Back in 2020, when California-based Plunge first took the proverbial, it did so with an innovative ice bath. Easy to use, sleek to behold, and with a water system so simple it could be set up using a garden hose, the design promised customers the chance to boost their immune systems and reduce muscle soreness from the ice-cold comfort of their own homes. This year, the start-up has turned up the heat on another form of temperature therapy — with the launch of a home sauna kit.
Easily installed either indoors or outside, this handsome new bit of wellness kit was first floated as an idea while the team were building their bath. Co-founders Michael Garrett and Ryan Duey believed they should be offering a wider range of temperature-based therapies, and so made a sketch of what they deemed “the perfect sauna.”
“One thing that stands out,” Duey says of the resulting design, “is the unique shape. It’s been carefully designed to provide an ergonomic backrest and a generous amount of space in which to move around. That means, when you step into it, you’ll experience a level of comfort and freedom of movement that you won’t find in other, similarly sized units.”
“The Sauna” may be modestly named, but it’s exquisitely constructed. The exterior structure and benches are built using top-notch incense cedar, a wood naturally resistant to decay and tough enough to endure even the frostiest winters. Inside, a combination of pine and hemlock wood creates the walls and trim. “We specifically chose those interior woods,” Duey explains, “as they are known for their excellent heat insulation properties. That means they do a fantastic job of retaining heat and creating a cozy, comfortable environment. Plus, they emit a delightful aroma.”
Throw a trio of clean, ultra-clear windows into the minimalist mix — a modern touch that allows natural light to beam in — and Plunge has excelled in aesthetically updating the age-old Scandinavian sauna for the 21st century. A particularly up-to-date addition is the inclusion of customizable LED lights. “Setting the right ambience is key to maximizing relaxation,” says Duey, “and you can choose any colour you desire, whether a calming blue or energizing red.”
From the lighting to the heater, the sauna gets its power through a single heavy-duty outlet and operates using technology developed by HUUM, an award-winning sauna company from Estonia. “Their design is truly innovative,” Duey says. “The compact wall-mounted heater has an impressive 132 lb stone capacity, which is more than you’ll find in many wood-burning stoves out there.”
Other noteworthy features include wireless connectivity, which allows users to control the heat (up to 230° F) through the Plunge app, warm up the sauna before they get home, and fine-tune the temperature while inside. “We just wanted to make sure that our customers could truly relax and enjoy their sauna time,” says Duey, “and this design accomplishes just that.”