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Best Cold Plunge Tubs for the Greatest Cold-Therapy Benefits

Cold Plunge Tub
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Updated February 25, 2024

If you pride yourself on an active lifestyle, or have friends and family members who have one, then you’ve likely heard of taking a cold plunge. It’s a popular therapy among athletes, both amateur and professional. However, you don’t have to be a highly-trained, elite professional athlete to enjoy the benefits of a cold plunge. In fact, this type of therapy is available to almost everyone, no matter what their budget. 

Jeremie Walker, MD, MBA, a physician and longevity expert with Opt Health, said there has been an uptick in questions from patients on the use of deliberate cold exposure. If you’re curious if cold immersion could offer you any benefit, then check out my list of the best cold plunges and how to select one for your physical needs.

How to choose the best cold plunge tub 

You’ll find a wide variety of cold plunges, both in terms of budgets, features, and styles. Let’s take a closer look at how you select one that’s appropriate for you.

Size

You can find cold plunges in a variety of shapes and sizes, including those where you sit with your knees tucked closer into your body or larger so you can stretch your legs out. Determining the appropriate size depends on your preferred plunge position and how much space you have indoors or outdoors to hold the tub.

Capacity

Capacity is one of the most important factors, because if you’re tall, it’s possible you might not fit (at least comfortably) in a cold plunge tub and get the full benefit of your body immersed up to your neck. Most cold plunge products will tell you what size it works best for, such as up to six feet, six inches for example. Others may offer two different capacities for the same product, with a larger option accommodating taller individuals.

Temperature range

Temperature range is another major factor, with some plunges getting as low as 36 or 39 degrees Fahrenheit, while other models may not go below 50 degrees. You may also consider a cold plunge that offers hot therapy as well, so you can get an additional therapeutic benefit from the tub. Keep in mind there’s no exact temperature you must use, since temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit are shown to offer benefits—plus you can start higher and gradually decrease the temperature.

Indoor/outdoor

Another consideration is whether your unit can go indoors, outdoors, or both. No matter where you place your unit, bear in mind the tubs get super heavy once filled with water—up to several hundred pounds. So be sure your preferred spot can handle the load.

Insulation

Look for insulated models, unless you don’t mind it taking several hours for your cold plunge to get to your desired temperature. If you want a better-performing insulated material where you can quickly get to the optimum temperature, look for stainless steel or acrylic materials and double-wall insulation.

Chiller versus adding ice

You can purchase models with an external chiller, which automatically regulates the temperature of the water for you and quickly gets you to the precise, preferred temperature. However, this convenience comes with added cost, but you can find more budget-friendly options that don’t include an external chiller. Instead they rely on you adding ice for reaching optimal temperatures.

Our top picks for the best cold plunge tubs

Best inflatable cold plunge tub: Sun Home Cold Plunge Portable Ice Bath With Chiller

Best inflatable cold plunge tub
Sun Home Cold Plunge Portable Ice Bath With Chiller

Sun Home Cold Plunge Portable Ice Bath With Chiller

The Sun Home Cold Plunge Portable Ice Bath With Chiller is ideal for anyone who wants the benefits of a cold plunge and simply wants to “plug and plunge.” Setup is a breeze because there are no plumbing requirements. Once you are set up, you can even make a 24-hour reservation with it so it’s waiting on you when you’re ready.

Specifications:

  • Temperature range: Cool down to 37.5 degrees Fahrenheit and heat to 104 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Features: 1HP smart-chiller which operates three times faster than other plunges at this price point, mobile app, can fit individuals up to 6' 8", filtration system, easy-drain technology for emptying plunge quickly
  • Water capacity: 95 gallons
  • Warranty: One-year limited warranty
  • Dimensions: L 6.4 feet x W 2.3 feet x H 2.1 feet
  • Material: Military grade drop-stitch
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $4,299

The bottom line:

A top pick if you want the convenience of an inflatable option without sacrificing the features you want in a cold plunge.

Get it here: Sun Home Cold Plunge Portable Ice Bath With Chiller


Best budget portable cold plunge tub: The Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes XL

Best budget portable cold plunge tub
The Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes XL: Cold Plunge Tub Outdoor with Cover,116 Gallons Capacity Portable Ice Bath Plunge Pool by The Cold Pod,Easy Install

The Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes XL: Cold Plunge Tub Outdoor with Cover,116 Gallons Capacity Portable Ice Bath Plunge Pool by The Cold Pod,Easy Install

If you’re not ready to invest your life’s savings into a cold plunge, consider the Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes XL. You can still receive the benefits of a cold immersion but without the hefty price tag and with little maintenance. It’s also lightweight, weighing less than 10 pounds, which makes it easier for transport or moving from one living space to the next.

Specifications:

  • Temperature range: Varies, but reviews note no colder than 50 degrees
  • Features: Can fit most body types sitting in an upright position, low maintenance, drainage system
  • Water capacity: 116 gallons
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Dimensions: L 35.5 inches x W 35.5 inches x H 30 inches
  • Material: PVC inner layer, nylon outer layer, Pearl Foam for middle layer
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $159.99

The bottom line:

Ideal for budget-conscious cold immersion enthusiasts or those who are just getting started with the idea of cold technology.

Get it here: The Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes XL


Best vertical cold plunge tub: Ice Barrel 400 Model Freestanding Cold Therapy Training Tub

Best vertical cold plunge tub
Ice Barrel 400 Model Freestanding Cold Therapy Training Tub

Ice Barrel 400 Model Freestanding Cold Therapy Training Tub

If you prefer sitting as upright as possible during your cold plunges, check out the Ice Barrel 400 Freestanding Cold Therapy Training Tub. Its slim design creates a more natural, upright position, meaning you can submerge more of your body for greater benefit. Although it has a slim design, it still has a larger capacity of up to 105 gallons, which allows taller individuals (up to 6 '6”) a full submersion experience.

Specifications:

  • Temperature range: 40 - 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Features: Freestanding model, requires limited maintenance is required, large capacity
  • Water capacity: 105 gallons
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Dimensions: W 31 inches x H 42 inches
  • Material:  Low linear density polyethylene (LLDPE)
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor
  • Price on publish: $1199.99

The bottom line:

Submerging yourself up to your neck will give you the maximum benefit for cold therapy—a model like this one made for vertical plunging can help.

Get it here: Ice Barrel 400 Model Freestanding Cold Therapy Training Tub


Best splurge cold plunge tub: The Plunge

Best splurge cold plunge tub
The Plunge

The Plunge

If you’re ready to invest in a cold plunge, you may love what The Plunge has to offer. It combines ultra filtration, sanitation, and cooling—no ice cubes needed. You can use it indoor or outdoor and it’s a snap to set up. You can add a heater (for an extra charge) and there’s also an XL version available for those taller than six feet.

Specifications:

  • Temperature range: As low as 39 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Features: Includes a built-in underwater light, can use a hot option, only a 20 minute set up time, includes a cell phone holder and rubber ducky
  • Water capacity: 75 gallon capacity
  • Warranty: One year
  • Dimensions: L 67 inches x W 31.5 inches x H 24 inches
  • Material: Acrylic and fiberglass with a reinforced metal base
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $4,990

The bottom line:

If only the best will do, you may prefer The Plunge, which offers superior cooling, filtration, and sanitation, plus super simple setup.

Get it here: The Plunge


Best portable cold plunge tub with wide temperature range: NAICID Ice Bath Tub

Best portable cold plunge tub with wide temperature range
NAICID Ice Bath Tub, Cold Plunge Tub 120 Gallons, Portable Ice Baths at Home, Cold Water Pluge Tub, Ice Bath Tub for Athletes

NAICID Ice Bath Tub, Cold Plunge Tub 120 Gallons, Portable Ice Baths at Home, Cold Water Pluge Tub, Ice Bath Tub for Athletes

Budget-friendly cold plunge tubs often mean you can’t achieve an even lower temperature, however, the NAICID Ice Bath Tub proves it’s still possible to stay in budget and get down as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It has other impressive features for a less expensive model, including keeping water chilled for four hours, being inflatable, and having a large capacity so you can add plenty of ice as needed.

Specifiactions:

  • Temperature range: 32 - 59 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Features: Five layers of insulation, inflatable, portable, protective lid, cold lasts for four hours
  • Water capacity: 105 gallons
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Dimensions: ‎W 29.5 inches x H 30 inches 
  • Material: Polyester, nylon, PVC
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor
  • Price on publish: $79.98

The bottom line:

For those who prefer a lower water temperature but don’t want to spend thousands on a cold plunge with an external chiller, check out this more affordable option.

Get it here: NAICID Ice Bath Tub


Best cold plunge tub for warmer climates: Ice Barrel 300

Best cold plunge tub for warmer climates
Ice Barrel 300

Ice Barrel 300

If you live in a warmer climate, you may have a harder time getting the cold plunge tub to stay at the lower temperature for longer stretches of time.The Ice Barrel 300 solves this problem by offering a lightweight, portable option with extra thick insulation—ideal for warmer environments. Use it indoors or outdoors and you can add your own ice or purchase a separate external chiller.

Specifiactions:

  • Temperature range: 40 - 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Features: Fully insulated barrel and lid, easy to step in and out of, will accommodate people up to 6’2” and 250 pounds, extra-thick insulation which works great for warmer clients
  • Water capacity: 77 gallons
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Dimensions: W 35.5 inches x H 30.5 inches 
  • Material: Low linear density polyethylene (LLDPE), polyurethane foam insulation
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $1,199.99

The bottom line:

Even if you live in a warmer climate where it’s harder to regulate the lower temperature, you can still achieve a low temperature thanks to this tub’s extra-thick insulation.

Get it here: Ice Barrel 300


Best cold plunge tub for both cold and hot: The Edge Tub Elite

Best cold plunge tub for both cold and hot
The Edge Tub Elite

The Edge Tub Elite

You can have hot and cold therapies in the same tub with The Edge Tub Elite, which includes a long list of cool features, including a lightweight, portable chiller, a temperature range of 37 to 104 degrees, both an advanced filtration system and self-cleaning option, plus Wi-Fi capabilities.

Specifiacations:

  • Temperature range: 37 to 104 degrees
  • Features: Fits seamlessly into the included backpack, chiller is on wheels for easy transport, two-step filtration system, Wi-Fi enabled chiller, self-cleaning
  • Water capacity: 75 gallons
  • Warranty:  Manufacturer warranty replacement guarantee for one year or can purchase an additional three-year extended protection plan
  • Dimensions: L 63 inches x W 35.4 inches x H 25 inches
  • Material: The same military grade technology as paddle boards and inflatable boats
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $5,490

The bottom line:

If you want the benefits of hot and cold therapies, don’t miss out on this model.

Get it here: The Edge Tub Elite


Best insulated portable cold plunge tub: PolarPod Portable Insulated Ice Bath

Best insulated portable cold plunge tub
Polar Pod - Portable Insulated Ice Bath Tub for Recovery and Cold Water Therapy, Triple Insulated Walls for Prolonged Cold Temperature, Durable Nylon Fabric Design - 80 Gallon Capacity- W/Lid & Cover

Polar Pod - Portable Insulated Ice Bath Tub for Recovery and Cold Water Therapy, Triple Insulated Walls for Prolonged Cold Temperature, Durable Nylon Fabric Design - 80 Gallon Capacity- W/Lid & Cover

Insulation is critical for maintaining colder temperatures and allowing more than one person to use the cold plunge within the same day. The PolarPod Portable Insulated Ice Bath offers temperatures from 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, plus they’ll stay consistently cool for hours thanks to its triple-insulated walls.

Specifications:

  • Temperature range: Chills down to 45 degrees
  • Features: Keeps consistent cold temperatures, quiet operation, portable, lightweight
  • Water capacity: 80 gallons
  • Warranty: 30 day money back guarantee
  • Dimensions: W 31.5 inches x H 31.5 inches
  • Material: Nylon fabric, PVC inner lining
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $54.99

The bottom line:

Keep your cool for hours with this affordable cold-plunge option.

Get it here: PolarPod Portable Insulated Ice Bath


Best fully assembled cold plunge tub: Alaskan Cold Plunge by Redwood Outdoors

Best fully assembled cold plunge tub
Alaskan Cold Plunge by Redwood Outdoors

Alaskan Cold Plunge by Redwood Outdoors

If you want a cold plunge but fear hours of installation, the Alaskan Cold Plunge by Redwood Outdoors is as easy as it gets. It comes fully assembled, including the liner, and only requires filing it up with cold water. You can fully enjoy it within a few minutes and you don’t even need any outlets to plug it into.

Specifications:

  • Temperature range: N/A
  • Features: Liner with bench seating, compact design for one person, made of natural wood materials
  • Water capacity: 130 gallons
  • Warranty: One-year limited
  • Dimensions: W 37 inches x H 40.5 inches
  • Material: Scandinavian Thermowood
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both
  • Price on publish: $1,999

The bottom line:

If you want a cold plunge with little fuss and easy setup, this one’s for you.

Get it here: Alaskan Cold Plunge by Redwood Outdoors


How did we select the best cold plunge tubs?

I selected the best cold plunge tubs by incorporating insights from Dr. Walker. I also reviewed dozens of models, analyzed the features, read through customer reviews, plus I considered various price points to determine my list of the top picks.

Benefits of cold plunge tubs

Cold plunges can have numerous benefits. “The clinical benefits are well established: to boost mental and physical performance while mood, focus, and attention all increase,” explains Dr. Walker. "The mental resilience you gain from the training is second to none,” Dr. Walker adds. He goes on to say, “There are physiological benefits too, including an increase in adrenaline and dopamine which have profound impacts, especially first thing in the morning to start the day.” 

A review of clinical studies, published online in September 2022 in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, supports the claims of cold plunges having some health benefits, possibly including the reduction of inflammation, a boosted immune response, and more, but the full breadth of benefits may not yet be realized. 

Self-chilling versus DIY cold plunge

Self-chilling, which means using a cold plunge tub, versus a DIY model, like filling up your own bathtub with ice or using a sealed ice chest, may offer greater convenience. Cold plunge tubs are more expensive than DIY chilling methods. However, if you find yourself regularly cold plunging or live in a warmer climate where it’s hard to maintain a colder water temperature, then it may be worth the investment to you to get a cold plunge tub. You can also benefit from having an exact temperature control with a cold-plunge tub.

If you’re new to cold plunging or aren’t sure you’re ready for an investment, start out with a DIY option and see what benefits it offers you.

Ideal temperatures guides for beginners 

Beginners will want to start at a temperature where they feel uncomfortable, but it’s still doable, advises RenuTherapy. You can even start with 30 days of cold showers first, before moving on to the cold plunge. You can start with 60-second cold immersions and eventually work your way up to no more than 10 minutes at a time. As you get acclimated to the temperature, you can gradually decrease it. Most manufacturers recommend staying within the ideal temperature range of 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How big of a tub do I need for a cold plunge?

The size of the tub depends on your height and whether you prefer to sit with your knees closer to your chest or if you prefer to stretch your legs. Once you know which you prefer, then you can search for a cold plunge model that accommodates your height and seating preference.

Can you do a cold plunge in a bathtub?

Yes, you can submerge yourself into cold water in your bathtub, however it might not offer some of the convenient benefits of other cold-plunge tubs. For example, the water may not get down to your desired temperature, so you may need to add ice to cool it down further. 

How long should you cold plunge?

Beginners will start out spending less time in a cold plunge and then work up to longer sessions. Eventually, you can aim for about 11 minutes a week, which can be broken down into two or three sessions, according to Dr. Walker.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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