Site icon Fashion Shop

Take a Cold Plunge With the 8 Best Ice Bath Tubs for Major Mood and Recovery Benefits

take a cold plunge with the 8 best ice bath tubs for major mood and recovery benefits

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, WWD may receive an affiliate commission.

If you’re looking to improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and relieve achy muscles, a shock of cold water may be your golden ticket. Personal cold plunge and ice bath tubs allow you to reboot your mind and body at home, and you now have options to suit any abode.

Cold plunges are outliers in the wellness space, with proven benefits and a slew of supporters that range from the Hadids to Hippocrates (the ancient Greek physician is cited as the grandfather of cryotherapy). So one thing’s for certain: Cold plunges and ice baths have enduring appeal, and for good reason. “An icy dip triggers your body’s nervous system,” biohacking expert and HigherDose founder Lauren Berlingeri explains. “That initial shock from the cold water shifts your body into a healing parasympathetic state (a.ka. rest and digest), which promotes deep rest, whole-body relaxation, and faster recovery.” Regenerative medicine doctor, Dr. Neil Paulvin, DO, adds that ice baths can “improve our mental health by boosting dopamine and decreasing inflammation.”

Related Galleries

Celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow, Kylie Jenner, Madonna, Bella Hadid, and Kim Kardashian have popularized ice baths as part of their wellness rituals, while musicians like Rüfüs du Sol swear by a 3-minute post-show soak to stay fresh on tour. One of the best parts of cold plunges is that you don’t have to be an A-lister to partake in the self care practice — all you need is cold water, ice, a vessel to fill up, and the courage to take the plunge.

Just like acupressure mats, infrared sauna blankets, LED face masks, and deep tissue massagers, ice bath tubs are a way to calm your mind and relax your body without stepping out the door. We’ve canvassed the experts and researched the top offerings to find the best cold plunge and ice bath tubs. Read on to find the best tub for you, and learn about cold plunge and ice bath benefits.

Sign up for WWD’S Shop newsletter to get the scoop on the best in beauty and style with in-depth reviews of exciting new releases and buyer’s guides to find the products you need to try ASAP.

Related Stories:
The Best Bubble Bath Products
The Best Massage Guns
The Best Spa Gifts

The Best Cold Plunge and Ice Bath Tubs of 2023

Plunge Cold Plunge Tub

  • Size: 67 inches long by 43 inches wide
  • Capacity: About 100 gallons
  • Usage: Indoor and outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Self contained system that filters water so you don’t need to refill with each use
    • Built-in circulation system keeps water chilled
    • Designed with durable materials like fiberglass
  • Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Not portable

If you’re serious about cold water therapy, Plunge’s Cold Plunge Tub is an investment piece you’ll use for years. It’s one of the only tubs available that has a self contained filtration system, meaning you don’t have to refill the basin for each use. In fact, once you fill it, the water inside will stay fresh for up to six months. The acrylic and fiberglass materials are ultra high quality, so you won’t experience an ounce of leaking. Serious cold plungers will love that you can adjust the temperature to as low as a bone-chilling 39 degrees Farenheit.

What reviewers say: “The plunge has been an absolute game changer. Sometimes I go twice a day. It has supercharged my morning routine, allowed me to increase my exercise volume, and I have adopted a solid breathing practice that is a direct byproduct of cold exposure. I never really meditated or did breath work consistently but the Plunge basically comes with that as bonus.”

Courtesy of The Cold Plunge

Plunge Cold Plunge Tub $4,990 Buy Now AT THE COLD PLUNGE

Co-Z Inflatable Bath Tub

  • Size: 63 inches long by 33 inches wide
  • Usage: Indoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Quickly inflates
    • Two drainage valves for easy deflating
    • Built-in back and armrests
  • Cons:
    • May slightly deflate during use

The Co-Z Inflatable Bath Tub is an excellent choice for those who don’t have room for a dedicated free-standing cold plunge tub. It deflates easily and folds down just like an air mattress for simple storage. The zip-top feature lets you cover yourself while you’re plunging, which helps retain the cold (or hot) water temperature inside. It also features a cup holder and headrest.

What reviewers say: “I’m 5’8 and pregnant and this a life saver. I can’t fit into my bathtub at home because it’s too narrow and too short, but this tub is perfect! It is able to cover my gigantic belly even with the top zipped closed. Its perfect for nice cold soaks in the summer and a hot bath when the belly or back pains kick in.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Co-Z Inflatable Bath Tub $60 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Ice Barrel Cold Therapy Training Tool

  • Size: 42 inches tall by 31 inches wide
  • Usage: Outdoor
  • Capacity: 105 gallons
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Non-slip step stool for easy entry
    • Sturdy material
    • Retains cold temperature
  • Cons:
    • Large size is cumbersome to move

The extra spacious Ice Barrel Cold Therapy Training Tool makes it easy to dunk your body into an ice bath. Rather than reclining in a tub, the barrel is designed for all shapes and sizes to crouch in the cold for a few minutes. Although you can easily drain barrel, the included lid helps keep the water inside chilly so you can recycle the water for a few uses. The upright shape takes up less space than traditional tubs, too.

What reviewers say: “The barrel’s upright build allows me to submerge comfortably (despite being 6’4) and enables me to focus on my breath work and meditation. It’s ideal for getting the total benefits of a cold plunge and I leave the barrel feeling refreshed every single time.”

Courtesy of Huckberry

Ice Barrel Cold Therapy Training Tool $1,199 Buy Now AT HUCKBERRY

Shuimeiyan Portable Bath Tub

  • Size: 33.5 inches tall by 29.5 inches wide
  • Capacity: 40 gallons
  • Usage: Indoor and outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Fits in most showers
    • Collapsible
  • Cons:
    • Drain placed at the top of the tub makes it tricky to empty

Similarly to the Ice Barrel, the Shuimeiyan Portable Bath Tub is designed in an upright shape for quick ice dunking. The collapsible design feels sturdy once it’s full with ice and water, and it features an inflatable rim so you can comfortably rest your neck while you’re icing. And the PVC mesh material retains the water temperature inside, whether hot or cold. This tub is unique because it features two drains, one at the bottom and one on the side, so it’s one of the quickest to empty and break down on our list.

What reviewers say: “The inflatable rim makes setup pretty easy. The material is very durable. It’s great for an ice bath or a long soak because the tub is quite deep.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Shuimeiyan Portable Bath Tub $66 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Aleko Natural Pine Hot and Cold Plunge Tub

  • Size: 76 inches long by 30 inches wide
  • Capacity: 132 gallons
  • Usage: Outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Fresh pine scent from natural materials
    • Includes insulated cover
    • Also works well as a hot tub with wood burning heater
  • Cons:
    • Leaks during first few uses

For the folks who love a mountain house vibe, it doesn’t get better than the Aleko Natural Pine Hot and Cold Plunge Tub; the wood material is a great choice for those who don’t love the idea of a plastic tub. The natural pine slats will swell after the first few uses to create a leakproof basin — and you’ll smell woodsy notes every time you’re resting inside. This option is also as close as it gets to a hot tub; it features a charcoal-burning heating system to get your water nice and toasty.

What reviewers say: “This wooden tub is beautiful, it was already put together and had nice rubber rails around the tub. This hot tub was exactly what I was looking for. The insulated topper helps save the water for another day and lowers the cost of coal use until you drain it.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Aleko Natural Pine Hot and Cold Plunge Tub $1,399 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Wey & Fly Portable Foldable Bath Tub

  • Size: 30 inches wide by 30 inches tall
  • Usage: Indoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Fits inside most showers and bathtubs
    • Easy to drain
    • Foldable for easy storage
  • Cons:
    • Slight plastic smell during first few uses

Plungers can’t say enough good things about the Wey & Fly Portable Foldable Bath Tub — it’s sturdy enough for years of use. If your home only has a standing shower, this upright tub is a great way to bathe without doing a full bathroom renovation. The plastic material gets sturdiness from alloy steel rods to keep it upright and leakproof when you’re using it. And when you’re not using it, you can quickly fold it down — it collapses into a footprint similar to that of a rolled yoga mat.

What reviewers say: “The walls of the tub are sort of squishy, so it’s a bit more comfortable than even some other real tubs I’ve been in. There’s lots of room to sit, even lean back a bit.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Wey & Fly Portable Foldable Bath Tub $54 Buy Now AT AMAZOn

Rubbermaid Commercial Structural Foam Stock Tank

  • Size: 53 inches long by 31 inches wide
  • Capacity: 100 gallons
  • Usage: Indoor and outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Durable material
    • Easy to clean
    • Simple to use
  • Cons:
    • Takes a long time to drain
    • Doesn’t come with cover

Rubbermaid is a trusted brand for all things storage, and this Commercial Structural Foam Stock Tank moonlights as a cold plunge tub. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other tubs on our list, it’s just as efficient for a quick plunge: The polyethylene material is ultra-durable, and it features a drainage spout to quickly empty the tub when you’re done bathing. The high quality material is also easy to clean — unlike thin plastic tubs, it stands up to household cleaners and high water pressure if you opt to hose it down.

What reviewers say: “I’m using this for ice baths and it’s perfect. I got the 100 gallon and my 6’2” husband fits with extra room. It’s very sturdy.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Rubbermaid Commercial Structural Foam Stock Tank $186 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Kiseely Portable Foldable Bathtub

  • Size: 47 inches long by 22 inches wide
  • Usage: Indoor and outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Pros:
    • Includes multiple headrest options
    • Multiple layers of material help maintain water temperature
  • Cons:
    • Difficult to assemble

The indoor- and outdoor-friendly Kiseely Portable Foldable Bathtub earns high marks for its ability to retain hot and cold temperatures. That’s thanks to its six layers of material, including layers of thermal insulating cotton, PVC, and thick waterproof lining. Shoppers note that it’s highly unlikely to leak, so you can comfortably dunk into an ice bath indoors without fearing your floors.

What reviewers say: “The material is thick and high quality. I’m about 175 pounds and this bathtub can hold me without any problem. The size is larger than I thought. The amazing thing is that the bathtub is light and easy to fold without water, once you fill it with water, it becomes very sturdy.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Kiseely Portable Foldable Bathtub $85 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Cold Plunge Benefits: Why Ice Baths Are Good for You

While cold plunges and ice baths have loads of benefits for your mind and body, it’s important to note that those with nerve issues, heart and lung difficulties, or open wounds should avoid cold plunges, according to Dr. Paulvin. Otherwise, enjoy a few minutes in the cold to enjoy the following benefits:

  • A mood boost: “Ice baths improve our mental health by boosting dopamine,” says Dr. Paulvin. But these cold plunges impact more than that feel-good hormone. “Ice baths boost your brain’s production of endorphins — hello, happy rush — and norepinephrine, the hormone responsible for regulating your energy and focus,” says Berlingeri.
  • Better sleep: By calming down your sympathetic nervous system — the part of your body that activates the “fight or flight” response, cold plunges can improve the quality of your sleep, says Dr. Paulvin. “Ice baths stimulate our stress response and recovery process, all of which contribute to better sleep, a boost in mood, and less fatigue,” he explains. According to Berlingeri, taking an ice bath after heat therapy from a sauna blanket will increase the production of melatonin, aka the sleep hormone.
  • Decreased inflammation: “Cold plunges can cause vasoconstriction, which is the closing of blood vessels to limit inflammatory chemicals getting to the area,” says Dr. Paulvin. Decreased inflammation helps alleviate chronic pain from conditions like arthritis. Because cold plunges decrease blood flow, they’re not ideal for those looking to build muscle after a workout (you won’t get the proper circulation to muscles to increase their mass).
  • Improved immunity: “Cold plunges can help strengthen the immune system,” Dr. Paulvin says. “When the body is immersed in cold water, it stimulates leukocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off sickness,” he explains.
  • Less muscular pain: Although cold plunges don’t help build muscles, they can soothe sore ones. According to a 2017 review published in Experimental Physiology, cold water exposure can have a pain relieving effect on muscles and prevent muscle spasms.
  • Calmer skin: If you’re looking to relieve redness, ice baths are an option. “Ice baths and cold plunges constrict blood vessels in the skin,” says New York City dermatologist Dr. Dan Belkin. “This can have some anti-inflammatory benefit, reducing redness, swelling, and symptoms like itchiness.”

How to Take a Cold Plunge or Ice Bath

“If you’re just getting started with cold water therapy, a cold shower works great,” Berlingeri says. Try staying in the cold shower for two full minutes to get acclimated. Once you’re ready to upgrade to a cold plunge, Dr. Paulvin says to aim for three to four minutes sessions with temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Farenheit. Dr. Paulvin says 11 minutes of cold plunging per week is optimal.

  1. Fill the tub: You can use cold water on its own, or cold water with a hefty pour of ice for a chillier soak. As a general rule, fill the tub about two thirds of its full capacity. Be sure to check your tub’s instruction manual — some have capacity limits.
  2. Get dressed: “It’s important to protect your skin before you take the plunge,” says Berlingeri. “You should wear, at a minimum, a t-shirt and shorts.” If you’re feeling bold, you can go with a bathing suit — either way, you’ll soak up all the benefits. Be sure to set a dry pair sweatpants and a sweatshirt nearby so you can quickly change after the plunge.
  3. Take the plunge: Do your best to expose everything from your shoulders down to the ice bath. If you’re having trouble convincing yourself to get in, follow Berlingeri’s advice. She enters an ice bath thinking, “this hurts so good,” while running through all the things the practice will do for her body. Breath work can also help.
  4. Breathe deeply: Both Dr. Paulvin and Berlingeri recommend the Wim Hof breathing technique. Start with 30 to 40 quick, deep breaths, exhaling through your mouth. Next, inhale deeply, let it out, and keep your lungs deflated as long as possible. Take another deep breath and hold it for about 15 seconds. Repeat this sequence three to four times.

How We Chose the Best Cold Plunge and Ice Bath Tubs

To choose the best cold plunge and ice bath tubs, we spoke to three experts with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. We used their input to inform our choices on this list, also factoring in materials, drainage, portability, and how easy the tubs are to assemble. Versatility is another a factor we kept in mind: We made sure to include a range of options that can be used indoors and outdoors, as well as tubs that are friendly for hot baths. We also studied recent research related to cold water therapy to fully understand the proven benefits of cold plunges.

Meet the Experts

Lauren Berlingeri is the co-founder of HigherDose. She began her career as a renowned nutritionist and health coach, wellness product developer and host of the popular series Woman vs. Workout. She discovered the power of Infrared technology — specifically Infrared saunas — through these experiences as sweating it out helped her recover from intense exercise challenges while also boosting her mood. Shocked by the effectiveness of this nature-inspired technology and the lack of knowledge surrounding it, she saw an opportunity to bring the biohacking tool to the masses. Since then, the brand has experienced meteoric success, boiling down to a true revolutionization of the spa business. As a female biohacker and mother of twins, Lauren brings a fresh perspective to a space that has been dominated by male voices from its inception, making it HigherDose’s core mission to educate women about their bio-individuality and give them the tools they need to reach their own best selves, with content designed to educate people on how to take control of their own wellness regimens.

Dr. Dan Belkin is a board-certified dermatologist who is fellowship-trained in cosmetic dermatology, laser surgery, and Mohs micrographic surgery. He is also subspecialty board-certified in dermatologic surgery. Before joining New York Dermatology Group and NYDG Wellness in 2021, he practiced since 2017 at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. In addition to a strong foundation in medical dermatology, he has experience in a wide range of lasers, energy-based devices, surgical techniques, and injectables, allowing him to approach aging, aesthetics, and skin health in a creative and comprehensive manner. He has authored several textbook chapters on dermatologic surgery and multiple original articles, which have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, JAMA Dermatology, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Subjects include high risk skin cancer, lasers for disorders of pigmentation, laser resurfacing, and aesthetic treatments for men.

Dr. Neil Paulvin has certifications in Family Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulation, and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. His practice in Manhattan combines traditional and alternative medicine to help patients live a healthy lifestyle and perform at their best. He specializes in Peptide Therapy, Sports Medicine, Mitochondrial Health, Bioidentical Hormone therapy, Longevity Medicine, the brain-gut connection, and more. As a leading expert in biohacking and human optimization, Dr. Paulvin is recognized for his exceptional work applying a hyper-personal approach to help his patients, including Fortune 500 executives, Olympic athletes, and A-list celebrities, optimize their health, perform better under pressure, recover faster, and move beyond the baseline.

Meet the Author

Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News. She’s spent over five years researching, reporting on, and writing about the beauty and wellness industries for publications like Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. To compile the best cold plunge and ice bath tubs, she spent hours diving into the latest research, reviewed customer feedback, and spoke to experts in different fields.

Exit mobile version