5 Reasons Why Okoume is the Best Wood for Infrared Saunas

Here's why we've decided to construct our saunas out of okoume.

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Cedarwood has long been the standard timber used in sauna construction. So why have we decided to start building our saunas out of okoume instead?

Sourcing cedar timber that has been forested responsibly and meets our high standards has become increasingly difficult. Meanwhile, we’ve been listening to the feedback of our community, and have discovered a different timber type that we think is better suited for our infrared saunas. Okoume is slightly harder and more durable than cedar, and many consider it even more beautiful thanks to its fine grain and warm tones.

Here are five reasons why okoume is the best wood for infrared saunas.

1. Sustainably Sourced and Eco-Certified

Sustainability was one of the most important factors in our decision to switch to this timber type. The okoume we use to craft our saunas is sustainably sourced from North Africa and has ‘chain of custody’ certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Responsible forestry practices ensure that the wood is harvested in a way that preserves the integrity of the ecosystems it originates from. 

The switch to okoume wood is also a reflection of our dedication to environmental stewardship. Okoume is sustainably sourced, helping to reduce the environmental impact associated with over-harvested woods like cedar. By choosing okoume, we're not only ensuring the longevity and beauty of your sauna, but also contributing positively to the health of our planet.

2. High Durability and Moisture Resistance 

Okoume wood offers exceptional durability and resistance to moisture, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of our saunas. On the Janka hardness scale, okoume is rated 405, whereas cedar is rated 320. 

Using okoume ensures that your sauna will remain in pristine condition for decades.

In keeping with our commitment to durable sauna construction, we offer a lifetime warranty on all of our residential saunas.

3. Smooth Texture

One of the hallmark characteristics of okoume is its texture. Its uniform grain pattern not only enhances its visual appeal, but also provides a smooth, tactile experience. The hardness of the material means crafting saunas out of okoume allows for smoother finishes. This adds an extra layer of aesthetic beauty to your daily sauna sessions. 

4. Lighter Colour for a Brighter Space

Okoume's lighter colour is another reason why we’ve chosen to opt for this timber in the construction of our infrared saunas. Unlike the darker and oftentimes orange hues of cedar wood, okoume wood has a softer, paler colour and tone that lends itself to modern aesthetics and interiors.

5. Low Resin Content for Odour-Free Relaxation

One of the distinguishing features of okoume is its low resin content, which means that it is entirely odourless. This is particularly beneficial for people who are sensitive to strong smells or just prefer a neutral aroma when they want to relax and immerse themselves in the therapeutic benefits of infrared heat.

Considering these five reasons, okoume emerged as the clear frontrunner for our new wood choice. Its durability, finer texture, lighter colour, sustainable credentials, and low resin content make okoume the best option for those seeking a luxurious sauna experience.

Experience okoume for yourself and start living your most vibrant life with Clearlight®!


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