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A Trees Journey

A Trees Journey

Tree of Life

Some people think the most important part of a sauna is the wood, while others argue it's all about the heating method. 

The truth is both - are integral to the sauna experience. You need both heat and wood to make an infrared sauna.

The Tree of Life is an innovative wellness concept that incorporates the highest standards in quality and innovation.

With every harvest, for each western red cedar tree that has fallen another batch of 10 will be planted and nurtured. This is the Health Mate way.


The History

Native to British Columbia, the coastal western red cedar is an esteemed species among ancient First Nations. 

Known as the Tree of Life by aboriginal peoples for its natural resources and longevity in providing shelter, food, and medicine over 1000 years ago it has been honoured with sustainable harvesting practices right up till today.

Aboriginal people have used this wood type since before European colonisation when they discovered that burning down old-growth forests released more nutrients into the soil than any other method at their disposal. 

(A practice is known as slash & burn agriculture or fire farming). 

Furthermore many aboriginal communities rely on fishing from local rivers which flow through.

Though its beauty is hidden from sight, cedar wood is nutrient dense. It offers stronger restorative properties compared to other wood because of its structure.

Health Mate® manages the cultivation and felling of these trees. selecting only the finest wood. Built upon a foundation of curative cedar, this system was designed to maximise your health and well-being.


Western Red Cedar, a Noble Wood for Infrared Sauna

The wood of the cedar tree is so unique because it has a fine, hollow cell structure that reflects infrared radiation. 

All other types of forest trees absorb this type of radio wave and the cells in its body structure is what makes it different.

Plus, the great oil content of the wood means that it is protected from insects and mould. It does not tear easily nor deform at high temperatures.

Western red Canadian cedar is the perfect wood for an infrared sauna cabin.

It has been proven to be naturally antifungal when exposed to sweat and moisture, meaning that no matter the conditions fungus cannot grow.


5 Other Types of Woods Can be Used for Infrared Sauna Cabins

1. Poplar

There are many species of poplar, and unfortunately, most of them have a very soft surface that means it's not the best for holding up under pressure.

The Poplar tree is not very versatile when it comes to withstand weather - for indoor purposes this is clearly not a concern.

It has a porous body that will quickly absorb moisture from the air, and its strength isn’t that high which makes it difficult for this broadleaf evergreen to stand up to extreme environments.

It is only commonly used because of its availability.


2. Pine

When it comes to sauna wood choices, pine might be the least suitable choice.

This type of tree is low in strength, lightweight, and has poor resistance to decaying. It’s sap also creates a strong smell. 

The pinewood sauna is beautiful and nostalgic, but it's not the best option for long-term use. 

Pine is a softwood, so it’s not as durable and less fire-resistant than cedar. It also has a higher resin content which can irritate both the eyes and sinuses during use.


3. Basswood

Basswood is an excellent choice for people with allergies because it does not contain any of the harmful toxins that would bother those who are more sensitive to allergies.

Basswood is often used because it has no scent, it’s hypoallergenic and soft texture is both durable and a more affordable option.

It also has a great weight to strength ratio.


4. Hemlock

Hemlock is a unique wood that is used for picture frames due to its soft composition. 

When exposed to high temperatures, Hemlock's low durability makes it unsuitable as an option in saunas and other areas where there are broad temperature changes.

The Hemlock is a softer wood that makes it easy to build saunas, but the lightweight design can make it a poor choice for sauna construction. 


5. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a great choice for sauna construction. It's strong and durable, just like you want in your new hot space! You can also find it cheaper than other premium woods too.

The type of wood used in infrared saunas is a big decision to make. Eucalyptus has the benefits of being strong and lasting for many years if needed.

5. Oak

This hardwood is popular among wood enthusiasts - but due to the price it is not really a viable choice as sauna wood

Choosing the Perfect Wood for Sauna Cabins

1. Compression Strength

Compression strength is the measurement of the weight limit of the wood. The longer it breaks or crushes, means the more durable the wood is.

Accidental cracking of wood in a sauna is dangerous, and can cause injuries. Although wood may be easily crafted, it is not very sturdy.


2. Fungus, Mould and Bacteria Resistance

Most woods used in saunas have a common problem and it is mold, fungus, and bacterial growth.

However, there are woods that are naturally antimicrobial. Meaning sweat and any other moisture on the wood will not cause any fungus, mould, and bacteria to grow.

It is best advised to pick and choose naturally antimicrobial wood for sauna cabins.


3. Weight

Sauna wood does not have to be the hardest. Harder wood does not always mean the best choice for a sauna. But rather it has to be made well and durable.

For instance, softer wood will not crack as easily, and it insulates better. While on the other hand, hardwood is heavy and expensive.

The weight can cause issues with transportation and moving the sauna location at a later date. 


4. Toxicity

Choosing a high-quality wood like Western Red Cedar will not allow any fungus, bacteria, and moulds to grow, lessening the risk of toxicity in the sauna cabin.

Woods that are naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial are the safest to use for a sauna environment.



An infrared sauna has to be effective, durable and have a design aesthetic, why can’t you have everything?

A home sauna can offer excellent convenience and be highly beneficial for your health and immune system. Health Mate® saunas offer you the ultimate in your wellness routine.

Don't settle for second best, invest in your health today.



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