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Cold water therapy reportedly has various benefits, such as boosting circulation and reducing inflammation. Cold plunge tubs allow people to practice this therapy at home.

A cold plunge tub is a product that people use for a type of cryotherapy treatment called cold water therapy, or cold water immersion.

Cold water therapy is most effective for muscle recovery when a person immerses themselves in 50–59° F (10–15°C) water for 10–15 minutes. Cold water therapy is more effective if a person does it immediately after exercise.

Cold plunge tubs offer a convenient way to practice cold water immersion therapy at home. These tubs are often around the size of a bathtub. Some products have temperature control, whereas others may require manually adding ice until it reaches the correct temperature.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more.

The following table compares the cold plunge tubs in this article on price, temperature, and more.

Outdoor or indoorDimensionsSetup
The Plungefrom $4,99049ºF (4°C)both67 x 43 x 24 in or 73 x 47 x 27 infill with a hose
The Ice Podfrom $150user determinedboth32 x 29 inadd water and ice manually
Ice Barrelaround $1,200user determinedoutdoor42 x 31 x 25 inadd water and ice manually
The Odinfrom $6,90032ºF (0°C)both51.2 x 49.2 x 28 infill with water
G Ganenfrom around $70user determinedboth25 x 5 x 4 inadd water and ice manually
Renu Therapy$9,699.9936ºF (2°C)both36 x 24 x 30 infill with a hose
WEY&FLYaround $62user determinedindoor30 x 30 x 26 inadd water and ice manually
BlueCubefrom $24,999.9936ºF (2°C)both72.5 x 48.5 x 28.5 infill with a hose
Tru Grit$999.99user determinedboth60 x 30 x 24 inadd water and ice manually
Muelleraround $260user determinedboth59 x 33.4 x 17.7 ininflate and fill with water and ice

Medical News Today chooses cold plunge tubs that fit the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses tubs that fit a range of budgets.
  • Temperature: MNT chooses tubs that allow temperatures as low as freezing.
  • Portability: MNT ensures that there are portable tubs to choose from.
  • Capacity: MNT chooses tubs that are suitable to use by most people.
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People may wish to consider the following when choosing a cold plunge tub:

  • Temperature: People may wish to consider how cold the water can be. Some tubs may reach temperatures as low as freezing.
  • Indoor or outdoor use: Cold plunge tubs tend to be around the same size as a bathtub. People with limited space and access to outdoors may prefer a tub that they can place on a deck.
  • Vertical or horizontal: Some cold plunge tubs are similar in shape to bathtubs, allowing people to extend their legs in front of them. Others are barrel-shaped, and people will need to climb in and sit while crossing their legs to fully submerge themselves.
  • Storing the tub away: Some tubs are inflatable, which means people can store them away after use. Those who live in smaller spaces may prefer these types of tubs to those that they cannot put away.
  • Fill type: Some tubs require people to manually add water and ice to reach their desired temperature. Others have a chiller that automatically sets the temperature.

Supporters of cold water therapy state that it can boost the immune system, improve circulation, burn calories, decrease stress, and improve libido. However, there is very little scientific evidence to support most of these claims.

A 2022 review of 104 studies found that there is some evidence that cold water therapy may increase the body’s tolerance to stress and respiratory infections, and improve cardiovascular function, mental health, and insulin sensitivity.

Cold water immersion therapy is also effective as a recovery tool after intensive exercise, according to a 2022 meta-analysis. This therapy may decrease muscle soreness and improve muscle power and perceived recovery 24 hours after exercise.

Cold water can cause a cold shock response. People who have a cold shock response may experience:

  • tachycardia
  • gasping
  • uncontrollable hyperventilation
  • vasoconstriction in the extremities
  • hypertension

Cold shock responses can cause cardiac arrhythmia in people without any health conditions. People who have a heart condition, those who are pregnant, or anyone with a health condition that may become worse if the heart does not beat regularly, should contact a healthcare professional before using these products.

Here we answer some common questions about cold plunge tubs.

Can you do a cold plunge in a bathtub?

It is possible to do a cold plunge in a bathtub. However, manufacturers typically do not design bathtubs to withstand freezing temperatures.

How big of a tub do I need for a cold plunge?

People can choose to purchase a bathtub-style or barrel-style cold plunge tub. It is important to ensure there is enough space for a person to fully submerge their body or specific body parts.

What’s the easiest cold plunge tub to take care of?

A cold plunge tub with in-built sanitation generators is easier to maintain than tubs that a person has to drain and clean on their own.

Cold plunge tubs are a convenient way to explore the benefits of cold water therapy at home. There are many products available to buy online at different price points.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using a cold plunge tub if a person has a health condition, including a heart condition, or is pregnant.