Home Fitness Ice Bath Madness! Best Cold Plunges In 2024
Ice Bath Madness! Best Cold Plunges In 2024
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Ice Bath Madness! Best Cold Plunges In 2024

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In today’s comfortable and convenient age, people are looking for ways to challenge and make themselves uncomfortable. Cold plunging is one of the practices in this category that has gained the most traction.

Many people enjoy freezing themselves in cold water daily for the mental and physical benefits. Cold immersion also has direct physical benefits for athletes, but the time and place for them are more specific.

I’ve curated a list of some of the best cold plunges money can buy, accompanied by a comprehensive guide explaining why and when you should use them.

Best Cold Plunge

Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro

Pros

  • Gets colder than any other tub on the list to -32F.
  • Top-tier filtration system and quiet chiller.
  • High-quality materials suitable for indoor or outdoor use in harsh conditions.

Cons

  • Premium price.
  • It doesn’t have a warming function.

Specs

  • Cools to 32 Degrees F
  • Standard Dimensions: 34 x 78 x 33 inches
  • Tub Weight: 345 lbs
  • Tub Volume: 150 Gallons
  • Chiller Motor power: 1HP
  • 20-micron filter
  • Designed for indoor and outdoor use – the durable exterior coating is developed to withstand harsh conditions.
  • Easy-drain system to drain and clean the tub
  • Built-in circulation pump optimizes water quality and plunge experience
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $8,999

Best Cold Plunge

Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro

The best cold plunge money can buy. It can go indoors or outdoors and has a built-in chiller.

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Sun Home Cold Plunge

The Sun Home Cold Plunge is a feature-rich product capable of satisfying the needs of even the most demanding customers, which is why I’ve chosen it as the best overall.

The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro has a chiller that can bring water to near-freezing temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which is lower than any other model on the list.

This makes it perfect for those with extensive experience with cold exposure and athletes looking for optimal recovery.

Another feature that makes the Sun Home product suitable for athletes is its 78-inch length, enough to accommodate even the tallest ball players.

The tub is self-cleaning, has a highest-class filtration system, a UV sanitation chamber, and an ozone sanitation filter, and can be used both inside and outside.

The overall feel of the plunge is premium. The design and materials provide a stylish aesthetic, while the LED lights give the feeling of being in a luxurious spa.

All of these features have a steep monetary price of $ 8,999, so this is surely not a product for someone wondering if cold plunging is for them. The other drawback is that it doesn’t double up as a hot tub, which would’ve been nice given the price.

But if the cold is all you care about, few products can match the Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro.

Best Portable Cold Plunge

Sun Home Cold Plunge™ – Portable Ice Bath With Chiller

Pros

  • Doubles as a cold and hot bath.
  • Made of military-grade materials, this inflatable tub is incredibly durable.
  • Smart chiller operates very fast.
  • XL when installed, yet folds into a backpack.

Cons

  • The tub is light, but the chiller weighs 88 pounds.

Specs

  • Tub Outer Dimensions: LWH: 6.4ft x 2.3ft x 2.1 ft
  • Volume: 360L / 95 gallons
  • Tub Weight: 15.5lb
  • Chiller Weight: 88 lbs
  • Temperature: 37.5F -104F adjustable
  • XL spacious full-body tub used by pro athletes up to 6′ 8
  • Mobile app enabled so you can control your plunge remotely from anywhere
  • Circulation: Built-in self-priming system
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $4,299

Best Portable Cold Plunge

Sun Home Cold Plunge™ – Portable Ice Bath With Chiller

A robust portable cold plunge. No need to worry about holes or material eroding.

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Sun Home Portable Cold Plunge

Just like the Sun Home Cold Plunge is the best solid tub on the market, the same company also makes the best portable solution. While barrels are space-efficient, inflatable tubs are even more practical.

Don’t think that this tub is not durable because it’s inflatable. The military-grade materials provide extreme durability, and the sides hold their shape even if you put all your weight on them.

Inflatable tubs can also be rather small, but this is not the case with the Sun Home Portable Ice Bath. The company claims a 6’8” athlete can do a full-body dip.

The Portable Ice Bath corrects the only flaw of the Pro model, which is the heating function. The portable chiller can cool the water down to 37.5 degrees and heat it to 104 degrees. The product is almost as high-tech as its solid counterpart, and you can control the temperature with an app.

The tub is portable and light at 15 pounds and comes with a hand-held pump. However, the chiller is 88 pounds, but you can always take only the tub with you and find cold water if you don’t have the space to lug around the chiller.

Best Budget Cold Plunge

Nurecover Pod

Pros

  • Solid insulation keeps the water cold.
  • The drainage system allows you to put the tub in a place without a drain.
  • Pro package gives you a lot of extras for a little more money.
  • You get a legit tub for just $160.

Cons

  • The durability and comfort cannot be compared to the expensive barrels.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: 80 cm. diameter, 80 cm. height
  • Weight: 3.5 kg
  • Chiller: No
  • Fits people up to 6 ft 7 & 250 lbs.
  • Volume: 400L / 105 gallons
  • Warranty: 1-year damage warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Price: $163

Best Budget Cold Plunge

Nurecover Pod

A simple ice bath you fill and cool yourself making it the perfect budget option.

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Nurecover Portable Ice bath

Not everyone can spend thousands of dollars, regardless of how much they like cold-water exposure.

Thankfully, there are options for every budget, and the Nurecover pod is an excellent one at the lowest price.

The pod is completely portable and lightweight, allowing you to set it up wherever you like. The drain hose drainage system even allows you to use it in areas without direct drainage, though I’d be cautious.

The insulation keeps the water cold for your next sessions, and if you choose the Pro version, which has extra insulation, you may be able to get another session in without refilling with ice.

The barrel is large enough to fit big men up to 6’5”, so size shouldn’t be an issue for anyone. 

The Nurecover pod is obviously not on the level of the expensive tubs, but the price of $160 erases any complaints I can share. 

Even if you are short on cash or are unsure if cold plunging is for you, the Nurecover Pod is a viable, cheap option for befriending the cold.

Best Inflatable Cold Plunge

Yukon Cold Plunge Tub

Pros

  • Easy to inflate, deflate, and fit into the backpack.
  • The price without the chiller is very cost-effective.
  • The chiller can also work as a heater.

Cons

  • No filter means you will have to change the water frequently.
  • There may be options providing better value for the price.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: LWH: 59’’ x 31’’ x 23 ft
  • Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Chiller: Optional
  • Volume: 120 gallons
  • Includes: Carrying bag, air pump, tub cover
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $899 tub only/ $4,598 with chiller and heater

Best Inflatable Cold Plunge

Yukon Cold Plunge Tub

Need something simple for your backyard or garage? This is an excellent option.

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Yukon Cold Plunge Tub

The Yukon Cold Plunge is a great inflatable cold plunge you can easily carry around your home, to a friend’s house, or even outdoors.

The tub takes about 10 minutes to inflate with the dedicated hand pump, and it holds strong pressure. The dry weight is around 30 pounds, and it’s relatively easy to deflate and pack the Yukon into the backpack, which is also part of the package.

The tub alone costs $899, which is a great deal, but you can also purchase a chiller. The price rises to $4,598, which equals the price of good quality solid ice tubs. However, the Yukon and chiller can still be transported, which hard tubs cannot. 

The downside of the tub is that if you plan on using it at home, you’ll need to drain and replace the water frequently, which can be a hassle.

There are better options available if you plan on setting the tub in one place, but the Yukon is an excellent choice for an inflatable tub you want to move around.

Best Hot & Cold Plunge

Plunge All-In

Pros

  • Powerful cooling system chills the water quickly down to 37F.
  • The chiller can also heat the water.
  • A dedicated app gives you full control over the settings.
  • The biggest tub on the list.
  • Effortless maintenance thanks to easy access filter.

Cons

  • The most expensive tub on the list.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: LWH: 76.7’’ x 31.5’’ x 28.75 ft
  • Weight Empty: 270 lbs.
  • Volume: 100 gallons
  • Max cooling: 37F
  • Chiller Cooling power: 1HP
  • Cools 30% faster
  • Smartphone connectivity via the Plunge App
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $9,590 with heater

Best Hot & Cold Plunge

Plunge All-In

One of the original cold plunge brands has high-quality ice baths, and the price reflects this. But you have heat options too.

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Plunge All-In

Plunge makes some of the best cold plunge tubs, and they appear more than once on our list. The All-In is the company’s flagship model, combining all the features to create the ideal tub for icy dips and warm and comfortable soaks.

First, you will notice that the chiller is integrated into the tub for a unique, clean, and convenient look.

You can command the plunge via the app or the onboard panel. This is our best hot and cold plunge choice because it does both fast and efficiently.

This model’s 20-micron filter removes particles as small as hair and skin cells while the ozone sanitation system breaks down harmful contaminants.

The Plunge All-In is also enormous, even bigger than the company XL model, so even the largest cold exposure enthusiasts will have more than enough legroom.

The Plunge All-In is expensive, and splurging on one is not for everyone. But the sleek look, luxurious feel, hot and cold chiller, and super convenient plug-and-plunge setup will make it worth every penny for dedicated practitioners.

Best Cold Plunge For Tall People

The Plunge Evolve XL

Pros

  • Provides legroom for even the tallest people.
  • 1HP motor chills the water fast and works quietly.
  • You get some nice additional accessories with the purchase.

Cons

  • The price of the XL is too high when compared to the regular Plunge.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: LWH: 73’’ x 32.5’’ x 27’’
  • Weight Empty: 175 lbs.
  • Volume: 100 gallons
  • Max cooling: 37F
  • 1HP Cooling power
  • Smartphone connectivity via the Plunge App
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $6,490

Best Cold Plunge For Tall People

The Plunge Evolve XL

Sick of small ice baths you can’t get fully in? This extra large plunge is made for you.

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The Plunge XL

While the Plunge All-In is the largest tub on the list, the Plunge XL is about the same size but almost three thousand dollars less, so athletes who want the best cold plunge experience but do not want some of the luxury features should choose the XL.

This ergonomic tub design measures 27 inches tall, 73 inches long, and 32.5 inches wide, giving taller and larger individuals the area to lie down and relax in a soak. While this is the XL model’s most notable feature, everything else is also excellent.

You get a high-quality chiller capable of cooling the water to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, an efficient filtering system, and a 20-micron filter. The newer version of the chiller is 30% quitter for a more peaceful plunging.

Built from premium acrylic and fiberglass and a reinforced metal base, the Plunge is built to last you a lifetime.

Remember that if you are not over 6 feet tall, you should consider the standard Plunge version, which is 67″ long, has more than enough room for most people, and costs $2000 less than the XL.

Best Cold Plunge For Small Spaces

Ice Barrel 4000

Pros

  • The design allows you to stay in a natural upright position.
  • Does not take much space but allows big athletes to fit.
  • Comes with a step stool.

Cons

  • No option to buy a chiller.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: W 31” x H 42” (Fits most body types up to 6’6” and 300 pounds)
  • Weight: 55 lbs. empty
  • Fits people up to 6 ft 5 & 250 lbs.
  • Volume: 400L / 105 gallons
  • Warranty: 1-year damage warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Price: $1,199.99

Best Cold Plunge For Small Spaces

Ice Barrel 400

A simple barrel that insulates the cold. Unlike cheap barrels you must keep adding ice to.

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Ice Barrel 400

The Ice Barrel 400 is one of the best cold plunge tubs because of its ergonomic design, lightweight construction, and sleek appearance.

Unlike inflatable tubs, the Ice Barrel 400 has a solid construction and is super durable. The design is practical in every way. Since you are staying in an upright position, the tub has a very small footprint, which is why I’ve chosen it as the best option for small spaces.

Despite the small size, this tub can accommodate people as high as 6’6″.

Buying the Ice Barell 400 will also provide you with a step stool and a protective cover, eliminating the need to purchase any extra accessories.

While some may prefer to lie in an ice tub, standing upright makes breathing easier. And let’s admit it, ice-cold plunging is not the most comfortable feeling anyway.

A drawback of the Ice Barrell 400 is that the insulation is not optimal, so it does not hold the temperature so well. There is also no option to buy a chiller, so you will have to use ice.

But if you are taller and want a full-body plunge that does not take up much space or cost a fortune, the Ice Barrel 400 is a great solution.

Best Cold Plunge Barrel

Polar Monkey Star Treatment 2.0

Best Cold Plunge Barrel

Polar Monkey Star Treatment 2.0

No need to empty and clean the tub after every use. Polar Monkey does it for you.

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Polar Monkey Star Treatment 2.0

Pros

  • Best looking barrel on the market.
  • Automatic 20-micron filter for always clean water.
  • Stainless steel is super durable.

Cons

  • Long lead time of 5-6 weeks.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: W 33.5” x H 39”
  • Weight Empty: 132 lbs.
  • Volume: 110 gallons
  • Max cooling: Cools down to 39 F and heats up to 102F
  • 0.8 HP Pro version
  • 20-micron filter
  • Smartphone Connectivity
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $5,690 Pro version

The Polar Monkey Star treatment includes all the features you would expect from a tub but in a sleek barrel shape.

The standout aspect is the sleek Canadian cedar wood exterior, which looks stunning, in my opinion. As old-school as the tub looks on the outside, it is a premium modern cold plunge feature-wise.

The inside of the Star Treatment 2.0 is made of high-quality stainless steel, which provides durability and keeps the water cold or warm as desired.

The chiller can maintain the water from 39 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and the full insulation keeps the temperature for a while, even with the chiller off.

The biggest advantage of cold plunges in an upright position is that they take up less room than horizontal tubs. The standard version of the barrel has 0.6HP, but you can spend a few dollars more and get the pro version, which has 0.2 HP more power and a faster setup time.

Despite the classic barrel design, this one includes smartphone connectivity, cutting-edge filtration, and underwater lighting, giving you the best of both worlds.

Best DIY Cold Plunge

Rubbermaid 100 gal. Structural Foam Stock Tank

Pros

  • Light and portable, so you can easily move it around.
  • Draining the water is effortless.
  • Can be used for other purposes, as it was intended to.

Cons

  • The top cover is sold separately for $25.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: LWH: 53’’ x 31’’ x 25’’”
  • Weight Empty: 132 lbs.
  • Volume: 100 gallons
  • Oversized drain plug
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $229

Best DIY Cold Plunge

Rubbermaid 100 gal. Structural Foam Stock Tank

If you’re a handyman and don’t want to spend a fortune on a cold plunge, these tanks do the trick.

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Rubbermaid Structural Foam Stock Tank

Rubbermaid stock tanks aren’t designed to be ice tubs, but they do an excellent job of it. They aren’t even DIY; simply buy the tub, fill it with ice, and you’re good to go.

Molded polyethylene provides excellent insulation and long-term durability in any weather situation. This stock tank has an extra-large drain outlet for convenient draining and cleaning. Stepped sidewalls and stronger ribbing add strength and stability.

So, while many people buy these products to wash their dogs or for the kids to play in the summer, it’s a really decent cold plunge that is spacious, durable, affordable, and easy to drain.

Best Cold Plunge On Amazon

The Cold Pod Ice Tub for Athletes XL

Pros

  • Very affordable solution that still gets the job done.
  • Easy to install and maintain.
  • The compact design allows you to move and use it indoors easily.
  • Durable for the price.

Cons

  • The size is smaller than most other plunges on the list.
  • The comfort is drastically lower than the more expensive plunges.

Specs

  • Tub Dimensions: 35.5″L x 35.5″W x 30″H
  • Weight Empty: 11 lbs.
  • Volume: 116 gallons/ 440 liters
  • Chiller: No
  • Price: $229.99

Best Cold Plunge On Amazon

The Cold Pod Ice Tub for Athletes XL

Want a cold plunge delivered tomorrow? The Cold Pod has you covered.

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The Cold Pod XL

The Cold Pod Outdoor Ice Bath Tub is one of the most budget-friendly ice tubs available. The XL version is often available for as low as $160, making it an absolute bargain for anyone on a tight budget.

This cold plunge features a PVC interior, nylon outside, and an insulating layer of pearl foam in the center. Each layer is waterproof and tear-resistant. The insulating layer is compatible with both hot and cold water.

This product is readily available on Amazon and offers convenience, mobility, and accessibility to most consumers. The small footprint makes it usable even in your bathroom, and the effortless setup will not dissuade you from using it daily.

Of course, this is nowhere near the durability and quality of more solid barrel designs like the Ice Barrel 400, but the price is only a fraction as well, so the Cold Pod can be the perfect foray into cold plunging before investing in something more expensive.

The Cold Pod is almost identical in price and design to the Nurecover Pod. Your choice between the two will largely depend on your residence and whether it’s more convenient to buy from Amazon or the Nurecover website.

How Does Cold Plunging Work?

Ice baths, also known as cold exposure or plunging, work by cooling the skin, muscles, and internal organs by immersing yourself in cold water. 

This process narrows blood vessels, reducing or inhibiting blood circulation.

Such an impact may minimize swelling, inflammation, and muscle injury [1].

Whether this is beneficial from a purely athletic standpoint depends on various circumstances, including your current training cycle and objectives.

The process also has many psychological and overall health benefits, which is why many non-athletes enjoy cold plunges daily.

Should You Cold Plunge?

As a strength and conditioning coach, my main concern with cold plunging is its effectiveness for athletes and their recovery.

Although people have been immersing in icy water for centuries, in recent years, the practice has been used mainly to boost recovery and reduce inflammation.

Other benefits have primarily caused the immense surge of interest in cold exposure, but I want to answer the question: Should you cold plunge as an athlete?

There are a few questions you must first answer.

  1. Do you feel any benefit from it?
  2. Are you in an “off-season” period prioritizing strength, size, and power development?
  3. Are you in season and undergoing heavy preparation for a competition?
  4. How often are you training?

If you are an average Joe who enjoys cold plunging because it boosts your energy and mood and gives you the feeling of overcoming a challenge, then by all means, continue with your ice baths and enjoy them.

But if you hate getting in cold water or want to optimize your recovery, then we must consider what science says.

It is well established that ice baths diminish muscle-building response [2][3]. The evidence for a negative impact on strength adaptation is conflicting [2][4][5].

If your goal is to increase strength, size, and power, it is recommended that you avoid external recovery like ice baths because they artificially suppress the natural adaptive responses to exercise, which are responsible for developing strength and muscle.

Those with strenuous training regimens leading up to a competition or who have weekly matches to prepare for may benefit from the cold plunge.

In my opinion, Tavares and colleagues conducted the finest study demonstrating the favorable effects of ice baths on top-level professional rugby players during pre-season without a special training intervention [1].

This study followed athletes who had a hard training routine of four days per week for three weeks before the season began.

This consisted of four weightlifting sessions, seven rugby field sessions, two-speed sessions, and three extra conditioning sessions.

This resulted in 16 rigorous training sessions over four days.

Following their final workout each day, one group immersed themselves in a 10°C ice bath for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, a control group did not use any rehabilitation methods.

Using ice baths reduced muscle soreness over the course of three weeks, allowing them to maintain their jumping performance with only a small loss in jump height (-1.3%).

In contrast, the control group experienced a more severe decline in jump performance (-7%). This suggests that the ice bath group healed faster than those not using the baths.

Furthermore, the study discovered that on the fourth day of training each week, the control group’s neuromuscular performance (jump height) had decreased more than the ice bath group, indicating a higher risk of underperformance due to cumulative fatigue.

Similar findings were discovered during a 16-day hard training block in national-level volleyball athletes, where continuous ice baths decreased jump performance [6].

Another alternative I’ve employed is contrast therapy between matches, which involves alternating between an ice bath and a hot shower.

This depends on the facility, but I’ve found that finishing on hot works great when you have close back-to-back matches.

These applications represent the fundamental value of cold plunging.

The final consideration is how frequently you train.

According to research, people who train three times per week show no performance gain from post-session ice baths when compared to those who do not use them [8].

This is most likely due to the sufficient 48-hour rest period between each training session.

Benefits Of Cold Plunging

Best Cold Plunge

Improved Recovery

We’ve examined the potential for muscle recovery from ice baths. The practice is an effective way to recover when you have a busy and exhausting schedule of training and competitions without enough time to rest between them.

If you are training to maximize strength, power, and hypertrophy, cold plunging immediately after training is likely counterproductive because it suppresses the body’s natural response, which leads to positive adaptations.

Pair your cold plunge with an infrared sauna and you have a professional recovery room for contrast therapy.

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to muscle damage from training, and it aids in rebuilding the muscle. But it also leads to muscle soreness, and a cold plunge can quickly reduce the level of perceived muscle soreness and fatigue from exercise [9].

Improved Immunity

While more research is needed, there are strong indications that regular ice baths and even cold showers help the immune system work better.

Cold temperatures can boost white cell production over time. As the body adapts to stress and sudden temperature changes, it produces more infection-fighting cells.

Some cultures have used cold water immersion for centuries and have tempered their bodies to withstand cold better. While the scientific literature is inconclusive, anecdotal evidence shows that people engaging in cold exposure often have better immunity against common illnesses.

Stress Management And Improved Mood

Many people do cold plunging not for recovery or direct physical benefits but for the psychological effects it has. Studies and anecdotal evidence show people who do ice baths or even cold showers have less stress, anxiety, and depression [10].

Exposure to cold water almost always boosts overall mood and energy levels. The feeling of accomplishing something difficult also strongly contributes to better mood and perceived wellness.

Risks and Side Effects of Cold Plunging

As with anything, cold plunging has risks and side effects. Entering cold water with a temperature of less than 60 degrees may shock the body if you are not used to it. This leads to involuntary gasping, rapid breathing, and increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Cold water can lead to hypothermia and loss of muscle control. However, this is usually not an issue if you use a tub since it’s easy to immediately get out of the water if the symptoms become unbearable.

But if you have any health conditions, especially heart and blood pressure-related ones, it is strongly advised that you avoid cold plunges or at least consult with a cardiologist beforehand.

How To Choose The Best Cold Plunge

Size And Capacity

Your body frame and the space you have available to store the tub will determine the size of a cold plunge.

Many reviews show nice, spacy backyards, and if you have one, the tub’s footprint is likely not a big deal, but if you are limited in space, it becomes one of the most important factors.

The other consideration is your height and how you want to use the tub. The most comfortable plunges are like regular bathtubs, where you sit and extend your legs. However, they also take up the most space.

Barrel tubs take much less space while allowing for a full-body dip. Don’t be fooled by their looks; good tubs like the Ice Barrel 400 and the Polar Monkey Solar Treatment can accommodate huge guys up to 6 feet 6 inches tall.

Most tubs are suitable for normal-sized males. Size is rarely an issue for females. But if you are really tall, like over 6’5″, you may have to get one of the bigger modes, like the Sun Home or Plunge XL and All-In.

Finally, inflatable and collapsable ice tubs can be stored away and moved around quickly. They are naturally not as stable or convenient as a solid tub, but they don’t take up minimal space and can easily be carried to other locations.

Insulation

A well-insulated cold plunge requires less work to keep your water cold. If the tub has a chiller, it will use less power to keep the water at the desired temperature, and if you use ice cubes, they will last longer, and with good insulation, you may even use the tub the next day (of the ambient temperature is not too high of course)

Common insulating materials include stainless steel and high-grade acrylic, both of which work well.

Other materials like polyethylene have poorer insulation properties, and the water gets warmer quicker, meaning you will have to refill it with ice to maintain a stable temperature.

This is why a dedicated cold plunge is much better than a DIY one. 

Chiller And Filtration

The chillers are much more expensive than the tubs. Some models can be ordered separately, while others are only available in combination. The benefits of a chiller are apparent. You push a few buttons, and the water will reach the desired temperature shortly.

The downsides are just as obvious. Chillers cost thousands of dollars and need electricity. If you choose a tub without a chiller, you will need to use packs of ice to chill the water enough to get benefits.

Chillers also come with filtration systems, which is a big plus. Keeping the water clean is paramount, and the filtration system will do it for you. Having everything ready to go at all times is the best way to avoid procrastinating or ditching cold plunging altogether.

Maintenance

Cold plunges are expensive and require maintenance. Tubs with built-in filtration do most of the work for you, but you still need to empty and clean them occasionally.

The filter on chillers also needs to be frequently changed, so keep this in mind.

Regular tubs without a chiller are more of a hassle, as you will need to change the water and clean the whole tub frequently.

Price And Value

Given the high price of cold plunges, you should carefully consider what type you need and how often you will use it. The high-level tubs cost between $5000 and $10,000, which is outside of most people’s budgets.

As they are considered a luxury recovery tool, they may be worth it to a high-level athlete with a heavy training schedule or simply someone for whom price is not a big consideration.

Cheap models like the Nurecover Pod or the Cold Pod are much more affordable and can still deliver the benefit of cold plunging without spending a fortune. Other options like the Yukon and Ice Barrel 400 are still relatively affordable but provide better quality.

Frequently Asked Cold Plunge Questions

Are Cold Plunges Really Good For You?

Cold plunging has several benefits. It can increase mood, energy, and resilience to stress and boost the immune system. It can also aid in recovery for athletes with busy training and competition schedules and insufficient recovery time.

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Cold Plunging

While 70 degrees Fahrenheit is enough to gain psychological benefits, the warmest temperature to improve recovery is approximately 50 degrees. If this is too cold for you initially, don’t worry; gradually decrease the temperature as you begin to tolerate the cold better.

What Is The Best Cold Plunge?

My top choice is the Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro. But depending on your budget and available space, any of the other products on this list can be a good choice.

Is It OK to Cold Plunge Every Day?

Many people cold plunge daily. However, the timing is important, as lifting heavy weights to gain strength and muscle mass can be detrimental.

If this is the case, do not plunge immediately after training but wait a few hours. Most people who use ice baths to optimize overall health and mood usually do it in the morning.

Summary

The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro is an all-in-one cold plunger that’s half the price of some ultra-high-end options.

However, the price is way too high for many people, and there are much cheaper options, like foldable ice barrels, which can be a great entry into cold plunging. The Yukon Cold Plunge and the Ice Barrel 400 are excellent mid-priced options if you want a better tub without a chiller.

Best Cold Plunge

Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro

The best cold plunge money can buy. It can go indoors or outdoors and has a built-in chiller.

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Sun Home Cold Plunge

References

  1. Tavares, F., Beaven, M., Teles, J., Baker, D., Healey, P., Smith, T. B., & Driller, M. (2019). Effects of chronic cold-water immersion in elite rugby players. International journal of sports physiology and performance14(2), 156-162.
  2. Fyfe, J. J., Broatch, J. R., Trewin, A. J., Hanson, E. D., Argus, C. K., Garnham, A. P., … & Petersen, A. C. (2019). Cold water immersion attenuates anabolic signaling and skeletal muscle fiber hypertrophy, but not strength gain, following whole-body resistance training. Journal of Applied Physiology127(5), 1403-1418.
  3. Fuchs, C. J., Kouw, I. W., Churchward?Venne, T. A., Smeets, J. S., Senden, J. M., Lichtenbelt, W. D. V. M., … & van Loon, L. J. (2020). Postexercise cooling impairs muscle protein synthesis rates in recreational athletes. The Journal of Physiology598(4), 755-772.
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James de Lacey James is a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. He owns Sweet Science of Fighting, is a published scientific researcher and has completed his Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. He's combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.