, take a look at our dedicated article on sauna water.

Where to Buy Sauna Rocks

Below, we have covered rocks that are available on Amazon but if you want to purchase stones from a marketplace, here’s an article that’ll help – where can I buy sauna rocks?


Best Sauna Rocks

1. 45 lb Replacement Sauna Heater Rocks

Sauna rocks from The Sauna Place are our top pick. These high-quality rocks, imported from Finland produce amazing soft steam. Just make sure you wash and rinse them thoroughly before using them.

HIGHLIGHTS

🔸 Heats up fast
🔸 Retains heat for a long time
🔸 Non-porous and durable
🔸 Large and medium-size rocks
🔸 Free of nasty smoke

sauna rocks piled together

2. Midwest Hearth Stones

From Midwest Hearth comes high-quality round-shaped sauna stones. There are four sizes to choose from and each box contains 10-lbs of lava stones.

HIGHLIGHTS

🔸 Withstands extreme temperature
🔸 Comes clean, no need to wash
🔸 Different sizes available

round stones piled together

3. American Fireglass Sauna Rocks

Beautiful round-shaped speckled gray and black colored lava rocks. Excellent choice for sauna or a modern indoor fireplace.

HIGHLIGHTS

🔸 Comes clean, no need to wash
🔸 Retains heat for a long time
🔸 Comes in a variety of sizes
🔸 Odorless
🔸 Durable

sauna rocks piled together

Best Sauna Heater

Looking for a new heater? We have compiled a list of the most powerful sauna heaters available in the market today. Take a look: Best sauna heater.


4. Coasts SSBAG Replacement Sauna Rocks

Coast Sauna Rocks are one of the best sauna rocks out there but they are way too large for electric heaters. You will need to chisel them down.

HIGHLIGHTS

🔸 Medium to large-sized rocks coupled with few small ones
🔸 Flat rocks, large surface area
🔸 LHeats up super fast

stones piled together

5. Baltic Leisure Sauna Stone

Rock Type: Not specified

Weight: 33 pounds

Suitable Heater or Stove: Infrared

The only white(ish) sauna stones on our list.

HIGHLIGHTS

🔸 Odorless
🔸 Heats up fast
🔸 Looks wonderful

rock sauna, piled together

Final Thoughts

That’s it for this one folk. We hope you were able to find high-quality, durable, budget-friendly sauna stones. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.


Issac Maxfield sauna hacks

Article by

Issac Maxfield

I used to be a marketing guy working for technology companies. After 15 years of corporate life, I burnt out. Severely. I turned my focus on my health and made drastic changes in my life. Today I’m the happiest person I know.

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