The Best Ice Baths: Cool Options for Your Post-Workout Recovery

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Intense workouts can take a toll on your body. That's why one of the most consequential parts of the workout process is recovery. As many athletes know, submerging yourself in an ice bath can be an especially great way to recuperate following a long run, a strenuous bike ride, or some other form of vigorous cardio.

Indeed, a good ice bath can help to promote muscle recovery, soothe aches, and even help you sleep better at night. The first step is ensuring you have a good tub for your ice bath. The ACTIVE Reviews Team has put together a list of the best ice baths on the market today to help you get started.

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The Best Ice Baths - Our Top Picks

What to Look for When Shopping for an Ice Bath

When shopping for an ice bath, there are three basic types of products to be aware of:

  • Inflatable tubs tend to be more affordable and can also be great for travel/portability. The downside is that inflatable tubs may not hold up over time, as their materials simply aren't as durable.
  • Solid tubs, typically made with heavy-duty plastic, may be a little more expensive and a little more difficult to transport, but they also offer greater longevity.
  • Spa tubs come with filters and a number of other high-end features. These tubs can be quite expensive and are really only recommended for those who take ice baths avidly.

Best Overall Ice Bath - Cold Plunge

Cold Plunge

SPECS

  • Materials: N/A
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 67"L x 31.5"W (43" with plumbing/chiller) x 24"H
  • Weight: 150 lbs.
  • Use: Indoor or outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Key features: Circular filtration, temperatures as low as 39 degrees, ozone sanitation, lockable cover
  • Warranty: 1 year factory

Check Price

Our choice for the best overall ice bath is the Cold Plunge, an extravagant, spa-style model that's built to last and loaded with bells and whistles. Want super-chilly temperatures? This one cools down to 39 degrees F. Advanced filtration options? The Cold Plunge has several. It can also drain via hose, comes with an insulated cover, and even has a handy cell phone holder.

While it's not exactly cheap, the Cold Plunge does come with a 1-year factory warranty and is built with solid materials that should hold up for plunge after plunge. And because it's made with insulation and energy efficiency in mind, this ice bath can keep your water nice and cold for as little as $1 per day.

PROS

  • Insulated and energy efficient
  • Cools to as low as 39 degrees F
  • Drains via hose
  • Works indoors or outdoors
  • Decent warranty
  • Advanced filtration options
  • Made of durable materials

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Large footprint
  • Not portable

BUY: Cold Plunge

Best Ice Bath Design - Ice Barrel Bathtub

Ice Barrel Bathtub

SPECS

  • Materials: Plastic
  • Capacity: 105 gallons
  • Dimensions: 42" x 31" x 25"
  • Weight: 55 lbs. (empty)
  • Use: Outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Key features: Easy flow drainage system, sustainably and ethically made with recycled materials
  • Warranty: N/A

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We love the slim and sleek design of the Ice Barrel Bathtub, which is exactly what its name suggests: A barrel that's large enough for most adults and that offers an easy point of entry or egress. An easy-flow drainage system keeps this ice bath very low maintenance, while the use of high-quality plastics promotes durability. This is a great option for athletes who want full-body immersion following a rigorous workout session.

PROS

  • Made with durable, non-toxic plastic
  • Easy drainage system for low maintenance
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Large capacity
  • Works well outdoors, year-round

CONS

  • You'll need to change the water fairly often
  • Not suited for indoor use
CTA:

BUY: Ice Barrel Bathtub

Most Durable Ice Bath - Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Rubbermaid Stock Tank

SPECS

  • Materials: Plastic, foam
  • Capacity: 100 gallons
  • Dimensions: 53" x 31" x 25"
  • Weight: 34.6 lbs.
  • Use: Outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Key features: Easy drainage, weather resistance, compatible with float valve kit for water level control
  • Warranty: N/A

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Looking for an ice bath that's truly built to last? This option from Rubbermaid fits the bill. Built with weather-resistant structural foam, the Rubbermaid Stock Tank is designed to offer years of dependable outdoor use. Additional features include an extra-large plug for easy drainage, optional float valve kit for a simple way to control the water level, and a seamless construction for long-term stability.

PROS

  • Made with durable foam
  • Easy drainage system
  • Weather resistant
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Modest price point

CONS

  • Not the best option for insulation
  • Not as well-suited for indoor use

BUY: Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Best Portable Ice Bath - PLKO Portable Bathtub

PLKO Portable Bathtub

SPECS

  • Materials: PVC, cotton, canvas
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 3.5"x 26.7"x 23.6"
  • Weight: 7.78 lbs.
  • Use: Indoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Key features: Foldable, lightweight
  • Warranty: N/A

Check Price

The PLKO Portable Bathtub allows you to turn any shower stall into a bathtub, whether for an ice bath or a hot one. Foldable and incredibly lightweight, this is an outstanding pick for traveling athletes. And while it does require a little bit of assembly, the multi-layer construction is durable and very efficient.

PROS

  • Foldable
  • Lightweight
  • Modest price point
  • Great for indoor use

CONS

  • Some assembly required
  • Not as good for outdoor use

BUY: PLKO Portable Bathtub

Best Budget Ice Bath - PEAKn Ice Bath

PEAKn Ice Bath

SPECS

  • Materials: PVC
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 2.46 kg
  • Use: Indoor or outdoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Key features: Inflatable, lightweight
  • Warranty: N/A

Check Price

For sheer cost-effectiveness, it's tough to beat the PEAKn Ice Bath. This inflatable, collapsible ice bath is great for indoor use, and is lightweight enough that transporting it is a breeze. Multiple layers of high-quality PVC material ensure great performance and decent longevity. And while it's not necessarily heavy on features, it should suit anyone who's just looking for a nice, simple way to submerge.

PROS

  • Ergonomic design
  • Foldable
  • Lightweight
  • Modest price point
  • Great for indoor or outdoor use

CONS

  • Not the best pick for insulation
  • Not a lot of features or extra perks

BUY: Peakn Ice Bath

Best High-End Ice Bath - Cold Plunge Pro XL

Cold Plunge Pro XL

SPECS

  • Materials: N/A
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 27"T x 32.5"W (46.75" with plumbing/chiller) x 73"L
  • Weight: N/A
  • Use: Indoor
  • Drain: Yes
  • Key features: Insulated cover, hose filter, phone/tablet holder
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Check Price

For a truly premium ice bath experience, the Cold Plunge XL represents the height of luxury. Generously portioned for a comfortable, immersive experience, this is one of the biggest ice baths you'll find. And it comes with many of the features that make Cold Plunge an industry leader, including easy drainage, filtration systems, robust insulation, and holders for your phone and tablet. It isn't exactly bargain-priced, but there's no question that it's made with quality and durability in mind.

PROS

  • High-quality materials
  • Larger size than most
  • Decent warranty
  • Filtration options
  • Easy drainage
  • Phone/tablet holder

CONS

  • Not portable
  • Expensive

BUY: Cold Plunge Pro XL

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FAQs About Ice Baths

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Are ice baths good for me?

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When done safely, ice bathing has been shown to help athletes recover from exercise more quickly, as well as promote general wellness, by reducing inflammation, soothing muscle soreness, and improving circulation, among other things.

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How long should I sit in an ice bath?

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You should not sit in an ice bath for longer than 10-15 minutes.

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How often should I take an ice bath?

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Ice baths are most effective when done regularly. We recommend ice baths anywhere from once daily to once or twice monthly.

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Is cryotherapy the same as an ice bath?

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While both cryotherapy and ice baths rely on the power of cooling temperatures, the former is focused on surface-level injuries and usually applied only to affected areas while the latter is meant to be more immersive and involves submerging your whole body in water. There are full-body cryotherapy treatments, but these differ from ice baths in that they utilize a "cold chamber" where the air is cooled to much colder temperatures for a shorter amount of time than an ice bath.

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