Best Cold Plunge Tubs of 2024 - Tested by Experts

Jacky Bardoquillo Jacky Bardoquillo
Best Cold Plunge tub 2024

Looking for the best cold plunge tub to kickstart your recovery routine? As summer heats up, there's no better way to cool down and boost your body and mind than with an invigorating cold plunge. We've put together this guide to help you find the best cold plunge tub for your needs.

Our team of experts has tested and reviewed the top options for 2024, covering everything from simple DIY tubs to high-end models with built-in chillers. This post is a must-read if you are an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or just looking to improve your overall health. Learn how you choose the perfect cold plunge tub to fit your lifestyle and budget.

What Is a Cold Plunge?

A cold plunge, also known as cold water immersion, is when you dip your entire body in cold water. You can do a cold plunge in a natural setting like lakes or oceans but most prefer the convenience of a specially designed cold plunge tub. These tubs come in various forms like simple inflatable models or advanced units with built-in cooling systems.

One type of cold plunge is an ice bath, which uses very cold water or actual ice.  The ultimate goal of a cold plunge is to expose your body to cold temperatures for potential health benefits. Having the best equipment always plays a role in the effectiveness of your cold plunge.

The Key Benefits of a Cold Plunge

A Cold water immersion provides the following benefits:

Reduce inflammation

Cold water exposure can help decrease swelling in your body. This is especially helpful for athletes or those with chronic inflammation.

Increase release of norepinephrine

Cold plunges stimulate the production of this hormone. Norepinephrine can boost mood and increase focus.

Cold Plunges Enhance recovery

Cold water immersion may speed up muscle recovery after intense workouts. It can help reduce soreness and get you back to training faster.

Boost mental resilience

Regular cold plunges can strengthen your mental toughness. Overcoming the initial shock of cold water builds psychological resilience.

Improve sleep quality

Many users report better sleep after cold plunges. The practice may help regulate your body temperature and promote deeper rest.

Increase energy levels

Cold water causes blood vessels to constrict and then dilate. This process can improve circulation and leave you feeling energized. Increase energy levels due to blood vessel constriction and dilation.

“Cold water immersion can help with muscle recovery…and provides less perceived [muscle] soreness.”  Dr. Michael Masi, is a physical therapy doctor, expert on cold plunge tubs, and strength conditioning coach.

Dr. Michael Masi, a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and strength coach, points out that ice baths are particularly beneficial for athletes.

“Cold water immersion can help with muscle recovery because it reduces the inflammation from working out and provides less perceived soreness,” says Mike. “In reality, inflammation is a natural response to aid muscle growth.”

Full-body cold water immersion can aid in muscle recovery and muscle growth due to its ability to tame inflammation.

5 Best Cold Plunge Tubs Of 2024

These are the best cold plunge tabs handpicked by our experts for 2024:

Best Cold Plunge Overall: Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro

Pros

  • The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro lowers temperature to 32°F, which is significantly lower than other models.
  • Superior filtration apparatus.
  • Ice-making mode to create ice blocks on top of the water for a true ice bath experience
  • High-quality materials that work well in challenging environments both indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • The cost is high.
  • The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro Has no warming capability

Table: Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro Specifications

Temperature 

28°F (0°C) - ambient 

Dimensions

34 x 78 x 33 inches

Weight of Tub

345 lbs

The volume of the Tub

150 Gallons in the Tub

Chiller Motor Power

1 horsepower 20-micron 

Features

The robust external coating is made to endure hard environments and is intended for both indoor and outdoor use.

Simple draining and cleaning mechanism for the bathtub

Water quality and plunge experience are optimized by the built-in circulation pump.

Warranty

1 year

Cost

$8,899

 

Our top choice this year for best cold plunge tubs is the Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro. This is a top choice for cold plunges featuring a chiller capable of delivering water at 32°F (0°C). This makes it ideal for cold exposure and elite athletes. It also includes UV sanitation, a self-priming system, and LED lighting.

Trusted by teams and major sporting organizations, the Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro offers luxury, precision, and easy drain systems. Our experts were convinced that it is a reliable choice for those seeking a luxurious cold plunge experience.

The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro stood out to our experts this year with its ability to create a true ice bath experience. It has a unique ice-making mode which forms ice blocks on top of the water to provide an intense cold therapy session. 

This cold plunge tub also comes with the capacity to lower water temperature to an impressive 32°F which makes it an ideal choice for serious athletes and cold therapy enthusiasts seeking maximum benefits.

The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro is designed for both indoor and outdoor use which explains why it is built with high-quality materials that can withstand challenging environments. Its robust external coating ensures durability in various settings and the built-in circulation pump optimizes water quality to give you a quality plunge experience.

Last but not least, this cold tub is equipped with easy draining and cleaning mechanisms which offer convenience alongside its advanced features. All these features and capabilities make it a top contender in the cold plunge tub market in 2024.

Best Portable Cold Plunge: Sun Home Cold Plunge - Portable Ice Bath with Chiller

Portable cold plunges are ideal for those who value flexibility and space-saving solutions. They're perfect for athletes who travel frequently, people with limited room at home, or anyone who wants to enjoy cold therapy in different locations without the commitment of a permanent installation.

Our top choice for the best portable cold plunge this year is the Sun Home Cold Plunge- Portable Ice Bath with Chiller. Here is why we chose it and things to look out for:

Pros

  • Suitable for both hot and cold baths.
  • For an inflatable tub, this is incredibly robust thanks to military-grade materials.
  • The smart chiller runs quickly.
  • Folds into a rucksack even though it is XL roomy when placed.

Cons

  • Can be heavy when filled with water

Table: Sun Home Cold Plunge-Portable Ice Bath with Chiller Specifications

Temperature 

37.5F -104F adjustable

Dimensions

LWH: 6.4 x 2.3 x 2.1 feet

Weight of Tub

15.5 lbs

The volume of the Tub

95 gallons (360 liters)

Weight of Chiller 

88 lbs

Features

Pro athletes up to 6' 8" use our XL large full-body tub.

 

Enabled your mobile app to operate your plunge remotely from any location.

Integrated self-priming mechanism.

Warranty

1 year

Cost

$4,399

 

The portable Sun Home Cold Plunge portable ice bath paired with a chiller offers excellent versatility which makes it ideal for both hot and cold therapy needs. Its temperature range of 37.5°F to 104°F allows you to customize your experience whether you are seeking intense cold exposure or a soothing warm soak. Despite its portability, this XL-sized tub can accommodate pro athletes up to 6'8" tall for a full-body immersion experience.

One of the standout features of this portable ice bath is its smart technology integration. You can control your plunge remotely via a mobile app, and adjust temperature, filtration, and sanitation settings from anywhere. This level of convenience,  its military-grade durability and integrated self-priming mechanism made the Sun Home Portable Ice Bath our top choice for those seeking a portable but high-end, adaptable cold plunge solution.

Best Budget Cold Plunge: Yukon Cold Plunge Tub

If you are on a budget but still need a quality cold plunge tub, we recommend the Yukon Cold Plunge tub. Here are some of its advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • The design is comfy and roomy once installed, and it is portable and simple to set up
  • Even with a chiller, you can travel this plunge with ease
  • Both the versions with and without a chiller have excellent value

Cons

  • If there is no filter, you will need to replace the water more often.
  • The tub is reasonably priced, but if you want the chiller option, the cost goes up to over $3,000.

Table: Yukon Cold Plunge Tub Specifications

Dimensions

LWH: 59 x 31 x 23 feet

Weight

30 pounds

Chiller

Optional

Volume

120 gallons

Features

Tub cover, air pump, and carrying bag

Warranty

1 year

Cost

$899 for the tub alone, $4,598 for the heater and chiller

The Yukon is a high-quality, portable, and cost-effective inflatable cold plunge suitable for camping trips or weekend retreats. It weighs 30 pounds and comes with an air pump, insulated cover, and backpack carrying bag. The price includes a chiller for $4,598.

Our experts think the Yukon Cold Plunge Tub offers an excellent balance of portability and comfort. It has a spacious design that provides ample room for a relaxing cold plunge and its lightweight construction makes it easy to transport. This versatility makes it perfect for both home use and outdoor adventures.

While the basic model is affordably priced, Yukon offers an optional chiller for those seeking precise temperature control. This add-on significantly enhances the tub's functionality, though it does increase the overall cost.  We think the Yukon Cold Plunge Tub is a great choice for its blend of simplicity and effectiveness despite the lack of a built-in filter in the base model.

Best Budget Cold Plunge: Cold Pod Ice Bath

 

Budget cold plunges are hard to find so our experts thought it wise to add one more to our recommended list this year and it’s the highly capable Cold Pod Ice Bath. Here is a summary of reasons why we recommend it:

Pros

  • Cheapest cold plunge on the market
  • Easy setup and assembly
  • No expertise required
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Flimsy and breaks easily
  • No chiller
  • Requires user to purchase ice

Table: Cold Pod Ice Bath Specifications

Temperature 

N/A - ice needed

Dimensions

LWH: 6.4 x 2.3 x 2.1 feet

Weight of Tub

15.5 lbs

The volume of the Tub

95 gallons (360 liters)

Weight of Chiller 

88 lbs

Features

 Insulated, Portable

Warranty

1 Year

Cost

$159

 

The Cold Pod Ice Bath stood out to our experts this year as the most budget-friendly option in the cold plunge market. Its simple design and easy setup make it an excellent choice for beginners or those who want to try cold plunging without a significant investment. The tub's lightweight nature adds to its appeal for users who prioritize portability.

However, the Cold Pod's affordability comes with some trade-offs. The lack of a built-in chiller means you need to add ice manually to achieve your desired temperatures. Additionally, its construction may not be as durable as more expensive models. Despite these limitations, we think the Cold Pod Ice Bath offers an accessible entry point into the world of cold plunging.

Best DIY Cold Plunge: Tuff Stuff 110 Gal

A DIY cold plunge option is perfect if you are really tight on your budget or enjoy customizing your wellness tools. It allows you to experience the benefits of cold therapy without a significant financial investment and is an excellent starting point if you are a beginner or occasional cold plunger.

Our recommended DIY cold plunge starter kit this year is the Tuff Stuff 110 Gal. Here is why we recommend it:

Pros

  • The cheapest option on the market
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Very light and portable
  • Easy to dispose of

Cons

  • Can be heavy when filled with water
  • No filtration system
  • No chiller
  • Cheap plastic

Table: Tuff Stuff 110 Gal Specifications

Temperature 

N/A - requires ice 

Dimensions

LWH: 6.4 x 2.3 x 2.1 feet

Weight of Tub

15.5 lbs

The volume of the Tub

95 gallons (360 liters)

Weight of Chiller 

88 lbs

Features

Plastic material makes the cold plunge tub lightweight

 

 

Warranty

1 year

 

The Tuff Stuff 110-Gal cold plunge tub is the ultimate budget-friendly DIY option. Its simple plastic construction makes it extremely lightweight and easy to move which is ideal for those who need flexibility in their cold plunge setup. The tub's design allows for easy entry and exit, enhancing the user experience despite its basic nature.

While the Tuff Stuff lacks advanced features like a filtration system or chiller, its low price point makes it an attractive option for cold plunge beginners. You will need to manually add ice and frequently change the water. However, if you are willing to put in a bit more effort, this tub offers a very affordable way to start experiencing the benefits of cold plunging.

Choosing the Best Cold Plunge Tub: Factors to Consider

These are some of the factors you must consider before you buy a cold plunge tub in 2024. Make the right choice!

Size and capacity

Consider the tub's dimensions and water volume. Ensure it fits comfortably in your space and accommodates your body size. Larger tubs offer more freedom of movement but require more water and energy to cool.

Temperature control features

Look for tubs with precise temperature control. Some models offer adjustable temperatures, while others may require manual ice addition. Advanced chillers can maintain consistent temperatures for extended periods.

Insulation Quality

Good insulation helps maintain the desired water temperature. It reduces energy consumption and operating costs. High-quality insulation also allows for outdoor use in various climates.

Durability and material

Choose materials that withstand frequent use and exposure to water. Stainless steel and high-grade plastics are popular choices. Consider the tub's weight capacity and overall build quality.

Portability vs. permanent installation

 Decide whether you need a portable or fixed tub. Portable options offer flexibility but may have fewer features. Permanent installations often provide more advanced capabilities but require dedicated space.

Filtration and sanitation systems

Choose tubs with built-in filtration to maintain water cleanliness. UV sterilization or ozone systems can enhance water quality. Effective sanitation reduces maintenance frequency and ensures a hygienic plunge experience.

Ease of maintenance and cleaning

Look for tubs with simple drainage systems. Easy-to-clean surfaces and removable parts are beneficial. Consider the frequency and complexity of required maintenance tasks.

Additional features

Some tubs offer extras like LED lighting or smartphone controls. These can enhance user experience but may increase cost. Prioritize features that align with your specific needs and preferences.

Energy efficiency

Consider the tub's power consumption, especially for models with chillers. Energy-efficient options can significantly reduce operating costs. Look for tubs with good insulation and smart power management features.

Price and warranty

Set a budget that balances the cold plunge tub’s features with affordability. Compare warranties across different models and brands. Consider long-term value, including potential maintenance and operating costs.

FAQs

What is the best cold plunge routine?

The optimal cold plunge routine typically involves starting with 1-2 minutes and gradually increasing to 5-10 minutes as your body adapts. It's best done after a workout or physical activity, 2-3 times a week for beginners, increasing frequency as tolerated.

How do I choose a cold plunge?

Select a cold plunge based on size, insulation, temperature control features, and durability. If you have the budget, ensure that you select a cold plunge tub that includes a filtration system and a built-in chiller. Consider your available space, how cold you want the water, and whether you prefer a portable model or a permanent fixture.

Is a 5-minute cold plunge good?

Yes, a 5-minute cold plunge can be beneficial, helping to reduce muscle inflammation, improve circulation, and potentially boost mental alertness. It's a good duration for those accustomed to cold exposure. The ideal duration for a cold plunge session is 2-5 minutes and the best temperature for a cold plunge is 32-50 F

Is it OK to cold plunge every day?

Yes, it is generally safe for healthy individuals to cold plunge every day. However, listen to your body and allow time for adjustment, especially if you are new to cold exposure.

Do cold plunges burn fat?

Cold plunges can stimulate the production of brown fat, which helps burn calories to generate heat. However, they should not be relied upon as a primary method for weight loss.

Are there any dangers to cold plunge?

While cold plunges are safe for most people, they can pose risks for individuals with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or a history of strokes.

It's recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a cold plunge routine, especially for those with health concerns.

Do Cold Plunge Tubs Burn Fat?

There are many proven benefits of an ice bath, and a few potential benefits of taking a cold plunge that still need to be explored further. Weight loss falls into the latter category. 

A study published in Scientific Reports found that stem cells subjected to cold temperatures formed brown fat, which can increase calorie burn.

Research on mice shows similar results, with brown fat activating in cold temperatures. Data also suggests that ongoing cold exposure can help convert white fat into metabolically healthy beige or brown fat.

As functional medicine expert Laura DeCesaris previously said "More data needs to be seen as to possible long-term metabolic impacts of cold immersion over time."

She says sporadic sessions are unlikely to improve results—and it's important to remember that an increased metabolism won't lead to weight loss if appetite and calorie consumption also increase.

Talk to us

The 5 best cold plunge practices emphasize the transformative power of cold exposure on health, vitality, and resilience. By incorporating these practices into daily routines, such as investing in a cold plunge pool, embracing natural cold water immersion, or starting with cold showers,

We can activate a host of health benefits, such as enhanced immunity, better mental clarity, and increased circulation.

Sharing our journey with friends and family encourages a personal and communal path to wellness.

Visit Sun Home Saunas for the best selection of premium cold plunge tubs and ice baths.

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