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Compare the Best Cold Plunges: Cold Plunge vs Ice Barrel vs Polar Monkeys

Cold Plunge vs Ice Barrel vs Polar Monkeys

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Cold Plunge

Revolutionary Tub
$ 173 Monthly
  • Great Flow Rate
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Plug & Plunge

Polar Monkeys

Best Variety
$ 89 Monthly
  • Best Bang-For-Your-Buck
  • 37°F - 108°F
  • Best Bargain Cold Plunge
    With Great Specs
Most Options

Ice Barrel

Cold Plunging Made Easy
$ 75 Monthly
  • Holds 105 Gallons
  • Easy Drainage & Usage
  • 42' High by 31' Wide
Best Budget

Best Cold Plunge Devices

Find the best models, reviews, and exclusive discounts here!

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Finding the right cold plunge device for you has actually become a daunting task. I know that when we just scroll through our Instagram we get about 5 different ads for 5 new up-start companies looking to expand their reach on such a massive trend right now. Really, in our eyes there are three cold plunge devices that stand out. Those are Polar Monkeys, Ice Barrel, and Plunge. In this article, we look at the cold plunge vs ice barrel vs polar monkeys and decide which is best for anyone searching for a new way to recharge!

the plunge pool, cold plunge vs ice barrel vs polar monkeys

The Cold Plunge Review

We start with the cold plunge tub from PLUNGE – a premium ice bath solution offered at a reasonable price. This can lower the water temperature down to 39F. It is a durable setup that is recommended for indoor and outdoor use. 

There are two sizes offered – the Standard and XL. The options list contains the choice to upgrade to a combination of a hot and cold plunge. The company also offers you an upgraded cooling speed if you plan on going commercial. 

There’s insulation to protect against condensation and some clever ways of keeping the water clean. The setup comes with ozone sanitation and a 20-micron filter; as a result, you don’t have to worry too much about maintenance. 

Another way in which this cold plunge pool is user-friendly is the fact that it’s easy to set up. While using it, you can also turn on the underwater light for better visibility – it comes as a standard offering – not that common in the industry. 

The only cons of this tub are its cooling capabilities which are outmatched by some of the options in the market. Other than that, it is a large tub so some might have trouble placing it on their property. You also get a 1-year residential warranty, while some brands offer it for 5 years. 

ice bath

Who Shouldn’t Buy The Plunge Cold Plunge

The Cold Plunge tub is a great product with many health benefits but it is not recommended for everyone. If you like your water to be colder and want even better circulation, then there are more favorable options available.  

It is also a relatively large tub so if you lack space, then there are smaller choices out there. Another thing is that this company offers a hot and cold plunge configuration as well. If you only want to take ice baths, then this add-on isn’t recommended for you. 

If you have heart problems, struggle with high blood pressure, or are diabetic, then you also shouldn’t buy it or any other cold plunge pool for that matter. This is because cold plunges or even cold water therapy can have many adverse effects on people with these issues. 

cold plunge dimensions

The Cold Plunge vs. The Cold Plunge Pro XL

The cold plunge tub from PLUNGE is offered in two sizes – the Standard and the XL. While the Standard works for most, the XL size is more suitable for tall people. It is 3 inches greater in height, 6 inches greater in length and 1.5 inches greater in width. 

But that’s not the only advantage that it has as it comes with all of the features mentioned above plus the Pro Cooling Speed. This means that it can cool the water at a faster rate of 2.5F per hour. Hence the water will be cooled three times faster. 

That being said, these add-ons certainly don’t come cheap. The most basic Cold Plunge Pro XL will set you back around $2000 more than the standard version. However, it will still be more reasonably priced than others in the premium ice bath market.  


The Plunge Tub is the best overall rated cold plunge device on the market, finance the latest model today!
Best Overall
polar monkeys cold plunge


Next we have four great cold plunge tub options from Polar Monkeys. This company has gotten a lot of praise as it offers something for every type of consumer (and budget) out there. It offers a variety of cold plunge pool choices for you to pick from:

cold plunge vs ice barrel vs polar monkeys


Polar Monkeys Steel Tank Cold Plunge – The Portal

This is the base model offered by Polar Monkeys. It is a steel tub with a cool graphic on it that’s available in two different sizes and three exterior colors. Despite its rugged looks, it comes with a motor, a proper filtration system and pump. 

It can provide you with cold and hot water – a feature that’s offered as standard. The temperature range is from 37F to 108F and the setup is more efficient than your average refrigerator. Also it’s very cost-effective for a premium company. 

This also offers a ‘Smart Plug’ option in which you can control the cold plunge tub via an app on your smartphone. According to the company, it “you can power up and schedule your cold plunge,” by using it, in advance. 

Brainpod Ice Bath

The Brainpod is a higher-end freestanding cold plunge tub which is also offered in three color options. It offers both cooling and heating capabilities, so its temperature range is from 36F to 101F. It is available with the Smart Plug option as well. 

Inflatable Cold Plunge Pool

Next we have one of the best inflatable ice baths in the market, also a product of Polar Monkeys. By buying this, you’ll have a portable tub that can be carried to wherever you want and stowed away with ease. But the portability is just the icing on the cake.

You get proper connections and a drain valve. It offers cold water immersion but you can opt for a hot tub version as well. The setup cools down to 36F and if you get the one with heating, it goes up to 101F. The motor is more powerful than the one on the Portal and Brainpod. 

Polar Monkeys Tanks

Find the best cold plunge tanks here at Polar Monkeys!

star treatment, expensive cold plunges

Star Treatment 

This is the top-of-the-line model offered by Polar Monkeys. It is also one of the priciest cold plunge tub choices in the market. While its specs aren’t that different, it is the construction of the tub from cedar wood that gets it this hefty price tag. 

There are two sizes offered on this model. Plus, you get cooling capabilities that take the water’s temperature down to 36F. You also get a built-in ozone generator which increases filtration and sanitization of the water. 

Commercial cold plunges are a much different type of purchase and we believe that there are other options on the market that are just better than what Polar Monkeys has for its commercial option. Find the best commercial cold plunges by clicking the button below!

ice barrel

Ice Barrel – Best Bang For Your Buck (Budget Option)

Those looking for a simpler and thriftier solution for their cold water immersion needs can opt for the Ice Barrel. As the name suggests, it is a tub in the shape of a barrel that can be filled with cold water. The person can then climb into it using the steps provided by the company. 

It is offered in two different colors and is very compact in terms of the space that it takes. It is made completely out of recycled material and is offered with a lifetime warranty. It can hold up to 105 gallons of water and comes with an easy drainage system.

There’s also a charitable purpose surrounding this tub. The Ice Barrel company is affiliated with The 38 Challenge. It is an organization that raises money for “TBI, PTSD, and CTE research and awareness.” Proceeds from your purchase of an Ice Barrel will go to this organization.

Of course, there are troubles such as the lack of a built-in electric chiller to cool the water. You’ll have to produce the cold water yourself and fill the barrel with it. However, this can be considered as a pro since there’s no electricity needed to power the tub. 

Some also complain about it being too cramped for tall people, and difficult to get in for short people. Also, the barrel can become quite heavy when you fill it up, despite it being a space-saver due to it not having a large cross-section area. 

The company says that filling it up with 80 gallons can take its weight up to a whopping 750 pounds. Filling it up to the max can make it even more so. Also, despite it costing less than most of the other products on this list, it is still pricey for what’s offered. 

Ice Barrel

Take the dive into Cold Plunging with the Ice Barrel! Use code 'SIMPLY100' for $100 off purchases over $1,000!
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Who Shouldn’t Buy Ice Barrel

Those who are on a strict budget should think about what they’re buying here. They’ll need a separate source of cold water and will have to fill up the barrel with the fluid. Also, you may have trouble sitting in it if you are very tall or have trouble climbing into it if you’re too short. 

In these cases, you can opt for the NueCover insulated cool bag discussed below. If you suffer from heart problems, then you shouldn’t take ice baths in the first place without consulting a medical professional. Remember that ice baths can enhance issues with your heart. 

cold showers, cold plunge

Understanding Cold Water Therapy

Cold water therapy is when you expose yourself to water temperatures of 59F or less to reap many health benefits. The basic form of this is to take cold showers. Cold showers have been recommended by experts and taking them daily can be really good for you. 

For even better results, cold water immersion is recommended which can be done via a cold plunge tub. In this, you fill up a cold plunge pool or any tub with ice cold water and submerge yourself in icy water that’s around 40F. Only your face and neck are left exposed. 

This is an even better form of cold water therapy as the water temperature is lower, which helps bring your body’s temperature down faster. It can also be more relaxing once you get used to it and you can enjoy it for a longer time. Due to this, the health benefits are greater. 

Both hot and cold water immersion have their benefits. Hot water dilates your blood vessels which increases blood flow. Meanwhile, cool water results in vasoconstriction, which reduces the diameter of your blood vessels. The following are the pros of cold 

Here are some Benefits of Cold Plunging

Cold water immersion has many mental and physical health benefits. It helps manage stress due to which you sleep better. Along with countering insomnia, it also increases your energy and focus, by sending electrical impulses to your brain to make you more alert. 

Of course, most of the benefits of cold plunge tubs are for your physical health. They are used by athletes to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness after working out. As a result, the muscles recover quicker so that they can get back to work again. 

Your body’s systems are also improved as a result of cold water immersion. The cardiovascular system is made to work harder and more blood is pumped to vital organs. Meanwhile, the blood flow near your skin is reduced. Overall, the increased blood flow is great for you. 

Similarly, the body’s immune system also benefits from ice baths. The water stimulates the white blood cells that protect you against diseases. Furthermore, your body also detoxes as the lymphatic system contracts due to the cold temperatures. 

Also, ice baths help you lose weight by burning calories and enhancing your body’s metabolism. So taking regular cold plunges can result in your body burning fat. It also activates brown fat to keep the body warm and control blood sugar and insulin. 

cold plunge vs ice barrel vs polar monkeys, ice bath, best cold plunge pools

Cold Plunge vs DIY Ice Bath or Chest Freezer

Cold tubs are great, but are they the only way to enjoy the ice bath experience? Well, not really. You can even build a DIY cold plunge tub at home in your very own bath tub. This seems like a great solution as the Cold Plunge or other high-end cold plunge tubs are pricey. 

However, they may not be so perfect when you look at the details below:


Safety is a key aspect of any technology, especially if it is homemade. While the Cold Plunge and other purpose-built tubs come with multiple layers of insulation and high-quality technology, a DIY ice bath or chest freezer can electrocute the bather. 

There are several ways this can happen. If you use a chest freezer ice bath solution, then you need to unplug it before you climb into it. Otherwise, the capacitors could store enough energy to possibly cause a fatal electrical accident. 

There is a high chance of leakages occurring which means that water can get to the electrical circuit, or even the outlet. Even unplugging the setup may not protect you or the people around you – kids or pets – from getting shocked as the spillage may be carrying current.

Many build ice baths that are made of metal. This is a good conductor of electricity which can also cause electric shock if not properly insulated. Also, cheap or broken chest freezers can have poor wiring which helps electricity enter the water through the refrigeration pipes. 

Bath Quality

Most purpose-built cold plunges ensure that the water is constantly circulating. Not only does this enhance the ice bath experience and is more useful, but it also means that the water remains clean, cold and fresh. 

But with DIY cold plunges, you’re forced to use the very same water which can accumulate harmful pathogens. Otherwise, you’ll have to undergo the arduous task of continuously draining and refilling the homemade bath. It is expensive and bad for the environment. 

Your best bet is to use a water filter or any type of sanitation method that keeps the setup clean. Of course, don’t forget that you’ll still need to change the water more quickly than you’d need to with the Cold Plunge. 


Chest freezers and metal ice baths aren’t built to be used for cold plunging. This is why they can cause discomfort, especially the metal edges of a DIY ice bath. They can be sharp and make your experience uneasy if they haven’t been built well.  

But if you can’t afford the Cold Plunge, then cold plunging in your regular bathtub is the better way to go. This is because it is built to allow you to immerse yourself in water, leaving only your head and neck exposed. 


It is much easier to turn on a purpose-built ice bath tub like the Cold Plunge. Unless you get an ice freezer, a cold plunge in your regular bathtub can be quite a hassle. You have to fill it with water and fill it with bags of ice. 

With the Cold Plunge, you have better temperature regulation than a chest freezer. As recommended by experts, you can simply start slow at a higher temperature and work your way down to lower temperatures that are more useful to your long-term health. 

You can do the same thing with a homemade ice bath (with a high-end chiller) or freezer, but it will be less convenient. Meanwhile, there are cold plunge tubs that literally allow you to do this with your smartphone. 

Temperature regulation is important as it protects you from what is known as ‘cold shocking’. This is when you enter a tub full of extremely cold water and your body is unable to process the change in temperature. As a result, you can suffer from some heart issues. 


There are many ice baths that are built to be portable and movable to where you need to use them. Doing this with a chest freezer can be a lot more difficult, and with your regular bathtub that’s bolted to the ground – it’s impossible. The Cold Plunge is better in this regard. 


Damaged or low-quality DIY cold plunges are more susceptible to leaking than you think. And when they leak cold water, they can wet the nearby area and even damage your flooring and any stuff nearby. This is why you should always opt for a durable and reliable freezer. 

ice cold water, cold plunge vs ice barrel vs polar monkeys

The Best Cold Plunge Tubs: Polar Monkeys vs Ice Barrel vs Cold Plunge

Let’s go over the main differences between these tubs. Polar Monkeys offers a wider variety of options that include a budget option (The Portal), a more upscale hot/cold tub (Brainpod), a portable one (Inflatable), and the ultra-high-luxury tub (Star Treatment). 

Some of these tubs are available in different sizes, colors, and offer heating as well as cooling. The company also features a Smart Plug option that allows consumers to operate the tubs from their smartphones.  

Then we have the Ice Barrel, which lacks any electrical technologies such as a chiller. It is the least inexpensive option here and is also the most compact since it takes up the least space. Furthermore, it is made completely out of recycled materials.

Then you have the Cold Plunge by PLUNGE which is available in two different sizes, with the latter coming standard with a more powerful chiller. It offers the best cleanliness thanks to its 20-micron filter and ozone sanitization. 

To sum it up, the Cold Plunge offers the best quality and the best rated cold water tubs. In comparison, the Ice Barrel is a simple tub for those that lack space and a high budget. The Polar Monkeys offer the best of all worlds – they have something for every consumer. best-rated

Cold Plunge

Revolutionary Tub
$ 173 Monthly
  • Cools Down to 39°F
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Plug & Plunge

Polar Monkeys

Best Variety
$ 89 Monthly
  • Multiple Colors
  • 37°F - 108°F
  • 4-6 Week Shipping
Most Options

Ice Barrel

Cold Plunging Made Easy
$ 75 Monthly
  • Holds 105 Gallons
  • Easy Drainage
  • 42' High by 31' Wide
Best Budget

Final Thoughts on Plunging

Cold plunging is a very beneficial process as it offers many benefits for your physical and mental health. For example, it combats muscle soreness and inflammation, improves your cardiovascular and immune systems, and it helps you combat stress and sleep better. 

But to enjoy the cold plunging experience, it is best to have the right cold tub for the job. Remember that there’s no ideal cold tub as everyone has different preferences. But the tubs discussed in this piece have received praise from consumers and experts alike.

When looking for a cold tub, ensure that it meets your requirements. These include the budget and the space you have on your property. You need to check how capable it is, which includes its cooling abilities and speed. It also needs to be able to fit you properly and comfortably. 

If you like bells and whistles such as heating capabilities, exclusive colors and graphics, premium construction materials, commercial applications, and more; you can surely find them on the products mentioned in this piece. 

Other Options You Can Choose From

While these were some of the best cold tubs in the market, there are more that should definitely catch your eye and should be great for you. There are other brands that offer unique products that have been rated quite highly.

cold plunge,cold plunge tub, ice bath

Odin Cold Plunge

The Odin Cold Plunge is an ice bathtub that’s made by hand using some of the finest materials available. It has excellent cooling capabilities and can drop the temperature of water down to 32F – arguably the best in the market. 

It also offers excellent sanitization abilities and you can choose from a total of six different tub options – ranging from different sizes to levels of cooling. This is also one of the few manufacturers to offer a dual-person cold tub that two people can use together. 

cold plunge,cold plunge tub, ice bath

Use Code ‘BOWTIED’ for $250 off your purchase!

cold plunge, cold plunges, nurecover


Here is the most minimalistic solution for all your cold plunging needs. NureCover offers an ice cold bag that is super compact and easy to carry. It is also many times cheaper than the other options on this list. You still get basics such as a hand pump and a drain hose. 

cold plunge, cold plunges, nurecover

Use Code ‘grappler’ for 10% off your purchase!

cold plunge, cold plunge tub, ice bath

BlueCube Baths

BlueCube baths make some of the most premium and exclusive ice baths in the game. The company offers a range of high-end tubs that can cool the water down to 36F. You get excellent sanitation, but the highlight is the water’s consistent circulation for the best experience. 

This is what led BlueCube baths to be endorsed by the one and only Joe Rogan. Rogan owns one of the company’s baths and has praised the company on his world-famous podcast – the JRE. It should also be mentioned that you get an amazing 5-year residential warranty. 

Use Code ‘GrapplersGraveyard’ for $250 off your purchase!

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