Ice baths have many benefits, but only if you tailor them to your individual needs. When choosing an ice bath tub for yourself, there are many variables you need to consider like bath size, water temperature, and tub price.
Why ice baths, you ask? There are plenty of good reasons why people love to submerge themselves in frigid water.
Ice bath benefits include the ability to soothe muscles, speed recovery, and to wake you in the morning or if you're feeling sluggish. Pro athletes, gym junkies, and strong-willed early birds rave about them as their main tool for cold therapy.
Interested in dunking into ice but don’t know which tub to buy? Don't worry, because we’ve compiled a guide to give you a better idea of how to choose the right tub for you.
We’ll explore the various factors to consider when buying the ice bath tub that suits you and your home the best. You will also get answers to those burning questions you may have about ice baths.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
1. Best Overall Ice Bath Tub - Plunge XL
Installation's a breeze with its plug-and-plunge design, and maintaining the perfect temperature (down to 39°F) is as simple as filling it with a hose and setting your desired temp.
For those who are taller and larger, the Plunge XL will offer you more comfort over the standard mode. If you're plunging into cold water, you will want to be comfortable.
The Plunge XL model comes complete with all the features you need for your cold plunge, including: an insulated spa cover, cell phone holder, skimmer net, guided plunge videos, and even a rubber ducky for added fun.
With proper maintenance – including using the included hose filter to remove impurities from your water source – your water can last up to six months between changes.
- Superior performance compared to traditional ice baths or chest freezers
- Easy installation & maintenance
- Comes with everything needed for an enjoyable cold plunge experience
- On the higher end of prices
- Heavier and bulkier than cheaper tub options.
2. Best Cheap Ice Bath Tub - Rubbermaid Stock Tank
If you are looking for an affordable option to aid in your post-workout recovery routine, then check out the Rubbermaid Commercial Structural Foam Stock Tank.
This 100-gallon tub is perfect for those ice baths you've been dreaming of, offering ample space and a durable design that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions.There are also larger sizes at 150 and 300 gallons.
Made in the USA with weather-resistant structural foam, this tank offers seamless construction which improves durability and can withstand outdoor elements. Its oversized drain plug allows for easy draining and cleaning, making it an ideal choice for those who value low-maintenance solutions.
As a bonus, if you're into aquatic pets or have furry friends that enjoy splashing around, this tank works great as a small dog pool or even for keeping koi over the winter.
- Affordable alternative to more expensive ice bath tubs
- Durable construction ensures long-lasting use
Versatile applications beyond just ice baths
- Not specifically designed for ice bath usage
3. Best Metal Ice Bath Tub - The Portal
The Portal cold plunge from Polar Monkeys is an excellent choice if you're looking for a sleek, metal option for your post-exercise cooldowns.
This cold plunge is available in various sizes, colors, and chiller powers, offering a versatile solution for at-home use.
The steel tub comes with inlet/outlet connections and a drain valve, ensuring easy installation and maintenance. Its built-in filtration system and pump guarantee clean water every time you take the plunge.
The Portal - Polar Monkeys cold plunge works quickly to bring the water temperature below 50°F from typical room temperature within just 4-6 hours of starting it.
With its insulated cover recommended to lower energy usage, this metal ice bath tub is not only visually appealing but also highly functional. You'll be rewarded with an efficient recovery tool that will become an essential part of your fitness routine.
- Sturdy metal construction ensures durability
- Customizable options cater to individual preferences
- Quick installation process saves time and effort
- Higher price compared to non-metal alternatives
- Insulated protective cover not included by default; additional expense
4. Best Outdoor Ice Bath Tub - Alaskan Cold Plunge Tub
For those who prefer taking their post-workout cooldowns outside, the Alaskan Cold Plunge Tub offers an exceptional option with its durable and stylish design. Its large 130 gallon capacity is perfect for all sizes and enhances your outdoor relaxation experience.
Inspired by the Finnish tradition of jumping in the snow between sauna sessions, this tub can be paired with any sauna or used by itself. After a hot sauna session, you can jump into this cold tub.
The convenient design features a plastic liner and spruce thermowood exterior that not only looks great, but also withstands outdoor elements. With no electrical requirements, you can add this tub in a variety of locations.
Customize the Alaskan Cold Plunge Tub with optional add-ons like a wooden cover for added protection or even a chiller system if you want to maintain consistent water temperature without adding ice and cold water manually.
- Durable and stylish design for outdoor use
- No electrical requirements make it easy to install anywhere in your backyard or patio area
- Option to add on useful accessories like a wooden cover or chiller system
- Only seats one person at a time
- Requires manual ice addition if not using optional chiller system
5. Best Ice Bath Tub for Athletes - BlueCube Malibu 56
When it comes to athletes seeking top-notch cold therapy, the BlueCube Malibu 56 Cold Plunge has got you covered. This luxurious ice bath tub offers a range of temperatures perfect for both beginners and advanced users, ensuring that your recovery is tailored to your needs.
The Blue Cube Malibu 56 is also designed with convenience in mind. It runs 24/7 and can accommodate individuals up to 350+lbs, making it an ideal choice for athletes.
With its chemical-free filtration system and energy-efficient design, you can enjoy all the benefits of cold exposure therapy without worrying about setup times or chemicals.
The beautiful hickory, wenge, and padauk deck adds a touch of elegance to any outdoor space while providing a comfortable place to sit before or after your plunge.
- No ice or setup time required – always ready when you are
- Suitable for progressing from beginner to advanced cold exposure therapy
- Energy efficient – uses as much power as a small refrigerator
- Requires a dedicated outlet (120V/20A GFCI) which may not be readily available outdoors
- Pricey compared to other ice bath options on the market
6. Best Inflatable (Portable) Ice Bath Tub - G Ganen Portable Tub
You can't beat the convenience and affordability of the G Ganen Portable Inflatable Ice Bath Tub. It's a top choice for those on the go, weighing only 7.19 pounds.
This unisex, 31.5-inch blue bathtub is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Its lightweight and portable design fits comfortably in small spaces.
Made from environment-friendly non-phthalate PVC materials that meet EN71-3, SGS, and 6P standards, this inflatable tub offers three layers of waterproof and resistant fabric to keep the water cool. This ensures durability and temperature consistency while being easy to clean.
The G Ganen Inflatable Ice Bath Tub is not just for athletes looking to recover faster but also for individuals seeking relief from aching joints or even as an affordable alternative to traditional birthing tubs. With its modern design and freestanding installation type, this round-shaped ice bath tub is truly a versatile addition to your self-care routine.
- Convenient and affordable solution for ice baths
- Suitable for indoor/outdoor use; portable enough for small spaces
- Environment-friendly materials that are durable and easy to clean
- Vinyl smell may take time to dissipate
- Potential breakage of hard plastic drainage spout after extended use
- May not be suitable for tall individuals who need more room to stretch out
7. Best Plastic Ice Bath Tub - Ice Frontier Portable Ice Bath Tub
The Portable Ice Bath Tub for Athletes/Recovery by Ice Frontier cold plunge tub is a great portable option for anyone looking for an affordable tub that's made of heavy-duty plastic.
The durable, high-quality materials and reinforced bottom make it sturdy and reliable, while the leak-proof design ensures that you won't have any messy accidents. Plus, the handles make it easy to transport and use wherever you need it.
Another great feature of this ice bath tub is its ergonomic design that accommodates individuals of all sizes. it allows for full immersion to enjoy the benefits of cold therapy in an upright position.
While some customers have reported leaking issues with the drainage hose, many others have not experienced any problems with this product.
- Spacious interior accommodates individuals of all sizes
- Reinforced bottom, sturdy handles, and leak-proof design
- Portable and can be used in a variety of settings and applications
- Simple and straightforward setup process that takes just minutes
- Some customers have reported leaking issues with the drainage hose
- Requires adding your own cold water and ice to be effective
8. Best Handmade Ice Bath Tub
If you're looking for a luxurious and artisanal option, consider the handmade Odin Cold Plunge Tub. It combines functionality with exquisite craftsmanship for an unparalleled cold therapy experience.
This cedar plug-in ice bath can reach freezing temperatures of 32ºF (0ºC). It offers adjustable temperature settings to suit your needs.
The beautiful tub is made of marine grade 316 stainless steel and 100% clear western red cedar, ensuring durability and a refined aesthetic.
The Odin comes in three sizes – Original, XL, and Dual – each available in residential and commercial versions. Maintenance is easy with a reusable filter that should be cleaned every few weeks depending on usage.
Positive customer reviews praise the automated inbuilt ozone filter/sanitization system and accurate temperature control.
There is also an optional UV upgrade for all Odin models that will allow for cleaner water for longer periods of time. The UV light will help to eliminate bacteria in the water. The time interval to change the water also doubles from 2-4 months to 4-8 months.
- Handcrafted design made from high-quality materials
- Adjustable temperature settings for personalized comfort
- Easy maintenance with reusable filters
- Requires staining cedar every 6-12 months for upkeep
- Additional technician assistance may be needed for initial setup if shipped internationally
9. Best Free-Standing Ice Bath Tub/Barrel
Looking for a top-notch free-standing option to incorporate cold therapy into your routine? Let's dive into the Ice Barrel, a fantastic choice that's been garnering rave reviews from satisfied customers for its compact size.
This is the most "barrel" design of all the tubs for ice baths on the list. If you were to imagine a floating barrel in a river, this would be that design.
The vertical design of the Ice Barrel offers an easy way to bring ice baths into your daily routine while providing maximum benefit by allowing you to sit upright. The design of the Ice Barrel allows it to hold up to 105 gallons of water in its compact design.
It is much simpler, safer, and more enjoyable than lying down in a bath or metal trough – making it great for triathletes as well. Ice Barrel is also the official cold therapy partner of the NOBULL CrossFit Games.
Many buyers consider it one of the best investments they've made for their daily routines thanks to its amazing health-revitalizing effects and top-notch customer support provided by the Ice Barrel staff.
- Easy integration of ice baths into your daily routine
- Upright sitting position for maximum benefits
- Minimal space needed
- Customers love the customer service team
- Higher cost compared to other options (although users believe it's worth every penny)
10. Best Ice Bath Tub for Tall Users
For those taller individuals looking for an optimal cold therapy experience, the Siberian Cold Plunge Tank is the perfect match.
It's designed to accommodate users over 6'5' and weighing more than 250 lbs, with exterior dimensions of 80 x 33 5/8 x 37 inches and tank dimensions of 48 x 24 x 30 inches.
This spacious tank allows you to comfortably plunge into icy waters for enhanced recovery and rejuvenation.
Plus, you can customize it to fit your gym, garage or outdoor space while adding a spa light feature for a touch of ambiance. Not only is this cold plunge tank made for longevity, but it also comes with a powerful half-horsepower magnetic drive water pump and chiller for optimal performance.
Many celebrities such as Wilmer Valderrama, Derek Hough, Garrett McNamara, Brett Eldredge, Rainn Wilson, and Yoel Romero swear by the benefits of the Siberian Cold Plunge tub. Some customer reviews even claim that investing in this tank has been their best decision for health improvement.
- Ideal size for tall users or those who want extra space
- Durable construction built to last for years
- Customizable design for various settings
- Commercial use requires more frequent filter changes than residential use
Methodology for Choosing the Best Ice Bath Tubs
If you’ve decided you want to start taking ice baths at home, then you’ll need to get yourself a tub. A regular bathtub will work just fine in a pinch, but there are other options if you don’t have one.
Generally, it’s a good idea to first assess what you’re looking for and what you might need. There are fancy choices out there, but you may be able to save money by opting for something more basic without all the bells and whistles.
Plus, knowing what you want will help you narrow down your options and allow you to work within your budget to get something you’re completely happy with.
Buyer’s Guide – What to Consider When Choosing an Ice Bath Tub
Baths come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to select one that fits you correctly. You don’t want to feel too cramped, especially when the water is icy.
Generally, people who take ice baths have the water reach their chest or above their shoulders.
However, that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You don’t have to submerge yourself completely, especially if it’s your first ice bath. Again, it’s best that you already know how deep you’d like the water to be.
When searching for an ice bath tub, look for how many gallons it can hold. As a reference, the average bathtub (filled ¾ of the way) holds about 30 gallons.
A petite person can get away with a smaller tub, while a larger or taller person will need a bigger one.
You'll need to also consider whether you want a tub that's a permanent fixture, in which case you'll need plenty of space for your ice bath experience.
Remember, once you get into the tub, you’ll take up a lot of its volume. So, make sure to factor in the water that’ll spill over when you take a dip.
Ice bath tubs can get expensive, but there are plenty of ice bath tub options for those with a small budget.
Luxury ice bath tubs can cost thousands of dollars because they usually take care of everything. All you need to add is water and the tubs will cool the water down.
When it comes to cheaper alternatives, there are other costs to consider. Besides the tub price, you'll also need to consider how much ice you will need.
Unless you have a very large home freezer with lots of ice trays, you’ll have to purchase the ice. You’ll need at least one to three big bags to get the temperature cold enough.
For those with a lower budget, you could simply use the bath you already have in your home, use one at a gym, purchase an inflatable pool, or get a large, thick plastic tub.
The simplest ice bath tub doesn’t need much — just a big tub, water, ice, and a warm towel nearby.
However, the higher the price, the more accessories are included. While ice baths can be uncomfortable (especially for first-timers), these accessories can help to make it a smoother experience.
Accessories can include water pumps, hoses, hose fittings, tub covers and lids, ladders, sanitization systems, water filters, and even a travel case so you can take your tub on the go.
Materials used to manufacture ice bath tubs include acrylic, wood, stone, and plastic. Durable, water-resistant, and stain-resistant materials and coatings are absolutely essential when choosing what to buy.
You can get away with a cheap plastic tub, but make sure that you don’t choose one that’s made of thin plastic. Those are not durable to last multiple uses.
If you plan to take more than one ice bath, you’ll need a tub that can stand up to regular use. The same goes for an inflatable pool — just be careful it doesn’t get punctured!
Which type of ice bath tub you choose depends on your budget and how often you see yourself having an ice bath.
Traditionally, bathtubs are oval-shaped and relatively shallow. On the other hand, ice bath tubs tend to be larger and deeper, so even a large person can spread out comfortably and put their head underwater if desired.
There are even barrel-shaped tubs where you stand vertically in the water. These might be harder to enter, but they save on space.
Ice bath tubs can be a temporary (ie, inflatable, collapsible, or skinny) or a permanent part of your home (ie, fixed, sealed, or given a dedicated space). Consider how much space you have and where you'd locate the tub.
Rather than using a hand-held thermometer as you add ice cubes into your bath, it’s possible to get a bath tub that measures and controls the temperature for you.
Think of it like a sous vide machine — it keeps the water consistent for a long time, so you enter the tub with a set temperature.
Temperature-controlled tubs are ideal for people who take ice baths regularly. It means you don’t have to change out the water and dump ice into your tub so frequently.
When you take a bath, you leave dead skin, dirt, and sweat behind – as well as whatever was sticking to your feet.
A filter extracts all that gunk so your water stays clean and fresh. Filters allow you to keep the same water for longer, as opposed to DIY one-use ice bath tubs where you have to dump and refill the water every time.
A lower budget option tub for ice baths won't have a filtration system, while the more expensive ones will. If you have many people who will be using it, you'll want to spring for a commercial ice bath tub because they'll be the best at filtering the water.
If you leave a tub of water sitting around for a while, it’ll eventually attract mosquitos or start growing algae. These biological marvels don’t make for a pleasant next dip.
A water circulator “stirs” the water around so it doesn’t sit long enough to start sparking microorganism life. You won’t have to pour out and refill the water so often, making for a convenient and more environmentally-conscious experience.
If you have a disability or an injury, getting into an ice bath tub may be difficult.It’s best to look into accessible tubs that make it easier for you to get in and out of the bath.
For instance, some options have ladders while others will require you climb in and out while gripping the sides. It’s recommended that no matter what ice bath tub you use, you have a person in the house with you just in case.
It’s possible to accidentally lose track of time, slip when getting in or out, or have a medical complication when using the tub. That’s why it’s vitally important to have someone on hand who can help in emergency situations.
Keep your receipts in a safe place, everyone. If you’re able to, pay for the extended warranty when you buy the bath. If your bath breaks within the warranty period, you’ll be oh-so-glad you did.
To increase the longevity of your bath, keep it clean and repair broken parts promptly.
You will need to consider the maintenance required to keep your ice bath tub running smoothly. Ongoing costs include patching holes, replacing sealant, filters, and water, and regularly adding ice.
If you take care of your tub, it’ll take care of you.
A plastic tub does the job, but it isn’t very aesthetically pleasing. Those of us on a budget probably won’t mind what our bath looks like, but people investing in a luxury tub will.
There’s a wide range of ice bath tubs on the market to match any home design and aesthetic. From minimalist to cedar-paneled to marble, you’ll find something to match your home decor! Don’t expect a small price tag, though.
Ice Bath Tub FAQs
By now, you probably already have a strong idea of what you need in your next ice bath tub. Before you take the plunge, here’s some additional information about ice baths that you might find handy.
Are Ice Bath Tubs Worth It?
Ice bath tubs are worth it if you use them regularly, especially after the gym or a game. Cold water therapy is meant to be taken after tough physical exertions for faster recovery.
It’s recommended that you try a cheap ice bath first (at the gym or in a plastic tub) to see if you like it. Then, consider upgrading to a dedicated ice bath tub.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for an Ice Bath?
The ideal temperature for an ice bath is 50–59° Fahrenheit (10–15°C). Exceeding this temperature may bring on hypothermia, so make sure you measure your water before getting in the bath.
Cold Plunge or Ice Barrel for Ice Baths – Which Is Better?
The ice barrel is arguably better than a cold plunge for ice baths. An ice barrel requires minimal effort, is reasonably priced, and is lightweight and portable.
On the other hand, a cold plunge might have features like cooling, filtration, sanitation, and temperature control. However, its price and maintenance requirements may rank it below the ice barrel.
How Big Should My Tub Be for Ice Baths?
Your ice bath tub should be large enough for you to sit in it comfortably while not feeling cramped.
The water should be able to cover your entire body, typically up to the neck. Check the exact measurements and gallon size before you buy a tub.
What Are the Main Benefits of Ice Baths?
Ice baths and cold water immersion offer a number of potential benefits, including:
- Calming inflammation
- Boosts mental toughness and mental health benefits
- Helps muscle recovery post-workout
- Strengthens the immune system.
What Are the Downsides of Doing Ice Baths?
While there are plenty of upsides to ice baths, there are some downsides to consider too, such as:
- Risk of triggering health problems (make sure to consult your doctor beforehand)
- Risk of hypothermia or frostbite
- Some benefits have not been scientifically proven
Who Should Avoid Taking Ice Baths?
Although ice baths are generally beneficial, avoid taking them if you have any of these conditions:
- Heart problems
- Injuries/open wounds
- Poor circulation
- High blood pressure
No matter how healthy you are, you don't want to stay in the cold water too long. 10 to 15 minute cold plunge sessions are the maximum recommended time.
Final Thoughts on Ice Bath Tubs
With the right ice bath tub, you can take your recovery to the next level with cold temperatures. Whether you're a professional athlete or a fitness enthusiast, investing in a high-quality ice bath tub can help you achieve your physical goals.
When you search for an ice bath tub online, you’ll be overwhelmed by options. It’s hard to know which one to choose, and whether to go for a DIY or luxury option.
You’ll now hopefully know a bit more about ice bath tubs now and the factors to keep in mind for your next purchase. They can be an excellent investment.
Go find the perfect option to fit your needs and budget. So, don't hesitate to take the plunge and try out an ice bath for yourself – your body will thank you for it!