tibetští nomádi - tibetan nomads, photo by Tolstoy and Dolan

How to choose the right yurt?


Klenba kyrgyzské jurty - Vault of a kyrgyz yurtAt present, there are many types of yurts being made all over the world; the traditional Mongolian, the Kyrgyz from bent components, bamboo yurts and the ”American” yurt named for their massive spread in North America.

What are the basic differences between these yurts? The differences are not of major importance to the stability or funcionality of a yurt. They are mainly visual differences and the use of different materials more readily avaliable in the region.

To keep it simple, the basic difference is in the roof-construction. A Mongolian yurt  has a cone-shape roof, a Kyrgyz´s is dome-shaped. A dome roof is made of laths which are bent under heat. Also the Mongolian crown is made by agglutinating massive wood. The crown of a Kyrgyz yurt is made by bending one or more pieces of wood.


the Mongolian yurt

the Kyrgyz yurt

  • The ”American” yurts are identified by the simple way the roof laths connect to the yurt walls, an acrylic sheet (window) in the crown and for luxurious furnishings.
  • Bamboo-yurts are very popular in some parts of Europe because they are very light and cheap, but not so stable.


Pacific yurts Inc., USA


What are the parts of a yurt? The base is a wooden frame covered by a fabric top. Underneath the fabric top there is often insulation which is placed on a thin linen sheet.

The wood frame consists of:
  1. door frame
  2. crown
  3. walls
  4. the roof poles

The cover generally consists of five pieces:

one for the roof, two for the wall, one piece for the door and one that covers the opening in the crown.


Things to consider

It´s important to consider how the yurt will be used. That is, how long is it going to stay in one location, how often is it going to be transported and how many people will live in it.

What cover?

If you plan to leave the yurt in one place for an extended period of time, it´s better to invest in a heavier fabric of higher quality. If you will use your yurt for a shorter time of the year or travel with it mostly, then you should choose a lighter fabric. For the types of fabrics offered see the Materials section.

What design?

At the moment we produce yurts with a Mongolian roof – in the shape of a cone with a crown of  bent wood. We are currently developing a dome-shaped roof and a massive crown. The choice of wood depends on the purpose of the yurt. We normally use a soft wood for the construction but it´s possible to make it from other types of wood. For more information see the Materials section.

What size?

Up to 12 people can comfortably fit in a yurt with a diameter of 6 meters/20 ft. A yurt with a diameter of 8 meters/26 ft has a capacity of up to 25 people. A 4.5 meter/15 ft yurt can accomodate about 6 people. If you plan on living in the yurt more permanently, for 2-3 people I´d recommend a yurt with a diameter of 6 meters/20 ft. You can find more information in the sizes/measurements section.

In The Workshop Under the Hill we make wooden frames with diameters of 4.5 m/15 ft, 6 m/20 ft and 8 m/25 ft, a cone-shaped roof and a crown from bent wood. It´s possible to contruct yurts in different sizes, i.e. custom heights and diameters.