Best Cold Plunge Review 2024

best cold plunge barrels - independent reviews

We review the best cold plunge tub of 2024. Check out our independent reviews and cold plunge barrel buyer’s guide below. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about buying a cold plunge tub for your home.


COLD PLUNGE BARRELS INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

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sun home cold plunge ice bath product overview pros and cons

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redwood outdoors cold plunge product overview, pros, cons

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the plunge cold plunge tub product overview pros cons


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ice barrel 300 product overview pros cons


In This Article

Full Reviews


COLD PLUNGE TUB BUYER’S GUIDE

You’re in the market for a cold plunge tub for your home. But you need more information before you part with your hard-earned cash. Take a look at our buyer’s guide below. We cover everything you need to know to find the best cold plunge for you and your home.

lady smiling and gesturing happily

1: TYPE OF TUB

What kind of cold plunge tub are you looking for? Do you want one you can sit in? Or, do you want one you can lie down in? The latter will be a much bigger tub and take up more space. Do you want a tub that allows you to dip your head under the water? Should there be a bench inside that you can sit on? These are key design questions you should consider before purchasing an ice bath.

• Indoor vs Outdoor
Do you want an indoor or outdoor cold plunge barrel? Some devices can be used in either setting. Outdoor tubs are great for connecting with nature and the great outdoors.

• Portable Cold Plunge Tubs
These tubs are either inflatable or foldable and can be easily set up and packed away. They are ideal for homes with limited space.

• Barrel Cold Plunges
These devices are usually wood-made and have a traditional, rustic appearance. The barrels are filled with cold water and sometimes ice. They are typically used outdoors.

• Water Chillers
The best cold plunge baths come complete with water chillers. These allow you to reduce the water temperature without the need for adding ice.

2: TEMPERATURE CONTROL

The best cold water baths come with water chillers and temperature controls. This gives you complete control over the water temperature. Just turn the dial and select your desired water temperature. If you buy a tub without a chiller, you’ll have to add ambient water and adjust the temperature using ice.

3: SIZE

What size tub do you need? Is it for one person, or do you want a bath that fits two individuals simultaneously? A larger tub will be necessary for multiple users. Most cold plunges measure approx 40-50 inches in diameter and 30-40 inches in height, and have a capacity of 100-150 gallons.

4: INDOOR vs OUTDOOR

Indoor tubs can be used all year round. They have the advantage of being placed in a sheltered environment with access to electrical sockets for water chillers. They are generally easier to maintain and keep clean. Outdoor cold plunge baths have the advantage of being placed in a location with more available space.

5: STORAGE & TRANSPORT

If you have limited space in your home, you may want to consider storage and transport. Portable plunge tubs may be your best option. Lightweight and compact tubs with wheels are easy to relocate and transport. And, inflatable and foldable devices can be packed away when not needed.

6: SPECIAL FEATURES

Do you want a tub with any kind of special features? For example, the most advanced tubs can be operated using a smart device. Just sync an app to your phone and adjust its settings remotely. Others come with underwater lights that look great when cold plunging on dark evenings.

7: PRICE

You’ll need to consider the price of the cold plunge bath you’re interested in. How does it compare to your budget? If you shop around you can get some great deals on home ice baths. Spend some time considering your options and pick a device that’s right for you.

8: SAFETY FEATURES

man stepping out of ice water

You should take a look at the safety features of the device. When it comes to cold water plunging, safety is always a top priority. As a minimum, the tub should include non-slip surfaces, sturdy handles, and secure lids. These features help prevent accidents and keep you and yours safe.

9: BUILD QUALITY

You want to invest in a device that will stand the test of time and last many years. Take some time to consider the build quality of the tub. How has it been made and what materials have been used in its construction? Common materials include fiberglass, acrylic, and stainless steel. What about insulation? The best cold baths are highly insulated to maintain cold temperatures.

10: INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS

What are the installation requirements? Does it need electrical and plumbing installation? Portable devices are the simplest to use. They tend to be filed using a garden hose and have no electrical connection. More permanent devices will require significant installation.

11: SPACE REQUIREMENT

Do you have any space requirements? You’ll need to ensure the tub you are about to buy comfortably fits in your available space. Measure the area where you plan to place it and compare it with the tub’s listed dimensions. You don’t want to order a cold bath that is too large to fit in place.

12: PORTABILITY

Are you looking for a portable unit? Do you want a tub you can take on the road with you? Portable devices are great if you want to enjoy a cold plunge when on a summer vacation. Or, if you’re an athlete, you can use the tub anywhere you choose to train. Inflatable cold bathtubs work best as portable devices.

13: FILTRATION SYSTEM

Does the cold water bath come with a water filtration system? If you want to bathe in clean water you should opt for a unit with a high-quality filtration device. This is a must for hygiene and safe cold water bathing. An effective filter will remove debris, bacteria, and other impurities from the water.

14: MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS

When it comes to maintenance requirements, pay particular attention to the frequency, complexity, and cost of tub maintenance. How often does the tub have to be cleaned? How complicated are the maintenance tasks? And, what are the costs involved in cleaning and maintaining the tub and its components?

15: WARRANTY & RETURNS

Take a good look at the product warranty. Figure out what parts are covered, for how long, and under what conditions. Does this include labor? In general, a longer more comprehensive warranty is better. You should also consider the company’s return policy.


PROS & CONS OF COLD PLUNGE

What are the key advantages and disadvantages of a cold plunge water bath? Are they worth it? And should you buy one? Below we take a look at the key pros and cons of cold plunge tubs so you can decide if they are a wise investment for your home.

man pointing and smiling

THE PROS

• MUSCLE RECOVERY

Perhaps the greatest pro of cold plunge is muscle recovery. Many people use cold water therapy to boost recovery, especially after exercise. This makes cold plunging a very popular activity for athletes and individuals engaged in intense training.

• REDUCE INFLAMMATION

Another advantage of cold water bathing is its ability to reduce inflammation. The cold water reduces body temperature, which in turn constricts blood vessels. This in turn reduces blood flow to inflamed areas and eases swelling. It also suppresses the release of inflammatory chemicals in the affected area.

• BOOST MENTAL HEALTH

Many people love the effect cold water immersion has on their mental health. The initial shock to the system has a rejuvenating effect. And, for many, this helps improve mood and reduce stress. It has a mental health benefit as well as physical effects on the body.

• BETTER SLEEP

Cold plunging is also used for its potential ability to improve sleep. Many individuals find that using cold plunge reduces stress and helps them find a deep peaceful sleep during the night. Whether you choose to immerse your body in the morning or in the late evening, you may find it helps you nod off come nighttime.

THE CONS

• COLD SHOCK RESPONSE

Cold shock response is an adverse reaction you can experience from the shock of immersing your body in cold water. Symptoms include hyperventilation, increased heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. It is triggered by stress response and can be serious.

• HYPOTHERMIA

Hypothermia is a very serious condition that can occur when the body’s core temperature drops below 95°F (35°C). And, prolonged cold water immersion can potentially cause hypothermia. If left untreated it can lead to impaired bodily function and in serious instances can be life-threatening.

• SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE

While cold water bathing is safe for most people, it is not suitable for everyone. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions are have any fears related to cold water immersion you should seek medical advice before taking the plunge.


BEST COLD PLUNGE TUB 2024: SUN HOME COLD PLUNGE – PORTABLE ICE BATH & CHILLER

man lieing inside sun home cold plunge in outdoor setting

Key Features

  • MAX LOW: 37.5°F (3°C)
  • MAX HIGH: 104°F (40°C)
  • POWERFUL SMART CHILLER
  • 24 HOUR RESERVATION MODE
  • PORTABLE COLD PLUNGE TUB
  • INDOOR & OUTDOOR

sun home cold plunge - product summary, pros, cons, and key features

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SUPER LOW COLD TEMPERATURE

What makes this cold plunge bath stand out from the crowd is its incredible max low temperature of just37.5°F (3°C). That’s icy cold. If you want a cold plunge that really hits those ultra-low temperatures, this is the one for you. That outperforms all the other ice baths on this list.

DOUBLES AS HOT TUB

Even better, the Sun Home Cold Plunge doubles as a hot tub. Happy days. You can use it as an ice bath or as a nice relaxing hot water hot tub. The choice is yours. The device heats up to a toasty 104°F (40°C). Great for a post-workout recovery session. Or, for a relaxing hot tub session to unwind and let your worries drift away.

SMART APP CONTROL

You can control the operation of this cold plunge from your mobile device or phone. Just download the app, and away you go. The smart features allow you to set a timer and adjust the water temperature to your preferred level. The timer feature enables you to set the unit to power on anywhere within a 24-hour window, so it’s ready and waiting when you need to dive in. No waiting around.

sun home cold plunge in indoor setting

EASY STORAGE

The Sun Home Cold Plunge is inflatable. Excellent news if you don’t want a permanent cold plunge bath in your home. When the device is not in use it can be completely deflated and packed away. It weighs just 15 pounds and can be packed away in its carry case. This makes it super easy to store. And, it means it’s portable. You can take it on the road with you. Bear in mind, that the chiller is much bigger. It stands almost 2 feet tall and weighs 88 pounds.

INDOOR & OUTDOOR USE

This device works well in both an indoor and outdoor environment. Depending on your local climate and weather conditions. The fact that it’s portable means you can set it up outside if you fancy an alfresco cold plunge or outdoor hot tub experience. The tub is made from highly durable materials that hold their shape and is drop-stitched together using military-grade material.

NO PLUMBING REQUIRED

There’s no plumbing required. This is an inflatable portable device. All you have to do is plug it in, add the water using a hose, and let the built-in circulation pump do its job. It uses a 20-micron water filter to extract unwanted debris and contaminants out of the water. And, the easy-drain valve makes it super easy to drain and empty the tub.

VERDICT

The Sun Home Cold Plunge is the best cold plunge tub of 2024. It stands head and shoulders above the competition. This device doubles as a hot tub. You can use it as an invigorating cold plunge or as a relaxing hot tub. Just set the temperature to your preferred level within the range of 37.5°F to 104°F. We really love this versatility.

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It’s also an inflatable tub. This means you can deflate and pack away whenever it’s not in use. Great for saving space and avoiding the installation of a permanent cold plunge ice bath in your home. It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and can be operated remotely using a smart app on your mobile device.


Best Value Cold Plunge: Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge Tub

redwood outdoors cold plunge

Key Features

  • EXCELLENT VALUE
  • EASY TO SET-UP
  • NO INSTALLATION REQUIRED
  • MAX LOW: AMBIENT
  • CHILLER NOT INCLUDED

redwood outdoors cold plunge - - product summary, pros, cons, and key features

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SUPER EASY TO USE

The Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge Tub is super easy to use. It requires no installation and can be set up in minutes. It’s an inflatable tub and comes with a manual air pump and connection tubes. The whole thing can be set up in less than 10 minutes. The tub walls provide plenty of support to lat against. And, when you’re done, simply deflate the tub and pack away in its carry-case until next time.

BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION

If you’re looking to experience home cold plunge on a budget, this is the option for you. This outdoor inflatable cold plunge tub delivers great performance without breaking the bank. The tub holds 120 gallons of cold water, weighs just 30 pounds when empty, and measures 59” x 31.5” x 23.75” inches approx (L x W x H).

EXCELLENT PORTABILITY & STORAGE

Just like the Sun Home cold plunge bath, this is an inflatable device. This means the unit can be deflated and packed into the backpack provided when not in use. Even better, you can take it on your travels. It’s super portable. And, weighing 30 pounds means you can easily place it in the trunk of your car. It also means it is not a permanent device. And will not permanently occupy a space in your garden

close up of redwood outdoors cold plunge

CHILLER COSTS EXTRA

The Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge is sold without a water chiller. The chiller will cost extra. You can pair the device with Redwood Outdoors’ water chiller system. The tub water outlets are compatible with Redwood’s chiller hoses. You can use the tub without a chiller.

Just fill it with ambient temperature for a cold bath. And, add some ice if you want to reduce the temperature further. However, the chiller is great if you intend on using the tub regularly and want to experience the benefit of extra low temperatures.

REPLACING THE WATER

The water should be emptied and replaced at least every 48 hours. Leaving the tub water filled for longer than 48 hours can impact the shape and performance of the tub. The walls can bend under prolonged water pressure and this can make it difficult to fit the tub cover in place. For best results, empty the tub after each use. You can do this by opening the drainage valve and tilting the device until all the water has emptied.

VERDICT

The Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge is an excellent option. It is the budget-friendly device on our best cold plunge tub list. Currently retailing at less than $1,000 dollars – it will appeal to many. However, it does not come with a water chiller or water heater.

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These can be purchased from Redwood at an additional price. It’s super easy to use and can be set up in less than 10 minutes. It comes with a manual air pump, tub cover, and backpack carry case. It’s inflatable, so it can be packed away when not in use. And, it has a 1-year limited warranty. Definitely worth a look!


RUNNER-UP: The Plunge – Cold Plunge Tub

Key Features

  • MAX LOW: 39°F (4°C)
  • INDOOR & OUTDOOR
  • WATER FILTRATION
  • OZONE SANITATION
  • SIZES: STANDARD & XL

The Plunge Cold Plunge - - product summary, pros, cons, and key features

PERFORMANCE

The Plunge is a solid performer. If you’re looking for super chilly cold water for your ice bath experience, look no further. This tub can chill the water to a maximum low of 39°F (4°C). It takes some time though. You can adjust the water temperature to your preferred level using the precise water control. Great news for post-exercise recovery and muscle recovery.

BUILD QUALITY

This is a very well-constructed cold plunge tub. It uses high-quality materials and has been engineered to last. The Plunge is made from premium acrylic and high-quality fiberglass. It is supported by a reinforced metal base. Treated well it will stand the test of time and deliver many years of service.

EXPENSIVE TUB

There’s no way around it. The Plunge cold “plunge tub is an expensive device. It is a premium product and has a price tag to match. It currently retails for approx $4,990 for the standard model. This rises to $6,990 for the XL model. It’s one of the most expensive devices on our best cold plunge tub list. However, financing options are available.

CLEAN WATER

You can rest assured you’re soaking in clean water when you use The Plunge cold water tub. The device is fitted with a pretty impressive water filtration system. This includes a circular filtration system and a 20-micron filter to remove contaminants and unwanted debris from your water supply. It also comes with an advanced ozone sanitation system. This reduces the need for regular water changes.

TUB CAPACITY: TWO SIZES

The Plunge comes in two sizes: standard and XL. The standard model has a capacity of 75 gallons of water. It is suitable for individuals up to 6 feet tall. This makes it a good fit for the majority of cold plunge tub users. The XL model provides a little extra legroom and is a good fit for taller people. If you’re over 6 feet tall consider opting for the Plunge XL for a little more comfort.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

Installation of “The Plunge” is pretty simple. It requires no plumbing. All you have to do is fill the tub with water using a garden hose and hook it up to a 110-volt electricity supply. Likewise, maintenance is minimal. All you need to do is perform periodic cleaning, including wiping down the tub surfaces and jets, adding ozone, and draining the strainers

VERDICT

The Plunge is one of the best cold water plunge tubs on the market in 2024. It is built using high-quality materials and has a highly durable feel. This tub is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It has a max low temperature of 39°F (4°C) making it great for post-workout and muscle recovery.

The device requires an electrical connection and no plumbing – making installation a breeze. It is one of the most expensive cold water baths on our list but comes with financing available.


Contender: Ice Barrel 300

KEY FEATURES

  • MAX LOW: AMBIENT
  • COMPACT DIMENSIONS
  • ROBUST DESIGN
  • GOOD INSULATION
  • CHILLER SEPARATE
  • NO INSTALLATION

ice barrel 300 - product summary, pros, cons, and key features

PERFORMANCE

The Ice Barrel 300 is a worthy contender on our Best Cold Plunge 2024 list. It combines simplicity, ease of use, and impressive performance to deliver a cold bath that is worth your consideration. Key to its performance is its excellent insulative properties. And, it is this insulation that helps maintain cold temperatures, even in warmer climates. It employs polyurethane foam insulation throughout the barrel and lid to retain coldness for extended periods.

TUB DESIGN

The Ice Barrel 300 is a redesign and modernization of its predecessor, the Ice Barrel 400. It is made using recycled plastic material and is insulated using polyurethane foam. It measures 35.5″ inches tall and 30.5″ inches wide. This compact size means it can fit into even the smallest of spaces. It holds up to 77 gallons of cold water. It is equipped with a seat and armrests – great features for comfort, especially during extended use.

COLD TEMPERATURE

This tub is great for cold water plunging. The insulated tub walls do an impressive job of retaining the coldness of the water inside. The polyurethane foam found in both the tub and lid effectively maintains cold temperatures for extended periods. This removes the need for regular ice additions to keep the temperature down. It also comes with chiller ports which allow for the addition of a water chiller system. However, the chiller is supplied separately.

EASY TO USE

This cold water plunge tub is easy to use. Its simplistic design optimizes user convenience and ensures minimum setup and installation. The tub is filled using a standard garden hose. And, it features a drain spout for easy emptying. It also comes with chiller ports if you want to connect a water chiller device. Its compact dimensions mean it occupies minimal space and weighs just 61 lbs when empty. This means it can easily be moved about your home.

BUILD QUALITY

The Ice Barrel 300 is well both together. We liked the look and feel of this cold water bath. It feels durable and is backed up by a lifetime warranty. You can’t get much better than that. It has a largely functional design yet is modern and aesthetically pleasing. This tub will not be an eyesore in your back garden.

PRICE

The Ice Barrel 300 is priced around the $1,200 mark. It is a premium offering in the cold bathtub niche. The cost may appear high but it is competitive compared to other high-end cold plunge tubs on this list. Its durability, insulation efficiency, and user-friendly features soften the blow when it comes to parting with your hard-earned cash.

VERDICT

Ice Barrel 300 is a simple, compact, easy-to-use cold water plunge tub. There are no installation requirements, just a durable, insulated, plunge tub fitted out for cold water bathing. It comes with chiller ports to allow for the addition of a water chiller, but this device is sold separately.

If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills cold water – this could be the one for you. The minimal footprint means it will fit in the smallest of outdoor spaces and it also comes with an impressive warranty.


BEST COLD PLUNGE REVIEW FAQ

cold plunge in a lake

What Are the Benefits of Cold Water Plunging?

Cold water plunging has a wide range of potential health benefits including: improved circulation, workout recovery, reduced muscle soreness, immune system stimulation, enhanced mood, and increased energy levels.

How Long Should I Stay in a Cold Water Plunge?

In general, you should stay in a cold water plunge for 10-30 seconds for short exposure, 1-3 minutes for moderate exposure, and 3-5 minutes for an extended session. The length of time you should stay in depends on your level of cold water experience, your specific goals, and any underlying health conditions.  For more check out our full guide on How Long Should You Cold Plunge?

How Cold Should the Water Be for Cold Plunge Bathing?

For best results, the cold water should be between 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  In general, experienced users tend to aim for the 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit range and novices should aim for a temperature of between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. For more check out our full guide on The Best Temperature for Cold Plunge.

How Often Should I Cold Water Plunge?

In general, you should cold plunge between 1 to 3 times per week. This is the best frequency for maximizing all the potential health benefits of cold water bathing. For more, check out our full guide on How Often Should You Cold Plunge?

Can Anyone Do Cold Water Plunging?

Most people can safely do cold water plunging. However, some underlying health conditions will prevent others due to safety concerns. For example, those with cardiovascular issues, respiratory conditions, or other chronic health problems may not be able to cold plunge. Pregnant women should also avoid cold plunging.  If you have any issues or doubts, consult a healthcare professional before starting.  For more info, see our blog post on Safe Cold Water Plunging.

How Should I Prepare For a Cold Plunge?

The best way to prepare for cold water bathing is to acclimatize your body using cold showers. Mental preparation and controlled breathing help adjust your mind and body. Start with a medium-cold temperature before progressing to colder water.

What Should I Wear For a Cold Water Plunge?

Swimwear works best. You’re going to get wet, so minimal clothing is advisable. Some people like to wear a wooly hat to keep their heads warm, especially if cold plunging outdoors. 

Are There Any Risks Associated with Cold Water Plunging?

Yes, there are risks associated with cold water plunging.  Especially if you have an underlying health condition.  The key risks of cold water bathing are: hypothermia, frostbite, and cardiovascular stress. Consult a healthcare professional before cold water plunging if you have any concerns.


About the Author

MAGNUS KARLSSON  (BSc, MSc)

• Senior Editor at Home Sauna Heaven

As a native Swede, Magnus developed a deep fascination with the art of sauna bathing from an early age.  Born and raised in the picturesque landscapes of Småland Sweden, he grew up in a family where sauna was deeply embedded in the community and daily routine.  He graduated from Linnaeus University with a Master of Science in Health Science with a special focus on the “Comparative Analysis of Traditional Saunas vs. Infrared Saunas”.

Moving to the United States in his late twenties, Magnus worked as a health and fitness advisor in a well-known spa and wellness retreat in Malibu California.  Over the next 12 years he became the spa’s leading sauna consultant and mentored colleagues on the benefits and applications of sauna therapy.

In 2019 he relocated to Florida to open his own wellness retreat in the Tampa Bay area.  Here he continues to inspire others with the restorative power of sauna therapy. In 2020, he became senior editor of Home Sauna Heaven where he shares his deep understanding of infrared sauna and offers expert advice on its applications, benefits, and periodic product reviews.


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