In the past few years, the idea of cold plunging has taken the fitness and social media world by storm. You can barely open Instagram without seeing somebody doing a cold plunge or jumping into an ice bath.
As an athlete training for many different priorities (Ultramarathons, Hyrox, & Section Hiking the Appalachian Trail), the idea of speeding up recovery has been something I have been interested in for years.
I got turned onto the benefits of cold exposure by Wim Hof in 2018, starting with a cold shower and progressing onto cold plunging. I’ve been addicted to cold water ever since and cold plunging is one of my favorite recovery strategies.
With the increase in popularity over the last few years, there have been many new companies entering the cold plunge space and offering variations of cold tubs.
While you can start with a cold shower, ice baths, or even a DIY cold plunge…There comes a time where it makes sense to invest in a professional grade cold plunge tub.
I’ve been fortunate to try many different cold tubs on the market and have reviewed my favorite cold plunge tubs in this article.
If the idea of jumping in near freezing water interests you, below are the 5 Best Cold Plunge Tubs for Recovery in 2023!
Best Cold Plunge Tubs in 2023
Plunge is probably the most recognizable brand in the cold plunge industry and was one of the first businesses to launch in the space. Launching in the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Plunge gained national exposure on Shark Tank (and got a deal with Robert Herjavec).
“The Plunge” is the flagship cold therapy product from Plunge and is my choice for Best Overall Cold Plunge Tub of 2023. I’ve used this product many times and it is my favorite option for cold water exposure.
This unit can reach water temperatures of 39F and the water is constantly moving via their circular filtration technology. Since the water is always moving – The Plunge feels WAY colder than ice baths or other cold plunge tubs on this list.
One potential downside of The Plunge is that some people could consider it fairly noisy. Based on my experience – The Plunge is about as loud as an air conditioner unit. If you are going to keep it outside, the noise is a non-issue in my opinion.
Overall – The Plunge is the best cold plunge tub on the market in my opinion when you consider cost, effectiveness, and overall quality of the product.
- Cools the water temperature to 39F & water constantly flows via circular filtration (making the plunge extra challenging)
- Top of the line Freedom Technology to ensure water is kept clean. Uses a 20Micron filter and ozone sanitation to clean out floating debris and keeps water clean for up to six months.
- 67″x 31.5″ 24″ (LWH)
- 150lbs Empty
- Designed for indoor or outdoor use & can be kept outside in the elements.
- Super easy setup – No plumbing or special wiring required (works with a standard 110v outlet). Water can be filled with a garden hose.
- Offers upgraded heating option to turn The Plunge into a hot tub
- Comes with: Insulated Spa Cover, Skimmer Net, & Cell Phone holder
- 1 Year Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you are looking to take your cold water exposure game to the next level, I recommend The Plunge as the best cold tub option of 2023.
The Plunge is super sleek looking and the overall quality of this cold tub is top of the line. Setup is super easy with free in-home delivery & removal of packaging.
My recommendation is to purchase the base model (Standard – The Plunge) and not add the heating option. It takes several hours for this unit to switch from hot/cold, so I would skip the heating option.
Bottom Line – This cold plunge tub from Plunge is a best in class option & highly recommended.
Nordic Wave is a company that is working to bring sleek modern style to the cold plunge world.
Their flagship product “The Viking” is unique in 2 ways:
- Beautiful modern design with a low profile/footprint
- Vertical design allows you to sit upright rather than on your back
This cold plunge tub can reach low temperatures in the upper 30s and is built with foam insulated walls to help reduce energy costs. Nordic Wave estimates monthly energy costs of $15 to $25 for The Viking.
The Viking performs as well as any cold plunge on the list in terms of temperature regulation, but its sleek design takes this cold plunge tub to the next level (and with a bit of a higher price point).
- Beautiful sleek design offered in 3 different colors
- Reaches cold temperatures in the high 30s & has 2″ foam insulated walls to lower energy costs.
- Dimensions: 36″x30″x41″ (WDH)
- Weight (empty): 60lbs
- Small Footprint – Vertical upright design in comparison to bathtub style design from other brands
- 2 Year warranty on the chiller and 5 year warranty on the tub
- Can plug into a standard 120v outlet & has dedicated drain valve for easy draining
- Comes with: External Chiller, matching step stool, and insulated lid.
The Viking from Nordic Wave is the best vertical/upright cold plunge tub that I have found and it is also offers the most impressive design.
This cold plunge tub is best for someone who wants to sit upright while doing a cold plunge and wants their cold plunge tub to be sleek/low profile.
The Pod Company burst onto the cold plunge scene in 2022 and brings a super unique offering to the space – Affordable and budget friendly cold plunge tubs.
Their first product was The Ice Pod, which is simply a super portable and affordable ice bath. This super lightweight option weighs only 7lbs and can easily be transported from one place to another.
The Pod Company recently upgraded their offerings, including adding 2 external chiller options that can connect directly to The Ice Pod.
This means that you can set up a super legitimate cold plunge tub for about 1/3 of the cost of other options on this list by going with The Pod Company.
For anyone looking to to get into the practice of cold exposure, I would recommend starting with The Pod Company and specifically:
- Buy the IcePod Pro 2.0 and start of simply with a daily ice bath
- Add the external chiller if you are looking to take cold exposure more seriously
- Extremely portable and lightweight ice bath that offers the ability to add an external chiller later on
- Two ice bath options, both designed for indoor or outdoor use:
- Option 1 – Standard Icepod: Baseline model that holds water temperature for ~24 hours
- Option 2 – Icepod Pro: Upgraded model that holds water temperature for multiple days and is made of UV resistant material for outdoor sun exposure
- 32 inches (Diamater) x 29 Inches (Height)
- Weight: 7 lb (3 kg)
- Offers 100 Day Return Policy for IcePod and 30 Day Return Policy for External chillers
The IcePod Pro 2.0 + Water Chiller is the best budget friendly option on this list. You can have a daily cold plunge setup for 1/3 of the cost of other options on this list.
This is also an excellent option for anyone that is going to cold plunge in multiple places and wants their cold plunge tub to be portable. Weighing at just 7lbs for the ice bath unit, this is a super minimalist option.
I recommend The Pod Company to anyone that does not want to make a huge financial commitment and spend multiple thousands of dollars like some of the other cold plunge tubs on this list.
Blue Cube is a company based in Central Oregon that hand crafts high end luxury cold plunge tubs.
The Blue Cube cold plunge is part cold plunge tub and part high end piece of hand crafted art. These are built with amazing wood craftsmanship and is the clear favorite luxury option. Joe Rogan has openly talked on his Podcast about how amazing the Blue Cube cold plunge is and how he uses it weekly.
The Blue Cube Mini-Me is my choice for top luxury cold plunge tub.
- Cools to 36°- 70° degrees
- Electrical hookup: 120 V 20 AMP dedicated electric line
- Cylindrical washable filter
- Micron 5-10 filter balls and ozone
- Runs 24/7, always ready for you and your family
- 120 V 20 AMP dedicated electric line
- 1 horsepower chilling motor
- 3/4 horsepower jet pump
- 14 Gauge Stainless Steel Tub
- Hickory, padauk, wenge wood deck & Birch plywood sides
- Spa cover
If you are looking for the best luxury cold plunge tub on the market, look no further than the Blue Cube Mini Me.
This cold plunge will be a centerpiece in your house or gym and should be treated like a work of art that you want to show off.
Best Overall Design Cold Plunge: Renu Cold Plunge – Cold Stoic 2.0
Renu Therapy is another cold therapy company that launched in 2020 and they offer many different recovery products. From cold plunge tubs, to saunas, to hot soaks (think hot tub)..Renu takes recovery seriously.
The Renu Cold Plunge is a beautiful piece of equipment made from customizable wood and color options. This is a great piece of equipment to show off in your backyard or at your gym.
This Renu Cold Plunge is extremely rugged and built for harsh conditions. This cold plunge rates at the lowest overall temperature of any other option on this list, reaching temperatures of 36 degrees.
If you are looking for a more expensive cold plunge option and aren’t ready to go for the Blue Cube, the Renu Cold Plunge is your next best bet.
- Water temperatures as low as 36 degrees
- Customizable across 6 base colors and 4 wood deck colors
- Comes with: Cold Stoic 2.0 Tank, Integrated Chiller, Step Stool, & insulated cover
- Super Rugged – Weatherproof design for outdoor or indoor use
- Exterior Dimensions: L 70” x W 33” x H 35″
- Tank Dimensions: L 40″ x W 25″ x H 31″
- Dry Weight: 350 pounds (159 Kg)
- Used standard 110v volt
- Made in USA & comes with a 5 year Warranty
The Renu Cold Plunge produces ice cold water (36 degrees) in a beautiful cold plunge tub. Customize your cold plunge with 6 different color options and 4 wood deck choices.
If you want a top of the line luxury cold plunge and are not ready to go for the Blue Cube, the Renu Cold Plunge is your best option.
Best Ice Bath: Ice Barrel 400
Ice Barrel is one of the most popular options in the cold plunge world, but I want to distinguish the Ice Barrel from the other options on this list.
The Ice Barrel is a sleek looking and well designed ice bath. It is NOT a cold plunge that offers automated chilling of the water via a external chiller (Aka you need to buy ice when you use it).
If you are not interested in spending multiple thousands of dollars for a cold plunge with temperature settings, the Ice Barrel is a fantastic option as a Ice Bath only.
The Ice Barrel is a vertical (upright) ice bath and because of this has a very low profile. It is perfect for placing in small spaces like a garage, a gym, or even the side of your house.
If purchasing ice to get your cold plunge fix is not an issue for you, I do recommend the Ice Barrel as it is built with very high quality materials.
Simply add ice and fill up the Ice Barrel with a standard garden hose and you’re ready for cold therapy!
- Upright design that is easy to get into with a step stool
- Made from non-toxic BPA free medical grade material.
- W 31” x H 42” (Fits most body types up to 6’6” and 300 pounds)
- 55 lbs. when empty (930 lbs. when full)
- Comes with: Ice Barrel, Stand, Insulated Lid, Matching step stool, and protective cover
- Made in USA & offers limited lifetime warranty
If you don’t mind purchasing ice, the Ice Barrel is a great cold therapy option and is the best ice bath available on the market.
If you live in a area with limited space or are looking to use it on a balcony, the Ice Barrel ice tub has a super low profile. You only need about 5 square feet to use this ice tub.
What is Cold Plunging?
A cold plunge is the act of submerging your body in cold water (59 degrees Fahrenheit or less) for an extended period of time. Cold plunges are an incredible tool for boosting the health of the body and mind.
Benefits of the Cold Plunge
There are many potential benefits of cold plunging, including:
- Improved circulation: Cold water can help to improve circulation by constricting blood vessels and then dilating them again. This can help to flush out toxins and improve blood flow throughout the body.
- Reduced inflammation: Cold water can help to reduce inflammation by suppressing the production of inflammatory chemicals. This can be beneficial for people with conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and chronic pain.
- Boosted immune system: Cold water can help to boost the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. This can help to fight off infections and keep you healthy.
- Improved mood: Cold water can help to improve mood by increasing the production of endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. This can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Increased energy levels: Cold water can help to increase energy levels by stimulating the production of brown fat. Brown fat is a type of fat that burns calories and produces heat.
- Improved athletic performance: Cold water can help to improve athletic performance by reducing muscle soreness and inflammation. This can help you to recover from workouts more quickly and perform better at your next workout.
How to Cold Plunge
If you are interested in trying cold plunging, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Start slowly: If you are new to cold plunging, it is important to start slowly. Start with a short period of time (2-3 minutes) and gradually increase the time as you get more comfortable.
- Get gradually colder: If you are jumping into a cold lake or ocean, it is best to get gradually colder. Start by dipping your feet in the water and then gradually work your way up to your waist and chest.
- Breathe deeply: When you first get into the cold water, it is important to breathe deeply. This will help to reduce the shock to your body and make the experience more tolerable.
- Warm up afterwards: After you cold plunge, it is important to warm up your body. You can do this by taking a hot shower or bath, drinking warm fluids, or exercising.
Safety Precautions of Cold Plunging
There are a few safety precautions you should take when cold plunging:
- Do not cold plunge if you are feeling unwell: If you are feeling sick, it is best to avoid cold plunging. This is because the cold water can stress your body and make you feel worse.
- Do not cold plunge if you have a heart condition: If you have a heart condition, you should talk to your doctor before cold plunging. Cold water can stress your heart and make your condition worse.
- Do not cold plunge if you are pregnant: If you are pregnant, you should avoid cold plunging. Cold water can constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the placenta.