Sauna Relaxation

Sauna Rocks for Steam: What You Need to Know

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When your sauna is working properly, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about the sauna rocks. They’re rocks, after all. What’s the big deal? But when they start to deteriorate, and you need to replace them, or if you need to purchase sauna stones to go with your sauna heater, you can’t just get any stones. You need specific sizes of lava rock that are appropriate for sauna use.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about sauna stove rocks. This includes their types and sizes and the ideal temperature for the best sauna experience. We will also help you find the best rocks for your sauna so that you can have an enriching and rejuvenating sauna experience at home.

best sauna rocks

What Are Sauna Rocks?

As mentioned before, sauna rocks highly impact the experience you will have in your sauna. These are specialized stones that not only absorb heat but also retain it. Sauna rocks are what maintain the temperature and humidity of the sauna. The rocks are heated on an electrical heater or wood fire (you typically don’t encounter sauna stones in an infrared sauna).

Once you have achieved your desired temperature, your heater will likely auto shut off. The rocks will retain the heat and will bring the room to a nice and hot temperature.

People don’t know much about how a sauna is heated if they only visit the sauna in the gym. However, many love to have a sauna in their home! Yes, portable and low-emf infrared saunas are common choices that don’t need sauna stones. But some like the authentic full-scale barrel saunas with an electric heater and sauna stones.

Most studies of the benefits of sauna use have focused on the traditional style sauna heating method, with a dryer heater combined with steam from sauna stones.

Home Saunas

You must be particular about the kind of rocks to use in the sauna, and the heating methods. If you don’t want to go to the gym and deal with people who don’t know their sauna etiquette, a home sauna is a great choice.

The heat-retaining qualities of sauna heater rocks make them the most important tool for heating the sauna and maintaining the temperature up to a certain limit. The temperature remains high in the sauna for a long time. Using rocks is a cost-efficient method of heating the sauna and providing the steam to offset the dry heat of the sauna.

Why Do You Need Sauna Rocks?

The Sauna Place Sauna Rocks

As mentioned before, sauna stones are easy to heat. They simply rest on top of the electric or wood heater and heat up over the course of the sauna room heat-up. The thermal mass of these rocks makes them heat up slowly. But once they’re hot, they’ll stay hot and radiate heat out into the room.

They are great at retaining heat as well. Hence, they are great to maintain the temperature of the sauna. It is a much cost-effective option to use in a sauna as compared to other heating methods.

Steam, Steam, Steam

Traditional saunas get up to a higher temperature than infrared saunas, in part due to the rocks in the room.

The main benefit of using sauna stove rocks is that you can pour water onto them to create steam. Doing this will not only reduce the temperature of the sauna but will flood the sauna with steam. The steam emitting from the hot rocks is an essential element in the sauna. In fact, it is needed to complete the sauna experience and give your body the right amount of heat and moisture that you are looking for to relax.

Best Sauna Stones

Experts suggest that igneous rocks make the best and the most effective sauna stones. These are also known as volcanic rocks. In fact, these are the most commonly used rocks in professional saunas. Granite rocks are also a good option when it comes to sauna heater rocks. They have a good thermal mass and can retain heat for a longer time as compared to other forms of rocks. This is why they are preferred by experts.

There are two things to look for when choosing sauna rocks:

  • Their ability to absorb heat
  • Their ability to retain and store heat

Rocks with a higher ability to absorb and store heat are the best for a sauna. Such rocks will create an optimal temperature, allowing you to achieve the best sauna experience ever.

Another important thing to consider when choosing the right rocks is their porous nature. It is important to choose non-porous granite rocks. These rocks have no crevices or cracks. Choosing porous granite rocks is not safe. They absorb water and may also explode or burst when they are exposed to high temperatures.

Therefore, look for non-porous rocks for a safe sauna experience.

Opt for rocks that have a smooth surface. You will commonly find such rocks at lakes. These rocks don’t have a lot of surface imperfections and cracks. Such rocks are the ideal form of rocks that you should be looking for when choosing sauna stove rocks.

Optimal Stone Size

When you are choosing the rocks, make sure they are not too small or too big. Ideally, the rocks should be as big as a medium potato. Choosing the optimal size is important as it impacts the overall sauna experience. Very small rocks will heat up too quickly. On the other hand, large rocks take a lot of time to heat up, and may not fit easily in the stone basket on the heater.

Medium-sized stones will heat up at the right time and will also help maintain the temperature to an optimal level in the sauna for a long time.

Small and big sized rocks also react differently when water is splashed on them. Therefore, experts suggest that you should have a mixture of small and large rocks. However, don’t go for too big a size. All the rocks in the sauna should be smaller than the size of a football.

Many people think that they need a large number of rocks for the sauna, which is not right. You only need an ample number of rocks so that they can loosely sit on top of the firewood or the heater. This lets the air circulate freely between the rocks, which are ideal for a great sauna experience.

Different sauna stoves have specific stone quantity recommendations. Be sure to check your heater to find out the appropriate quantity of stones

How Often Do Sauna Heater Stones Need to Be Replaced?

How often you need to replace your sauna stones depends on how regularly you use the sauna. It is important to rearrange the position of your rocks regularly in the pile so that you use all the rocks efficiently. The rocks that are close to the heater need to be replaced sooner than the ones that are farther away from the heater.

This is why it is important to change their positions regularly so that all the rocks in a lot are used to their maximum capacity before you go on and replace them.

Replace sauna lava rocks when all the rocks have been used up. If you notice some rocks disintegrating faster than other rocks, you can replace them with new rocks.

A simple rule of thumb for replacing sauna lava rocks is:

  • Replace sauna rocks once a year if you use your sauna once a week
  • Replace sauna stones twice a year if you use your sauna twice a week and so on

Thus, you don’t have to replace your sauna stones every now and then. If you have a sauna at your home, use this rule and you will be able to use the sauna heater rocks to their maximum capacity.

There are a few signs that indicate that your rocks need to be replaced. Take a look at the condition of your sauna stones regularly to see if they need replacement.

When to Replace Your Stones

  • Sauna rocks start to crack
  • Sauna stones take too long to heat up
  • Stones start losing their color or their color starts to fade
  • Rocks crumble on the floor when you lift your heater
  • Rocks start to crumble when you touch them

How Much Water Should You Splash on Sauna Rocks?

Admit it; everyone is tempted to throw an entire bucket of water on the hot sauna stones. The massive burst of steam it creates is phenomenal. However, it is not good for your sauna experience. There are multiple reasons why you should only splash a small quantity of water on the sauna heater rocks.

It’s best to splash only a small amount of water on the rocks so that they don’t cool off instantly. Similarly, splashing water on the rocks too often will also cool them off and will bring the temperature of the sauna down. You may also end up flooding your sauna heater or firewood if you use too much water or splash them too often.

Sauna Bucket and Ladle

It’s a good idea to use an accessory sauna bucket and a ladle to pour water onto your stones. This will control the amount of water you’re putting onto the stones, and will ensure you don’t flood your sauna heater.

The one above, by BestNewie, is a good 5l bucket and ladle.

Last update on 2024-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another tip for splashing water on the lava stones is to use slightly warm water instead of cold water. This will not cool down the rocks too much. However, you will also get less steam this way.

Also, don’t splash a lot of water at once on the rocks. Let the sauna heater warm up properly before you start splashing water on the rocks. Use smaller amounts of water on the rocks, and you will have a great sauna experience.

Buy the Best Sauna Rocks Online

Looking for the easiest and the most convenient way of buying sauna rocks? Look online!

You will find plenty of choices when it comes to buying sauna stones. To help you out, we have listed some of the best rocks you will find for your sauna.

Sauna Rocks by ‘The Sauna Place’

The Sauna Place Sauna Rocks

The Sauna Place offers a 45 pound box of Replacement Sauna Heater Rocks.

These are peridotite rocks which are course-grained and dense igneous rocks. These are perfect for types of rocks for saunas. They heat up quickly and also retain heat for a long time.

These rocks work great with all kinds of sauna heaters. The rocks are of high quality and have been imported from Finland. The rocks are of different sizes, which fit most of the models and sizes of sauna heaters. You can use them with your existing stones or replace the existing stones with a bag full of these sauna stones.

The rocks are delivered within 2-3 working days. They are among the best sauna rocks available.

Last update on 2024-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sauna Stones by ‘FINO Sauna’

FINO Sauna Stones

FINO Sauna offers a 42 pound box of sauna rocks. These are dolerite rocks that heat up quickly and retain heat for a long time. If you use a

FINO heater of up to 8kw, then one box of these boxes will be sufficient. For larger heaters, buy two boxes. If you think the rocks are too big, you can use a hammer to break them down into a smaller size.

The price of one box of stones is not that high, but you also have to pay for shipping. These are some of the best rocks for sauna use.

Sauna Stones
Sauna Stones
SAUNA STONES - 42 pound box of dolerite rock selected to withstand rapid heating .; One box is sufficient for FINO heaters up to and including 8 kw

Last update on 2024-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shipping Sauna Stones

One thing to remember is that sauna rocks are heavy! Be sure to include shipping costs into the price of the stones.


Let’s go over everything that we have discussed so far. You need to remember that if you want to improve your sauna experience, you need to choose the best sauna rocks. Find high-quality rocks that are also cost-efficient and appropriate for your sauna.

You need to treat your sauna rocks well if you want to maintain a great sauna experience. Rotate your rocks regularly and replace them as and when needed. You can enjoy your sauna heater rocks for many years if you use them properly and don’t flood them with water.

Don’t forget to choose igneous rocks as they are the best for saunas. They heat up quickly and also retain and store heat for a long time. This is ideal for the perfect sauna experience as you don’t have to heat the rocks over and over again. You can heat them once and enjoy the sauna when it has reached the desired temperature.

Lastly, don’t splash too much water on the hot rocks as that also impacts their longevity and effectiveness. Don’t go overboard with splashing. Splash a small quantity of water on the rocks to maintain their integrity. They will last you longer than the rocks that have been splashed too much.

This was a one-stop guide on sauna rocks. Now that you know what to look for when buying sauna stones, choose the best quality sauna rocks if you want to enjoy the best sauna experience.