What to Look for in a Cold Plunge Tub

Timothy Munene Timothy Munene
What to Look for in a Cold Plunge Tub

Whether to buy a cold plunge tub or not can be a difficult decision, especially with the numerous options available today. If you’re buying the unit for the first time, you probably would want to start with something basic.

However, buying an advanced upfront investment can help you enjoy the overall benefits of your cold plunge tub for longer. To help you choose the best cold plunge tub for your home here are factors you should include in your search.

1.    Do you Want to Build or Buy?

If you want to use an ice bath regularly, then a DIY cold plunge tub can be a cheap option. There are various materials you can use for your DIY tub. For example, some people repurpose an old rain barrel, chest freezer, or trash can into a cold plunge tub. But there’s a downside to DIY tubs.

Keeping the water inside sanitary and cold can be challenging. Due to this, DIY cold plunge tubs need frequent water changes, driving your water costs over the roof, and reducing their usability while increasing their maintenance requirements.

Buying a cold plunge tub with chiller would be less hazardous and more convenient as the water maintains your desired temperature and sanitary. 

2.     Cooling Performance and Temperature Control

One of the most crucial aspects of a cold plunge tub is its ability to achieve and maintain the desired water temperature. Keeping the water in the tub at above freezing level may be easier based on where you live, especially during the colder months of the year.

If you live in warmer areas you must buy a cold plunge tub with chiller to keep the water cold all the time. An efficient chiller is a convenient way of keeping the water at your desired temperature. What’s more, you can leverage the chiller to change the water temperature accordingly. 

3.    Cost

The cost of a cold plunge tub depends on its cooling performance, filtration, size, and materials. The amount you pay for your tub should match its convenience and the quality of materials used. Some of the cheapest plunges are inflatable tubs, which keep the water cold for a limited time.

While some tubs may come with external chillers, they have no filtration capabilities. On the other hand, high-end cold plunge tubs are made using high-quality materials such as aerospace rubber or acrylic.

They also come with a chiller to maintain the desired water temperature and keep it sanitary round the clock. Remember, the more convenience a cold plunge tub offers, the more expensive it is.

4.    Water Filtration

Water filtration is a critical part of your cold plunging practice. After all, frequent water changes take lots of time and can be expensive. Choose the best cold plunge tub that can keep the water sanitary without requiring lots of ongoing maintenance.

Some of the cold plunge tubs in the market come with built-in water filtration features. Usually, these features leverage ozone and a sediment filter to kill pathogens and remove debris that could be hazardous to your health. Some chillers may feature a UV lamp to destroy organic compounds such as bacteria and algae.

If you choose a chiller with a UV lamp it's important to know that these lamps have a limited lifespan, meaning you’ll need to replace them regularly. If the cold plunge tub you choose has no chiller you can opt for toxic-free water treatment products. This way, you won’t need to change the water in the tub frequently. For convenience, choose a cold plunge tub with a chiller or connections for the chiller so you can include it in the future. 

5.    Capacity and Size

To enjoy the optimal benefits of cold water immersion you must submerge your body, save for the neck. Ensure the tub you choose has the right capacity to fit your entire body based on your weight and height. Cold plunge tubs come in varying styles. Regardless of the style, consider buying the biggest tub that fits your budget for more convenience. 

6.    Insulation

Fully insulated cold plunge tubs keep the water cold for longer than those without insulation. Whether you buy or build a tub, having an insulated one is important, especially if you are working on a budget and can afford a chiller.

That way, you’ll ensure the water maintains the desired temperature for longer. If you live in winter-prone areas, an insulated cold plunge tub will prevent the water from turning into ice. Again, an insulated tub doesn’t generate condensation, which can be a challenge if you plan to use it indoors. 

7.    Material and Durability

A stainless steel cold plunge tub can last longer, and so can one made of acrylic, durable plastic such as LLDPE, and aerospace-grade rubber. 

8.    Portability

Portability is a crucial factor to consider, especially if you’ve yet to identify a dedicated location for your cold plunge tub or are considering moving houses. In this case, an inflatable cold plunge tub made using durable materials can be easy to move around. 

9.     Aesthetics

While cold plunge tubs are available in different designs, you want to choose one that looks appealing in your environment. 

10.     Safety Features

Cold plunging can be a dangerous activity when done incorrectly. For instance, failure to unplug your cold plunge tub with chiller before getting in puts you at risk of electrocution, especially if it's faulty.

Ensure the tub you choose has a chiller with a dedicated ground fault circuit interrupter switch. The switch is designed to disconnect power to the chiller should an electrical problem arise. Besides electrocution, there is a danger of slipping and falling while entering the cold plunge tub. To prevent this, consider buying a non-slip pad to help you enter and exit the tub with wet feet. Some cold plunge tubs feature step stools, making getting in and out of the unit easier. 

11.     Warranty and Brand Reputation

Before buying a cold plunge tub, research around and choose a reputable brand with excellent customer support and a smooth warranty process. It is worth mentioning that cold plunging started gaining popularity not many years ago. This means there are few brands with a reputable history to rely on.

Still, some high-end brands are available in the market that offer a prolonged warranty period, excellent customer support, and after-sales services. Research extensively and read reviews from previous customers to make an informed buying decision. 


Depending on where you’re buying your cold plunge tub from, you want to consider the shipping process. How bulky or heavy is the unit? Shipping large cold plunge tubs can be costly. Of course, some brands may offer free shipping. However, it’s important to establish the shipping fees when comparing different cold plunge tubs.

If the brand offers free shipping, it’s important to determine where they will drop your product off. Some companies deliver your tub to your doorstep while others offer curbside delivery, meaning you’ll need to hire someone to transport the unit to your backyard. 


The cold plunge tub industry has burgeoned in the last few years, and choosing the right unit for your needs goes a long way toward improving your overall experience. Use the factors we’ve discussed above as a guide to help you make an informed buying decision. 

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