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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

The Best Ice Baths & Cold Plunges for Athletes 2024

Boost muscle recovery for your entire body with quick and effective cold therapy.

Athlete using an ice bath for muscle recovery.

There’s a good chance that when you first saw someone plunge their body into freezing cold ice water after a workout you thought to yourself: Why in the world are they doing that?


But after gaining an understanding of how cold therapy works and noticing your favorite athletes also using this method, those thoughts might have turned to: Should I try this out for myself?


If you’re a committed athlete that doesn’t like to be bogged down with muscle pain, DOMS, and stiff joints the short answer is absolutely.


Through exposure to cold temperatures, cold therapy constricts your blood vessels in the applied area to relieve pain and reduce swelling and inflammation.


Athletes that incorporate cold therapy into their recovery routines noticeably reduce muscle soreness and feel fresher from one workout or competition to the next.


Here, we’ve put together a list of the best ice baths and cold plunges for athletes in 2024.



What Type of Athlete Should Use Cold Therapy?


If you follow any of your favorite professional athletes on social media, you’ve likely seen them submerged in an ice bath after a workout or game, touting the importance of recovery.


But ice baths and cold plunges aren’t just for professional athletes.


Nowadays, athletes and active individuals of any stripe and sport can benefit from incorporating cold therapy into their muscle recovery routines.


Ice baths and cold plunges reduce inflammation and other pain symptoms by narrowing (vasoconstricting) your blood vessels and shifting lactic acid away from your muscles.


In other words, cold therapy helps to repair your muscles faster from one workout to the next.


It’s hard to think of an athlete that wouldn’t benefit from using cold therapy, as submerging in an ice bath or cold plunge can target every sore muscle on your body at the same time and help to maintain peak athletic performance.


Many athletes use cold therapy to help them stay on track with personal fitness goals, whether this is training for a marathon, crushing workouts at the gym, or any other personal best you’re chasing.



Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by Compression Athlete. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.



1. Inergize Cold + Hot Plunge Tub


The Inergize Cold + Hot Plunge Tub features a comfortable full-body immersion experience in a compact and convenient 4.3 ft tub. This cold plunge utilizes a 3-stage sanitation system that ensures crystal-clear water with minimal maintenance.


Athlete using the Inergize Cold + Hot Plunge Tub.

 

Inergize’s Cold + Hot Plunge Tub utilizes an app-controlled chiller that cools to 37°F and heats to 105°F. This cold plunge has military-grade durability suited for both indoor and outdoor use and an insulating cover with a lockable code system for a debris-free, child safe setup.  


For $250 Off Use Discount Code: CompressionAthlete



2. Cryospring Cold + Hot Plunge System


The Cryospring Cold + Hot Plunge System features an insulating drop-stitch inflatable tub with a triple-layer EVA cushioned bottom and locking lid. This cold plunge is designed for both cold and hot plunges with 37°F to 107°F temperature adjustability.


Athlete using the Cryospring Cold + Hot Plunge System.


Cryospring’s Cold + Hot Plunge System utilizes a dual-stage water microfiltration system and an automated ozone generator for natural sanitation. This cold plunge has a Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Chiller with iOS/Android app control and a 1-year warranty (30-day money back guarantee).



3. Cryospring Portable Ice Bath


The Cryospring Portable Ice Bath is a portable tub with a comfortable and durable drop-stitch construction and triple-layer cushioned bottom. This ice bath inflates in 2 minutes and conveniently stores in a duffle-style backpack.


Athlete using the Cryospring Portable Ice Bath.

Shop at Cryospring: Cryospring Portable Ice Bath 


Cryospring’s Portable Ice Bath features all-weather indoor and outdoor performance with a stainless steel water inlet/outlet and easy garden hose drainage. This ice bath utilizes an air-gap insulating body and comes with a 1 year warranty (30-day money back guarantee).



4. Sun Home Cold Plunge


The Sun Home Cold Plunge features a spacious full body tub with an extra durable design that’s perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. This cold plunge can go cold (down to 37.5°F) or hot (up to 104°F) in just a few minutes with an energy efficient motor.


Athlete using the Sun Home Cold Plunge.

Shop at Sun Home: Sun Home Cold Plunge


Sun Home’s Cold Plunge utilizes easy-drain technology, as well as a built-in sanitization system and circulation pump. This cold plunge doesn’t require any plumbing, has a convenient mobile app you can control from anywhere, and comes with a 5-year warranty.



5. Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro


The Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro features an energy-efficient chiller with Whisper-Chill technology for a quiet operation. This cold plunge doesn’t require any plumbing and has a contemporary aesthetic in a durable design that’s fit for both indoor and outdoor use.


Athlete using the Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro.

Shop at Sun Home: Sun Home Cold Plunge Pro


Sun Home’s Cold Plunge Pro utilizes interior LED lighting for night-time use and a built-in sanitization system and circulation pump. This cold plunge comes with a 5-year warranty and is a trusted recovery tool of the NBA, NFL, MLB, UFC, and Team USA Olympics.



6. The Plunge


The Plunge features a powerful cooling, filtration, and sanitation system that delivers cold and clean water whenever you need. This cold plunge is fully insulated, has a simple plug-in installation (no plumbing), and is available in standard and XL sizes.


Athlete using The Plunge.

Shop at Plunge: The Plunge


The Plunge has a long-lasting durable construction perfect for both indoor and outdoor use and comes with a 1-year warranty. This cold plunge cools down to 39°F and offers add-ons for hot and cold ability, as well as a Pro Cooling Speed that cools extra fast.



7. Lumi Recovery Pro Ice Bath


The Lumi Recovery Pro Ice Bath features a spacious interior with a premium thick rubber wall construction. This ice bath comes with a 2-year limited warranty and specially designed lid with sturdy clips that ensures an invigorating cold plunge every time.


Athlete using the Lumi Recovery Pro Ice Bath.

Shop at Lumi Therapy: Lumi Recovery Pro Ice Bath


Lumi’s Recovery Pro Ice Bath can be purchased with an add-on chiller and filter duo that’s controllable via mobile app to keep your water cold and immaculate. This ice bath add-on chiller can cool water down to 37°F and warm it up to 107.6°F.


For 15% Off Use Code: CompressionAthlete



8. Lumi Recovery Pod MAX Ice Bath


The Lumi Recovery Pod MAX Ice Bath now features an even bigger and colder portable insulated pod with 5x layers of thermal TPE protection and 100 liters of extra capacity for a comfortable fit.


Athlete using the Lumi Recovery Pod MAX Ice Bath.

Shop at Lumi Therapy: Lumi Recovery Pod MAX Ice Bath


Lumi’s Recovery Pod MAX Ice Bath comes with a dry bag for storage, a thermometer for accurate temperature readings, an all-weather cover, and a patented Thermo lid to ensure the water stays at a steady cold.


For 15% Off Use Code: CompressionAthlete



9. Ice Barrel 400


The Ice Barrel 400 features an effective upright design for comfortable full immersion while remaining compact, lightweight, and portable. This ice bath has an extra durable design and can be used both indoors and outdoors (only requiring 5 square feet of space).


Athletes using the Ice Barrel 400.

Shop at Ice Barrel: Ice Barrel 400


The Ice Barrel 400 comes with a step stool for easy entry/exit, a UV and water-resistant cover, and can accommodate users up to 6’6 in height. This ice bath is made of non-toxic, BPA-free, medical-grade material and comes with an impressive lifetime warranty.



10. Ice Barrel 300


The Ice Barrel 300 features a sleek and fully insulated design with a small seat inside for maintaining a comfortable upright position (and full immersion). This ice bath has an extra durable design, can be used indoors and outdoors, and is easy to step in and out of.


Athlete using the Ice Barrel 300.

Shop at Ice Barrel: Ice Barrel 300


The Ice Barrel 300 is compact, lightweight, and has polyurethane foam insulation in both the body and lid to keep colder longer. This ice bath has a UV and water-resistant cover, can accommodate users up to 6’2 in height, and is covered by a lifetime warranty.



11. Redwood Outdoors Alaskan Cold Plunge


The Redwood Outdoors Alaskan Cold Plunge features an aesthetic natural wood design with a spruce thermowood exterior and a plastic liner fitted to the inside. This cold plunge has add-on options for an electric chiller/heater, waterproof cover, cleaning kit, and more.


Athlete using the Redwood Outdoors Alaskan Cold Plunge.

Shop at Redwood Outdoors: Redwood Outdoors Alaskan Cold Plunge


Redwood Outdoors’ Alaskan Cold Plunge is fully assembled before delivery and ready to use within minutes. This cold plunge can be controlled remotely via cellphone and comes with a 1-year warranty.



12. Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge


The Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge features an inflatable design that’s durable, lightweight, and easy to transport. This cold plunge has add-on options for an electric chiller/heater, waterproof cover, cleaning kit, water balancing kit, and more.


Athlete using the Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge.

Shop at Redwood Outdoors: Redwood Outdoors Yukon Cold Plunge


Redwood Outdoors’ Yukon Cold Plunge is easy to inflate, ready to use in under 10 minutes, and packable into a complimentary backpack. This cold plunge can be controlled remotely via cellphone and comes with a 1-year warranty.



13. PolarPod CHAMBRR


The PolarPod CHAMBRR features a durable and insulated solid wall construction that’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This ice bath doesn’t require any plumbing, can accommodate users up to 6’9, and has an easy-to-clean design.


Athlete using the PolarPod CHAMBRR.

Shop at PolarPod: PolarPod CHAMBRR


PolarPod’s CHAMBRR can be purchased with an add-on CHILLR for a water chiller/filter combination (UV disinfection filter and particle filter). The CHILLR model has a WIFI-enable temperature control system that can go both cold (down to 39°F) and hot (up to 105°F).


For 10% Off Use Code: CompressionAthlete



14. PolarPod Ice Bath


The PolarPod Ice Bath is the most affordable and largest pod on the market with a quick and easy setup (5 minutes) and a portable lightweight design (7.7 lbs). This ice bath has durable nylon fabric and triple insulated walls for long lasting cold.


Athlete using the PolarPod Ice Bath.

Shop at PolarPod: PolarPod Ice Bath


PolarPod’s Ice Bath can be purchased with an insulating all-weather cover and/or an add-on CHILLR that cools the water to 42°F. This ice bath has an easy drain tap, is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and can accommodate users up to 6’7 in height.


For 10% Off Use Code: CompressionAthlete



How Does Cold Therapy Work for Athletes?


After physical activity, whether training or competition, expose the designated area of your body to cold temperatures by means of an ice pack that’s localized to a specific spot or by immersing your body in cold water and ice.


Once the cold is applied to your body, you’ll notice immediate relief to any soreness, aching, or pain in your muscles.


Of course, you’ll also notice a very cold sensation, which in certain cases may seem unbearable.


So, if you’re submerging your body in an ice bath, it’s important that you limit your exposure to no more than 15 minutes (and note that anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes should suffice).


Athletes submerging in ice baths.

Many athletes like utilizing the ice bath or cold water plunge as it allows you to hit every muscle group at the same time, providing a quick and effective recovery treatment.


But you may also find that it takes some time building up a comfort level to stay submerged in the frigid water.


Once finished, the vasoconstriction (narrowing) of your blood vessels will be noticeable.


Your limbs and muscles will feel a bit more constricted and less mobile (i.e. not loose and limber like if heat were applied).


This is fine, though, as the vasoconstriction will quickly wear off and make way for the vasodilation (widening) of your blood vessels, allowing nutrient-rich blood to flow into your tissue and flush out muscle soreness.


In other words, that dreaded muscle pain and stiffness that sets in a day or two after pushing your body won’t be as bad and won’t stick around for as long.


Not only does cold therapy help alleviate the muscle soreness from your workout but it better prepares you for your next one faster and will allow you to perform at a higher level.



What Are the Benefits of Cold Therapy for Athletes?


Simple to use and easy to customize, cold therapy is a great muscle recovery tool that any athlete can incorporate into their routine.


One aspect that’s so great about cold therapy is that users can feel immediate relief while enjoying longer-term benefits, as well.


Not only does the exposure to cold temperature help to reduce inflammation and swelling but it reduces the nerve transmission of pain sent to your brain, numbing your perception of pain.


The key aspect from which all cold therapy benefits derive is the way in which your blood vessels narrow (vasoconstrict) when exposed to cold temperatures.


When this occurs, the blood in your body moves toward your core and vital organs, replenishing with oxygen and nutrients.


Athlete enjoying benefits of a cold plunge.

Meanwhile, your body works hard to maintain its core temperature (especially when undergoing a cold water plunge or ice bath), stimulating the body to increase its circulation.


So, when you emerge from the cold exposure, your body heats back up and your blood vessels expand (vasodilate).


And the now nutrient-rich blood flows back into your muscle tissue, helping to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste.


Not only does this help your muscles recover faster and reduce muscle soreness and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but over time this process can improve the efficiency of your body’s circulatory system.


Reducing inflammation and other pain symptoms help athletes enjoy faster muscle recovery times from one workout or competition to the next, allowing for greater consistency and development.



Learn everything you need to know about cold therapy in our complete guide.


And if you’re looking for a more targeted approach to cold therapy, check out our picks for the top cold compression sleeves and braces.


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