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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. 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).


Why We Like It: This cold plunge provides all the features you need for easy and effective cold therapy with a durable design, cushioned bottom, and a smart chiller with app control.



2. 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).


Why We Like It: As far as portable ice baths go, you’ll find that this one is the most durable, easy to inflate, comfortable to use, and convenient to store.



3. 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.

For $250 Off Use Discount Code: CompressionAthlete


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.  


Why We Like It: For those that want a compact yet effective cold plunge design with full-body immersion and an app-controlled chiller.



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 1-year warranty.


Why We Like It: This is a great option for those that want a little extra length from their cold plunge for comfortable full body immersion.



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 1-year warranty and is a trusted recovery tool of the NBA, NFL, MLB, UFC, and Team USA Olympics.


Why We Like It: The Rolls-Royce of cold plunges with a stainless steel construction, Whisper-Chill technology, LED lighting, and just about everything else you could ever want in a cold plunge.



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.


Why We Like It: We’re big fans of the sleek signature Plunge design and you’ll love the extra fast Pro Cooling Speed that makes your cold therapy sessions quick and effective.



7. 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.


Why We Like It: An upright ice bath experience in a durable barrel design that makes your plunging easy and doesn’t take up a lot of space.



8. 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.


Why We Like It: Another upright and compact ice bath option but in a slightly different design with a small seat on the inside for comfortable full immersion.



9. 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.


Why We Like It: Hard to find an upright plunge that comes with a chiller like this one does and the natural wood design looks great in your backyard.



10. 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.


Why We Like It: Durable, lightweight, and easy to inflate is everything you want in a portable cold plunge (plus, the option to add a chiller).



11. 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 1-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 

For 15% Off Use Code: CompressionAthlete


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.


Why We Like It: This ice bath is the perfect blend of durable and portable while still offering you plenty of room to plunge.



12. 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 

For 15% Off Use Code: CompressionAthlete


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.


Why We Like It: For the occasional plunger, this ice bath offers all the essentials with a comfortable fit, portable design, and budget-friendly price.



Cold Plunge Top Picks: Side by Side Comparison


Here, you can see how our top cold plunge picks compare to one another.

 

We’ve highlighted some of the key features that we find most helpful when it comes to deciding on an ice bath or cold plunge, so you can see how these options stack up.

 

Of course, the basic features of the product, such as its dimensions and price will help determine if it’s going to fit properly in your designated spot and meet your budgetary needs.

 

While additional features, such as whether it comes with a chiller, cover, and warranty, among other features, will help you narrow in what kind of cold plunge experience you’re looking for.


Product

Dimensions

Price

Chiller

Warranty (Years)

58 x 32 x 27 in

$4,990

Yes

1

59 x 32 x 27 in

$990

No

1

51 x 27.5 x 30 in

$4,490

Yes

1

76.8 x 27.6 x 25.2 in

$4,999

Yes

1

78 x 34 x 33 in

$9,500

Yes

1

67 x 32.5 x 24 in

$4,990

Yes

1

31 x 42 in

$1,200

No

Lifetime

35.5 x 30.5 in

$1,200

No

Lifetime

37 x 40.5 in

$4,699

Yes

1

59 x 31.5 x 23.75 in

$3,499

Yes

1

63 x 25 x 33.5 in

$1,135

No

1

35.5 x 30 in

$165

No

1


Should I Get a Cold Plunge With a Chiller? 

 

Chillers are used to cool the water in your cold plunge to a designated temperature.

 

And you’ll find that adding one to your cold plunge definitely adds convenience to your preparation and precision to your water temperature.

 

However, keep in mind that adding a chiller is going to add to your overall cost.

 

Some athletes might feel they need this customization and convenience in order to get the most out of their cold plunge, while others may prefer the classic “add ice and go” routine.

 

 

Do You Need a Cover for Your Cold Plunge?

 

Having a cover (or lid) for your cold plunge can help you carry out a few important roles.

 

For starters, keeping your cold plunge covered up when not in use will help ensure it stays clean and free of debris.

 

It can also serve as an important safety feature, which is especially important if your cold plunge is accessible to young children or pets.

 

Additionally, the cover serves as an insulation seal, keeping the cold water cold.

 

All of the ice baths and cold plunges featured on our list above come with covers.


 

Always Choose a Cold Plunge with a Warranty

 

We always look for products that come with warranties as a mark of quality and commitment to making sure you get great value for your money.

 

All the ice baths and cold plunges on our list come with a warranty.

 

That being said, some warranty durations are longer than others.

 

Go with the duration that feels right in relation to your investment and expectations for the product.



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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