The Best 9 Cold Plunges of 2024 + The Health Benefits

Man in black ice barrel ice bath breathing through a cold therapy session

All About Cold Plunges

Whether you're interested in learning more about the health benefits of a cold plunge, or you are seeking the right plunge for your backyard or gym, you have come to the right place! We want to help equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on whether cold therapy is the right tool for you.

Cold plunge tubs have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Although professional athletes and bio-hackers have been using them for decades to reach new levels of clarity and recovery, we have seen a tremendous increase in conscious people seeking out the benefits of cold therapy.

In this article, we will answer the frequently asked questions about cold plunges, ice baths, and the benefits of cold therapy. We will also provide you with information on what to look out for when it comes to shopping for your first cold plunge tub or ice bath. Lastly, we will list out our top 9 cold plunge tubs of 2023 by popular categories.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU SHOP COLD PLUNGES

  • TYPE

    The two most common types of cold therapy tools are cold plunges and ice baths. In an ice bath, there is no power required; simply add ice and fill with water. On the other hand, a cold plunge is controlled by a chiller unit which will require a power outlet.

  • SPACE

    When it comes to finding a permanent home for your cold plunge, it’s important you have enough space. The space will need to fit the tub or barrel and possibly the chiller unit. Also, keep in mind that most cold plunges will require a solid level surface to be placed on.

  • FEATURES

    Most of the just-added ice baths are pretty straightforward when it comes to features, but some may include a protective cover and an easy draining system. Cold plunges with chiller units on the other hand require a bit more thought like temperature, Wi-Fi compatibility, and filtration devices.

  • GOALS

    How often do you plan to use your cold plunge? If the answer is daily, then you may consider a plunge with a chiller unit. Would you like to take the cold plunge with you on the go? If the answer is yes, you may consider an inflatable cold plunge.

Most Popular Cold Plunges of 2023

  • black ice barrel ice bath with lid
  • 1. BEST ON A BUDGET: ICE BARREL

    The Ice Barrel is one of the most well-known cold plunges in the U.S.A. Made out of 100% recycled materials, the Ice Barrel design is sleek, and comes in two colors, Black or Desert Tan.

    There are a few reasons the Ice Barrel is so popular. First, the barrel will practically fit in any backyard or gym no matter how small. Secondly, the upright design allows you to step in and submerge your whole body with ease. Lastly, using the Ice Barrel is very simple. Just fill it with water, add your desired amount of ice, and your cold plunge is ready to go!

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Simple, Just Add Ice 
    • Easy Draining System 
    • UV Protective Cover 
    • Portable Or Permanent 

    TEMPERATURE: 40F - 60F

    SET UP: 10 Min

    PRICE: LOW

  • 2. The ModPlunge

     

    The ModPlunge is the most affordable cold plunge & chiller combo on the market! Most other cold plunges range between $5,000 and $10,000. 

    If you are looking for a durable cold plunge for daily use, the ModPlunge is for you. Imagine starting your day with an energy-boosting session in your new cold plunge! No hassle, no prep, and no ice needed!

     

    PRODUCT HIGHTLIGHTS:

    • Highly Insulated Tub
    • 1/4HP Chiller Unit
    • Micron Filtration System
    •  Easy Draining System 

     

    Temperature: 39F-60F

    Set up: 10 Min

    Price: LOW

  • product picture of the flex cold plunge with chiller unit
  • 3. BEST AT HOME: THE FLEX

     

    The Flex is a top-of-the-line cold plunge built with the same technology as a stand-up paddleboard. The Flex comes with an incredible 1hp chiller unit that has the ability to maintain temperatures as low as 37 degrees. The tub is consistently filtered with UV light and a microfilter attached to the chiller unit.

    We have received a lot of great feedback on the quality, and price of The Flex. If you are looking for a mid-priced cold plunge for your home, this may be the cold plunge for you!

     

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Durable, Inflatable
    • Chiller Unit Included
    • UV & Micro-filtration
    • Bluetooth compatible

     

    TEMPERATURE: 37F - 104F

    SET UP: 20 Min

    PRICE: MID

  • white edge tub cold plunge with inflatable parts beside the tub
  • 4. BEST ON THE GO: THE EDGE TUB

     

    The EDGE Tub Legacy is an athlete's dream when it comes to a cold plunge. The EDGE Tub comes equipped with everything you need to quickly break it down and take on the go.

    This cold plunge tub is built with the same material as a stand-up paddleboard or an inflatable boat. When the walls are inflated, the tub is strong enough to sit on the wall. The chiller unit also uses a 20-micron filter with a chlorine-free solution to maintain a clean environment.

     

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Permanent Or Portable
    • Wi-Fi Compatible Chiller Unit
    • 20 Micron Filtration
    • Dual Action Pump Included

     

    TEMPERATURE: 37F - 60F

    SET UP: 20 Min

    PRICE: MID

  • 5. BEST MODERN: KKP STANDARD

     

    The King Kool Plunge is built right here in the U.S.A. The single-unit cold plunge tub is coated in a protective finish similar to a truck bed. Inside the tub, you have a few options to add LED lights, Grip Bars, or Bluetooth Audio.

    With the additions, this cold plunge tub is built to order with a lead time of approx 2-4 weeks. The built-in chiller unit is equipped with a micron filter and ozone filtration which keeps the water clean through multiple uses.

     

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Durable exterior finish
    • Chiller Unit Enclosed
    • Micro-filtration & Ozone Pump
    • Multiple Upgrade Options

     

    TEMPERATURE: 39F - 60F

    SET UP: 20 Min

    PRICE: MID/HIGH

  • white cold plunge bath by dreampod
  • 6. BEST FOR THE SPA: THE BATH

     

    The Bath will make a great addition to your spa or country club. The beautifully designed tub comes in white or black and is built with a durable fiberglass frame.

    The Bath can be placed indoor or outdoor on level ground; it comes with an easy-to-set-up chiller unit and only requires a regular 110 outlet for power. The final touch for the Bath is the LED Display that sets the mood for clarity and recovery.

     

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Durable Fiberglass Frame
    • Chiller Unit Included
    • LED Light Display
    • Bluetooth Compatible

     

    TEMPERATURE: 37F - 104F

    SET UP: 20 Min

    PRICE: MID

  • 7. BEST FOR THE GYM: THE COLD LIFE BARREL

     

    The ColdLife cold plunge is the only Made In America cold plunge built with premium stainless steel. The premium steel barrel is paired with a ¾ HP Wi-Fi chiller which will cool the water to a frigid 37F. 

    If you are seeking a top of the line barrel style cold plunge for daily use, the ColdLife cold plunge is for you! Imagine starting your day with an energy-boosting session in your new cold plunge. No hassle, no preop, no ice needed!

     

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

     

    • Stainless Steel Barrel
    • Chiller Unit Included
    • Ozone & Micro-filtration
    • Small Footprint

     

    TEMPERATURE: 37F - 105F

    SET UP: 15 Min

    PRICE: MID - HIGH

  • 8. BEST PREMIUM AT HOME:

     

    The Mini-Me is a Biohacker’s dream. The Mini-Me cold plunge is the best of the best when it comes to at-home cold plunges. Built with a beautiful custom wood frame the Mini-Me is a work of art.

    This one-piece cold plunge has a built-in steel tub for single-person use. The thing that really sets this cold plunge tub apart is the thermal barrier disruption element. In order for your body to experience the extreme cold and not adapt to the temperature, the water needs to be moving like a river and the Mini-Me does just that.

     

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Beautiful Custom Build
    • Steel Tub
    • Micron + OZone Filtration
    • Thermal Barrier Disruption

     

    TEMPERATURE: 36F - 60F

    SET UP: 20 Min

    PRICE: HIGH

  • 9. BEST PREMIUM COMMERCIAL: QOOLPOD

     

    The Commercial Qoolpod cold plunge tub offers a sleek and compact design that is sure to be a center piece not an eyesore. This pod is designed for you to sit comfortably so that you are able to fully enjoy the experience. We use the best of the best! This pod includes filtration with ozone sanitation, huge chilling capacity bringing you temperatures from 39-60°F, top water skimmer and hair trap, insulated cover, and manufactured right here in the U.S.A.


    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Commercial Durable
    • Top Water Skimmer
    • Micron + Ozone Filtration
    • Chem Dispenser

     

    TEMPERATURE: 38F - 60F

    SET UP: 10 Min

    PRICE: MID/HIGH

FAQ COLD PLUNGES & ICE BATHS

What is a cold plunge?

A cold plunge is a cold therapy tool most commonly used for athletic recovery. The traditional way of taking a cold plunge or ice bath is simply filling a tub with a mixture of water and ice and submerging in the water for
2-10 minutes.

There are a few ways you can approach taking a cold plunge. First, the DIY method! Simply
fill up your bathtub with cold water and add your desired amount of ice. Then set your timer and soak in the tub for a set amount of time. The downside to the bathtub option is that it can be hard to fit your whole body in the water, especially up to your neck!

Secondly, we recommend just adding ice to a barrel or bath which you can fill up with a
garden hose outside and add your desired amount of ice. These barrels or baths can be placed anywhere in the backyard and typically have an easy draining system. The most popular tubs in this category will be ICE BARREL & THE ICE BARREL 300.

Lastly, if you are seeking an edge and want to take a daily cold plunge we recommend a cold plunge tub with an external or built-in chiller unit. The best part about a cold plunge with a chiller unit is that there is no ice needed. Simply, hook up the tub and chiller unit and set the digital temperature to the desired setting. The most popular tubs in this category are listed below in our Top 9 Cold Plunges of 2023.

What are the benefits of a cold plunge tub?

There are a wide variety of benefits when it comes to cold therapy or taking a cold plunge bath. The benefits range from athletic recovery, to focus and energy, and all the way to having extraordinary mental health benefits. Listed below are the top benefits of a cold plunge.


Reduce Swelling & Inflammation: Athletes all over the world have been using cold therapy tools like ice baths or cold plunges for years. You may have even seen them lined up recently at the CrossFit games to be used after a hard day competing. Cold plunges actually restrict the blood flow to your muscles which can reduce swelling and have anti-inflammatory effects. Most athletes will heat their sore muscles before training, and ice or take an ice bath after training.


Increased Energy Levels: When you submerge yourself into cold water, you are basically shocking your central nervous system into a fight-or-flight response. Your body will actually restrict blood flow to your extremities and send the blood to your vital organs to protect them. This also means that you will have increased blood flow to your brain which leads to increased mental focus and clarity.


Boosted Immunity: When taking a cold plunge, you are basically giving your body a healthy immunity boost. Being immersed in cold water actually stimulates your white blood cells which help you fight off sickness. This benefit of the cold plunge definitely comes in handy around the cold and flu season.


Burns Body Fat: Most people think of the recovery element of a cold plunge, but you don’t often hear that you will actually burn belly fat! Did you know that immersing yourself in cold water actually activates your brown fat also known as BAT? This will commonly result in a boost in your metabolism!


Improved Discipline: Getting outside of your comfort zone can be challenging, especially if it means submerging your body in cold water. The discipline it takes to make the conscious decision to take a bath in sub-55-degree temperatures is not something that comes overnight or naturally to most people. Constantly putting yourself in a position to be uncomfortable and following through will increase your discipline and mental toughness.

What is the best temperature for a cold plunge?

Like most things, the best can really depend on what your goals are, and what your personal preference may be. We recommend keeping the temperature below 59 degrees Fahrenheit when taking a cold plunge or ice bath. If you are using ice, it may be more difficult to reach temperatures below 45 degrees, which means that may be your coldest option. Most cold plunges with a chiller unit will range between 36 and 60 degrees which is optimal for your cold plunge routine.

How long should you cold plunge?

The target range of time in a cold plunge or ice bath can range from 3-10 minutes. If you are about to take your first cold plunge, we recommend starting slow and gradually increasing the time as you build your cold tolerance. As a beginner, you may shoot to stay in the cold water for 1-2-3 minutes as you work on your breathwork and mastering the cold.


After a few weeks of a 3-minute cold plunge below 55 degrees, you can then either shoot to decrease the temperature of the cold plunge or increase the time. Most athletes using a cold plunge tub for recovery will shoot for 5-10 minutes in sub-40-degree water. This time and temperature are proven to yield the most benefit when it comes to athletic recovery.


A cold plunge lasting longer than 10 minutes is not recommended unless you have built up an incredible cold tolerance over time or are a trained professional.

Authors Recommendation

Personally, if I had to choose a cold plunge for my home, I would go with The Flex. I believe The Flex is really the best bang for your buck at this point in time. The durable inflatable cold plunge is everything I need for my backyard and I love having the ability to move it around if I need to. Sometimes a large wood or steel cold plunge can be hard to move and they definitely don't give you the ability to take them on the go! To top it off, the hybrid feature of The Flex is very enticing. As someone who grew up in the midwest, I really like the fact you can heat it up to 104F in the winter and cool it down to 37F in the summertime. Lastly, the Bluetooth capability of The Flex is a big selling point. The fact that you can set the temperature through the app without having to go in and out to check the temperature is huge, especially with a busy life.

Questions on the right cold plunge for you? Give us a call! +1 801-200-3948

We are based here in Houston, Texas and there are no wait times or phone tree associated with this number. Simply give us a call and a cold plunge professional will assist you. If you reach us outside of normal business hours, feel free to shoot us an email with the link below.

I remember the first time I took an ice bath in high school. As a multi-sport athlete, my hip flexors and low back were always tight and sore after practice. One day following an intense practice, I approached my athletic trainer for some guidance on how to manage my discomfort. He looked at me inquisitively and said, “we are gonna do something a little different this time", while simultaneously making his way over to the ice bath.

The stainless steel water trough sat in the back corner of the training room with a control gauge in front of it. Until that day, not many football players used the tub. My initial response when stepping into the cold tub was discomfort and sheer shock from the intense change of temperature, but this quickly resided and was replaced with unfamiliar clarity and an immediate reduction in pain.

I’ll never forget the feeling of intense mental clarity and focus I had the moment I got out of the cold water. Not only did I feel like I had superpower focus, but my body felt revitalized. It was as if I had fully recovered within just 5 minutes of cold immersion.

I share this story because this was the beginning of my cold plunge journey, and I hope this article will help propel you to take the next step into cold therapy.