Tips for Using Sauna Rocks

Two women and a men in a sauna.

Your sauna rocks are the foundation of your sauna's effectiveness. To gain the maximum benefit from your therapeutic sauna, you must choose the correct type and sizes of rocks, install them, heat them, and clean them properly. Follow these tips to obtain and use sauna rocks effectively in your sauna.

Correct Types of Sauna Rock

Avoid sedimentary layered rock as they cannot tolerate repeated heating and cooling. Use igneous rocks such as granite, basalt, or hornblende with a low iron component. Iron heats up quickly and will vaporize the water too fast, rather than turning it to just-visible steam. Peridotite, quarried in Finland, is also excellent for sauna rocks.

Correct Rock Sizes

A sauna needs large rocks that will be heated just once to retain the sauna heat, and medium to small rocks to generate steam. Pack these loosely in a circle on top of the sauna heater. Add medium-sized and small stones to fill the heater on top of the large rocks. These upper rocks will be splashed with water, so they should heat up and retain heat well.

Clean and Replace Rocks

Clean the uppermost rocks once a year and replace them after two years. The large base rocks should last five to six years in a sauna.