One of the biggest wellness trends right now is cold plunges. It seems like everyone is getting on the cold plunge bandwagon.  If you're new to the trend, exposure to cold water (okay, it's freezing—quite literally) has been linked to some boosts in recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

So how exactly does cold plunging help recovery? Simply put, some researchers suggest that exposing the body to extreme cold can initiate a fight or flight response in the body. The body responds by releasing stress hormones that help with recovery. Basically, a cold plunge can expose the body to a short stint of manageable stress to help the body more quickly bring in the recovery cavalry.

Our top overall pick:


Best cold plunges for recovery

While the medical community is lukewarm on the value of cold plunging and has yet to fully endorse it, some say exposing the body to short bouts of extreme cold is good for pain relief, bad for muscle growth.  Cold plunges temperatures typically range anywhere from 38°F to 52°F.

While target time for a cold plunge is about three minutes, it's important to listen to your body. If you're shivering or shaking, it's time to get out.  And with anything related to wellness, ask your doctor before diving in.

The Plunge

The Plunge

It's impossible to talk about cold plunging and not mention the Plunge (61" L x 43" D with chiller). This sleek indoor or outdoor tub features powerful cooling, filtration and sanitation giving you a cool and clean plunge on command. This cold plunge requires no plumbing and easily fills with a hose. This tub reaches a maximum low temperature of 39 degrees F.

Though the Plunge doesn't come cheap at $4,990, the Plunge offers financing, free in-home delivery, a cell phone holder, a skimmer net and an insulated spa cover. It even comes with a rubber ducky.

Why we like the Plunge:

  • This tub features circular filtration that keeps water clean and cold.
  • It features an underwater light.
  • Featuring solid construction, this durable cold plunge is built to last.
  • Delivery and installation are included with purchase.
  • The Plunge earns 4.5 stars from evangelical buyers.

Pros: This is a top-of-the-ling cold plunge sure to last year for seasons to come. A stylish recovery option, the Plunge will fit with any indoor outdoor aesthetic. We like that no plumbing is required save for a hose or water source and that the filtration system keeps the water clean.

Cons: The Plunge is pricey, but it's a solid product built to last.

$4,990 at The Plunge

The Plunge alternative: Ice Barrel 300

Ice Barrel

If space or budget mean the Plunge isn't an option, the Ice Barrel 300 is a sleek, fully insulted cold plunge with a far less icy price. Priced at $1200, the Ice Barrel 300 fits most body types up to 6'2" inches tall and holds 77 gallons of water.

The body and lid of this cold plunge feature high-quality foam insulation that keeps water colder for water, especially in summer's warmer months. Inside the tub is a small seat, so you can comfortably immerse yourself in an upright position.

This compact, lightweight cold plunge uses a combination of ice and water to reach the desired temperature, though it does feature a port for an attached chiller (not included).

Why we like the Ice Barrel 300:

  • The seated position is easy on the body and allows for reading or watching the game while plunging.
  • This cold plunge comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The insulation keeps ice and water cool for longer, even in warmer months.
  • This is a lightweight recovery tool.

Pros: We really like the seated position and the insulated barrel. The sleek design was a big selling point as well—it fits in with an outdoor environment and won't stand out more than desired.

Cons: There's no chiller included, which means the insulation is solely responsible for keeping ice and water inside cool. But cold plunges are relatively quick, even for seasoned plungers and the chance of an entire tub of ice and water melting or warming up while being used is fairly small.

$1200 at Ice Barrel

Best cold plunge on Amazon: Recoverex Cold Plunge


Large enough users to sit with their legs crossed, this gem of a cold plunge is built with high-quality materials designed to be durable and long lasting. This easy-to-maintain cold plunge requires water to be changed only every 10 days, via an easy-to-use drain.

Water cleanliness is of utmost importance when using a cold plunge, and this model includes a water stabilizers and UV filters.

Why we like the Recoverex Cold Plunge:

  • This cold plunge is far more solid than an inflatable model and is built to last.
  • Water only needs to be changed every ten days and is kept clean with included filtration system.
  • Chiller is included and is easy to assemble in 15 minutes or less.

Pros: This cold plunge is made from military-grade materials and is built to last.

Cons: All that top-of-the-line construction is expensive.

$4,500 at Amazon

Amazon alternative: Cusprtm Portable Bathtub 


This foldable, installation-free tub is portable and easy to use. The integrated bracket makes it easy to store and to open – in just two steps. 

The tub is made from six layers of thickened materials to create high-density insulation that resist cold air and increase insulation. The tub holds about 52.8 gallons of water, which is easily drained from the bottom spout.

Why we like the Cusprtm Cold Plunge:

  • This tub is easy to store and equally easy to open.
  • This tub is relatively inexpensive, yet made from high-density materials.
  • A foldable cold plunge, this tub can be moved anywhere.

Pros: Sometimes simple is exactly what the doctor ordered, and this tub is a perfect example. It's inexpensive and easily folded, which makes it a great choice for users on a budget who don't have a lot of space.

Cons: It's simple, which means you won't get all the bells and whistles of a more elaborate (though expensive) option. 

$76 at Amazon

Best cold plunge deal: Polar Recovery Ice Bath


This portable, easy-to-move cold plunge features removable legs and a protective cover included with purchase.  Measuring 30" x 27", this tub is easy to clean and won't take up too much space. Suitable for users up to 6'7" tall, this tub keeps contents cool up to 10 days (with the lid on).

Why we like the Polar Ice Bath:

  • Unlike other cold plunges, this tub is easy to move.
  • The water only needs to be changed every 10 days.
  • The inner lining is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Water is easily drained through an included tap.
  • The inflatable ring around the top adds comfort while you recover. 

Pros: This is a terrific option for anyone who wants a relatively small and easily moved cold plunge solution. 

Cons: This tub is relatively small, which may not suit users who want to spread out while plunging.

$99 at Amazon

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