What Is A Yurt House

A yurt is a circular, dome-shaped tent that can be easily disassembled and moved. It has been used for thousands of years by various cultures across Central Asia as an ancient form of shelter. The benefit of using yurts is that they can easily be dismantled when a nomadic community needs to move from one area to another. 

It is still being used today in many countries for camping outside. Modern yurt houses have some deviations from traditional yurts such as using materials like canvas and trap to cover the wooden frame. These circular structures usually have strong wooden poles that keep them sturdy in harsh weather conditions. 

They require fewer land resources to produce and offer protection against inclement weather conditions because they’re waterproofed with waxes derived from animal tallows (rendered fats).

Although they were used by nomads to make temporary residents. Nowadays these yurts are used for camping, retreat centers for spiritual practices, as modern offices and restaurants.

They are the best way for inhabitants to connect with nature. Some of the national parks are providing yurts on rent for those who want to do camping outside. 

What is the difference between Traditional and Modern Yurts?

Yurts were traditionally built by nomads as temporary residents. If you look at modern yurts the basic structure is the same as traditional yurts but they have lots of technological advancements and facilities.

Let’s look at them one by one!

Traditional Yurts 

A traditional Mongolian yurt is a circular tent made from flexible poles that are stretched across the inside. Traditional Yurts are built by nomadic herds and the felt that covers the yurt is made from the wool collected from domestic animals like yaks, sheep, or goats. Most yurts have five to six layers of felt and then it is covered with a waterproof material like canvas.

A traditional Mongolian yurt

They are mostly white in color with red painted doors. They have floors covered with red carpets. On one side of it, has a wood-burning stove with a chimney pipe. Traditional Yurts are erected on plain ground and can take up to one to four hours depending upon the number of people assisting in setting up.

The height of a traditional yurt is 6 feet or 2 meters and the domb adds an extra meter to it. So it will be uncomfortable for a 6 feet tall person to enter into a traditional yurt. 

When completed, it has a felt or other fabric covering over its crown which allows the passage of smoke and also provides ventilation. 

The grid of traditional yurts is divided into different sections called khanas and ropes of leather or animal hairs are used to attach each khana. Lightwood poles like bamboo, poplar, and willow are used in the construction of traditional yurts. 

They are ideally suited for living in open grasslands. Due to their circular shape, they can bear winds up to 10 mph and remain warm in cold temperatures ranging from 24 degrees C to -28 degrees C.  

Modern Yurts 

Modern Yurts are extremely popular in the USA and Europe. They were first introduced in 1960 by yurt pioneer William Coperthwaite and in 1978, Pacific Yurt started its yurt construction operations and became the first company to construct modern yurts in North America commercially. 

a modern yurt

Modern yurts are large as compared to traditional yurts. In traditional yurts, everything is placed on the floor but in modern yurts, everything is elevated and placed at waist height. 

The basic construction of a modern yurt is the same but the interior and exterior of yurts may vary depending on whether you want to build a permanent, temporary or movable yurt. 

All modern yurts are made from hardwoods like ash or chestnuts with lattice walls but more consumers these days are using aircraft cables, thermal fabric, and breathability for solid construction. 

Large yurts have interior posts to support the ground and medium-sized modern yurts have self-supporting roofs. Modern yurts come with all the facilities like water, electricity, furniture, etc. 

The normal furniture includes bunks for two people or just one person. You can also sleep on the floor at night. Some of the yurts have foldout sofas, tables, and chairs that turn into beds as well–you’re really able to make it work. 

Restaurants have turned modern yurts into a romantic place where couples get together and spend time in nature. Yurt livings spaces allow you to experience what life would be like if you were all mobile Nomads living off the land; protected yet not isolated from our environment

To simplify the process further many companies offer yurt kits for modern nomads. A yurt kit contains all the parts and tools needed to assemble a yurt. 

Can you live in a yurt permanently?

Yurts are gaining extreme popularity as permanent or semi-permanent residents in the western world. The large round structures are low in cost and have simple, do-it-yourself construction which means anyone can have his own yurt and live rent-free. 

Yurts can be used as permanent residents and in fact, nearly 90% of the urban population of Mongolia still lives in yurts. However, with the introduction of modern yurts, they can be used as permanent homes and it is not restrictive as living in a tent. 

If you just want to experience the yurt life then there are plenty of yurt’s listings on Airbnb, vrbo or trip advisor. You can rent a yurt for a couple of nights and see if yurt living is for you or not. 

Here are four things you need to make yurt a permanent residence:-

  1. Choose the things that you want to take into yurt (its small space so pick up only necessities).
  2. Rent or buy a plot for the construction of yurt.
  3. Build or purchase your yurt home.
  4. Erect your yurt and install heat into it. 

The size of a yurt ranges from 8 feet to 20 feet or more and in less than $10K you will have your yurt home ready. 

Finding a place to erect your yurt is quite tricky. Yurts need flat land to erect and Facebook listings, craigslist or other real estate brokers will help you in finding a plot where there is permission to construct yurt. 

Most permanent yurts are built on wooden decks made of reclaimed wood, pallets, etc. There is no need to build a foundation for yurt decks which makes them easy to disassemble. They can be heated with wood stoves, electric mass heaters, or electric space heaters. 


Being so occupied in day-to-day life we forgot how to be truly present with loved ones and with nature. Yurt living is a great way to experience nature’s beauty and feel truly connected to it. 

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