Method for experimenting with new theme

I have a site that’s working well on its current theme, but would like to see what I can do with another theme that I have my eye on. So I’d like a way that I can take my time and try the other theme, play around with its settings, etc. There are two problems that I have with doing this on my “live” site:

1) I want to take my time with this and work on it as time permits, so don’t want to take my current site off-line for an extended time.

2) Once before I tried going from a theme A to theme B, then when I reverted to theme A it seemed like I lost some settings and had to do some things over.

My site is self-maintained on my web hosting service (Ionos), so I’m pretty free within reason to create new directories, sub-domains, etc. So is there a “best practice” for doing this sort of thing? I’ve seen there are some plug-ins for creating “sandboxes” or “clones” of my site, but I’m not sure what would work best. Any tips would be appreciated!

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