Top 8 Ice Bath & Cold Plunge Tubs For Optimum Health Benefits & Recovery + Buyer’s Guide & Discounts (2024)

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Ice baths and cryotherapy are all in fashion right now! Athletes and avid gym goers are utilizing cold exposure as a tool to speed up recovery, improve performance, and get a better night’s sleep. If you follow Joe Rogan’s podcast, then you’ll know how obsessed he is with cold plunging. 

Our Top 3 Ice Bath Tubs in 2024

Best Overall Tub in 2024:Ice Barrel
Best Budget Tub:Ice Barrel
Best for Dual Hot Tub Use:The Cold Plunge

Studies have shown that cold water immersion reduces inflammation in skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. In fact, a 5-minute cold water immersion has significantly improved the performance of cyclists who had back-to-back races on the same day. 

However, note that cold plunging does come with its risks, especially for people with pre-existing conditions. The American Heart Association covered some of the risks in this recent article.

Now, I’ve put together a list of the top eight best ice bath tubs in the market and organized them based on their attributes, quality, durability, prices, and customer reviews. Also, you’ll see Joe Rogan’s preferred ice bath options along with Wim Hof’s breathing technique to keep your body in optimal condition in the cold. Read on to see the top cold plunge tubs you can buy from Amazon and elsewhere… 

Benefits of Cold Plunging Using an Ice Bath Tub

1. Relieves Sore Muscles (Combats Inflammation)

This one is pretty straightforward. After an intense workout, treating yourself to an ice bath will make you feel good. The cold water will restrict blood vessels which have been implied to act as a mechanism that helps with the flushing of waste products, such as lactic acid out of the affected tissue. Therefore, reducing swelling and tissue breakdown.

Muscle swelling and aches will be reduced which means that in the upcoming sessions, you will be less likely to experience muscle pains and stiffness after exercising. A 2020 study suggests that it may sharply decrease markers associated with exercise-induced muscle damage, inflammation, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). 

2. Speed Up the Recovery Process

Recovery is crucial for athletes, especially when training almost every day, and enhancing recovery may prove a training advantage. Cold water immersion will cause physiological changes in the body, such as reduction of muscle edema and increased cardiac output helping with increased blood flow, nutrient distribution, and waste transportation. 

A case report of a 23-year-old martial artist, and a 25-year-old marathoner both regularly take ice baths and found it to be helpful to recover quicker from “muscle soreness and tiredness”.

3. Improve Your Sleep

If you have tried taking a bath and drinking your tea in your bedroom that’s been lifted with the scent of lavender candles your body might be in a relaxed state to doze off and have a better night’s sleep.

This might not work for everyone but if you take an ice bath it will cause a big melatonin spike which is a natural hormone that induces your body to feel tired and sleepy. This calming effect will help you to feel less fatigued overall and improve your sleep quality.

4. Booses Your Immune System 

Lunging into the water below 15 degrees celsius for a short period may raise the immune system, making you more resistant to illness, and even help you dodge the latest cold. A clinical trial found that cold water immersion resulted in a 29% reduction in people calling in sick from work.

5. Help Lower Anxiety and Depression (Mind Coach)

Cold temperatures alter the way the body’s nervous system communicates with the brain. Cold water immersion can be a therapeutic tool to help treat people with depression and other mental conditions because it affects the body by reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is known to increase pain and stress levels which makes it difficult for a person to relax.

Ice Bath Tub Buyer’s Guide

Immersing yourself in cold, refreshing water has some clear health benefits as a large number of health influencers, athletes, and celebrities will gladly endorse. But what should you consider before buying an ice bath? In this section, I’ll help you answer these questions. 

1. Size

While you can start with something basic like an ice barrel or an inflatable tub, you will experience some mild discomfort which may seem insignificant at first –  it’s important to consider how comfortable taking ice baths will be for years to come. 

If you have to sit in an upright position while being cross-legged every time you cold plunge, the experience may exhaust you enough that you want to pack it up. The smallest and probably least comfortable will be a barrel or a pod. This will be your most portable and lightweight choice. Whereas ice bathtubs are fixed, heavy, plumbed in, and will accommodate more leg room. 

2. Material 

The two primary options you can have are metal and plastic tubs, even though these can be broken down into further subcategories. Metal is the most popular type of ice tub for use as an outdoor plunge and is available in three varieties: steel, cast iron, and aluminum. These forms are great in terms of durability, insulation, and maintenance. But, the drawback to this is that it is heavy and not as portable. 

The other option you have is plastic tubs. They are typically constructed by molding different plastic into the shape of a barrel or a pod and then reinforcing it with fiberglass. Furthermore, it is then coated with a layer of gel-coat resin, to give it a high-quality finish and makes the surface easy to clean.

The main benefits to this are that they are lightweight to install and move around, and are less expensive. However, the material can be problematic as it can brittle and crack after frequent use.

3. Price

There is an ice bath for every price range, from cheaper inflatable options to high-end tubs with high-quality plumbing and a chiller for a luxury spa. The primary consideration is how often you will use it, your budget, and the features coming with the tub. For me, an ice barrel is plentiful, and it’s within most people’s budget while offering the full benefits of an ice bath. 

4. Features

The more features an ice bath has, the more expensive it will be. For instance, in the videos you’ve seen Joe Rogan on social media ice bathing for 20 minutes at 33 degrees Fahrenheit comes with its own chiller, plumbing, filtration, and sanitation to provide a cold and clean ice bath whenever you feel like it, which will come at a big price tag. Inflatable options will have fewer features and some tubs get cold by adding ice. 

5. Design

Do you want to sit down in a crossed-legged position in your cold plunge or lay down like a traditional bath? This will be up to your personal preferences and you may be unsure until you’ve tested both designs. As a reference, I prefer to stand in an upright position in a tub rather than lying flat.

Best Overall: Ice Barrel 

Price: $1,199.97

Product link: https://icebarrel.com/

» BUY NOW

Specifications: holds 105 gallons of water, easy to use drainage system, made in Ohio with recycled materials

Item dimension: 31 x 42 inches (WxH)

Pros

  • Easy setup, use, and transport
  • Made with strong and durable materials 
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Requires you to add ice
  • You cannot lay down

UFC legend Georges St. Pierre is amongst the loyal users of the Ice Barrel and you can often see him post his cold plunging sessions on his IG account. The Ice Barrel is a freestanding tub with a lightweight design that you fill with water and ice, and you get in via a provided step stool. There is a drainage switch at the bottom for easy use and cleaning. A great tool to have with both mind, body, and recovery. 

I recommend you placing an order of the ice barrel before Christmas as you can get $175 off with free shipping using code “HOLIDAY”. Hurry, this is valid until December 27th!

For more information about the Ice Barrel, check out our full, hands-on review of the Ice Barrel 400 and 300 models.

Best Pro: The Cold Plunge ($500 OFF With Discount Code “GYMLESS”)

Price: $4,990

Product link: https://thecoldplunge.com/products/plunge

» BUY NOW

Specifications: cooling down to 39F, no plumbing required, circular filtration, and ozone sanitation

Item dimension: 67 x 31.5 x 24inches (LxWxH)

Pros

  • Large enough to lie down
  • A filtration system helps maintain water quality 
  • Plug and plunge

Cons

  • Must be near an electrical outlet
  • Expensive

As seen on Shark Tank, the Cold Plunge tub provides you with clean and cold water right at home. It requires no plumbing so you can take your tub inside or outside whenever you want it. Simply fill your plunge up with a hose, turn it on, and set the temperature down to 39F. Get ready for a wave of euphoria sweeping through your body and mind. There’s a sweet $500 off discount code “GYMLESS” for the Gymless family.

Best Design: The Cold Stoic (Code “GYMLESS250” for $250 OFF)

Price: $9,699.99

Product link: https://www.renutherapy.com/

» BUY NOW

Specifications: cooling down between 39 and 55 degrees Faraienheight, highly customizable 

Item dimension: 64 x 33 x 34 ¼” inches (LxWxH)

Pros

  • Suited for most users up to 6’5” and/or 255lbs
  • Handmade in the USA
  • 5-year limited warranty 

Cons

  • Very pricey 
  • Must be near an electrical outlet

The Cold Stoic has an expensive price tag, but it’s the nicest-looking tub out of the entire lot, with a choice of 5 body colors and 4 options for a breath deck top. This tub is equipped with a filtration system that naturally sanitizes water using ozone technology to reduce maintenance time and the need for chemicals. Getting into the Cold Stoic is therapeutic, renewing, and taps into the release of endorphins.

Don’t forget to use our exclusive discount code GYMLESS250 to get $250 off your order. Plus, it helps support our free-to-use website.

Best Durability: Rubbermaid Commercial Stock Tank

Price: $265.74-$447.13

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3Sv0oW6

» BUY NOW

Specifications: constructed from durable polyethylene, oversized drain plug for easy draining and cleaning, and comes in multiple sizes

Item dimension: 63 x 33 x 25 inches (LxWxH)

Pros

  • Strong, durable, and weather resistant
  • Easy drainage
  • Easy to clean
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Big and bulky
  • Not the most comfortable due to no padding

The Rubbermaid tub is a great option for ice baths. The durable structural foam construction makes it weather-resistant, so leaking and cracking wouldn’t be a problem. It’s easy to get in and get out, and it’s easy to maintain by simply the oversized 1.5-inch plug. Add to this, the capacity of this tub comes in three different options: 100, 150, and 350-gallon tanks which give you the option to choose one that is fitting for your needs.

Best Budget: G Ganen Portable Freestanding Ice Bath Tub

Price: $62.99-$79.99

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3r3LHNK

» BUY NOW

Specifications: inflatable armrest and neck support, 3 layers of PVC mesh, detachable drainage valve

Item dimension: 4 x 5 x 29.5-31.5 inches (WxH)

Pros

  • Light and portable bathtub
  • Portable 
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • Partially small
  • It may not be as sturdy as other non-inflatable options

This inflatable tub is a friendly budget option with over thousands of amazon reviews. The G Ganen is great because it is light and portable which is ideal for setting it up and taking a quick cold plunge. This tub holds the temperature well and you’d be surprised by the cushioned bottom. Comes in two sizes: large and extra large. The large tub is big enough for a 6ft frame user. 

Best Inflatable: CO-Z Inflatable Adult Bath Tub

Price: $65.99

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3DPc6qi

» BUY NOW

Specifications: inflatable armrest and neck support, constructed with high-density PVC, detachable drainage valve, 3 color options, and air pump is included,

Item dimension: 63 x 33 x 25 inches (LxWxH)

Pros

  • Light and portable design
  • Comfortable padding
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • It may not be as sturdy as other non-inflatable options

The CO-Z is a large inflatable tub that comes with an electric air pump and can be inflated in under 3 minutes. You can soak your muscle aches and pains away in this bath after an intense workout. It’s very comfortable as it comes with a pillow and a supportive backrest and armrest. 

Easy to drain with the bottom spout which is included and you can deflate and store it away in your cupboard quickly.

Joe Rogan Ice Bath

A podcast host, UFC commentator, comedian, and health influencer Joe Rogan has accomplished an amazing feat by preserving in an ice bath for 20 minutes at 33 degrees Fahrenheit, just a fraction of a degree above freezing. 

In his viral Instagram post, he mentioned that once he gets out he feels “calmed, wonderful, loose, and relaxed”.Things such as ice baths, saunas, and rigorous exercise will make a giant difference in your physical and if not more important, your mental well-being. 

Joe Rogan lasted a minute and a half when he first tried the cold plunge, then four and a half minutes the second time, and the third time was 20 minutes. The UFC commentator shares that you’ll be able to tolerate the ice bath better if you keep your “mind occupied”. This can be done through talking or expressing himself. You can also watch a video to keep your mind away from the cold, thus you won’t feel like you’re suffering that much. 

He has two ice baths, one in his studio and one at his home. Both options are not cheap but they’re well made. Joe suggested that if you can’t afford this, you fill the bathtub up with cold water and pour a bunch of ice in there. Below are the two ice baths that Joe Rogan owns. 

Best Premium: Joe Rogan’s BlueCube Malibu 56 Ice Bath

Price: $26,999.99

Product link: https://bluecubebaths.com/products/malibu-ice-bath-for-sale

» BUY NOW

Specifications: cools to 37°- 60° degrees, chemical filtration, and ozonation, fits individuals up to 6’5” and 350+ lbs

Item dimension: 72.5 x 48.5 x 28.5 inches (LxWxH)

Pros

  • Experience consistent, reliable cold exposure benefits every day
  • Industrial-grade quality parts
  • 5-year warranty with support service to match

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Big and chunky

The BlueCube Malibu will restore your bones and invigorate your soul. This is one of the toughest and most durable ice baths for home use. What is special about this machine is that you can cold plunge back to back due to its high circulation through filtration and ozonation. The high flow rates mean the water is always cold and clean. 

Best Commercial Grade: Joe Rogan’s Morozko Prism Forge Ice Bath

Price: $19,900.00

Product link: https://www.morozkoforge.com/product-page/ice-bath-for-sale

» BUY NOW

Specifications: cools to 33°- 110° degrees, microfiltration, and ozonation, ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protection to ensure electrical safety

Item dimension: 60 x 66 x 72 inches (LxWxH)

Pros

  • Ergonomics designed with angled backrest for comfort
  • All weather protection
  • 5-year warranty with support service to match

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Big and chunky

Unlike a cold tub, a cold plunge, or a cold shower, Moroko Forge baths produce their own ice and the tub is made out of high-quality stainless steel. It comes with a digital controller that can cool the temperature to 33 degrees Fahrenheit. You can adjust the temperature

The Cold Stoic has an expensive price tag, but it’s the nicest-looking tub out of the entire lot, with a choice of 5 body colors and 4 options for a breath deck top. This tub is equipped with a filtration system that naturally sanitizes water using ozone technology to reduce maintenance time and the need for chemicals. Getting into the Cold Stoic is therapeutic, renewing, and taps into the release of endorphins.

Ice Baths For Recovery: Dos and Don’ts

Tips For Taking a Cold Plunge

Ice baths make a good addition to your recovery routine. You’ll have to program them like you would in your training. Here are some tips to perfect the art of taking a cold plunge. 

  1. Buy several pounds of ice (I would use at least 20 lbs). Place the bags by your tub and cut off the tops so that they are ready to be dumped into the tub.
  2. Fill the tub with the cold water up to cover your thighs as you go in and make sure the temperature is coldest as your faucet can go.
  3. Get into the tub with cold water rather than ice cold water and slowly dump the ice in one bag by one. For the majority, this would be a lot easier than jumping in ice-cold water straight away. 
  4. The temperature of an ice bath should be roughly 10-15° celsius or 50–59° Fahrenheit.
  5. Stay in the ice bath as long as you can but no longer than 15 minutes. 
  6. To make time go faster, distract yourself with something such as a book, scrolling on your phone, or sipping a warm cuppa tea to take your mind away from the ice. 

Wim Hof Ice Bath

Wim Hof, otherwise known as The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete who is noted for his ability to withstand low temperatures breaking several records including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle barefoot. He created a method of breathing that helped him to complete these feats. 

  1. Get a comfortable position and make sure you can expand your lungs freely without feeling any strain.
  2. Close your eyes, take 30 to 40 deep breaths and try to clear your mind. Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale unforced through your mouth. 
  3. After the last exhalation, inhale one last time as deeply as you can, followed by letting the air out and stopping breathing. Hold until you feel the urge to breathe again.
  4. When you can’t hold back anymore, draw a big breath that fills your lungs. Feel your chest and belly expanding. Hold this for 15 seconds once you are at full capacity, then let go. 
  5. That’s one round! This can be done 3 to 4 times without intervals, you should feel the bliss and calmness within you. 

Best Ice Tubs FAQS

Are Ice Baths Good For You?

Ice baths are good for you as it speeds up recovery after exercise by lowering the temperature, blood circulation, and inflammation in tissues of the muscles.

A study investigated the effects of postexercise cold water immersion on runners where they were instructed to put one leg in the ice bath and one leg remained outside the bath after a strenuous run. The findings show that cold water immersion decreases microvascular perfusion and muscle metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and improves local muscle recovery.

What Do Ice Baths Do?

Ice baths will help you to ease and soothe aching muscles, reduce inflammation, boost your central nervous system, and help you deal with stress. Cold water calms the vagus nerve which is responsible for controlling your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress response.

When you take an ice bath, the cold water has a calming effect that increases cardiac-vagal activation to decrease stress levels and help lower tension and anxiety.

Why Do Athletes Take Ice Baths?

Athletes use ice baths because it relieves joint pain, swelling, and stress. It also decreases inflammation and enhances immune system responsiveness. Therefore, athletes saw improvements in their performance and lower symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

What Are Ice Baths Good For?

The use of ice baths is great for reducing inflammation and swelling. Sports medicine has utilized cold water immersion for years to help the active recovery of your muscles.

The Takeaways: Ice Bath For Post-Workout Recovery

Taking an ice bath can be a game-changing post-workout recovery strategy that anyone can take advantage of. Plunging your body into a tub of cold water for 10-15 minutes is becoming more popular for exercisers and having an ice bath is a great addition to your home to incorporate recovery into your fitness routine. 

The best overall ice tub is the Ice Barrel because of its durable shape, design, and simplicity which makes it a no-brainer for a cold water immersion setup at home. It’s much lighter than it looks, and it’s easy to set up, use, and clean.

If your budget is higher, I would recommend The Cold Stoic for its functionality and luxury, with the $250 discount code “GYMLESS250”.

If you want to take your recovery to the next level, check out my other recovery tutorials to allow your muscles to repair and rebuild themselves to become both larger and stronger:

Best Overall Tub in 2024:Ice Barrel
Best Budget Tub:Ice Barrel
Best for Dual Hot Tub Use:The Cold Plunge
Our Top 3 Ice Bath

Catch you next time Gymless Heroes!

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