9 Best Cold Plunge Tubs for Post-Workout Recovery in 2023

9 Best Cold Plunge Tubs for Post-Workout Recovery in 2023

Best Cold Plunge Tub for First Timers

The Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes with Cover

Ice Bath Tub for Athletes with Cover

Best Cold Plunge Tub for First Timers

The Cold Pod Ice Bath Tub for Athletes with Cover

Pros
  • Inflatable design
  • Excellent value for what you pay
  • Easy to set up and drain
  • Comes with thermal cover
  • Foam insulation to help keep cold in
  • Padded ring is added for comfort
Cons
  • Some might want an ice bath with more space
  • Not as sturdy as a hard plastic or metal ice bath
  • No built-in chiller

The cold plunge movement has birthed many different ice bath designs. At just $100, The Cold Pod has seemed to crack the code on the most efficient and cost effective ice bath design with its Ice Bath Tub model. The inflatable ice bath holds up to 85 gallons and is made with a PVC inner liner, a nylon outer layer, and a middle insulation of pearl foam to keep the the water from losing that chill.

The result is a cost-effective insulation ice bath that caters to all types of individuals, but especially to first timers (since it’s so easy and affordable). The measurements of the tub are 29.5″ x 29.5″ x 29.5″, making it attractive to set up in backyards or training facilities. There’s a drain tap for easy breakdown, as well as padding around the ring of the ice bath to provide added comfort. Did we mention you also get a thermal cover with your purchase?

If you want an ice bath with more room to move, you can upgrade to the larger Athletes XL model from the company. The larger model does cost more, and so if you do want more space, we would recommend looking towards the RubberMade Stock Tank 100 Gallon—it’s cheaper and you will have all the room in the world to move around in the RubberMade. For all other purposes, The Cold Pod hits our mark for a great intro ice bath, as well as a solid choice for anyone who’s looking for a value-driven pick that also saves on space.

Type Inflatable
Dimensions 29.5″ x 29.5″ x 29.5″
Weight (Unfilled) 11 lb.
Power Consumption N/A
Built-in Chiller No

The New & Improved Favorite

Ice Barrel 300

300

The New & Improved Favorite

Ice Barrel 300

Pros
  • Easy to transport, setup, and use
  • New design mades it much easier to step into
  • Sturdy recycled plastic build
  • Insulation with polyurethane foam
  • Cool design
  • Comes with thermal cover
  • Built-in seat
Cons
  • Smaller than the Ice Barrel 400
  • Expensive if you don’t plan on using it a lot
  • No chiller

Ice Barrel has been at the forefront of making cost-friendly ice baths that are also sturdy and portable. The original Ice Barrel 400 we reviewed was quite impressive, as it featured a fun design that literailly looked like a barrel that you would step down into. The Ice Barrel 400 has cosigns from all types of athletes out there. UFC star Michael Chandler especially noted how useful his Ice Barrel 400 is for him in a Six Pack interview he did with us in the spring of 2023.

The one knock on the Ice Barrel 400? Well, the replica barrel design was hard to get into (you needed an actual step to get up into it). The company heard those qualms and went and released a brand new Ice Barrel 300 model, and so far this new design has solidified the Ice Barrel 300 as one our of favorite ice baths overall.

For starters, the ice Ice Barrel 3oo is made with the same strong recycled plastic and insulated with polyurethane foam that’s used in the 400. The Ice Barrel 300 has a much friendlier design to step into, as it’s essentially an Ice Barrel 400 cut in half. This new design on the 300 means the ice bath holds less water (77 gallons to the 105 gallon the 400 can hold) but the 300 still provides enough space for most guys to sit down and get the water up to your neck (35½” W x 30½” H). The Ice Barrel 300 also has a small seat built in for a more comfortable plunging. And just like the Ice Barrel 400, the 300 still has an easy draining function and comes with a thermal top.

The downside of buying an Ice Barrel? They do cost around $1,000, so it’s a significant investment up from something as value-driven as an inflatable ice bath (like The Cold Pod). However, the Ice Barrel is made with much more durable materials and comes in a more comfortable design. You can set an Ice Barrel up outside in your backyard and leave it exposed to the elements, whereas an inflatable ice bath will require you to set it up and break it down more frequently to protect it. Nonetheless, the Ice Barrel is still much more affordable than an ice bath with a built-in chiller. (Speaking of chillers, Ice Barrel plans to release an attachable chiller for the 300 at some point, but for now the 300 still needs to be filled with ice.)

The verdict: if you are committed to plunging on a regular basis, then the Ice Barrel 300 is an awesome ice bath model that’s easy to use and will last a long time.

Type Standard
Dimensions (L x W x H) 35½” x 30½”
Weight (Unfilled) 61 lb.
Power Consumption N/A
Built-in Chiller No

Best Cold Plunge Tub According to Aaron Judge

The Cold Plunge Ice Bath Standard

Ice Bath Standard

Best Cold Plunge Tub According to Aaron Judge

The Cold Plunge Ice Bath Standard

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Can be used as a cold and hot tub
  • Beautiful, Euro-minimalist design
  • High-quality plumber and chiller
  • Used by professional athletes
  • Good for indoor or outdoor use
Cons
  • Requires significant investment

Highlighted by Aaron Judge as one of the six items he can’t live without, The Cold Plunge is what one graduates to when they have become certified ice bath users. It’s pricey, but it’s got everything one would need for year-round ice bath use. We’re talking about a high-quality plumber and chiller and a level of versatility that allows you to change the water into a steamy hot tub if you so choose. Plus, the sleek, Euro-minimalist spa-inspired design will elevate the look of whatever room or backyard space you put this one in.

In our experience cold plunging in this tub, we found it spacious in depth and length yet easy to get into. The sides are easy to hold onto if you can’t bear your hands in the frigid temps, too. Plus, it is secure and reliable for indoor and outdoor use. Available upgrades include an XL-sized model for users over six feet tall and a Pro option that’s built for 100°F+ climates and heavy usage for those who take frequent (read daily) ice baths.

Type Standard
Dimensions 73″L x 32.5″W x 27″H
Weight (Unfilled) ~150 lb.
Built-in Chiller Yes

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

The Cold Plunge Tub You Can Find on Your Uncle’s Farm

Rubbermaid Stock Tank, 100-gallon

On Sale

Stock Tank, 100-gallon

The Cold Plunge Tub You Can Find on Your Uncle’s Farm

Rubbermaid Stock Tank, 100-gallon

Now 58% Off

Pros
  • Under $150
  • Fast, free shipping when in-stock
  • Available in larger stock sizes
  • Easy-to-drain spout on the bottom
  • Long lifespan and easy to move

Maybe you value function over flashy good looks. You want a tub that just gets the job done. If the aesthetics of your ice bath tub aren’t a consideration, all you need is a good, sturdy stock tank. Typically spotted on farms, this Rubbermaid Stock Tank is a popular choice for ice bath enthusiasts all around. The all-business design is incredibly affordable, durable, and easy to get in and out of. All you have to do is fill this bad boy up with ice water and hop in.

It’s big enough for single-person use and deep enough so the water will hit up to your neck. Best of all is the fact that it has a nifty drain at the bottom for easy emptying. The only sacrifice you make by choosing this ice bath is there’s no comfortable sitting or positioning. So, unlike the Odin or Renu Therapy models above, don’t plan on getting a luxurious “spa-like” experience with this tub. But then again, who said ice baths were supposed to be comfortable?

Type Standard
Dimensions (L x W x H) 53″ x 31″ x 25″
Weight 34.6 lb.
Power Consumption N/A
Built-in Chiller No

Best In-Deck Cold Plunge Tub

Renu Therapy The Cold Stoic Classic (Standard Size)

The Cold Stoic Classic (Standard Size)

Best In-Deck Cold Plunge Tub

Renu Therapy The Cold Stoic Classic (Standard Size)

Pros
  • Retains temperature extremely well
  • Great for year-around use
  • Handsome, custom-look aesthetic
  • Easy to get into

A top luxury pick in the ice bath market, Renu Therapy has basically taken the ice bath and turned it into a spa-like experience. The ice tub has its own chiller and plumbing, making it a controlled experience for year-round use. We love the low-profile aesthetic of this model, in particular. Sink it in a cut-out in your deck or position it right off the patio—either way, it integrates seamlessly in design and functionality. It’s the closest thing to a custom-built ice bath or plunge pool, wherever it’s installed in your home or backyard patio setup. Like the Odin, it’s another premium option that’s worth showing off.

Also included is an insulated cover to retain temperature and the option to choose from several fine deck woods, like California Redwood and Pacific Cedar. For around $300, you can also add an integrated Spa Light to the mix for easier nighttime plunges. At nearly $10,000, it’s one of the most expensive ice bathtubs for recovery that we’ve ever seen. But, if only the best will do, this one is definitely worth the splurge.

Type Standard
Dimensions (L x W x H) 64″ x 33″ x 34.25″
Power Consumption 350-500 Watts @ 3-5 Amps
Weight (Unfilled) 375 lb.
Built-in Chiller Yes

Best Inflatable Cold Plunge Tub

Tru Grit Inflatable Ice Bath

Inflatable Ice Bath

Best Inflatable Cold Plunge Tub

Tru Grit Inflatable Ice Bath

Now 20% Off

Pros
  • Inflates in 2-5 minutes via double-action pump
  • Rolls up like a sleeping bag for easy transport
  • Strong, durable design that won’t tip over
  • Repair kit included
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Need to ensure proper storage so liner doesn’t tear or get damaged.
  • Expensive

There are many inflatable ice bath tubs on the market, but the one thing that stands out the most with Tru Grit’s version is its strong and portable design. This ice bath tub can inflate in less than five minutes and comes with a double-action pump, a mat, and a repair kit. This isn’t any ordinary cheapo air-mattress-quality construction. Once filled, the rigid outer shell provides stable inflation so you can move around with ease and not worry about falling out of the tub or water spilling out. Even for taller and heavier users, it’ll maintain its form.

The Tru Grit ice bath also features a spout for draining, and once the entire bath is collapsed it can be rolled up like a sleeping bag. It’s a snap to set up and collapse when you need to make more room. Simply put, this is one of the best inflatable ice bath tubs you’ll actually enjoy setting up and breaking down.

Type Inflatable
Dimensions (L x W x H) 60″ x 30″ x 37″
Weight (Unfilled) 38 lb.
Power Consumption None
Built-in Chiller Yes (Ice & Heat Pump)

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Best Deal Cold Plunge Tub

CO-Z Inflatable Adult Bath Tub

Inflatable Adult Bath Tub

Best Deal Cold Plunge Tub

CO-Z Inflatable Adult Bath Tub

Now 18% Off

Pros
  • Affordable choice for those looking to try cold therapy
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Compact and portable
  • Quick, easy setup
Cons
  • Not very durable. Not a long lifespan.

On the opposite side of the spectrum from the ridiculously premium Odin is this barebones ice bathtub option from CO-Z. This inflatable tub is unique in that it has a longer and more shallow shape than most inflatable options, lending itself well as a sub-$100 reclined option. It won’t give you the same sturdiness as laying down in a Standard Cold Plungebut it’s also far more affordable than any other option. We feel it’s a win on price, portability, and easy setup.

We wouldn’t advise it for just anywhere indoors or outdoors because, well, inflatable options can tear. But it is ideal to use in your walk-in shower, mud room, garage, or outside on your deck. Basically, anywhere you have a smooth, flat surface with enough floor space, you can set this up and take it down in no time. If you’re looking for the simplest and cheapest ice bath tub options, this is your man.

Type Inflatable
Dimensions (L x W x H) 63″ x 33″ x 29.1″
Weight (Unfilled) 5.8 lb.
Power Consumption About the same as an air mattress
Built-in Chiller No

Best Handmade Cold Plunge Tub

Odin Ice Bath Original

Ice Bath Original

Best Handmade Cold Plunge Tub

Odin Ice Bath Original

Pros
  • Made of fine cedar wood
  • Handmade in Australia
  • Can adjust from room temp to 32ºF
  • Comes with insulated lockable spa lid
  • Relatively lightweight for the size
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Takes some time to ship

Handmade in Australia, the Odin is a spa-like option for ice bath lovers who want some serious luxury. If you’re going to have an ice bath on your property that’s ready to use anytime, you’ll want to be sure it isn’t a total eyesore. The Odin will elevate any backyard aesthetic, for sure. The cedar construction and metal belly bands give this a handsome, old-school look you’ll want to show off rather than hide.

Despite the vintage-y look, this ice bath tub is thoroughly modern under the hood. It’s built with its own filtration and sanitation systems and has a digital module to set your preferred temperature. It’s one of the only ice baths made fully out of cedar wood, which explains the price. Yeah, this bath is legit.

At nearly $7k for the base model (which can accommodate a single user up to 6′ 2″), it’s obviously pricey. For bigger guys, the XL option offers a bit extra legroom (~$7,000). If you like to cold plunge as a pair, the dual is a significant but reasonable investment at $12,000. But honestly, you’re not going to find a better or better-looking ice bath tub for post-workout recovery anywhere else. Plus, if you really want to splash out, Odin offers additional upgrades like UV Sanitation, a Hot & Cold Plunge option, and a beefed-up Pro version.

Type Standard
Dimensions (L x W x H) 51.1″ x 49.2″ x 28.0″
Weight (Unfilled) 176.4 lb.
Power Consumption Around 6-8kWh/day (similar amount of power as a large chest freezer)
Built-in Chiller Yes

Best Cold Plunge Tub for Multiple Users

Coleman Ponderosa SaluSpa 2-4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub

On Sale

Ponderosa SaluSpa 2-4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub

Best Cold Plunge Tub for Multiple Users

Coleman Ponderosa SaluSpa 2-4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub

Now 27% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Fits up to 4 people
  • Can be used as a hot tub and cold tub
  • Portable and easy to transport
  • 120 built-in air jets
Cons
  • Design can make it easy for you slide around when sitting
  • Water can easily spill out if leaning on the ledge

The simplest way to hack a hot tub into an ice bath is by going with an inflatable hot tub. Just turn off the hot water feature, fill it with water and ice, and—boom—instant ice bath tub. This tub can maintain temps ranging from 40-104°F, meaning it won’t freeze over or let ambient temperatures in. This is also the only inflatable option we’ve found worthy of a rec that has jets (120 of them, in fact). That means your cold plunge (or hot tub) experience is guaranteed to be more of a spa-like experience.

The best part? You can enjoy your post-workout recovery sessions with friends, partners, or significant others, as this model is roomy enough for up to four people in total, thanks to this ice bath tub’s spacious design and 177-gallon capacity. For well under $1,000 (and often on sale for even less) deliveredwe think this is a pretty good deal. Plus, it’s backed by Coleman’s good name, so you know it’s as reliable as the brand’s rock-solid camping products.

    Type Inflatable
    Dimensions (L x W x H) 25.98” x 70.87” x 70.87”
    Weight (Unfilled) 70.7 lb.
    Power Consumption ~3,000 watts while in use
    Built-in Chiller Yes

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    How to Choose the Best Ice Bath Tub (for You)

    commerce breaker

    We’ve sifted through dozens of ice bath tubs designed for post-recovery workouts to bring you a list of the very best. With most of these tubs requiring a pretty penny, we want to be sure you are as confident in your choice as possible. Consider the following to help guide your decision on which option is worth your hard-earned dough:

    Size and capacity: Consider the size of the ice bath tub to ensure it fits comfortably in your home. Remember: Just because the exterior dimensions seem spacious doesn’t always mean it has a roomy water capacity inside. Determine the maximum number of people who will be using it at one time, and choose a tub with the appropriate capacity.

    Durability: Look for a tub made from sturdy materials that can withstand cold temperatures and regular use. Inflatable options are budget-conscious but may not stand up to long-term outdoor use and storage throughout the seasons. Stainless steel and heavy plastics are popular low-maintenance choices for long-lasting ice bath tubs but typically come with an increased cost and weight.

    Insulation: Check for proper insulation to keep the water cold for longer periods. Good insulation will help maintain the desired temperature and reduce the need for frequent refills of your new ice bath tub.

    Drainage system: A reliable drainage system is essential for easy water removal after your cold plunge session or when you need to refill/clean the tub. The best ice bath tubs often feature a secure and efficient drain at the bottom for easy maintenance.

    Cooling mechanism: Some ice bath tubs come with built-in coolers to bring your bath to temp, while others require ice to cool things down. A cooling mechanism will cost you, but it’ll also ensure your cold plunge is ready to use any time of year with minimal prep.

    Price: Set a budget and compare different options within your price range. You should avoid overspending on unnecessary features, but also be sure your budget accommodates for any must-haves.

    Benefits of Cold Plunging

    commerce breaker

    Despite the popularity cold water immersion has gained for its potential benefits in post-exercise recovery, the current evidence on its effects is mixed, according to Dr. Malek.

    Some studies show positive results in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness and perceived fatigue, but its overall impact on inflammation (the mechanism most perceived benefits have been accredited to) remains unclear.

    Cold water therapy is thought to work through various mechanisms, including vasoconstriction, acting as an analgesic, slowing inflammatory pathways, placebo effects, and hydrostatic pressure. While CWI may help alleviate soreness and fatigue in the 24-96 hours following exercise, reducing the inflammatory response might hinder the body’s adaptation to exercise and stressors, potentially affecting strength and aerobic gains, Dr. Malek explained.

    As for injury prevention, direct evidence linking cryotherapy to injury reduction is lacking, too. However, by decreasing DOMS and fatigue, athletes may experience better muscle performance, which could indirectly influence injury risk.

    “Injuries are complex and multifactorial,” Dr. Malek reminded Men’s Health. “Athletes with intense training schedules may find cold water therapy beneficial in helping them feel well-rested and recovered, thereby affecting their overall performance. Nevertheless, cold water immersion should be used judiciously, especially considering its potential effects on the body’s adaptive response to exercise.”

    What is the Ideal Temperature for an Ice Bath?

    commerce breaker

    “There is no currently agreed-on temperature for optimal results,” explained Dr. Malek. Most tubs range from about 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit, with 40 degrees being a commonly accepted average.

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    How Long Should You Stay in an Ice Bath?

    commerce breaker

    Although there isn’t currently an agreed-upon temperature for optimal results, most research is in agreement about a 5-15 minute rule for cold plunging, with 10 minutes being the average, according to Dr. Malek.

    Are Ice Bath Tubs Worth the Investment?

    This is an image

    You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from taking ice baths. While they have been shown to help with recovery, there are also other potential benefits we mentioned earlier that cold water therapy can provide. If you’re on the fence about investing in an ice bath, go for one of the low cost methods we suggested. If anything, you can also go the old school route and fill your bath tub at home with ice.

    Make sure to continue to read up and educate yourself on the benefits of cold water therapy and ice baths. There’s new and exciting research coming out all the time, so as positive findings come out more innovative ice baths will be continue to be developed.

    Why You Can Trust Us

    commerce breaker

    At Men’s Healthwe take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations.

    Our writers and editors are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions as certified trainers and fitness experts to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality. Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage, which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    How We Selected the Best Ice Bath Tubs

    ice baths

    For the past year, we consulted with Men’s Health‘s editors and writers on the top ice baths for cold water therapy. Experts, including Fitness and Commerce Editor Talene Appleton, NASM, Gear and Commerce Editor John Thompson, tried several ice baths and evaluated their cost, durability, ease-of-use, and design. Because we couldn’t test every ice bath out there, we also considered top-reviewed ice baths from physical therapy experts we trust.

    Headshot of John Thompson

    John Thompson

    Gear and Commerce Editor

    John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at BroBible.comand a commerce writer for TheManual.com. His interests include attending concerts, spending time outside, and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals.

    Headshot of Talene Appleton, NASM-CPT

    Fitness and Commerce Editor

    Talene Appleton is a fitness and food writer and editor, certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT), and former professional dancer based in New York City. Passionate about both exercise and cuisine, she merges her fitness, nutrition and culinary expertise with the goal of motivating others to embrace balanced healthy living. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, General Surgery News, The Food Institute, The Nessieand more.

    Read More

    You May Also Like