Table of Contents
Ice baths have been a very common thing in the recovery world for some time now. You will mainly see these tubs in training facilities for athletes worldwide, but now the practice of submerging your body in frigid water is starting to make its way into common people’s homes. Large stainless steel tubs that are uncomfortable to sit in and require large amounts of ice are a thing of the past with new innovative tubs hitting the market every day. In this article, we will be looking at the Cold Plunge and some other cold therapy devices.
Read on further to learn more about the cold plunging practice!
Short on Time?
Best Cold Plunges on The Market
- Best Overall: The Cold Plunge
- Most Affordable: Nurecover Cold Plunge
- Best Splurge: Bluecube Ice Bath (complete review)
- Best Design: Odin Plunge (complete review)
- Best For Small Spaces: Ice Barrel (complete review)
- Best For Inflatable Cold Plunge: Inergize health (review)
- Best Priced Inflatable Cold Plunge: Redwood Outdoors
- Best Bargain: Polar Monkeys (review)
The Cold Plunge Complete Review
The revolutionary Cold Plunge uses powerful cooling, filtration, and sanitation to give you cold, clean water whenever you want it, making it far superior to an ice bath or chest freezer.
The Plunge is safe for indoor or outdoor use and we’ve made installation truly plug-and-plunge. Fill your Plunge up with a hose, turn it on, set your temp (down to 39F), and get ready to change your life!
If you are looking for a great all-around cold plunge device look no further! While there are plenty of alternatives that are a bit on the cheaper side, the cold plunge does have a lot to offer!
- There are many options to choose from
- Sleek Design
- Ability to Finance for as little as $173/month
- Get all the benefits of plunging right into your home
- Option of 3 or 5-year warranty but comes with a 1-year warranty
- You get a rubber ducky with the purchase
- Long lead time (2-3 weeks)
- Shipping is not entirely international
- The standard model is $5,000
- Does not come with cleaner products
Specs & Features
- Plunge XL: 73 inches long, 32.5 inches wide (47 inches with the cooling system by its side), 27 inches in depth
- Plunge (Standard): 67 inches long, 31.5 inches wide (43 inches with the cooling system by its side), 24 inches in depth
- Cools down to 39°
- Indoor or outdoor
- Circulation Filter
- Underwater light
- No Plumbing required
- Plug and Plunge
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Cold Plunge
- The person that is not willing to make a large investment in their health
- Someone who has never Cold Plunged before
- Someone who has not made an effort to review the options they have
- (check out the linked article because we have and wrote about what you need to know)
- A person with no space to put the tub in a comfortable spot
- Someone who has access to a large body of water (lake) that gets cold
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Hot and Cold Plunge Pro
- If you just want to Plunge and reap the benefits of cold water exposure, there is no need to get the hot & cold version
- If you already own a hot tub what is the point of getting a second one
New Age Ice Baths
There is a new wave of old practices that became widely popular in the sports community. Yes, we are talking about ice baths. Ice baths were something that we grew up doing in high school and never really understood the real benefits of doing them. We just listened to our coaches and knew that afterward, we wouldn’t be sore, we didn’t really understand the whole science thing behind it.
Now that we are a bit older and our Googling skills have gone parabolic, we now know all the details that seemed to go right over our smooth-brained high school self. The list above is just seven of many companies that are trying to bring the cold plunge practice to the masses. It gets pretty tiresome to have to refill tubs with 10 bags of ice not to mention the cost over time, so companies are looking to make the whole experience a bit more convenient.
Let’s look a little further at why you should even do them in the first place.
7 Health Benefits of Doing a Cold Plunge
1) Reduces inflammation
Cold Plunging can reduce inflammation by reducing the temperature of the body. When the body is cold, blood vessels constrict, which reduces inflammation and swelling. Additionally, when the skin is exposed to cold temperatures, it releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers and reduce inflammation.
Inflammation occurs when your body has a response to some type of irritant. Irritants can occur in the body without us even knowing it at times. A large part of this has to do with diet and what we put in our bodies, to begin with. The unfortunate truth in today’s world is that we have to watch what goes into our bodies. It is no longer news that some new company is pumping foods with preservatives or GMOs that are harmful to us and cause things like inflammation.
Finally, cold water will reduce lactic acid buildup in muscles, which helps to decrease soreness from intense physical activity.
2) Improves blood circulation
On a cellular level, cold exposure has a profound impact on the body. People around the world have been using cold therapy for centuries. The temperature of the water you use has a profound impact on your overall health.
Exposure to cold water causes the blood vessels on the surface of the skin to constrict. This diverts blood flow away from the surface of the skin. As blood travels away from the skin, blood vessels in deeper body tissues dilate. This improves blood flow circulation to the deeper tissues.
3) Increases energy
According to several research studies, cold water exposure and ice baths can increase energy levels in the human body. Through a process called cold thermogenesis, cold water stimulates the nerve endings in the skin. This results in an increase in oxygen levels and a boost in one’s heart rate and respiration rate. All of these added benefits have been linked back to an increase in energy levels and alertness in the human body.
4) Leads to weight loss
Exposure to cold temperatures has been proven to convert white fat cells to brown fat cells, burning fat, and increasing metabolism by up to 350% to increase core body temperatures when submerged in the water.
Scientists have a pretty good understanding of how cold exposure impacts the human body in a positive way. When exposed to cold environments, we rely on our bodies to fight to return to homeostasis and maintain the stability of our core body temperature. This process causes mechanisms to kick in that fire up the metabolism which leads to weight loss.
5) Physical Recovery
Ice baths have been a common practice for athletic programs around the world, it is not a surprise that the practice would eventually make its way to the masses. Ice baths, just like cold plunging, can be used as a way to recover faster from physical exercise or activities that you find yourself indulged in.
Joint pain, muscle soreness, and nagging injuries are all common in our sport of choice (jiu-jitsu) but I am 100% sure that the sport you do as a full-fledged adult has common traits. Whether you run on a court, play tennis, or even golf, cold plunging can and will help with any muscle soreness or fatigue you may experience.
6) Mental Health Benefits
Whether you know it or not, Cold Plunging is not easy. It may not be desirable to get into a tub of freezing cold water just to feel less pain relief but what if I told you there was more to it than just physical benefits?
When you do hard things that most people will go out of their way to avoid, you are consciously telling the world that you are capable of this type of work. In return for doing those types of activities, you’ll have a mental edge over those that will chase comfort instead.
Cold Plunging has been an experience that brought us closer to understanding how to control our minds in times of stress. When all you want to do is focus on how cold you are and how badly you want to get out of the tub it is hard to actually focus on the task at hand. It is a superpower to pull your awareness away from the discomfort in front of you and put in on something like your breath instead.
7) One of the most important ice bath benefits: Alkaline blood
Cold water exposure has some profound impacts o the body’s lymphatic system. The network of blood vessels in the body can essentially cleanse themselves through the process of submerging your body in cold water. Key parts of the system like lymph nodes, lymph vessels, lymphatic fluid, and bone marrow start to clear out cellular waste when you start to immerse yourself in cold water.
Cold water makes your lymph vessels contract, thus making it easier to move fluid through your system. This, in turn, flushes out waste and stimulates the immune system.
Cold Plunge Best Practices
Here is a short list of best practices to incorporate when you start cold plunging. You are actively working out your mental toughness muscle when you do this s for that reason many can be intimidated by plunging. Nothing to be scared of take the leap.
Go in knowing it is going to be very cold. The benefits of cold water therapy far outweigh the discomfort you will experience. Keep this in mind and go into the experience ready to push yourself.
Bring a warm set of clothes and towels.
Focus on your breath
Work your way to getting your whole body in the tub.
Bring a friend to experience it with you
What to Consider Before Buying a Cold Plunge
Here are some things you should be thinking about before you buy a Cold Plunge Tub
How often are you going to use the tub?
Does the amount of exercise I get justify the use of the device?
Do I have enough space to place this comfortably in or outside my home, garage, or backyard?
How Much Do Cold Plunges Cost?
The standard Cold Plunge Tub (Pro) is $5,990 but starts out at $174/month if you decide to go the financing route.
The Cold Plunge Tub XL Tub (Pro) is $6,990 and starts are $243/month if you finance it.
The Hot & Cold Version of the Cold Plunge tub gives you the capability of turning your Cold Plunge Tub into a heating device, this will start at $6,490 or $226/month with financing.
Who can practice cold exposure?
If you are concerned that cold plunging may not be something you can do, it is probably best to ask a medical professional for their advice. The great thing about the Cold Plunge Tub in particular is that the temperature of the water is completely controllable, so you do not have to start at 35-degree wouldn’t water on your first try, we wouldn’t even recommend that in the first place.
The benefits of cold water immersion start to occur in the body when the temperature of the water is below 60 degrees, so if you have to, start at 59 or 58 and work your way down to the cold temperatures. Baby steps always.
Types of Cold Water Therapy
- Cold Showers
- Cold Plunge
- Cryotherapy Machines
Alternative Cold Plunge Devices
Polar Monkeys Steel Tank Cold Plunge
Purchasing any cold plunge tub is going to be an investment. We have already written some reviews on both the Ice Barrel and Cold Plunge with many more reviews to come down the road. The Polar Monkeys Tub seems to be the happy medium of the two we have mentioned earlier.
The price of their cheapest tub (called the portal) is $2,600. This is a bit more expensive than the ice barrel and offers the option to still lay down like you would in a cold plunge tub.
The Portal is what you would expect from any kind of steel tank that hold a lot of cold water. The tubs do come with a chiller that helps the water temperature stay regulated. The chiller can adjust the temperatures to as cold as 36 degrees and as high as 103 degrees. The fact that you can float between a cold plunge and a hot tub without having to spend extra money is a plus to the Polar Monkeys Tub.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Polar Monkeys Steel Tank Cold Plunge
If you are not willing to invest $2,500 on a cold plunge device you will find no value in steel tank. You can always go with a trash can, use your own tub, or find cheaper options on amazon.
Those that do have a dedicated space to plunge
Polar Monkeys Brainpod
The Brainpod is the upgraded version of the Portal. This tub is more expensive ($4,000) and made in the same style as the Cold Plunge Tub. It is important to note that all these tubs can be financed and do come with warranties if anything does go wrong.
This version does have the capabilities of both heating and cooling and is a more sleek version of the steel tank.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Polar Monkeys Brainpod
If you are already in the market to buy a cold plunge tub and do not care about the material the tub is made with, the steel tank may be a better option. That is a preference thing.
If you are not willing to invest into a cold plunge tub again, this is not the product for you.
Polar Monkeys Inflatable Plunge
The Polar Monkeys Inflatable tub is what it describes it is, it is the inflatable version of cold plunge tub. Now, there are many inflatable options that won’t run you $4,200 but our guess is that the Polar Monkeys Inflatable tub will be way more sturdy when compared to the other inflatable options on the market.
This tub still offers everything all the other high-end tubs offer just the added bonus of being able to deflate and inflate at your leisure.
The Ice Barrel Cold Therapy Bath is a type of Cold Therapy Treatment that uses cold water in a specially designed ice barrel. It is used to reduce inflammation, swelling, soreness, and pain. This kind of treatment can also help improve recovery after an injury or surgery, by reducing inflammation and promoting healing.
The temperature of the ice barrel depends on how much ice is inside and the ambient temperature. Generally, it can get as low as 32°F (0°C).
The Ice Barrel Recovery Experience is a great way to cool down and relax after a hard workout or long day. It involves gently submerging oneself in an icy Cold Water Bath, allowing the body to gradually adjust to the temperature. This can help reduce inflammation and soreness, improve circulation and aid in recovering from physical exertion. The experience is also known to provide psychological benefits such as reducing stress and improving mood.
The experience begins by filling a large container such as a large tub or barrel with icy cold water. Ice cubes may be added if desired to get the temperature of the water down. Once the container is full, the participant submerges themselves completely into the icy water for several minutes at a time. During this time, it’s important to remain relaxed and focus on breathing; taking deep breaths can help ease muscle tension.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Ice Barrel
Someone who has never tried Cold Water Immersion
Someone who is not willing to spend ~$2,000
Someone who does not like the design of the Tub but would rather go with a more sleek design
Someone who has a Cold plunge Tub already
How does cold immersion work?
Cold water immersion therapy is really simple in how you execute it. All you have to do is get a proper tub (or you can shower as well) get the water to the desired temperature and submerge yourself.
The effects will not be immediate and it will take time to see the benefits come to fruition.
Is there any risk associated with cold plunge tubs?
The risk you take when buying the tub is that you have to pay for shipping back if you decide to return the item.
Be 100% certain in the purchase before you. move forward with it.
How long should cold immersions last?
Cold water immersion is a process that should last no longer than a couple of minutes to get the added benefits you’re probably looking for. If you are plunging using a tub usually the time limit you want to stay submerged is somewhere around 2 – 5 minutes. If you decide to experiment with Cold showers you should aim for around the same time.
When we practiced cold showering we would do it for about 1 minute to get that sudden shock from the temperature of the water and once we felt more alert, we went right back to turning it to warm.
Cold Plunging is the new thing everyone is raving about. We have you covered with all the options that may present themselves so be sure to check out our reviews for the best information on the devices. Whether you are an extreme sports athlete or just someone who casually enjoys working out, the benefits of cold exposure being added to your daily routine are very noticeable. Just a few minutes a day spent under some cold water can have a huge impact on how your day moves forward!