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Non-Toxic Aspen Wood

sauna relaxing

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 wood

  • 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)
Western Asia
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,
furniture, flooring
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.