A home spa: from low-budget to high-end models

Susanne Loacker

Going to a fitness center or spa can be complicated at the moment: traveling abroad is difficult, but even staying in Switzerland is not without uncertainties. Yet it’s important to do something good for yourself every now and then, especially during the current situation. How about your very own spa at home? Here we provide spa tips for your home – and for every budget.

Candles are placed on the edge of a bathtub; in the foreground there is a bowl with a cloth, a glass of bath salts, a candle and a flower.
© Getty Images/iStockphoto

In this article

Even the ancient Romans loved wellness

Spa stands for the Latin “sanus per aquam” and means something like “healthy through water”. Although the Latin translation is not grammatically correct – it actually means “coming through the water healthily” – the term spa has now been extended to include everything that is good for body and soul.

Low budget: wellness at low cost

Sometimes it doesn’t take much: a bottle of oil, the right bath essence or a loofah sponge for your next bath. Even with just a few accessories, it’s possible to create a small wellness oasis in your own home.

1. Fragrances for body and soul: aromatherapy at a special price

You usually buy them at Christmas markets, but they are also available in specialized stores: scented oils that are vaporized in a lamp, usually above a candle. One suitable oil is Manuka, which is a Maori agricultural crop. Wild Manuka oil is very skin friendly and can help to regenerate problem skin. When used in a fragrance lamp or humidifier, it is said to have a strengthening and relaxing effect. Some scented oils, such as those from Farfalla, are even made in Switzerland.

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The scent of lavender has a strengthening and invigorating effect. It can also be preserved in oil – or tied into a dried bouquet. If you hang the bouquet above the shower head, the steam carries the scent and essential oils into the entire bathroom. Eucalyptus can also be made into a bouquet and hung over the shower or bathtub – it’s worth its weight in gold, especially in the cold season, because it works wonders on stuffy noses.

2. Bath essences turn the bathroom into an economical SPA

A beautiful warm bath is a real blessing, especially in bad weather and on cold winter days. There are some wonderful fragrant bath essences available that are good for your skin and will give your bath a spa feel. The luxury bath products from the British pioneer for cruelty-free cosmetics, Lush, come in solid form to avoid as much waste as possible. This colorful lavender foam bath with the dreamy name “Unicorn Horn” is ideal for drifting gently into a relaxed evening. One bubble bar costs around 12 francs and is easily enough for two baths.

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3. Accessories: an inexpensive trip to a wellness oasis

Luxurious spas are usually quite simply furnished, but they rely on high-quality touches of emphasis and good accessories. To create that wellness feeling in your own bathroom, you usually only need a few specific accessories – which don’t have to be particularly expensive.

A loofah, a bath brush or a natural sponge turn every bathroom into a wellness area. All these articles are available from under 10 francs – organic versions cost around 20 francs or more, for example in whole food shops or drugstores. For the perfect spa feeling – and a chic look – hang all your accessories on small hooks on the wall. Another advantage of this method is that they will dry better and give germs and bacteria no chance to multiply.

The middle path: how to turn your bathroom into a wellness oasis

Do you want something that doesn’t cost a fortune, but that will have lasting value? To transform your bathroom into your own little spa, it all comes down to choosing the right textiles and adding a few small touches of emphasis.

1. Create contrasts: furniture and flowers in the bathroom

By making a few small changes to the furnishings, true miracles can be achieved in the bathroom – which don’t have to cost a fortune. Arrange a few plants to create a good indoor climate and change the look of the room. Find out which plants are suitable for the bathroom in our article “Green wellness: the right plant for every room”.

Furniture and textiles also make a huge difference: with appropriate shelving and matching baskets or boxes, the bathroom will always look tidy. Muted colors and natural materials such as wood will ensure a relaxed atmosphere – but textiles can then be used to add a splash of color. Towels, shower curtains and bathmats with oriental-influenced colors and patterns make a simple white bathroom look more elegant – and give it a touch of the spa atmosphere. Examples are the Micasa Silvano bath towel, available from Galaxus for about 30 francs, or the Wenko Portugal shower curtain, also sold at Galaxus for about 36 francs.

If you want to bring even more color into your bathroom, you will find inspiration in our article “Why always white? Six ideas for a more colorful bathroom”.

2. It’s the little things that count

A foam bath or scented bath is great. But a bath is even better with a little entertainment, a glass of wine or even some delicious snacks. To prevent the electronics, glasses or food from falling into the water, a shelf for the edge of the bathtub is ideal. Shelves in a simple wooden design don’t just look classy. Since they are usually made of bamboo wood, which is naturally antibacterial, they are extra resistant to moisture. The Relaxdays shelf is adjustable in size, making it suitable for almost any bathtub; it is available from Galaxus for around 54 francs.

If you don’t own a bathtub, but don’t want to give up on the idea of wellness luxury on a small scale either, then why not invest in a new shower head? These are available with massage, color therapy or waterfall functions – for prices ranging from affordable to expensive. An even more elegant effect can be achieved by completely redesigning the shower. You will find inspiration in our article “Oases of peace: eight dream showers with a wow factor”.

3. Bathrobe and hammam towels: textiles make all the difference

A bathrobe is almost wellness in itself. Cuddly and warm, it nestles against the skin. If there’s a soft bathrobe hanging in the closet in a hotel room, you can be sure you have landed in a stylish establishment. This feeling of wellness is something we far too seldom indulge in at home. Sitting in a bathrobe will enhance the feeling of being in a spa – and the impression of luxury will be complete if the bathrobe has been hanging on a heatable towel rail just before you put it on. The Livia bathrobe from Ackermann is an extra-sophisticated example. This certified organic cotton bathrobe is available in gray or blue for about 65 francs.

A woman in a cream-colored bathrobe sits on the edge of a bathtub

The feeling of peace and quiet at home is often more pleasant than the hustle and bustle of a public gym or hammam.

Hammam towels offer a chic – and somewhat less expensive – alternative. These oversize bath towels with fringes at the ends give the bathroom a touch of a real Turkish hammam. The chic cotton bath towels are usually available in muted colors and a striped design, such as the model from the hammam store at Galaxus for about 40 francs. The advantage is that the towels are not only soft and cuddly, but also represent a striking feature on the towel rail, further enhancing the interior design of your personal spa.

High-end: pure luxury with the right technology

If you are willing to invest in your health, you can spend many beautiful, relaxing and nurturing hours in your own four walls: with a massage chair, a hammam or your own whirlpool. There are no upper limits to the budget.

1. A massage chair: your own electric masseur

For many people, a massage is the epitome of wellness. If you have enough space, you can buy a massage chair instead of paying regular visits to a masseur. A chair is a bit more expensive than a massage but will – probably – be worth it in the long run. Your massage chair will also remain available if all public facilities have to close.

The “Synca CirC” model is one possible – and quite chic – example. As well as being stylish, the chair offers various massage programs: from full body to back, hip and buttock massages. You can also select different intensity levels for each one: the tapping massage is for the surface of the body – mainly for relaxation purposes – while the kneading massage also relieves deep-seated tension. The chair is available in different colors and costs 1,207 francs from Galaxus (price on 29 December 2020).

2. A hammam: a steam bath in your own home

In the winter the air is usually very dry – the heating is to blame. Our skin doesn’t like this at all, and the mucous membranes also become more sensitive. A humidifier in the bedroom can help – as can a steam shower. The high humidity and water vapor immediately remind you of the steam bath you had during your last visit to the spa. If you have enough space and the necessary budget, you can have a steam shower installed in the bathroom – such as the “Dark Night Hammam”, which has a pressure jet massage system with six adjustable nozzles as well as a steam bath function. If that isn’t pure wellness at home, what is? The model is available from Hornbach for about 1,200 francs (price on 29 December 2020). You also need to factor in the costs for connecting the water supply in the bathroom.

3. A sauna or whirlpool: high-end equipment

The ultimate luxury for your home: a complete spa. Don’t forget to plan your own small sweat hut – whether the sauna is in the garden, in the basement or on the balcony. The main thing is that everything should be correctly installed and functional.

A whirlpool is another must-have. It simply washes away all the stress with its hypnotic bubbling. The only thing that is even better is a whirlpool with a counter-current system. The sim-spa “Congo” can produce bubbles and counter-currents equally well. It measures just under four and a half by two and a half meters, making it big enough for two people to sit and be massaged by the twelve nozzles. The counter-current system has six levels – from a relaxed swimming to a hard training mode. With a water capacity of 7,800 liters, this sophisticated model weighs 1,100 kilos, is made of chrome steel and costs just under 60,000 francs from Whirlpoolcenter (price on 29 December 2020).

Conclusion: whether your budget is 10 francs or 60,000 francs – you can always bring a little spa into your own home. The comforting wellness feeling you will get in return is priceless. For even more furnishing tips for the bathroom, see our article: “Ideas for bathroom design: from floor to ceiling”.

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