The 5 Best Cold Plunge Solutions For Your Home (2023)

cold plunge
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Cold plunge pools and tubs are quickly gaining popularity as people learn about the many benefits of cold water therapy (ice bath therapy). Cold water immersion can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, speed up muscle recovery, and boost immunity.

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate cold water therapy into your health routine, a cold plunge pool or tub may be the perfect solution. Whether you are a runner trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon or a triathlete aiming to qualify for the Kona Ironman, you might benefit from using a cold plunge.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best cold plunge pools and ice baths on the market for home use.

What is a Cold Plunge?

A cold plunge is a type of shock therapy that involves submerging yourself in cold water for a short period of time. This cannot be replicated by simply taking cold showers… the entire body(up to the neck) needs to be submerged in the extreme cold.

The theory behind it is that cold immersion will help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. There is some scientific evidence to support this claim, and this once-alternative treatment has been gaining in popularity.

Cold plunges are usually done in a tub of ice water, but can also be done in a cold pool or cold plunge barrel. The key is to make sure that the water is as cold as possible either by ice or a cold plunge chiller machine. Many people who have tried this therapy say that it is uncomfortable at first, but the sensation goes away after a few minutes.

Benefits of a Cold Plunge

There are many benefits to a routine cold plunge, including:

1) Improved circulation

Cold Water energizes the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for involuntary functions such as your heartbeat and breathing. Each exposure strengthens the autonomic nervous system, stabilizing blood pressure and improving circulation. It also helps to balance out sleep cycles and wake cycles.

2) Stronger Immune System

The cold water forces the body to release cytokines. According to the American Cancer Society, “Cytokines affect the growth of all blood cells and other cells that help the body’s immune and inflammation responses. They also help to boost anti-cancer activity by sending signals that can help make abnormal cells die and normal cells live longer.”

3) Reduced inflammation

Who hasn’t put ice on an aching body part? Cold plunges constrict blood vessels which helps reduce swelling and inflammation caused by muscle stress and injury. The cold also numbs the surrounding nerve endings and can help as a pain reliever.

Studies have shown that an increase in glutathione levels occurs after a cold plunge. Glutathione is an antioxidant and is capable of preventing damage to important cellular components.

4) Muscle recovery

The cold plunge constricts blood vessels and flushes waste products such as lactic acid, away from affected tissue areas. This along with reducing swelling results in less tissue breakdown.

5) Stress relief

Cold Plunges force a release of hormones into the body through the sympathetic nervous system. Studies have shown that this significantly improves mood and outlook. Depressed individuals report feeling a higher quality of life. Studies have shown that cold therapy is shown to have a short-term adjuvant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.

6) Boost Metabolism

The “shock” of a cold plunge immediately increases your heart rate, forcing your body will try to warm itself as quickly as possible. This in turn begins to increase your metabolism.

Can an Ice Bath Help Fight Cancer?

New research from the Yihai Cao research group at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cellbiology, MTC, shows that the so-called brown fat in the human body seems to be able to prevent cancer tumors from growing. The result is published by Nature and has been widely disseminated in the media lately.

MTC professor Yihai Cao and his research group have investigated what happens when cancerous mice are exposed to cold for an extended period of time. It turns out that their tumors then grow much more slowly. This effect is only seen in mice that have functioning brown adipose tissue. But the researchers are not yet entirely sure how brown fat counteracts cancer.

That is very interesting and adds to the possible benefits of taking an ice bath!

Are There Risks Of A Cold Plunge?

While cold plunging has many benefits, those benefits do come with a certain level of discomfort. These include the risk of cold shock, hypothermia, and the uncomfortableness of cold water on the skin.

Cold plunges should only be done if you are healthy and have no underlying medical conditions that could be exacerbated by cold water exposure. Be sure to consult with your doctor before cold plunging if you have any concerns. If you are healthy and decide to cold plunge, be sure to follow all safety guidelines to avoid any risks.

When used safely and correctly, cold plunges can offer many benefits. Be sure to read our reviews of each product to find the best home cold plunge for your needs.

What Is the Best time to use a Cold Plunge?

Most people cold plunge after a workout, when they are already warm from exercise and their circulation is increased. This allows the cold water to have a greater effect on the body and can help to reduce inflammation and promote muscle recovery.

Cold plunge pools can also be used as a form of stress relief or migraine relief. If this is the goal, many users reported cold plunging first thing in the morning the optimum time, which starts your day off right and prepares you for anything.

Whatever you choose, be aware that you are generally more awake following a plunge, so avoid plunging later in the evening if you plan on sleeping soon thereafter.

How Long Should You Cold Plunge?

The duration of your cold plunge will depend on a number of factors, including how cold the water is, how long you’ve been exposed to the cold, and how your body responds to cold water immersion. In general, it’s best to start with shorter durations (1-2 minutes) and gradually work up to longer durations (5-20 minutes) as your body becomes more acclimated to the cold.

There are a few things to keep in mind when cold plunging:

  • Don’t stay in the water for too long – if you start to feel uncomfortable, get out of the water.
  • Breathe deeply and evenly – this will help your body relax and prevent hyperventilation.
  • Use a timer – setting a timer will help you keep track of time and make sure you don’t stay in the water for too long.

After your cold plunge, it’s important to warm up slowly. Start with some gentle stretching and then move on to more active activities like walking or jogging. Don’t go from being completely cold to being completely hot – your body needs time to adjust gradually.

How Often to Use an Ice Bath?

This depends on your goals for the use. Athletes may opt to use the cold plunge following every hard workout. The intense cold water may help reduce inflammation and help speed recovery. This method is used frequently by NFL players following an intense practice.

Non-athletes may plunge every morning to reap the stress-relieving benefits. One comment often heard is that the cold water intensifies your focus and attention similar to a shot of espresso. This euphoric feeling is said to last long into the day.

Many athletes alternate time in a sauna immediately followed by a cold plunge. This hot/cold routine has been used for many years with great results. However, the contrast in temperatures can be drastic and should be used with caution by anyone attempting this method. Many participants mention that the extreme temperature difference itself is the benefit, but use common sense if undertaking such an adventure.

What Temperature Should You Cold Plunge?

The water should be cold, but not too cold – if it’s too cold, it can be dangerous. Leading experts recommend anywhere between 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal cold plunge temperature. If you’re just starting out, use a slightly warmer temperature and work your way down over time. This advice seems to be universally recommended.

Who Should Buy a Home Ice Bath?

Anyone who is healthy and wants to cold plunge on a routine basis should consider buying a home ice bath. You can use it at any time, and you avoid paying costly usage fees at commercial locations.

Those with underlying medical conditions or who are pregnant should consult with their doctor before cold plunging. An ice bath can also be uncomfortable for some people, so it is important to know what you are getting into before taking the plunge. If you are healthy and decide to cold plunge, be sure to follow all safety guidelines to avoid any risks.

What to Look for in a Home Cold Plunge Solution

When shopping for a cold plunge pool or tub, there are several factors to keep in mind.

  1. Do you want the unit to be powered by ice or self-chilling? This is a big decision as the cooling motor is the most expensive part of any unit and greatly affects the price. If you opt for self-chilling, you’ll need to make sure you have a spot for it near a power outlet. If you opt for ice-cooled, you’ll need to make sure you keep enough ice on hand for each time you want to use it and understand that you’ll be draining and cycling out the water more often (possibly after each use).

    However, with ice, you’ll lower the water temperature at a quicker pace. Generally, even the most powerful chilling motors only lower the water temperature by about 6-8 degrees Fahrenheit per hour. And you must keep the motor running continuously to maintain that temperature. With ice, you dump it in, and the water chills fairly rapidly. So be sure to choose wisely based on speed and convenience.
  2. Consider the size of the unit. Cold plunge pools and tubs come in a variety of sizes, from small personal units to larger models that can accommodate multiple people.
  3. Think about the safety and environment of the tub. Do you have small children or pets that could potentially fall in while you’re not around? You’ll want to make sure you have a tub with a secure cover. Check with each manufacturer for options.
  4. Finally, consider your budget. Cold plunge pools and tubs can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so choose a model that fits your needs and budget.

The Best Cold Plunge Pools and Tubs

Now that you know what to look for in a cold plunge pool or tub, let’s take a look at some of the best models on the market.

Best Starter Tub

BEST Starter Tub

The 5 Best Cold Plunge Solutions For Your Home (2023)

Ice Barrel

We love the Ice Barrel because of its simplicity, durability, and compact design. It’s made of recycled plastics and comes with nearly everything you need. Just add ice.

Since the Ice Barrel doesn’t rely on electricity to reach the desired temperature, you’re free to place it anywhere. Just choose a location that will allow you to drain and refill the water as needed.

The Ice Barrel is quite large and fits many body types. They’re made in Ohio, USA, and shipping is much quicker than many manufacturers.

This is one of the most popular solutions out there for people starting to use ice baths at home.

Cost

$1199.97 (Special for iRace – Get $200 off your Ice Barrel purchase plus free shipping with Code: BFCM) – only good between 11/14 – 11/28.

Lid?

Included with your purchase are a lid and a protective UV cover. You also get a step stool so you can easily get in and out of this cold plunge barrel.

Cooling Process

User-supplied ice. It should take about 120 pounds of ice to get the water in the 40-45 degree temperature zone.

Filtration Method

Water stabilization tablets can be purchased and added to the tub to prolong water cleanliness for up to 4 weeks.

Cold Temperature Minimum

45-50 degrees

Colors Available

Black or Desert Tan

Tub Dimensions

Inside Tub: 25″W x 42″H
Total Footprint: 31″W x 42″H

Tank Capacity in Gallons

105

Financing Available?

Yes. 3, 6, and 12-month options are available.

Warranty?

Limited Lifetime Warranty. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Product Pros
  • Simple solution
  • Comes with lid and ladder
  • Rugged. Made of recycled materials
  • Small footprint
Product Cons
  • Need to consistently replace with ice
  • Water will need to be routinely recycled
  • It’s tall. You’ll need to be comfortable stepping up and down into the tub.

Best Portable Tub

BEST Portable Tub

Coldture

This might be the most versatile cold plunge tub on the market. It comes in two style variations – the Classic Tub and the Barrel Tub. Both are the same price so you choose which one fits your needs the best.

The whole setup is easily portable, and you can quickly inflate it into a rock-hard and well-insulated tub. If you’ve ever used an inflatable stand-up paddleboard, you know how stable those things can get.

It’s perfect for taking to a race with you or keeping it at home for an after-training plunge.

Also, you can purchase the tub itself if you want to start small and use ice as the coolant. Or purchase an entire system that comes with a chiller motor and live your best life.

We like the ability to use both. Maybe ice on the road, and the chilling motor at home.

Cost

$5054.00 – Tub and Chiller
$1188.00 – Tub by itself

Lid?

Included with your purchase is a cover to keep debris out.

Cooling Process

Ice or 3/4 HP chilling motor that will cool the water to approximately 6-8 degrees per hour depending on your location. The motor volume is approximately 61 decibels.

Filtration Method

UV disinfection filter and water filter if using the Chilling motor. None if using Ice.

Cold Temperature Minimum

37 degrees

Colors Available

Black

Tub Dimensions (External)

Classic Tub: 25.5″W x 59″L x 26.3″H

Barrel Tub: 35″W x 43″H

Tank Capacity in Gallons

105

Financing Available?

Yes.

Warranty?

1-year standard warranty for the chiller and tub. 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Product Pros
  • Completely portable
  • Weighs only 22 pounds when deflated
  • Chill with ice or the chilling motor
Product Cons
  • Must be inflated/deflated
  • Life span could be less than other ceramic (non-portable) solutions

Best Permanent Outside Tub

BEST Permanent Outside Tub

The 5 Best Cold Plunge Solutions For Your Home (2023)

The Plunge

This is a beautiful tub that can be kept either inside or outside. The price comes with a chiller and a spa cover making it a true plug-and-play tub. The Plunge also includes a very cool internal light for when you desire to plunge in low-light conditions.

You pretty much have everything you need in this setup, which explains the excellent reviews from many users.

Cost

$4990

Lid?

Included with your purchase is an insulated spa cover to keep debris out. It has straps with clips that can be locked.

Cooling Process

1/4 HP chilling motor that will cool the water by approximately 2-4 degrees per hour depending on your location. The motor volume is approximately 53 decibels.

Filtration Method

Included is a robust filtration system that includes UV, Ozone, and a 5-micron filter. The manufacturer claims that with their maintenance pack you can have crystal-clear water for 6 months or longer.

Cold Temperature Minimum

39 degrees

Colors Available

White

Tub Dimensions

Inside Tub: 31.5″W x 67″L x 24″H
Total Footprint: 43″W x 67″L x 28″H

Tank Capacity in Gallons

102

Financing Available?

Yes. 6, 12, or 36-month options are available.

Warranty?

1-year factory. 3 or 5 years of additional protection can be purchased. 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Product Pros
  • Looks great
  • Complete solution
  • Insulated cover included
  • Filtration system included
Product Cons
  • Must be located near an outlet
  • Decent size footprint
  • The chilling motor is the smallest of all products listed
  • Heavy

Best Large Tub

BEST Large Tub

The 5 Best Cold Plunge Solutions For Your Home (2023)

Plunge pro XL

This is the big brother to our Best Permanent Outdoor pick. It’s perfect for larger individuals and comes with the Pro chilling motor that cools the water down 3X as fast.

The included filtration system keeps your water fresh for up to 6 months! Also, you can upgrade your tub with the Hot & Cold option to turn it into a hot tub at your leisure.

If you want to stretch out and relax in your cold plunge, get the Plunge Pro XL.

Cost

$6990

Lid?

Included with your purchase is an insulated spa cover to keep debris out. It has straps with clips that can be locked.

Cooling Process

1 HP chilling motor that will cool the water by approximately 6-8 degrees per hour depending on your location. The motor volume is approximately 61 decibels.

Filtration Method

Included is a robust filtration system that includes UV, Ozone, and a 5-micron filter. The manufacturer claims that with their maintenance pack you can have crystal-clear water for 6 months or longer.

Cold Temperature Minimum

39 degrees

Colors Available

White

Tub Dimensions

Inside Tub: 32.5″W x 73″L x 27″H
Total Footprint: 46.75″W x 73″L x 30″H

Financing Available?

Yes. 6, 12, or 36-month options are available.

Warranty?

1-year factory. 3 or 5 years of additional protection can be purchased. 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Product Pros
  • Looks great
  • Perfect for Taller individuals
  • Insulated Cover included
  • Filtration system included
  • Advanced motor cools water 3X faster than standard motor
Product Cons
  • Must be located near an outlet
  • Pro motor is noisier
  • The manufacturer suggests that this tub be placed outdoors.
  • Heavy

Best Self-Contained Tub

BEST Self-Contained Tub

morozko cold plunge tub

Morozko Ice Bath

There is something about ice cubes floating around that makes an ice bath that much more legit.

The Morozko Ice Bath is the best ice tub built for personal, home use, and low-volume business use. It features microfiltration & ozone disinfection, a cedar frame, aluminum fans, all-weather protection, a digital temperature controller, and electrical grounding.

The Morozko is built for colder temperatures than a cold tub or cold plunge. The unique part of this tub is that it’s the first ice bath for sale anywhere in the world that makes its own ice.

It looks great as well.

Cost

$12,850

Lid?

Included with your purchase is a matching cover to keep debris out.

Cooling Process

A digital controller allows you to set a constant water temperature as low as 33F, even when surrounding temperatures are as high as 110F. During winter, weather protection will keep the Morozko Ice Bath from freezing at temperatures as low as 0F for up to 12 hours (when filtration is running).

Filtration Method

They use Ozone Generation to keep your water crystal clear without the need for harsh chemicals like chlorine.

The Morozko Ice Bath features built-in water circulation, microfiltration, and ozone disinfection to maintain safe, crystal-clear cold water bathing with minimal maintenance and water changes.

Cold Temperature Minimum

33 degrees

Colors Available

Wood with stainless steel. Every Forge is sealed with marine-grade polyurethane to protect the wood against water and sun damage. They do offer custom design options for an additional charge.

Tub Dimensions

Tubs are offered in 60-inch, 66-inch, and 72-inch lengths.

4ft 70″L x 30″W x 30″H 250lbs
5ft 80″L x 30″W x 30″H 300lbs
6ft 90″L x 30″W x 30″H 350lbs

Financing Available?

Yes. 6, 12, or 36-month options are available.

Warranty?

Your Morozko Ice Bath is protected by a 3-year warranty covering manufacturing defects and malfunction.   If not ecstatic with your purchase within 30 days of taking delivery, you may return your Forge for a refund of your purchase price, less shipping. 

Product Pros
  • Makes its own ice
  • Multiple size options
  • Longer warranty than competitors
  • Great filtration system
Product Cons
  • Expensive
  • Needs to be near an outlet
  • Heavy
  • If outside, needs to be left on 24/7

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cold plunge good for?

A cold plunge can help improve circulation, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. It can also help to speed up the healing process after an injury. Some people also believe that a cold plunge can help to boost the immune system and fight off infections.

How long should you cold plunge?

Most people find that 1-3 minutes is long enough for the initial cold plunge. You can increase the time up to 20 minutes as you get used to the sensation. Remember to warm up slowly afterward!

Is a cold plunge worth it?

Some people swear by the benefits, while others find the experience unbearable. If you’re thinking of trying a cold plunge, be sure to do your research and speak with a medical professional beforehand to ensure that it’s safe for you.

Do I need to consult with professionals before using a cold plunge?

If you have any concerns about using a cold plunge, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional beforehand. Cold plunges can be beneficial for many different conditions and ailments, but there are also some potential risks associated with their use. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of using a cold plunge before making a decision.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Whether you want a beautiful cold plunge tub for your back porch or a portable solution for on-the-road use, you know where to go.

If you feel we have missed one in our review, please let us know!

Disclosure

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase the product. This site is not intended to provide medical advice and you should always consult with a physician prior to beginning any physical activity.

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