November 9, 2023
Yurt Resources

What are Mongolian Yurts Used For?

What are Mongolian Yurts Used For?

Uses for Yurts

  1. Traditional Nomadic Living
  2. Tiny Homes, Alternative Living & Airbnb
  3. Disaster Relief & Temporary Housing
  4. Glamping Tents & Ecotourism Accommodations
  5. Festival & Event Space
  6. Restaurant Patio Covers
  7. Yoga, Meditation & Wellness Retreats
  8. Educational & Cultural Centers
  9. Art & Music Studios
  10. Vacation Homes & Cottages
  11. Home Office, Bunkie or Home Extension

Sain baina uu!

Yurts, with their distinctive circular shape and unique design, have been used for centuries by various nomadic cultures in Central Asia, particularly in Mongolia. These portable or permanent, 4-season, tent-like structures have gained popularity worldwide, particularly in Canada and the USA, amongst people, businesses and government organizations alike.

While touring North America, the most common question we receive is, ‘What are yurts used for?’ It’s an interesting question because of all of the possibilities! We’ve been quite surprised over the years to see the ingenuity and creativity of people when it comes to these dwellings. Our largest yurts are commonly used for festivals and special events, whereas the smaller yurts are often used as alternative housing options, glamping accommodations, and a whole bunch of other purposes! 

Let’s explore the versatility of yurts and the many different uses they serve in today’s modern world.

1. Yurts for Traditional Nomadic Living 

Yurts are the primary dwellings for nomadic people in Central Asia. The circular shape and sturdy construction of yurts make them well-suited to withstand the region’s harsh climates and shifting terrains. Nomadic tribes use yurts as portable homes, making it easy to pack up and move to new pastures in search of fresh grazing lands for their herds - which they usually do 3-4 times per year!

2. Yurts for Tiny Homes, Alternative Living & Airbnb

What we believe to be one of the most encouraging trends is alternative living in a yurt (as a new tiny home solution) - over 50% of our clientele live full-time in their Groovy Yurt. It shows that not only are people using these dwellings as they were meant to be used, but also that they are challenging themselves to a more minimalist and sustainable way of life. The Mongolian word for yurt, ‘ger’, quite literally means home.

Because of the affordability, adaptability, sustainability, and efficiency of a Mongolian yurt, they have quickly become a major contender for those considering off-grid living and homesteading. Combined with a stove, traditional yurts are 4-season dwellings that can handle extreme temperatures thanks to their wool-felt insulation and all-natural air-conditioning capabilities. With the addition of house wrap, even the most humid of regions can benefit from Mongolian yurts. That’s what makes these dwellings such a perfect fit for North America. 

Soaring housing markets have also driven many to find unique housing solutions. Our mission is to be a source of hope (or inspiration) for young people who are feeling trapped by an uncertain economy. After all, there are not many who can say a yurt was their first home!

3. Yurts for Disaster Relief & Temporary Housing

Yurts, with their portable and sturdy design, simple set-up, and weather resistance can serve as an effective emergency housing solution. Whether it's in response to natural disasters, humanitarian crises, or temporary housing needs, yurts offer several advantages that make them a practical choice for providing shelter in emergency situations. 

A Mongolian yurt might be exactly what you need while you finish building a more permanent home. Our yurts can be set up and taken down in 1 day or less. Upon completion of your home, the yurt can be used as a guest house, backyard studio/office, or simply resold. 

It makes us deeply happy when our yurts are used for positive initiatives. In 2016, at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, thousands opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline. We found ourselves delivering over 80 yurt kits founded by various organizations, individuals, or donors; creating the largest concentration of Mongolian gers outside of Mongolia. It was possible to set up the first few yurts within days, providing shelter for harsh Dakota winters, while respecting the land and leaving no footprint.

4. Yurts for Glamping Tents & Ecotourism Accommodations 

Yurts are increasingly used in the world of glamping (glamorous camping) as luxury tents! These accommodations are equipped with comfortable furnishings, heating, and other amenities, making them ideal for those who want to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort. Yurt camps have popped up in scenic locations around the world, offering visitors a unique and eco-friendly way to enjoy nature. 

Mongolian yurts exemplify sustainability with their eco-friendly design. Built to be freestanding, so as not to harm the earth, they use natural materials like wood, horsehair ropes, sheep wool insulation, and cotton canvas. Additionally, they are very efficient to heat in colder climates. At Groovy Yurts, we plant 25 trees for every yurt sold, offsetting the impact of materials used. We also reduce carbon emissions by consolidating deliveries on North American tours. This is why our yurts are a perfect match for eco-tourism and eco-luxury destinations!

Customers have used Mongolian yurts as luxury accommodations for eco-resorts, ski resorts, adventure travel lodges, campgrounds, Airbnbs, parks, and wellness retreats. 

5. Yurts for Festival and Event Space

Yurts have become popular event spaces for memorable weddings, parties, and corporate gatherings. Their unique design and flexibility make them an excellent choice for hosting memorable events. Yurts can be customized to suit various themes and styles, and they provide a distinctive backdrop for special occasions. 

For the first wedding it was raining, and I married them in the yurt. I was appointed to write a speech that dealt with the idea of family - I had to be accurate in my understanding of the Mongolian ger and its symbolism. We talked about the imagery of a circle, the completion of the ring, being at the center of your family unit, and making sure that the people around you are of equal importance. It made me realize that the yurt is beautiful because it promotes togetherness due to its simplicity. There are limited modern world distractions, which fosters building connections.” -Aaron Markle, Part-Owner of Hammond Hill

6. Yurts for Restaurant Patio Covers

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a need for restaurants, breweries, and cafes to figure out how they can use their outdoor patio seating all year long. This was particularly problematic for those living in areas with cold winters - otherwise, they faced completely closing down. This is when we first discovered that adding a yurt as a ‘patio cover’ not only allowed businesses to retain customers and keep them warm but also provided a really unique dining experience. Although the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us (knock on wood), this is still a great way for food and drink businesses to increase their capacity in the winter months! 

7. Yurts for Yoga, Meditation & Wellness Retreats

The natural aesthetics, circular shape, symbolism, and unexplainable energy of Mongolian yurts make them the perfect spaces for yoga and meditation retreats. Their simplicity and harmony with nature create a serene and peaceful atmosphere, which is conducive to relaxation, self-discovery, and spiritual growth. It’s important to consider the size of the yurt for yoga studios, as you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space for the desired amount of people and that the roof is tall enough for all poses! 

8. Yurts for Educational & Cultural Centers

Yurts can be used for educational and cultural purposes. Some institutions, such as schools, museums, and townships, use yurts to create interactive and immersive learning environments or to showcase cultural exhibits and host workshops. Additionally, there’s been a recent surge of nature schools using Mongolian yurts as their classrooms, providing a comfortable and sheltered space for lessons. They create the perfect setting for educational workshops, outdoor storytelling, nature observation, art and creativity, cultural exploration, weather-resilient learning, and quiet reflection! 

9. Yurts for Art & Music Studios

A Mongolian yurt offers an exceptional environment for an art and music studio due to its unique combination of design and functionality. The circular shape and spacious interior create a sense of artistic inspiration, fostering creativity, free expression….and perhaps a little grooviness. The natural light that filters through the yurt’s skylight and windows creates an ambiance that is both calming and uplifting, ideal for artistic endeavors. Additionally, it’s an affordable way to build your own space for creativity - slightly separate from your everyday life. Although you may have heard that round spaces are not the best for acoustics (which is often the case for LARGE round spaces), we’ve had a few people say that the sound is unique and surprisingly awesome (largely thanks to the heavy felt insulation). 

10. Yurts for Vacation Homes & Cottages

Mongolian yurts are a great option for vacation homes and cottages as their portability allows for placement in picturesque locations, from mountainsides to lakesides to deserts, ensuring vacationers have access to breathtaking views. Their open-concept design is easily customized with comfortable furnishings, heating, and amenities, providing all the conveniences of a traditional home while maintaining a rustic charm. Additionally, yurts are well-insulated, keeping occupants warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and dry all year round! With their eco-friendly construction and sustainable design, yurts align with the trend towards more environmentally conscious vacationing, providing an opportunity for travelers to enjoy a blend of comfort, adventure, and responsible tourism in a vacation home or cottage. And since they are so portable, they can be taken down for a season if not used… or moved to another location on the same land or elsewhere!

11. Yurts for Home Offices, Bunkies or Home Extensions 

A Mongolian yurt offers an excellent home office setting due to its harmonious, distraction-free environment. Yurts can be equipped with modern amenities, making them conducive to productivity, and their well-insulated structure ensures comfort year-round. It’s a great way to separate your personal and professional lives if you work remotely or on a hybrid schedule. A little separation is key to a great work-life balance! Tip: It could also double as a spare room on weekends! 

Similarly, this is a wonderful idea if you need a private space for your teenager while studying or your in-laws while down for a long visit. The only problem is that they might not leave!


The versatility of Mongolian yurts goes far beyond their traditional nomadic roots. These circular structures have found applications in various sectors, including housing, hospitality, education, and art. Their eco-friendly nature, affordability, and adaptability make them a compelling choice for those looking to embrace a more sustainable and unique lifestyle while having the potential to move and not have to commit to a mortgage. 

If you have any questions about these time-tested structures or would like to buy a Mongolian yurt kit in Canada or the USA, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We have yurts for sale AND we’re always #AtYurtService.

Groovy Yurts custom heart design.