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Best Ice Bath Tubs for Recovery in 2023

Jun 02, 2024

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It's time to channel your inner Wim Hof and try cold water therapy.

THANKS TO TikTok (and a viral video featuring Joe Rogan), ice bath tubs have gained significant attention in the past year or so, becoming somewhat of an internet sensation. It's worth mentioning a lot of these popular cold plunge videos are often connected to Wim Hof, a popular Dutch speaker who's garnered international recognition for his Wim Hof Method, a series of daily meditation practices that includes periods of cold water therapy. If there was a GOAT to be named at who is the best at daily cold plunges, Wim Hof would hold the title.

Read more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness Products

So, what are the potential benefits to cold water therapy? To provide a brief explanation, it's important to understand that claims regarding recovery benefits are grounded in the idea that cold therapy can help reduce inflammation. "The most consistent evidence supports cold plunging reducing soreness and fatigue after strenuous exercise, particularly whole-body prolonged endurance-based exercise," explains Leada Malek, DPT.

This is huge for all types of athletes, which is why you will sometimes see NFL players and NBA posting videos of themselves in ice baths. There's also some evidence to show ice baths can potentially boost dopamine, although further studies are likely needed to help solidify this hypothesis. Arguably above all the physical benefits, people who partake in ice baths often rave of the mental benefits they feel afterwards: improved clarity, focus, energy, and even euphoria.

This is all to say cold water therapy can prove to be a beneficial practice for both the body and mind. While further research is evolving, brands are starting to develop their own types of ice baths that are durable and easy to use for cold water therapy. Some ice baths are expensive—especially when they have their own chiller's attached—while others are simply just big ol' buckets you can dump water and ice in.

It's time to make like "The Iceman" Wim Hof himself and start welcoming the benefits of cold water therapy into your life. Ahead, the 9 best ice baths for recovery on the market right now for all types of preferences.

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Handmade in Australia, the Odin is a spa-like option for ice bath lovers who want some luxury. If you're going to have an ice bath on your property and ready to use anytime, you'll want to be sure it isn't a total eyesore. The Odin will elevate any backyard aesthetic, for sure.

It's equipped to maintain it's own filtration and sanitation, and has a digital module to set your preferred temperature. It's one of the only ice baths made fully out of cedar wood, which explains the price. Yeah, this bath is legit.

At nearly $7k for the base model (which can accommodate a single user up to 6' 2"), it's obviously pricey. For bigger guys, the XL option offers a bit extra leg room (~$7,000). If you like to cold plunge as a pair, the dual is a significant but reasonable investment at $12,000.

This inflatable tub is unique in that it has a longer and more shallow shape than most inflatable options, lending itself well as a sub-$100 reclined option. It won't give you the same sturdiness as laying down in a Standard Cold Plunge, but we feel it's a win on price, portability and easy setup.

We wouldn't advise it for just anywhere indoors or outdoors because, well, inflatable options can tear. But it is ideal to use in your walk-in shower, mud room, garage, or outside on your deck.

A top luxury pick in the ice bath market, Renu Therapy has basically taken the ice bath and turned it into a spa-like experience. The ice tub has it's own chiller and plumbing, making it a controlled experience for year-round use. We love the low-profile aesthetic of this model, in particular. Sink it in a cut-out in your deck or position it right off the patio—either way, it integrates seamlessly in design and functionality.

Also included is an insulated cover to retain temperature and the option to choose from several fine deck woods, like California Redwood and Pacific Cedar.

Typically spotted on farms, this Rubbermaid Stock Tank is a popular choice for ice bath enthusiasts all around. It's incredibly affordable, durable, and easy to get in and out of. All you have to do is fill this bad boy up with ice water and hop in. It's big enough for single person use, and deep enough so the water will hit up to your neck. Best of all is the fact it has a nifty drain at the bottom for easy emptying. The only sacrifice you make by choosing this ice bath is there's no comfortable sitting or positioning, but then again, who said ice baths were supposed to be comfortable?

Highlighted by Aaron Judge as one of the six items he can't live without, The Cold Plunge is what one graduates to when they have become certified ice bath users. It's pricey, but it's got everything one would need for year-round ice bath use. We're talking a high-quality plumber and chiller, beautiful design, and a level of versatility that allows you to change the water into a steamy hot tub, if you so choose.

In our experience cold plunging in this tub, we found it spacious in depth and length, yet easy to get into. The sides are easy to hold onto if you can't bear your hands in the frigid temps, too. Plus, it is secure and reliable for indoor and outdoor use.

There are several inflatable ice baths on the market, but the one thing that stands out the most with Tru Grit's version is it's strong and portable design. The ice bath can inflate anywhere between 2-5 minutes and comes with a double action pump, a mat, and a repair kit. Once filled, the outer shell provides a stable inflation so you can move around with ease and not worry about falling out of the tub or water spilling out.

The Tru Grit ice bath also features a spout for draining, and once the entire bath is collapsed it can be rolled up like a sleeping bag. Simply put, this an inflatable ice bath you'll actually enjoy setting up and breaking down.

Ice Barrel essentially makes ice baths as easy as ever. All you have to do to use the freestanding tub is fill it with water and ice, then walk up the provided step stool and gently lower yourself in. With the Ice Barrel you also receive a stand to hold the barrel in place, a lid to cover the top, and a UV cover to go over the entire tub. Once you're finished, simply turn open the drain knob at the bottom and let the water empty.

The simplest way to hack a hot tub into an ice bath is by going with an inflatable hot tub. Just turn off the hot water feature and fill with water and ice. This tub can maintain temps ranging from 40-104°F, meaning it won't freeze over or let ambient temperatures in. This is also the only inflatable option we've found worthy of a rec that has jets (60 of them, in fact). Meaning your cold plunge (or hot tub) experience can be a little more luxe.

The best part? You can enjoy your recovery session with a friend or partner (up to 4 people in total) thanks to the tub's spacious design and 177-gallon capacity. For under $1,000 (and often on sale for even less), we think this is a pretty good deal.

Unlike inflatable tubs that are prone to popping or thin water tanks that flop over when you try to get in or out, this ice bath tub is incredibly stable and structured for how lightweight it is.

We have left this tub outside through the toughest east coast winters, and it's remained in-tact without so much as a surface level tear. For under $200, you won't get a built-in chiller or automatic inflation feature, but the durability makes it a reliable investment for anyone seeking an affordable ice bath tub solution.

Draining the water tank is simple, too—just turn the tap and unplug the drain at the bottom of the tub. After that, rinsing the tub and replacing the water is all that's needed to keep it in clean, working order. (Water stabilizers or a UV purifier can be used to keep the water clean for longer periods, although we haven't tried that yet).

We've sifted through dozens of ice baths to bring you a list of the very best. With most of these tubs requiring a pretty penny, we want to be sure you are as confident in your choice as possible. Consider the following to help guide your decision on which option is worth your hard-earned dough:

Size and capacity: Consider the size of the ice bath tub to ensure it fits comfortably in your home. Remember: just because it measures large on the outside, doesn't always mean it has a roomy water capacity inside. Determine how many people will be using it at once, and choose a tub with the appropriate capacity.

Durability: Look for a tub made from sturdy materials that can withstand cold temperatures and regular use. Inflatable options are budget-conscious, but may not stand up to outdoor use and storage throughout the seasons. Stainless steel and heavy plastics are popular low-maintenance choices for long-lasting ice bath tubs, but will run the price and weight up significantly.

Insulation: Check for proper insulation to keep the water cold for longer periods. Good insulation will help maintain the desired temperature and reduce the need for frequent ice refills.

Drainage system: A reliable drainage system is essential for easy water removal after your cold plunge session or when you need to refill/clean the tub. Look for a tub with a secure and efficient drain at the bottom for easy maintenance.

Cooling mechanism: Some ice bath tubs come with built-in coolers to bring your ice bath to temp, while others require ice to cool things down. A cooling mechanism will cost you, but it'll also ensure you're cold plunge is ready to use any time of year with minimal prep.

Price: Set a budget and compare different options within your price range. You should avoid overspending on unnecessary features, but also be sure your budget accommodates for any must-haves.

Despite the popularity cold water immersion has gained for its potential benefits in post-exercise recovery, the current evidence on its effects is mixed, according to Dr. Malek.

Some studies show positive results in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness and perceived fatigue, but its overall impact on inflammation (the mechanism most perceived benefits have been accredited to) remains unclear.

Cold water therapy is thought to work through various mechanisms, including vasoconstriction, acting as an analgesic, slowing inflammatory pathways, placebo effects, and hydrostatic pressure. While CWI may help alleviate soreness and fatigue in the 24-96 hours following exercise, reducing the inflammatory response might hinder the body's adaptation to exercise and stressors, potentially affecting strength and aerobic gains, Dr. Malek explained.

As for injury prevention, direct evidence linking cryotherapy to injury reduction is lacking, too. However, by decreasing DOMS and fatigue, athletes may experience better muscle performance, which could indirectly influence injury risk.

"Injuries are complex and multifactorial," Dr. Malek reminded Men's Health. "Athletes with intense training schedules may find cold water therapy beneficial in helping them feel well-rested and recovered, thereby affecting their overall performance. Nevertheless, cold water immersion should be used judiciously, especially considering its potential effects on the body's adaptive response to exercise."

"There is no currently agreed-on temperature for optimal results," explained Dr. Malek. Most tubs range from about 35-45 degrees Farenheit with 40 degrees being a commonly accepted average.

Although there isn't currently an agreed-upon temperature for optimal results, most research is in agreement about a 5-15 minute rule for cold plunging, with 10 minutes being the average, according to Dr. Malek.

You don't have to be an athlete to benefit from taking ice baths. While they have been shown to help with recovery, there are also other potential benefits we mentioned earlier that cold water therapy can provide. If you're on the fence about investing in an ice bath, go for one of the low cost methods we suggested. If anything, you can also go the old school route and fill your bath tub at home with ice.

Make sure to continue to read up and educate yourself on the benefits of cold water therapy and ice baths. There's new and exciting research coming out all the time, so as positive findings come out more innovative ice baths will be continue to be developed.

At Men's Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations.

Our writers and editors are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions as certified trainers and fitness experts to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality. Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage, which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

For the past year, we consulted with Men's Health's editors and writers on the top ice baths for cold water therapy. Experts, including Fitness and Commerce Editor Talene Appleton, NASM, Gear and Commerce Editor John Thompson, tried several ice baths and evaluated their cost, durability, ease-of-use, and design. Because we couldn't test every ice bath out there, we also considered top-reviewed ice baths from physical therapy experts we trust.

John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at, and a commerce writer for His interests include attending concerts, spending time outside, and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals.

Talene Appleton is a fitness and food writer and editor, certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT), and former professional dancer based in New York City. Passionate about both exercise and cuisine, she merges her fitness, nutrition and culinary expertise with the goal of motivating others to embrace balanced healthy living. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, General Surgery News, The Food Institute, The Nessie, and more.

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THANKS TORead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness ProductsRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness ProductsBest Compression Boots | Best Bathing Suits | Best Home Gym Equipment | Best Massage Guns | Best Bluetooth Shower Speakers | Best Recovery Slides | Best Athletic Shorts | Best Compression ShortsSize and capacityDurabilityInsulationDrainage systemCooling mechanismPrice