Even though Saunas (pronounced as sow (as wow) and Nah-) are not very popular in South Asian countries, they are an integral part of social life in many other countries, particularly Finland and Estonia. Several homes in these countries have built-in saunas and any gathering of family and friends is not complete without a sauna session.

The sauna tradition goes back to about 2000 years. The earliest known reference of the sauna is in a Finnish manuscript where the narrator mentions “hot wooden saunas in which naked bathers beat themselves with branches and finally pour cold water over themselves”. Which surprisingly has remained the same to this date.

These days there is a wide variety of sauna options. There are wet saunas, dry saunas, infrared saunas, smoke saunas, and steam saunas. Broadly speaking there are two main types of stoves: continuous heating and heat storage type. Continuously heating stoves have a small heat capacity and can be heated up on a fast on-demand basis, whereas a heat storage stove has a large heat (stone) capacity and can take much longer to heat.

The stones are an essential part of the heat storage saunas, which is where HUUM Drop comes in. The stones form the basis for leil: the steam that is given off when water is thrown on the rocks along with a signature hiss. It is the very reason why HUUM Drop was crafted around the stones.

The founder of HUUM, Siim Nellis, was no stranger to saunas. His family had been making sauna stoves for three generations. But Siim didn’t just want to continue the same craft, he wanted to do things differently.

In 2011, Siim held a contest in EKA (Estonian Academy of Arts). The challenge was simple: To rethink the sauna stove from ground-up. Bring together the traditional knowledge along with the design aesthetics and Estonian technology. Several different proposals were considered. One stood out in particular due to it unique round shape. Since it resembled a water droplet, it was named Drop.

Drop is made completely in Estonia. Due to its unorthodox design the production process is complicated. Skilled craftsman ship is needed to bent the stainless steel tubes in the right shape.

In 2015, DROP received a prestigious Red Dot Award for its product design.

The drop also comes with an app by which the sauna can be remotely controlled.

Drop has been featured across the world in various saunas, ranging from a Gondola in the Swiss Alps to a New York firetruck. For more inspiring sights, visit the HUUM website here.

If you want Drop for yourself then head over to Estonian Saunas who are the resellers and distributers of HUUM.

Happy leil to you.

Further Reading

  1. If you are interested more in Estonian Sauna traditions then have a look at Estonian Saunas
  2. For the social benefits of sauna have a look at this article here.